Best Oscillating Tool – 2017 Reviews and Buying Guide By an Industry Expert

Oscillating tools, also known as multi-tools, are power tools that are usually powered by batteries or mains and perform multiple functions. There are various types of oscillating tools available that can perform actions such as sanding, sawing, rasping, grinding, scraping, cutting or polishing. Being designed for such a large number of applications, these tools are preferred by most professionals and amateurs who enjoy saving space and money. They are suitable for both home use and professional use.

Depending on the tool, you might observe that it can do various movement types. Most oscillating tools have side-to-side motions that can be barely seen, as the oscillation is fast and slight. Generally, such a tool has a 3 degree oscillation and strikes approximatively 20 000 times per minute. Most people would describe this type of movement more like vibration.

Oscillating tools work with round or straight blades that can be used in a large number of situations, each one for a different job. For example, straight blades are suitable for deep cuts, while round blades are preferred for clean cuts that are gradually deepened. These are ideal tools for flooring preparations, for grout removal, trim removal, and most importantly, they reach spots that most tools are not able to reach. They can be used for carpentry jobs, home maintenance, electrical jobs, plumbing and many more.

An oscillating tool should be present in any men’s garage, but sometimes it is hard to choose the perfect one. Today’s market offers multiple options and you never know which one is the best for your needs until you try it yourself.

When looking for the best oscillating tool you might observe that almost all power tool manufacturers deliver such products. Even though a brand’s reputation is extremely important, you might want to look for quality and performance instead of the brand when it comes to this type of tools. Fein, Makita, Bosch, DeWalt, are just a few of the most popular manufacturers that sell multi-tools.

If you are in the process of buying a multi-tool but you don’t know exactly what you should be looking for, know that some tools are louder than others, for starters. An oscillating tool with noise reduction, as well as vibration reduction is ideal, as it makes your job easier and more comfortable. Also, speed is something that most customers are looking for; the speedier, the better. A powerful motor and a wide range of oscillations are also important specifications, so you might check that, too.

Due to the multitude of products available on the market, we have decided to review 10 of the best-selling oscillating tools and give you an idea of their pros and cons. When reviewing them, we looked at the price, warranty, motor, number and variety of accessories, speed, oscillation and various other features. This article will help you decide whether to invest a lot in a branded multi-tool or if it’s better to look for powerful specifications at a lower price.

Top 10 Best Oscillating Tools and Top Picks

1. DEWALT DWE315K Oscillating Tool Kit Review

DEWALT DWE315K Oscillating Tool

This oscillating tool kit is a bit more inexpensive than what we have seen so far, although it has plenty of features. The great thing about this product is that it has a universal fit system which means that it accepts accessories from most brands. It has a speed control system and a function that offsets vibration when required.

This multi-tool is equipped with an LED light to improve visibility while working. It has 5 oscillation degrees and a 4 amp motor, which is amazing. Its cutting load of maximum 35 Ibs makes it even more powerful than Bosch’s products. Rockwell offers a 3-year limited warranty for this product.

What’s to like about Rockwell RK5141K 4.0A Sonicrafter F50 Kit?

  • Has great value for money

  • Accepts plenty of accessories from different brands

  • Is equipped with LED light

  • Has a 4 amp motor

  • Comes with 3-year warranty

What’s not to like?

  • Its gear housing does not seem to be reinforced for more durability

2. PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52 Oscillating Tool

PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52

This oscillating tool comes with no less than 52 accessories and a 3 amp motor that will help you get the job done. It is a professional kit that can do almost anything around the house or at work. It has a quick system change and is suitable for applications like sanding, scraping, grinding or cutting. It has a 10ft cord that allows the users to move freely. Its oscillations range from 10 000 to 20 000 per minute.

This oscillating tool’s box includes a cutting guide, 3 wood-cutting blades, 3 metal blades, 3 flush cut blades, a pad for sanding, 35 sand papers, 2 flexible scrapers, 2 rigid scrapers, 2 grout removal blade and a box. Porter-Cable offers a 90-day money back guarantee, which is great in case you change your mind. Also, the product has 3-year limited warranty.

What’s to like about PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52?

  • Has 52 accessories

  • Has a powerful motor

  • Has a wide oscillation range

  • Has a 10ft cord

  • Comes with a 3-year warranty and 90-day money back guarantee

What’s not to like?

  • Some buyers complained about the blades’ durability

3. Bosch MX30EK-35 Oscillating Tool

Bosch MX30EK-35

As most Bosch products, this oscillating tool is highly performant and comes with advanced features that will turn it into your best friend. It has a versatile design and it can be used for flush-cutting, plunge cutting, grinding, sanding, grout removal and more. It comes with a holder where the accessories can be stored and it has a quick change system that will save you time.

