LAST UPDATED: October 8, 2019
Best Oscillating Tools: Complete Nearly any Home Repair Job
Tackle nearly any job with these powerful and high-quality oscillating tools
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 8, 2019
An oscillating tool, also known as a multi-tool, can do almost anything you can think of when it comes to handiwork. It can cut, slice, polish, grind, sand, and saw. That makes it one of the most important tools you can have in the toolbox. So, we put together a list of some of the best oscillating tools to consider when thinking about your next home improvement job.
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Benefits of Oscillating Tools
- Versatility. The main benefit of an oscillating tool is the overall versatility it provides. With it, you can trim, cut, scrape, sand, clean, and much more. From removing paint, old grout, and mortar to trimming bolts and undercutting door jambs, an oscillating tool is the ideal product for the job.
- Efficiency. Such a versatile tool like this adds efficiency to your work, allowing you to tackle different projects quickly and effortlessly. An oscillating tool vibrates the blade over a narrow arc, which means it doesn't scatter dust like other saws and rotary tools. Without the need to clean the surrounding areas, you'll speed up every process and get the job done in a breeze.
- Ease of use. With an oscillating tool, you can get multiple projects done without much effort. All you need to do is to switch between different accessories. Pick the right one, and you'll be cutting through wood, metal, drywall, mortar, fiberglass, and plastic in no time.
- Budget-friendly. Another great thing about this tool is the fact it will save you quite some money in the long run. With an oscillating tool, you don't have to switch between different tools for each task. This one will work as a saw, power sander, angle grinder, and much more, relieving you from the need to buy a wide range of tools for your projects.
Types of Oscillating Tools
These are efficient tools with a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet. Because they draw power directly from the outlet, they prove to be very powerful and ideal for demanding projects. Still, they are not recommended where the electrical outlet is far away from the job or not available at all. Although without a battery and therefore, quite lightweight, these tools restrict mobility due to the built-in cord.
Cordless oscillating tools are very convenient because they are battery-powered and therefore, very portable. These are incredibly easy to use and don't require electrical outlets. That gives you more freedom and mobility when working on projects. However, cordless tools have heavy batteries and require frequent recharges. The battery might drain out in the middle of the job, or you could forget to recharge it before needing to use it.
Black+Decker is a leading manufacturer of power tools, accessories, hardware, and other similar products. It all started in Baltimore in 1910 when Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker launched a machine shop. The small business quickly developed in a large company. Today, Black+Decker is one of the first choices when it comes to professional and DIY tools and accessories. The BLACK+DECKER Oscillating Multi-Tool is one of the company's tools that offer incredible value at a reasonable price.
DeWalt is located in Towson, Maryland, and was founded back in 1924. The company produces all kinds of power tools, hand tools, and accessories, and all of them are suitable for construction and home purposes. With such a long tradition and high-quality products, DeWalt earned a special place in the industry, and it proves to be highly favored among customers. When it comes to oscillating tools, we find the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Oscillating Tool Kit is one of the top choices.
Founded in 2005, Rockwell is a tool company with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brand offers all kinds of power and hand tools, meeting the needs of both professionals and DIYers. Rockwell provides high-quality tools at affordable prices, which is why it's one of the most popular companies within the category. The Rockwell Amp Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-Tool is one such tool, and it made it to the top of our list.
Oscillating Tools Pricing
- $30-$70: Budget-friendly oscillating tools are very convenient for light tasks around the house. They don't offer much power and speed but are still quite efficient and reliable.
- $70-$150: For some extra cash, you can get powerful tools that can tackle both light and demanding jobs. Oscillating tools at this price range offer higher speed and more accessories for working on different projects.
- $150 and up: More expensive oscillating tools have much to offer to handypersons and professionals. These come with a wide range of blades, carrying cases, and other accessories. They are highly protected from damage and prove to be very powerful.
The first thing to consider before the purchase is the overall power of the tool. Depending on the power, an oscillating tool will be able to cut through thinner or thicker materials. For corded tools, check out the amperage as it stands for the current the tool draws from the outlet. A tool with 3A should be powerful enough to tackle most home projects. When it comes to cordless tools, it's essential to look for the voltage of the battery. A tool that has 18V or more should be powerful enough for most daily tasks.
Along with power, it's crucial to consider the speed of a particular tool. The speed is measured in OPM, which stands for oscillations per minute. The higher the number of OPM, the higher the cutting speed. Now, how much OPM you need mostly depends on the application. Some materials require lower speeds, especially when you're cutting or sanding them, while others need to be shaped and cut at high speeds.
Oscillating tools are rather versatile, but you still need to pick the right accessories for your line of work. First things first, it's crucial to check the tool's compatibility with accessories from other brands. You want to make sure you can easily get the necessary parts.
Now, if your tool doesn't come with extra parts, you might want to order a few accessories right away. Depending on your projects, consider whether you need wood-cutting blades, bi-metal blades, circular HSS blades, scraper knives, grinder blades, sanding pads, or something else entirely.
