Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: February 02, 2021
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What do you need an oscillating tool for? Interesting question because many DIYers and professionals don’t know they need one, until they own one. And then – they use it for everything. In short, one of the best oscillating tool options on the market will cut down on work time, enable you to do things you thought you needed experts for, and streamline your workflow. They’re multi-functional and upgrade your gear by giving you an easy way to grind, sand, cut, polish, scrape and more. All you need are a few attachments, all compatible with one power tool body.
To make your oscillating tool your favorite new item in the work shed, you must pick the best on the market. We’re going to help you determine that in this review. You must gauge what will be best in your unique application in terms of power and oscillations per minute. Of course, weight specs are essential to make for comfortable handling and the oscillation angle is usually a great sign of quality.
We packaged all the key features into easy to read reviews below. Our team of DIY experts tried out 11 of the best ones around and put them through some tough testing: using them on construction projects as well as lower-scale projects to see if they do become the preferred tool you would reach for, whether you’re a professional or otherwise. Below you’ll see what they discovered—some experts quickly realized they’re missing out on better workflow by not owning one themselves. No, oscillating tools aren’t that well known and not even all the experts use them yet. But that’s changing quickly. Will you follow the new trend? To help you understand the market we added an insightful buyer’s guide below. You can also use our comparison chart to identify the best options you should consider. Ready to revolutionize your workflow?
"Best choice for the professional and home DIYer alike, this kit comes with a great variety of attachments, and its universal fit system allows for attachments from other tools that you may already have."
Rockwell manages to pour most of what you need in an oscillating tool into this one unit. And that doesn’t mean you have to pay a ridiculous price for it. It’s still fairly affordable and definitely an investment for professionals.
First off, note that you receive a handy carry case which will help keep your tools in top condition for years to come.
Inside this case you find a powerful body with a 4.2A motor. This is important because you don’t want your tool to stall when you’re busy with tough jobs. It also prevents the unit from overheating. This one can withstand a cutting load of up to 35lb of force, which will be enough in most cases.
The kit comes ready to use with a variety of attachments so you don’t have to spend more money in the hardware shop. If you do have favorite attachments from other similar tools already, try them on this one. They’re proud of their universal fit system.
When it’s time to change them around it’s super easy: no tools needed.
While it’s not the fastest tool in the business, the oscillation speed is impressive and, best of all, controllable: you can adjust it to suit your specific task. You can also change the oscillating angle, which is quite unique and very handy when you realize you need more control to improve workmanship.
Makita once again shows why it’s a trusted name in the power tool industry. This unit is durable with a smart, practical design and some impressive features. True to the brand’s values it aligns with what DIYers and professionals need.
Firstly you’ll find the on and off slide is quite large. This makes for easy operation, but what’s more is that it can be locked in the on position. You won’t accidentally switch it off mid cutting.
This is one of the tools with the widest speed ranges on this list. You can set it to anything between 6 000 and 20 000 OPMs which makes it the appropriate tool for more jobs: you can manage power and control so you end up with excellent workmanship. It also makes it more user friendly for new owners: while you get used to operating this you can pick lower speeds. New and experienced users will appreciate the soft start feature.
This is a battery operated unit so you won’t be able to carry on for long periods of time, unless you purchase multiple batteries separately. We are a bit disappointed at the short (20 minutes) operation promised by the brand. However, this is a common challenge in this range of tools, so it’s no reason to take this off your shopping list. It’s also good to know there’s overload and over discharge protection which will have your tool last longer than low end models.
You won’t take long switching between accessories as this is another tool-less device.
Here is one of the more expensive units that you still must consider because of all the benefits included. You’ll probably save money in the long run because you won’t have to purchase additional accessories—the set comes with many attachments. You won’t have to run to the hardware store for much more, all you need for general use is provided and you can store it in the specially designed case. This protects it and ensures your items won’t rust.
This tool will also serve you well for a considerable time, thanks to its durability.
It’s an extensive set, but a compact unit, one of the lightest models we’ve found. This is good news for newbies who aren’t used to power tools—this one won’t be too difficult to get used to. What also counts in your favor is the easy exchange feature. Putting in a different attachment will reportedly only take you three seconds. And no, you don’t need any tools for that.
