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Oscillating Multi-Tools – the Ultimate Toolstop Guide

Oscillating Multi-Tools – the Ultimate Toolstop Guide

Posted by Toolstop Colin on 7th Jun 2017

We’ve been big fans of oscillating multi-cutters (aka multi-tools) here at Toolstop for years.

From their corded origins to their cordless counterparts, they truly are the ultimate “get out of jail free” card for any tradesperson, the tool that’ll enable to you perform fiddly and awkward jobs, to being the go-to tool for finishing applications off.

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In our Ultimate Guide, we’ll cover off some of the features and spec that are “must haves” on any multi-cutter, the accessories that should be in your kit, and the BEST of the BEST cordless and corded multi-cutters available on the market today.

Keep reading.

Here’s an example of a couple of trade professionals testing the Makita BTM50RFX3 LXT cordless multi-cutter (note this has now been updated by the DTM50).

What to Look for When Choosing a Multi-Cutter

guide to the best oscillating multi tool - WHAT FEATURES AND BENEFITS TO LOOK FOR
Essentially, an oscillating multi-tool (or multi cutter) is a simple piece of kit. Specification-wise you should look for:

  • oscillations per minute (OPM)
  • the angle of oscillation – the higher the number the faster the cutting action
  • ease of changing accessories (quick-change or not)
  • ergonomics
  • dust extraction

The type of job you’ll be using your tool for will determine the spec that you end up opting for. Quick, simple jobs require a more basic machine. Heavy duty tasks like cutting oak, go for something beefier. Look at the models we’ve selected below to help make your pic.

And then you need to consider the power supply.

Multi-cutters were slightly later to the cordless party as the demand on the motor to provide the oscillations required for various cutting and sanding applications is very high. If your oscillating tool will be used frequently, perhaps you’re better going for one with a power cord, guaranteeing you constant power throughout the day. Click here to see all of the corded oscillating multi-tools in stock.

Alternatively, if being cord-free is paramount to you, there are more and more cordless oscillating multi-cutters coming onto the market each year. Click here to see what’s available.

guide to the best oscillating multi tool - WHAT ACCESSORIES SHOULD YOU BUYOnce you own an oscillating multi-tool, accessories are everything! The range of cutters, rasps, sanding pads etc, is growing all the time.

Click to see the range of Smart accessories we stock – guaranteed cash-savers.

We’ve said before that oscillating multi-cutters are like the Apple iPad; they’re fantastic tools, but it’s the applications that matter. And in order to perform the types of applications, you’ll want to do, such as sanding, grinding, polishing, cutting etc, you’re going to need to use the correct accessory.

There’s no shortage of quality accessories for your multi-tool, including rasps, sanding pads, scrapers and cutters. Use the links below to get some idea of what’s available to you:

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How to Get the Most from Your Oscillating Multi-Tool

The key to these tools is versatility. Paired with the correct accessory you’re going to be able to perform loads of tasks, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t all need a bit of expert guidance now and again.

We’re here to help once more. For example, what’s the best way to use your multi-cutter to sand (not cut!). Fein helped us out with a comprehensive guide to choosing the correct accessory for sanding and then using it to get amazing results. Watch it here.

And what about that go-to job for any corded or cordless multi-tool; trimming skirting boards? We’ve got an in-depth guide to doing it properly, which you can read here.

What’s the Best Oscillating Multi-Tool?

Think DeWALT.

Dewalt DWE315KT Oscillating Multi-Tool with Quick Change Tool Release in TStak Case with 37 Accessories

Dewalt DWE315KT Oscillating Multi-Tool with Quick Change Tool Release in TStak Case with 37 Accessories – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 300 watts
  • 22,000 oscillations per minute
  • 1.5kg
  • Supplied with 37 piece accessory kit and TStak box

Key Benefits:
  • Quick-fit dust extraction kit compatible with Airlock system
  • Bright LED light
  • Quick-release change accessory system: tool-free

Dewalt DCS355N Oscillating Multi-Tool 18V li-ion Cordless Brushless (Body Only) – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 300 watts
  • 22,000 oscillations per minute
  • Supplied with 29 piece accessory kit

Key Benefits:
  • Quick-fit dust extraction kit compatible with Airlock system
  • Bright LED light
  • Quick-release change accessory system: tool-free
  • Dual position rocker switch with lock-on
  • Excellent ergonomics

Think Makita.

