What are the right electric multi-tools or oscillating tools for your needs? The answer to this question depends on determining the right criteria for the selection. Doing a bit of research about these products and comparing them side by side will make it much easier for you to identify the best one. To start with, this multi-tool review will help you to get the ball rolling.
Reasons to Get an Electric Multi-Tool
Before moving on to the other aspects of buying a power tool, it’s important to determine whether you need any oscillating tools at all.
These power tools are also known as multi-cutters because they can go through a wide array of materials. Some of the most powerful options on the market are great for cutting through wood, metal, tile, laminate, masonry and many other materials. Thus, they’re extremely valuable during household repairs and upgrades. Better still, many of the more modern power tools are much quieter in terms of vibration and noise so that you won't annoy the neighbors.
The oscillating head also makes multi-tool perfect for sanding and repairing surfaces. Depending on the available attachments, such a multi-tool could also be used to polish. Thus, you get the effectiveness of multiple machines in one item.
Cordless or Corded?
Some of the multi-tools out there are corded and they draw power from the electric network. Such machines can be used for a long period of time without running out of power. The only problem to keep in mind is that the cord could limit the applications and uses of the machine (in the completion of outdoor projects, for example).
Cordless multi-tools feature a battery that eliminates the need for a cord. The battery is usually rechargeable for added convenience.
Understanding the shortcomings of a cordless tool is easy – you have a limited amount of time to finish the job before running out of battery. If you go for this product, you may want to consider the purchase of two or even three batteries. This way, you’ll get to work on a project without interruptions while one of the batteries is being charged.
Now that you’ve made up your mind about the purchase of either a cordless or a corded multi-tool, it’s time to examine the power of the top picks in each category.
The motor that the multi-tool is equipped with is going to be determining for the power that it produces. Look for an item that comes with a variable speed motor on top of the power. Variable speed makes it possible to enjoy all features of the multi-tool. Sanding is a lot easier at a slower speed. Cutting jobs require a higher speed.
Take a look at the OMP reading. The abbreviation stands for oscillations per minute. The higher the OMP number is, the more powerful the tool is going to be. If the OMP reading is provided in the form of a range, you’re looking at a variable speed item.
A powerful tool should be easy to hold in order to do a good, precise job.
Many brands create multi-tools that come with an ergonomic design. The weight of the appliance will also be important. If you plan to use the machine in small spaces, you’ll need something that’s easy to hold with one hand.
Rubberized handles are also very important. Even if the vibrations of the oscillating machine are minimal, there will still be some. A rubberized grip makes the machine easier to hold in position, regardless of the toughness of the project you’re currently trying to complete.
Available Attachments and Accessories
A multi-tool is as good as the range of attachments that it comes with. Look at the items included in the kit, as well as the additional accessories for the machine you can buy separately. Having many options for the upgrade of your multi-tool will increase its usability in the long run.
Most multi-tools are provided with a blade for cutting and sanding heads (featuring sanding sheets with different grits). This is the absolute minimum to look for. A bigger number of accessories included in the original kit will increase the value of the item.
Apart from the blade and the sanding pad, you may want to look for polishing attachments, a sawing blade, carbide rasps for rough sanding, a specialized grout removal blade, and a scraper blade. Obviously, the selection of accessories will depend on the types of jobs you have in mind.
Now that you’ve assessed all of the essentials, it’s time to take a look at the additional features. Some of the best electric multi-tools out there have a number of extras that increase their practical appeal.
A light incorporated in the design of the tool is great. The light will shine on the area that you’re currently working on. Thus, there’s no need to hold a flashlight and you can grip the machine comfortably with both hands.
It’s also a good idea to look for easy, keyless change of the accessories. Switching between blades and sanding pads without requiring tools for the purpose is quite convenient when you’re busy working on an extensive project.
A noise reduction mechanism isn’t an essential but it can definitely make work a whole lot more pleasant. Many multi-tool manufacturers focus on noise reduction and they’ve managed to accomplish some pretty great things over the past few years. Fein tools are one example of almost entirely noiseless operation.
Finally, you may want to get a box or a carry case for the easy storage of the multi-tool and its accessories. Most companies will include one of these in the kit, free of charge.
Look for the Optimal Price to Quality Ratio
It’s not a great idea to opt for the cheapest item on the market. Instead, look for the appliance that has the most to offer within the respective price range. A good price to quality ratio will give you a chance to enjoy the machine for years without experiencing problems.
The final thing to look for prior to making a purchase is the warranty. A multi-tool should have at least one- or two-year manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty stands as evidence of quality and confidence that the manufacturer has in the product. The more extensive the warranty is, the more peace of mind you’re going to have after the purchase. We hope that you have found this multi-tool review helpful.