But what really impressed us is the brand’s MultiMaster housing. Apart from being sturdy it also helps reduce noise and vibrations. Research shows that it cuts down on noise by up to 50% (compared to the brand’s previous models). This makes for comfortable use and your neighbors won’t mind as much when you work until late at night.
The 15ft cord gives ample space for work in a workshop. A very well designed multi-tool in all aspects.
Here you have power in numbers. How about 52 accessories to choose from? You won’t be visiting the hardware store for more stock soon. Thanks to the long warranty, you know you’re working with top quality items that will last you a long time.
One accessory that stands out is the brand’s depth and cutting guide. With this you’ll have more control when cutting into a surface, so you don’t damage the layers or wall beneath. That’s ideal for removing grout between tiles. Also, the moment you have more control you’ll work faster, so this small item makes a huge difference. Even professionals will appreciate it when they can easily deliver great workmanship without wasting time.
This is a very user-friendly design thanks to the tool free change system. When you need to exchange blades you won’t waste time and there’s no chance of burning yourself on hot components. It’s spring loaded and works very efficiently. The brand does market itself as a universal fit product, so you can use most other brands’ accessories on this head.
We also appreciate the long 10ft cord. It’s quite impressive and one of the longer ones on the market, so you can move around a room without switching between power outlets.
Note that this is one of the heavier items on our list, but the sturdy construction makes it worth it. Just make sure you can handle it easily before buying this one.
Variety is key in this model as you’ll find many different functions in various aspects of the DeWalt unit. Let’s start by saying this battery operated unit is a very wise choice thanks to the motor being brushless. This modern system requires less power so your battery can last over 50% longer than usual. That’s a huge benefit if you’re busy with large projects and working long hours.
With this unit you have 0 to 20 000 OPM and you can easily adjust it to fit your task. Simply use the trigger function. This button is located in such a way that you can hold the body in more than one way—in each position you’ll still have easy access to the trigger so you can always monitor the speed mid-project.
The next option is to switch the LED light on or off. This is very handy if you have to fix something when the power goes out, or even if you work in tight spaces: No need to lug around lights or torches.
This machine is surprisingly light for all the features embedded in it. That makes it even more portable, along with the battery feature.
This well-known brand allows you to use almost any accessory thanks to the adaptor, another feature that allows customization.
In this kit you’ll receive 28 different pieces and components. That’s enough to get your started. We also love the carry case that will keep everything clean and your work area tidy.
Just note that there is a very limited oscillating angle: only 1.6°.
It’s always wise to trust a brand the industry already knows. That’s the case with Bosch, and once again the manufacturer doesn’t disappoint. This is quite an impressive kit with many accessories provided, including sanding disks and cutting tools.
Vibrations aren’t ideal when using an oscillating tool and in this design it’s minimized thanks to the Starlock 3D interface. This is how the blades are held in place, securely. This design even affects torque transfer so you’ll have better results on challenging jobs cutting through tough substances.
In part, the power comes from an impressive 4A motor. Another benefit of this motor is you’ll apply less pressure and still get great results. To help you learn to manage this power you can use the dial which will adjust the speed. Trial and error to find the right balance between having power & enjoying more cutting control. You can pick between 8 000 to 20 000 OPM, which is quite a wide range.
The cord on this unit is 13ft long which is sufficient for most scenarios and the 3° oscillating angle is on par with industry standards.
This model incorporates an LED light for work in low light environments. It’s also easier to manage thanks to the soft grip areas. This improves control as well as your comfort.
You do get an impressive 25 accessories, but know that most of them are sandpaper. If you’re a serious DIYer you may purchase other tools eventually.
One of the main reasons owners love their Hyperikon models is because they’re so compact and light. That makes it so much easier to work with and is especially user friendly to less experienced DIYers. Just because it’s light you don’t have to fear low quality—you still get an exceptional 3-year warranty.
You only get three attachments with this purchase which covers scraping, cutting and sanding, but not to fear: it does have a universal fitting system, so just use other parts you own or buy.
The replacement process is quite user friendly: you simply pull a lever 180° and slip a different tool in place.
The layout and design also make for easy use and you won’t experience hand fatigue. That’s what the rubber exterior is for and in addition the engineers used a unique design: this sends vibrations to the blade instead of it affecting your hand or muscles via the handle. The power button is located in an easy to reach location. You can adjust the speed, even on this affordable machine, so it’s true value for money. The 3° angle is more than enough for powerful, yet accurate use.
