Tips To Use Your Oscillating Tool More Effectively

The oscillating multi-tool is arguably the most versatile power tool every handyman, contractor, and DIYer must have. While it is important to own a multi-tool, it is just as important to use the right attachment to maximize its importance.

Multi-tools help make the job easier and allow you to work more efficiently on your project. An oscillating multi-tool is perfect for cutting, trimming, and sanding wood, plastic, and PVC, as well as cutting pipes, nails, and screws.

Its versatility makes it the ideal tool to reach tight spaces and make precision cuts in awkward positions. With the right blade, this amazing tool can remove grout around tile and countertops without destroying the surrounding surfaces. These tools work great for doing work around the home and make all projects - both small and large - much easier and take less time to complete.

Oscillating Saw Blades and Attachments

Oscillating tools work just as well as the accessories you use with them. Choosing the right saw blade or accessories for the task at hand is important to quickly get through the project without wearing out too many blades.

Before you begin your project, make sure you are selecting the right saw blade for the job. Most saw blades and attachments will include a label that tells you what they are made to cut. If not, feel free to refer to our guide below when selecting your saw blade or accessory.


oscillating tool use

There are many cutting attachments for multi-tools depending on the material you want to cut. Be sure to use the right blade or attachment for the job to get the best results and extend the life of attachment. If you do not choose the right saw blade for the job, you will burn through more saw blades than necessary.  

For example, when cutting metals, use a bi-metal saw blade designed to cut wood and metal. If you choose an HCS saw blade designed to cut wood, you will not be pleased by the results.

If you are only cutting wood, make sure you use an HCS wood blade with larger teeth. If you use a bi-metal blade to cut through several feet of wood, you run the risk of burning up the woo. This is because bimetal blades have shorter teeth and are not as adept at clearing out saw dust.

Oscillating saw blades come in many different shapes and sizes each with their specific cutting purpose. You can find oscillating saw blades to cut wood, plastic, drywall, fiberglass, metal, asphalt roofing shingles, cardboard, carpet, tile, grout and more.

Scraping Blade

oscillating tool uses

Scraping blades are excellent and do exactly what you expect them to do - they scrape. These blades are ideal for removing silicone, paint, adhesives, and other coatings. Scraping blades come in multiple shapes and sizes, and each type is created for a specific type of scraping job. The more rigid scrapers are for removing vinyl, varnish, paint layers and carpeting, while flexible scrapers are for removing soft material like caulk, peeling paint and adhesives.

Sanding and Polishing

oscillating tool uses

With a multi-tool and a hook-and-loop sanding attachment, there are endless possibilities on what you can do. You can find large circles for sanding larger areas or other sanding attachments the size of your thumb for more detailed sanding jobs. Besides sandpaper, you can also get diamond polishing pads in different grits. Diamond Polishing Pads work best on masonry, stone, cement, and mortar. The polishing pads work well for fixing or removing blemishes on stone surfaces.

Grout Removal

oscillating tool uses

Grout removal blades are awesome for removing grout and cutting other hard materials with precision. Grout removal blades are often round or semi-round blades that work best on hard material like plaster, concrete, tile, and grout.

Rasping Blade

Rasping blades are designed to grind and sand hard materials. Due to their coarseness, they can remove these materials very quickly. Rasping blades come in a variety of shapes and sizes and work best on thinset, stone, concrete, plaster, and wood. The large chunks of carbide found on these blades make them very durable that allows them to remove materials quickly and, since they are attached to an oscillating tool, very accurately, too.

Cutting Tips

oscillating tool uses

How to Cut Straight

To create a straight cut, a round or half-moon saw blade works best. You want to lightly press down on your tool creating a cut no more than 1/4 inch deep. Run your blade across the length of the cut multiple times with each pass making it a little deeper until you cut through your material. Pressing down hard and cutting through the material like you would a jigsaw blade or reciprocating saw blade will cause excess heat to build up and your blades to wear more quickly. 

Flush Cutting

These blades allow you to cut flush against a surface. Flush blades are useful on flooring, doorjambs, window sills, wall trim, cutting of nails and screws that stick out and more. No other tool makes flush cuts as quickly and as easily as an oscillating tool.

Straight vs. Round Blades

Straight blades are best suited for creating plunge cuts. They work great cutting out notches of wood and making holes in drywall. Round blades work best at creating long straight cuts. The increased width of a rounded blade makes it easier to create straight cuts because they do not have the maneuverability of a straight blade.

Carbide vs. Diamond Blades

Carbide rasping blades work great for cutting hard material, but if you are using them frequently, then a diamond blade might be worth the investment.  Diamond blades allow you to cut faster, work better on a hardened material, and last longer than a carbide blade.

Protecting a Finished Surface

When cutting against a surface or a wall you do not want to damage, place a thin piece of sheet metal in between the blade and the surface. Doing so will allow you to make the necessary cuts without damaging the previously finished surface.

Increasing the Life of Your Blade

Heat and pressure can cause the life of your saw blade to diminish. These things will cause your saw blades to wear out more quickly and burn the material you are cutting. While cutting, make sure your saw blade is always moving to avoid building up excess heat.  

Use long strokes when making long cuts. With each pass, gradually deepen your cut-depth. Using long strokes will help your blade to dissipate the heat and clean out saw dust. Applying small amounts of lubricant to the blade’s teeth can help reduce heat build-up. Applying light pressure, instead of leaning into the cut, will reduce the heat build-up and will extend the life and performance of your saw blades.

When storing your saw blades, it is best to keep them in a plastic container away from moisture.  Moisture can cause your saw blades to rust and reduce the performance and life of the blade. 

Blade Wear and Tear

All saw blades wear out, but how you use and store them can make a difference on how long they will last.  If you notice some surface rust, try putting a small amount of lubricant (WD$40) on a paper towel and wipe it onto your saw blade. Adding small amounts of lubricant will protect them from moisture. Blades with missing or chipped teeth are often a sign you are pressing too hard or not moving the saw blade enough. If you notice the wood you are cutting is smoking or burning and discoloration on the saw blade, make sure your saw blade does not have dull teeth. Try using a saw blade with larger teeth and moving the saw blade more frequently to avoid building up excess heat.

Protecting Sandpaper

Using lower speeds when you sand will minimize the amount of heat generated during use. Reducing the heat build-up will protect the grit on your paper helping it to last longer. Appling even pressure will keep the sandpaper from wearing prematurely or unevenly.

Be sure to check our oscillating blades for all of your home improvement needs.  


  • Joseph

    Wonderful Guide. I learned a lot of information from your share. Such an informative article that I never have seen before.
    Thanks for sharing such an informative article.
    Hopefully, waiting for your more article in the future.

  • Ethan Barrera

    My blade (that is new) would stop moving when I applied any amount of pressure Tips?

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