Best Oscillating Multi-Tools
Oscillating tools are used for many purposes. They have been around since ancient times. There are different types of oscillators. Some of them can be used for various tasks such as: measuring, controlling, timing, and so on. There are several kinds of oscillator available today including: mechanical, electronic, battery powered and solar powered.
Mechanical oscillators are usually made from cast iron or steel. These instruments use springs to produce a periodic signal. Mechanical oscillators have been used for decades in industries such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, construction and others. They are often found in factories where they control machinery with precision and speed. For example, a machine may start up at the right time to perform its task perfectly without any errors.
Electronic oscillators are very similar to mechanical oscillators except that they use electronics instead of springs. Electronic oscillators come in two varieties: discrete and continuous wave. A discrete electronic oscillator uses one transistor or other type of semiconductor device to generate a pulse of electricity which is then amplified and sent through another circuit to produce an alternating current (AC). A continuous wave electronic oscillator is similar to the discrete type but produces a more stable signal.
Battery Powered Oscillators
Battery powered oscillators are very popular due to their size and portability. They are usually about the same size as a power tool and can be carried anywhere. Most types of battery powered oscillators operate on either rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries. These devices are commonly used in medical technology, measuring instruments, industrial controls, and much more.
Most people are familiar with solar powered calculators. These little gadgets use the power of the sun to keep their batteries charged so they can provide us with answers to our math problems. There are even some solar powered oscillators on the market today. These devices are usually housed in a special protective case which converts light into electricity through the use of solar panels. These panels then charge a battery, which provides the power necessary to operate the oscillator.
Which Oscillator is Best?
When choosing an oscillator, you should consider several factors including: size, portability, functionality, and price. These devices come in all shapes and sizes and cost anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is important to determine what your needs are before spending money on a particular product.
Some people only need an oscillator to perform minor tasks around the home or office. For these people, a small and inexpensive battery powered or solar powered oscillator may be just what the doctor ordered. Other individuals may need an oscillator for more industrial purposes such as manufacturing, construction, or mining. In this case, it would be best to choose a heavy duty, high powered, and more expensive oscillator that is made to stand up to the strenuous work load that may be thrown at it on a daily basis.
There are also many different types of oscillators on the market. The choice is practically endless. Some of the most common oscillating tools found on the market today are the multi-tools, jig saws, scrollsaws, sabersaws, band saws, table saws, floor saws, circular saws, planers, and jointers.
Although there are many different choices available when it comes to oscillating tools, the actual purpose of the oscillator does not change. They are all used for the same purpose no matter what brand or type you prefer. When choosing an oscillator, you should always make sure it has all of the features you desire. If you are a professional carpenter, you are going to need a different oscillating tool than a professional woodworker. The carpenter would do best with a lightweight multi-purpose tool with a durable blade.
A woodworker, on the other hand, would be better suited with a heavy duty jigsaw to handle the rigorous work involved in wood carving.
How to Choose the Right Oscillating Tool
When it comes to oscillating tools, bigger is not always better. In fact, some of the best oscillating tools on the market today are lightweight and compact to allow for easier handling. Larger oscillating tools tend to be more difficult to control.
If you are a professional and demand the most out of your oscillating tool, you may want to look for a D-handle design. This feature is perfect for people that use one hand to operate the oscillating tool and another hand to guide it. It provides maximum torque for people who require a steady and controlled motion while working. In addition, D-handled tools offer better control for quick cuts in hard to reach places.
When choosing an oscillating tool, always make sure that it has an easy grip handle. You should be able to hold it securely with or without gloves. If not, you could suffer from fatigue and lack of control while working, ultimately leading to an accident.
Additionally, some oscillating tools are equipped with special blades that contain their own built in lights. These lights are powered by the vibrations of the tool and do not require any outside power source. This is a huge advantage because it allows you to see exactly where you are cutting. In addition, these types of blades can also be used for non-electrical purposes such as chipping, grinding, carving, and others.
Corded vs. Cordless Oscillating Tools
There are pros and cons to both corded and cordless oscillating tools. If you need the capabilities of a cordless tool but need the reliability of a corded one, you may want to consider a hybrid design. These types of oscillating tools have the best of both worlds and are becoming more and more popular among consumers today.
Cordless oscillating tools are advantageous because they give you the freedom to work anywhere in the shop. You aren’t tethered to the nearest electrical outlet like you would be with a corded oscillating tool. You also don’t have to worry about finding and dealing with an extension cord or power drill adapter.
The main disadvantage to cordless oscillating tools is the fact that you need to constantly recharge or replace the batteries if you want to continue working. Some newer models feature a quick-change battery system that enables you to replace the drained battery with a fresh one without any down time.
Corded oscillating tools don’t have limited runtime and are great for continuous and prolonged use. They are often more powerful than cordless tools because they receive power from the electrical outlet. However, corded oscillating tools are tethered to the nearest power source which can sometimes be a hindrance.