Hyperikon provides a sturdy case to keep your tool in, which means you can easily look after it so it will serve you well for a long time.
What we liked:
Compact and lightweight, which is ideal for amateurs
You’ll want this Dremel model for the way it looks and the way it works. It has a super modern exterior and inside you’re provided with some of the best features in the market—that’s what Dremel’s reputation is. And they get it right again with their oscillating tool. Best of all is that it still comes at a very reasonable price.
It’s unique to most others as it gives you a 5° oscillation angle. The brand also devised an original drive system. This, along with the 7A motor means you get more done in a shorter time than before. Their upgrades mean you can cut 9 times faster than some other Dremel models allow. Your workflow is further streamlined (you get even more done) thanks to the brand’s accessory exchange method. You don’t need any tools and it’s quite easy. That makes this user-friendly for new DIYers too. The next item that helps you finish projects faster is the control foot, unique to this brand. When you feel more in control you’ll work faster, and this control foot helps you stay accurate even during long cuts.
Note: you can remove the control foot if you prefer and this makes the tool more appropriate for certain tasks such as grout removal.
This brand understands its customers’ needs which is why Dremel allows you to use other manufacturers’ accessories too.
Just note that some users experience long learning curves with this model, and the brand’s dust extraction accessories don’t fit the VD60-01.
Here’s another example from Rockwell, although this one is slightly more expensive.
It’s a great portable unit thanks to it being cordless and with the embedded LED light you can work just about anywhere. It has a slim design which will empower you to work in tight spaces more comfortably than before.
Don’t worry too much about occasionally bumping it against objects. This one has a metal gear housing, so it won’t easily get damaged. That’s why you get the impressive 3-year warranty too.
Because it’s a battery unit you must consider work time. Although the task may determine how quick the battery runs down you can plan on more or less 90 minutes.
It’s very impressive that recharging will only take about 1 hour. Note that there’s only one battery included in your purchase.
The kit includes a few accessories and attachments, but thanks to the universal fit system you can also use your current items, or try any appropriate ones you find at the hardware store. It helps your budget and makes shopping easier when you don’t have to shop brand-specific.
These accessories are clamped and kept in place by 1 ton of clamping force. That means they won’t easily come loose, no matter what you use your tool for. You don’t have to use tools to exchange the accessories which saves you time, but is also much more user friendly than older models.
This is our most budget-friendly option, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for low quality. Brands just know to cater for all price ranges and this one is a must have for budget shoppers. You still get multiple attachments and because it’s super light, it’s practical for newbies & professionals alike. Remember, when your power tool doesn’t weigh as much, it’s a lot easier to reach those tricky places and still deliver quality workmanship.
The small unit still has a high oscillation speed but would have been even better with a little more power in the motor. Note that it doesn’t allow you to adjust speeds, so you might not be able to find that perfect speed for the job at hand.
This is a slightly more complicated system to exchange attachments: you’ll use a four pin flange. However, this keeps it absolutely sturdy which is the most important. You want safe power tools and this is one of them.
You get a slightly shorter warranty with this model, but two years are still more than acceptable for power tools. Thanks to the die-cast aluminum casing your Genesis model will serve you well for a long time. It’s also known to have low vibration levels.
Just note that this brand only allows for its own accessories to be used, unless you use an adaptor.
One thing’s for certain: you’ll be using this for a long time. That’s thanks to the multiple accessory units and as many as nine sanding paper pads included in your initial purchase. They are of varying gradients so they enable you to do various types of jobs with equal quality in workmanship.
This is a cord powered unit so you must invest in extensions if you’re going to use it across a large area. The 70” cord is practical for general use in a workshop though.
This one has quite an impressive speed range: between 11 000 and 20 000, you’ll definitely find the ideal setting to enjoy a balance between control and power. It’s so user friendly to adjust the speed on this VonHaus model, whether you’re an amateur or a professional: simply turn the knob on the back of the tool—you operate it with your thumb.
Something you won’t find in many models is a dust extraction port. This makes it more practical if you’re using it for indoor jobs—there will be less of a mess afterwards.
When you’re done, you’ll love the carry case. This keeps your tools safe, dry and protects parts from damage during transport.
