Best Oscillating Tool Reviews | Buying Guide 2018
Choosing the best oscillating tool has never been a walk in the park, especially when there is so many varieties available in our markets today. Hopefully, this guide will help shed some light on how to proceed with this often arduous task.
In this review article, I will talk about the various aspects of using an oscillating tool and how you can get the most benefit out of using it, be it in your DIY projects or random household repair necessities.
When the first oscillating tool was designed in the 1960’s, none of the inventors the inventors then knew that there will be an avalanche of more sophisticated power tools that would flood the market. However, the power tool industry has expanded rapidly over the years, and as a professional or a do-it-yourself craftsman, getting the tool with the highest performance requires a lot of efforts due to the numerous range of this tool that is available in the market today.
A deep understanding of the working principle of each oscillating tool and the advantage or benefits they offer will be a useful guide in this regard. As part of an effort to help professional and DIYers, I shall be looking at ten selected products in this review.
What is an Oscillating Tool?
An oscillating tool belongs to the family of power tools. Another name is “Multi-tool,” because it says what it does. It can be used for multiple purposes and can hand multi tasks like cutting, grinding, scrapping, sanding and sawing of different materials to deliver the best possible result needed. It has a great use among carpenters, cabinet installers, and building construction craftsmen. Oscillation is the description of the movement used to make the attachment work.
1. FEIN FMM350QSL Multimaster
The Fein Multimaster 350q is currently one of the best multi tools in the market. Manufactured in Germany, it comes with a wide variety of accessories to suit a huge variety of applications such as sawing, grinding, sanding, scraping, and dust extraction. It is the perfect tool for renovations.
Featuring a powerful 350 watt motor and a tacho generator, the Fein Multi tool is able to achieve maximum cutting speeds hence good work progress.
The self supporting motor in the Fein Multi tool is also enabled with an anti-vibration feature which reduces vibration by upto 70%. The lessened vibration means that noise is also reduced. Ergonomic grip also increases operation comfort over long periods of time.
Its new Starlock Plus clamping mechanism makes for a simple accessory change, the changing feature is tool free making it safer for the operator . The Fein Multimaster 350q is compatible with all starlock and starlock plus accesories. 3 D interlocking of accessories greatly increases the safety of the device. Stability and accuracy is spot-on thanks to the metal gearbox head. The metal head also extends tool life by the reduction in wear and tear.
A tachogenerator keeps running speed constant to make it easier to use especially by new operators, hence delivering the best work results. A long 16.4 feet cable makes it suitable for use in large workshops without unplugging of the device. The Fein Multi tool is therefore able to be used in many places such as homes undergoing renovation, in a workshop or even out in the field. The Fein Multi tool comes well packaged with all the included accessories in a nice box.
Below is a list of pros and cons of the Fein Multimaster 350q:
- Efficient power output
- No parts which may easily be lost
- Simple to use
- Safe operation features
- Comfortable grip
- Easy to store
- Expensive attachments
- Quite heavy in weight
Read more reviews at Fein Multi Master 350Q Review
2. Rockwell RK5151K F80 Duotech Sonicrafter
Rockwell RK5151K oscillating multi-driver is the first of its genre which provides a choice of two oscillating angles of 5.0 degrees and 3.4 degrees for fast and aggressive cut and precise control respectively. The duotech technology allows the customer to select the best possible oscillation angle for achieving the best performance.
The quick and reliable blade changes thanks to the 1 ton of holding force offered by the hyper lock tool-free blade holding system makes this tool an easy one to work with. The universal fit system can hold all major branded blades for maximum availability.
There is a powerful 4.2 amp motor charged with constant speed control and it will not stall even under heavy load. The package is quite unique and includes 10 accessories inside a hard and nice storage case. The product weight is 3.3 pounds so it is easy to handle and carry around.
- Duotech technology with two angles for the first time ever.
- Tool free and faster blade changes.
- Universal fit system.
- A powerful force with 4.2 amp motor.
- Great as a home improvement project tool, not as much as a professional tool.
