Last updated on March 5, 2021 by qualified builder Aaron Barnett
A Multi-tool or an osculating tool saves a lot of time and frustration for DIY and building work. The best osculating tool is cordless for convenience, brushless, variable speed for different sanding, and cutting jobs, and is compatible with cheaper aftermarket attachments.
Consider Dewalt and Makita for a cordless option, or a corded Dremel if you want more power.
#3 Best Milwaukee cordless oscillating tool
Milwaukee M12 2426-22 12 pcs, 5,000 to 20,000 opm, 12V cordless oscillating multi-tool kit
#4 Most powerful cordless Bosch multi-tool
Bosch GOP18V-28N, 32 pcs, 8,000 to 20,000 opm, 18V cordless oscillating multi-tool kit
Best corded oscillating multi-tool
#3 Best electric Makita multi-tool
Makita TM3010CX1 16 pcs, 6,000 to 20,000 opm, 3 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#4 The Fein multi-tool
Fein Multimaster FEIN FMM350QSL 8 pcs, 10,000 to 19,500 opm, 350 watts oscillating multi-tool kit
#5 Best DIY multi-tool cutter
Bosch GOP55-36B 40 pcs, up to 20,000 opm, 5.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#6 Another Bosch electric oscillating tool
Bosch GOP40-30C 32 pcs, up to 20,000 opm, 4 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#7 Another Fein oscillating multi-tool
Fein MultiTalent 11 pcs, 11,000 to 20,000 opm, 250 watts, oscillating multi-tool kit
#8 The Dremel precision corded multi-tool
Dremel Multi-Max MM35-01 12 pcs,10,000 to 21,000 opm, 3.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#9 A DIY tool-free bladed system
Rockwell RK5151K Sonicrafter F80 10 pcs, 10,000 to 19,000 opm, 4.2 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#10 One with lots of accessories
Rockwell RK5132K Sonicrafter F30 33 pcs, 11,000 to 20,000 opm, 3.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#11 Another multi-tool for DIY
Porter Cable PCE606K 11 pcs, 10,000 to 22,000 opm, 3 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#12 An affordable comprehensive corded kit
Porter Cable PCE605K52 52 pcs, 10,000 to 22,000 opm, 3 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#13 The Best Black + Decker oscillating tool
Black + Decker BD200MTB 16 pcs, 10,000 to 20,000 opm, 2.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#14 Vibration-free DIY oscillating tool
Rockwell RK5142K Sonicrafter F50 32 pcs, 11,000 to 20,000 opm, 4 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#15 Oscillating tool for beginners
Enertwist ET-OM-500 31 pcs, 8,000 to 16,000 opm, 4.2 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#16 Fastest corded oscillating tool
GALAX PRO GP86225 40 pcs, 11,000 to 21,000 opm, 2.4 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#17 Homeowner corded oscillating tool
Genesis GMT25T 17 pcs, 15,000 to 22,000 opm, 2.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#18 The Erebus corded multi-tool
Erebus 86221 11 pcs, 0-22,000 opm, 1.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#19 Best corded oscillating tool for detail sanding
Genesis GMT15A 19 pcs, 21,000 opm, 1.5 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
#20 Best lightweight corded oscillating tool
Worksite DMT123 11 pcs, up to 23,000 opm, 1.6 amp oscillating multi-tool kit
When the woodcutting industry boomed, Fein decided to improve on the concept of the plaster tool and produced the 1st line of oscillating power-tools for builders and DIY’ers, and man can it save some time doing awkward cuts.
Since then, modern oscillating tools have evolved, drawing-in those who are part of the skilled and unskilled market alike, offering convenience, efficiency, and versatility.
Homeowners, DIY-ers, professionals, and even amateurs can all attest to the viability and utility of these essentially must-have power-tools. With competition rife, we’ve created a guide to help you identify your ideal oscillator.
Features to consider when buying oscillating multi-tool
Reasons to buy an oscillating multi-tool
Before you buy an oscillating multi-tool
Know your brands.
There are a lot of names in the power-tools industry and knowing which are among the top brands will not only save you valuable resources but also the time should you consider purchasing another product from them in the future.
Some of the well-known brands that offer superior-quality products are Makita, DeWalt, and Milwaukee. While there are affordable tools in their catalog, their premium products are guaranteed to serve and last you a lifetime.
