An oscillating tool is a type of multi tool which can be used to perform a wide range of home maintenance tasks with different types of accessories. It can be used to grind, cut, polish, and saw wooden and metal objects.
Accessories can be fitted to the tool by a locking mechanism. While working, the accessory oscillates rapidly through a small angle. The operation is precise because of the narrow oscillating angle. During sanding operation, friction is created between the tool and the surface and during sawing and grinding operations, rapid cutting motion is created.
With a wide range of great tools on the market, it can get confusing when shopping for a good oscillating tool. Here are some of the best tools selling today:
- Best Cordless Oscillating Tool- DEWALT DCS355D1
- Best Corded Oscillating Tool- Dremel VC60-01
- Best Oscillating Multi-Tool Rockwell RK5132K
- PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool
- DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Oscillating Tool Kit
- Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
- WEN 2312 Variable Speed Multifunction Oscillating Tool
- Tacklife PMT01B- Oscillating Multi-Tool, Snap-Fit Accessory Change
- Black & Decker BD200MTB 2.5-Amp Variable-Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool
- Bosch GOP40-30C Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
- Things to Consider Before Buying an Oscillating Tool
- 3) Corded Vs. Cordless:
Best Cordless Oscillating Tool- DEWALT DCS355D1
This Dewalt multi-tool kit is a one stop solution for all kinds of home applications ranging from sawing, grinding, cutting, scraping etc. it has a wide range of accessories for performing each of the jobs to perfection. It has a powerful 2 Ah battery and works on 20V battery supply; therefore, it does not require frequent recharging. It is an essential tool for finishing work efficiently and with the least effort.
It has a brushless motor which gives superior performance, compared to a brushed motor. The user does not require special tools to change accessory since it has a simple detachment system. This requires less training to master using this tool.
It has a huge assortment of 28-piece attachment kits and is very versatile for all range of cutting and grinding jobs. You can charge the battery using a universal adaptor, which also means it does not require a special power supply for charging. The tool can oscillate at a maximum of 20000 Hz. The tool is light weight at around 3 pounds and the user does not get tired holding the tool for a long time.
This product comes with variable speed and provision for multiple grip positions that greatly enhances user comfort. It has a guide system which enables the user to set height and depth of cutting easily. It also comes with a bright front facing LED light, which helps you in working with precision in dark areas.
Take care while recharging the battery to preserve battery life – don’t overcharge. The compatibility of this tool with other Dewalt accessories is great, when it comes to other manufacturer tools it may not be compatible. So carefully consider your requirements before purchasing this tool.
Best Corded Oscillating Tool- Dremel VC60-01
Dremel velocity is the ideal power tool for performing both oscillating jobs and cutting jobs. It enables the user to tackle a wide variety of jobs. It boasts a powerful 7 A motor which cuts through thick surfaces with ease.
It has 5 degrees of oscillation angles which helps in cutting efficiently. With its innovative drive system, users can make long cuts with high accuracy through a wide range of materials. It has an integrated control foot with two positions, open and closed. When the control foot is open, the tool can be used for taking long and accurate cuts. When it is closed, it can operate as traditional oscillating tool for cutting, grinding and sanding operations.
The tool has hyper speed mode in which you can select the speed according to the application. For precise applications, it has precision mode speed. The accessories can be changed without any extra tools. This product is ideal for homeowners who want to remodel their home and eliminate the need for multiple tools for remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, wall etc. A great money saver!
This tool is 9 times faster than other traditional oscillating tools, hence making it a perfect tool for big sawing applications. Its use in floorboard cut-outs is easy and faster compared to traditional tools. It produces less dust compared to oscillating tools and thus cleaning up after the operation is easy. It is versatile enough to cut through various piping such as PVC, copper pipes etc. and allows more control during cutting operation.
This tool is slightly heavy at around 4.5 lbs. and therefore the user may have to rest for some time during long operations. It has a power cord, so portability is slightly reduced. Because of the powerful motor, vibrations can be felt during certain deep cut applications. Because of its weight, maneuverability is harder.
