Best Oscillating Tools - Review & Buyer’s Guide 2019

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For slightly over ten years now, the oscillating multi-tool market has become more competitive and disruptive with the entrance of new players following the expiry of patent that ended Fein’s nearly four-decade-old market monopoly.

Never have oscillating multi-cutters been more affordable, as buying prices continue to drop.

In a market overflowing with features and models, selecting the best oscillating tools has never been more challenging.

Your ideal oscillating multi-tool should be aggressive, meaning that it has to have the greatest side-to-side oscillation angle, a powerful motor and, best of all, a mechanism to reduce vibration and noise and to improve stability and precision.

This requires finest engineering, and, usually, you’ll find the tools at a higher cost.

If you’re a professional and you require greater work output, a higher-cost alternative makes a lot of sense, as it’s built to last, and can serve you for many years.

But if you’re an occasional user, low cost alternative is a suitable go-to choice.

Keep reading our oscillating tools review to get valuable and useful insights about how to make a wise selection of the best oscillating tools for your budget and needs.

3 Best Oscillating Multi-Tools With Great Perfornamce 


Top 10 Oscillating Tools Review

1. DeWalt DCS355D1 20V XR Cordless Oscillating Tool

Key Features:

  • 2-ampere battery power source
  • 1.6-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • 28-piece accessory storage box
  • Depth-limiting roller guide
  • Quick-change tool-free system

As a cordless oscillating multi-tool, Dewalt DCS335D1 is battery-powered and is a great choice of a professional.

With a weight of 3.22-lbs and a length of 12.20-inches, and drawing 2-ampere power from a 20-Volt Lithium-ion battery, the do-anything tool is light and quite compact.

For a do-it-yourselfer who does a constant-draw job like grout removal, a cordless multifunction tool may be unsuitable, as battery runs out at between 10- and 45-minute intervals.

While side-to-side vibration is brilliant at 20,000-oscillations-per-minute, dewalt DCS335D1 multi-tool swings accessories (or attachments) at an angle of 1.6-degrees.

Side-to-side travel is less, meaning that the oscillating angle of 1.6-degrees cuts slower.

Less travel means greater precision, smoother, quieter operation and more control.

There are 28 pieces of attachments in the storage box. However, the number of attachments may be inconsequential, given that bladeswear out frequently, requiring replacement.

What’s most appealing, you can vary vibration speed using a dual-grip trigger.

More than that, there’s a roller guide for limiting cut depth or steadying the tool. You don’t need to stop to check the cut depth.

Coolest of all, you don’t need an Allen wrench and a screw to mount the accessories.

A quick-change tool-free system enables you to attach different accessories in series fast.

2. DeWalt DCS355B 20V XR Oscillating Multi-tool

Key Features:

  • 2-ampere battery power source
  • 1.6-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • Quick-change tool-less system
  • Adapter for competitor accessory
  • Variable vibration frequency

DeWalt DCS355B Running on a 2-ampere power drawn from 20-Volt Lithium-ion battery, brushless motor oscillates accessories from side to side at an angle of 1.6-degrees.

Such a slow-cutting oscillating angle is suitable forreducing vibrations and noise, giving you more control and precision. But that means you benefit from less side-to-side travel.

With a weight of 2.3-lbs and a length of 11.2-inches, the cordless oscillating multi-tool is light and relatively compact.

There’s a dual-grip trigger you can use to varyvibration frequency between 0 and 20,000-oscillations-per-minute.

What’s more irresistible, a tool-free system allows you to change accessories in quick succession.

Essentially, you don’t require an Allen wrench and a screw for mounting accessories.

Most captivatingly, an adaptor enables you to attachboth proprietary and competitor accessories.

A roller guide enables you to adjust cut depth, so you can repeat cutting accurately. Aiding your vision in awkward and tight spots is an LED light.

One major drawback of using DCS355B is that batteries run out quickly, and their lifespans are limited to a few years.

For a professional DIYer who does heavy-duty job that draws power constantly, such as grout removal,a corded counterpart gives you an uninterrupted power supply.

You won’t need to charge you batteries regularly every 10 minutes or so.

3. Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max 3.8-amp Oscillating Tool

Key Features:

  • 3.8-ampere mains power source
  • 3.2-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • 36-piece accessory storage box
  • Competitor-compatible tool-free accessory system
  • Variable oscillation frequency

Vibrating accessories sidewise, the motor relies on a decent 3.8-ampere power from a 120-Volt mains supply.

Using Dremel MM40-05, you won’t have to worry about running out of power as long as you can access the mains power supply through a 7-feet long cord.