Note that this unit is somewhat heavier than other models on this list. It may be less portable and comfortable to use, but still a practical weight for most people.
One of the best things about this one: It’s really affordable.
What we liked:
Many accessories supplied
Easy speed adjustment
Affordable price range
Carry case included
What could be better:
Not everyone likes a corded model
Things to Сonsider
This power tool is quickly gaining popularity in the DIY and professional market, but you may not be aware of all these tools can do and why you need one no matter what you use your tools for. Our guide below will quickly bring you up to date so you can join the growing list of happy users.
Benefits of having a top-quality oscillation tool at home
When you purchase tools, relevancy is an important aspect to consider. If you’re only doing DIY you often don’t need the tools a professional invests in. So who is an oscillating tool for? The answer is definite: everyone.
For professional carpenters and other construction specialists, this compact tool provides easier solutions to some projects. Instead of lugging around different tools this unit can be employed and you can quickly switch between attachments. This same feature makes it a practical investment for home owners. Whether you’re fixing up your home or you love DIY projects, you’ll appreciate these benefits:
Lower tool expenses since one tool does a variety of jobs
Quick exchanges between attachments cut down on work time
You can opt between battery-powered and corded, according to your preference
The compact design makes it easier to work in tight spaces
You need less storage compared to buying multiple large power tools
It’s fast becoming the must have tool for any homeowner and professional, so best you join the trend—it’s worth it.
Features to consider when choosing an oscillating tool
You may be tempted to spend the highest amount of money, believing it to be the best oscillating tool on the market. We suggest you take your time and look at all relevant features of a unit first. Most likely you’ll find an affordable option you’ll really love using, vetted according to this list.
Motor power is an important aspect to invest in, otherwise you simply won’t get those tough jobs done. Your oscillating tool will stall or work extremely slow. However, don’t think it’s valuable all on its own. High power may mean you have less control, so research the unit’s other capabilities too.
Tip: If you do pick a low power unit, even putting your own weight behind the tool (pushing it forward) can help get more results.
Speed is measured in OPM (oscillation per minute). This is how fast the rotating equipment moves in relation to the tool head. Of course you want it as fast as possible, but beware: at high speed you may sacrifice some control, so think what your greatest priority is and pick accordingly. If you want to do precision work, a little less OPM will be a wise alternative. With some tools you can adjust the speed which is a definite plus as you can see in our Rockwell models. This means you can pick a speed according to the task, making sure you don’t damage the tool or the surface you’re working on. Adjust it to enjoy optimum control.
The rotating attachment will move side to side at super high speeds. The range that the attachments move in is called the oscillating angle. This is usually between 2.8° and 3.2°. It’s not necessarily the higher the better, but the wider the angle, the more aggressive the tool becomes. You’ll also sacrifice some control the wider the angle is, so once again: think where you’ll use it and whether you want power or control.
Corded or cordless?
There’s no definite winner in this category: only what will work best for you. A cordless unit is always convenient because you can use it anywhere, there’s less chance of tripping over a cord and you don’t have to use extensions. But these tools draw a lot of power, so your batteries usually run out very quick. For simple DIY this may still suffice.
Remember to look at battery run time and also recharging time when you shop: Pick one that will be practical in your scenario.
In more demanding professional use you will probably prefer a corded model (many pros do) because you can work all day without stopping. Just remember this will limit your movements. But if you’re already used to working with corded power tools that won’t be a problem. Just make sure you pick one with a long enough cord, such as the VonHaus model shown above, with its long 70” power cord.
Here’s one of the best things of oscillating tools: many of them can be managed with only one hand. That makes it easier to perform certain tasks and allows access to narrow passages if needed.
Consider your own capabilities (how much weight you’ll find comfortable to carry in one hand) when shopping for yours.
That’s why smaller units such as the Genesis and Hyperikon are still popular in the market, even though they’re smaller & less powerful than some.
Here’s another feature you should approach while keeping your own capabilities in mind. Your unique build and the size of your hand will determine what you feel comfortable holding & working with. Compare this with the dimensions of the tool you consider buying. Will it feel comfortable to work with?
Also, how much storage space do you have available? You don’t want your tool to clutter your workshop.
