When working on odd jobs around the house, quite often you find yourself needing a variety of small tools to accomplish different tasks. Of course, it is a pain to have to drag out all of those different tools for each job–not to mention expensive. An alternative is to use an oscillating tool, otherwise known as a multitool, to accomplish a wide variety of tasks that would require numerous other individual tools to do. Unfortunately, that leaves you needing to know which oscillating tool is right for you. That is why we have put together a Buyer’s Guide and a list of 10 best oscillating tool reviews.
Best Oscillating Tools Buyer’s Guide
This is easily one of the most important qualities to consider when selecting an oscillating tool primarily because it will greatly impact what types of projects the power tool can perform and how well it can perform them. While this will not necessarily determine how “good” the oscillating tool is–especially if complementary features are not appropriately tuned–it does often impact the floor and the ceiling in terms of versatility.
The power of oscillating tools is rated primarily in amps, though there are a few underpowered oscillating tools that opt to use the more impressive looking watts. While many power tools follow a common trend of “more is better” in regards to power, oscillating tools are designed to be used for more precise work which means a powerful oscillating tool will need just as well developed of stabilization technology to maintain that precision.
Similarly to the total amount of power the oscillating tool can use, the way in which it receives that power will similarly set defining parameters–though it will not necessarily define how well the tool works within its intended range. In this instance, there are two different ways in which an oscillating tool can be powered: corded or cordless. It is worth noting that due to the size of the tool, the precision of the intended purpose, and average total power used, most oscillating tools will be cordless.
The primary advantage of a cordless power tool–whether an oscillating tool or not–is fairly obvious, with mobility dominating. What is not so obvious are the reasons in which you might actually prefer a corded oscillating tool. In this case, the power provided by an outlet is far more consistent and generally with a larger draw than the power provided by a battery. Though oscillating tools generally do not need to have 15 amp draws, the ability to handle larger amounts of energy and the delivery to remain consistent throughout allows the motor to generate more torque and potentially use the energy more efficiently for greater precision.
Why Use an Oscillating Tool?
One of the best things about oscillating tools is that they are inherently designed in a way that their functionality is often limited by the imagination of attachments. That said, oscillating tools operate on a principle of rapid movements being able to slowly grind away at a substance. The grinding action can be used for a wide range of functions–some of which, like “polishing,” would not even be considered destructive. Oscillating tools also have the advantage of being used for a wide variety of materials ranging from metals to woods to plastics and even stone with the right attachments.
How to Use an Oscillating Tool
Oscillating tools are generally run by either a trigger or a slide switch with many models of one type including a proprietary feature to allow it to run similarly to the other type. For instance, a trigger oscillating tool will often have a lock, while a sliding switch might require constant pressure unless a lock is engaged. It is important to remember that each attachment will have a slightly different technique of use and some of them will vary greatly. All cutting attachments will use a more similar technique to one another than they will to a sanding attachment, but all of their techniques will still be different from one another.
Best Practices of Using an Oscillating Tool
Make sure to follow all general safety measures when using an oscillating tool, but especially be careful with clothing–making sure that they are not loose-fitting–and eye protection by always wearing eyewear when using an oscillating tool. In terms of actually manipulating the tool, always use 2 hands when you can, and never make a cut from a position without leverage–otherwise the material could potentially kick the attachment out with enough force that it hits you. Due to the need for precision, oscillating tools more than many require a clear line of sight–including from the dust the oscillating tool will create.
Best Oscillating Tools Reviews
The Dremel VC60-01 is easily one of the best products within this category and Dremel itself has more or less set the standard for oscillating tools and other types of power multitools. As such, it should come as little surprise to see that Dremel puts out one of the most powerful oscillating tools that we came across with an impressive 7.0 amp motor. That is around twice the power that you get from the market average which hovers between 3 to 4 amps.
Even better, the Dremel VC60-01 ensures that you are provided the same kind of precision and control that you expect from their tools–even if they also have the most powerful tool in the category. To this end, the Dremel VC60-01 comes with 2 different modes: precision and hyper, providing different approaches for different types of projects. The motor’s drive system has also been improved to increase the available torque for cutting through soft materials as well as the top RPMs for cutting through hard ones.
