6 of the Best-Value OMTs in the Market


It is general knowledge to all experienced craftsmen and home improvement hobbyist that having a reliable set of power tools at your disposal allows you to power through your job with improved craft, less effort, and all around superior results. In this list, we gather 6 of the best bang-for-your-buck oscillating multi-tools that are out in the market right now. At the end of the day, you can decide for yourself which of these oscillating all-rounders is worth your hard-earned money.

 OMTs

 

What is an Oscillating Multi-Tool?

Despite being a core equipment in every craftsman's tool box, the oscillating multi-tool has not been around for very long. The oscillating multi-tool, or OMT, in fact, has been in the market only in last 10 years.

Today, the oscillating multi-tool is every home improvement specialist's quintessential do-it-all device. Thanks the many attachments and accessories that it accommodates, the oscillating multi-tool can practically do it all--plunge through wood, drill holes through the wall, cut through pipes, shear moldings, grind out ground, remove old paint, and sand off rough surfaces, among other applications.

The cutting motion of the multi-tool is distinctly different from that of traditional types of power saws. While traditional power saws follow either a back-and-forth or circular cutting path, the oscillating multi-tool--as suggested by its name--moves by way of high-speed side-to-side oscillations; a standard multi-tool typically cuts through things at 20,000 oscillations per minute.

 

Why Use an Oscillating Multi-Tool?

 OMTs

The unparalleled popularity of the oscillating multi-tool is largely credited to its versatility in performing a wide range of home improvement applications. Compared to more traditional power saw variants, the oscillating multi-tool doesn’t kick-back or grab when cutting through materials. And because of its small frame and often offset design, the oscillating tool is ideal for making very precise cutting even in relatively tight spots that are notoriously difficult for traditional power saws to even fit into

An essential part of everybody’s toolbox, an oscillating tool can be used in multiple home improvement and professional applications. With the proper attachments and accessories, the oscillating multi-tool can easily cut through, polish, and grind different materials such as wood, metal, drywall, mortar, fiberglass, and plastic.

 

Who Needs Oscillating Multi-Tools?

Perhaps a better phrasing of the question would be, “Who doesn’t need an oscillating tool?” The oscillating multi-tool is a constant companion of professionals and hobbyists alike, from home improvement enthusiasts to professional carpenters, contractors, and cabinet installers.

OMTs

Because the oscillating tool accomplishes most of its technical applications--cutting, shearing, grinding, etc. -- by vibrating its blade over a narrow arc, it allows for better control and relatively lesser vibrations, both of which are ideal in performing common yet tricky tasks such as grinding tile adhesive, trimming baseboards and wood flooring, flush cutting door jambs, plunge cutting wood flooring, slicing nails and bolts, grinding out grout, among others.

 

What to Consider When Buying an Oscillating Multi-Tool?

 OMTs

As with any other purchase, price definitely is an important consideration when deciding on what OMT to buy. Your purchase decision, however, should not be driven by price alone. For this, it is best to shift your thinking from the isolated concept of “price” to the more holistic idea of getting the best value for your money.

It pays to invest a little time, effort, and attention--seriously, it doesn’t take much at all--into familiarizing yourself with various OMT options that are available to you. Once you have a good sense of what multi-tools get you the best value for your hard-earned cash, it is now time to look into individual reviews and comparisons.

Like in most purchases, it is in your best interest as a buyer to pay close attention to widely reported downsides. While it is normal, even expected, to see a random negative comment here and there--mostly from competing manufacturers and brand-loyalists--a consistent problem that’s commonly reported should warrant serious consideration. 

Once you have created a shortlist of your top 3 or top 5 OMT choices, it’s time to double down and rate your choices in the following areas:

 

Speed

When it comes to OMTs, the quicker the oscillation, the better cuts. For effective cutting applications, you should look into a multi-tool that is capable of generating at least 20,000 oscillations per minute.

Faster is better in most cases, but not in all cases. If you are doing a lot of precision work, for instance, you might want to look into a variable speed oscillating tool that allows you to make the necessary adjustments to both speed and accuracy.

 

Power

Power and speed goes hand in hand with OMTs. But while power remains an important variable, it doesn’t occupy the same fundamental level of importance as raw speed.