Read More about Rockwell RK5151K F80
3. Dremel MM20-07
Dremel MM20-07 2.3-Amp is a corded oscillating multi-task tool. The best part of this tool is, it comes equipped with 6 universal quick fit accessories, including cutting blades and sanding sheets attachments.
The good thing is, the 2.3 amp motor is as powerful as many professional ones. This tool model is capable of variable speed operation, ranging from 10,000 to 21,000 OPM. The product weights 3.8 pounds. There is quick fit for fast changing of attachments without you needing to remove the clamping screw. There is a separate on and off switch for the user’s ease of use. Dremel MM20-07 is backed by a limited 2 years warranty.
I used this tool to re – caulk my leaking camper and it worked beautifully. Due to its fast speed, the working period was cut down to almost half. For a price it comes in, I couldn’t have asked for a better tool for doing simple projects and fixing things around the house.
- Included 6 universal accessories.
- Faster attachment change without the need for removing clamping screw.
- Separate on and off switch.
- It can’t be used for heavy duty works. Even though the power supply is professional, I would only use this for home projects.
Read More about What is the best corded oscillating tool
4. Bosch GOP40-30B StarlockPlus Oscillating Kit
Bosch GOP40-30B kit comes with a tool which has next generation 3D tool accessory interface. This produces best in the class accessory grip. The interface delivers a greater torque transfer for an expanded work capacity. It is easy to attach, remove or reposition the blades, thanks to its no-touch blade change system.
The tool provides a 3.0-degree arc along with the professional grade 4.0 amp motor for a top speed of up to 20,000 OPM per minute. The variable speed dial helps you to set the optimal speed and constant response circuitry keeps the desired speed under load.
This weights only 3.3 lbs, so you can easily get into those nooks and crannies. You can even work in darker areas with the addition of a LED light. The multi-tool kit comes with two different types of plunge blades, sanding pad and sheets, accessories and a carrying bag.
- Next generation 3D tool accessory interface.
- Compact and light to work in tighter spaces.
- LED light to work in the dark.
- The professional-grade speed with 4.0 amp powerful motor.
- Does not have a dust collection accessory. Dust collection is important for cutting and a must for sanding.
Read More about Bosch oscillating tool
5. Rockwell RK5141K Sonicrafter F50 Kit
Rockwell 4.0 Amp Sonicrafter F50 all new kit gives you option of 5 degrees of oscillation for fast cutting along with variable speed for precise control. The 4.0 amp motor offers professional level power. The universal fit system and hyper lock make it easy to change the accessories and the 1-ton clamping force prevents blade slippage.
Moreover, the universal fit system accepts other brands’ accessories, saving you from the frustration of looking for a perfect match. There is a constant speed control which lets you maintain the speed of cut under control. The Vibrafree counterweight compensates for smooth cutting with vibration. LED light is included with the tool for places where light can’t reach properly.
The kit includes the tool itself and along with 34 different accessories. Of course, you can buy more according to your needs.
- 5 degrees of oscillation for cutting with variable speed and precise control.
- 0 amp professional level power.
- The universal fit system for using other brands’ accessories.
- LED light for better visibility.
- Constant speed control.
- Speed variable not available at a low range as it runs from 11,000 OPM. But this is a minor issue.
6. DEWALT DWE315K Corded Oscillating Tool Kit
Dewalt DWE315K is a corded multi material toolkit comes with a powerful 3.0 amp motor for cutting and sanding. You can change the attachments faster with a special quick change accessory system without needing a wrench.
You can see the depth or height thanks to a tool guide system to receive accurate repeatability. The speed trigger provides you with the superior level of speed and better control.
There is bright LED light to illuminate the dark areas for accurate cutting. This kit comes with the cord along with 29 accessories in total, some of which are – wood blades, semi-circle blades, sanding pad and sanding sheets, storage box for accessories, multi-brand adapter for accessories and a contractor bag.
The multi-brand adapter lets you choose most oscillating saw accessory brands. This product is manufactured in China.
- Powerful 3.0 amp motor.
