oscillating multi-tool saw...

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
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Brian Evans
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

oscillating multi-tool saw...

Post by Brian Evans »

Do I spend $75 for a pretty cheap one, or do I spend two times plus for a good name brand one? King at $75 vs Porter Cable at $180? I doubt I will use it much, but you never know, do you?

Thanks

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Bob Gramann
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
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Re: oscillating multi-tool saw...

Post by Bob Gramann »

Years ago, I bought the Harbor Freight one for about $30 figuring “how could they screw this up?” It worked just fine, but the handle vibration made it painful to use after a while. I replaced it with a Fein. Big difference in ease of use. The Fein was not without its problems—just out of warranty, the controller board failed. Now, I hardly ever use it—most jobs can be done better with other tools, but sometimes, that small, local oscillation is just what you need.

Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: oscillating multi-tool saw...

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I have three of the HF oscillating tools. I caught them on sale so the single speed one was $14 and the variable speed ones were under $30. The single speed one worked O.K. and I've used it for construction work (plunge cutting drywall and thin plywood) and some guitar related stuff, but it does have some vibration and the single speed makes it less handy. The variable speed tools run much smoother and I've used them for all sorts of lutherie related tasks. The various saw blades allow you to do plunge cuts as well as long shallow cuts. You can use the half moon blades like a veneer saw, and if you "stone" the blade to reduce the kerf you can use it for fret slotting. The sanding pad attachments allow you to use it as a detail sander and they also make metal cutting and carbide grout removal blades.
I've used the tool for both building and repair work and seem to find a new use for it quite frequently. A good assortment of blades can be found on eBay which can enhance the use of the tool. The cheap variable speed HF tools have worked well for me and have probably lead to the proliferation of other makers also offering them at slightly higher price points. I've used the Fein and it is a nice tool,but unless you catch a really good sale I'm not sure the premium you pay is worth it -YMMV.
If you buy the HF tool and later find you want a better one or you don't find much use for it, you won't have wasted much money . I don't mind having an extra tool for rough semi abusive work.

https://www.harborfreight.com/variable- ... 63113.html

David King
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Re: oscillating multi-tool saw...

Post by David King »

I got the Fein tool back when it was just a detail sander and before anyone had figured out the blade attachments and their utility. It's a TERRIBLE sander and I stuck it back in the box for 20 years until I put it up on CL and started a bidding war. The guy that bought it explained to me that he did flooring installs and used it to flush cut door trim. I later saw a demo at a wood tools expo that revealed all the secrets. I had a tiny moment of regret until I saw the blade prices and calculated that a few Japanese hand saws were a much better investment and much faster to boot. Since then I bought the Harbor freight version for removing grout and sheetrock work and it's perfect for that if you don't mind waiting on the tool to do it's job, it's slow going.

Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: oscillating multi-tool saw...

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

For sheet work work I used it to plunge cut cutouts for electrical boxes and light fixtures. Blades if bought from local big box stores can be somewhat expensive. Buying from eBay they are fairly cheap.
Another blade I've found useful is the scraper blade which I forgot to mention.

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