Skil 5480-01 Circular Saw Review 2017


If you are in the market for an affordable circular saw to do a number of projects around the home, then this one from Skil is an ideal choice.
They are a well known brand and when we did our reviews on the best ones in the market, this one came out on top of our list. If you want to check out the full list then please feel free to read our circular saw buying guide.
You can see from the image that this one looks great as he rips through a piece of plywood. If you are busy and just don’t have time to read our full review, then we have produced below a quick guide that will help you find out if this is the right saw for your own particular needs.

Quick Guide to the 5480

  • Costs around $50 on average from places like Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon
  • Almost 300 buyer reviews at Amazon rate this on average 4.4 out of 5 stars which is very good and consistent
  • Comes with an 198 tooth carbide blade – this is a good starter blade and will handle most things
  • We really liked the longer foot on this as it makes sure the saw will not slide about
  • It is a 13 amp saw, 2.3 Horse power with a 7.25″ blade
  • The cord is 6 feet long and runs off 120 volts and a 13 amp motor
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So in summary, this is a powerful circular saw that is ideal for using around the home. This is also a really good choice if you can’t justify spending a ton of money on a really expensive one.
This is a sidewinder and not a worm drive. Professionals and contractors would not use this type of saw as they will always want one that is heavy duty. They need to use these every day. This model is designed for people who need to do different projects around the home and need something to quickly rip through some wood.

Detailed Review of the Skil 5480-01

Now for those of you who like more detail, then please read on.
If you need to get through plywood, or cut 2 x 4’s then this one can handle that with some ease. The saw is light and comfortable to use and yet it packs more than enough power. It works great on dry woods and even on small bevelled cuts. For general purpose sawing like your standard 2″ lumber then this one handles that easily.
There is also a good easy to adjust depth guide if you need to cut out tracks and that is always useful.
The cleanness of the cut is all about the blade. This one comes with an 18 tooth blade and we were pretty happy with the cut that it gives.
If you are going to be using this type of saw on a regular basis, and going to spend around $60, then you will want this to last. Over time all motors will burn out depending simply on how much use they get. This one has a good quality motor and we have yet to read any reviews about anything burning out. One reviewer put it like this,
A group I work with has bought two more for use in an annual construction project, and these two saws get used for several hours a day, everyday, over the span of a month. Both of these two saws have performed flawlessly over the last two years, and we’re very happy with the purchases.
Things like that are always good to know when you are spending your money. The motor also runs on ball bearings and that will certainly extend the life of this saw.
It has a built-in safety lock and there is also a guard on the trigger. That helps to prevent any danger of accidental start-ups, which as you know can be dangerous.

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Comparison to the Skil 5600

Skil do a few of the seven and a quarter inch saws and another model they do is the 5600. Our advice is to avoid that based on the reviews that we checked out. That one costs around $70 and does not seem to get the best of reviews. The 5480 we have reviewed here appears to be a much better product.
We also looked at the Rockwell series and have reviewed those also. It is pretty hard to compare them as they are really a different style of saw.

Video About Using This Saw For Home Projects

This is a useful video about how to use a circular saw and what uses it can have around the home for a whole variety of jobs and tasks. It is well worth a watch. We found this one when we were looking at all the Skil circular saw reviews and thought this one was very good.

What Is Good About the Saw

  • It is light and that means no arm fatigue when using this for long periods.
  • More than powerful enough for jobs around the home
  • A sensible price and gets consistent ratings
  • It has a 2 point line of sight – that makes a huge difference when trying to cut straight lines.

What Is Not So Good About the Saw

We noticed that a few reviewers had problems with the blade sticking when trying to get through wood such as plywood. Don’t panic though as this is common with many types of these circular saws. In almost every case it is because the blade is just not tight enough. If you find that ever happens, pull the housing off and tighten up the blade.
Please note: Often in the instructions you will see do not over tighten the bolt. Some people take that too literally and just hand tighten. Don’t do that, tighten it by hand and then add a half tun with the wrench that comes with this circular saw kit. You do not want a slipping blade

Summary and Verdict

We would highly recommend this saw for non-professional and general around the home use. As you can see from the video there are plenty of uses for a saw like this. You don’t have to spend a fortune to own something of this quality.
By buying other blade types you can then get smoother and finer cuts, and get blades for cutting through metal. We would recommend if you are going to be cutting a lot of plywood to get a blade with about 40 teeth. The more teeth the smoother the cut.

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