It sands, it scrapes and it cuts but the prices range from $100 to several hundred dollars for an Oscillating Multi Tool. So which one fits your work needs and your final budget? Let’s find out!
The Dremel and the DeWALT multi tools were provided by The Home Depot Pro-Spective tool review program. The Bosch was provided by Bosch tools. Affiliate links to follow.
The Budget Friendly Multi Tool
Dremel Multi Max 3.5 AMP Multi Tool Kit – Under $100 – Dremel is one of the go-to choices when it comes to homeowner and DIY’er Rotary and Multi Tool brands. You get 10,000 – 21,000 OPM with a new Tool-less blade change set up on this model.
Hands On With The Dremel
I’ve tested a lot of Dremel Mult Max’s the last few years with a wide range of Amperage and you always know exactly what you’re getting with these tools. They’re reliable and will take your normal homeowner use, but they are not pro-grade. It’s not going to weather the abuse of a job site and hold up long term.
The new blade change system is much easier to navigate for any sized hands but I do worry the soft plastic wheel that locks the blade will be the first casualty for me. The ergonomics are above average with the grip zone and the reinforced cord gives you plenty of room to work with.
The Dremel Verdict
In order to match cuts in wood and metal I had to dial up the power to max with the Dremel. The cutting is clean but there is quite a bit of vibration which comes from the construction materials. It’s still a solid choice for homeowners or DIY’ers looking to take the plunge. It’s a lower cost investment with plenty of function!
The Cordless Multi Tool Upgrade
DeWALT 20v Max Cordless Multi Tool Kit – $100-$200 Range – DeWALT’s are a staple of the job site worker so slapping a 20v Max battery to a cordless Multi Tool just seems natural. The brushless motor gives you plenty of oomph with a 20,000 OPM output.
Hands On With The DeWALT
Ergonomically (spoiler) the DeWALT is hands down the best of the three. It has the most comfortable grip by far which is common for the brand in tool tests. It’s also the only unit tested that uses a trigger pull for operation and it’s very welcomed.
The blade change for the DeWALT is also the easiest system of the bunch. Squeeze the release and the blade pops off. It is, however, tougher if you have smaller hands because of how hard you have to squeeze.
The DeWALT Verdict
With some (but not all) cordless power tools you will sacrifice power for convenience. Out of the three, for wood cutting the DeWALT labored the most, but again it was the only cordless model. If you’re on the DeWALT platform it’s a solid addition and the cordless factor alone is worthy of a buy. Just know the performance is going to be short of corded models.
The High End Beast
Bosch 5.5 Amp StarlockMax Multi Tool Kit – $250-$400 Range – I actually Reviewed this Bosch a while back and it remains an industry top performer. With 8,000 – 20,000 OPM’s, this tool hums when you put it to work.
Hands On With The Bosch
It’s funny because ergonomically, gripping the Bosch is like grabbing one of those red plastic jumbo bats from the barrel. It’s large and has virtually no grip zone. However, between the construction quality and the results you get from using it you don’t care.
I typically struggle to lock the blade into place on the Bosch on my first try, but the StarLockMax system is amazing. There is zero play in the blade which (along with construction) greatly reduce the vibration you arm takes when using this Multi Tool. Better energy efficiency means better control and even better results.
The Bosch Verdict
This is 100% a pro-grade tool and you know it from the moment you flip the switch and say go. It cuts through material with little resistance which in turn gives you a lot more control. However, you pay for all of the quality from the tool to the blades. It’s a worthy upgrade for a person in the trades, but I do hope they remedy the grip zone.
About The Testing
There are a ton of options when it comes to Oscillating Multi Tools which means I by no means tested them all. Some are better, some are worse and some people just have brand biases. Ha! These just happened to be the three I have on hand that perform well for their categories.
Also, because each company has their own blades and attachments, it is tough to gauge a head-to-head without the same constant. I ended up matching the accessories for each task as best as I could but there are advantages to a higher quality attachment.
~ Lazy Guy
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