- Easy and fast change of accessories without using a wrench.
- Comes with a tool guide system.
- LED light for tighter areas.
- Adapter lets you choose multiple brands’ accessories.
- The blades are expensive at about $10 a blade and $20-25 for a pack of 3.
- Blade selection is limited, as these tools are relatively new for the mass market.
Read More about another awesome model from same manufacturer Dewalt DCS355d1
7. Dremel MM40-05 Oscillating Tool Kit
Dremel MM40-05 is a corded version is amped up with a powerful and high performance 3.8 amp motor for fulfilling all your demands. It cuts through sheet rock, nails, plywood etc with precision and ease.
The quick lock system lets you change the accessories safely and without any tools. It maintains a constant speed throughout the toughest materials and applications. The quick hold magnetic flange holds the accessory in place so you can change the accessories securely.
There is an upfront on and off switch to ensure ease of use through one handed use. This also maintains speed setting control. The tool comes with 3.2 degrees of oscillation angle, which makes it the highest AMP rated tool at its price range. The kit includes 36 accessories. The tool is backed up by a limited warranty of two years.
- Powerful and professional level motor of 3.8 amp.
- 2 degrees of oscillation angle.
- Quick lock system for the fast change of accessories without using any tools.
- Quick hold magnetic flange to hold the accessory securely.
- The slider switch is hard to push on and off.
8. Genesis GMT15A
Genesis GMT15A is a corded multifunctional tool which is ideal for your home repairing, remodeling and restoring works. This tool works in sanding, cutting, scraping and grinding with 21,000 oscillations per minute with a 1.5 amp motor. The special 4 pin flange design helps to hold accessories securely in place. The gear housing is made with sturdy die cast aluminum.
The Genesis GMT15 is a includes 3-inch delta sanding pad, sanding papers, scraping blade, HSS segment saw blade, 30 mm E – cut saw blade and an Allen wrench.
The tool is specifically designed for DIYers and home remodelers and can be used for a variety of options such as taking up vinyl flooring, removing old glue and paint, trimming down door jambs and cabinets etc. You can add multiple accessories according to your needs.
The light weight tool of 2.8 pounds weight will soon become an essential in your DIY projects, once you get to see its usefulness.
- Perfect for home remodelers with 21,000 OPM.
- Holds accessory securely with 4 pin flange design.
- Light weight with only 2.8 pounds.
- Comes with useful accessories.
- Compatible with Bosch accessories.
- Makes a lot of noise.
- Bosch accessories are very expensive.
A lot of people tells that Genesis GMT15A is the best cheap oscillating tool. why? Read this article
9. Porter Cable PCC710B
Porter Cable PCC710B cordless and battery powered multi-functional tool comes with 20 accessories to help you sort out your DIY game. A nonstandard battery is required to run this machine and it is sold separately. This tool is part of the 20 volts Max system.
The variable speed dial lets you choose from a range of 8,000 to 18,000 OPM. This 2 fingers tool-free system makes changes and adjustments of the accessories easy and fast. The LED light and light weight of 3.6 pounds come in handy for working in the congested areas.
Porter Cable PCC710B comes with 20 accessories and a tool storage box, some of which are – sanding platen and sanding papers, Bi – metal blade, rigid scraper, Wood blade etc.
- This is cordless thus comes with all the benefits you can’t have while using a corded one.
- Variable speed models ranging from 8,000 to 18,000 OPM.
- 2 – Finger tool-free system makes changing accessories fast and easy.
- Light enough to be held for a while.
- There is no battery charge indicator. This can be a bit of a hassle if you are absorbed in the middle of your work.
10. Black and Decker BD200MTB
Black and Decker BD200MTB oscillating multi-tool is great for a variety of jobs, as the variable speed dial has six-speed settings, ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 OPM to bring you accurate performance.
The 2.5 amp motor can power through the toughest of surfaces such as sheetrock, cement, wood etc. The machine offers 1.4 degrees oscillating angle.
The comfort grips will provide you with better handling and control for best possible results as well.
