Unless you’re a serious DIY’er or someone who works with tools often, you probably don’t know that the oscillating tool is one of the newest power tools on the market. These practical tools can help you with many projects, such as any sort of woodwork or maybe a major renovation. Steel, wood, and drywall can all be sliced with the right oscillating tools. They’re one of the few powered cutting tools that can fit into narrow and uncomfortable spaces to do jobs that most power.
What an oscillating tool does, it uses blades and attachments for whatever project you need it for. There are specific blades that can be used for cutting wood, metal, both metal & wood, insulation, caulk and fiberglass. As far as attachments, they can include ones for sanding, scraping, filling and more.
So, if you’re a DIY’er or someone who’s curious about the oscillating tools or ready to buy one now, you should read on to learn more about oscillating tools and how to choose the best one for your DIY (or professional) jobs.
Best Overall – DEWALT Oscillating Tool Kit
If you’re looking for the very best oscillating tool, you should get the DEWALT as it does more than you know.
This tool by Dremel is one of the best priced and well worth the money for an oscillating tool that you should have in your home.
Most versatile – PORTER-CABLE Oscillating Tool Kit
This oscillating tool by Porter has a tool trade system that allows quick changes so that you can do multiple jobs if needed.
Why you need an oscillating tool
You need an oscillating tool because it makes your DIY projects much easier and go much smoother. Imagine trying to rip off nails with just a hammer. While that can be done, it usually exerts a lot of physical energy and you could actually end up hurting yourself. Besides oscillating tools will help with many jobs around the house, so it’s safe to say, especially if you are handy, you should definitely keep one in your house.
How to Choose the Best Oscillating Tool
These types of tools are relatively new to the tool world, so there’s definitely a few factors you’ll want to consider before buying one.
Corded or Cordless
They were corded when the oscillating instruments first entered the market. However, recent advancements in lithium-ion battery technology have encouraged manufacturers to deliver comparable alternatives for battery capacity. Today, both corded and cordless alternatives are available, and each type has its own advantages.
- Corded– Clearly if you have a job that’s going to take you a while, like woodworking and sanding. You need electricity as it’s plugged in, so you’ll likely be using this tool anywhere there’s an outlet. One of the best ways of using a corded one, if it’s on an extension cord, is to never have to wait to use the tool.
- Cordless- These types you’d bring on a jobsite because usually there’s no electricity available. They obviously run on batteries and they’re just as powerful as the corded ones and are extremely popular due to them being super portable.
Power & Speed
Power can be a major factor in selecting the right oscillating tool, depending on the intended intent. Choosing between a power source (cabled or wireless) or purchasing an imperative instrument to deal with the job may be used.
- If using a battery operated one (corded), you are most likely using the ones that’s powered with 18-to-20-volt batteries which should be more than enough for the cordless types.
- If using a corded one, it’s very obvious that you’ll likely be using a 120 V outlet. But what’s most important for these ones, is the amperage. You’ll want to use 3-5 amps, with 3 being perfect for lightweight jobs, while 4-5 is perfect for heavy duty jobs you can do for a long time without breaking.
You will want to choose an oscillating tool that has a speed range between 8,000 to 20,000 oscillating speeds so that you can get the most use out of your oscillating tool.
One of the most features you will want to consider when choosing an oscillating tool, is the variable speed. Why? Because how much control you have over the variable speed truly matters because you don’t want to overheat the machine. For example, if you’re trying to cut hardwood, and it’s on full blast, you can literally burn the wood and actually destroying the blade.
About every power tool manufacturer now sells an oscillating tool, and they all produce branded blades. Though knife brands are selected, the price of tools is inexpensive and much more inexpensive (even though the individual blades are very expensive), choosing the correct blade is difficult. There are many different types of binding, so it can be a little difficult to choose the right one.
Power tools make a lot of noise. Oscillating tools, in comparison to most tools, have small engines and fast strokes on their motors, causing them to throb at lower speeds. However, at high speeds, they can be very noisy. Often, since the object you’re cutting and the blade you’re using have a lot to do with the noise generated by the instrument, determining an expected decibel range is challenging. In general, using ear protection to protect the ears is a good idea so that you don’t lose your hearing.
One of the fascinating details about swinging instruments is that, regardless of external security features, they are extremely secure. Although it is not impossible to cut yourself, the saw’s narrow arc makes cutting skin difficult. The elasticity (stretch) of your skin is higher than the amplitude of the saw (length of the stroke from side to side). Since the stroke isn’t lengthy enough to tear the tissue, an oscillating instrument would merely vibrate it. It makes no difference what kind of blade or tooth size you use. Because of this, unintentionally hitting a moving blade is shocking but normally unnoticeable. With enough pain, though, it is possible to cut yourself.
In kits with adapters and connectors, most oscillating tools are included. It contains many wood, metal and blades, which can handle both. Normally they also have sanding pads.
Tools with tool-free blade modifications can save a lot of time. This means that the blade can be changed without a hex key. Typically, they have a big button to handle, or a lever that squeezes the blade to replace it.
