Best Oscillating Tool of 2018 – Complete Reviews With Comparison
Oscillating tools have developed from a specialty tool to the tool of the everyday handyman throughout the years, and owning one is a great way to become a master at-home craftsman! But with so many different options to choose from when it comes to oscillating tools, it can be overwhelming to try to find the right fit for your DIY needs. But don’t worry; this buyer’s guide can help.
Check out the following information and reviews of the oscillating tool options on the market today to find the perfect tool for you!
Top 5 Best Oscillating Tools Comparison Chart
Best Oscillating Tool Reviews
1. Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit
Dremel is one of the most well-known multi-tool creators, and their products such as this MM40-05 stand the test of time when it comes to being a reliable oscillating tool.
This kit from high-quality producer Dremel includes 36 accessories which make it possible to use this oscillating tool as a true multi-tool. From sanding to cutting to routing, this powerful 3.8-amp tool and kit make it easy to complete all of your dream projects.
- High-performance 3.8 Amp motor for the most demanding applications
- Quick-Lock for tool-less and secure accessory changes
- Quick-Boost - maintains constant speed throughout toughest applications and materials
- Quick-hold - magnetic flange holds the accessory in place for easier accessory changes
- Up-front on/off switch - for one-handed use and maintains speed setting
What's to like about the Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit
This corded oscillating tool has a 3.8-amp motor. This makes it strong enough to cut many different materials, including various metals that less powerful tools might have a hard time working through. No matter how demanding the project, this tool will perform well.
The Dremel MM40-05 has a variable speed dial. This means that you can change the speed for different accessories when working on a project. Customization like this will make your results more precise, and that’s very important when working with an oscillating tool.
Finally, this specific Dremel makes it very easy to change accessories. The quick-lock function will hold the oscillator in place while you take off one accessory and attach another. Rather than the need for tools, you simply lock and change. Simplicity makes this tool easy to use.
What's not to like about the Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit
While the quick-lock function makes it easy to change the accessories that you are using the Dremel, it can cause some problems as well. Some people have found that the tool gets locked in place which then requires you to jimmy it loose. With practice, however, it should be easy to avoid this situation.
Another potential problem with this tool is that you have to buy Dremel-branded accessories. While not technically a requirement, the tool functions best if you stick to the branded attachments, so this might limit what you can use the oscillating tool.
2. Rockwell RK5151K 4.2-Amp Oscillating Tool
This oscillating tool is a contractor-grade tool that uses its 4.2-amp motor to powerfully cut through nearly anything without stalling, which is great for large projects.
This oscillating tool is one of the most powerful yet affordable options on the market. It has a 4.2-amp motor that makes it possible to cut metal, wood, and more without issue. Additionally, you can adjust the angle for greater precision when working on your next DIY projects.
- Duotech oscillation technology lets you select the optimum oscillation angle for power and precision
- Variable speed dial for precision control - from 10,000 to 19,000 oscillations per minute
- Powerful 4.2 Amp motor delivers constant speed and won't stall under heavy loads
- Hyperlock tool-free blade change system provides 1 ton of clamping force - prevents slipping during use, no matter the blade angle
- Universal Fit System accepts all major brands of blades, sanders, and other accessories
What's to like about the Rockwell RK5151K 4.2-Amp Oscillating Tool
One of the greatest things about this particular tool from Rockwell is that you can adjust the oscillation angle. This allows you to work with more flexibility and gain more precision while using the tool. Greater precision leads to greater results, and this can only make your projects easier to complete.
Another notable feature of this oscillating tool is the 4.2-amp motor. This motor can handle cutting through a large number of materials without stalling or breaking. The motor is used by contractors on large job sites, so it can make your work great, too.
Because of the large motor, the tool also doesn’t get hot while in use. Other tools struggle due to a lower power rating, and this leads to unnecessary wear and tear on the tool that can lead it to break. This power motor makes it more reliable.
What's not to like about the Rockwell RK5151K 4.2-Amp Oscillating Tool
One big drawback of this particular toolkit is that the blades that the tool comes with are not very high quality. They are likely to rust because of the oil coating on them, so they should be cleaned and treated before use if you want them to last. Alternatively, they can be replaced with a higher quality blade.
The sanding pads on this particular tool are not very good. The sanding pads attach with Velcro, and this Velcro will wear out very quickly. Thankfully, you can buy a different attachment for sanding pads that make it more reliable when working on a project that needs to be sanded via an oscillating tool.
3. Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
Genesis is another reliable oscillating tool creator that has a great reputation. Their tools work well and last for a long time, making them a tool to be seriously considered.
This super-affordable multi-purpose oscillating tool comes with only the essentials for what you need for more DIY projects. Rather than paying for a ton of unnecessary attachments, focus on spending on what you need most.
