A staple in the garage or shed of any Do-It-Yourself hobbyist is a proper saw. The SKIL 5280 Circular saw is the perfect entry point in both price and ease of use with its precise and adjustable laser-guide, the comfortable ergonomic handle, and it’s extreme angles. For a 7 1/4 inch circular saw this thing handles, and cuts boards, like butter.
The product We Modern Makers are going to review in this article is the SKIL 5280 Circular Saw, in package with a 24-tooth carbide blade, the blade removal tool, and a carrying bag. A solid deal for its budget price and not many other circular saws are going to compare in quality when it comes to this price range. This circular saw is not perfect by any means, and we’re going to get to the pro’s and con’s in the description below. Granted, there’s not many con’s to way in on, as this is a finely made product by a company who is passionate about ensuring quality carpenters and woodworkers continue to build this country great.
SKIL is a very established brand within the woodworking community. Established in 1979, SKIL has been a leading innovator in the power-tool industry with most of its praise coming from its cutting tools, and particularly the “SKIL Saw” which is what they are most notably known for. The name has become so popular in the industry, that many people refer to a circular saw as a SKIL saw, instead of circular. SKIL has learned how to do things right for the woodworking community, and to back that up all of their products come with a five year warranty as long as you register it on their site. This is a great demonstration in SKILS own faith in their product, and we highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity should you wish to buy their saw or any of their other power tool products.
In all, We Modern Makers considers this to be a more rigid and robust frame. It’s not exactly small in comparison to other saws; but it doesn’t feel too ridiculously heavy either coming in at just under 7 pounds. Just to note, this saw does come with a spindle lock wrench for removing the blade, and the tool stays stored in the circular saw itself. It comes with a generous 6-foot power chord, but you’ll most likely be tethering it to an extension chord anyways. The pistol-grip and trigger feel comfortable enough, and are textured with a nice corrugated piece of rubber so you’re not losing control mid stroke and cutting something you shouldn’t be. To add to this, SKIL includes a secondary control handle forward of the pistol grip, allowing you to get two hands onto the saw to really drive that straight line. You’ve got your standard screw tight miter base that does pretty much what it should do. The top of the blade guard leaves a little to be desired in terms of visibility on the cut, but in reality its better safe than sorry.
This is one of the biggest selling points. The laser guide. Now, it seems saws are all attacking this gimmick in one form or another. But, SKIL being the innovators they are, have managed to produce a fairly accurate laser line on the SKIL 5280 Circular saw to keep your blade on target through the entire cut. Hitting back on what we just said, you can’t stretch wood; so lets make the cut count. This laser is easily adjustable via a 3/32 Allen key on the back, turning left or right to adjust its line. This is particularly handy as it tends to slightly move after heavy use.
The SKIL 5280 Circular saw puts out a comfortable 15 amps coming out to 2.5 horsepower and at a steady 5,300 rotations per minute. The power behind this saw for how cheap it is, is incredible. With a decently sharp blade and a good line, you’ll rip through anything you could really throw at it. This saw really flows well through the cut, with a max cut depth of 2-3/8th inches, though we’d probably put it at a safer 2-1/4 so you’re not double cutting.
One impressive feature of this saw for this price is that it has 51 degrees of bevel action. So if you’re one for cutting odd-angles into your projects or you need to compensate for an over cut on something you’re hobbling together, the SKIL 5280 Circular Saw will allow for that little bit of an oops moment. As far as I know, you can’t stretch a 2×4 back to length and each cut needs to count, but small hiccups are less of a hassle with this circular saw. The miter/bevel control has a hard stop at 45 degrees, kicking the base out and giving you a more stable and accurate 45 cut for creating smooth and perfect joints.
The SKIL 5280 circular saw is a great entry point for the novice woodworker or aspiring project builder. While the guarding and the overall build of the saw might be slightly bulky in stature; its all in the name of safety and control and we can’t really knock SKIL for designing things around people not losing fingers. The laser guide and on indicator are a nice touch and are fairly easy to adjust with a simple Allen wrench. With a 7 1/4 inch blade at only 7 pounds, this circular saw is fairly easy to maneuver and the speed the motor turns the blade makes cuts feel fairly smooth when ripping. It’s an ergonomically sound and physically capable circular saw that we’d feel safe putting into the hands of a first-timer.
We Modern Makers hosts links to amazon as an affiliate. However, the links used do not alter the price on the page, nor does being an affiliate with amazon sway our reviews in the way of SKIL. Our goal is to provide an informative purchasing experience for the buyer looking to get into the DIY field, and we hope you find what you’re looking for. Thank you all for doing all that you do to keep this site running.