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SKIL 5280-01 vs 5180-01 Review

Circular saws are essential tools for many woodworkers. Their ability to crosscut and rip everything from wood, metal, and plastics makes them handy tools for homemakers, too. Let’s take a look at two circular saws from SKIL to see which one will be the best for your needs.

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5180-01

SKIL 5180-01









SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide

The SKIL 5280-01 is a popular sawfor various reasons. For one, it has several improvements over earlier models—it’s lighter and it’s more powerful, plus it has a spindle lock for quick blade changes. Also, the 15Amp direct drive motor spins the 7-1/4-inch blade at 5300rpm, fast enough to easily power through dimensional lumber and plywood.

While you’re cutting, the laser beam’s guidance will help you keep your line straight. And the integrated dust blower will also keep your material clear of debris. Should you decide that you don’t need the laser, you can turn it off and work without it.

The 5280-01 also bevels up to 51 degrees, and has a positive stop at 45 degrees. This is very helpful if you don’t have a miter saw. When angled to 45 degrees, the maximum cut depth is 1-15/16-inches. But at 90 degrees, the saw can cut up to 2-7/16-inches deep. You’ll see the built-in depth guide on the saw, and you can adjust the depth by turning a screw.

For safety reasons, the 5280-01 comes with a blade guard, a safety switch, a power-on indicator light, and a torque clutch that reduces the risk of kickback. Unfortunately, it lacks a blade brake to stop the blade right after you release the trigger. Some users have also commented that they wish the saw had a work light and a brighter laser. Also, the red laser line is harder to see if you’re working in a brightly-lit place.

More features of the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw:

  • 6-foot long power cord
  • Weighs 8.7 pounds
  • Comes with nylon carrying bag, blade wrench, and 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade
  • Covered by a 1-year limited warranty


SKIL 5180-01 14-Amp, 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

If you’ve been a SKIL saw fan, you might like the SKIL 5180-01 7-1/4-inch circular saw. It’s been redesigned to be lighter than the earlier model in its series. It’s designed for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers who want to complete tasks like building a deck. Its 14Amp motor easily crosscuts dimensional lumber up to 2-3/8-inches thick, like 2x4s. The blade also bevels up to 51 degrees, and has a positive stop at 45 degrees. When beveled to 45 degrees, the maximum depth of cut is 1-15/16-inches.

To set the depth of cut, all you need to do is adjust the rear lever. The anti-snag lower guard will help you avoid snags on those narrow cutoffs. But do be careful not to drop the saw as it has a steel foot plate which could dent or bend.

Although the 5180-01 doesn’t have a laser guide, it does have an integrated dust blower to help you see where you’re cutting. Also, there are two line-of-sight points to help you stay on track. And for safety, it has a power-on light and a guarded trigger.

Changing the blade isn’t hard once you engage the spindle lock and use the handy wrench that’s stored in the foot. Users new to SKIL might not know that the addition of a spindle lock is one of the improvements found on their new model saws.

More features of the SKIL 5180-01 Circular Saw:

  • Comes with blade wrench andcarbide-tipped blade
  • Covered by a 1-year limited warranty
  • Maximum blade speed 5300rpm
  • Blade arbor measures 5/8-inches
  • Weighs 7.2 pounds
  • 6-foot long power cord



While either one of these SKIL saws are good for projects around the house, contractors may get more mileage out of the 5280-01. It has a more powerful direct drive motor and comes with a better blade in the box. The fact that it has a laser guide line makes it more attractive for anyone who depends on making straight cuts. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit heavier than the 5180-01.

If you prefer a lighter circular saw, try the SKIL 5180-01. It has plenty of power for your home workshop, and comes with an integrated dust blower and integrated safety features.

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