- Has 7.0 amps of power
- It has 2 different speeds
- Has 16000 max RPMs
- Uses proprietary accessories
In terms of overall capability, the Dremel MM40-05 has to be considered a step down from some of the top-tier models of this manufacturer. That said, Dremel does still provide its customary excellence in terms of machining and design and is able to produce an oscillating tool which outperforms many of its competitors within the “average” range of the market. Still, the Dremel does push even this category a little bit by using nearly 4 amps of power, providing the Dremel MM40-05 with more oomph than many other mid-tier oscillating tools.
Of course, the Dremel MM40-05 is generally seen as more of the “consumer-grade” model with most of the features designed to facilitate ease of use more than provide craftsman with precision tools. For instance, the Dremel MM40-05 is one of many to have a magnetized flange to make changing the attachments quicker and easier. The Dremel MM40-05 also features a Quick-Boost function that automatically increases the torque or RPMs in response to changes in the material.
- Has 3.8 amps of power
- Quick-Boost function
- Has Quick-Change flange
- Uses proprietary accessories
Genesis is a relatively new company that seeks to challenge BLACK+DECKER in the consumer-grade market on the basis of quality. In this regard, Genesis generally does pretty well providing superior consumer-grade power tools for similar or less cost. Unfortunately, the Genesis GMT15A cannot be said to fall into that same category as the pitiful 1.5 amp motor will severely limit its torque and versatility.
That said, the Genesis GMT15A does offer a maximum RPM of 21000 which does still make it ideal for certain uses. For instance, any of the grinding, sanding, or polishing functions of an oscillating tool will be performed extremely well by the Genesis GMT15A. On top of that, the Genesis GMT15A is made of durable materials–with the die-cast aluminum gear housing being the most important–and will not suffer from inconsistent power due to its corded type.
- Great maximum RPM
- Die-cast aluminum gear housing
- Has universal fittings
- An underpowered oscillating tool
DEWALT is one of the most well-known brands of power tools and has been one of the best-selling brands of professional-grade power tools in America for decades. That said, DEWALT was purchased by BLACK+DECKER and saw a decline in both their product quality and market share–though recently BLACK+DECKER has rectified this situation and positioned DEWALT as their professional-grade brand.
The DEWALT DWE315K is a decent oscillating power tool with enough power to get the job done at 3.0 amps but not so much that it sacrifices precision. This precision is further increased by the inclusion of a depth guide to help you control and line up your plunge cuts or plunge rips. Finally, to make sure that as many elements of human error as possible are removed, the DEWALT DWE315K comes with a bright LED light, so you always have a line of sight on your cut.
- Has an LED light
- Variable speed trigger
- Guide system
- Is a more expensive oscillating tool
Rockwell is a fairly new company that was founded primarily to compete with a stagnant PORTER-CABLE in the mid-tier tools market. In pretty much all cases, there is not really much of a competition as the Rockwell RK5151K is easily one of the best mid-tier oscillating tools that we reviewed with more power than you would expect and a versatility that is uncommon in the mid-tier market which generally focuses on providing a high-quality action for the common functions.
Instead, the Rockwell RK5151K offers a surprising 4.2 amps of power which makes it one of the more powerful oscillating tools that we saw. While it does not come with advanced internal stabilizers, it does provide an easy to use speed dial, so you can determine what speed is right for you–and with 19000 maximum RPMs, you should not have any difficulty with the overwhelming majority of hardwoods. The only issue is the HyperLock system which does actually offer customization but is not nearly as simple as Rockwell would lead you to believe.
- Has 4.2 amps of power
- Has 19000 max RPMS
- Variable speed dial
- Challenging attachment change
PORTER-CABLE has been around for a while, and the profile of their tools has changed very little since the founding: a no-frills power tool that can handle a full day’s load. In fact, this philosophy has been so consistent that PORTER-CABLE is arguably the only company purchased by BLACK+DECKER which did not see a subsequent decline in quality. This has led PORTER-CABLE to more or less control the mid-tier oscillating tool market for decades.
