The SKIL 7-1/14 In. Circular Saw 5280-01 is a lightweight circular saw that is easy to use and removes sawdust better than most of the saws we reviewed. It is also compatible with both standard- and arbor-size blades and includes a spindle lock button, which makes changing blades easy and safe. Additionally, it comes equipped with a laser guide to help you make a straight cut every time. For these reasons and more, it’s our top overall pick for this category.
At a mere 8.7 pounds, it won’t wear you out during heavy use. Like most of the other saws on our lineup, the SKIL 5280-10’s blade is positioned on the right-hand side. This makes the blade difficult to see while the saw is in use. However, it increases the machine’s overall balance and makes it easier to handle and maneuver.
The saw’s spindle lock holds the blade shaft in place, so it’s easy to change your blade. With this feature, you can replace the blade using a single hex wrench. You can store the hex wrench in a convenient slot located on the tool’s housing, so you don’t have to go looking for it each time you swap out the saw’s blade.
This circular saw is equipped with a convenient laser guide that shows you the path you need to follow to get a straight cut. This is great for users of all skill levels but especially for those who don’t use circular saws very often.
The 5820-01’s power cord is 6 feet long, which is the shortest of all the products on our lineup. While it should suffice in most situations, some saws we reviewed, like the Craftsman 3284, have cords up to 10 feet long.
This power saw comes with a soft carrying case that’s tailored specifically to it. The case makes it easy to transport and store the saw and protects it against dust and water. However, other saws in our review come with hard cases, which provide even more protection.
The SKIL 5280-01 includes a blower that removes sawdust from your cutline as you use it. This increases visibility, which allows you to make a straighter, safer cut. It also reduces the number of mistakes you make that would require you to make a second cut.
There are a couple of missing features, such as it doesn’t have an electric brake, which is a device that automatically stops the blade when you release the trigger. Another feature that would come in handy is a rip fence, which allows you to make identical cuts without measuring each time. These features would make the 5280-01 even more useful.
This circular saw has a cutting depth of 2 7/16 inches when placed at a 90-degree angle. At a 45-degree angle, the cutting depth is 1 15/16 inches. You can adjust the bevel up to 45 degrees, which is enough to handle most cutting jobs.
This power saw’s blade turns at 5300 rpm. While this is one of the lowest rotation rates of all the products in our review, it is fast enough to make clean, smooth, straight cuts. For comparison, the highest rotation rate we encountered in our evaluation was 6200 rpm.
This circular saw comes with a one-year warranty. If you encounter a problem or buy a defective unit, you can return it and get a new one or have it repaired free of charge during this time. This is a very short warranty compared to the other products we reviewed. Others have up to a five-year warranty.
The SKIL 5280-01 is our top choice for circular saws. It has the power and capacity to handle any cutting task. Though it is missing some features, it more than makes up for them by being a well-balanced, lightweight and straight-cutting tool.