Even sweeter and more consequential than high power, the powerful motor swings accessories at an angle of 3.2-degrees.

Slicing through hard materials is a breeze, as the motor is powerful and the side-to-side travel is wide.

However, higher cut speeds mean less control and precision.

Steadying the corded oscillating multi-tool is more challenging, because of more vibrations.

And shocks and impacts of vibration are felt more for as light the weight of a tool as 2.9-lbs. But compactness at a length of 10.6-inches compensates for the drawback.

Vibration frequency isn’t fixed, so you can vary oscillations however you like.

A quick lock mechanism is in place to ensure a quick and hassle-free changing of accessories in succession.

But you can’t remove the flange.

Moreover, the tool-less system isn’t compatible with third-party accessories.

In the storage box, there are 36 accessories, but blades wear out often.

But again, anyone, whether a starter or a professional, would be delighted by this reasonably-priced oscillating do-anything tool.

4. Makita XMT03Z 18V Multi-tool

Key Features:

  • 3.2-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • 3-ampere battery power source
  • Adjustable oscillation frequency
  • Tool-free clamp system

For someone who wants to get more work done in a relatively short period, a 3.2-degree lateral angle of oscillation ensures fast cutting.

Powering the motor is an 18-Volt Lithium-ion battery, giving you 20 minutes of uninterrupted power supply.

Not to mention, the battery of Makita XMT03Z charges fast, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time waiting for charging to complete.

Instead, you’ve more time to work plus the obvious benefit of moving with the cordless oscillating multi-tool anywhere.

While wider side-to-side travel is more important than power, a 3-ampere-powered motor can push accessories to slice through a hard material with more ease.

What’s more irresistible, a dial gives you freedom to vary the frequency of vibration between 6,000- and 20,000-oscillations per minute.

However, a wider side-to-side travel means faster and more aggressive cutting, but more vibration; hence, less control and precision.

In addition, more vibration and less control mean more noise. What’s encouraging, though, is that a weight of 4.9-lbs is gentle to your muscles.

On top of it all, a tool-free clamp system is in place for a quick-change mounting of accessories. That removes the need for an Allen wrench and a screwdriver.

All these features of top rated oscillating tools you get at a reasonable price.

5. Porter-Cable PCC710B Oscillating Tool

Key Features:

  • 3-ampere battery power source
  • Variable oscillation frequency
  • 2.8-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • 3-position grip for comfort
  • 11-piece accessory storage box

Just like any other cordless oscillating multi-tool, Porter-Cable PCC710B has a motor that relies on 3-ampere power derived from a 20-Volt non-standard Lithium-ion battery.

And the amazing thing, you can vary motor-induced vibration frequency anywhere between 8000- and 18,000-oscillations-per-minute using a dial. The motor vibrates accessories laterally at a decent angle of 2.8-degrees.

That means you can slice through materials relatively fast, as side-to-side travel of the accessory is quite wide.

Hence, PCC710B is an aggressive multi-tool, but you’ll sacrifice stability, quietness and precision.

Weight is extremely light at 1-lbs, worsening the shocks and impacts of the vibration.

Nonetheless, handling comfort increases, as a 3-position grip reduces vibration.

A true standout feature of the Porter-Cable’s oscillating multifunction tool is that you can attach Dremel accessories to the double-fingered tool-less system.

More charmingly, the lever extends over the accessory, giving you ½-inch less depth of cut than counterparts.

Not to forget, the tool-less system saves you from the hassles of having to use a wrench or a screwdriver to mount accessories.

All you need to do is to press the lever and slide the accessory.

The storage kit comes with 11 accessories, but fewer number of pieces shouldn’t be your main concern, as blades wear out most often.

6. Makita TM3010CX1 Multi-tool

Key Features:

  • 3.2-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • 3-ampere mains power source
  • Variable oscillation frequency
  • Competitor-compatible tool-free accessory system
  • Noise- and vibration-reducing engineering

With less weight and compactness, you expectmore apparent effects of vibration and, consequently, less comfort in handling.

And that’s especially so for a high-powered and corded oscillating multifunction tool with an angle of oscillation at a high of 3.2-degrees, making up for a wide lateral travel and a more aggressive power tool.

With more vibration, cutting is faster but noise also increases.

But Makita TM3010CX1 multi-tool is packed full of surprises.

While weight is light at 3.5-lbs, the tool isn’t as compact, having a length of 11-1/8-inches.

Drawing a 3-ampere power from a 120-Volt mains supply, the motor begins to vibrate smoothly, causing an oscillation of an accessory at a frequency, which you can vary between 6,000- and 20,000-oscillations-per-minute.