Check the durability.
Durability will depend on work and frequency of use. Generally, corded variants are relatively sturdier than their cordless counterparts, and are built to withstand more demanding work.
This isn’t to say that cordless models are not durable – while there are certain models that can compete with the longevity of corded variants, cordless oscillating tools are designed for more mobile use and are very handy as a standalone.
Tools like the Ryobi P340 One+ may not have a lot of accessories on their own, but the fact that it is cross-compatible with most accessories from other brands evens this out.
For one who enjoys more versatility, checking for cross-compatibility definitely helps and saves time on preparation and/or replacement.
Think about the price.
Price is always a big factor to consider before making a purchase. Unless under extreme budget constraints, always go for the more expensive models pound-for-pound.
While the initial cost appears heavy, the durability that should be commensurate with the amount will save you tons in terms of repairs and parts-replacements in the future.
Cordless vs. Corded oscillating tool
Fundamentally, there is very little difference in terms of functionality and operation between corded and cordless oscillating tools. Corded variants are more powerful, given that they need power sources and support larger motors.
Corded oscillating tools are also designed for more heavy-duty applications and can handle tougher, thicker material, including but not limited to metal and grade-A ceramics.
Newer models of cordless oscillators are slowly catching up to the performance and reliability of corded ones, slightly closing the gap between them. This doesn’t mean that they’ll be totally better but does give off the idea that they are at least becoming more viable.
No type of tool is completely more dominant than the other. Corded and cordless variants both have their advantages and disadvantages. It all boils down to reason.
Based on what you’ll use them for and how, either might be the better choice; for regular clients within the residential areas, you can opt to get a corded tool. Otherwise, if you service multiple small tricky jobs a day and are mostly out and about, then a cordless one might serve you better.
8 Functions of an oscillating tool
An oscillating tool is highly versatile and benefits from an assortment of accessories. Some of its other functions include:
Best attachments for your oscillating tool
The Allen Wrench is already a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to screws and bolts. This attachment transforms your oscillator into a power-wrench, allowing you to work with bigger fasteners.
3 to 4 types of blades
If you want to achieve real versatility, then the best attachments are multiple blade types. Cut, grind, trim, or remove grout by equipping the necessary blade to achieve professional results. You want fine-toothed blades for cutting metal and nails behind weatherboards and slightly bigger toothed blades for cutting wood.
If you have many sanding projects or want to smooth out tight spaces for a better-looking finish, then a sanding pad makes for the best attachment. It makes the tool especially useful for sanding narrow edges.
These attachments are almost corequisite with the sanding pad. Sanding sheets give you additional grit levels and offer a better quality finish and more materials to be able to work with.
If you’re more into material removal, renovations, and retouching interiors, then the scraper is your best bet. This attachment allows you to easily remove caulk, dried glue, and paint from non-damage surfaces.
Choosing the top oscillating tool
#1 Best value cordless oscillating multi-tool
The DeWalt DCS356D1 tops the cordless list due to its balanced combination of price, performance, and utility. With around 30 included accessories, versatility and scope are no problem for the DeWalt. It can easily take on a range of tasks with surprising ease and efficiency, thanks to its 3-speed selector, while maintaining ease-of-use given the fact that it weighs only around 2.33lbs.
At less than $200.00 and with a brushless motor that allows it to operate up to 57% longer, coupled with the fact that it’s cross-compatible with accessories from other brands, cements this tool’s rank as #1.
#1 Best Makita cordless oscillating tool
If you’re looking into the best buy from Makita oscillating tools in the cordless category, Makita XMT035 wins best-value in the same category simply because of how cost-effective its kit is. It comes with a measly amount of accessories, but more than makes up for it with its variable speed control dial that allows users to work with a rate anywhere from 6,000 to 20,000 OPM.
Work fast and clean by utilizing its 3.2-degree oscillation angle and ignore tiring, despite being heavier at 4.9lbs (with battery), with its small-diameter barrel grip.
#1 Most low-cost cordless multi-tool
A decent tool with a more-than-acceptable price tag, the Skil PWR Core 20 adequately meets a DIY’ers needs. It’s a wide assortment of accessories that allow you to take it on a wide range of jobs from trimming to cutting while doing away with operational worries thanks to its PWR core 2.0 lithium battery.
