If you’re a contractor, carpenter, professional handyman or DIYer, then you need to know the importance behind the tools that you use for your work. It can sometimes be a huge hassle to go through several different tools just to get one job done.
If you’ve been doing some research then you may have already heard about the oscillating tool. But what exactly is an oscillating tool? It is an extremely versatile, compact piece of machinery that can be used for a wide range of DIY ploys. It helps you to discard the requirement of independent tools for each task. It is also sometimes referred to as a multi-tool.
Whether trimming door jambs for flooring installation, taking up carpeting or flooring, trimming cabinets for installation, chiseling out door hinges or removing old caulking paint or glue an oscillating tool will do the job.
Which oscillating tool is the best, and will ensure you do the job you need to the best standard? We’ve done the work for you, have a look below at some of the best oscillating tools available on the market now:
1. DEWALT MAX XR Oscillating Multi-Tool
This brushless oscillating multi-tool features updated software and a brand new 3-speed control at its base, and it also still provides a variable speed trigger. The new 3-speed controllers enable users to limit the maximum speed of the oscillating multi-tool without the need to maintain constant pressure on the variable speed trigger. This means that this new model still allows you to adjust the sanding, cutting, scraping, or grinding speeds to your liking.
With this tool, you will get 28 oscillating multi-tool pieces that will enable you to complete a huge range of tasks. Some have been a little confused over the release of a newer model, however, it has become clear that it is intended to offer a step-up for users who require a little more speed as well as the 3-speed functionality, which has been proven to be very useful.
Perhaps Dewalt could have updated this model further than just the software and the 3-speed control, or maybe they’re leaving room for improvement in the future? Either way, this is definitely a brand to keep your eye if you’re someone who likes to keep their tools up to date and fresh.
- The 3-speed selector of DEWALT 20V tools allows users to choose their speed setting based on application.
- Brushless motor of DEWALT oscillating tool delivers up to 57% more run time over brushed
- Dual-Grip variable speed trigger of DEWALT cordless tools gives users ultimate speed and application control
- Universal accessory adapter for use with most oscillating tool accessory brands. Oscillations/min: 0-13,000/ 0-17,000/ 0-20,000 OPM
- Quick-Change accessory system allows blades and attachments to be changed quickly without wrenches
2. Makita XMT03Z
This Oscillating multi-tool delivers power and speed for the users for a range of different tasks, ranging from cutting nails, cutting plywood, notching hardwood, to sanding. The Makita XMT03Z really performs well in all areas and is very quiet. However, because it is on the bulky side it’s a little difficult to reach some of the hard-to-reach spots. It can also be a little heavier than other multi-tools on the market, so you start to feel the weight when using it for longer periods of time.
- Variable speed control dial (6,000-20,000 OPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
- 3.2° oscillation angle engineered for faster, more aggressive cutting and sanding
- Large on/off slide switch with lock-on button for operator convenience
- Includes adapters to fit most competitive accessories
- Small diameter barrel grip (only 2-3/8") for easy handling. Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol (battery sold separately)
3. Dremel MM50-01 Multi-Max
The MM50 has updated the blade change mechanism and also has a much more powerful motor, a more compact head for those tighter spaces, and an angled design for improved ergonomics. The popular Dremel blade design that has become popular with DIYers because of their good quality, value pricing, wide availability, and large selection has stuck around. And, why would you change something that is already so popular?
- The Dremel MM50 has a robust design that provides low vibration operation giving you better control for precise and clean cuts
- With a compact head that is 30% smaller than the Dremel MM45, The MM50 allows you to get into tight hard-to-reach spaces that others won’t fit
- Exclusive angled body design delivers a much improved experience, especially during flush cuts: you have better control and more room for your hands under the tool
- Powerful 5.0 AMP motor, highest in its class, delivers pro performance to get the toughest jobs done, such as cutting door jambs, trim, baseboards or any other restoration related project
- Tool-less blade change system allows you to change Accessories by simply twisting the knob, Pushing it down and inserting accessory - allen wrench no required
4. CRAFTSMAN V20 Oscillating Tool
This is another great oscillating tool for smaller spaces, however, some people have expressed that they have found that the grip on the handle is a little bulky, but is good for no use of gloves. If you’re looking for an oscillating tool that is perfect for the small tasks around your home, the Craftsman V20 is a great option, some people have said that the battery life isn’t the best, however, it’s packed with power and it makes short work with the shorter tasks and minimizes the time needed to complete manual work.
