Versatility is among the top considerations while shopping for machines and equipment. It’s also one of the reasons oscillating multi-tools are so popular.
Oscillating multi-tools can perform many functions that would otherwise require different individual equipment. These machines are also designed to be remarkably durable, which is unsurprising considering their extensive application. The fact that multi-tools can perform the functions of several implements also makes them a cost-effective investment in the long run.
But as you might expect, there are certain points to bear in mind before buying an oscillating multi-tool. For instance, you’d want to know what these tools are, their range of applications, how to choose them, etc.
Fortunately for you, we’ve prepared a definitive guide to everything you need to know about oscillating multi-tools.
What Is An Oscillating Multi-tool?
An oscillating multi-tool is a power tool that swings from side to side like a pendulum as opposed to rotating, designed to perform a wide range of applications. These tools can cut holes through drywalls, trim pipes, and scrape mud off your mat, among other functions.
Oscillating multi-tools are sometimes also known as oscillating tool blades since the fitted blades do much of the work. But in most contexts, the phrase “oscillating tool blades” refers to the special blades manufactured for use with multi-tools.
Oscillating multi-tool is a thriving industry. According to recent estimates, the global multi-tool market size was estimated at USD 417.3 million in 2022 and is expected to grow to USD 687.7 million by 2032.
The increasing demand for labor- and time-saving equipment is the biggest factor driving the growth of the multi-tool industry. Everyone desires equipment that can get the work done within the least expense of time and effort.
Where Did Oscillating Multi-tools Come From?
Oscillating multi-tools have been around for over half a century.
The modern version of multi-tools was originally developed in 1967 by German manufacturer Fein. The equipment was initially intended to scrape plaster casts from a patient’s body without cutting them. Expectedly this tool was mostly used in orthopedic clinics.
Equipment manufacturers experimented with several multi-tool designs over the next couple of years. These tools would later become less common in orthopedic hospitals and more synonymous with home improvement projects.
What Are Oscillating Multi-tools Used For?
1. Cutting Out Openings in Drywalls
Almost all oscillating multi-tools are designed to help cut out openings in drywalls as well as wooden and metallic surfaces. These tools are super accurate and will guarantee a perfect square cut every time.
Whether you’re looking to remove damaged patches from a wall or create openings for installing electrical fittings, you can trust an oscillating multi-tool to deliver.
2. Trimming Pipes and Screws
Trimming pipes and screws used to be a laborious process. Not anymore.
Using the right oscillating multi-tool blade, you can make precision cuts through plastic or even copper and galvanized metal piping. This allows you to cut off unsightly or dangerous protrusions in pipes or screws.
3. Plunging Cuts In Your Decking
Plunge cuts are both difficult and dangerous to make using standard power tools. But this is another area where an oscillating multi-tool can make a huge difference.
From cutting holes for support railings to giving your decking a professional finish, an oscillating multi-tool can get the job done incredibly faster than regular tools.
4. Sanding Down Furniture
Sanding is another vital function performed by most multi-tools. These equipment have proven far more effective at sanding down furniture than traditional palm or orbital sanders.
You only need to fit the right attachment and then find a suitable (usually a narrow) angle.
5. Removing Old Paint
Old paint on your furniture, windowsills, or mat can be an unsightly spectacle. The best way to deal with the paint is to scrape it out so you can possibly apply fresh paint or varnish.
An oscillating multi-tool can help scrape off paint without damaging your precious furniture or property.
6. Getting Rid Of Grout
The fact that oscillating multi-tools are effective at scraping off paint makes them suitable for removing grout too.
Simply buy and attach a grit grout-removal blade. Then, carefully dislodge the grout from your walls, floor tiles, or pavement.
The following are additional applications of oscillating multi-tools;
- Removing mortar from a wall or floor tile
- Removing old ceramic tiles
- Pulling up carpet
- Removing rotten wood
- Removing rust from metals
- Adding a non-slip texture to concrete
- Fitting and adjusting baseboards
- Repairing door jambs
- Setting hinges and door knob plates
- Opening tough packaging and casing
How to Choose the Right Oscillating Multi-tool?
The swing rate is the most important consideration while shopping for an oscillating multi-tool. Insist on multi-tools with more swings per minute. If used correctly, such equipment can work at a much faster speed.
In the same breath, check the equipment’s angle of oscillation. Tools with greater oscillation angles work faster, while smaller ones are ideal for pulling off projects in cramped spaces.
Since oscillating multi-tools are powered, it’s also essential to check on the equipment’s wattage. Tools designed for heavy-duty jobs typically come with higher wattage.
Last but not least, pay attention to the brand.
There goes our comprehensive guide to oscillating multi-tools. Note that while multi-tools are incredibly versatile, success working with these equipment largely comes down to proper usage.
Also, remember to service your multi-tool regularly to prolong its longevity and minimize accidents.
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