When it comes to the PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52, it seems the company is taking a completely different approach as this is actually the largest kit included with any of the products we reviewed. The fact that it is just slightly more expensive than the other products on our list shows how the company balances quality and cost. Sadly, the PORTER-CABLE PCE605K52 does not come with many functional features on the oscillating tool itself–though it is noted for being more durable than many other brands in general.
- Extensive kit included
- Has numerous guides
- Has universal fittings
- Few additional features
Rockwell RK5151K 4.2 Amp Sonicrafter F80 Oscillating Multi-Tool with Duotech Oscillation Angle Technology
The Rockwell RK5151K is a very popular choice on Amazon, with a very high rating over abundant reviews. The Duotech feature allows you to select the best angle for your project needs. There is a variable oscillating speed dial, allowing you to select the most appropriate speed between 10,000 and 19,000 oscillations per minute. These two features allow you to optimise your tool to perform perfectly for any type of job.
The powerful 4.2 Amp motor can take a lot of punishment and still deliver consistent performance. With the universal blade attachment head, you are not restricted to the own brand blades, allowing you to go for compatible tool heads from any of the major brands.
The Rockwell RK5151K gives great performance for the mid-range price, and really gives you value for money.
- Universal fit for tool heads
- Variable speed between 10000 – 19000 RPM
- Adjustable head operating angle
- No cordless option
While Dremel may have the best reputation in the oscillating tool market primarily because of their precision, Bosch takes that principle and applies it broadly to virtually every power tool they manufacture. What you end up with is a brand which consistently produces high-quality power tools regardless of their particular category or function. This trend continues with the Bosch GOP40-30C but is improved upon with the inclusion of a power level that is not at all common among Bosch products.
While the Bosch GOP40-30C is not the most powerful oscillating tool that we reviewed, 4.0 amps are definitely above average and put this squarely in the professional-grade category. To further capitalize on this boost in power, the Bosch GOP40-30C also provides a blistering 20000 maximum RPMs to cut through even the densest of hardwoods. Of course, with Bosch, the price you have to pay is a literal one as this is by far the most expensive oscillating tool we reviewed.
- 4.0 amps of power
- Has 20000 max RPMs
- StarLock mounting
- An expensive oscillating tool
BLACK+DECKER is arguably the most well-known brand of power tools on the planet and this has a great deal to do with the fact that BLACK+DECKER actually owns about half of the other companies on this list and uses them to fill particular niches. The BLACK+DECKER brand itself is a consumer-grade power tool brand that wins primarily by providing a functional power tool at the best price–which is far different than the best power tool at a reasonable price.
As such, BLACK+DECKER does not have a good track record when compared to other power tool brands, but they are best suited for consumers who may use the tool a handful of times per year. For these people, the BLACK+DECKER BD200MTB is a great option as they will likely get their money’s worth without worrying about whether or not it fails after a dozen uses. It is also decent for any of the grinding actions of an oscillating tool.
- An inexpensive oscillating tool
- Has 20000 max RPMs
- Variable speed dial
- Not that powerful
From a casual glance, it would seem as though the Fein MultiTalent was merely one more in a seemingly endless line of new manufacturers trying to capitalize on the quality vacuum in the consumer-grade power tool market left in the wake of BLACK+DECKER’s domination. In a number of respects, that is entirely true as the Fein MultiTalent only provide 2.5 amps of power–though that is actually pretty good for a consumer-grade model. Still, the Fein distinguishes itself in other ways too.
The most important of these improvements are the materials used in the construction of various components. It is fairly common for consumer-grade power tool manufacturers to add a number of easy features and ignore the costs of a better-constructed product. As such, consumer-grade power tools have a tendency not to be that durable. The Fein MultiTalent bucks this trend by using high-quality steel for their gearbox as well as their ball bearings and needle bearings.
- Has StarLock mounting
- 20000 max RPMs
- High-quality components
- Not that powerful