The Skil works well with most light materials like wood and plaster and is ideal mainly for small-scale jobs and regular use.
#1 Best corded oscillating tool for the most power
Hands down, the best corded oscillating tool, across all factors, is the Dremel MM50-01. Dremel’s unique design nearly eliminates vibration and focuses on control. Its powerful 5-amp motor, along with its compact head design, allows it to reach tight spaces and offers some herculean performance at a variable speed that’s from 10,000 to 21,000 OPM.
As if its sheer power and engineering weren’t already enough, this Dremel oscillating tool comes with 30 included accessories, giving you access to a multitude of applications from home modifications to shop repairs. The biggest downside to this tool, however, is blade replacement – they are expensive and hard to come by. Other than that, it’s a spectacular tool.
#1 Best value corded oscillating tool
The Makita TM3010CX1 is ideal for all-around use and is evenly squared around all specifications in terms of performance, convenience, and price. It’s not the strongest, but the 3-amp motor is more than powerful enough to push through tiles and walling effortlessly.
The variable speed dial and electronic speed control on this Makita oscillating tool means you can expect fluid use without worrying about a gradual speed increase or fall-off. Complemented with a decent loadout of attachments, this tool makes for a lasting, everyday staple for your cutting and sanding needs.
#1 Most affordable corded multi-tool
When we talk about affordability, you can’t deny that the Porter Cable PCE605K52 is the top contender. With a budget-friendly price tag and a mind-boggling 52-piece accessory assortment, you definitely get a bang for your buck.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool is no less capable despite its low cost; a 3-amp motor is more than sufficient power to allow you to work fast and clean and a tool-free system allows for quick and easy blade changes to fit specific applications.
When to use an oscillating tool?
You can use an oscillating tool for cutting, especially if done going forward. You can cut into existing trims and checkouts where other saws wouldn’t normally fit.
The other alternative for cutting metal with nearly the same reach is with a pair of tin snips.However, it cannot get into tight spots as a multi-tool can.
For narrower pieces with tight corners, an oscillating tool doubles as the ideal sander. Smoothen outdoor edges and wooden trusses easily or even at an angle where other conventional sanders would find it difficult.
Use an oscillating tool to dismantle old weatherboards while keeping them intact – cut up the nails from behind.
For heavier cutting tasks and wide variations of wood, plastic, and masonry materials, check out this list of circular saws .
How to change attachments?
By traditional means, you usually change blade attachments by loosening a bolt that fastens an accessory adapter with an Allen wrench.
Once the bolt is off, insert the new attachment and then re-fasten the bolt; make sure it is held firmly and that all connection points are correctly in place, some models have a quick-release feature that can save a lot of time.
Changing sanding sheets requires you to 1st attach a sanding pad. Attaching a sanding pad works similarly to how you attach blades. The flat surface of the pad is called a Platen and it’s where the sanding sheet attaches to.
Align the sheets with the platen then firmly press into place, allowing the sheet’s adhesive to bond.
An oscillating tool doubles as a dedicated detail sander for tighter corners.
