SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw Review: A Must-Have Tool for Every DIY Enthusiast


The SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw, priced at $49.00, stands out in the crowded market of power tools with its robust 15-amp motor and a 7.25-inch blade. This review unpacks its features, performance, and overall value, making it a potentially indispensable addition to your toolkit.

Specifications of SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

  • Model: SKIL 5280-01
  • Blade Size: 7-1/4 inches
  • Amps: 15
  • Price: $49.00
  • RPM: 5300
  • Bevel: Up to 51 degrees
  • Weight: 8.7 lbs
  • Includes: Blade, wrench, bag
  • Safety Features: Lock trigger, power indicator
  • Special Features: Dust blower, laser guide
  • Warranty: 1 year

What’s in the Box?

SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw being unpacked from box, held in hand.

Unboxing the SKIL 5280-01 reveals several key components: a 24-tooth carbide blade known for its durability and precision, a flat wrench for adjustments, and a protective carrying bag that enhances portability and ensures the saw remains dust-free. The saw’s total weight of 8.7 pounds might feel hefty but confirms its solid construction and reliability.

Design and Features

SKIL Circular Saw with visible red laser guide activated on carpet.

The SKIL 5280-01 boasts a user-friendly design with a practical setup. It includes a built-in laser guide, which eliminates the need for external batteries as it draws power directly from the saw. This feature enhances cutting accuracy significantly. The saw allows for adjustments up to 52 degrees for angled cuts and offers easy depth adjustment through a lever mechanism, ensuring you can adapt the tool to various materials and cutting requirements efficiently.

Performance Evaluation

SKIL Circular Saw in use, cutting through a wooden board on workbench.

In action, the circular saw impresses with its power output and operational efficiency. The 15-amp motor ensures a no-load speed of 5300 RPM, allowing for smooth and rapid cuts through even the toughest materials. The laser guide maintains accuracy, while the dust blower keeps the line of cut clear for better visibility. Its operational noise level is notable but typical for a saw of this caliber.

Comparative Insights

Close-up of the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw's adjustment settings and blade.

When compared to other models like certain Ryobi saws, the SKIL 5280-01 offers a competitive edge with its higher amp motor, ensuring more power and durability. Its weight is comparable to other models in the same price range, but it stands out with its included accessories and ease of use, making it a superior choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Usability and Safety

Adjustment lever and blade guard detail of SKIL Circular Saw.

The SKIL 5280-01 is designed with user safety in mind, featuring a power-on indicator to prevent accidental starts and a safety lock/guarded trigger. These features, along with its robust design and adjustable settings, make it an excellent tool for frequent use in a variety of projects, ensuring both safety and efficiency.

Price and Value

Hand holding SKIL Circular Saw showing red laser guide.

At $49.00, this circular saw offers excellent value, especially considering its powerful specifications and additional features like the laser guide and carrying bag. It’s a cost-effective choice for users who need a reliable saw without breaking the bank.

Pros of the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

  • Priced at $49.00, the SKIL 5280-01 offers excellent value. It’s affordable without compromising on essential features, making it an attractive option for both DIY enthusiasts and those who need a reliable backup tool.
  • The 15-amp motor delivering 5,300 RPM means this saw can handle a variety of cutting jobs, from simple home projects to more demanding tasks. Having used it on several projects, I can attest to its capability to cut through different materials smoothly.
  • Its lightweight design (only 8.7 pounds) makes it quite manageable during extended use. The laser guide and on-tool measurement marks contribute to accurate cuts, which I found very helpful during precise work.
  • It includes a power-on indicator and a safety lock/guarded trigger, enhancing safety by preventing accidental starts. This feature provides peace of mind, especially in busy work environments.

