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Tool review: Oscillating Multi-Tools

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These tools make the cut

These tools make the cut

If you do much built-in work or installation, you'll love a tool like this. Likewise, if you have lots of general repair and renovation jobs around the house. We found these tools handy for some sanding and cutting jobs in the woodshop, too.

The tank-like construction, good dust collection, and quick-change accessory mount of the Fein MultiMaster 250Q earn it our overall Top Tool award. However, it can be a handful, literally, and requires a fine touch to get good results. The Bosch Multi-X earns Top Tool among the cordless versions. It's best for users who want a lighter, smooth-running tool with cordless convenience. The Craftsman 23465, at just $80, is our Top Value. Steer clear of the cordless Craftsman 17438. Its slow fixed speed takes longer to do jobs, and it comes with just one battery (as does the Ridgid), so you'll have to wait for a recharge.


 

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Comments (5)
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#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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