In the world of power tools, the oscillating multi-function tool is your go-to “MacGyver.” Like the beloved action hero, an oscillating tool can cut, sand, scrape, plunge-cut, flush-cut, grind, shape and saw tiles. concrete, wood, cables, pipes, sheet rock, flooring, doors, grout, paint, windows and seals– even in tight spaces, if needed and probably even works better when a clock is counting down with seconds to go. Suffice to say, it’s pretty handy to have within reach.
Until 2008, there was only one oscillating multi-function tool guy in town. During that time, that wonderful gizmo cost hundreds of dollars, with replacement blades going for about 20 bucks a pop. Since the company’s patent expired, though, the oscillating tool market exploded, with several brands offering their own versions. Probably the best deal running today is the high-quality Chicago Electric Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool, which you can pick up for under $40. Powering up to over 20,000 OPM (oscillations per minute), this baby will take on all kinds of formidable home improvement jobs.
Attachments are secured to the tool via a bolt that can be tightened and loosened with an allen wrench. The Porter-Cable model has a tool-free attachment system which doesn’t require any bolts or wrenches which is a big plus for convenience.
You can go corded or cordless, and Harbor Freight’s got both options. If you prefer the freedom of no-power-source contigencies, the 12V Cordless Model is an ideal solution. Like the corded version, the cordless also has variable speed. Since they’re so low-priced, you may want to get both and still save more than if you bought one of the other brands!
With an oscillating multi-function tool in your hand, you’ve got the ability to perform endless home improvement projects. It can cut holes in drywall, slice through grout, grind mortar and cut through door trim, and tons more. As you find more things to do around the house, you’ll be grabbing it more and more. It even makes the honey-do list fun… especially if you’ve got a clock counting down in the room.