Cons of the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

  • The high power comes with a high noise level. If you’re sensitive to noise or work in residential areas, this could be a concern. I found it to be louder than some of my other tools.
  • Unlike more modern circular saws that feature brushless motors, this model requires occasional maintenance for brush replacement. While not a dealbreaker, it’s an extra step in maintenance that you’ll need to remember.
  • The saw comes with minimal accessories; notably, it does not include a rip fence, which would have to be purchased separately. This limitation can be a slight inconvenience for those requiring precise long cuts.

Maintenance and Care Tips of SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

For the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw, keeping it in top condition ensures both safety and longevity. Here are some straightforward maintenance and care tips:

  1. Cleaning: After each use, clean the saw to remove dust and debris. Use a soft brush or compressed air to clear the vents and moving parts. Avoid water or solvents that could damage the motor or corrode metal parts.
  2. Proper Storage: Store the saw in the provided carrying bag to protect it from dust and moisture. Keep it in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and deterioration of the components.
  3. Regular Maintenance Checks: Before each use, check the saw for any loose screws or signs of wear. Ensure the blade is sharp and securely attached. Inspect the power cord for any damage to prevent electrical hazards.
  4. Blade Replacement: To replace the blade, first, ensure the saw is unplugged. Use the wrench provided to loosen the blade bolt. Carefully remove the old blade and install the new one, making sure it’s firmly secured. Always choose the correct blade type for the material you’re cutting.
  5. Adjusting the Laser Guide: If the laser guide becomes misaligned, refer to the user manual for adjustment instructions. Typically, small screws near the laser can be tweaked to recalibrate its alignment.

Final Verdict

The SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw is an excellent investment for DIY enthusiasts looking for a powerful, versatile, and reliable tool. Its combination of power, precision, and user-friendly features offers great value for its price, making it a recommended purchase for anyone looking to enhance their tool collection.

If you’ve used the SKIL 5280-01 or are considering adding it to your toolkit, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Your insights can help others make informed decisions and explore new DIY possibilities with this powerful circular saw.


  1. What makes the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw ideal for home improvement projects?
    The SKIL 5280-01 is ideal for home projects due to its powerful 15-amp motor and precision laser guide. It handles a variety of cutting tasks efficiently, making it a versatile tool for any DIY enthusiast.
  2. Can the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw cut through ceramic tiles?
    The SKIL 5280-01 is primarily designed for wood and similar materials. To cut ceramic tiles, you would need a saw with a diamond blade designed for tile and masonry.
  3. How do I change the blade on the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw?
    To change the blade, first disconnect the saw from power. Use the onboard wrench to loosen the blade bolt, remove the old blade, install the new blade ensuring the teeth face the correct direction, and then tighten the bolt securely.
  4. What safety features does the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw offer?
    This saw includes several safety features such as a guarded trigger to prevent accidental starts, a safety lock, and a power-on indicator to enhance operational safety.
  5. Is the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw suitable for professional use?
    While capable for various tasks, the SKIL 5280-01 is primarily designed for home use. For continuous, heavy-duty professional use, a more robust model might be necessary.
  6. What is the maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees with the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw?
    The maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees is approximately 2.4375 inches, suitable for cutting through standard 2x4s and other material thicknesses efficiently.
  7. Can the laser guide on the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw be adjusted for accuracy?
    The laser guide is fixed to ensure consistent accuracy straight out of the box and usually does not require adjustments. Always check alignment before critical cuts.
  8. What are the common issues with the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw and how can they be resolved?
    Common issues may include the saw becoming misaligned or issues with the blade guard not retracting smoothly. Regular maintenance and ensuring cleanliness can help resolve and prevent these issues.
  9. How does the weight of the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw affect its usability?
    Weighing in at 8.7 pounds, it strikes a balance between stability and manageability, reducing user fatigue compared to heavier saws, making it suitable for various projects.
  10. Where can I purchase replacement parts for the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw?
    Replacement parts can be purchased directly from SKIL’s website, authorized dealers, or online retailers like Amazon. Always ensure parts are compatible with the 5280-01 model.
Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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