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A Toolstop Guide to Oscillating Multi Tools

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 1st Jan 2021

This Toolstop Guide tells you everything you need to know about oscillating multi tools. What are multi tools used for? which is the best oscillating multi tool?Multi cutters are a must have these days, be it at home or on the job. They can carry out an abundance of tasks with ease.

This Toolstop Guide tells you everything you need to know about oscillating multi tools. What are multi tools used for? which is the best oscillating multi tool?Multi cutters are a must have these days, be it at home or on the job. They can carry out an abundance of tasks with ease.

A Toolstop Guide to Oscillating Multi Tools

What is a Multi Tool?

The Oscillating Multi Tool was originally used in the medical profession as a way to remove plaster casts easily and without cutting or hurting the patient. Fein, manufacturers of the Multi Master, saw this as an opportinity and gained the rights to produce a power tool version in 1985.

In this Toolstop Buying Guide you’ll learn about oscillating multi-tools from:

  • Fein
  • Makita
  • Bosch
  • DeWALT

Feel free to jump to whichever manufacturer you’re most interested in!


What is a Multi Tool used for and why do I need one?

Multi cutters, or multitools, have been around for a few short years, now, but for many tradespeople they’re the proverbial “get out of jail free” card. It appears that for those jobs your “regular” professional power tools aren’t quite right for, a multi-cutter can come to your rescue.

The idea behind multi cutting tools is simple; create a tool that, via an oscillating head, can cut, grind, sand, scrape and more. The head oscillates (ie. moves from side to side, but not in a circular motion) whatever accessory or tool has been attached to it, thereby providing you the means to scrape, cut, grind and so on, but to do so in tight spaces and where power cords can’t go.

Watch out for the degree of oscillation; the lesser the number the more precise the oscillation which gives you more control over the application you’re working on.

The versatility of these tools is dependent on the cutters and accessories that are fitted to the oscillating head. Therefore having the flexibility to use different brands of accessory is important, and potential cost-saving. See our guide here to find out which multitool accessories are best for you.

With the right accessory fitted to your machine you’ll be able to sand, grind, cut and scrape in areas impractical for most other tools, or for jobs where – perhaps traditionally – hand and elbow power may be preferred!

Another important factor to consider is the speed of oscillation, measured in oscillations per minute, and whether this speed is variable. The higher the top speed of oscillation is, the more powerful the multi tool is. However, being able to dial the speed down allows for more considered or delicate tasks.

Multitool Accessories:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

What are the benefits of buying a cordless multi tool?

Like any cordless power tool, not being dependent upon a tethered power supply gives you the freedom and flexibility to work anywhere, particularly in tight or difficult to reach places, typically where a good quality oscillating multi tool comes into it’s own.

But as with any cordless tool, the main drawbacks for you will be in sacrificing the motor power available to you from a corded multicutter, coupled with the amount of runtime your battery will provide. Therefore, it’s wise to look for a cordless multi cutter from a manufacturer who’s batteries you already own. And definitely look for larger capacity batteries; 4 or 5Ah is best.


Which Multi Tool is best?

We’ve split our buying guide into each manufacturer to make it easy for you to decide on which is the best for you, particularly if you’re already loyal to your favourite power tool brand. If a manufacturer has a cordless version, we’ll make that clear.

Fein Oscillating Multi-Tools

Up until around 2008, there was one – and only one – multi-cutter tool. It was – and is – known as the Fein Multimaster.

Developed by C & E Fein GmbH, the Multimaster was the father of the multi-cutter tool range, and when the company’s patent on the idea expired in October 2008, other manufacturers developed their own versions. Fein describes their multi cutters as “efficient, precise and always full of surprises”.

Fein FMM350QSL MultiMaster Multi Tool

Key features:

  • Metal gear box
  • 70% reduction in hand/arm vibration over previous model
  • 50% quieter than previous model
  • Speed is tachogenerated; maintains oscillating speed even under load
  • Supplied in carry case with loads of accessories

Key Specification:

  • 350W motor
  • 10,000 – 19,500 oscillations per minute @ 1.7º
  • Variable speed control
  • QuickIn tool holder, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories

Read more here.

Fein FMT250SL MultiTalent Start Oscillating Multitool

Key Features:

  • Maximum quality and stability thanks to metal gearbox head and consistent use of ball / needle bearings
  • Powerful 250 W FEIN high-power motor designed for continuous use
  • Electronic speed setting
  • Optimum handling thanks to soft grip zone
  • StarlockPlus tool mounting with outstanding torque transfer, suitable for all Starlock and StarlockPlus accessories

Key Specification:

  • 350W motor
  • 10,000 – 19,500 oscillations per minute @ 1.7º
  • Variable speed control
  • QuickIn tool holder, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories

Shop it now.


