Comparing Oscillating Tools

How do the original high-end oscillating cutter tools rate in comparison to the less expensive off brands? October 27, 2011

I am about ready to break down and get a Multimaster. I have had several uses for this tool in the last two weeks and just came up with another last night. I read some reviews and the main complaint is the price of the tool and the price of replacement blades. I was thinking about maybe getting a cheaper version. I read some of those reviews and the main negative there is that you get what you pay for, and to buy the Fein if you plan on using it for more than a hobby. Just curious if anyone has had success with a knock-off (Dremel, Bosch, Rockwell) and if this tool is what it is talked up to be.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
There is a generic company online that makes the cutters for the original Fein hole pattern. They lost their patent protection, hence the sudden competition. The Fein blades aren't really very good and are super expensive.

From contributor M:
I have the Fein Multimaster, and love it! The blades are expensive, but I get my blades from somewhere else, much cheaper. I got 10 blades for a little over $70. I think it's

The Bosch model is cordless. It's okay, but I just don't think the battery lasts long to do the job, unless it's something small and easy. As for the Dremel, I read a few reviews. Not too good. The tool felt cheap, vibrated a lot, blade coming loose. As for the Rockwell, it gets pretty good reviews. Price is affordable and seems to have a lot of accessories to offer.

I bought my Multimaster right before all of those other manufacturers came out with one. Try to read as many reviews as you can. The Fein is really great. I've been wanting one for so long. It is my favorite tool when I do remodel jobs.

From contributor J:

We own a couple of the Multimasters and use them extensively. They are definitely a great tool and I find more uses for them all the time. It is always a punch in the stomach when I have to buy blades, though. I will have to try out some of the other options mentioned. I have never tried any of the knockoffs but I have owned a Fein for 7 or 8 years and believe them to be well worth the money as far as the tool is concerned. I would still have the original one I bought but it did not have the quick change blade option so I sold it about a year ago and bought 2 of the new ones.

From contributor W:
We have every tool. My guys got me to get the Fein just recently. We have a lot of Festool, so the price wasn't a big deal. The tool is great - I'm glad we finally got one. We use the saw blades the most.

From contributor C:
I hate to be that guy who suggests an unprofessional, no-name tool, but I am going to stick to my guns on this one. 6 months ago I wanted to buy a Multimaster for the same reasons everyone else does, but I couldn't justify spending that much money on the tool let alone the blades. One day I saw an ad for Harbor Freight's version of the Multimaster called the Multi-Function Power Tool. It was only $35.00 and the blades can be purchased in a multi-pack. So I figured what the heck... I'll try it, and if it doesn't work, I'm only out 35 bucks. So I bought it... and it actually works. Of course it's not the best tool I have ever owned, but for what I paid for it, and how often I use it, it is perfect for what I need. Check it out, it could save you a lot of money.

From contributor H:
I have used the Multimaster since it first came out. Great tool except for the fact that it requires constant tightening of the blade. We have used the aftermarket blades and they are better than the Feins and reasonably priced. We have used the multiblades and will try the Imperials as they are half the price of the multiblades.

From contributor B:
We won't let an installer leave without one! We have had one from the beginning and yes, the blade needs tightening during use, but they have fixed that problem with the new versions. We now have 3 Multimasters in a shop of 9 guys. I can't imagine what we did without them!

From contributor G:
I saw the Multimaster at AWFS Vegas 2009 and I had to have one. I never leave the shop without it. You will never stop finding new uses for it. Also, I recommend spending the extra money for the attachments. The little triangular sanding pad is great. It's great for finish sanding the joint between a face frame and the case (where the case is plywood) - especially in the corners where the stile and rail meet. Buy it!

From contributor E:
I owned one of the original 636 sanders that could use blades years later, but there were only 1 or 2 choices back in the day. It sat unused for a few years, so I sold it. Fate - work evolved to a point where I really wanted my old tool back. The new MultiMasters were twice as much and blades evolved. Sanding with the little triangle pads is still a great feature on occasion, but these new carpenter kits really hit the mark on an install.

The bad news? I see a video of a Supercut and think of the extra power over a MM version. I'm history (or my wallet was) and I dig out a supplier that has a few 07-08 models with the carpenter kit for 650 shipped. The latest model with the quick lock is over 1K.

So, I take the thing on a big install that spans several weeks. I trashed some of the blades in that time, but it saved me hours in the process. I will not give up this tool easily in the future. If it's anything like my old 636, the motor will run like a top for over ten years with little or no maintenance.

If I can find 3rd party blades that compete with Fein for less, I'll be really happy. Replacing the kit blades from Fein would likely cost in excess of 350. Ouch!

From contributor F:
I cringed spending that much money on a tool I wasn't sure I would use that much. But once I new it existed, I kept running into situations where I wondered if it would work. So I broke down and now it is one of the most used tools in my truck. We use it all the time! No regrets!