- Control. Another crucial thing to consider is the control you'll have over the tool. You want to be able to adjust the speed at which the tool oscillates. That will allow for more efficiency and better finishing results. A tool with a variable-speed trigger will allow you to choose a cutting speed according to your project, so you might want to look for this feature.
- Ergonomic design. When the tool is ergonomically designed, it can save you a lot of time on the job site and prevent fatigue on extended use. Therefore, look for tools that allow for easy blade changing and trigger locks for more safety. Ergonomic grips are also a must-have if you're planning to use the tool for long time periods.
- Durability. The overall construction of the tool is of great importance too. An oscillating tool should have sturdy and durable materials that can withstand heavy daily abuse. When the housing is protected from impacts, water, and other threats, the tool will certainly last for longer.
Best Oscillating Tools Reviews & Recommendations 2020
DeWalt offers a cordless oscillating tool with a 2.0 Ah battery and 20V. It's a universal tool you can connect to the accessories of most other major brands. With it, you'll be able to tackle most jobs around the house as well as some professional projects.
The tool comes with a quick-charge system that allows for quick accessory replacements. You can connect and disconnect the blades with ease and without any tools. Even better, it comes with 28 accessories for cutting, sanding, and sawing.
When it comes to the overall performance, the brushless motor is powerful and efficient, allowing for a high operating speed. You even have an option to use a variable-speed trigger to control the tool and adjust the speed according to each project. Additionally, the tool is compact, easy to carry, and comes with a convenient storage bag.
The tool is not without drawbacks, though. First, the guide system is not well-designed. Almost all buyers had some issues with it, especially with the fastening screw. The tiny part is flimsy and comes loose quite easily. Another drawback comes from the short battery life. You'll probably need to recharge the unit every 20 minutes or so. Also, the tool is quite loud, so earplugs are recommended.
If you're looking for an inexpensive oscillating tool for light tasks and projects, this model might be an excellent option for you. Black+Decker offers a tool with a 2.5-amp motor and six speed settings. You can adjust its speed range between 10,000 to 20,000 OPM to suit your applications. Thanks to the included 13 accessories, you can also switch between them according to your needs and work on different projects.
Overall, the tool is pretty accurate and efficient. It allows for quick accessory changes and excellent control over the process. You can adjust it according to each particular project and get the job done quickly and effortlessly. Additionally, thanks to the comfortable grips, you'll also enjoy working with the tool.
However, keep in mind that this is an inexpensive alternative. The tool might lack some extra features found on expensive oscillating tools. For example, the tool sometimes might feel a little awkward in hand, especially on extended use. Also, the unit is very loud, so you might want to get earplugs just in case.
The Rockwell oscillating tool features a powerful 4.2-amp motor that can tackle most DIY and professional projects. You'll be able to handle heavy loads and sturdy materials, changing the operating speed between 10,000 and 19,000 OPM. Thanks to the variable-speed trigger, this is a simple and quick operation for more convenience at the job site.
The corded tool features a metal and wood setting for more power and precision when necessary. It also has a hyper lock holding system, allowing you to secure each blade. Overall, the tool is powerful, efficient, and safe for use. It also comes with nine extra accessories for cutting, sanding, sawing, and more. There's even a toolbox you can use for transportation and storage.
The main drawback of this tool is the design of the locking mechanism. Although sturdy and powerful, it's difficult to put in motion. The tool is also loud and comes with a weak LED light that's unable to illuminate the working area. When the light is on, you'll only be able to tell whether the tool is on or not.
Porter-Cable is a reliable company that never fails to deliver high-quality tools. This time, we have a powerful oscillating tool with a 3-amp motor and some features to help get your projects done in a breeze. Thanks to the convenient and ergonomic design, the tool proves to be favored by customers and one of the best choices on the market.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool offers high power and speed, allowing you to work on materials of different thicknesses. It comes with a quick-change system for easy accessory replacement and offers simple adjustments for more control. The unit also has a 10-foot cord for reaching further in the working area and comes with 52 accessories. With all those different parts, you can cut, scrape, sand, and much more.
However, the tool is rather heavy. Although an ergonomic design compensates for the weight, the tool still might be too heavy for some users. Another thing that might bother you with the unit is the design of the spring that releases the accessories. It's rather stiff and tricky to press, so you might have to use both hands each time you want to replace the blade.
Makita offers an 18V cordless oscillating tool with a lithium-ion battery that can continuously run for quite some time. It's a reasonably-priced unit you can use for most light and medium demanding jobs. Thanks to the variable speed control dial, you can switch between 6,000 and 20,000 OPM and adjust the unit according to your application.
With the 3.2-degree oscillation angle, the tool cuts and sands quickly and effortlessly. Overall, it's rather efficient and reliable. The on/off slide switch has a lock-on button for easier operation and the tool-free clamp system allows for easy accessory changes. Additionally, the tool has a soft start feature and proves to be rather compact and portable. Buyers find it rather convenient for cutting through wood, tiles, PVC, and many other materials.
However, the tool doesn't have a LED light on the front. That might reduce your visibility in dark conditions, so consider this before purchase. Another issue comes from the position of the quick-release mechanism. It's in the front and influences the overall clearance of the tool. Because of the mechanism, you might lose depth of your cut and have less than perfect finishing results.