When used in most normal applications, for instance, there’s not a whole lot of difference between a 2 amp motor OMT and a 3 amp motor OMT. That said, it doesn’t hurt to get a multi-tool that packs an extra punch for when you’re working with extra-demanding projects that could push your OMT to its very limit.

 

Ergonomics and Comfort

Any equipment--or practically anything for that matter--that you are going to use frequently and on a regular basis needs to be comfortable. A mark of a good OMT is that it’s ergonomically designed, well-balanced, and user-friendly.

Pro-tip: an OMT with a textured grip helps avoid hand blisters.

 

Noise and Vibration

With vibration comes noise. Powerful OMTs generate more vibration; as a result, powerful OMTs tend to generate a lot of noise.

Noise isn’t so much of an issue. You can always wear ear defenders to shut out most of the noise. And there are also more technologically advanced OMTs that successfully dampen noise down to a particular level.

Excessive vibration, on the other hand, remains to be a real issue as it can easily hurt your arms and hand, especially with constant and prolonged OMT use. Look into detailed reviews and make sure that the OMT that you are looking into can run without generating excessive vibrations.

 

Weight and Balance

Make sure that your OMT sits comfortably in your hands. It doesn’t necessarily have to be light as a feather. Light OMTs tend to allow for too much vibration. OMTs that are too heavy, on the other hand will cause your arms and hands to fatigue.

As with most things, the Goldilocks’ of OMTs is one that’s not too light and not too heavy at the same time. A mid-weight OMT that feels right in your hands will allow you to work all day long.

 

Price

To get the best bang out of your hard-earned buck, it is best to first set a budget for your OMT purchase.

When shopping, it is also equally important that you know the kind of work that you will using your OMT for. At the end of the day, your intended purpose will largely influence the budget that you set aside for your OMT purchase. It wouldn’t exactly be the smartest purchase decision if you end up buying an industrial-grade OMT for working on the occasional home improvement projects.

When it comes to multi-tools, you generally get better all-around performance, better build quality, and better engineering features--such as soft motor starts, universal fit system for you attachments, better vibration dampening-- as go up on the price ladder. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to break the bank when shopping for your OMT purchase. You can very easily pick-up extremely capable OMTs without breaking the bank. As such, what follows is a list of the top 6 OMTs that gets you the best value for your money.

 

  1. DeWalt DCS355D1 Max XR

OMTs

The cordless DeWalt DCS355D1 Max XR satisfies two important requirements of any good-quality oscillating multi-tool: portability and quick access. The DeWalt DCS355D1 sits comfortably in the hand--measuring 12 inches in length, and 3.22 pounds in weight, already including the 20 volt lithium ion battery.

It used to be with older model OMTs that you had to drag out a long, winding, and often tangled cord when working on even a simple home improvement project. Fast forward to a few years into the future, battery operated power tools have advanced to the point where cordless OMTs now offer the user the perfect brand of convenience, durability, and versatility.

The DeWalt DCS355D1 makes for a great investment if you’re looking for a technologically advanced OMT that will last for a long time. This is mostly because the DeWalt DCS355D1 is powered by a brushless motor that keeps the wear on gears to the bare minimum. The brushless design of the motor also does a commendable job in terms of reducing friction, improving efficiency, increasing run time by up to 57%.

Another handy feature of DeWalt DCS355D1 is the extremely bright super led light that comes on when pressure is applied to the trigger mechanism.

The DeWalt DCS535D1 comes with a number of accessories and attachments out of the box. It is packaged with some of the most commonly used cutting, sanding, and scraping attachments so that you can start using it right away.  It also comes with universal accessory adaptor that allows to the user to equip OMT attachments from other brands. A good old wrench is all it takes to change out the accessories and attachments.

One of the more attractive features of the DeWalt DCS535D1 is its dual grip variable speed trigger that allows the user to manipulate the variable speed of the device from 0 OPM to 20,000 OPM simply by  gripping the handle--the variable speed speeds up or slows down depending on the strength applied on the grip.

 

PROS

CONS

The DeWalt DCS535D1 is extremely reliable thanks to its brush motor design.

It might be a little difficult for brand loyalists to find DeWalt blades at big box stores.

The DeWalt DCS535D1 is equipped with a powerful battery that can last up to 24 hours.

