An oscillating tool is one of the most useful power tools available as it can accomplish many tasks such as removing grout to sanding down materials. It does this by allowing multiple different types of blades to be attached to the tool.
The best oscillating tool is the Fein FMM350QSL MultiMaster, which packs 350 watts of power but remains quiet and has very little vibration regardless of the speed.
In order to get the most from your oscillating multi tool, it is important that you get a range of accessories that are compatible with your tool. This will ensure that jobs such as cutting, sanding, grouting or scraping are straight forward to do.
Table of Contents
Best Oscillating Tools
|Oscillating Tools||Type||Oscillation Angle|
|Fein FMM350QSL||Corded & Cordless||1.7 Degrees|
|Dremel MM40-05||Corded||3.2 Degrees|
|DEWALT DCS355D1||Cordless||1.6 Degrees|
|Bosch MX30EK-33||Corded||1.4 Degrees|
|Rockwell RK5132K||Corded||4.0 Degrees|
An oscillating tool performs many functions but the most beneficial of all is that it allows for precise, smooth plunge cuts as you are able to cut flush with the surface of the material without damaging the area around it. An example of this is grouting tiles or even fabric sticking out from the side of furniture, which needs to be cut back.
You can choose a corded or cordless oscillating tool where both have their own advantages. The latter will cost more but being able to control the tool without the cord getting in the way is a big bonus and often worth paying the additional cost for.
They are often known as Oscillating Multi Tools because of the wide variety of jobs you can carry out with them. Below is a list of the best oscillating tools that offer excellent performance, durability and a range of blades for different jobs.
Fein MultiMaster 350QSL Oscillating Multi-Tool
Fein is a reputable brand targeting on the needs and requirements of professionals with advanced features and blades. The MultiMaster 350QSL is available as both a corded or cordless tool and you have the option to add a range of FEIN accessories to complete the package, which is highly recommended.
The 350QSL is one of the latest models by Fein and includes their patented “StarLock” mounting system, which they claim makes blade changes take as little as 3 seconds.
It is one of the quietest oscillating tools that is known to produce very little vibration in order to reduce fatigue. The quietness does not mean that its not powerful because it certainly is with a huge 350 watts of power.
The Fein MultiMaster 350QSL is the best oscillating tool that you can buy but has one major drawback, which is the expensive purchase cost. However, you need to look at this power tool as an investment and its the best at what it does.Check it Out
Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool
The Dremel Multi Max is a high performing osciallating tool that packs a powerful 3.8 Amp motor that is capable of cutting multiple materials with the correct blade. It features a “Quick Lock” accessory change interface, which makes switching between blades and other accessories much less time consuming.
It is a corded oscillating tool that is one of the highest powered tools in its class and is great for cutting, grinding, sanding, scraping and grout removal. The angle at which is oscillates at is 3.2 degrees, which is ideal for most tasks.
Other features of the MM40-05 Multi-Max include a variable speed dial for optimal performance and control for different tasks as well as a separate on/off switch. Unlike many other oscillating tools, it comes with 36 accessories that will help you tackle anything from cutting wood to grouting tiles.
Overall, it is the best oscillating multi tool for the money that offers excellent performance and value for money with an excellent complete package.Check it Out
DEWALT DCS355D1 Oscillating Multi-Tool
The DCS355D1 is a cordless oscillating tool that comes as part of a 28 piece accessory kit and uses Dewalt’s impressive brushless motor that is claimed to deliver up to 57% more run time over the brushed motor alternative.
In terms of the technical specification, it has an oscillating angle of 1.6 degrees and oscillates at 0-20,000 times per minute. It is a high performing oscillating multi tool that offers features such as a quick-change accessory system, dual grip variable speed trigger, LED light and much more.
Many DIY’ers biggest worry with any cordless power tool is the battery and the average battery life. With the Dewalt lithium-ion battery, it offers an average battery life of 24 hours and is known to be very durable compared with cheaper alternatives.
Cutting, sanding and scraping are all applications that the DCS355D1 will accomplish with ease. Overall, it is the best cordless oscillating tool you can buy and comes with a 3 year limited manufacturer warranty for peace of mind.Check it Out
Bosch MX30EK-33 Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit
The MX30EK-33 model by Bosch comes as a package including 33 accessories, which are all easy to attach or reposition. There is 3 amps of power, which is enough for a range of tasks from sanding to grouting with variable speed increasing your control of this oscillating tool.
In terms of the technical specification, it has an oscillating angle of 1.4 degrees and a no load OPM of 8,000 – 20,000. It is also fairly lightweight at 3.7 LBS, which is marginally better than the oscillating multi tools in this article.
