The SKIL 5280-01 is a versatile corded circular saw well-suited for basic woodworking tasks and hobbyist projects around the home or garage. As an affordable entry-level saw, it doesn't have frills but delivers reliable power and cutting performance. The saw runs off standard household current for cordless freedom of movement and is lightweight enough for overhead cuts and working on sawhorses or benches.
At only 6.5 pounds, the SKIL 5280-01 is nimble yet balanced for control. Its 15 amp motor drives a 7-1/4" carbide-tipped blade through wood, composite materials and plastic with smooth variable speed control. Precision machined rails allow fast, accurate cuts while protecting the blade. Overall this saw aims to offer dependable basic functionality for occasional tasks at an attractive low price point.
- Motor: 15 amp universal motor
- No load speed: 5,000 RPM
- Blade diameter: 7-1/4 inches
- Arbor size: 5/8 inches
- Maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees: 2-5/8 inches
- Maximum cutting depth at 45 degrees: 1-7/8 inches
- Bevel capacity: 0-45 degrees
- Shoe size: 4 x 5-1/2 inches
- Dust blower port: yes
- Blade warden: Lower retracting blade guard
- Laser guide: No
- Weight: 6.5 pounds
- Cord length: 6 feet
- Voltage: 120V ~ 60Hz
- Double insulated: Yes
- Warranty: 3 years limited
Design & Construction
The SKIL 5280-01 has an understated yet practical design made of hardened polymer materials. Its dark gray and black two-tone finish has a reassuring simple industrial look. Parts feel rigidly assembled and movement is smooth without play or wobble. Sturdy die-cast aluminum wraps around critical components like the lower half of the motor housing and base for protecting against impacts.
Rails and fence components are precisely milled within tight tolerances. Blade guard movement is crisp and returns properly after each cut. While lightweight, the saw balances well with a substantive feel in hand. Ergonomic front and rear soft-grip handled promote comfortable posture and control during extended cutting. All features are straightforward to use right out of the box requiring no assembly.
Power & Performance
Powering the saw is a universal motor rated for 15 amps, offering decent cutting capacity for its size and intended use. Connected to standard 120V household current, it spins the 7-1/4" blade at an optimized 5000 RPM for fast cutting speeds through wood. Enough torque is on hand to rip boards and sheets and crosscut 2x stock with ease.
The comfort-grip variable speed trigger allows manually adjusting output as needed. Starting under load is smooth across the RPM range. Feedback through the handle remains balanced without noticeable vibration even at full power. Blade guidance is excellent thanks to the solidly mounted upper and lower machined rails. This produces very accurate, splinter-free cuts on sheets and boards up to 6' long.
Blade changes are simple, with the new blade mounting securely and staying put during rigorous testing. The integrated blade guard automatically returns to its safe position after each cut. The dust blower helps keep sawdust away from the work surface too. Overall, cutting results are clean and consistent for such an affordable general purpose saw.
Key safety elements include the return style lower blade guard, anti-kickback pawls that engage the material during ripping, and an easily accessible blade lock lever on top. These work intelligently together to prevent binding kicks that could cause the user harm.
An on/off switch at the rear of the motor housing has a convenient locking collar to prevent accidental startup. The rear handle is situated correctly for safe two-handed operation with minimal risk of binding cuts. Well-placed guides assure the fence contacts material at a safe distance from the blade. Rubberized non-slip surfaces on the base and lower rail provide stability too. Together these features promote confidence during use.
Value & Warranty
Priced accessibly for the entry-level shop or home garage, the SKIL 5280-01 represents excellent value. Its materials, build quality and cutting performance belie the cost. For occasional users and projects around the house, it offers more than enough capability. Spare parts availability through SKIL also adds to the saw's long term usefulness.
A 3-year limited tool warranty covers defects, ranking as one of the longest in the category at this price point. Though not intended for rugged construction site usage, customer reviews suggest it will provide years of basic woodworking duty before needing service for the average DIYer or serious hobbyist.
For simple projects like breaking down sheet goods, crosscutting boards, rip cutting stock, or even basic milling, the SKIL 5280-01 delivers satisfying results. Its components are precision made to provide smooth operation and accurate cuts from a compact, balanced package. Strategy safety features instill confidence during use for novice users.
Backed with a strong 3-year warranty and affordable service costs, it makes for a solid purchase to become familiar with basic circular saw operations. As an entry point for light-duty woodworking tasks and repairs in and around the home, few other saws match the value of this 15 amp SKIL model. For casual woodworkers it establishes a great baseline without compromising features found on pricier saws.