Cordless Oscillating Tool vs. Corded Oscillating Tool
The main advantages of a cordless oscillating tool are the freedom it provides and the prolonged use time. A cordless oscillating tool is especially useful if you need to make quick and precise cuts in a variety of locations. For this reason, cordless oscillating tools are great for people who do a lot of different types of woodworking or craft work on a regular basis.
The main advantages of a corded oscillating tool are the power and the precision. A corded oscillating tool is especially useful for people who are making very detailed cuts, working with hardwoods or doing heavy-duty processing.
One important consideration when choosing a corded or cordless oscillating tool is the blades. You should choose a blade that best fits your needs and make sure that your tool of choice is compatible. Most major tool brands offer their own line of oscillating multi-tool blades that are designed to fit their own tools. However, some blades are universal and can be used in several different tools.
It’s important to take this factor into consideration before making a purchase because blades can be expensive and specific ones may be required for the projects you have in mind.
Other Oscillating Tool Factors to Consider
Vibration and Noise
Both cordless and corded oscillating tools vibrate significantly while in use. The higher the vibration, the more likely you are to experience fatigue while using it for long periods of time. Most oscillating tools vibrate between 25,000 and 35,000 times per minute when the tool is running at top speed. This can lead to a serious loss of grip strength after extended use.
Finding the right tool with the right amount of vibration is important because if it’s too weak you may not be making the progress you want, but if it’s too strong then you can’t hold it for long which defeats the purpose of having a cordless or corded oscillating tool.
Corded oscillating tools are especially noisy and this problem can only be compounded if the tool itself is not well insulated and you lack ear protection while working.
Suitability for the Job
Another thing to consider is which type of oscillating tool is going to be best for your specific job. You can generally narrow down your options based on the other factors we’ve covered in this guide.
If you need a lot of prolonged cutting power and runtime, then a corded oscillating tool might be best. These types of tools offer the most power and consistent performance.
If you are going to be working in tight spaces for prolonged periods of time, then a cordless oscillating tool may be the way to go. Just keep in mind that these tools can run out of juice at inopportune times so keep a charger handy.
If you are looking for the best of both worlds, then there are also hybrid oscillating tools that offer great performance and extended runtime.
Noise is generally less of a concern with these types of tools because they are outfitted with quieter motors and better vibration dampening technology.
The price of an oscillating tool can vary greatly depending on what type you need and the brand. Some oscillating tools can cost over a $100, but you generally get what you pay for. You don’t always need to spend a lot of money on an oscillating tool, however. There are several decent quality budget alternatives that can get the job done without costing an arm and a leg.
However, before you make your purchase it is important that you know exactly what you need from your oscillating tool so you get the most out of your purchase. Make a list of “want” and “need” factors and go from there.
Size and Weight
Most of the time, cordless oscillating tools are smaller and lighter than their corded counterparts because most manufacturers compensates for the heavier motor on the corded models with a longer lasting battery.
However, some corded oscillating tools are also quite small and lightweight. It just all depends on the tool and which features the manufacturer felt were more important.
If portability is important to you, then it is a good idea to take the weight and dimensions of the tool into consideration before making your purchase. Some oscillating tools are just too bulky and unwieldy for extended use.
Most oscillating tools come with several attachments for you to perform a wide range of jobs. While some of these tools are just bare-bones and require you to buy the attachments separately, some come with several different attachments right out of the box.
Things like detail blades can come in very handy for hobbies and projects that require more precision.
Bits and blades can be a bit on the expensive side, so it is a good idea to check if the oscillating tool you are looking into comes with any blades or other attachments. Buying these attachments separately can cost quite a bit of money, so getting them with the tool can save you some hassle and money in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are oscillating tools different from one another?
While most oscillating tools look similar to one another, there are several differences between different tools. The main difference between two oscillating tools is whether or not one is corded and the other is cordless.
Cordless oscillating tools are, as one might expect, run on batteries. These tools usually have a much longer runtime than their corded counterparts because there is no motor to drag down the battery. However, cordless oscillating tools tend to be a bit heavier than their corded or hybrid counterparts.
Besides the difference between corded and cordless oscillating tools, there are also differences in terms of size and weight. Larger oscillating tools tend to come with larger batteries and motors which allows them to cut through harder materials like concrete and masonry. However, larger oscillating tools tend to be much heavier.
Smaller oscillating tools, on the other hand, tend to not be as powerful or durable due to their smaller batteries and motors. However, they are much easier to handle and carry around.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of cordless oscillating tools?
Besides the obvious advantage of not having to deal with a power cable, cordless oscillating tools also tend to be a lot lighter than their corded counterparts. This makes them easier to use for extended periods of time without tiring out your arms.
Cordless oscillating tools tend to be more expensive than their corded counterparts. Since they need a battery and a powerful motor to run, they are typically more costly to manufacture.
The biggest disadvantage to a cordless oscillating tool is its battery life. If you are using a cordless oscillating tool for a long time, then it is imperative that you keep the battery charged so that it does not die out on you while you are in the middle of a project.
How do I know what oscillating tool is right for me?
