SKIL 5280-01 Review
Editor Rating: 4.6/5
Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson
Published on: October 2, 2017
When versatility is in question, SKIL has an answer for that. It’s a well-known brand that is mostly in the business of designing affordable and accessible power tools. In case you are looking for a high-quality machine but are on a limited budget, this brand might be the answer for your troubles.
Circular saws are an important piece of equipment in every DIYer’s garage. Making compromises and purchasing cheap copies of reputable brands is a huge mistake and can result in losing money and especially nerves. Remember, cheap tools always cost much more than the high-quality ones because they require much more maintenance, expenses, and so on. Therefore, if you have an opportunity to buy a high-end machine, don’t waste time by trying to save a few dollars, it’s not worth it.
This particular model is the thing most people with a limited budget are looking for. It has a neat set of features, it’s easy to use, and most importantly – it is budget-friendly.
- Weight – 9 pounds
- Dimensions – 14.2 x 9.8 x 8.5 inches
- Power source – Corded
- Voltage – 120 Volts
SKIL 5280-01 – The Basics
This 2.5 horsepower machine is a great affordable solution for your future endeavors. It might not be the best possible model on the market, but it does offer enough features for a vast variety of projects. Its 15-amp motor delivers around 1865W of power meaning it will cut through many types of dense wood without many issues.
The thing that makes this unit desirable is its ease of use. While the professionals aren’t impressed by its basic features, DIY enthusiasts love the absence of complexity. We wouldn’t recommend it for demanding tasks such as granite cutting, but it’s definitely great for DIY wood projects.
The design is surprisingly versatile and easy to get a hold of. Usually, the units from the affordable category have a few flaws design-wise, but this one seems as good as they get. The first thing people notice is the integrated laser. It’s quite an unusual addition for this price. The laser does its job of making the cuts as precise as possible pretty well. In fact, many people reported that they didn’t even get the chance to use the laser and calibrate the machine due to its high precision by default.
The light weight is also a great design advantage. Due to the nature of the components used in the design, the weight of the whole machine is only around 9 pounds meaning you don’t have to worry about fatigue while carrying it from one place to another. Furthermore, a convenient bag is included; therefore, there’s no need to stress about storage and portability.
The safety is at a satisfactory level. There aren’t any impressive safety mechanisms due to the affordable price, but the ones that are integrated offer more than enough of security, especially if you’re a novice. However, we strongly recommend reading the user manual before turning the machine on for the first time.
This model features an integrated dust blower which is a pretty surprising thing. Not many saws have a dust blower, especially the ones that fall in this price range. Therefore, one can say that the dust blower is a premium accessory on this model. While it doesn’t perform impressively, it’s still quite effective and helpful. Despite the existence of dust extraction, we strongly recommend the use of work glasses.
Easy to use
The laser is not adjustable
It’s hard to see the laser while working outdoors
Things we liked about it
The price-to-quality ratio is amazing with this unit. A lot of people are caught by surprise because most of them don’t expect such an affordable price. Furthermore, even though it has a set of basic features, there are some that can’t be found even in the much more expensive units, like the integrated laser and dust extraction.
There are plenty of things to like when it comes to the 5280-01 model, and people who are familiar with the market know how to recognize those elements.
Things we didn’t like
As far as we are concerned, there is too much of hard plastic involved in the design. While it’s not a downside per se, we would have liked to see more metal parts. The hard plastic doesn’t affect the integrity of the machine much, but the amount of vibrations could have been decreased by using metal components or even cushioning the hand grip. Speaking of hand grips, this particular one seems pretty small in comparison to some other models. Therefore, it might be an unpleasant surprise for people that have particularly large hands. However, you probably won’t stumble upon that issue.
General user impressions
A lot of people love this unit because of its price. It’s obvious that it isn’t the best thing available on the market, but it’s quite a catch both for devoted DIY-ers and even some professionals. You can rest assured that it will do the job that it is supposed to, and that’s what most of us look for in a power tool. Even though the aesthetics don’t matter much in this industry, it’s always a plus to have a good-looking unit in your hands. This one looks nice, works great, and costs only a fragment of a price that you’d have to pay for a high-end model designed by a reputable brand.
If you’re looking for a good machine that is able to cope with your future endeavors, this one might be the real deal. As we already said, you don’t have to worry much about the budget aspect because it’s quite affordable. Furthermore, the features included are quite neat and sufficient for most applications involving wood. You can process metal as well, but only with a proper blade. Do not cut any other materials but wood with the included blade.
There are a few advantages; no one can deny that. However, the key is in trading some of those advantages off for a better overall price. In simpler words, you cannot expect a miraculous performance out of a unit that costs less than most of its competitors within the same category.