No doubt one of the finest engineering has gone into reducing vibration speed, decelerating it at a whopping rate of 6.5ms-2.

Not just that, but noise level is kind to your ears at 80-decibels (dB).

Small-bore barrel grip reduces vibration, improving handling comfort. There’s also an electronic mechanism to control vibration frequency.

What’s even more awesome, you can fit both proprietary and most of competitor accessories in the tool-free clamp system.

Both a novice and a professional do-it-yourself enthusiast would be thrilled at all these amazing features at a reasonable price for a corded oscillating multi-tool.

7. FEIN FMM350QSL MultiMaster

Key Features:

  • Like no other
  • 350-Watt input power
  • Variable oscillation frequency
  • Mains supply power source
  • Variable grit-size sanding pads

Bearing an original design of all oscillating multi-tools,Fein FMM350QSL MultiMasterremains one of the coolest sanding tools, despite enjoying nearly four decades of monopoly owing to its patent.

What sets up Fein apart from its competitors is an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the market.

Unsurprisingly, FMM350QSL is an oscillating multi-tool unlike any other, not belonging to any category.

Relying on a 350-Watt input power, the motor is powerful, vibrating a sanding pad at a rate, which you can adjust between 10,000- and 19,500-oscillations-per-minute.

And so, slicing through hard materials is a breeze.

You don’t need to worry about power running out, as a 16.4-feet long cord connects the multi-tool to a 120-Volt mains supply.

While you may expect a powerful motor to deliver more vibration, decoupling and housing-independent motor reduce vibration and noise for a quieter than expected operation.

A gear case with a metallic makeup and needle or ball bearings contribute to stability and quality.

As part of engineering, a soft-grip-zone feature ensures comfortable handling, as it lessens vibration. Don’t worry about a light weight of 3.1-lbs handling vibration.

Whereon you affix sanding sheets of grit sizes are 60, 80, 120 and 180 are two pads on the multi-tool, one of which has perforations for backup purposes.

8. Rockwell RK5151K 4.2 Amp Sonicrafter F80 Oscillating Multi-Tool

Key Features:

  • 4.2-ampere mains power source
  • Two accessory oscillating angles
  • Variable vibration frequencies
  • Vibration-reducing Duotech technology
  • All-compatible tool-free accessory system

Truly extraordinary about the motor is its reliance on a 4.2-ampere power from a mains supply.

You benefit from an uninterrupted power supply as long as you plug RK515K Sonicrafter through a 10-feet long cord.

Cutting through hard materials without hesitation, the accessories oscillate under the influence of the powerful motor, traveling from side to side at extreme angles of 3.4- or 5-degrees.

With a dial present, you can vary the frequency with which the accessory vibrates laterally from 11,000- to 20,000-oscillations-per-minute.

Rockwell RK515K Sonicrafter allows cutting to take place very fast.

Even so, stabilizing the corded oscillating multi-tool can be difficult, as the effects of vibration are quite apparent for as light a weight as 4-lbs.

What makes this power tool special is high precision, as Duotech technology reduces vibration, improving stability.

Noise should be your main concern with this extraordinarily aggressive multi-tool.

Compatible with all accessories, the tool-free system is truly outstanding.Flange is removable.

You’d need to rotate the lever to fasten or unfasten the flange. The downside with the system is that it’s slow.

While vulnerable to wearing out, there are 10 accessories in the package to cushion your budget.

It’s unimaginable that you can find such awesome features of professional oscillating tools at a price lower than $200.

9. Porter-Cable PCE605K52 Oscillating Multi-Tool

Key Features:

  • 52-piece accessory storage box
  • 3-ampere mains power supply
  • 2.8-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • Variable oscillation frequency
  • Triple-positioned over mold

No oscillating multi-tool, whether corded or cordless, cushions your budget better than Porter-Cable PCE605K52.

Setting the corded oscillating multifunction tool apart from counterparts is its generous number of pieces in the toolkit: 52 accessories.

With that number, it’d take you a longer time than normal to start to worry about buying new accessories.

Weight is 7.7-lbs, and length is 15-inches.

Relying on a 3-ampere power drawn from a 120-Volt mains supply, the motor laterally vibrates an accessory at an angle of 2.8-degrees.

You simply plug in a 10-feet long cord to the power source.For that length, you won’t need an extension.

Furthermore, a dial gives you the freedom to adjust the vibration frequency between 10,000- and 22,000-oscillations-per-minute.

No need for an Allen wrench or a screwdriver to mount an accessory, as you can change accessories quickly and easily in a tool-less system.