While cordless oscillating tools tend to be the most popular and the most common type of oscillating tool, that does not necessarily mean that they are the best option for you. It all depends on what you are going to be using your oscillating tool for.
Most people can get by just fine with a cordless oscillating tool. They are easy to use, lightweight, and do not have any cords getting in your way while you work.
If you are doing a project that requires a lot of power, then you might want to go with a corded oscillating tool. These tools have much more power than their cordless counterparts.
Another excellent choice for most people is the cordless-corded oscillating tool. This type of oscillating tool has most of the benefits of both types of oscillating tools. It is just as easy to use as a cordless oscillating tool since you do not have to deal with a power cord, but it also has most of the power of a corded oscillating tool since it can be plugged in when necessary.
The choice is ultimately yours on which type of oscillating tool you would like to go with. Just make sure that it fits your needs and your budget.
What are the recommended safety tips when using an oscillating tool?
Most manufacturers produce safety guards for their oscillating tools to protect you from the high speed blades. It is always a good idea to use these safety guards to prevent any accidents from happening.
Never use an oscillating tool without the safety guards in place no matter what. Even when you are just changing blades or dealing with jammed up saw dust, make sure that the safety guards are on!
While using an oscillating tool, it is also good to wear gloves and safety goggles. This prevents any splinters from getting into your hands and protects your eyes in the event that a piece of wood or plastic should break off and go flying towards your face.
Even the most careful wood worker is prone to an accident from time to time. If you are using your oscillating tool for the first time, go slowly and always expect the unexpected. As they say, “A stitch in time saves nine.”
What maintenance should I perform on an oscillating tool?
Periodically you should clean your oscillating tool and oil the blades. This will keep it working at optimum performance levels. Many manufacturers such as Dremel recommend that you lubricate the blades of your oscillating tool with cutting fluid or WD-40.
You should also periodically check the body of your oscillating tool to see if there are any materials such as wood or plastic that have become jammed up inside of it.
These materials can prevent the blades from moving around smoothly. You should take a soft bristled brush and carefully remove any materials that have been jammed up inside of it.
How can I sharpen the blades of an oscillating tool?
Most manufacturers do not recommend that you try to sharpen the blades of your oscillating tool. It is best to just replace them when they become dull.
If you would like to sharpen your blades, you can purchase a round file for this purpose. A typical round file can be found at your local hardware store. (Be sure to buy a file that is not flat. Such as a needle file or a round file.)
First, remove the blade from your oscillating tool. It should just slide right out. (Be sure to wear gloves for this procedure.) After you have removed the blade, lightly file the edge of it with your round file until it is sharp again. When you have finished, slide the blade back into your oscillating tool and you are ready to go!
If you would like to learn more about the different types of files, please take a look at this website: Types Of Files
Where can I buy an oscillating tool?
There are many different places to buy an oscillating tool. You can go to a big box store such as Home Depot or Lowes. You could also purchase one online or from your local hardware store.
You may want to shop around before you make your final purchase. Some stores may be offering discounts or sales that can save you a little extra money.
Make sure that you read any instructions that come with your oscillating tool. There is important information in these directions that will outline specific safety procedures such as how to change the blades, as well as proper maintenance and care of your new tool.
What do I need to know before I buy an oscillating tool?
There are many things that you should consider before you make a purchase. For example, you want to make sure that the oscillating tool you select is powerful enough to complete the jobs that you have in mind.
Also, you may want to look for an oscillating tool with extra features such as variable speed control or a specialized attachment such as a scraping blade or a sanding pad.
It may also be a good idea to check out some of the reviews on the different oscillating tools that are available. This can help you determine which ones are worth buying and which ones you may want to avoid.
Where can I get accessories and replacement blades?
There are many different places that you can purchase replacement blades and accessories. Some people choose to purchase their replacement parts and accessories from the company that makes their particular tool. While others prefer to buy from a third party vendor. It’s up to you.
If you do choose to buy your replacement parts from the manufacturer, your oscillating tool may come with a part number or a model number. You can use this to find the exact part that you need. If you aren’t sure about the part that you need, you can also contact customer support or visit your local store for additional help.
If you decide to shop elsewhere, you will need to have a good idea of what replacement part or accessory you need before you go looking for it. Once again, make sure that you buy a quality replacement part. These parts can wear out and break just like the tool itself.
You may want to look for a vendor that offers a money back guarantee or some kind of warranty on the part that you are going to purchase. This way, if you find that the part doesn’t work correctly, you can get a refund or exchange it for another one.
Sources & references used in this article:
Dual oscillating multi-tool saw by R Soreo, M Vitantonio, T Jackson… – US Patent App. 14 …, 2014 – Google Patents
Vibration suppression in multi-tool ultrasonic machining to multi-external and parametric excitations by MM Kamel, WAA El-Ganaini, YS Hamed – Acta Mechanica Sinica, 2009 – Springer
Study of Stability and Vibration Reduction in Multi-Tool Ultrasonic Machining under Simultaneous Primary and Internal Resonance by YS Hamed, MS Abd Elkader, HM Genedi – 2012 – scirp.org