Oscillating tools: many choices, uses

Cutting, sanding, scraping made easy

LIVE NOW: Inman Connect San Francisco
Tune-in now to catch the livestream. Don't miss this chance to see real estate leaders tackle the industry's top problems.

One of the most interesting tools currently on the market is what’s known generically as an "oscillating tool." The first, and for a long time the only, one on the market was the Fein MultiMaster. As its patent expired, other companies have introduced competing tools with different pros, cons and prices.

A tool for all reasons

So what exactly is an oscillating tool, and how does it differ from other cutting and sanding tools on the market? As the name implies, these tools utilize cutting attachments that oscillate rapidly from side to side, as opposed to rotating like a circular saw, or moving out and back like a jig saw or reciprocating saw. It’s this oscillation that sets the tool apart. And while it won’t replace your circular saw or your favorite pad sander, it’s a unique tool that’s extremely handy for a number of do-it-yourself projects all around the house.