Overall, it is a compact and powerful oscillating tool but compared with the alternatives, its far too expensive with fewer accessories and less features. If you are loyal to the Bosch brand, it is still a rated oscillating tool but there are many that are better alternatives at a much lower price.Check it Out
Rockwell RK5132K Sonicrafter F30
If you are on a budget but want an oscillating multi tool that performs well and comes with all the accessories for a range of applications, then the Rockwell RK5132K 3.5 Amp Sonicrafter F30 is ideal. It is a cordless oscillating tool with a 3.5 Amp motor and comes with 32 accessories for tackling anything from sanding to grouting.
It features a trademarked Hyperlock system, which Rockwell claim has a 1 ton holding force for ensuring that blades and accessories do not slip. This is very impressive for such a cheap oscillating tool and beats many of the expensive alternatives.
It features a constant speed control for optimal results in all materials as well as counterweight offsets, which minimizes the vibration when under load. The Rockwell RK5132K delivers 4 degrees of oscillation and has a universal fit system to accept a range of accessories. These are all features found in expensive alternative, which makes the RK5132K really stand out as a bargain.
Overall, it is a cheap oscillating tool that will provide excellent performance for a range of applications. It is not a well known brand but the specification and feature list make for an excellent all round package at a very little cost.Check it Out
Oscillating Multi Tool Buying Guide
Looking for a versatile power tool that is capable of sanding, grinding, scraping, cutting and sawing? Well, look no further than the oscillating tool. An oscillating tool is a versatile power tool capable of accomplishing several tasks some of which include cutting, sanding, grinding and sawing.
For instance, if you want to grind the grout stuck between ceramic tiles, all you need is a carbide-grit blade and you are good to go. Also referred to as an oscillating multi-tool, the concept came from a popular German manufacturing firm called Fein.
As time went by, this multi-tool developed a swarm of fans including wood workers and DIYers. The reason why the multi-tool has come to be loved so much is because it can handle several tasks, it’s much safer and easier to operate than a reciprocating saw or a jig saw.
Instead of moving back and forth like a jigsaw or reciprocating saw, the power tool can be fitted with flat metal blades capable of spinning at 20,000 RPM and over.
How Does It Work?
As the handiest of power tools, the oscillating tool is able to accomplish several tasks at your workshop or at the job site. Thanks to its versatility, it eliminates the need of arriving at the job site with a load of power tools.
As said earlier, this power tool can help you to remove grout between ceramic tiles, cut metal, wood and dry walls. In addition, it can be used to cut off nails and trim wood for new flooring.
Jobs That Require An Oscillating Tool
- For sanding
You can use this multi-tool for sanding just like an orbital sander. All you have to do is swap the blade in place with a sanding attachment and you are good to go. From here onwards, you can now use it to sand small areas. The best thing about this tool is that it’s very easy to control and even works with an abrasive attachment.
- Scrape old paint
Want to scrape, strip or peel old paint? This multi-tool can help you complete the task. In addition, you can remove old gunk or old linoleum floors paving way for cleaning and the installation of a new floor. For this to be possible, you need to fit the power tool with a scraping blade.
- Flush cut drywall, metal or wood
You can also swap the available attachment with a half moon blade which has the ability of making longer cuts on metal, drywall and wood. Thanks to the increased surface area of the half moon blade, you can hold the power tool straight and be able to make a flush cut quickly.
- Remove caulk and grout
If you are a DIY’er and are planning to remodel your bathroom, then this power tool will come in handy. Not only will it help you to remove caulk and grout from your ceramic tiles after laying them but also it will leave the material underneath largely unscathed. For this to be possible, you need the right attachment – carbide-grit or diamond-grit.
- Make plunge cuts
This power tool can help you to accomplish even the hardest of plunge cuts. By using the right blade attachment – round blade, you can make a notch, cut trim and casings for your floors and even make a mortise.
- Cut rusted-in-place faucet nuts
While other tools may not be able to accomplish this job perfectly since there is no enough room beneath the sink, the oscillating multi-tool can. Just swap the available attachment with a high quality bimetal cutting blade.
To accomplish the task, simply angle the power tool against the faucet nut. Start the power tool at a slow speed which will enable you to cut off a groove. Once you are done, you can increase the speed and keep cutting finally breaking off the final piece using pliers.
Cordless v Corded
When shopping for a multi-tool, you will find out that there are two major types – corded and cordless. Corded models have a power cord that allows you to connect the tool to a power source while cordless models come with rechargeable batteries and are used without plugging the device in any power source during operation.
Which is the best?
A corded model ensures that you never run out of power since it remains plugged into a power source during operation. As a result, you can work on several projects both big and small as long as power is available. There is one issue with the corded model. The power cord limits your mobility especially when handling large projects that require you to cover a vast area. The good news is manufacturers have identified this problem and now they are providing longer power cords.
