Best Oscillating Multi-Tool 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Whether you need to remove grout, make drywall cutouts, cut through plasterboard, or undercut doors to install floorings, an oscillating multi-tool will always prove useful. 

But unfortunately, to unlock the full versatile potential, you have to make sure you’re buying a model with enough power and various features. In this post, we’ve gathered the best oscillating multi-tools in the UK that satisfies these requirements. Let’s get going!

The Best Oscillating Multi-Tool – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Oscillation speed: 6,000–20,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: Speed dial
  • Power source: 18V battery
  • Weight: 1.9 kg (without the battery)
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  • Oscillation speed: N/A
  • Speed control mechanism: 6-speed dial
  • Power source: 18V battery
  • Weight: 1 kg (without the battery)
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  • Oscillation speed: 10,000–23,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: 6-speed dial
  • Power source: 300W Corded
  • Weight: 1.8 kg
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Best Oscillating Multi-Tool

Makita DTM51Z Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool

Makita is one of the few brands that prioritise impeccable quality control. You can buy the Makita DTM51Z while knowing for sure that it’ll continue to deliver excellent performance for years. And with its 18V battery, that performance will be powerful enough for both general DIY work and heavy-duty projects. 

Like most of the cordless power tools, this machine comes without the battery or charger. Fortunately, it accepts the interchangeable LXT batteries, which can also power circular saws, power drills, hammer drills, and a bunch of other tools necessary for your arsenal.

Sadly, Makita ships this multi-tool without any blades. As you’ll see later on, nearly all brands send at least one free blade to satisfy entry-level users. 

You can vary the oscillation rate of this multi-tool by adjusting the speed dial located at the side. And thanks to the ergonomic grip, you won’t encounter any problems while trying to fine-tune the speed while you work. 

Specifications

  • Oscillation speed: 6,000–20,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: Speed dial
  • Power source: 18V battery
  • Weight: 1.9 kg (without the battery)

We like

  • Powerful motor
  • Smooth speed change
  • Supports interchangeable batteries

We dislike

  • Ships without battery or charger

Final Verdict

This is our favourite oscillating multitool. If you don’t mind spending extra pounds, you’ll love the robust performance of the Makita DTM51Z.

Ryobi ONE+ R18MT Cordless Multi tool

We won’t be exaggerating when we say that Ryobi revolutionised the multi-tool industry with the R18MT-0. Instead of going for the typical non-adjustable build, Ryobi added a unique head that pivots inside a 90-degree range. This way, you can use this tool to reach virtually inaccessible areas where you need to make precise cuts. 

Unlike Makita, Ryobi is generous enough to send three free blades: a plunge cutter, flush cutter, and sanding pad, plus five sanding sheets. However, Ryobi doesn’t ship the battery or the charger with the tool. But as we said earlier, this is the norm for cordless power tools. 

Specifications

  • Oscillation speed: N/A
  • Speed control mechanism: 6-speed dial
  • Power source: 18V battery
  • Weight: 1 kg (without the battery)

We like

  • Thin, ergonomic grip
  • 90-degree pivotable head
  • Minimal vibration

We dislike

  • Comes without battery or charger

Final Verdict

The Ryobi ONE+ R18MT-0 is as powerful as the Makita DTM51Z, but it’s slightly more valuable since it comes with free blades.

WorkPro Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool

If you think you won’t use the oscillation multi-tool that often, investing in a product from Dewalt or even SabreCut would be pretty absurd. Alternatively, you should consider the WorkPro multi-tool. Even though it works via a 300W motor, it can oscillate with a maximum rate of 23,000 OPM, meaning that you won’t fall short of performance. 

But if this tool can deliver such high speed, how come it’s so affordable? Well, WorkPro had to sacrifice the overall build quality. The unit barely weighs 1.8 kg, which will make it a bit harder to maintain stability, especially when you work with the maximum speed. 

Unlike the previous multi-tools, this one doesn’t feature a user-friendly blade change. After positioning the blade above the oscillatory head, you’ll have to secure it in place with a nut and bolt, which you should then tighten with an Allen wrench

Specifications

  • Oscillation speed: 10,000–23,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: 6-speed dial
  • Power source: 300W Corded
  • Weight: 1.8 kg

We like

  • Affordable
  • Comes with 14 free blades
  • Powerful motor

We dislike

  • Might feel a bit lightweight

Final Verdict

If you want the best value for the money, it’s hard to find something that beats the WorkPro oscillating multi-tool.

SabreCut SCMTK400 Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool

Thanks to the high wattage, the SabreCut SCMTK400 should be ideal for professional workers who want to cut, grind, scrape, or sand heavy-duty materials. 