Tips for using an oscillating multi-tool
Comparing cordless oscillating tools
|DeWalt DCS356D1||Makita XMT035||Milwaukee M12 2426-22||Bosch GOP18V-28N||Metabo HPT CV18DBLQ5||Craftsman CMCE500B||Skil PWR Core 12||Ryobi P340 One+||Rockwell RK2701K Sonicrafter||Skil PWR Core 20|
Most powerful cordless
Top cordless Makita
|Weight:||2.33 lbs||4.9 lbs||1.63 lbs||2.7 lbs||3.49 lbs||3.8 lbs||4.13 lbs||2.5 lbs||1.35 lbs||4.23 lbs|
|Speed:||0-13,000/ 0-17,000/ 0-20,000 opm||6,000 to 20,000 opm||5,000 to 20,000 opm||8,000 to 20,000 opm||6,000 to 20,000 opm||8,000 to 18,000 opm||11,000 to 18,000 opm||20,000 opm||8,000 to 18,000 opm||11,000 to 17,000 opm|
|Accsessories Quantity||30 pcs||6 pcs||12 pcs||32 pcs||Na||14 pcs||40 pcs||12 pcs||11 pcs||30 pcs|
|Storage:||Accessory storage box & tool bag||Hard case||Storage bag||Accessory box||Na||Storage bag||None||None||Storage bag||None|
Comparing corded oscillating multi-tool
|Dremel MM50-01||DeWalt DWE315K with DWA4216||Makita TM3010CX1||Fein Multimaster FEIN FMM350QSL||Bosch GOP55-36B||Bosch GOP40-30C||Fein MultiTalent||Dremel Multi-Max MM35-01||Rockwell RK5151K Sonicrafter F80||Rockwell RK5132K Sonicrafter F30||Porter Cable PCE606K||Porter Cable PCE605K52||Black + Decker BD200MTB||Rockwell RK5142K Sonicrafter F50||Enertwist ET-OM-500||GALAX PRO GP86225|| Genesis GMT25T||Erebus 86221||Genesis GMT15A||Worksite DMT123|
|Verdict:||Most powerful corded||Best value corded||Most affordable corded|
|Weight:||4.99 lbs||3.1 lbs||3.5 lbs||3.09 lbs||3 lbs||3.3 lbs||3 lbs||3 lbs||4 lbs||2.9 lbs||4 lbs||3.7 lbs||4.5 lbs||3.3 lbs||3.5 lbs||5.44 lbs||3.2 lbs||2.1 lbs||2.8 lbs||2.31 lbs|
|Speed:||10,000 to 21,000 opm||0- 22,000 opm||6,000 to 20,000 opm||10,000 to 19,500 opm||up to 20,000 opm||up to 20,000 opm||11,000 to 20,000 opm||10,000 to 21,000 opm||10,000 to 19,000 opm||11,000 to 20,000 opm||10,000 to 22,000 opm||10,000 to 22,000 opm||10,000 to 20,000 opm||11,000 to 20,000 opm||8,000 to 16,000 opm||11,000 to 21,000 opm||15,000 to 22,000 opm||0-22,000 opm||21,000 opm||up to 23,000 opm|
|Power:||5 amp||3 amp||3 amp||2.9 amp||5.5 amp||4 amp||2 amp||3.5 amp||4.2 amp||3.5 amp||3 amp||3 amp||2.5 amp||4 amp||4.2 amp||2.4 amp||2.5 amp||1.5 amp||1.5 amp||1.6 amp|
|Accessories Quantity||30 pcs||34 pcs||16 pcs||8 pcs||40 pcs||32 pcs||11 pcs||12 pcs||10 pcs||33 pcs||11 pcs||52 pcs||16 pcs||32 pcs||31 pcs||40 pcs||17 pcs||11 pcs||19 pcs||11 pcs|
|Storage:||Storage bag||Accessory storage box & tool bag||Hard case||Hard case||Accessory box and hard case||Hard case||Storage bag||Storage bag||Hard case||Storage bag||Storage bag||Hard case||Storage bag||Storage bag||Storage bag||Storage bag||Accessory storage box||None||Accessory storage box||None|
The DeWalt DCS356D1 wins the best cordless oscillating tool. This DeWalt oscillating tool is light-weight, has a ton of accessories, and is efficient and easy to handle. The long battery and affordable price are welcomed bonuses.
The Makita XMT035 is a close second, and is the best value for a cordless oscillating tool, combining efficiency and prestige, with only slightly fewer included accessories.
The Skil PWR Core 20’s versatility and affordability make it a great entry-level choice for amateurs and DIY-ers at a low price point.
Heading on to the corded variants, the Dremel MM50-01 should be the top choice for those who are particular with raw power and maximum control.
The Makita TM3010CX1 is a good alternative to the Dremel as it’s commendable all around and benefits greatly from its electronic speed control.
Lastly, not only is the Porter-Cable PCE605K52 the most affordable corded oscillating tool, it’s the most affordable tool on this list period! Not to mention having the widest assortment of accessories.
These are but our recommendations, ultimately, what you choose is what ‘vibes’ with you the most, get it? What matters, in the end, is which tool fits your particular need and work ethic. If you’ve found this guide helpful and engaging then be sure to check out our recommendation on the best stud finders before you start cutting holes in your walls.
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