The Bosch MX30EK-35 3.0-Amp Oscillating Tool has a powerful motor of 3 amp, variable speed, it has an ergonomic shape and a sturdy construction. Its metal gear housing is reinforced and its vibrations can be barely felt. The package includes 9 blades, one sanding pad, 25 sanding sheets, an accessory box and a hard plastic case.

What’s to like about Bosch MX30EK-35 Oscillating Tool?

  • Has a great design and ergonomic shape

  • Has a powerful motor

  • Is made in Switzerland

  • Has an accessory holder

  • Has a quick change system

What’s not to like?

  • Is a bit more expensive than other similar models

  • Is a bit louder than other products

 

4. Rockwell RK5141K 4.0A Sonicrafter

Rockwell RK5141K

A corded oscillating tool kit that has it all. This multi-tool comes with a 3.0 amp motor and plenty of accessories for cutting, scraping, sanding and mortar removal. It has a quick change system that will help you change accessories in a matter of seconds. Its variable speed motor allows the user to set the ideal speed for each job. It is equipped with a LED light to insure that the working area is well-lit.

This product has a 3-year limited warranty and its package includes a bare-tool, a few attachments, a battery-charger and a case. It weight of 7.2 pounds makes it easy to manipulate.

What’s to like about DEWALT Oscillating Tool Kit?

  • Has a powerful motor

  • Blades can be changed easily

  • It is speedy

  • It is comfortable to hold it while working

  • Has a LED light for a well-lit working area

What’s not to like?

  • Its blades are quite expensive

 

5. PORTER-CABLE PCE605K Oscillating Tool Kit

PORTER-CABLE PCE605K

This multi-tool kit is a more affordable option from Porter-cable that comes with great specifications. It has a 3 amp motor, a blade change system that allows the user to switch attachments without using any tools and a 10ft cord. It is comfortable to work with this oscillating tool due to the front, middle and rear gripping.

The PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit comes with a cutting guide, as well as 31 accessories. It weighs 6.6 pounds, it is easy to manipulate and it the package also includes a transport case. Although it is cheaper than other similar products, some customers have been complaining about overheating issues.

What’s to like about PORTER-CABLE PCE605K Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit?

  • Is affordable

  • Has a 3 amp motor

  • Has 31 accessories

  • Is lightweight

  • Has a 10ft cord

  • Comes with a case

What’s not to like?

  • It overheats

 

6. Bosch MX25EC-21 Multi-X Oscillating Tool

Bosch MX25EC-21

By comparison to the previously reviewed Bosch oscillating tool, this one has a less powerful motor, but it comes at a more affordable price. Even so, its 2.5 amp motor is suitable for most applications. The user can set various speeds for different job types and quickly change attachments without using auxiliary tools.

This product is easy to clean and produces less dust while working with it. It has an ergonomic design and it only weighs 3.3 pounds. Its speed ranges from 8000 to 20 000 OPM . it is easy to operate due to its small size and weight. Bosch offers 30-day money back guarantee and only 1 year limited warranty for this multi-tool.

What’s to like about Bosch MX25EC-21 2.5-Amp Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit?

  • Is affordable

  • Is smaller in size than other similar tools

  • Has variable speed that ranges from 8000 to 20 000 OPM

  • Is lightweight

What’s not to like?

  • Has 1 year limited warranty

 

7. Fein 72293768090 Top Oscillating Multi-Tool

Fein 72293768090

This oscillating tool might be the best product on the market at the moment. Even though it is much more expensive than most multi-tools, it comes with a variety of features that everyone loves. It is suitable for all remodelling and renovation jobs and offers high performance at any time. It has 161 accessories, a 2.39 amp motor, a 16ft long cord and a transportation case.

It only weights 3.1 Ibs, it has variable speed and up to 20 000 oscillations per minute. This product is extremely easy to work with and is made of high quality materials. It is an amazing product that any man would want in their garage, but even though it has all these advantages, Fein only offers one year warranty for this product.

What’s to like about Fein Kit MultiMaster?

  • Is lightweight

  • Has 161 blades

  • Has a 2.39 amp motor

  • Has a long cord

  • Is made of high quality materials

What’s not to like?

  • Is expensive

  • Its manufacturer only offers 1 year limited warranty

 

8. Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool

Genesis GMT15A

This is one of the cheapest oscillating tools on the market that you can buy at less than $50. It is ideal for those who have a short budget or will only use the tool occasionally. Despite its price, this product is suitable for most remodelling and restoration projects, it has up to

21 000 oscillations per minute and has an ergonomic shape that makes it easy to operate.

Its gear housing is made of aluminium, which makes it feel sturdy. It only weighs 2.8 pounds and has a 1.5 amp motor. It is not as powerful as other multi-tools out there, but it still does its job. The package includes a 3 inch sanding pad, sandpaper, a scraper blade, a flush cut blade, a wood blade and an Allen wrench.

