Handheld Combination Saw, Grinder, Scraper, Grout Removal
These small hand-held tools simplify construction and home repair tasks that previously required a variety of hand tools and a creative approach. Specifically, an oscillating tool saves the day when cutting in tight spaces.
The problem with circular saws, jig saws, or even the innovative Bosch RotoZip is that the shoe or base of the tool limits how close to an opposing surface a cut can be made. Frequently, a DIY homeowner, carpenter, plumber, or electrician would make the cut as close as possible and then resort to something like a chisel to finish the job.
How an Oscillating Tool Works
In its most common configuration, this small saw is essentially a handle with a small flat blade. Rather than rotating, the blade moves in a rapid side to side motion. But this basic set-up is just the tip of the iceberg.
To make the tool even more versatile, manufacturers have bundled various accessories into kits. With these added features, in addition to cutting, the tool also scrapes, grinds, sands, removes grout between ceramic tiles, and more.
The Rockwell SoniCrafter
Rockwell calls its SoniCrafter “the most useful tool since the Swiss Army knife” and with good reason. It offers 3 kits to choose from, the 22, 39, and 73 piece, sold for $119.85, $149.70, and $179.70 respectively. All come with a hard carrying case.
When used as a sander, the SoniCrafter oscillates 20,000 times per minute, compared to 8,000 to 12,000 for a conventional sander.
The Dremel Multi-Max
The Dremel Tool company has a long reputation for smaller power tools and has a huge following in the craft and hobby community. The Multi-Max has a variable oscillation feature with electronic feedback circuitry to keep the speed consistent under varying loads.
Dremel offers 2 kits, the 6300-01 Multi-Max, and the 6300-02L Multi-Max. Both retail for about $99.99.
The Fein MultiMaster
Fein has put together 4 kits, the Start, Select, Top, and Top Extra which is the same as the Top with a Turbo 1 shop vacuum thrown in. These Fein tools come with a bit of sticker shock with prices of $209.00, $269.00, $309.00, and $399.00.
They’ve also put together a Marine MultiMaster kit for working on boats that carries a price tag of $499.00
All of these manufacturers are reliable tool companies, so despite the wide range of prices, quality should not be an issue. The price is more reflective of what the user tends to use the tool for, light crafts and hobbies on the less expensive end, and heavy construction use on a daily basis on the high end.