Oscillating power tools are a relatively new type of tool (and who doesn’t love that?). They can be used for various tasks like cutting, polishing or even scraping various materials. These tools perform these tasks by vibrating in rapid back-and-forth movements and not the usual circular pattern.
Both professionals and hobbyists like these tools as they provide an all-in-one solution for their construction, woodworking, flooring, finish work projects. This one tool can handles multiple other tasks like sanding, grouting, buffing, restoring, flush and plunge cutting and refinishing, and eliminates the need of buying individual tools for all these tasks.
Some benefits of owning an oscillating multi tool
Oscillating tools are available as both electric and cordless models. The cordless multi saw is gaining in popularity for its portability and ease of use. The cordless variety is extremely convenient to use anywhere you want, as long as its battery is fully charged.
Since these cordless multi tools are portable, they make it easy to complete tasks quickly. You n don’t need to worry about dragging cords around and you can use them anywhere you want, even in places without an outlet available.
But like everything in life, cordless oscillating tools also have a few drawbacks. The main drawback is that they provide limited run-time. This means that you can work only if and when the battery holds a charge.
So if you forget to take along your charger, or if there is no power to charge your battery, or if you forget to charge the tool before using it, you will not be able to work. A frustrating turn of events to say the least.
How a multi-function tool works
Cordless multi-tools vibrate either a blade or some attachment in back and forth actions at up to 21,000 strokes per minute, and each stroke is made in a narrow arc of 3-4 degrees. It is this short range of motion, and the small size of the blades and attachments, which helps the tool reach into tight spots where other tools cannot. Cordless power multi-tools are best used for flush cutting as its blades and attachments have a stepped profile that allows the attachment to rest flat on a surface. Woodworkers find its detail-sanding head to be a most useful attachment and like its triangular sanding head, can easily reach into hard to reach, narrow corners.
The tool can be used for making plunge cuts in the middle of panels to pass cords through and for cutting sections of baseboard away for installing built-in cabinets. Another plus is that if a blade gets jammed in a tight spot, it doesn’t lead to the motor getting bogged down. Instead, the tool’s oscillating and vibrating motion is transferred to the operator’s arm through the tool’s body.
What to look for in a multi use tool
There are these various features to look out for if you plan to buy a cordless multitool.
1. Minimal noise and vibration: Though most cordless oscillating tools brands don’t emit much noise and vibration, there are some brands which are rather loud while cutting, and others significantly quieter. Some also vibrate less than others; so if you are particular about noise and vibration, make some comparisons to find a brand you like.
2. Comfortable grip: As you will have to wrap one or both your hands around the tool’s barrel to use and control the tool, it’s important that you are comfortable gripping and holding it.
If you have a small hand, choose a tool with a barrel having a circumference of less than 7”. While the heavier tools weighing about 4 pounds do help with quick sanding, it can get tiring holding one for long periods.
3. Speed: Speed is an important factor to watch for when choosing your tool. Choose based on the type of work you plan to use the tool for most of the time as slower speeds offer more control for delicate jobs like sanding.
Higher speeds are better for cutting and grinding work. Most tools let you control the speed of the tool as per your needs and some also have soft-start motors which prevent any side jerking wwhen power is switched on.
4. Budget: You naturally have to consider your budget while choosing your cordless electric multi-tool. There are many brands and models available for less than $100 but but at the high end some can reach prices somewhere near $1000.
You basically have to choose based on your needs and preferences. Hobbyists who will be using the tool sparingly can get by with one of the more epxpensive models, while professionals using the tool regularly should preferably opt for a higher quality model. No matter your needs it is always adviseable to purchase tools provided by quality name brand manufacturers.
5. Check the attachments: Before you buy a multi-tool, check if the local retailers have attachments to fit the tool you plan to buy. Though you may be able to buy your attachments online, it’s more convenient and often cheaper buying from your local supplier.
Moreover, many tools have their own mounting system, so it’s not possible to interchange attachments from one brand to another. Look for brands have a universal adaptor where it’s possible to interchange and use attachments of different brands.
Since the versatility of the tool is based on the type and number of cutters and accessories which can be fitted to the oscillating head, you need to make your choice based on the attachments you will need for your DIY work.
You need to decide which blades you need – like a sawing blade, grout removing blade, scraper blade
and flush cut blade which. Each can have different functions based on design and the company of manufacture. The tool also works with other accessories like sanding pads and polishing pads which are specifically used for your sanding and polishing work.
6. Light: As you may at times use the tool to work in tight places like inside cabinets, it’ll be helpful and easier for you if your tool had a LED task light.
7. Battery power: As the cordless oscillating tool is portable and powered by its battery, you need to buy a tool with a large battery capacity of perhaps 4 or 5 Ah. The higher the capacity of the battery, the longer you will be able to work with the tool before recharging it.
If you use the information provided in this guide, you you should find it much easier to choose the perfect cordless oscillating tool for all your construction, woodworking and DIY projects.
One more thing, which is likely to save you from buyer remorse and provide you with a tool likely to give you years of service. Carefully weigh the features you need a cordless multi tool to have and choose the saw that seems to meet your minimum requirements. Then choose the on that’s just a bit better.