Here’s another product from reliable Porter-Cable, and this time it's a budget-friendly oscillating tool suitable for home purposes. The tool offers 20V and operates on a lithium-ion battery. Additionally, it comes with 11 different pieces to help you cut, sand, and saw through all kinds of materials.
The unit features a tool-free system for adjusting and changing accessories. It also has a built-in LED light for more visibility in the working area. When it comes to the overall operation, the tool is quite powerful and allows for speed adjustments. A variable-speed dial goes between 8,000 and 18,000 OPM, so you can set the numbers according to each particular project. Furthermore, the tool features a three-position handle for more comfort and convenience with extended use.
Still, don't forget this is a budget-friendly tool. It's mostly suitable for light jobs and projects, and you'll have to be careful with it. When working with it for extended periods, make sure to let the tool cool down between projects so it doesn't overheat. Also, the spring that holds the blade is stiff and might be difficult to press. You might need to use extra effort to squeeze the blade holder and insert the accessory at the same time.
If you're looking for a highly efficient and reliable tool, this one from Bosch might be a perfect choice. The company offers a 4.0-amp oscillating saw suitable for contractors as well as DIYers. It's a powerful and convenient tool that will let you cut, grind, remove grout and paint, and much more.
The Bosch tool offers high precision and incredible finishing results. With it, you'll work on different materials with excellent accuracy and ultimate control. Thanks to the 20,000 OPM, the tool provides outstanding performance during every project, whether light or heavy-duty. Even better, you get to adjust the speed using a variable-speed dial. All in all, the Bosch oscillating saw is handy, reliable, and easy to use. It's also compact and highly portable, so you won't feel fatigued with extended use.
The main thing to keep in mind with this product is the price. The tool is rather expensive, especially considering it requires special blades. The unique mounting system doesn't allow for using accessories from other brands. Also, the accessory-change system is quite stiff. You might need to put in some extra effort to switch between blades.
Here’s another oscillating tool from Rockwell. This one offers a 4.0-amp motor that has quite some powerful output and ability to tackle heavy-duty jobs. With this tool, you'll be able to work on different projects and cut, grind, saw, and sand through all kinds of materials.
The model offers five degrees of oscillation, which means it's not only powerful, but fast as well. You can use a hyper lock blade change system to switch between blades in a breeze. The system also prevents slipping during use and makes the tool safer and more efficient.
The thing that buyers also love about this tool is the variable-speed dial. It allows for more precision because it switches from 11,000 to 20,000 OPM. Also, the tool doesn't vibrate and ensures a secure grip. It accepts blades of most other brands, so you shouldn't have an issue there.
The thing that might bother you with this unit is the location of the exhaust ports. They are placed where you have to hold the tool, which is quite inconvenient. Therefore, the tool might warm up rather quickly. It also might be loud on high settings. Lastly, the included bag is flimsy and might break easily.
Craftsman offers a 20V oscillating tool you can use for a wide range of applications. The package includes not only a tool, but also 12 accessories, a storage bag, and several other attachments. That means you can use the Craftsman tool straight from the box and work on multiple projects right away.
This cordless model comes with a variable speed trigger you can use to switch from 8,000 to 18,000 OPM, according to your needs. The tool-free universal attachment system makes changing accessories quick and easy, and the built-in LED light ensures more visibility. Additionally, the handle of the tool is contoured for more comfort during use. All in all, this Craftsman oscillating tool is rather convenient for light to medium jobs and is quite efficient.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to this tool. First, the unit is rather loud at the high oscillation settings, so you might need to use earplugs. Second, the tool might be a little bulky and difficult to carry with one hand. Lastly, the LED light is somewhat weak, and it doesn't illuminate the work area very well.
- Make sure you wear protective earplugs when operating the oscillating tool to prevent any damage to your ears. You should also consider wearing protective eyewear to avoid any sawdust, sand, or debris from getting in your eyes.
- Always wear a thick pair of gloves when operating the tool as well. They will ensure your hands don’t get injured and prevent them from getting calluses.
- Use extreme caution when handling an oscillating tool. Always cut, saw, or sand away from you to avoid potentially hurting yourself.
Q: What can an oscillating tool do?
A: As a multi-tool, the device is capable of performing nearly any home improvement task you can set your mind to. Its many functions allow you to punch holes in drywall, slice grout, grind mortar, cut through door trim, and grind and trim down almost any material.
Q: How long does the battery last on an oscillating tool?
A: This will vary and depend on what device and brand you get. Generally, they tend to last around 20 to 30 minutes on a charge. However, more difficult jobs can drain the battery more quickly.
Q: Will I need to buy extra accessories or will the included ones last a lifetime?
A: While there are certain accessories that will not wear down with use, the majority of extra tools eventually will. For example, sandpaper and grinder additions will get weaker over time, so you will need to buy more of those. While blades tend to last longer, they can still bend and chip while operating the tool.
For a powerful oscillating tool with plenty of extra accessories, check out the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Oscillating Tool Kit.
The BLACK+DECKER Oscillating Multi-Tool is also a tough tool at a cheaper price.