 

The DeWalt DCS535D1 comes with a plethora of tool accessories right out the box

 

 

  1. Makita XMT03Z LXT

OMTs

Next on our list is another cordless, battery operated OMT option from Makita--the Makita XMT03Z. To start with, the XMT03Z features a tool-less blade change system; instead of using the old hex key, the XMT03Z is designed with a latch and pin system that facilitates quick and easy blade changes. It is worth noting, however, that because of this update in the design of the XMT03Z, it is no longer be fitted with the LED light that came with the older Makita OMT models.

The Makita XMT03Z is unmistakably bigger and heavier when compared with other multi-tools in the segment. In fact the XMT03Z is even noticeably heavier than some corded models. Although the XMT03Z is bigger and heftier, it also has better build quality when compared to both older models and other OMTs in the market. The added weight does a fantastic job at dampening vibrations, and the larger gripping area makes for a more comfortable grip.

The XMT03Z delivers a good amount of speed and power for most applications--from slicing through nails, to plunge cutting through plywood, to notching old hardwood post. The power delivery of the XMT03Z is exceptionally smooth for a cordless multi-tool.

There are a number of well-considered safety features that are designed into the XMT03Z. For starters, upon turning the OMT on, the motor powers up with a soft start so it doesn’t cause any unnecessary jerking on the user’s arms. It also features a power on lockout mechanism so that the motor will not power on when re-inserting the battery when the power-switch is left in the on position. Lastly, this OMT is engineered with a vibration dampening mechanism that prevents excessive vibration from inflicting damage to the batteries. 

While the runtime on the XMT03Z doesn’t last all day, it still gives the user an average runtime of 17 minutes with the motor maxed out, which is pretty decent when considering that the previous model had a motor-maxed out runtime of 15 minutes. It helps that the Makita XMT03Z comes with fast charging 18V batteries that requires only 30 mins of charging.

 

PROS

CONS

The Makita XMT03Z has solid build quality than both older Makita OMTs and other OMT competition.

The Makita XMT03Z is bigger and heavier than other cordless OMTs. The XMT03Z is even heavier than some corded models.

 

The Makita XMT03Z is engineered with a vibration dampening mechanism that prevents excessive vibration from inflicting damage to the batteries. 

 

The Makita XMT03Z comes with fast charging 18V batteries that requires only 30 mins of charging.

 

 

 

  1. Fein Multimaster 350 QSL

OMTs

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL is part of the Fein family of oscillating multi-tools--together with both the Fein SuperCut Construction and the Fein SuperCut Automotive OMTs. Oscillating multi-tools aren’t particularly known for sporting featuring any unnecessary bells and whistles, and Fein understands this. With 40 years of engineering experience, Fein stuck with focusing on rock solid fundamentals when designing the Multimaster OMT--making sure that they check all of the boxes with a variable speed dial and a dedicated power switch instead of a trigger.

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL is powered by a 350-watt Fein high-power motor that makes one of, if the not the most, powerful oscillating multi-tool in the market. Right from product inception, the Fein Multimaster was designed with the professional woodworker in mind. As such, Fein Multimaster keeps its weight well within four pounds--3.13 pounds to be exact--which makes it the ideal tool for extended use. Additionally, the lightweight standard housing design of the Multimaster plus the ergonomic small diameter handle does a great job at minimizing any unnecessary strain on the back or arms of its user.

When it comes to blade and accessory changes, the Multimaster comes with the Starlock Plus Blade Change System, which Fein and Bosch co-engineered, that lets the user eject and install OMT blades and accessories without so much as touching the items. This feature is especially useful when you are in need a blade change immediately after finishing a cut--with the previously installed blade heated up at 200 degrees. This changing mechanism also makes for a more secure connection as it features the Starlock’s 3D chuck system which is a specialized 3D impression that allows the blade to fully wrap around the chuck.

If there is one drawback to the current iteration of the Multimaster, it is that it lacks an integrated LED light mechanism which makes using it in dark environments quite cumbersome.

 

PROS

CONS

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL is arguably the most powerful OMT in the market right now.

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL lacks a LED light mechanism for low light application.

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL is designed for extended professional use with its standard lightweight housing design and ergonomic small diameter handle.

 

The Fein Multimaster 350 QSL features the Starlock Plus Blade Change System which makes for tool-free OMT accessory changes.

