There’s always that one feature that differentiates a circular saw from the others, and with the Skil 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-inch circular saw, it’s the laser beam guide. If you need to work on projects that require utmost accuracy, a circular saw with a laser guide should be in your arsenal of tools.
With that said, let’s have a look at this saw and its features, specifications, pros, and cons, so you can decide for yourself whether it’s right for you.
As a corded circular saw, accuracy is what makes the Skil 5280-01 so special among its competitors. With a laser guide to help you cut through wood and other materials precisely, it eliminates the need to redo mistakes.
This circular saw has 5,300 RPM with its 15-amp motor. The included saw blade has twenty-four teeth, which are made with carbide for durability and adaptability for most wood projects. Its bevel is at 51 degrees with a 45-degree positive stop.
It has a 6-foot power cord and a 5/8-inch arbor size. As for the depth of cut, it is at 2-3/8 inches. When in operation, the tool weighs 6.95 pounds, so it is on the lighter side.
Skil backs up their power tool with a 1-year limited warranty (excluding the blade) and can be returned to an authorized Skil Power Tool Service Station. It covers defects in material or workmanship and which have not been misused.
To maintain its durability, the motor comes with a dust blower so that sawdust and debris do not irritate the motor (or you) as you go. It even has an indicator light so you’ll know when the unit is powered on or off.
When it comes to user-friendly features, the circular saw has a precise laser guide. This helps to maintain a clean and accurate cut nearly every time with proper handling. What I like about the laser is that you can adjust it manually if ever it goes out of line due to frequent tool usage.
To prevent accidental start-ups, it even has a guarded trigger for added convenience. Changing the blade is easy as well because of its spindle lock, which increases productivity, and reduces hassle. Aside from that, the on-tool wrench also helps with speeding up the process of swapping blades on the go.
Should You Buy the Skil 5280-01?
I think that the Skil 5280-01 appeals most to those whose jobs require great accuracy. Not all circular saws have laser guides as most of them only have regular guides with ruled numbers. With a laser to guide you, ensuring a straight cut is easier to obtain.
Cut accuracy is mostly used in projects such as deck building and the like. Ensuring a precise cut throughout the entire band of plywood means less downtime in having to go over mistakes.
If you are still unsure about the decision, go through the below list of the pros and cons of the tool.
Pros of the Skil 5280-01
Let’s start with the positives.
It has a laser guide.
A laser guide shoots a perfectly straight line, which eliminates the need for a physical guide that you need to constantly adjust. This laser guide ensures that you get a straight cut practically every time, which is important when you are cutting through plywood, such as when building deck flooring or something similar.
The tool is very lightweight.
At only 6.95 pounds, the circular saw appeals to those who want fewer instances of fatigue when operating their tool. A lightweight tool is also easier to handle for those just starting out with circular saws.
It has a spindle lock and an onboard wrench.
Having a spindle lock speeds up the swapping process of discs since I’m sure you’ll need more than two types of circular saw blades on a given project – some are for finishing while others (such as the default) are for coarse or basic cutting, which is refined afterward with a different blade.
There is a dust blower for debris management.
Nobody likes dust flying around their hands, head, and workspace, and that’s why a debris management system is important when choosing a circular saw (or any power tool that will handle wood, for that matter).
Cons of the Skil 5280-01
On the other hand, while it has good points, the product has some minor drawbacks.
The depth of cut is not as big as with most circular saws.
Because it can only cut up to 2-3/8 inches at 90 degrees, it is better suited for small tasks such as DIY projects around the house. Nonetheless, it is not far behind most industrial circular saws that have cut depths of 2-1/2 inches.
It has no electric brake.
Lacking an electric brake is a minor downside for most, even though it is a helpful feature. This avoids the hassle of having to wait for the disc to stop spinning to make a new cut.
What Are the Alternatives to the Skil 5280-01?
An alternative that also uses a laser guide is the Black & Decker BDECS300C, which has a 13-amp motor. Like the Skil 5280-01, it has a spindle lock and has a 7-1/4-inch blade. Another difference is the 90-degree cut depth is up to 2-1/2 inches. This tool is also lightweight at just seven pounds yet the warranty period is for two years compared to the 1-year warranty of Skil.
The Metabo HPT C7UR is yet another 7-1/4-inch unit but has a higher speed of 6,800 RPM with its 15-amp motor. Bearing a 55-degree bevel and two positive stops at 45 and 55 degrees, this one has a similar cut capacity of 2-3/8 inches at 90 degrees. It also sports a blower for dust management. Due to the slim handles, however, the Metabo (formerly Hitachi Power Tools) circular saw is ergonomic for hours of usage.
Although the Bosch CS10 (read my full review) doesn’t have a laser guide, it has onboard wrench storage for faster blade changes, a 15-amp motor, and a much bigger cutting depth of 2-7/16 inches. However, this one is 10.2 pounds, so it’s not exactly lightweight compared to the Skil 5280-01 I mentioned above. It even has a faster speed of up to 5,600 RPM so you will like it better if you need more torque in a job site task.
Finally, make sure to also check my list of the best circular saws for beginners.
Overall, the Skil 5280-01 is a unique and helpful choice for accuracy when it comes to choosing circular saws. Just keep in mind that it isn’t always well-suited for industrial and heavy-duty work since it only has a 2-3/8-inch depth cut and a 5,300-RPM speed. Nonetheless, if your need for a circular saw is mostly due to building a deck or similar structure, this tool is more than enough for such a task.