Oscillating Tool Recommendation

Discussion in 'Tools' started by MassWineGuy, Aug 12, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Aug 12, 2019 #1

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    I need to cut some sections of door and window frames that have rotted. I’m definitely not a carpenter or even very handy. I’m looking for a good oscillating tool under $150. “Good” includes accepts universal blades, easy to change accessories, low to reasonable noise/vibration, adequate power for cutting wood and well-made. Corded. Good warranty is a plus.

    If I went only by reading Amazon reviews I’d never buy anything.

    Suggestions please. Thanks very much.
     
  2. Aug 12, 2019 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,256
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    My answer might sound a little strange. I’m not a professional and I don’t use most of my tools daily and if I did my answer may be different. I also don’t own one of these oscillating multi tools but I do have a B&D mouse sander that is similar except you don’t saw with it.


    I have had some pretty good luck with Harbor Freight corded power tools. I bought their Sawzall type saw 5 years ago for 29 bucks thinking it would hopefully make it thru my house rebuild I was doing and 5 years later I just bought a second 10 pack of blades for it 10 bucks by the way. I have used and abused that thing a lot cutting steel pipe and jamming the blade in tight spots hacking off lumber and nails. I have a 4” grinder I paid 6 bucks for and it has held up better than my name brand before it.


    Based on all that I see they have 2 versions of the multi tool 19/39 bucks and knowing me I would buy the cheep one. The nice thing about a $20 tool is when it stops working you just chuck it out and get another.

    Trust me if my experience with their tools was bad i would say so also.
     
  3. Aug 13, 2019 #3

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    Harbor Freight makes such amazingly cheap stuff that gets a lot of poor reviews. I don’t know if I could go there.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2019 #4

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    53
    I have a Bosch and am quite happy with it. Easy to change blades, low vibration. Very long cord, which is very handy that I almost never have to pull out an extension cord. The sanding attachment is not a toy -- also very handy. Once you get an oscillating tool, you will find a lot of uses for it. But then again, you will also find those blades are darn expensive.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2019 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,256
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    I started my post saying my answer would sound strange. Truth is you can buy a Harbor Freight tool made in China or say a Bosch tool that you think is made in Europe but is most likely made in Malaysia, Mexico or China also. It is the world we live in.


    As to the cost of blades for these tools and I again I don’t own one and have no first hand experience with these blades but I have been thru some blades for their cheep reciprocating saw and they last amazing and I have bought a couple 10X priced name brand blades that lasted shorter times. The blades at HF for these are between 6-9 bucks depending on size. They do have the universal fit.


    One thing about HF tools is you will hide them in the bottom drawer so your buddies wont laugh that you bought junky tools.
     
  6. Aug 13, 2019 #6

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    My friends definitely wouldn’t know about HF tool quality.

    Don’t some accept any blade, and there are adapters for those that don’t?
     
  7. Aug 13, 2019 #7

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,875
    Likes Received:
    1,286
    Location:
    Sussex County, NJ
    I got a corded Rockwell at Lowes. It does a good job, but it is a lot bulkier than most of the ones I see. it also runs hot so you have to keep your hands in a particular spot which is sometimes not optimal. I think I paid about $39 for it.
    I'm also a fan of buying cheap tools until you know how...and how often... you will use it. I bought mine specifically for grout removal on a bath renovation and was very happy I did. Using one of those manual grout saws would have taken forever. Since then, I have used it to undercut doorways, various cuts in wood projects, and it works very well when making cuts for outlets and light switches in drywall.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2019 #8

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,249
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I agree with SNS, I also have a Rockwell from Lowe's didn't know how handy they were till I got one.
     
    Sparky617 likes this.
  9. Aug 14, 2019 #9

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,875
    Likes Received:
    1,286
    Location:
    Sussex County, NJ
    Better pick up your cheap tools now before the China tariffs kick in.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2019 #10

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    MassWineGuy

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2
    I’ve read good things about Dremel oscillating tools. Also bad things.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2019 #11

    mabloodhound

    mabloodhound

    mabloodhound

    Restoration & Renovations

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    76
    Bosch! And sometimes they have sales on re-conditioned tools with full warranty.
     