What’s cool, a roller guide is present, so you’ve control over cut depth.

While wide lateral travel of the accessory means fast cutting, vibration is more prominent and stability can be lost.

Fortunately, Porter-Cable is aware of this, incorporating a triple-positioned over mold to reduce vibration and improve comfort.

You may need an ear protection, as operation of the tool is noisy.

10. Bosch GOP40-30C Oscillating Multi Tool

Key Features:

  • Maximum torque transmission
  • 4-ampere mains power source
  • Variable oscillation frequency
  • 3-degree accessory oscillating angle
  • Breathtaking vibration-reducing engineering

Bosch sets the standard, and, with GOP40-30C, it’s not different.

Built for future, an accessory interface is like no other, and maximizes the surface area of contact between the accessory and the tool.

Greater contact area bolsters transfer of torque.

What’s even more unique is accessory changing, which relies on a no-touch system for attaching, removing or repositioning accessories.

To vibrate the accessory at a frequency of not more than 20,000-oscillations-per-minute, the motor is dependent upon a 4-ampere power from a 120-Volt mains source.

You can vary the frequency using a dial.

And the accessory’s side-to-side travel is wide, at an angle of 3-degrees. That means fast cuts but less stability and precision and more noise.

But Bosch is privy to that fact. It’s why they built a response circuitry to boost speed stability.

More than that, they strengthened the gearing system to increase durability, reduce vibration and optimize transmission of force.

This breathtaking engineering answers the question why you feel less of the effect of vibration at light weight of 3.3-lbs.

Other than being compact at length of 11-inches, the corded oscillating multi-tool has soft-grip-zones to enhance handling comfort.

You don’t need wrenches, bolts or screwdrivers to mount accessories, as the tool-less system, which is compatible with Starlock accessories, allows easy and quick replacement.

Oscillating Tools Safety

Safety entails using the oscillating multi-tool efficiently and preventing it from injuring you and undergoing wear and tear sooner than later.

Power tools come with instruction manuals, it’s important to read them before use.

Furthermore, multi-tools release lots of chips and dust, which can enter your eyes and lungs.

Exposing cordless batteries to excess heat can result to explosions, shorts, and electrolyte spill, which can burn your skin or enter your eye.

Worse still, electric shocks more so with corded multi-tools.

  • Wear protective clothing: closed shoes, dust mask, and earing protection.
  • Maximize performance by moving the multi-tool laterally, pressing it toward the front gently and uniformly.
  • Don’t perform plunge cuts in materials other than drywall and wood.
  • Make sure your work piece is free of screws, nails and suchlike. Ensure the affixed accessory is able to cut through them.
  • Press a sanding pad gently and uniformly when sanding. This would prevent premature wear and tear of the velcro. Less pressure equates to a better finish and, more importantly, efficient sanding.
  • Avoid using the sanding sheet you used for metal surfaces on others.
  • Choose a high vibration frequency when scraping, pressing the surface gently at a flat angle.

The Ultimate Guideline to Choosing the Best Oscillating Tools

Whether you want to remove grout, make plasterboard cutouts and undercut trim for installing flooring, you require an oscillating multi-tool.

But there are many awkward situations you can use your do-anything tool.

What makes an oscillating power tool versatile is the ability to change the accessory or blades to suit different purposes, including scraping, sanding, cutting, trimming, grinding, etc.

Depending on what you do with your tool, job demands are different.

Let’s take a look at what you need to consider before you select a jobsite tool for your budget and needs.

Budget

Since Fein’s patent expired slightly a decade ago and, consequently, loss of market monopoly. The entry of new players in the market has overseen a significant drop in prices.

Any serious do-it-yourselfer must have an oscillating multi-tool as a top priority, given its versatility.

Budget and price range shouldn’t be big issues, as you can find a decent oscillating tool at between $25 and $130.This price range is large.

Costlier tools tend to be more comfortable and convenient than lower-cost counterparts.

With higher-cost alternatives, you’ll find more advanced engineering to reduce noise and vibration and to improve precision and stability.

More than that, a tool-less accessory system comes at a greater cost, especially more so when the number of pieces is more.

Look out for tool-free systems that are compatible with all accessories, whether they be proprietary or competitor.

Moreover, a higher-cost tool is built to last, but if you perform DIY projects occasionally, a lower-cost model will make do.

Choice between Cordless and Corded

If you perform a very demanding job, like grout removal, which requires uninterrupted power supply, a corded oscillating multi-tool is a great go-to choice.

Battery power runs out quickly with most lasting between 10- and 45-minutes.

Some manufactures like Makita compensate for this downside by reducing time of battery charging, so you avoid wasting time waiting for charging to complete.