7 Best Oscillating Tools
The Bosch Power Tools GOP40-30C should be included on your list if you are searching for a quality oscillating unit. With a 4-amp engine and an adjustable speed range of between 8,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute, this oscillating tool allows you to dial the correct speed for your mission. It has a toolless mechanism for adjusting the tip, which clips on the blade and has a larger contact area between the instrument and the blade than most systems. This enhanced contact area facilitates the transmission of torque to and from the unit between the blade and the part, thereby reducing vibration faster.
This tool also includes a carry case with 32 accessories, which also includes sandpaper, many blades and a separate box to hold all of your accessories which is nice. If you really want the dust collection, you can purchase the separate attachment which is sold separately.
- 32 accessories
- Slow osculation on one of the tools
The DEWALT DWE315K is a reliable 3-amp motor cable oscillating instrument. It has a large variety of speeds ranging from zero to 22,000 swings per minute such that you can pick the exact low rate needed for cutting materials such as iron, steel and stainless steel. It also can slice softwood at high speed fast and easily.
The DWE315K has an integrated LED light and is fitted with an instrumental blade-change that can work with your index finger. It comes with an accessory kit of 29 parts, including a sandpaper and a rolling-profound measurement, and a pocket and a box of accessories.
- LED light
- Can choose from variety of speeds
- The drill doesn’t last as long as manufacturer’s claim
In a lightweight, ergonomically built unit, this 20V cableless oscillating tool operates with many different tools. With the Universal Fit Device proprietary, you can use your WORX® product with most Brand accessories. The universal tool is the best multiple method to hack, saw, scrap, sand, rasp, etc. The variable velocity controls and multi-angle modifications are ideal for multiple applications and the slender body still provides safe grip.
- Can use the tool with most accessories
- Multi use
- Battery can be unreliable at times
The BD200MTB from BLACK+DECKER could work for you if you need just a light duty oscillating tool for your projects. A 2.5-amp engine with six velocities between 10,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute is featured in this cable oscillating method. It has a wood/metal comb, a sanding fixture, several sandpaper sheets and a holding bag. It also includes a universal accessory connector, allowing you to protect the majority of blades and fixtures.
- Reliable for small jobs
- Comes with everything you need for small jobs
- Some buyers reported it would not turn on
The Dremel MM50 has a strong design which offers low vibration controls for accurate and clean cuts. With a lightweight head 30% smaller than other instruments in his range, the MM50 helps you to enter narrow spaces that are not suited for others.
It has a powerful 5.0-amp engine which is the best in its class, as well efficiency for the most challenging work. It can handle door jams, trimming and baseboards or other projects. It also has a tool blade changing system to where you can twist the button, drag it and insert the accessory. It also has a variable pace which is between 10,000-21,000 OPM for optimum control and efficiency.
- Low vibrations
- Can fit in narrow spaces
- Powerful engine
- Overheating issues
This corded oscillating instrument has a three-amp engine which adjusts the blade without instruments. It is faster than the most rapid omnipresent, with a speed ranging from 10,000 to 22,000 per minute. The front, middle and back grip of rubber over-molding helps minimize vibration.
The PCE605K52 is provided with an amazing 52-piece accessories package. The kit contains 13 knives, a rolling depth guide and several sheets of sandpaper which is an awesome addition to have.
- 52 pieces
- Includes sandpaper
- Doesn’t cut/perform perfectly
This Oscillate Kit includes: Spring-cutting saw blade*3, Saw blade Segment*1, Scraper*1, Sanding plate*1, Spring blade*15, Handles*1, Depth Guide*1, 20V Li-Ion Battery*1, Charger*1, Bag*1. This Spring-Cutting Saw blade*3, Spring blade*1. You can comfortably operate in any place with the KIMO oscillating tool and those high-performance blades. A handy bag allows all the accessories to be transported and packed without any clutter.
With KIMO cordless oscillating tool, the speed can easily be adapted to your needs when operating at a 6-speed location with a 0-21,000 OPM. This 3° angle offers the highest cutting efficiency and long-term comfort. The strong 20V motor can easily be trimmed, sanded, scraped, sliced and so on with this balance angle and KIMO battery.
- Has many uses
- Has 6 speed
- Has 0-21000 OPM
- Some users have reported it’s unreliable
What is an oscillating tool used for?
They can be used for the following jobs:
- Trimming baseboards and wood flooring
- Cutting off nails and bolts
- Scrape away things like old glue and caulk
- Cutting through fiberglass, plastic, wood, metal
Are oscillating tools worth it?
Yes, especially if you know what you’re doing. They can make many jobs easy to do because of their multi-function.
What is the best oscillating multi tool on the market today?
In our opinion, it would be the DEWALT Oscillating Tool because it has features that you would want in an oscillating tool as it has features and the attachments that come with it.
Is a Dremel an oscillating tool?
It is part of some oscillating tools, so you’ll have to keep an eye out when looking for that specifically.
You’ve seen what an oscillating tool is, the features and some of the best recommendations on the market. Be sure to choose the right for the job, and the right one for you. If you have enjoyed reading this guide, please leave a comment below!