Best Oscillating Multi-Tool Rockwell RK5132K
This is a versatile oscillating tool which comes with 32 types of accessories. It also has a patented Universal fit system and therefore works seamlessly with different brands of accessories as well. It has an innovative hyper lock mechanism which creates a holding force of 1 ton. Therefore, the user does not need to worry about blade slipping.
This tool has an option for selecting multiple speeds which makes it highly suitable for cutting various materials including metals, plastic, tiles and wood. these tools can withstand high stall forces and are robust, withstanding rough jobs. It has a powerful 3.5 A motor which helps it maintain cutting speed under heavy loads.
Its oscillation angle of 4 degrees is perfect for easy control and fast cutting. It provides a good all-round performance on a wide variety of surfaces and materials. It has a cool speed dial on the front side which enables the user to set speed appropriate for the relevant surfaces. This tool also has vibration counterweights which help reduce vibration providing a smoother cut.
Its versatile 32-piece kit has all necessary accessories in one place to handle any work. This product comes with a 3-year warranty. It has a solid build and is perfect for heavy duty applications. Vibration from this tool is minimal, owing to its robust design.
One downside is that the tool does not have a battery and relies only on power supply. The cord length is sufficient for most jobs, while care needs to be taken while working on high walls. It does not come with a depth gauge and requires the user to measure depth needed for a specific job. Sanding accessories are of medium quality and therefore limit the tool’s use for only certain types of sanding applications.
PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool
Porter cable is one of the leading manufacturers of a wide range of high quality power tools. It has more than 100 years’ experience in the development of multi-tools with incredible performance. This product has a corded multitool kit with a powerful 3 A motor. It is highly suitable for durable and tough applications such as grinding, sanding, scraping and cutting. It can deliver variable oscillations between 10000 – 22000 Hz and is therefore good for a wide range of applications. This tool is highly durable and well suited for rough handling during operation.
The tool has an inbuilt cutting depth guide that helps provide stability during long cutting operations. It also provides excellent control while making plunge cuts. It has a good grip that can be held in three positions, hence providing excellent comfort. Its 10-foot cord that can reach heights comfortably. It can cut through a wide range of materials such as pipes, PVC, wood etc. making this a good and useful investment for all home requirements.
Changing accessories does not require any tool, which is an added advantage. This tool has safety features included so that the user does not need to worry about any mishaps. The company provides a 3-year warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee in case the customer is not satisfied with the product. They also provide 1-year free service that makes this tool a great bargain.
This tool kit comes with an attractive carry case and has 31 accessories. However, sometimes the tool can get warm during prolonged operation, so plan your work accordingly. It does not have any special provision to adjust for excessive vibration during certain applications. Another disadvantage is that it cannot cut through thick pipes and is limited only to pipes with thin cross section. Still, this is a good all-around tool for most traditional projects.
DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Oscillating Tool Kit
This oscillating tool kit is a high-performance tool which provides efficient cutting and is versatile in grinding and sanding operations. It boasts a powerful 3.0 A motor. There is a corded version as well. It has a patented quick-change system that allows users to quickly change blades and accessories without using any wrenches. The dual grip trigger with variable speed adjustment gives good control and speed during applications.
Like all Dewalt products, this one also comes with a front LED light illumination which makes working in dark spots and corners a breeze. This unit has an innovative depth/height adjustment system which gives high accuracy and repeatable performance. The accessory kit contains 29 accessories which come in a company branded tool bag. It has multiple types of blades such as a semi-circle blade, fast-cut wood blade etc., and has a sanding pad and sand paper for various sanding operations.
This tool saves lots of time and energy in handling almost any job, hence the user can focus on completing the job with high accuracy, rather than fiddling with the tool for changing accessories. Having a depth gauge is a major advantage, as the user can maintain accurate depth while cutting. It can give up to 22000 oscillations per minute and is highly robust for heavy duty applications.
This tool is compatible with only Dewalt accessories and cannot be used for accessories made by other brands. Also, the sander has limited applications and cannot be used for large areas. It does not have a speed dial which does make it less versatile. Since it is a heavy tool, the user needs to use two hands for holding the tool while operating it.
Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
For various home needs such as remodeling, repair and restoration activities, Genesis is a cost effective and highly reliable partner. It has a medium duty 1.5 A motor that can deliver 21000 oscillations per minute.
The body is built with sturdy and durable aluminum casting. This tool is useful for various applications such as removing glue, paint etc., it is also applicable for usage in floor installations, carpeting, reworking on door hinges and installation of cabinets etc. It has a patented 4-pin flange that holds accessories tightly in place and does not let blades slip.
This tool is ideal for do-it-yourself projects and a must have tool for remodelers. It can easily handle sanding, cutting and other operations and provides an all in one solution for home remodeling needs. It has multiple accessories and attachments which enable the user to handle different projects with less time and effort. Since this is a low-cost tool, it can be a great value for money. It has various tools such as a power scraper, drywall cutting tool, grout remover and more. Its oscillation angle provides for swift and precise operations.
The tool is light weight at less than 4 pounds because of aluminum body. It also has excellent heat dissipation capabilities and improves tool lifetime. Its safety design with the 4-pin flange system serves for a safe operation. Its high oscillation speed helps to complete projects efficiently. This tool comes with a 2-year warranty and provides 24X7 toll free support for customers. The company provides excellent technical support in case of any issues, yet another great advantage. It operates on 120 V and comes with an adapter.
One disadvantage is that this multi tool can be used only with Genesis accessories. It cannot be used with other brand accessories available on the market.
WEN 2312 Variable Speed Multifunction Oscillating Tool
This oscillating multitool kit from Wen can be used for cutting, sanding and scraping even in unreachable corners. It is light weight at about 3 lbs. and has a 3-pound design with much needed versatility in mind for home applications. It has variable speed with 10000 – 20000 oscillations per minute.
It has a powerful and high performing 2 A motor which can handle a wide range of demanding applications, and comes with a stylish carry case in which 30 kinds of accessories can fit. It also includes sanding pads, saw blades, scraper blades and more. This versatile machine can be used to deburr hard edges, cut drywall, remove rust, sand down surfaces, install outlets and saw wood.
This tool can operate in narrow corners, and difficult to cut edges effortlessly. It can be used for applications such as paint scraping and trim base molding as well. The saw tools can cut through pipes, air ducts, cables, cement, stone, plaster, and concrete, which can be sanded down easily. It has a variable speed dial for different tasks at hand.
One major advantage is that you can enhance the functionality of the tool by purchasing third party attachments. This tool is compatible with a wide range of kits from other brands and gives a huge value for its price. Wen provides a 2-year warranty and all through the year technical support. It has an expansive network of technicians available all over the country for assistance. Customers can log complaints through a toll-free number also.
This tool requires a wrench to attach and detach accessories and can cumbersome while changing accessories. It takes quite some effort to fit the accessories right. Cutting regular lumber can be extremely slow. It works fine for light to medium sanding operations, but should be used with care when performing heavy-duty jobs, as it is a light weight tool.
Tacklife PMT01B- Oscillating Multi-Tool, Snap-Fit Accessory Change
Tacklife is one of the major manufactures of multi-tool kits for convenient and high productive remodeling. They specialize in portable products that are well made and suited for a wide range of applications. This is a cordless product and comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. It can charge in 2 hours, operates on 100-240 V and can deliver stable work in voltage fluctuation conditions as well. It has a quick attach system which allow accessories and blades to be changed easily with very little effort. The quick lock mechanism saves lots of valuable time changing the blades, which stay tightly in place. The tool does not need any wrench for changing blades.
The battery has 1.5 A and lasts long enough for a whole day of continuous operation. It has a high-density LED light which helps the user work in dark areas. It has a soft grip and is ergonomically designed and made of aluminum cast for easy handling and light weight.
The tool feels comfortable and owing to its light weight, fatigue experienced using this tool is very minimal even after long operation time. It has variable speed with a maximum speed of 15000 oscillations per minute. This makes the tool ideal for sanding, grinding and other cutting operations. There are 3 fixed oscillating angles, which helps in using all accessories more effectively.
