An oscillating tool is a versatile, multi-purpose, handheld tool that many construction workers, home remodelers, woodworkers and DIYers can’t live without.
You can use an oscillating tool to sand, cut, grind, scrape, saw, polish, and much more. It’s like having a dozen different power tools all in one compact package. And that might be why these power tools were once so pricey.
But now, you can find many high quality oscillating tools that are reasonably priced.
Four Popular Oscillating Tools Worth ConsideringDEWALT DCS355D1 20V XR Lithium-Ion Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
The DEWALT DCS355D1 20V XR Lithium-Ion Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit is a powerful tool perfect for any construction, crafting or home improvement project. The DeWalt brushless motor has 57% more run time than brushed motors, and greatly increases the tool’s performance and efficiency.
With its universal accessory adaptor, the DEWALT DCS355D1 is compatible with most other oscillating tool accessory brands. And, thanks to the 28-piece accessory kit, you can use the DEWALT DCS355D1 20V XR Lithium-Ion Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit to cut pipes, sand wood, scrape off old paint, remove grout, and much more.
Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
The Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool is a versatile enough to make any DIY or crafting project easier. The sturdy, die-cast aluminum housing is built to last, and is sturdy enough to take years of frequent, heavy use.
The four-pin flange holds the accessories safely and firmly in place. And, thanks to the included accessories and attachments, you have the power to sand, cut, scrape, trim or grind, all in one handy tool.
PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
The PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit with 31 Accessories is not only versatile, but it’s powerful enough to handle your toughest construction, home improvement and repair tasks. The tool operates at up to 22,000 oscillation-per-minute so that, whatever the job, you can get it done fast.
The Three-Position Over Mold, with gripping areas on the front, back and middle, gives you maximum comfort and control. And the PORTER-CABLE PCE605K 3-Amp Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit comes with 31 accessories. So whether you need to sand, cut, scrape or grind, you’ll have the tool you need to get the job done.
Bosch MX25EC-21 2.5-Amp Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit
The Bosch MX25EC-21 2.5-Amp Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit is powerful and versatile, and can help make any installation, repair or remodeling job breeze. Weighing just 6.5 pounds, it’s a lightweight and compact tool that can reach into the tightest corners and smallest spaces.
The ergonomic design and soft-grip areas mean you can use the tool comfortably, even for extended periods of time. And the Bosch MX25EC-21 2.5-Amp Multi-X Oscillating Tool Kit comes with all of the accessories you need to cut, sand, scrape, and grind.
The Oscillating Tool: A Quick Buyer’s Guide
If you’re thinking of buying one of these indispensible power tools, here’s a quick buyer’s guide that will help you find the oscillating tool that’s right for you.
Oscillating Tool Basics
Oscillating tools work by moving an accessory at a very high speed, either in a rotating motion or a back-and-forth motion. The oscillation rate is the exact speed, which is measured in OPMs, or Oscillations Per Minute.
Oscillating tools are lightweight and compact, and can often fit into those small, tight spaces some of your other tools can’t reach.
What Can You Do with an Oscillating Tool?
Your oscillating tool is only limited by the types of attachments you have for it. And if you want a new attachment to increase your oscillating tools functionality, all it will takes is a quick trip to your local hardware store, department store, or home improvement center.
Here’s a short list of the many things you can do with an oscillating tool.
- Cut drywall.
- Cut PVC pipe.
- Cut wood.
- Grind metal and stone.
- Install flooring materials.
- Make flush-cuts.
- Make plunge cuts.
- Remove old adhesive.
- Remove grout.
- Sand wood.
- Scrape off old paint.
- Strip varnish from wood furniture.
- Take up linoleum or carpeting.
Popular Oscillating Tool Attachments
Your oscillating tool will probably come with plenty of attachments and accessories included. And the manufacturer of your specific tool probably makes more attachments that you can buy separately.
If the maker’s of your oscillating tool don’t make a particular attachment, there’s an easy solution. If you have a multi-tool adapter (sometimes called a universal adapter), your oscillating tool can use attachments made by other tool manufacturers.
Here are some of the more popular oscillating tool attachments.
- Sanding Pads. Used to sand various materials, including wood.
- Polishing Pads. Used to buff a surface until it has a nice, polished finish.
- Carbide Rasps. Used to sand things like concrete or stone.
- Sawing Blades. Used to cut everything from wood, to drywall, to laminate.
- Flush Cut Blades. Used to cut door jams, baseboards, window sills, flooring materials, and so on.
- Grout Removal Blades. Can remove the most stubborn grout.
- Scraper Blades. Used to remove silicone, acrylic, lacquer, adhesive, or even old carpet.
- Shears. A “scissor” attachment.
- Dust Collection Attachments. Used to attach your oscillating tool to a vacuum. Comes in handy when you need to clear your workspace of dust and other debris.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you’re working on a construction, craft or home improvement project, chances are you can find oscillating tool attachments that will help you get the job done.
Common Oscillating Tool Features
Many oscillating tools have features that make them even more convenient.
- With most oscillating tools, you can change attachments quickly and easily using an allen wrench. But there are also oscillating tools with “tool-free attachment systems” that let you change the attachments without tools, making attachment swapping even faster and easier.
- Some oscillation tools have a work light to make it easier to see what you—and the tool—are doing in dark or dimly-lit spaces.
- Your oscillating tool can either be corded or cordless. Cordless oscillating tools are more portable since you can use them even if there’s no electrical outlet handy.
- Some oscillation tools have a variable speed feature, so you can raise or lower the OPMs according to the specific job you’re doing.
Whether you’re a professional contractor, a crafter, or a do-it-yourself home remodeler, an oscillating tool is one such tool that you should always have ready at your disposal.