Just like most high-end tools, this model lies well into the noisy extreme, even when driven on the slowest oscillation speed. This fact makes it less ideal for personal DIYers, but it might not be that significant inside busy workshops. 

You can change the oscillation speed of this model via a 6-speed dial. Unfortunately, this dial is placed at the rearmost part of the tool, which won’t be as convenient as the sensitive trigger featured in the Dewalt DWE315KT. However, having the speed fixed at certain levels should be more efficient for inexperienced workers.

Specifications

  • Oscillation speed: 15,000–22,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: 6-speed dial
  • Power source: 400W corded
  • Weight: 3.5 kg

We like

  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes with various blades
  • Powerful build
  • Convenient tool-free blade change
  • Low to moderate vibration

We dislike

  • Slightly bulky

Final Verdict

Despite being affordable, the SabreCut SCMTK400 has almost all the features you’d need for large projects. We especially appreciate the numerous free blades.

Dewalt DWE315KT Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool

The first corded multi-tool on our list comes with a 300W motor. While this isn’t the most powerful rating on the market, it’s still good enough for moderate projects. 

Thanks to the brilliantly designed trigger, you can easily adjust the oscillation rate by varying your grip pressure. This convenient system is paired with an ergonomic design, enabling you to work for extended periods of time with minimal strain. 

The tool-free blade change takes the “user-friendliness” concept to a whole new level — just flick the lever, pull the old blade, and push the new one in place. 

On the negative side, Dewalt charges a bit too much for this multi-tool. Similarly, each blade you buy in the future will also be pricey.

Specifications

  • Oscillation speed: 0–22,000 OPM
  • Speed control mechanism: Sensitive trigger
  • Power source: 300W corded
  • Weight: 2 kg

We like

  • Features an LED light
  • Minimal vibration
  • Robust, ergonomic build
  • User-friendly tool-free blade change

We dislike

  • Slightly expensive for its features

Final Verdict

If money isn’t an issue, the Dewalt DWE315KT would be the kind of tool you can truly trust. The LED perk isn’t something you typically find on a multi-tool.

Oscillating Multi-tool Buying Guide

Corded vs Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tools

Naturally, cordless multi-tools excel in terms of portability. Avid DIYers will appreciate how they can bounce around the house, doing whatever that needs to be done without worrying about a wall outlet. 

However, if you have lots of work to do, batteries would be unduly limiting. Although you can consider buying a spare battery, that option will fatten the overall price, making a corded model much more cost-efficient. 

Considering the Required Power

The power of the tool is one of the essential factors that determine the range of jobs it can perform. 

As you might already know, the power unit varies according to the power source. Corded models are rated in watts, while cordless devices are evaluated in volts. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the suggested power based on the use. 

  • Light DIY projects: 150W or 12V
  • Moderately-sized projects: 200W or 18V 
  • Heavy-duty, professional work: More than 300W or 20V 

Oscillating Speed 

The oscillating speed denotes the rate at which the blade moves from side to another. As the speed gets higher, you’ll be able to make more aggressive cuts at a faster rate. The good news is, most of the oscillating multi-tools on the market can reach up to 20,000 oscillations per minute, which is high enough to guarantee impeccable performance. 

Look for a Convenient Variable Speed Control 

Do you always need to work with maximum speed? No. If you’re engaged in precision work, you should dial down the oscillation rate to allow for better manoeuvrability. Although all multi-tools feature variable speed control, they vary in the mechanism. 

Some models employ a speed dial that steps up the oscillation rate with rough, solid increments. To ensure safety, you should turn off the tool completely before increasing or decreasing the speed. 

Other models depend on a sensitive trigger — the lighter you press, the slower the blade will oscillate. This system is much more convenient than using a dial, but it requires skilful hands and excellent hand-eye coordination.

Vibration Control 

With tools that solely depend on oscillation, it’s pretty impossible to fully prevent vibration while working. However, high-end brands conceptualise unique designs that dampen this vibration down to negligible values. Needless to say, such models will allow you to work more comfortably for more extended periods. 

Blades

The more blades you own, the more versatile your oscillating multi-tool will be. Here’s a brief list of the most famous blades: 

  • Wood-cutting blades: These are the essential blades of any multi-tool. Thanks to their sharp teeth, they can make fast, smooth cuts in wood. 
  • Bi-metal blades: They’re intended for rugged materials, such as nail-embedded wood
  • Sanding pads: For precision sanding in the narrowest areas
  • Carbide-edged grinder blades: For removing tile grout 
  • Scraper knives: For peeling old carpets, dried glue, caulking, etc.