The tool free blade release makes the accessory changing and adjusting easy and quick. The quick release lever means you don’t need a hex key. There are 13 available accessories to go with this tool. They are – storage bag, metal blade, rigid scraper blade, sanding base and sand papers along with a quick start guide to get you started in your next big endeavor.
- Variable speeds dial with six-speed settings.
- 13 available accessories.
- Quick release lever removes the need for a hex key.
- Tool-free blade release offers fast and easy changing of accessories.
- Light enough to work with all day.
- Makes annoying vibrating noises.
- Black and Decker blades are hard to find.
Read More about Black & Decker BD200MTB
How Does an Oscillating Tool Work?
The multi tool works by moving an attachment that comes with it at a high speed in a rotating back and forth motion. This motion allows for having precise control with minimal vibration. Attachments can be saw blades in various sizes and shapes, grinding disks and types of sanding pads for the oscillating multi tool.
Most manufacturers come up with their own standard interface as these attachments don’t have any. This, however, means that you can’t use one company’s attachments with another company’s tool. But you can still purchase a multi-tool adapter which you can use to interchange attachments of different manufacturer’s tool makers, making your oscillating saw more versatile and serviceable.
These attachments are fastened with a bolt which can be adjusted to be tightened or loosened with the help of an Allen wrench. You can choose to go either corded or cordless models according to your desire, and most manufacturers offer both options to choose from.
For cordless oscillating tools, some manufacturers have introduced the 12 volts platform while some others have gone the 18 volts route. Keep in mind that 18 volts sometimes don’t work the best. You need to do your research before you decide to opt for a multi tool. Thankfully, this review will put some lights on that to make your life easier.
Best Oscillating Tool Buying Guide
There are a number of factors that you need to consider before getting one. This article explains them under three main points.
1. Type of work
Depending on what you want to, whether it is sanding or cutting or even removing grout, the oscillating multi tool is one with useful features.
For instance, To get control over how steady the tool is and the depth of cuts it makes, you may want one with a porter cable PCE605. It is also removable. Like it used for removing grout, is one with this feature.
The oscillating angle measures how the tool blade can move from side to side. The tools have a range of anywhere between 2.8 and 3.2 degrees.
Basically, the higher the degrees, the more aggressive the tool is. This character often matters more than the ampere rating. For faster cuts, choose a tool with a greater oscillating angle. It is noteworthy to remember that the tools with a lower oscillating angle will run smoother and will offer better precision and control.
Therefore, for DIY projects, the best oscillating tools will have lower oscillating angle. Alternatively, choose tools that offer a variable oscillation speed option. They allow for you to have a soft start and then regulate speed as you wish.
2. Ease of use
You can either pick a corded tool or a cordless one. A cordless tool allows for use within a limitless space. However, since it runs on batteries that have a life of anywhere between 10 and 45 minutes, they may be a disadvantage for work that takes longer. You may need to recharge often or use 1 or 2 batteries which may not be convenient. For DIY projects, choose a corded tool as it will be more comfortable to use.
The best oscillating multi tool for home management is one that will allow you to work without making noise for your neighbors or having to bear too much of it. The Fein multi-master has a minimal vibration which means that it is quiet. The Fein’s multi-master is louder than the Rockwell. You want to make your choice wisely.
Also, remember that you want a tool that is not heavy and that suits your hand size. Corded tools tend to weigh less than the compact ones.
Before making a purchase, you want a tool that you can afford. Many of the tools cost somewhere between $25 and $130. This price difference is a result of factors such as how they cut, sand or scrape. They also present a variety in terms of comfort and convenience.
Ideally, the more expensive it is, the more durable it will be and so for regular use, this powerfull tool is the expensive one.
Higher prices also allow for:
• Less vibration which means less noise.
• Toll-free systems
• Comfort and durability
The price is also a factor in the power rating of the tool. Ideally, more power is better when it comes to heavy work and contract jobs.
However, the differences are minor when it comes to power rating. A 1.6 amps tool will also bog down like a 3.0 amps tool when hard pressed.