TM3010CK features and benefits

Makita TM3010CK Oscillating Multi-Tool 320W with Tool-Less Accessory Change – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 6,000-20,000 oscillations per minute
  • 3.2° oscillation angle
  • Tool-free, quick accessory change
Key Benefits:
  • Variable speed control dial
  • Constant speed control
  • OIS accessory interface (compatible with Smart accessories)
  • Accessories can be installed at 30° increments, across 360°
  • Anti-restart function prevents accidental start-ups
Makita TM3000CX4 Multi-Cutter 320W Oscillating with 56 Accessories

Makita TM3000CX4 Multi-Cutter 320W Oscillating with 56 Accessories – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 320 watts
  • 6,000-20,000 oscillations per minute
  • 3.2° oscillation angle
  • 1.5kg
  • Supplied with 56 accessories in a tough carry case

Key Benefits:
  • Variable speed control dial
  • OIS accessory interface (compatible with Smart accessories)
  • Accessories can be installed at 30° increments, across 360°

Think Hitachi.

Hitachi CV18DBL Multi-Tool 18V Cordless Brushless with Accessories (Body Only)

Hitachi CV18DBL Multi-Tool 18V Cordless Brushless with Accessories (Body Only)  SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 6,000-22,000 oscillations per minute across 2 speed settings
  • 3.2° oscillation angle
  • Supplied with 8 accessories
Key Benefits:
  • Body-only: fit any Hitachi 18v battery
  • Brushless motor provides 50% longer runtime per charge
  • Superior dust and water resistance
  • Multi-angle blade setting adjustable in 30° steps
  • Tool-less accessory change

Think Bosch.

Bosch GOP 55-36 Multicutter in L-Boxx with 25 Accessories

Bosch GOP 55-36 Multicutter in L-Boxx with 25 Accessories – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 550 watts
  • 8,000 – 22,000 oscillations per minute
  • 1.8 ° oscillation angle
  • Supplied with 25 accessories and L-boxx case
Key Benefits:
  • Top of the range corded multi-tool
  • Ideal for high draw and heavy duty applications such as window restoration
  • Starlock MAX compatibility for maximum power transmission
  • Snap in tool-less blade changes
  • Metal cap for especially robust use
  • Constant electronics keeps the power consistent under load
 

Bosch GOP 18V-28 features and benefitsBosch GOP 18V-28 ProfessionalBrushless Cordless Multi-Cutter – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 8,000 – 20,000 oscillations per minute
  • 1.4º oscillation angle
  • Supplied with in an L-Boxx with three 5Ah batteries and charger and 16 accessories
Key Benefits:
  • 3D interface for low-loss power transfer from the tool to the accessory
  • StarLock PLUS accessory quick-change
  • Soft grip on front gear system for comfort grip even if tool gets warm

Think Fein.

FMM350QSL features and benefits

Fein FMM350QSL Multimaster Top Oscillating Multitool – SHOP HERE

Key Specification:
  • 350W
  • 10,000 – 19,500 oscillations per minute
  • 1.7º oscillation angle
  • Supplied with 2 boxes of accessories and tough carry case
Key Benefits:
  • Convenient QuickIN quick clamping system
  • Electronic speed setting with tacho generator for constant speed even when loaded
  • StarLock PLUS tool mounting for better torque transfer

And Finally…

Hopefully, this ultimate guide to oscillating multi-tools has whetted your appetite to do more with yours. We love hearing what you get up to with your power tools, so tell us in the comments section below the type of applications that you depend on your multi-cutter for.

And here’s a few links for the sort of accessory pack that can help you go further.

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