An oscillating multi-tool is the right choice for sanding, sawing, grinding, cutting & scrapping. Whether you’re a professional tradesman or DIY enthusiast, it’ll make numerous jobs ranging from grout removal to cutting floorboards, easier & quicker.
This power tool effectively replaces a sander, saw, grinder and scraper in one hit.
What is an Oscillating Multi-Tool?
Multi-Tool is a name used to describe a number of different devices. For simplicity, we can split them into three categories. The first is a swiss-army knife type tool that’s often used for bike repairs, camping trips and alike. The second is a powered rotating tool that’s good for hobbyists – Dremel is perhaps the best-known brand here.
The oscillating multi-tool may be the best power tool you’ve never heard of – this is what we’re reviewing here.
Great for DIYers and professionals alike. This corded or cordless power tool makes numerous tricky jobs quick and easy. It works by using an interchangeable blade, that vibrates to sand, grind, scrape & saw.
Best Oscillating Multi-Tool UK
An oscillating multi-tool is a great piece of kit for anyone who’s faced with a variety of tasks around the home, workshop or on-site.
Power sanding is made easy with the triangular pad attachment. Choose the right grit and you’re good to go, on any surface. Similar to a detail sander, this is perfect for tight corners and it’s easy to use. It will remove material quickly and evenly (no swirl marks).
For cutting and grinding, the right models offer a number of advantages over a circular saw. They are ideal for plunge cuts, flush cuts & working at awkward angles. And although slower than a circular saw, they’re much safer. Also of benefit, is that they generate less dust.
We compare 100s of power tools to help you find the right device and model for you. We scrutinise specifications, check manufacturer claims and take on expert advice, to better understand the real-world experience and only then offer reviews and recommendations on the best tools to buy…
Silverline DIY Review
£30 | Buy Now from Amazon
For occasional DIY this multi-tool is a decent choice for anyone on a tight budget.
For under fifty quid, this Silverline oscillating multi-tool comes with a few basic accessories. However, we’d recommend spending more to get the cutting & scraping set, plus additional sanding sheets.
Although a little heavier than a detail sander, this multi-tool will do the same job & a whole lot more. It really is a great piece of kit earning much praise from real-world owners.
Looking for negatives, there’s no storage box and while all power tools are noisy, this model is comparatively loud – you’ll need ear protection.
SPECIFICATION: POWER: 240v 300w | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | SPEEDS: 6 | NO LOAD SPEED: 15,000 – 23,000rpm | NOISE: Pressure 90dB & Power 101dB | LENGTH: 300mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
For a fraction of the price compared to big-brand alternatives, this Silverline oscillating multi-tool does everything it should.
Bosch Advanced Multi 18 Review
£129 | Buy Now from Amazon
Going cordless make every job easier and quicker. And this Bosch multi-tool is a great place to start. No cord, quick tool change, quality accessories and the same battery system across all Bosch DIY tools give it stand-out credentials.
Being able to use the same batteries with all your Bosch power tools is not only convenient but will save you a small fortune too. Next time you buy a new power tool, choose the bare tool and save £££s.
There are a handful of important features that are not immediately apparent on this Bosch. First up is the Starlock interface. This system has a couple of standout benefits and one negative.
The reliable connection between tool & accessory is super important and in addition to this, you can change the blade in seconds – no need for an Allen key here. You do, however, need to choose Bocsh accessories as generic third-party tools don’t fit.
SPECIFICATION: POWER: 18v | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | SPEEDS: 6 | NO LOAD SPEED: 10,000 – 20,000rpm | NOISE: Pressure 82dB & Power 93dB | LENGTH: 305mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
Cordless convenience, easy change blades, bright light and Bosch reliability make it a good investment. This Bosch oscillating multi-tool is easy to use and will make a multitude of DIY tasks easier & quicker.
Makita DTM50Z Review
£94 | Buy Now from Amazon
If you already own a Makita LXT battery, this oscillating multi-tool should be top of your list. That said, even if you don’t currently own any Makita cordless tools there are numerous reasons why the DTM50Z is worthy of your consideration.
