Every DIY-er needs an oscillating multi-tool to help accomplish certain parts of the job. Whether you’ll be removing grout, cutting metal, or sanding, an oscillating tool could be just what you’re looking for. But how do you know which is the best you can get for the money you pay?
Table of Contents
- BOSCH MX25EC-21 2.5-AMP MULTI-X OSCILLATING TOOL KIT
- Fein FMM 250Q START Bag In Box
- CRAFTSMAN 2.0 AMP COMPACT A/C MULTI-TOOL #23465
- DREMEL MM40-04 MULTI-MAX 3.0-AMP HIGH PERFORMANCE OSCILLATING TOOL KIT WITH 36 ACCESSORIES
- PORTER-CABLE PC250MTK 2.5-AMP OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL KIT WITH 36 ACCESSORIES
- WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING AN OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL
BOSCH MX25EC-21 2.5-AMP MULTI-X OSCILLATING TOOL KIT
The good: One of our favorite things about the Bosch MX25EC-21 was that it offered a universal adaptor plate. If you aren’t sure why this is such a big deal, it’s because it lets you use the accessories of most of the other accessories on the market – making it a highly adaptable hand tool that can be tailored to your specific needs.
The bad: Our only real complaint was that this model didn’t allow us to change the accessories without a tool. While not a necessary feature, it’s definitely convenient to be able to switch tools on the fly. This allows for more efficient uses of the tool and would make it worth a higher price, in our opinion.
The bottom line: For the price (currently under $150 on Amazon), this tool is a great investment. This is a well-known quality brand that delivers time after time. There might be cheaper, and there might be better, but this was our favorite of all those we tried.
Fein FMM 250Q START Bag In Box
The good: The Fein FMM 250Q stole the second spot in our list because of its precision, powerful motor. This thing is an intense tool that will handle whatever you throw at it. Of course, the multi-function design is an automatic plus, and for under $200 on Amazon, this is a steal. When compared to the Bosch, this gave us the tool-free accessory changing that we longed for, although at a higher price tag.
The bad: Although this is a high-powered tool, we found that the abrasive pad gets filled up pretty quickly, which renders it basically useless. Of course, you can clean this pad, but it’s going to add extra time to your projects.
The bottom line: This is a fine tool for homebuilding. It is one of the more expensive products on our list, but it gives you a tremendous multi-function device for a reasonable price when you factor in the overall satisfaction. This tool comes highly recommended by almost every customer.
CRAFTSMAN 2.0 AMP COMPACT A/C MULTI-TOOL #23465
The good: This tool comes in under $100 and offers a very versatile user experience. It’s probably not the most highly-powered tool you’re going to try, but if you’re looking for a quality oscillating tool for cheap, Craftsman has a reputation at a great value. The Craftsman 23465 also has a lighted tip that helps when working in dark, tight spaces.
The bad: As such an inexpensive contender in the race, this is definitely not the most powerful. However, given the low price point, we weren’t expecting a lot from this one.
The bottom line: If price is the most important concern you have, this Craftsman packs quite a punch for the cost. It won’t be an award winner any time soon, but for the price it can’t be beat.
DREMEL MM40-04 MULTI-MAX 3.0-AMP HIGH PERFORMANCE OSCILLATING TOOL KIT WITH 36 ACCESSORIES
The good: Dremel has long been known as the industry-standard for rotary tools, and the MM40-04 is an entry into the oscillating tool market. Our favorite feature was the low vibration – never again will your project be compromised due to your tool shaking all over the place.
The bad: There’s not much that we don’t like about the Dremel, but if we had to choose one thing to improve, it would be the power. Not that the Dremel is lacking – and, in fact, it’s not bad at all – but more power is rarely a bad thing!
The bottom line: If you’re already a Dremel fan and want an oscillating tool that matches your rotary tools, the MM40-04 is a great choice that comes with a substantial number of accessories.
PORTER-CABLE PC250MTK 2.5-AMP OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL KIT WITH 36 ACCESSORIES
The good: In terms of tool-free accessory installation, the Porter-Cable PC250MTK surprised us. Not only was accessory installation super simple, but it also comes with a huge selection of accessories, including multiple blades and 27 sandpaper sheets.
The bad: Unfortunately, we were completely unable to find any carbide-faced discs in the kit – nor were we able to find them anywhere else. Obviously, Porter-Cable didn’t consider them a necessary accessory, but some projects will require them – and we were unable to find any that fit this tool.
The bottom line: If you don’t anticipate the need to buy replacement attachments, and you want a high-quality tool to use for a period of time, most customers love their PC250MTK – but it definitely has its fair share of drawbacks, too
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING AN OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL
When buying an oscillating tool (or any product that you won’t be able to try out first), it may be helpful to think of your needs before you begin.
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO WITH IT?
If you’re buying the oscillating tool for one specific job, you’ll need to make sure that it is rated to handle that job. For example, some oscillating tools do a great job with grout removal, but won’t work well for cutting nails. It’s important that the tool you get can handle what you plan to do with it.
DO YOU WANT CORDED OR CORDLESS?
Corded and cordless models each have their advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will largely depend on whether you want a longer runtime (corded) or wider area to work with (cordless).
HOW MUCH POWER DO YOU NEED?
For the most part, higher power means a better oscillating tool. If you’re concerned about the money, however, and don’t mind putting extra time into your projects, lower powered tools are often less expensive.
DO YOU NEED ACCESSORIES?
Some kits come with extensive accessory kits, which may or may not be necessary for you. If you like the idea of having multiple accessories, go with a bundle that has many extra features. If you’d rather have a lower price, stick with a standard tool and buy your accessories later.
WHAT DO OTHER BUYERS SAY ABOUT IT?
We always recommend checking the customer reviews to make sure you are getting a product that actually performs as well as the manufacturer claims. We try to only include products with high reviews, but other customers may have had different experiences.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
Although the better quality oscillating tools are often more expensive, you should make sure that the tool you buy stays within your budget. Often, you may be able to find a good deal that allows you to buy a tool that would have otherwise been out of your price range.