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Tool review: Oscillating Multi-Tools

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What to look for
Grip size comparison
Enlarge Image
 
With a test-largest circumference
near 8", the Fein, left, is a handful.
The cordless Rockwell, right, has
the smallest circumference.

What to look for

Comfortable grip. Because you typically wrap one or both hands around the tool's barrel, its circumference and shape determine how well the tool fits in your hand, right. Circumferences under 7" suit small hands best. Heavier tools--some weigh up to 4 lbs--sand quickly, but are it tiring to hold during extended use.

Minimal vibration and noise. Most of the models we tested vibrated about equally, but we felt Bosch's Multi-X vibrated least. Fein's MultiMaster ran loudest when cutting, while the Rockwell was significantly quieter.

Variable speed. Slower speeds make delicate sanding jobs more manageable. Cutting and grinding work best at the highest speeds. Every tool except the cordless Craftsman 17438 offers variable-speed control. Further smoothing things out, a couple of models also feature soft-start motors that ease the tool up to speed and prevent it from jerking to the side when switching on the power


Continued on page 3:  More things to look for

 

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Comments (6)
7525006651
#mowry wrote:

The HF multi tool I bought for my son 2 years ago is still going on occasional use but mine died after 1 month of mild-modest useage. Reviews suggest vibration causing electrical joints to fail but checking mine, all seemed tight. Question is do I replace it? Honestly,it's a 50/50 decision based on my mood if I ever get past a store. I probably should have returned it but the cost of gas to and from was a lot higher than it cost. (I live rural)

1/7/2013 08:10:01 PM Report Abuse

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