 

 

 

  1. Milwaukee 2426-20 M12

OMTs

Good OMT manufacturers have one thing in common in that they know what makes a solid build and functional design. So it doesn’t come as a surprise how the Milwaukee M12 looks stunningly similar to the Bosch Multi-X OMT. It’s not that both units are the same exact OMT because they decidedly are not; it’s more of a situation where both manufacturer’s, despite coming from different directions, arrive at a rather similar solution--or in this case, similar engineering execution.

Well balanced and comfortable in the hand, it is worth noting that the Milwaukee M12 is among the lighter OMTs that is out right now, weighing only at 2 pounds and 3 ounces. The M12 sports a rather simple design with sleek curves and an over molded rubber grip that covers most of the tool.

The Milwaukee M12 features a variable speed control, with each numbered setting clicking and locking perfectly into place; this feat prevents the user from making any unwanted or accidental adjustments. Variable speeds of the M12 ranges from 5000 OPM to 20,000 OPM. The M12 is powered by M12 Red Lithium batteries that has average runtime of 15 minutes.

Milwaukee designed a soft start mechanism to the M12. This allows the user to get a good feel for the tool before making the necessary adjustments. To further prolong the life of the M12, Milwaukee has set in place a motor overload protection that keeps the user from ruining the tool.

 

PROS

CONS

The Milwaukee M12 has overall solid build and functional design.

The Milwaukee M12, while still a dependable OMT, M12 can be a little outdated when compared to the Milwaukee M18.

The Milwaukee M12 is balanced and comfortable in the hand. Weighing only at 2 pounds and 3 ounces, the M12 is among the lighter OMTs in the market.

 

The Milwaukee M12 features a variable speed control mechanism that prevents the user from making any unwanted or accidental adjustments.

 

 

 

  1. Milwaukee 2626-20 M18

OMTs

The M18 is Milwaukee’s updated version of their hugely popular M12 OMT that first came out in 2012. Compared to the older model, the M18 comes with a few upgrades. The M18 is equipped with a motor that delivers more power; it features a tool-free blade changing system; and it has a runtime that is twice longer than many OMTs in the segment.

Right out of the box, you can tell that Milwaukie put a lot of thought into engineering the M18. The tool, weighing at 4.15 pounds, balances itself quite nicely in the hand. Right out of the box, the It comes with all the essentials, including the M18 multi-tool of course, the compact M18 Red Lithium battery, a multi-voltage charger, an adapter, a sanding pad, and a wood cutting blade. 

The M18 can deliver between 11,000 to 18,000 oscillations per minute. It features Milwaukee’s constant power technology that maintains cutting speed under load. The user can set their preferred speed via a variable speed dial that sits on the handle of the unit. The power delivery of the M18 is rather smooth. The tool does a fantastic job at dampening the vibrations.

Like many multi-tools, the M18 tends to get a little loud.

The M18 is designed with a solidly built, all-metal gear case, a built-in led light on the front, and tool-free blade change mechanism. The blade-changing set up of the M18 is rather convenient; just lift the lever that sits in front of the tool and twist out the bolt that retains the old blade in place, and swap out the new blade. The M18 uses a universal blade interface that is engineered to make use of most blades and attachments from other popular OMT brands.

Like most cordless oscillating multi-tools in this list, the Milwaukee M18 is does a great job for applications that prove to be difficult for cordless tools to access. That said, if you are a professional contractor who’s looking into getting a full day’s work out of your OMT, then you might still want to consider a corded variety.

 

PROS

CONS

The Milwaukee M18 is a significant upgrade to an already proven OMT in the M12.

The Milwaukee M18, like most OMTs, tends to get a little loud.

The Milwaukee M18 has a runtime that is twice longer than many OMTs in the segment.

 

The Milwaukee M18 does a fantastic job at dampening the vibrations.

 

 

  1. Dremel VC60-01 Velocity

OMTs

The fact is that we can’t make a comprehensive enough list of the best oscillating multi-tools in the market without talking about Dremel. Dremel’s recent offering to the OMT market, the VC60-01 Velocity, is a corded oscillating tool engineered to bridge the gap between specialized, more powerful, rough cutting tools such as the circular and reciprocating saws and the more versatile OMTs. In terms of design, the Dremel Velocity looks like a cross between their Ultra Saw Circular Saw line and their Multi Max OMT line.