This tool comes with a 23-piece accessory kit. The battery last for 250 charging cycles. Tacklife provides a 2-year warranty and a 30-day product replacement in case of major issues. Being cordless makes the tool very portable and convenient for carrying around.
- Not a cheap tool to say the least
- It cannot be used with other brand accessories available on the market
Black & Decker BD200MTB 2.5-Amp Variable-Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool
This tool is relatively low priced and has 13 different accessories, useful for a wide range of applications. It has an ergonomic variable speed dial which can be used to set six different speeds with ease.
It has a quick release lever and does not require the use of a hex key. It can operate at 10000 -20000 oscillations per minute. It houses a rugged and powerful 2.5 A motor which can handle all kinds of tough operations. The patented grip design is optimized for good handling and comfort during long operation times. It has precise control and does not produce rough edges during sanding operation.
The tool kit contains various accessories such as a sanding base, scraper blade, and wood/metal blade. It is a corded electric tool and operates with 120 V. It has an oscillating angle of 1.4 degree. The strong form of this tool is ideal for rugged applications. Vibration is minimal, which is attributable to the innovative body design. This tool also supports third party attachments from porter cable, Dremel and other brands as well. It can be effectively used to remove carpet tack strips, removing paint from surfaces, among other applications.
This tool comes with a 2-year warranty and customers also have the option to purchase a 4-year or 6-year warranty. Technical support is available to the customer on call. Replacement blades and attachments can be found very easily on the market, unlike some other brands. The cord length of the tool is enough for most operations, but an extension cable needs to be used for jobs requiring far reach. It is heavier than other tools and can lead to fatigue during continuous operation.
Edge sander attachment does not work well
On of the loudest oscillating tools on the market today
Parts are not available in most local stores area
Bosch GOP40-30C Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
Bosch is a highly reliable company with more than 100 years’ experience in making high quality and robust power tools, with great customer satisfaction. This tool has a great starlock 3D interface between the tool and the accessory, giving very good accessory grip. The attachment and the tool have good contact area which gives high torque transfer capacity and accessories fit tight and stay stable during tough applications. Fitting blades is simple and has an easy to use lever.
This great machine has the most powerful motor available in the industry with 4.0 A and can be used for operations like grout removal, cutting and sanding etc. It has a maximum speed of up to 20000 oscillations per minute and helps cutting quicker with high quality. Its 3.0-degree oscillation arc helps to increase productivity and optimal tool utilization. The metallic enclosing with reinforcements gives this product high durability and vibration resistance. It has a variable speed dial and advanced circuitry to maintain the desired speed even during heavy loads.
The tool is relatively light weight at 3.3 lbs. and is only 11.4 inches long. Hence it can reach into tight spaces and corners owing to its compact design. The Bosch GOP40-30 enables operators to change accessories without any tools easily. It does not have any losable parts compared to other competitors. Detaching the accessory is as simple as pulling a release lever. No need to fiddle with wrenches and no need to touch hot blades. The only disadvantage is that this tool does not fit all the available Bosch Starlock accessories in the market.
- Under high load with a scraper blade, the tool may began to erratically increase and decrease the oscillation speed by itself
- Most customers reported this tool as not durable over the long run
- Release lever Mechanism tends to break
Things to Consider Before Buying an Oscillating Tool
An oscillating tool can be used for a variety of purposes like making cutouts on dry walls, removing grout, trim moldings, sand surfaces and much more. Even though it is a very versatile tool, there are some important things to consider when shopping for the best oscillating tool:
Though oscillating tools are one of the safest power tools, extra care should be taken in terms of safety. Consider buying a tool that can be fitted with saw blade protection, which can reduce the risk of your hands being cut, in case the tool slips.
Another fact to consider is that usually power tools emit a lot of noise. Since the sound is concentrated to a narrow frequency range, it can be hazardous to your hearing after prolonged usage. Find the tools which have noise reduction.
When cutting holes or sanding, a lot of dust is created. Some tools come with an extra box/face mask which can protect from dust. It is also better to not buy a heavy machine, as it will add extra burden and fatigue to your hands, which can lead to accidents. Get heavy duty machines only if you really need them.
