When getting a DIY project finished, no matter how big or small, there is always the perfect tool for the job. But what if there was a multi-tool that could tackle lots of different jobs around your home?
Oscillating multi-tools are a must-have for any toolbox. From sanding wooden frames, trimming pipes, slicing floorboards, or removing that worn in old paint, multi-tools always have the perfect attachment, making it an essential tool for DIY’ers and tradespeople alike.
What are oscillating multi-tools?
The premise behind an oscillating multi-tool is pretty simple. The oscillating head has variable speed settings that allow you to sand, scrape, cut, grind, and do pretty much anything you could think of (if you have the right accessory).
The tool’s head moves at fast rates from side to side, working well in hard to reach places compared to standard power tools. The power may be a little less compared to single-purpose sanders and saws, but for flexibility and cost-efficiency, a good multi-tool could not be better.
The benefits of using multi-tools
One of the biggest benefits of multi-tools is that they come in a cordless variety, allowing for greater control of your work. You can opt for a wired version, however, they don’t offer that same freedom as you would get with a cordless version. Other benefits that come with a multi-tool are:
- Easy to use and access
- Prevent you from losing individual items
- Perfect for simple repairs and tasks
- Removes the need to buy single-purpose tools
- It can be worn on a belt or pack
The types of multi-tool blades
Segmented blades are typically used for making long linear cuts. They can be used with metal PVC, wood, and much more. You will receive a smooth finish due to the zero offset blades.
Plunge blades can cut deeper than segmented blades and are the perfect option for creating cutouts in laminate, skirting boards, drywall, and much more. Plunge blades are also great for making rough woodcuts.
Bi-metal blades perform the best when cutting metal. They are tough and strong, plus they’ll last a lot longer than other blades.
If you need to remove old wallpaper, scraping blades are a perfect choice. They are much more efficient compared to using a manual scraper.
Carbide-edged blades are usually more expensive but well worth the price. They can cut through much tougher materials such as grout and tile. This strength gives them lots of resistance and is long-lasting.
Oscillating multi-tool buying guide
The bigger battery you have, the more power you will receive. If you have a mains multi-tool, battery power will not be an issue as you will receive contact power from the plug socket.
If you already use a certain brand of tool, it may be a good idea to buy the same branded multi-tool if you’re looking for a cordless, as the batteries will be compatible.
When it comes to features and accessories, there are lots to choose from. Blades will cut into all kinds of materials such as wood, copper, and more. There are also varieties of rasping pads, scrapers, and sanding pads.
Multi-tool speed is measured in oscillation, which is how quickly the blade moves from side to side. You can purchase a variable speed multi-tool that allows you to change the speed depending on the job you’re completing.
It is important to get the speed correct when cutting as a low cutting speed will not cut, while a stroke that is too high may become too hot and scorch.
When it comes to power, you have two options, cordless or mains. A cordless type is great in getting to those hard to reach areas but will not offer as much power as you would get from a mains version.
A cordless multi-tool usually comes with either a 12v or 18v battery, whereas a mains version will give much more constant power but will obviously not be as portable.
The best oscillating tools brands
One of the founders in multi-tool technology, Fein are compact, giving the user versatility suitable for a wide variety of jobs.
Makita offers both a wired and wireless multi-tool option. The 18V batteries are compatible with pretty much all their tool range, so will be easy to pick up if you don’t already have one.
Late to the game, DeWalt has not always been the go-to choice for oscillating multi-tools. They have now arrived with high-spec models proven to do great things, combining ergonomic design with a brushless motor.
Bosch has taken the oscillated tool world by storm with the launch of their 10.8V GOP. A popular multi-tool with lots of power not made even better with the introduction of the 110 and 240V corded version.
Ferrex has created the ultimate device for all-around performances. With a 300W motor and accessories for grinding, sawing, and scraping this tool is great for all kinds of work.
The 24 piece accessory kit allows you to quickly change and lock in for different positions and angles.