Thursday, February 22, 2007

Skilsaw 5750-01 Circular Saw Review

A good circular saw is a loyal companion to every carpenter, woodworker, and handyman. They are found on thousands of jobsites and thousands of shops, cutting every type of material imaginable from a myriad of sheet goods to boards of all sizes and species. They are the poor man’s table saw. They are a somewhat iconic image that is closely associated with carpenter, much like the chainsaw is associated with the lumberjack. Parallel to this relationship is the association between the circular saw and the brand Skil. Skil has been making the famous Skilsaw since the 1920’s. Like Kleenex or Q-Tip, Skilsaw has become a synonym for the circular saw itself.

The Skilsaw 5750-01 is a 7-1/4” circular saw with a street price around $75. It comes with a carry case, 18-tooth carbide tipped blade, blade wrench, and manual. The Skil 5750-01 is a large saw with a powerful 13-amp motor, which has a maximum output of 2.5 horsepower. The saw weighs just over 12lbs. however its comfortable handles offset much of that heft. The rear handle is rubberized while the top handle is plastic. Both are textured to improve grip and they are sized well. This circular saw features a laser guide, which is easily activated when depressing the safety switch. The saw body is a combination of metal and plastic. The base plate is sufficiently thick unlike cheaper stamped base plates. Blade changing is easy with the spindle lock feature. On the negative side, the blade guard lift lever is plastic, which raises concerns that such a frequently touched part may break off. Also, the power cord is only 6’ long, so grab your extension cord, especially when ripping a sheet of plywood.

Circular saws are made for one thing: cutting wood, the Skilsaw 5750-01 does just that. Powering the saw up for the first time and pushing it into a sheet of plywood, I found that the saw cut smoothly and with plenty of power. Like most circular it was easy to control and follow my pencil line. The blade guard functions well and quickly slides into place after completing a cut. The laser guide is about as useful as any other out there. After a slight adjustment, following the laser got me fairly close to my pencil line, however greater accuracy was achieved by sighting the saw manually. Of course, this is true of most laser-guided tools. Bevel angle adjusts easily, although I would prefer the thumbscrew to be metal instead of plastic. The depth of cut can be adjusted to a maximum of 2-7/16” by lifting a plastic lever. Releasing this lever requires a bit too much force and that fact that it is plastic causes a concern of breakage. There is an easy to read scale on the back of the saw to measure the depth of cut. A nice little touch is that the blade wrench stores inside of the base plate so that it cannot be lost. Conversely, while the carry case is a solid and comfortable way to tote the saw around, it takes a little trial and error to learn the very exact way the saw must sit inside the case. You should be able to simply throw the saw in the case when done, not fiddle with it for a minute or two.

To some degree a circular saw is a circular saw as long as it has enough power, and the Skilsaw 5750-01 has plenty of power. The real question is whether this $75 saw can compete with those grey, yellow, and other guys whose brands have a bit more clout. While some of these other brands have 15 amp motors and heftier price tags ($100 to $140), the Skilsaw can go cut for cut with them. While there is a little too much plastic on the Skil's adjustment knobs and levers, many of these other brands suffer from the same thing. Save your money and buy the Skil, then spend that cash on another tool. Because it is a strong performing tool, but does not do anything revolutionary the Skilsaw 5750-01 gets an average 3 hammer rating, however it also wins a Shallow Pocket award for its great value and The Beast award for its ample power.

Lots of power
Great price
Comfortable handles

Some plastic parts
Depth of cut level hard to release
Short power cord
Confusing carry case


1 comment:

Madison said...

I am going to buy miter saw. I read many website and I see Dewalt DW175 which suitable my need. I read your article, I don’t know Skilsaw miter equal Dewalt DW175. Do you give me for information?