This no-frills Makita multi-tool is designed for the trade. The benefit of this is that you can choose the exact battery and attachments you need. All 18v Makita LXT batteries will fit. Choose 5Ah for longer life or 2.5Ah for the weight advantage.
This model uses a standard locking system which means that you can use (much cheaper) third-party cutters and blades. However, this model does require an Allen key to swap tools. If you’d prefer a quick change device, opt for the more expensive Makita DTM51Z.
SPECIFICATION: POWER: 18v | WEIGHT: 1.4kg | SPEEDS: 6 | NO LOAD SPEED: 6000 – 20,000rpm | NOISE: Pressure 84dB & Power 95dB | LENGTH: 324mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
There’s plenty to like about this model. Makita reliability comes as standard and this multi-tool will help you get the job done, quickly & without fuss.
Dewalt DCS355N Review
£84 | Buy Now from Amazon
Combining the latest technology, cordless convenience and all the must-have features, the Dewalt DCS355N oscillating multi-tool is our overall trade best buy.
As with most trade tools, you need to buy a battery & charger separately. While this is obviously an extra expense, it allows you to get the right battery for you. Plus, it often works out cheaper than bundle deals.
Opt for a Dewalt 18v 2Ah for the weight advantage or 5Ah for value & long runtime (FYI: The 5Ah & 4Ah weigh roughly the same).
Inside this oscillating multi-tool is a brushless motor. This technology is far superior to the standard design for 3 reasons.
It generates little heat, meaning it won’t burn out – even if used continuously. Using less power to deliver greater torque, each battery charge lasts considerably longer. Plus, it’s more controllable giving a precise & wider speed range.
Standard fit cutters & blades will work on this model, there’s a bright light making it easier to see what you’re doing and quick-change blades add to the convenience.
SPECIFICATION: POWER: 18v | WEIGHT: 1.1kg | SPEEDS: 6 | NO LOAD SPEED: 0 – 20,000rpm | NOISE: Pressure 86dB & Power 97dB | LENGTH: 310mm | WARRANTY: 3 Years
While the Dewalt brand gives an assurance of quality, it’s the brushless motor that will deliver longevity, making this model worth the investment & the Verum Ultimate Award.
The oscillating multi-tool was originally designed for the medical profession, to remove plaster casts from patients. The vibrating blade needs a degree of resistance to cut, hence it will saw through hard casts, but not skin. Making it considerably safer than a circular saw!
Fein made the first and only version of this tool, until 2009 when their patent expired. Since this date, big brands such as Bosch & Dewalt have dominated the market.
Today, the oscillating multi-tool is a great alternative to a power sander, grinder and circular saw. And even if you own all these tools, its ability to make flush cuts and scrape surfaces, gives it a unique appeal over the dedicated alternatives.
Plus, it’s much safer than a grinder or circular saw. Here are a few jobs that it’ll handle…
What is an Oscillating Tool Used For?
- Cut most rigid materials, including wood, metal, plastic, tile & plasterboard
- Grout removal between tiles
- Grind & sand rough edges
- Sand & finish surfaces prior to painting
- Scrape and remove old paint
- Remove old tile adhesive
- Remove mortar ahead of re-pointing
- Cut (flush) old screws & bolts
- Cut through pipes (even in constrained space)
- Cut new clearance on a door (without removing)
- Cut drywall, floorboards & more
UK Verdict 2023
For occasional DIY, choose the Silverline multi-tool – it’s a decent model for rock bottom price.
For cordless convenience, quick blade change and a bright light the Bosch Advanced ticks all the right boxes. Plus, you can use the same battery in over 40 other Bosch DIY power tools.
The Dewalt DCS355N is our overall Best Buy. Cordless convenience, brushless motor and all the right details position it above other models and more than justify the investment. (The Dewalt 18v battery will fit 100+ power tools)
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