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Tool review: Oscillating Multi-Tools

Pages in this Story:
More things to look for
Toolless changes
Enlarge Image
Lifting a lever on the Fein MultiMaster
releases the retaining bolt. Seat the
blade, press the bolt in, then flip the
lever back down.
U-shaped mount
Enlarge Image
The open end of the Dremel
attachments allows you to slide
them in place without fully removing
the retaining bolt.

More things to look for

With as many attachments as these tools accept, swapping them becomes a common task. Fein's toolless system, shown at right top, takes only seconds. All others, except the Dremel models, require completely removing the retaining bolt with a supplied hex wrench. However, by using Dremel's adapter (see The Fit Can Give You Fits, next page), any tool benefits from the Dremel blades' unique mounting, shown at right bottom.

Before purchasing a multi-tool, find out if the attachments your local retailers carry fit that tool. A local supplier provides more convenience, and often lower cost, than ordering attachments online.

Task lights. Because multi-tools work well in tight quarters, such as inside a cabinet, we appreciate the LED task lights found on some models.

Continued on page 4:  The Fit Can Give You Fits


Comments (5)
#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
Gmcromp wrote:

I agree on the Harbor Freight Multi-tool, I have had mine for a year and it has performed very well. I can buy four of them before I get to the price of the cheapest one of these. Not always the case with HF tools, but this one seems fine to me. HF does make some junk but this doesn't appear to be one of them. i have cut tile, wood, and plastic without a problem. I can't get past the price of some of these, i can buy four of the HF tools and still have money in my pocket from your cheapest pick.

7/12/2012 06:24:41 PM Report Abuse
mmcconoughey wrote:

I bought the Harbor Freight version hoping it would work OK. It works far better than that. It has been one of my most useful tools, and cuts much faster than I had anticipated. Not all HF tools are great, but many offer better performance for the buck than name brand tools.

6/15/2012 10:55:29 AM Report Abuse
Danwoodman wrote:

I've been using the $20.00 one from Harbor Freight for several years now at it works fantastic. Don't see the need to spend the big bucks on a Fein. Although the Chicago or Harbor Freight blades don't seem to hold up very well so I found some on Amazon that were less expensive and held up much longer.

1/26/2012 09:46:33 AM Report Abuse
tenpenny3315200 wrote:

I have to agree with your choice of the Fein. Mine is the older type with bolt. Bought this many years ago and as a general contractor carpenter have put this tool thru much abuse and use. I have replaced the bolt a few times but not the allen wrench. It has been a great tool for me.

8/17/2011 10:04:46 PM Report Abuse

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