This good-value tool is certainly built with its users in mind. It’s an oscillating tool that is definitely aimed at those who want o complete some DIY at home, for some of the more demanding jobs you may need to have something with a little more oomph.
- Part of the V20 cordless system
- Oscillating tool with variable speed from 8K to 18K opm's provides optimal control in various applications
- 14 piece kit includes tool, battery, charger, storage bag, and multiple accessory attachments
- Tool-free universal attachment System makes change Accessories quick and easy
- Led work light provides improved visibility
5. PORTER-CABLE PCC710B
Because it only weighs 3.6 pounds, using this oscillating tool for extended periods of time doesn’t cause cramps, and that’s definitely something to praise. As well as this, the unit’s 3-position over-mold grip helps to reduce vibrations and increase the overall comfort of use.
One of the best features in the tool-free system for connecting and changing accessories. It’s quick and fluent, just what you want in a multi-tool like this. The model also features an integrated LED work light, which comes in handy when using the multi-tool in poor lighting and dark corners.
This oscillating tool is highly efficient with 8,000 to 18,000 oscillations per minute, it will certainly get the job done fast. However, if you have any high demanding projects, this tool might not be the right one for you. It’ definitely more aimed towards homeowners who are completing home DIY. If you’re looking for a tool to help complete tasks such as sanding, cutting, grinding and scraping this is of the most versatile power tools available. It’s definitely great value for money.
Ok, so this tool isn’t the most powerful but it’s uncountable that’s it’s one of the best oscillating tools out there for its price point. The fact that there is a model that is well-designed, efficient as well as affordable deserves to be recognized. With a solid design, it feels good in your hand, prevents slipping, and illuminates surfaces.
Porter-Cable made this tool with smaller projects in mind, heavy-duty tasks are not ideal. Some users report that it can be quite noisy, so, it might be worth thinking about wearing ear protection when using it.
- 2 Finger TOOL-FREE SYSTEM of the oscillating tool makes adjusting and changing accessories quick and easy
- Variable speed dial (8K-18K OPM) offers maximum control across a variety of applications
- LED work light provides better visibility in darkened work conditions
- 3 Position Overmold Grip improves comfort by reducing vibration
- 20V MAX System - High performance cordless platform
When looking for the best oscillating tool it’s important to think about the intended use. Are you looking for an oscillating tool that is for heavy-duty work or are you completing small DIY tasks at home or for a hobby? There are many options and varieties available when it comes to multi-tools, hopefully, this list of the best oscillating multi-tools above helps you find the one that you need for the tasks at hand.
The key to finding the right tool is to anticipate how often you will use it. However, even if you are only looking for it for a single job, once you are the proud owner of an oscillator in your toolbox, you’ll soon find more and more ways you can use it. For more ideas on how to use this awesome tool, watch this video:
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Buying Guide: What to Look For
Oscillating tools are usually referred to as ‘multi-tools’ due to the fact that they can be used in many ways during home improvement projects and other DIY tasks. A craftsman using an oscillating tool can use it for cutting, sanding, scraping, sawing, and even remove grout from the material.
Finding the best oscillating tool can be challenging with so many tools on the market. That is why we have put together this buying guide that explains all of the key features to look for. A great oscillating tool does not have to tick all of the boxes; however, it should have the relevant features that you are looking for. We recommend reading the following guide before making a purchase.
Oscillating tools can be either corded or cordless. Both are fantastic power tools to have in your tool kit, but the one you choose will depend on convenience and power capabilities. Here is a little explanation about the two:
Cordless oscillating multi-tools usually come with a lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are well known for their long life and great function time and time again. It goes without saying that battery-powered oscillating tools are far more portable than their corded counterparts, and workmen can keep them in their tool kit ready for when they need them.
Corded oscillating tools never run out of battery, making them ideal for heavy-duty timely work. They are also far more powerful than battery-powered multi-tools and can cut through metal pipes, plywood, and other wood and metal within just a few minutes. You can find corded oscillating tools with an extended power cord, with some models providing a cord that has a reach of 20 feet.