What’s to like about Genesis GMT15A Oscillating Tool?

  • Is inexpensive

  • Is lightweight

  • Has a sturdy gear housing

  • Has ergonomic design

  • Comes with 2-year limited warranty

What’s not to like?

  • This product has less power than similar products

 

9. Bosch MX30EC-31 Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit

Bosch MX30EC-31

Another beautifully designed oscillating tool from Bosch. This multi-tool has a sturdy construction and seems durable. It has an ergonomic shape with numerous grip areas. Its 3 amp motor offers a perfect cutting, sanding or grinding experience and makes it suitable for heavier applications. It comes with 31 accessories that are easy to attach in 12 positions.

Its variable speed can be set from an easy-to-operate dial. It weighs 4 pounds and it comes with a carrying bag. This might be one of the best oscillating tools that Bosch has to offer at a decent price. The only inconvenience is its warranty, which only covers the product for 1 year.

What’s to like about Bosch MX30EC-31 Oscillating Tool Kit?

  • Has a sturdy construction

  • Has multiple grip areas

  • Is lightweight

  • Has 31 accessories

  • Has 12 attaching positions

What’s not to like?

  • Its manufacturer offers only 1 year limited warranty

 

10. DEWALT DWA4216 5-Piece Oscillating Kit

DEWALT DWA4216

Being one of the cheapest oscillating tools that DeWalt has to offer, this product impresses through versatility and great functionality. It fits accessories from all major brands; it requires no adapter and comes with 5 blades for all sorts of applications. It is a small sized product that only weighs 1.2 pounds and it is extremely easy and comfortable to use.

Even though this product offers great value for money, there are a few flaws that some buyers hate. For example, the blades do not fit in the storage case provided by the manufacturer.

What’s to like about DEWALT Oscillating Accessory Kit?

  • Is inexpensive

  • Is lightweight

  • Is easy to operate

  • Fits universal accessories

What’s not to like?

  • Its blades do not fit the case

Tips for using an oscillating tool

You need a tool that can be used for multiple tasks but you don’t know what to buy? If you want to save space, money and own a tool with multiple functions and accessories, then you probably need an oscillating tool.

Oscillating tools were developed a long time ago in Germany and they have been highly appreciated by handymen who work with all kinds of materials. Also known as multi-tools, they can be used for a variety of maintenance, repair or remodeling activities.

Oscillating tools are useful whenever one needs to sand, cut, grind, plunge-cut, scrape, remove grout and more. The great thing about this tool is that it can be used easily thanks to its moderate size and multiple blades and pads.

Additionally, oscillating tools can be used by both professionals and amateurs.

What are the main features of an oscillating tool?

Before moving on to the tips, it is important to highlight some of the main features of any oscillating tool. First of all, everyone should know that there are corded and cordless oscillating tools available.

Despite the comfort and flexibility cordless tools offer, they are generally less powerful than corded devices.

All oscillating tools have a simple, sliding switch that turns the tool on and off. As for the motor, it differs depending on the model, which means that not all oscillating tools have the same power.

The transmission, also known as gearbox, is an important factor when looking to buy the best oscillating tool, as it dictates the speed range of the tool. Also, the speed control dial is present in all the devices that are available on today’s market.

Oscillating tools also feature a blade clamp that secures the head in place, a casing that protects the internal parts and a handle. Some modern devices also feature a dust extraction port or a vacuum cleaner that allows the user to work on a clean surface.

Consider these tips the next time you will use an oscillating tool

Oscillating tools can be used by nearly everyone, for multiple activities. You need to cut, remove grout, sand or grip? Then this is the perfect tool for professional and home use.

Here’s what you can do using an oscillating tool:

  • Sawing – if you are looking to make impeccable cuts through sensitive or thin materials, saw blades can help you obtain perfect results. You can cut though plastics, plasterboards, fiberglass, aluminum, copper, putty and more. Depending on the job, you can choose to use high speed steel blades, high carbon steel blades, bi-metal etc.
  • Scraping – next time you need to scrape the paint, stickers, adhesives, carpets or silicone from any material, don’t bother hiring a contractor. An oscillating tool can help you do the job yourself. Keep in mind that a bit of petroleum jelly will help you scrape better and faster, as adhesive will not stick to the blade.
  • Sanding – sanding and polishing are easy tasks when using a multi tool. Using the correct accessories, you can sand wood, metal and a lot more.

Bear in mind a few tips:

  • Side-to-side motions will help you get better results
  • Only make plunge cuts in soft materials
  • Don’t use the same sanding pad for all surfaces
  • Make sure to put uniform pressure on the entire sanding surface
  • Select the highest oscillation rates for scraping
  • Check the surface for metal pieces like nails or screws. Unless the blade you chose is able to cut through them, they represent annoying obstacles.
Christopher Thomas
 

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