When you need a do-it-all unit that can conquer multitasking, the oscillating tool is a great choice for you. This tool is able to do various tasks such as cutting, sanding, grinding, sawing, scraping, and more, and is ideal for the woodworker or even just the average home DIY enthusiast.
So, which cordless oscillating tool is the best on the market? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered in this review round-up. I’ve chosen some units for you to decide which best suits your needs.
With three speeds (13,000, 17,000, and 20,000 OPM), the DeWalt DCS356D1 20V MAX XR Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit is my top pick. It features a quick-change accessory system that allows you to change both the attachment and the blade without the need for any tool. This adds convenience when you’re in a hurry and want to stay work-focused.
Due to its brushless motor, it has a significantly longer and better runtime as compared to traditional units with carbon brushes. I like that its accessory adapter is universally compatible with a wide range of brands so you aren’t tied to one single power tool company – good for when you want to save money. Like many power tools out there, this unit has an LED light for guiding you in dim and dark work areas.
Because of the dual-grip variable speed trigger, controlling the unit precisely is convenient even without so much looking at the tool itself. This allows you to focus on your material for accuracy and safety.
Spanning 11.2 inches in length, the oscillating tool already comes with an assortment of attachments and blades to get started right away. As with many cordless tools nowadays, it is lithium-ion powered for a long-lasting battery.
Things I Like About This Product: The dual-grip variable speed control is a great usability feature for convenience while working. It also has a brushless motor for tool longevity.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The size might not be ideal for people with large hands.
With a 2-3/8-inch barrel grip that makes it easy to handle, the Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool is a moderately-lightweight tool at 4.9 pounds so it’s not too difficult to carry around. It has variable speeds of 6,000 to 20,000 OPM to match your material or task in mind.
Aside from that, it has 3.2 degrees of oscillation angle so sanding and cutting can be done quicker. To prevent accidental bumping, there is a lock button for the slide switch so you don’t run into inconveniences. What’s more, the multi-tool comes with adapters for different accessories that are usable with the oscillating tool.
What I like about this cordless oscillating tool is the battery warning system. This will save you from falling short of power when you’re so dedicated to finishing a task, because you’ll know when it’s time to charge the unit.
As the battery and the charger are included in this unit, getting started is easy. Because the oscillating tool is part of the Makita LXT cordless lineup, it has Star Protection Computer Controls that has preventive measures against common battery problems like overheating and overloading. It even has a built-in fan to keep the battery at the proper temperature.
For more information, read my detailed review of the XMT03Z multi-tool.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a battery warning system to help you plan your oscillating tool usage.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The oscillating tool doesn’t have an LED guiding light.
If you’re looking for a unit that’s not so hard on your wallet, the Tacklife PMT03B 20V Max Cordless Multifunctional Tool is for you. With six settings between 5,000 and 15,000 OPM, this 20V cordless oscillating tool has a fast charge feature that will grant up to 20 minutes of usage.
Bearing a 3-degree oscillating angle, it will be suitable for various tasks that involve difficult corners. I like the quick release system that allows a fuss-free blade replacement system in as quick as 15 seconds – and you don’t need tools to do it! Moreover, it has a universal adapter that will work on different brands of attachments.
Due to the ergonomic soft grip and compact design, this oscillating tool won’t cause too much fatigue after a long day’s work. Likewise, it has vibration reduction to help minimize shaky and tired hands. Since it comes as a set already including basic attachments, you’re able to start as soon as you pull it out of the box.
The oscillating multi-tool also uses lithium-ion for its battery and its motor has about 75 dB or fewer noise levels. If you already have the other 20V MAX tools from Tacklife, interchanging the batteries is possible to save time.
Things I Like About This Product: The unit has a quick charging capability that lets you use the unit after just an hour.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It doesn’t have a high OPM compared to other cordless oscillating tools.
If you are a fan of 12-volt units, you will like the Skil PWRCore 12 Brushless 12V Oscillating Tool Kit. With its PWR core 12 lithium battery technology, it will improve the battery life twice as better than expected with up to 25 percent longer runtime. What’s more, its charging speed is impressive, taking only 45 minutes (5 minutes for emergency use at 25 percent).
With six speeds (11,000 to 18,000 OPM), this oscillating tool has a unique automatic mode that senses the appropriate setting depending on your job and material. This is convenient for those who find it difficult to find the right speed for the task. Aside from that, and like most oscillating tools, it has LED lights that will illuminate your work area and keep shadows to a minimum.
Included in the set is an assortment of blades for you to use right off the bat, as well as the battery and a charger. Another plus point is the charger that comes with this oscillating tool also has a USB port for gadgets.