Here’s where you need to be careful when shopping: while an oscillating tool can revolutionize your work with its many functions, the attachments and accessories aren’t always included. Double check which fittings are included in your purchase so you know it’s appropriate for the work you do most often.
Also, know that attachments can be pricey. If you plan on building up your equipment to suit all future projects, be prepared to spend quite a bit, if attachments aren’t included in your original purchase.
We also believe additional accessories are worth the investment, even if the unit is more expensive than others. A built-in LED light can make it so much easier to work in small spaces (to stay accurate without needing to squeeze in a flashlight) and even outside after dark or in low light areas. That’s perfect for construction work where you don’t have electricity infrastructures yet.
A second battery (if you opt for a cordless model) is also worth it, to double the time you’ll be able to work before recharging.
A carry case is always handy to ensure your tools stay protected from moisture, but this isn’t a necessity if you have a tool bag already.
Snap-in tool-less accessory change
What will make your work flow better? When you can seamlessly switch between different jobs and functions. That’s what happens when you pick an oscillating tool that doesn’t require complicated processes or even tools (such as a wrench) to exchange the attachments and accessories.
High-end models usually have a snap-in function which is very user friendly. Apart from saving you time, this also prevents you from burning your fingers on the hot metal.
As you start using it you’ll find more uses for it, we promise you. Since you’ll be trying it out in many scenarios where you don’t always know the outcome, make sure you pick one with a long warranty.
Your first enquiry should always be with your manufacturer. Although many of the models named above can utilize universal accessories (look at the Rockwell as an example), this should never be assumed. That’s why it’s best to start searching for sandpaper from large corporations (if not found in store). However, most hardware stores will also stock universal blades which you can then use.
Here you have to research the compatibility of the tool you purchased. First of all, make sure you use attachments designed for oscillating tools. Luckily, some brands aim for universal fits and will mention this in their marketing material. Therefore you can use other brands’ blades too. However, don’t assume, as some brands will only work with their own stock.
All you need to do is find the perfect attachment. You’ll see them marked clearly, such as an attachment that cuts wood only, while others are designed to cut wood where you also expect to come across a few steel nails. Using the right accessory will prevent damaging the tool. The tool itself is strong enough to handle tough jobs like that.
This is probably one of the most loved features of an oscillating tool, as there haven’t been that many practical, convenient ways to remove grout up until these tools entered the market. The oscillating movement is ideal for this job and the attachments are small enough to work with in any sized bathroom, even those tiny showers. The industry also responded with handy attachments, such as stoppers so you won’t cut too deep into the floor or wall when working on the grout.
Let’s be frank: you can easily hurt yourself if you don’t know how to use one of these oscillating tools. However, that’s no reason to stay away from them—they can make life much easier. To make sure you get the most out of your new power tool, make sure you purchase one with a short learning curve. You’ll often find these details in product descriptions and reviews. You don’t want to waste time on learning something new, so invest in models that offer quick, effortless accessory changes.
An amateur needs exceptional control so you don’t hurt yourself or damage your project when you barely know your tool yet. That’s why speed control is vital: make sure you can handle the power it throws out. When you start this way, you allow yourself time to get to know the tool before you push it to its limits. There will be less chance of hurting yourself or damaging the tool, which could happen if you lose control of the unit.
Handy accessories for beginners are the control items, such as the control foot on the Dremel model. Apart from supercharging your work speed (because it’s effortless to enjoy control of the cutter) your workmanship will improve. With this you stay in control and can work more accurately.
It’s not an easy decision to pick a winner because many of these sets give you everything you need to get started and fall in love with your oscillating tool. But the Rockwell RK5151K can’t be beaten when it comes to customization and power. The fact that you can adjust the oscillating angle and that you can use it in tough jobs without it stalling on you: those are winning characteristics.
Of course Makita deserves a mention for the many OPM settings and the slow start feature. It will make it easy for beginners to get to know these tools quicker and it makes for better overall workmanship. This brand knows what customers need.
Our experts were quite surprised at how well Fein did among many other well-known brands. It stood out amongst the crowd for the low noise and vibration levels, thanks to such a smart design. Well done Fein for making one of the best oscillating tools to date.
For you, there’s no question that this is the tool all handymen and DIYers should get. It’s taken too long already for it to become popular, so don’t lose any more time: you’ll love it from the moment you own yours.