Makita Oscillating Multi-Tools

Makita have joined the multi cutter stable with, as you’d expect, a corded and cordless version. With Makita’s 18V batteries saturating jobsites around the world, there’s a good chance you’ll already have a few in your kit, hence buying a Makita cordless multitool could be a top choice for you.

Makita DTM50Z LXT 18V Li-Ion Cordless Oscillating Multicutter (Body Only)

Key Features:

  • Accessories can be installed at 30° increments, across 360°
  • Easy to reach on/off switch
  • Great ergonomics and comfortable grip
  • Body-only (no batteries or charger supplied), save cash and use your existing Makita LXT batteries

Key Specification:

  • 6,000 – 20,000 oscillations per minute @ 3.2º
  • Variable speed control
  • Uses OIS tool interface, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories

Shop it now.


Makita TM3000CX4 320W Oscillating Multicutter with 56 Accessories

Key Features:

  • Accessories can be installed at 30° increments, across 360°
  • Available in 110 and 240v
  • Easy to reach on/off switch
  • Great ergonomics and comfortable grip

See also the Makita TM3000CX3 supplied with 61 accessories

Key Specification:

  • 320W motor
  • 6,000 – 20,000 oscillations per minute @ 3.2º
  • Variable speed control
  • Uses OIS tool interface, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories

Shop it now.

Bosch Oscillating Multi-Tools

Bosch endeavoured to make the world of oscillating tools their own with the launch of the cordless 10.8V GOP, and since then they’ve capitilised on how well the GOP has sold by launching new GOPs with higher capacity batteries and 110 and 240V corded versions.

Bosch GOP 18V-28 Brushless Cordless Multi-Cutter

Key Features:

  • 3D interface for low-loss power transfer from the tool to the accessory
  • With LED for perfect visibility
  • Snap-in function for tool-free accessory changes in 3 seconds
  • StarlockPlus category tool ensures a faster work rate

Key Specification:

  • No-load rotation: 8.000 - 20.000 opm
  • Oscillation angle on left and right: 1,4°
  • Length: 312 mm
  • Width: 50 mm
  • Height: 85 mm
  • Vibration emission value ah: 3,4 m/s_

Shop it now.


Bosch GOP300SCE Multicutter in L-Boxx with 48 Accessories

Key Features:

  • Slim grip, great ergonomics
  • Supplied with 2 CoolPack 18v 4Ah batteries and a 45 minute charger in an L-Boxx
  • Brushless motor provides better runtime per charged battery and longer tool lifetime (click to learn more)
  • Key-less SDS quick tool-free accessory change

Key Specification:

  • 300W motor
  • 8,000 – 20,000 oscillations per minute @ 1.4º
  • Variable speed control
  • Uses OIS tool interface, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories

Shop it now.

DeWALT Oscillating Multi-Tools

DeWALT were late to the oscillating tool game, but they arrived with a bang with some very high-spec models that have proven to be huge sellers. The cordless versions are very powerful and incredibly ergonomic, and both benefit from being kitted out with brushless motors, and they accept DeWALT’s XR li-ion batteries.

Dewalt DCS355 18V li-ion Cordless Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool

Key Features:

  • Slim grip, great ergonomics via the rubber over mold handle
  • Brushless motor provides better runtime per charged battery and longer tool lifetime (click to learn more)
  • Quick-fit depth stop for “ultimate control”
  • Quick-fit dust extraction, compatible with the Airlock system

Key Specification:

  • 300W motor
  • 0 – 20,000 oscillations per minute @ 1.6º
  • Variable speed control
  • Dual-grip system for better control
  • QUICK-CHANGE accessory system, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories
  • Bright LED job light

Shop it now.

Dewalt DWE315KT Oscillating Multi-Tool with Quick Change Tool

Key Features:

  • Slim grip, great ergonomics via the rubber over mold handle
  • Available in 240V
  • Quick-fit depth stop for “ultimate control”
  • Quick-fit dust extraction, compatible with the Airlock system

Read more on our blog

Key Specification:

  • 300W motor
  • 0 – 22,000 oscillations per minute @ 1.6º
  • Variable speed control
  • Dual-grip system for better control
  • QUICK-CHANGE accessory system, compatible with other manufacturer’s accessories
  • Front mounted LED

Shop it now.


How to Get the Most from Your Oscillating Multitool

Regardless of which make or model you go for, corded or cordless, there’s no doubt that your new multitool will enable you to do loads of jobs that would perhaps be a struggle for conventional power tools

As mentioned above, though, getting it to do the right job in the right way is always dependent on you using the correct accessory.

Most of the tools we’ve listed here come with accessories supplied in the box. That in itself can be a little confusing at times, so we’ve put together some further guides to help you choose the right accessory:


If you’ve got any questions about the tools in our buying guide, or general questions about choosing and getting the most from an oscillating multi-tool, then get in touch with us!


Oscillating Multi Tools at Toolstop:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

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