- Multifunctional tool for home repair, remodeling, and restoration
- 21000 oscillations per minute for fast sanding, grinding, cutting, and scraping
- 4-pin flange design holds accessories firmly in place
- Sturdy die-cast aluminum gear housing
- Includes 3-inch Delta sanding pad, sandpaper, scraping blade, 30 mm E-cut saw blade, HSS segment saw blade, and allen wrench
What's to like about the Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
This tool has a high-speed setting of 21,000 oscillations per minute. You can get through any sanding, cutting, and more very quickly at this speed, which makes this tool very efficient to use.
Another plus for this product is the price! Many oscillating tool accessories from other brands are just as expensive as this tool. If you simply need an oscillating tool to learn with or complete simple projects, you can’t go wrong with this kit that includes all of the basic accessories that you will need.
What's not to like about the Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool
This tool only operates on a 1.5-amp motor. While this is lower than the ideal, it is strong enough to work for most at-home projects. If you need to do more heavy duty work, you may want something stronger. For most people, however, a 1.5-amp motor is a good at-home option.
Another drawback is that this tool does not have any adjustable speed settings. It runs at 21,000 oscillations per minute, however, which is a high-speed setting that works well for a variety of projects.
4. Porter-Cable PCE606K 3-Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
This smart-tool from well-known brand Porter-Cable runs on a powerful motor and includes the necessary accessories to get your next job done.
This particular oscillating toolkit contains many of the best features from multi-tools. It has a 3-amp motor, a variable speed dial, and even a tool-free system that makes it super simple to switch out the attachments.
- 3 Amp Motor delivers power to complete applications fast
- TOOL FREE SYSTEM blade change allows quick changes and adjustments for specific applications without wrenches and bolts
- Variable Speed Dial (10,000 - 22,000 OPM) optimizes performance and control across a complete range of applications
- 3 Position Over Mold Handle provides gripping area on the front, middle and rear to improve comfort by reducing vibration
- 8 Foot Cord minimizes the road for extension cords
What's to like about the Porter-Cable PCE606K 3-Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
This kit has the necessary attachments to get started as well as a carrying bag. Additionally, it has a tool-free system to change out these attachments. It could not get more simple to use this tool thanks to these features.
Another great thing about this particular kit is the three position handle. This handle makes it possible to use the tool in many different directions with ease. Even in small spaces, you’ll find the right angle for using this tool.
What's not to like about the Porter-Cable PCE606K 3-Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit
This tool does not accept universal attachments, and you will find that not every brand works with this tool. Still, there are many available tool attachments that work with it, so this isn’t a huge drawback.
Another drawback is that this tool is very loud and kicks up a lot of dust while in use. Wearing ear protection and gloves can solve that issue without any fuss.
5. DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Oscillating Tool Kit
This high-end tool from popular brand DeWalt has the power and sturdiness needed to stand up to your biggest projects.
This tool from DeWalt is known for how durable it is. The stainless steel construction, powerful motor, and included accessories can all be expected to last through many jobs. The tool also has a universal fit option, so you can use your favorite attachments from your favorite brands.
- Powerful 3.0 amp motor provides strong cutting and sanding performance
- Quick Change accessory system for quick changes without wrenches
- Dual-Grip variable speed trigger for ultimate speed and control
- Stainless steel construction
- Universal fit for all major brands
What's to like about the DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Oscillating Tool Kit
One of the nicest things about this particular tool is the durability. The tool case and inner workers have stainless-steel parts backing the construction up. They will not rust easily, and they will not bend during regular use. Instead, they’ll just last!
Another great thing about the tool is the quick-change tool attachment area with a universal fit. This means you can easily change blades between tools from any brand, which makes it very easy to use.
What's not to like about the DEWALT DWE315K Multi Material Oscillating Tool Kit
The tool-less method on this particular tool requires that you only use it with quick-change blades. These tend to be more expensive, and being required to use them with an already expensive tool can be incredibly frustrating.
The tool also has a variable speed trigger which controls both speed and power in the same button. While this could be convenient in theory, it’s actually more difficult to control than using a separate dial for speed. Not everyone will find this feature frustrating.
The differences between various oscillating tools can seem minute, but these small differences can alter how a tool performs dramatically. Let’s explore the various characteristics of oscillating tools that should be considered when you are making your selection to ensure you get the best option available to you.
Every oscillating tool rotates the blade at a different speed. These speeds can be fixed or variable, and what speed will work best will depend on your materials and project.
For that reason, many people find that they prefer to work with an oscillating tool that has a variable speed dial. This type of dial makes it possible to change between different speeds depending on the type of work that you are doing, and that capability can really help you complete a project successfully.
If you only plan to use the oscillating tool on a certain type of material (such as a very hard wood), then choosing an appropriate fixed-speed oscillating tool works as well. Just be sure that you will be happy with that speed forever because you won’t be able to make adjustments to the speed later on.
Portability (corded or cordless)
What type of projects do you plan to use your oscillating tool on? Do you need to carry it with you up a high ladder or into a crawl hole to complete the work? Or will you be working in a garage or other fixed workplace when using the tool?