Dremel accomplishes this task head-on by equipping the Velocity with a beefier 7.0 amp motor that powers the OMT through tough jobs that more conventional multi-tools just can’t handle. In comparison, most conventional OMTs are only powered by a 3.4 amp motor that  limits their utility when subjected to demanding cutting applications. Due to its significantly more robust motor, the Velocity can power its way through most materials--anything from sheet wood to dimensional lumber.

The Velocity features 2 distinct cutting speeds: precision speed and hyper-speed. With the hyper-speed setting, the Velocity generates a cutting speed that is 9x faster than most entry level OMTs. The Velocity also features an extra wide 5 degree oscillating angle that further allows for the delivery of faster and more aggressive cuts. The Dremel Velocity is specially engineered for rough cutting jobs that prove to be too difficult for most traditional OMTs. The Velocity delivers long and fast cuts that no traditional multi-tool can.

Because the Dremel Velocity is unapologetically big and hefty at 4.45 pounds, it is designed with a swing-out control mechanism to help improve cutting accuracy. The swing-out control foot rests the Velocity on the material being cut; this swing-out mechanism provides support to the Velocity in the same fashion that a shoe provides support to a jigsaw. This patented control mechanism becomes most useful when working with large cutouts and longer sheet materials. With the control foot open, the Velocity is optimally configured for making long-cuts in panel materials. With the control foot closed, the tool functions like most standard OMTs that are optimized for various cutting, sanding, grinding applications, among others.

It is also worth noting that the Dremel Velocity is also engineered with a quick tool-less accessory change set-up.

 

PROS

CONS

The Dremel Velocity is equipped with a beefier 7 amp motor that powers the OMT through tough jobs that more conventional multi-tools just can’t handle.

The Dremel Velocity is unapologetically big and hefty at 4.45lbs.

The Dremel Velocity generates a cutting speed that is 9x faster than most entry level OMTs.

 

The Dremel Velocity bridges the gap between specialized, more powerful, rough cutting tools such as the circular and reciprocating saws and the more versatile OMTs.

 

 

  1. Porter Cable PCC710B 20V Max

OMTs

A welcome addition to Porter Cable’s line of 20-volt max high-performance power tools, the Porter PCC710B 20V Max is a cordless oscillating multitool that packs plenty of power to get through multiple OMT applications throughout the day.

The PCC710B features a variable speed dial (8K-18K OPM) that facilitates better control across a variety of precision tasks. The PCC710B also features a 2-finger tool-less, spring-loaded, changing mechanism that makes adjusting and changing accessories relatively quick and easy. Offering outstanding value for the money, this Porter OMT comes with an 11-piece boxed set of accessories that covers a wide range of cutting, sanding, scraping, and grinding applications. It also accommodates most universal OMT attachments,

The PCC710B is designed with an integrated LED light that allows for better visibility in low light work conditions. Part of the comfort feature of the PCC710B is the 3 position over molded grip that is specifically designed to reduce vibration and improve tool grip--although, users with particularly smaller hands may still find the tool to be a little too bulky to handle.

 

PROS

CONS

The Porter Cable PCC710B 20V Max offers outstanding value for the money out of the box--with with an 11-piece accessory set that covers a wide range of home improvement applications.

The Porter Cable PCC710B 20V Max may be a little too bulky for users with smaller hands.

The Porter Cable PCC710B 20V Max features a 2-finger, spring-loaded, mechanism that facilitates tool-less and hassle-free blade changing.

 

Porter Cable PCC710B 20V Max accepts most universal OMT attachments.

 

 

Oscillating multi-tools can often be purchased individually as “tool-only” or as part of an “OMT kit”. If the budget allows, you might want to consider purchasing an OMT kit as it gets you the complete package right out of the box. It is not uncommon for OMT kits to include as many as a dozen accessories and attachments--including various blades that are most commonly used in a broad range of OMT applications.

Whether you are a home-improvement hobbyist or a professional contractor, it always pays to make sure that the OMT kit that you are looking into purchasing includes most if not all of the attachments that are necessary in completing your work and projects. You might also want to look into specific product features that could make your work a little easier; product features like quick change accessory system, variable speed control, led light, and an extra-long cord, among others.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for solid all around OMTs, we believe that the 6 options included in this discussion should make for a well-considered working shortlist.


Leave a comment


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published