7-1/4″ Skilsaw® with Laser Review

7-1/4″ Skilsaw® with Laser Model Model #5680-02

The folks at SKIL recently sent me their upgraded SKIL 5680-02 – 7-1/4-Inch circular saw to evaluate and review.    The Skilsaw has been around for 74 years and this new SKILSAW was specifically designed for DIYers.skil saw

First Impression:

The SKIL 5680-02  includes a 51 Degree bevel with positive stop at 45 Degree for increased accuracy and a wider variety of cuts. Having the ability to bevel to 51 degrees is a nice to have if needed option.  The saw also has a Laser Cut-line Guide which helps it’s user make more accurate cuts.

The tool has a wide foot plate which will assist the user with tool stability when cutting .  Additional features like a power-on indicator, safety lock/guarded trigger and anti-snag lower guard make the saw safer to use.

Using The SKIL 5680-02:

One feature that was nice to see was the Vari-torque clutch that Skil designed into their blade nut and outer washer.  The Vari-torque clutch reduces the saw’s tendency to KICKBACK.  At first I did not like that the tool did not have a button to push to lock the blade spindle but after realizing the safety advantage, I was sold.

Kickback is a sudden reaction to a pinched, bound or misaligned saw blade, causing an uncontrolled saw to lift up and out of the workpiece toward the tool user.  When the blade is pinched or bound tightly by the kerf closing down, the blade stalls and the motor reaction drives the unit rapidly back toward the operator.  If the blade becomes twisted or misaligned in the cut, the teeth at the back edge of the blade can dig into the top surface of the wood causing the blade to climb out of the kerf and jump back toward the operator.


This clutching action is provided by the friction of the OUTER WASHER against the BLADE and permits the blade shaft to turn when the blade encounters excessive resistance. When the BLADE STUD is properly tightened, the blade will slip when it encounters excessive resistance, thus reducing saw’s tendency to KICKBACK.

NOTE – One setting may not be sufficient for cutting all materials. If excessive blade slippage occurs, tighten the blade stud a fraction of a turn more (less than 1/8 turn).


The SKIL 5680-02 is equipped with a laser line guide that is activated when the laser button is pushed in.  The laser line is pre-set at the factory to the kerf of the blade supplied with your saw.
OI found the laser to be extremely accurate and allowed for the kerf of the saw blade.

The laser light guide is a class IIIA laser with a maximum output power of 5.0 m Watts and conforms to 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11.


As a professional contractor I did not like the sadety switch and found it uncomfortable to use, but I do see the merit in having one for DIYers.  The safety switch is designed to prevent accidental starts. To operate safety switch, press the release button with your thumb on either side of handle to disengage the lock, then pull the trigger.  When the trigger is released the button will engage the safety switch automatically, and the trigger will no longer operate.


I found the power indicator light useless for a contractor because at the end of the day all of my tools are unplugged and stowed.  As a homeowner with kids around the power indicator light may be useful to alert the DIYer tyhat the power to the tool is still live.  this may be especially important since alot of homeowners tend to drag out projects over a weekend or several weeks.

Basically, when you plug your tool into the power source, the power indicator light will go “ON”indicating the tool is receiving power.

To turn tool “ON”, press the release button with your thumb on either side of handle to disengage the lock, then squeeze the trigger switch. To turn the tool “OFF”, release the trigger switch, which is spring loaded and will return to the off position automatically and lock the trigger.


•Laser Cutline Guide for accurate cuts
•51° Bevel Adjust w/Positive Stop at 45° for increased accuracy
•Power-On Indicator lets you know when the tool is plugged in
•Safety Lock / Guarded Trigger Minimizes Accidental Starts
•Wide Foot Plate for stability when cutting
•Anti-Snag Lower Guard Reduces Snags When Making Narrow Cut-Offs
•Ball Bearing Motor Construction for twice the life, compared to previous model
•Rear View Depth Adjustment for clear visibility & quick cut-depth changes
•On-Tool Wrench Storage for quick and easy blade changes

Whats in the box:

7-1/4-in Skilsaw with Laser – 5680-02
24-Tooth Carbide Blade
Blade Wrench
Carrying Bag

Overall Impression:

For $79.99 you can’t beat this Skil saw.  You get a laser guide and the added safety of the anti-kickback  “Vari-torque clutch.”   The saw was accurate, light and comfortable to use.  As a DIYer who will be using this tool occasionally it’s a great investment  and highly recommended.

You can purchase your SKIL 5680-02 online here: Skil-5680-02-4-Inch-Skilsaw-Circular

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

http://www.aconcordcarpenter.com/@https://twitter.com/robertrobillardRob Robillard

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