If you are working in a fixed location, getting a corded oscillating tool will work for you. These tools can only be used as far as you can reach with a cord or an extension cable. While the cord can be a downside, you don’t ever have to worry about running out of battery, so you can work continuously.
If you are working in a location where having to plug in your tool or working around a cord can be difficult, you will be better off choosing a portable, cordless oscillating tool. This type of tool will need to be charged regularly but can be very convenient to carry with you into difficult work environments.
Ultimately, you have to decide between unlimited operating time (corded) and portability (cordless) when choosing your oscillating tool. If you can find one, a tool that has both capabilities can be a great compromise!
Blades and Attachments
Oscillating tools can be fitted with different blades as well as grinders and other attachments—but not every tool can handle a wide variety of attachments. Some tools work only with one or two blades. Other toolkits come with 10 or more blade variations that you can work with.
Again, the key to choosing the right product for your needs is to think about what you will be using the tool to work on.
- Do you have a specific project in mind? Find the tool with the blade perfect for this project
- Do you hope to use this tool for a wide variety of projects? Find a tool that comes with multiple attachments for the greatest versatility
It’s usually best to choose a tool that is more versatile rather than less. After all, you never know what projects will come up in the future!
Even if your tool doesn’t come with a variety of blades, be sure to choose an oscillating tool with many compatible blades so that you can change them out in the future if you have the need to do so.
If you plan to use this tool a lot or you are a professional that will be using it, you want to go for a powerful, likely corded model that has a minimum of 2.5-amp power. 3-amp and higher is preferred, and it can be hard to find such a high power rating if you look at cordless versions.
If you’re just going to be doing smaller projects around the house, you will be satisfied with a 1.5 or 2.0-amp model.
It is not recommended to choose an oscillating tool with anything lower than a 1.5-amp power setting, but there are exceptions if you are choosing a tool due to size limitations or another reason.
While some people think that oscillating tools move the attachments in a circle, they do not. There are two motions that oscillating tools can do:
- Move attachments up and down
- Move attachments back and forth
A rotary tool moves blades and grinders in a circular motion, so it is the better choice for techniques such as routing or sanding.
Still, it’s important to think about if an oscillating tool moves things back and forth or up and down. Depending on what kind of attachments you plan to use with your multi-tool, you may prefer one over the other.
Some oscillating tools can move attachments in either direction depending on the settings you choose, so this flexibility may be the best option if you aren’t sure.
How to use an oscillating tool?
Oscillating tools are incredibly versatile and can be used to do many different types of work on projects around your home or business, but that can make them even more daunting to learn how to use.
The basics of using an oscillating tool are simple: change the blade, turn it on, and get to work. But there is definitely a learning curve to actually using the tool, so it’s important that you practice.
This brief video gives you an idea of five different ways you can use your oscillating tool and how to do it:
If there’s something you want to try to do with your oscillating tool, don’t be afraid to search for a video tutorial on how to use your power tool for that specific purpose. Watching videos can help you to avoid making common mistakes.
How does an oscillating tool work?
Oscillating tools work using side-to-side (or up-and-down) movement. The tool moves the attachment back and forth at about 20,000 strokes per minute, which makes it feel like a vibration.
As the tool swings back and forth this very small distance, the attached blade makes a cut since it’s fine teeth will be moved back and forth through the material. This saves you from the trouble of having to saw or cut things yourself.
How to sharpen an oscillating tool blade?
If you wear down one or more of your oscillating tool blades, it is possible to make them sharp again. Don’t spend money buying new ones until you try this technique; you could save a lot of money.
This video shows you the basics of how to do the resharpening:
Remember, however, that not all oscillating tool blades can be sharpened again. Depending on the quality of the blade and the material that it is made out of, you may or may not be able to sharpen it.
The best blades to sharpen again are made from high carbon material so that they can get a new live edge with relative ease.
What is an oscillating tool?
An oscillating tool is a powerful multi-tool that can be used to make cuts on materials such as pipes, wood, and more in a small space or when they cannot be removed. These multi-tools can be used on a wide variety of projects, so the only real limitation is your imagination.
What can you do with an oscillating tool?
Woodworkers, DIY masters, and contractors all find this tool very useful for these jobs (and many more):
- Cutting pipe
- Slice through wood, plaster, and more
- Chop through nails, screws, and other metals
- Trim door casings
- Sand various surfaces
- Remove paint
- Take grout out
- Route new tracks in wood
- And much more!
An oscillating tool is a versatile tool that will find many uses as you move on to bigger and better projects.
Among these oscillating tools, the Dremel MM40-05 Multi-Max Oscillating Tool Kit is the best tool kit that you could choose. It has the perfect blend of power, price, control, and precision that makes it a smart choice for both the home improvement expert and the jack-of-all-trades.
If you want an inexpensive option to try out the power of an oscillating tool, the Genesis GMT15A Multi-Purpose Oscillating Tool is a great option to practice with that won’t cost you too much money to buy.