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The oscillating saw is the most versatile tool you can get for DIY. Here’s why

When it comes to taking care of business around the house, oscillating saws can’t be beat. These multipurpose tools can reach into areas larger ones can’t and have a surprising number of specialized uses that make them indispensable for professionals and DIY lovers alike. Once you use one, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to add it to your toolkit.

What is an oscillating saw?

Oscillating saws, sometimes referred to as oscillating multitools, use a rapidly moving attachment to perform tasks such as cutting or sanding. Moving back and forth at up to 32,000 revolutions per minute, the tool’s blade, sanding pad or other accessory focuses its power on a small area, making it ideal for doing jobs in hard-to-reach areas.

Oscillating saw uses

  • Plunge cutting: From drywall to hardwood floors, oscillating tools make it easy to saw holes through panels.
  • Small or detailed sanding jobs: While an oscillating tool won’t replace your hand-held sander, its small pads and easy maneuverability make it ideal for sanding small areas or reaching into tight spaces.
  • Scraping: Attach a scraper accessory to your saw and you can blast through stubborn caulk, glue or paint.
  • Grout removal: Grout removal is an oscillating tool’s speciality, as the right attachment makes this challenging, painstaking task much easier.
  • Small cutting jobs: Oscillating saws are great for taking care of minute trimming jobs where jigsaws or reciprocating saws are too powerful and cumbersome to use safely.

What to look for in an oscillating saw

  • Power: Look for a tool that oscillates at a high rate. More RPMs mean more cutting power, and corded tools tend to be more powerful than those that use batteries.
  • Portability: The tool’s small size is one of its most convenient features. Choose one that’s easy to handle. If it’s corded, make sure the cable is long enough to not be a hassle while you work.
  • Accessories: Most oscillating tools include a number of blades and sanding pads. Carrying bags, additional batteries and a charger also add value.
  • LED lighting: An LED light at the end of the tool lets you see what you’re working on in dim areas without needing a flashlight.
  • Battery life: If you want a tool that runs on a battery, select one that advertises an extended running time.
  • Easy attachment swapping: Some oscillating tools don’t require tools when you change blades. This is a great feature for anyone who prefers not to have to break out a wrench to switch tasks.
  • Universal fit: Choose a tool with a universal fit adapter so you can use attachments and blades from other manufacturers. This makes finding compatible parts easy.

Best oscillating saws

DeWalt Oscillating Multi-Tool with Battery and Charger

This tool kit includes a battery, charger, carrying bag, two blades and an accessory adapter. An LED mounted on the tool lights up your work, and the brushless motor allows increased battery life.

Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool

This powerful oscillating tool weighs less than 5 pounds and has a slim grip for easy handling. It includes adapters that let you use attachments from most manufacturers, and the lock button prevents you from accidentally turning it off.

Avid Power Oscillating Tool

With its included carrying bag and 13 accessories, this oscillating saw comes with everything you need to be a home-repair hero. It features a quick-change attachment system that lets you quickly swap out blades without needing a wrench.

Fujiwara Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit

This has six speed settings, letting you precisely adjust its power for the task at hand. It includes an array of sanding pads, blades and other items that are simple to attach and release with the pull of a lever.

Enertwist Oscillating Tool

You can use other companies’ accessories and attachments with this tool, thanks to its Universal Fit System. With four blades, a sanding base and 25 sanding pads, this oscillating saw can complement any tool collection.

Galax Pro Oscillating Tool

DIY enthusiasts will find a lot to like in this corded oscillating tool that accommodates blades, sanders and other accessories from a wide range of manufacturers. It turns on and off with the flip of a switch, and the metal gear head is designed for durability.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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