  12. Aug 14, 2019 #12

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    53
    Don't get hung up about the blade mount. There are a number of different mounts. Many brands of blade will fit on multiple brands of tools, but I don't think there is a universal blade that will fit on any tool, or a tool that will mount any blade. Finding blades is not a problem.

    However, some tools have quick change blade clamp/unclamp. Some other saws require you to find a wrench.
     
  13. Aug 14, 2019 #13

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    53
    Ditto. I just replaced some siding and a few repairs on a relative's house. The oscillating tool was the only power tool I brought. Used it to cut out some old wood siding, trim the new siding to length, cut out some rot on a stud, and sand a window area.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  14. Aug 14, 2019 #14

    cdestuck

    cdestuck

    cdestuck

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Altoona, Pa
    I would really look for something with at least 3 Amp rating on the motor. I initially bought a Rockwell, which is 2 amp. and it did OK but when I used a friends Bosch three Amp, I found it to be very superior and I bought one like his. I just did a check on Amazon and I see Bosch is now putting out one rated at 4 Amps Just a few bucks above your 150 request but definitely would be worth it. And they take the universal blades
     
  15. Aug 15, 2019 #15

    rbm328

    rbm328

    rbm328

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    i've got a dremel for an oscillater but what i do, is look to see what other people are using. do you have any cabinet shops in your area? if its not a production shop, they'll be will to chat and then you can look around and ask questions. they usually know what trust worthy and what is crap. also look at many, many pro videos online. don't just watch the video but check out all the background. i've learned a lot about tools by snooping. i also don't own any cordless except drill/drivers and many times i wind up grabbing my corded drill because my batteries have died.
    HTH
    rich
     
  16. Aug 15, 2019 #16

    Michael Armstrong

    Michael Armstrong

    Michael Armstrong

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2019
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Washington
    I love my older Bosch, but wish it were easier to shift the blade orientation. The instant change "StarlockPlus" feature is now available on their
    GOP40-30C for $199 and worth every penny.
     
  17. Aug 15, 2019 #17

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    390
    Location:
    Cary NC
    I used one on my first volunteer trip to the Appalachia Service Project when we were doing some laminate flooring. I used a fellow volunteer's tool. I bought one shortly after I returned home. One of several tools I've acquired over the years that I didn't know I needed until I used one. They are very handy tools to have in your toolbox. I like the newer ones that don't require an Allen wrench to change blades.

    As to Harbor Freight (and Northern Tool) if there is something I don't think I'll need to use frequently, their tools might be OK. If you're going to use it a lot I'd probably steer clear of them. But as others have mentioned most name brand tools are made in China now as well.
     
    Michael Armstrong likes this.
  18. Aug 15, 2019 #18

    MrMiz

    MrMiz

    MrMiz

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    26
    Ridgid Jobmax corded and I would buy it again.

    I have the Ridgid Jobmax corded $100 without coupon. So that meets your price. I've used lots of blade brands, mine is older so it's an allen wrench change which I think the newer ones have quick change, but the other "heads" are twist off... sander... recip... metal shear... drill driver. It however does NOT meet your requirement for "low to reasonable noise/vib". It's very loud MAYBE the current model is better?. I've cut wood with it and some metal. Lifetime warranty, but whenever I've send a Ridgid tool in for warranty repair they take it and I'm without that tool usually for 3 months. So it's come back fixed, for free, but in some cases I ran out and purchased another tool to finish my project while it's getting "fixed". If you go with battery op the one that comes with the tool does NOT have lifetime warranty but if you buy batteries separate they do which is probably the best battery value, but I wouldn't recommend this tool in battery.


     
  19. Sep 23, 2019 #19

    driz

    driz

    driz

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    3
    hF tool works fine . I’ve had one for years cost me $25+- The switch got a bit dodgy like many HF power tools but it’s no problem. How often do you use one of these anyways to justify the big dollar?? For the occasional use most of us see it’s fine, plenty of power. Just bring the ear muffs
     
    slownsteady likes this.
  20. Sep 23, 2019 #20

    Michael Armstrong

    Michael Armstrong

    Michael Armstrong

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2019
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    NW Washington
    Yeah, I bought a HF tool for a temporary replacement for the Bosch. Night and day, but for small jobs it's fine. I do very little real work these days, but back in the day the Bosch was used very often.
     

Share This Page