Of course, there are many more essential features to consider when shopping around for an oscillating tool. Both cordless and corded tools have more or less the same features, but like any item, some models have higher quality features than others. Here is an overview of some of the other essential features:
1.Sanding Pad Attachment
Purchasing an oscillating tool with a sanding pad attachment makes the multi-tool even more useful and multifunctioning. If the oscillating tool you are interested in does not have the option to attach sanding pads, you will probably have to sand using the bare blade, which could end up looking less precise.
2. LED Light
LED lights on an oscillating tool will allow you to see better in poor lighting. The LED’s are placed in a way that they light up the work area and help you complete the job neatly with little error.
3. Clamping System
Clamping systems on an oscillating tool can have a clamping force of over 1 ton. A clamping system holds attachments securely to the oscillating tool, allowing you to safely use the power tool.
A quick-lock system is one that lets the user perform tool-less accessory changes. Porter-Cable and other premium power tool manufacturers have a quick-lock system on all of their multi-tools.
Universal Fit System
If the oscillating multi-tool you have been researching has universal fit system attachments, then it means that their parts are interchangeable with other manufacturers. Having an oscillating tool that fits with other brand tools makes it super multi-functional and convenient.
Oscillations Per Minute
Oscillating tools will have an opm of anything from 16,000 opm to 20,000 opm and even 21,000 opm. Anything less than 20,000 oscillations per minute is considered to be quite poor.
Power and Speed Settings
Oscillating tools that can have their power and speed set accordingly are valuable power tools. Variable speed oscillating tools should have a variable speed dial to ensure they are easy to control and convenient.
When it comes to powerful power tools such as oscillating tools, their ease-of-use is more important than every feature on this guide. An oscillating tool that is not easy to use could in fact make completing DIY tasks dangerous.
Changing accessories is dangerous if not done properly. A great oscillating tool will be easy to change and click each accessory in securely. The on/off button must be situated in an easy to access area of the tool, without being in the way and running a risk of being accidentally switched.
Remember that oscillating tools are designed to be an all-in-one kind of product, and can even replace a number of the tools in your kit, saving you space and money.
Regardless of the number of safety features an oscillating tool has, it is up to you to use it correctly and in the safest way possible. Here are a few safety tips and tricks that will help use the power tool correctly:
1.Turn it Off
There is absolutely no need to keep the oscillating tool switched on if it is not in use. Turning it off and unplugging the tool (if it is corded) will make sure that the tool does not run unnecessarily.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Gloves and glasses should be worn at all times when using an oscillating tool. Shirts should be tucked in, and baggy pants should not be worn when you use an oscillating tool. If you have long hair, tie it back so that your view is not obstructed to avoid accidents and inaccuracies in the work.
3. Do Not Use it on Flammable Substances.
Oscillating tools work with such force that if they were to be used on flammable surfaces, they could create a fire, or worse, an explosion.
4. Keep Away From Water
Water and power tools do not mix. When storing the oscillating tool away, put it in a cool, dry place where it can not fall accidentally.
If the tool has been damaged in any way, do not use it again until it has been fully repaired.
The above are just some of the most important safety precautions to take when using an oscillating tool.
When it comes to parting with your hard-earned cash, there is no such thing as a silly question. The likelihood is that the questions you have right now about oscillating multi-tools have been asked many times before; that is why we have put together a short frequently asked questions section. Enjoy, we hope it helps!
Q: What to use an oscillating tool for?
A: You can do so much with an oscillating tool. Some of the jobs you can do are to grind tile adhesive, cut off nails and bolts, cut pipes, sand down various materials, and cut drywall, fiberglass, wood, and metal.
Q: Are oscillating tools worth it?
A: Yes, oscillating tools are extremely worth it! In fact, they can replace a number of tools in your tool kit because they are such versatile power tools.
Q: How deep can an oscillating tool cut?
A: Oscillating tools can cut to a depth of roughly 3 inches. This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on the blade type and whether or not a long reach blade is being used.
Q: What’s the best oscillating multi-tool?
A: The Fein FMM 350QSL MultiMaster and Black + Decker MT300KA are the best tools on the market.
Q: What is the best cordless oscillating tool?
A: The DeWalt 20v max is considered to be the best cordless oscillating tool around today.
Q: Can you sand with an oscillating multi-tool?
A: Yes, You can sand using an oscillating tool.
Q: Are the oscillating tool blades universal?
A: These days, oscillating tools are made with a universal fit system, which means that parts are interchangeable. Unfortunately, not all oscillating tools are made this way, so it is important to look out for a tool with a universal fit system feature.