Purchasing tools with a safety lock for keeping blades intact during operation is also recommended.
Performance and the quality of each part of the oscillating tool like motor, blades and torque matter a lot in making the tool a good one. Considering the requirements of high quality finish, faster operation and within budget, you should base your decision on the following factors which comprise overall performance:
The minimum requirement for a motor of an oscillating tool should be 1.5 A, which has a vibration capability of around 21000 rounds per minute. The higher the power, the higher it’s efficiency and capability of performing multiple tasks in a shorter time. For common household purposes like sanding, scraping and removing grout, smaller motors will suffice. Higher powered motors come with variable speed adjustments that enable smoother and quieter operation. Make sure to buy tools with motors which are made up of rust resistant parts. This will ensure longer tool life.
It is highly recommended that the tool has a higher rotational force or torque, thereby the force in which it twists a blade or any other accessory is adequate. For all tasks, a firmer grip is needed so that moving your tool around while working is easier and safer, while torque doesn’t send the machine flying in all directions. If the tool does not have a firm grip, it can result in poor performance and could also lead to serious damage. Typically, strong aluminum gear housing or four-pin flanges are attached to ensure both firm grip of the tool and the blade in its place.
Blades should be strong, last long and also should be able to cut through hard surfaces. The blades in the machine you get should be easily removable for quick replacement. It would be best if your tool would support blades of different brands and manufacturers. Check the blades included with your tool carefully, as some tend to wear out pretty quickly.
Since there could be a multitude of uses for your tool, like cutting through dry walls or woods or PVCs, the blades should be easily cleanable after work. Prolonged usage of blades without cleaning them will lead to poor performance.
Some manufacturers may have less than 20 accessories while some may give more than 30. Don’t be tempted to buy a tool just because it offers many accessories with it. The most important thing is that the tool and its accessories fit your needs.
3) Corded Vs. Cordless:
Both corded and cordless oscillating tools have their pros and cons. Corded ones need continuous supply of electric power versus cordless battery powered ones. Corded ones are most suited for lengthy and heavy-duty projects. The length of the wire also matters, but it can be substituted with an extension cord. The cordless ones are compact and easy to carry around, but need to be recharged more frequently for bigger projects. Therefore, it would be best for you to choose which one to get according to your needs.
In case you decide to go with a cordless oscillator tool, battery life and capacity needs to be taken into account. Having a low capacity battery may reduce cost but will require frequent recharging. Also, time taken to recharge fully needs to be clearly stated, so that you can take it into account when shopping around. It may take nearly 2 hours to recharge and that’s why professional re-modelers will need to factor this into their decision.
Oscillating tools come in a wide range of prices starting from $35 to as much as $300. The price of a machine varies based on factors like power, oscillating speed, impact rate, the presence or absence of a reverse brush system, grip design and much more. Know that sometimes, you can invest in upgrading certain parts of the tool you purchase, like buying a wider variety of blades, changing the hand grip to a much stronger and firmer one, better chuck keys and so on. That’s why you can consider getting simpler tool versions and upgrade them in the fraction of the cost it would take to buy the best one.
It is a best practice to consider your budget, the frequency of usage and the purpose of the tool before deciding to buy an oscillating tool in order to avoid any later budget issues.
5) Refund policy:
Different manufacturers provide different warranties and refund policies. In general, you can get a 3-year warranty for an oscillating tool. Some manufacturers provide only 2-year warranties. Some of the tools come with 30-day money back guarantees and some with 90-day money back guarantees. It would be wise to also take a look at the terms and conditions before making the purchase. Also, look for the service network available for the products. It is always better to select a product with a good service center nearby so that in case any problems arise, help is always at hand.
In short, the multi-purpose oscillating tool is a great choice to avoid stacking up your garage with many small tools, as this tool is efficient and capable of handling many common tasks around the house, while maintaining a high standard of performance. Such oscillating tools are preferred nowadays by many professionals and considered ideal for DIY’ers worldwide for their versatility, utility and their affordable price.