Best Oscillating Tools: Complete Nearly any Home Repair Job
Tackle nearly any job with these powerful and high-quality oscillating tools
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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
- 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.