Corded vs Cordless Oscillating Tool
Now that you have your first project to work on and you want to get started on this one and maybe others in the future here a few things to consider if you are deciding between corded or battery powered tools.
In weighing your options between the two, in most cases, this is going to be a matter of convenience or power. The capacity and voltage of battery powered oscillators and corded are that a battery powered may not have enough power behind them to sustain a larger bit, but improvements are in the works. Corded hold its power for larger bits but you are tied to needing to know where the nearest outlet is and there is always a chance of hitting the cord with one of your attachments, which is the end of your oscillator. In some cases, the cord can be replaced.
When it comes to speed (OPM,) and power, both corded and cordless come in variable speed models so you can adjust to your project and control. The amps are a measurement of how much power it draws continuously in an hour. If you look at the amp’s rating, the higher the number usually means the more power so you may want to consider your personal skill level and uses before getting the most powerful tool on the market. Manufacturers don’t take responsibility for injuries due to purchasing products you cannot handle. Or as my grandpa used to say “the store don’t take responsibility for stupid, son.
Size and Weight may be a factor to consider especially if the work you are planning to do puts you at an awkward angle or an angle where you have less control of the tool. Although improvements have been made, batteries can have some weight behind them making your tool heavier to use. You will also have to consider the weight and size of your attachments when you might have to face challenging spaces. Don’t let that get to you because there are attachments to help you out in that situation with smaller bits, blades, and grinders, for confined or unusual spaces.
It is always good to wear hearing and eye protection as a safety precaution but some manufacturers write in their specs if there are any features involved to reduce noise in the brand you are looking at as well as reduced vibration. Old school models could have vibrated your fillings out back in the day but oscillators have come a long way.
When looking for your pick, remember your outcome is only as good as your attachments. The short list is divided up into categories such as: metal, polishing, sanding, masonry, tile, and cutting. The sub-categories would be “blades, then material type; metal, plastic, wood, etc. The differences in these materials make a difference in the size or shape of the teeth on your cutting blade. Each of those original categories has a sub-category of its own like the example I just gave.
Types of Attachments Available
Yes, this is the bonus tips. Don’t forget to keep these attachments with you.
There are many types of attachments that go with, such as saw blades in various shapes and sizes, grinding disks and sanding pads. In this review, now I like to talk about the different types of attachments you can connect with your versatile tool.
Blades are attachments used for cutting and scraping. You can use it for cutting through many types of materials such as wood, metal, cement, mortar, grout etc. or to scrape off glue or other things from a surface.
Blades for Cutting
There are four main types of blades used for cutting in particular along with some special ones. The 4 main types of blades are described in short below.
A rectangular blade that allows cutting with finer ends.
This is a more general type use of cutter which you can use for cutting through basically anything.
Round Cutting Blade
This type of blade is good for rolling around corners and grout for less precise cuts.
“I” Shaped Blade
These are used for more precise plunge cuts. These are primarily used for wood but some come with bi-metal plates which can be used to cut through both wood and metal.
There are two types of blades used for cutting through cement, mortar, grouts etc. they are called Carbide blade and Diamond blade. The coatings on the end are different for these two.Â There are two different designs as well. The Carbide blade is a rounded blade and the Diamond blade is in the hook design.
Blades for Scraping Off
There are special blades used to scrape off something from a surface such as linoleum, glue etc. These are blades with no teeth and a sharper edge for pulling up stuck up material.
There are mainly two types of blades used for scraping. Those are called Rigid Scraper blade and Flexible Scraper blade which you can attach to the oscillating tool. True to their names, the rigid scraper blade is not flexible and is good for more demanding jobs such as ripping up linoleum. A flexible scraper blade, on the other hand, is flexible to bend into certain scenarios.
There are special blades for scraping off. They are made for cutting comparatively lighter materials like soft wood, cardboard, carpet with precision work.
These work well with removing old caulking from surfaces. This also replaces hand scraping it.
This specialty blade has a rounded edge and can be used for cutting softer materials such as foam, leather, caulk etc.