When it comes to cordless models, they are convenient because for starters, they don’t limit you in terms of mobility since the power cord is not available. The problem is the rechargeable batteries can hold power for between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending with the task.
So, if you are tackling small projects, cordless models are ideal for you and if you are tackling large project and have an extendable power source, then the corded model is ideal for you.
As said earlier, this multi-tool can help you to accomplish several tasks namely cutting wood and metal, removing grout, sanding, making flush and plunge cuts among others. Depending with the task and how you are going to use the power tool, it is important to consider the amperage.
The more amperage your power tool is able to draw, the more powerful it is which means it can accomplish hard tasks namely cutting thick wood and metal among other materials. Corded models are powerful since they are constantly plugged to a power source. When shopping, look for 3A machine or above as this will help you accomplish both basic and tough tasks.
An oscillating tool has the capability of achieving more than 20,000 RPM. This is very useful as it allows users to complete different tasks very easy – from removing grout to cutting metal and thick wood. The speed of a multi-tool is directly linked to how powerful the machine is. More speed equals more power but if not checked, it can reduce precision.
When shopping, it is highly advisable to look for a multi-tool that comes with variable speed control. Why? It will allow you to control the speed of the oscillating tool. For instance, if you are cutting rusted faucet nuts, you can start on a slower speed which will allow you to cut the first groove and then afterwards, you can increase the speed.
Just like any other power tool, both hands are needed to control the tool. As such, it is important to go for a machine that comes with a suitable handle providing the best and comfortable grip.
The reason the handle should have a comfortable grip is that the vibrations made by the power tool can result in bruising especially when tackling large projects. With a comfortable grip, you can control the power tool even without working gloves.
For those with larger hands, the right power tool should have a thicker grip to prevent slipping and allow for better control. For those with shorter hands, consider a power tool with a smaller handle making it easy to control.
The lifespan of a power tool is an important consideration. When shopping for an oscillating multi-tool, check the warranty coverage. How many years is the manufacturer offering? If the power tool comes with less than 1 year warranty coverage, its best to keep off but again, it depends with the brand’s reputation.
It is important to understand that noise and vibration are linked. The more vibrations a multi-tool generates, the more powerful it is and the more noise it will generate. If you expose yourself to a lot of noise, it may lead to health conditions like tinnitus or hearing loss. This type of power tool generates noise from the casing vibration and tool/attachment rotation among other sources.
Balance and Weight
As you already know, an oscillating multi-tool is hand held which means control is in your hands. Not all projects will be close to the ground or on a horizontal plane. There are projects you will be required to complete with the power tool at an angle or in a vertical position. If the power tool is too heavy or not balanced, it may lead to an accident since your hand will become fatigued quickly.
Vibrations are linked to balance and weight. If you opt for a light power tool, the vibrations will be less powerful which means the machine is also less powerful. As a result, it may be constrained to performing fewer tasks unlike the versatile tool you are looking for.
It is also important to consider your strength and height when shopping for a well balanced machine. If you are heavy set or tall, you can handle a heavy and well balanced oscillating tool but if you are short or skinny, opt for a small or medium sized and well balanced oscillating multi-tool.
Blades and Accessories
As a handy and versatile tool, the multi-tool can accomplish several tasks which include cutting, sanding, buffing, restoring and flush cutting among others. To complete all these tasks, you need to swap with the right blade.
When you purchase an oscillating tool – whether corded or cordless – you will find in the package several blades and accessories. Some of the blades will include metal cutting blades, triangular shaped sanding pads, diamond-grit and carbide-grit blades for grouting and cutting masonry.
What you will notice is that a vast majority of manufacturers package the blades and accessories in a stylish and branded bag or even a small hard case. To extend the functionality of your power tool, you will be required to purchase additional blades and accessories. This will enable you to accomplish more tasks.
Although manufacturers supply blades and accessories, what you ought to know is that they will wear out eventually depending with their quality and frequency of use. The good news is that you can replace the worn out blades and accessories from your local store or online store.
Now that you are done reading our oscillating tool buying guide, it’s time to navigate the hardest part – making a decision. Let’s face it. There are hundreds of brands out there. Some have been around for close to a century, others have been around for the past 2 to 3 decades while others emerged in the past year or so.
Sticking to your favorite brand is good because it’s a safe decision but you may end up missing out on other opportunities. Remember, new companies may not have a reputation yet but they may have incorporated newer technologies in their multi-tool that even your favorite brand has yet to include.
So, when shopping, have an open mind. Not only should this informative oscillating tool buying guide help you together with online reviews but you need to be guided by your decisiveness too.