More than that, most cordless tools aren’t built to last, and battery life is only a few years.

They are meant for short-term do-it-yourself jobs that take some few hours or half a day to finish.

For a full-time professional, a cordless multi-tool can be quite disappointing, as you’ve little time to accomplish more.

And the good thing about a corded counterpart is that it’s long-lasting.

Accessory Oscillating Angle

Higher oscillating angles mean wider lateral travel of the accessory vibrating under the influence of a motor.

While higher power means a more powerful motor, you should give higher priority to an oscillating angle.

Power is inconsequential, because higher-ampere-rated tools, just lower-rated models, stall when you press them hard while sanding or cutting.

With a wider lateral travel, cuts complete faster, but vibration and noise can increase, reducing stability and precision.

Fortunately, there are engineering marvels to reduce noise and vibration, even for the most aggressive, but these features usually come at a greater cost.

Search for Unique Features

Bosch and Fein seem to set bars for the industry. And so, their power tools are like no other.

What sets Fein apart from competition is the in-depth knowledge of the industry; they’ve existed long enough; in fact, much longer than all industry players, as they enjoyed an uninterrupted almost-four-decade long monopoly.

For example, Fein designed FMM350QSL Multi Master specifically for sanding.

Coming with options for grit size and two plates, one of which has perforations, the oscillating multi-tool is meant for a serious professional who know what s/he wants.

Bosch is also a trailblazer in its own respect, building accessory interfaces that maximize torque transmission.

But for outstanding vibration- and noise-reducing engineering, we give it up to Makita.

Porter-Cable and DeWalt provide you depth-limiting roller guide.

Content of the Accessory Storage Box

Accessories are costly to replace, and, unfortunately, wear out more often. Each accessory or piece can cost anywhere between $6 and $30.

Chances are you’d spend more money replacing accessories than buying the multi-tool.

Some manufacturers are generous to include more number of pieces to cushion your budget.

However, accessory number is inconsequential, as blades aren’t built to last. So, you’ll have to foot the bill of replacing them, anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s an Oscillating Multi-tool?

Also known as an oscillating multi-cutter, the tool uses a motor drawing power from either a battery or a 120-Volt mains supply whose vibration influences the side-to-side swinging (oscillation) of the accessory attached to it.

The vibrating accessory makes arcs at a slightly flat angle as it slices through materials, whether they be grouts, drywall, fiberglass, adhesives, door-jambs, nails, pipes, bolts, glue, caulk, etc.

Clearly, a multi-tool has a wide range of uses, as you simply change blades to suit different purposes, whether it be cutting, scraping, sanding, trimming, etc.

This versatility enables the tool to penetrate unreachable angles and spaces.

What Accessories Should I buy for my Tool?

Accessories are very important, and the range of accessories for different jobs, whether cutting, scraping, trimming, removing grout, sanding, sawing, etc., is widening.

Most multi-tools comes with storage box with a range of accessories. Some tool-free systems are compatible with all accessories.

The bottom line is this, pair your multi-cutter with the correct accessory to make the most out of it.

Is Price Really a Big Issue Given that it has Been Dropping?

Price remains a big issue – not the price of buying the multi-tool, but the price of replacing the accessory. Apparently, this is where the manufactures make loads of money.

Unfortunately, accessories aren’t built to last, and the makers do so intentionally. For a heavy user, you’ve no choice but to meet the cost of replacing blades frequently.

Conclusion

Best oscillating tools are ones that meet your need and budget.

For slightly over a decade, however, prices have been dropping, as competition tightens and new disruptive players enter the market.

As a result, price range is huge. In a market with plenty of features and models, you can feel confused and overwhelmed.

Why’s is that the case?

There’s a slight difference in performance between higher- and lower-amp-rated tools.

Therefore, power shouldn’t be your basis for choosing an oscillating multi-tool. What matters is an angle of swinging of the accessory, as it determines the speed of cutting.

The greater the angle, the wider the lateral travel and the higher the speed.

However, stability and precision decrease while noise increases.

Higher-cost models have outstanding engineering to reduce noise and vibration and improve stability and precision.

If you’re a serious do-it-yourselfer, consider buying higher-cost models.

And don’t forget to select a model with a tool-free system that is compatible with both proprietary and competitor accessories.

Don’t worry about the number of pieces, as it is inconsequential, given the high cost of accessory replacement.

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Abraham
 

This is Abraham. Professional power tools mechanic with years of experience. Writing is my hobby. So I decide to share my experience with people by writing about all types of power tools review and buyers guide that I'm using.

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