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A cordless oscillating tool does the unbelievable. It can cut metal, wood and other materials. They are good for sanding, scraping and can even remove thinset and grout from tiles. They might not be the absolute best at one particular job, but they do perform all these varieties of functions that can only be accomplished by several other tools separately.
There are many types of oscillating tools out in the market. In this article, we review and compare the most popular ones with each other. We have decided to do a DeWalt vs. Makita vs. Porter Cable vs. Milwaukee vs. WORX face-off to see which tool meets the most or maybe all of your needs.
1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Oscillating Tool
- DEWALT brushless motor of DEWALT 20V tools delivers up to 57% more run time over brushed
- Quick-Change accessory system of DEWALT oscillating tool allows blades and attachments to be changed quickly without wrenches
- Dual-Grip variable speed trigger of DEWALT cordless tools gives users ultimate speed and application control
- Bright LED Light illuminates dark work surfaces for accurate cutting
- Universal accessory adapter for use with most oscillating tool accessory brands
This is a cool-looking tool that has been out in the market for a while. It comes with a 5Ah battery. Regular Dremel blades are not going to fit on this so you will have to use ones with a dual interface. The best thing about it is the quick release. Just pull the lever, fix your blade in it and voila! The blade is stuck tight and does not go anywhere.
The DeWalt DCS355B has a variable speed trigger so you do not have to worry about any knobs to turn. The speed can be put on auto-mode but it can only be done on full force and not on slower speeds. An LED light can be found in the front which stays on for about ten seconds. One thing that does not come with it though is the depth adjustment.
The trigger and lock button may get loose after some time of use. But this thing is extremely comfortable to hold, does not feel heavy and is well-balanced.
Conclusion: It has a solid build. It has a lot of different attachments and power, is very comfortable and can go a very long time without charging.
2. Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool
- Variable speed control dial (6,000-20,000 OPM) enables user to match the speed to the application
- 3.2° oscillation angle engineered for faster, more aggressive cutting and sanding
- Large on/off slide switch with lock-on button for operator convenience
- Includes adapters to fit most competitive accessories
- Small diameter barrel grip (only 2-3/8") for easy handling. Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol (battery sold separately)
The Makita XMT03Z comes with a low-battery indicator, variable speed dial, star protection from overheating, overloading and overcharging, soft start and a 3-year warranty.
It does not have an LED light in the front like the previous model but instead has the tool-less blade changing system. It is a bit big with the battery and is noticeably heavier than corded models but the weight it gives off is solid and lets you know that it is a quality product.
Instead of a fuel gauge, there is a low-battery indicator light that blinks to let you know that the batteries need to be charged. It has a variable speed dial on the left that allows you to speed up or slow down the oscillations as needed.
The good thing about this tool, that can even save you from injury, is that when you have the power switched on and you insert the battery, it will not turn on. This way you will not accidentally damage the blade or the work surface.
Conclusion: It has excellent power but while operating the tool, you really need to let the blades do the work and not push on it as you would with a corded multi-tool.
3. Porter-Cable 20V MAX Lithium Oscillating Tool
- 2 Finger TOOL-FREE SYSTEM of the oscillating tool makes adjusting and changing accessories quick and easy
- Variable speed dial (8K-18K OPM) offers maximum control across a variety of applications
- LED work light provides better visibility in darkened work conditions
- 3 Position Overmold Grip improves comfort by reducing vibration
- 20V MAX System - High performance cordless platform
It is relatively cheaper compared to its competitors and comes with a variable speed dial and an LED light that goes active when the tool is turned on. Like the DeWalt DCS355B 20V XR, it has a nice quick-change tool system. To change the blades, just push down on the lever, the attachments snap into the locking pins, you let go of the lever and it locks it in.
It is quite loud compared to other cordless oscillating tools and can give you 30 to 40 minutes of runtime. The weight on this is not heavy at all and feels quite comfortable to use. There is no fuel gauge so you will not know when the battery is down.
Unfortunately, the battery and charger do not come with the tool and you have to order them separately. The tool also vibrates while operating.
For doing miscellaneous trim work, this is the go-to tool because it is quick, easy, gives you a lot of versatility with the attachments and generally makes things a lot easier.
4. Milwaukee Variable Speed Cordless Multi Tool
- UNIVERSAL ADAPTOR: You can use accessories from other multi tools with the universal adaptor that screws onto the head
- 12 SPEED SETTINGS: Switch between 5,000 and 20,000 orbits per minute with the speed adjustment knob. Keep this tool suitable for a variety of different applications
- SANDING: An included sanding head with sanding pads will let you put the finishing touches on your woodworking projects without a separate purchase
- GROUTING: The multi-purpose head can slice into tight spaces to clear grout or trim
- FUEL GAUGE: Know how much time you have left on your job with the LED panel on the side of the unit. It tell you how much battery you have left in 25% increments
Like the Portal Cable PCC710B, this tool is cheaper than the others. It is a bear tool that comes with an adapter blade to accommodate the different types of blades out there. But if you lose that little adapter somewhere then you become much more limited in the type of blades that you can use.
It has a very accurate fuel gauge that tells you how much battery is left. Standard variable speed dial is also present.
It uses an Allen key to take the blade off and on, which can get very irritating as it is time-consuming and you can also lose the key.
It feels very nice when you hold it in your hand and the weight is not a problem at all. The battery is an issue though, as it seems to catch fire when you try to take it out.
This is not a tool for someone who needs it all day, every day. However, for everybody else, this tool can be extremely useful for all types of situations and is a good cheap alternative in comparison with the more expensive products.
5. WORX 20V Oscillating Tool
- 20-volts coupled with 3.2Degree oscillating motion delivers faster speed of cut
- Variable speed (5,000-20,000-OPM) and multi-angle adjustments offer maximum control over a variety of application
- Integrated work light illuminates work surface for accurate cutting
- Universal interface allows you to use oscillating accessories from a variety of brands for your convenience
- Ideal for cutting, sawing, scraping, sanding and more
This tool also falls on the cheaper side. Sadly, it does not have a sophisticated tool-free system like its peers. Instead, there is a hex wrench with which you loosen the bolt enough to change out your blades.
Even with the battery, it is very light. It is also very comfortable to hold. Both of these properties combine to make it feel pretty good in your hands.
The power on this tool is good but a bit low compared to other cordless oscillating tools. It will get the job done but you will have to be patient with it.
There is no vibration control mechanism in this tool and so it will rattle around some in your hands. But it does not cause as much noise as you would expect. It is still noisy but with the vibrations that we just mentioned, one would expect it to be a lot more clamorous.
Conclusion: Its price, weight, and form will suggest a great value for your money but its tool-free system, power, and vibration bring it down. It is great for occasional use but not if you are looking to use it every day.
Buying a cordless oscillating tool depends on what your needs and budget are. If you are just looking to occasionally use one around the house, the Porter Cable, Milwaukee or WORX will do the job for you. But if you are a professional who is going to have to use it every day, then the DeWalt or Makita will better suit your needs.