This is similar to the convex cutter with the arc going in the opposite direction for more precision.
The sanding attachments are pretty basic pads used for sanding.
Typical Sanding Sheets
These are the basic sand papers we are used but in a teardrop shape.
Sanding Pad for Tool
These sheets of the sandpaper stick to the opposite side. The holes allow the sawdust to pass through and prevent clogging, buildup and other issues.
Contour Sanding Attachments
These little attachments can be used when you need to work in a tighter space. These bend around circular objects and make sanding intricate pieces much easier to work with. There are many different contour sanding designs to choose from to work on even the most intricate woodwork projects.
Rasp attachments are used for cement board, sheet rock, and other cement-based materials. They work great on concrete counter tops, vertical concrete as well.
There are mainly two shapes the rasp attachments come in. Both are in the triangular shape while one is large and the other one is small. The smaller one can be used for more detailed works.
Read the review Dremel Velocity Review.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
After reaching consumer questions from various tool forums, there were some very commonly asked questions that got pretty much the same answers from the experts, so let’s put them out there for you.
Q1. What is the difference between a rotary tool and an oscillating tool?
A: Rotary tools and multi tools have their similarities but while rotary tools are better at jobs like cutting drywall or circular cuts, the multi tool is more versatile in cutting multiple materials such as metal, and grout that rotary tools are not the most efficient for.
Q2. Can I use the same battery pack for my new oscillating tool that I use on my drill?
A: Unfortunately that is going to depend on the brand. Each brand has specific requirements for what rechargeable batteries are compatible. You will have to check the specs on the individual brands you are talking about.
Q3. Can I use the accessories from my old electric oscillator on my new battery powered one?
A: It is possible but depending on the brands and age of your “old” one, modifications could have been made since your first one was designed, so it is best to discuss this with your retailer before you give it a try. Safety would be a concern if the models are not compatible.
Q4. What is the meaning of OPM?
A: OPM stands for oscillation per minute. It is a measure of the speed of the oscillating tool. It is a function of the rotating equipment attached to the head of the mother tool. For example, if a power tool is said to have an 0PM of 22,000, what it simply means is that it rotates 22,000 times per minute.
Q5. What is the required rating of Ampere and Voltage of an oscillating tool?
A: The voltage and Amperage is usually measured in Volts (V) and Ampere (Amp). The specific rating of a power depends on its capacity and the work it has been desired to accomplish. For voltage, the standard depends on the country. Some countries operate at between 110V to 120V, while for Amperage, some power tools have Amperage as low as 1.5Amp and others have Amperage as high as 3.8Amp. The higher the Amperage, the more power it produces.
Q6. Why is vibration dangerous?
A: It is usually important to check the vibration of oscillating equipment, because the more the vibration, the less efficient the oscillating tool becomes. There is even the tendency for the blade attached to the head of the equipment to get broken due to excessive vibration.
Q7. what makes an oscillating tool unique?
A: So many things come into play when it comes to the issue of the uniqueness of an oscillating tool. The fact that it is handy is there. Some can be operated with one hand, while others need the two hands, but they are always handy. Secondly, every multi tool can be turned into a powerful tool within minutes via the accessory changing mechanism. This allows the changing of the blade in the head f the oscillating tool to different shapes and size for different purposes.
Q8: Are difference in the products in the United States and Europe?
A: Yes. There is the difference due to technical specifications based on for example the voltage range in your country. This can cause a slight difference in the internal mechanism of the oscillating tool you eventually order. The quality may be the same, but there would definitely be a modification to accommodate the voltage and Amperage differences.
Q9. Does an oscillating tool cut skin?
A: No the tool blade oscillates at a fix oscillating angle. it’s around three degrees, you know. Human body skins are elastic enough to resist this back and forth motion. So this only works at the hard and rigid material.
Oscillating multi tools are great machines to work within both professional and recreational settings, as they provide with an array of attachments to choose from for different purposes. You can call this tool an all rounder of tools. I hope this review article helped you to get the best oscillating tools, a better grip of the overall available products and its services.