Buying an oscillating tool? Read these reviews first.
Why you need an oscillating tool
Oscillating tools are great for a few specific jobs like removing grout, making drywall cutouts and undercutting trim for flooring installation. But mostly, an oscillating multi tool is a problem solver for a thousand weird situations. As one remodeler told us, “I couldn’t list the last ten things I used it for, but I know I couldn’t live without it.” Several Field Editors told us something similar: “I couldn’t imagine any need for an oscillating multi tool—until I got one.”
Just a few years ago, oscillating multi-tools were rare, even in pro toolboxes. But with a wider range of choices and falling prices, more and more DIYers are using an oscillating too. And since they are endlessly useful, we predict that you’ll own one sooner or later.
We looked at dozens of them in all price ranges for this review, then narrowed the field to some of the most widely available models. We also drew the upper line at $130. If you’re a pro (or a serious tool junkie), you can easily spend more than that. But we think most DIYers will be more than satisfied owning one of the tools reviewed here. Read on to find the best oscillating tool for you and oscillating tool uses.
Corded vs. cordless
Several of our Field Editors told us they love their cordless oscillating tool but wish they had bought a corded model. Depending on the job and the model, batteries last 10 to 45 minutes. So one battery, or even two, probably won’t keep you going during constant-draw jobs like removing grout. Also, a corded tool will likely survive decades of DIY projects, while batteries have a lifespan of a few years. We think a corded model is best for most DIYers and didn’t include cordless models in this review. Check out 14 ways to use your rotary tool that will have people buzzing.