What’s unique about its battery charging mechanism is that it wraps cooling material around each battery to prevent too much heat from building up. This results in more efficient charging and a longer battery lifespan, as mentioned above.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a fast-charging speed and has a USB-compatible charger.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The speed is not that high compared to other oscillating tools.
With two modes (standard and auto), if you’re searching for a user-friendly unit, count on the Metabo HPT CV18DBLQ5M Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool. The standard has five speeds ranging from 6,000 to 20,000 OPM, while the auto mode changes the speed depending on the load, varying between 15,000 and 20,000 OPM. This allows you to eliminate guesswork for basic materials.
Because it has a tool-less blade change, it helps save time and boost productivity. What’s more, the oscillating tool has a brushless motor that produces less noise and requires simpler maintenance than its brushed counterpart. This also means added durability for the tool.
Due to the soft-grip handle and slim body, the oscillating tool is quite ergonomic, so you’ll feel less fatigued after a day’s work. It even has an LED light to keep your workspace well-lit, especially if you practically work at night. This will help you easily spot the material and line of cut for safety and accuracy.
If you have any of the Metabo HPT 18V and MultiVolt lithium-ion slide-type batteries, this oscillating tool is compatible with them. Moreover, it is backed by a lifetime tool warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It has an automatic mode that varies the speed depending on the material you’re working on.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Compared to other tool-less blade change systems, the mechanism on this oscillating tool might need a bit of a learning curve.
If you’re looking for a simple unit, the Porter-Cable PCC710LA 20V MAX Oscillating Tool Kit is yet another good choice. It has a variable speed dial ranging from 8,000 to 18,000 OPM, which is sufficient for most common materials and jobs.
Like many of my picks above, it has an LED work light for dim areas. This is helpful for night operations or when you just want a clearer view of your working material. To keep the user comfortable, it has a 3-position grip so that you’ll have accuracy and safety without fatigued hands.
Because this oscillating tool is a kit, it comes with everything you need to get started, such as a bag, charger, battery, blades, and sanders. Among the included blades are a bi-metal blade and wood blade, as well as the sanding tools such as a sanding plate and eight sanding papers.
As for the oscillating angle, it’s positioned at 2.8 degrees. If you ever own any of the 20V MAX tools from the manufacturer (Porter-Cable), the tool has a compatible battery for that. It is backed by a 3-year limited warranty, one year of free service, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Things I Like About This Product: The 3-position grip makes it comfortable for the user to handle the oscillating tool for long hours – and it’s useful for people with sweaty hands.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Neither the oscillating angle nor variable speed are that high compared to other oscillating tools out there.
With a total of 12 speeds, the Milwaukee 2626-20 M18 18V Orbiting Multi-Tool has more precise variable dial settings than most multi-tools out there. The adjustability ranges from 11,000 to 18,000 OPM, which is ideal for the majority of tasks and materials.
As mainly a woodworking tool, it already comes with wood cutting blades, a sanding pad, and sanding sheets (it is still a bare tool, though). As with many of my picks above, it has an LED light for dim areas such as corners or poorly-lit garages and workspaces.
To keep a solid firm to the oscillating tool, it has a rubberized mold that will keep you comfortable even when handling it for hours. If you happen to have any other M18 battery from the same manufacturer, you can use it to power up this oscillating tool. Spanning a length of 11-7/8 inches, this tool also has a fuel gauge as part of the M18 system.
In terms of durability, the tool boasts an all-metal gear case to keep your unit lasting a long time. Like many of the oscillating tools out there, this unit also has a tool-less blade change so you don’t have to worry if your hands are full at the moment.
Things I Like About This Product: It has an all-metal construction and a whopping 12 speeds to choose from for fine-tuning.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The top speed is not that high compared to most oscillating tools.
With a variable speed of 8,000 to 18,000 OPM, the Craftsman CMCE500D1 V20 Oscillating Tool Cordless Kit is yet another set to consider if you want to use your oscillating tool right out of the box. It comes with a battery and charger, as well as a storage bag and attachments.
Attaching the accessories is an easy task due to the tool-less universal attachment system. Moreover, it has an LED work light for work area visibility and also for safety. Due to the contoured molded handle, it will be comfortable to hold for hours, especially if you have sweaty hands.
If you also have any Versa Track attachments, it has a spot just for that. Included in the kit, aside from the tool, battery, and charger, is a wood blade, two 80 grit sandpapers, a sanding plate, three 100-grit sandpapers, two 240-grit sandpapers, a scraper, and a bi-metal blade.
When it comes to the LED light, it has an automatic mechanism that turns it on the instant you flick the power switch of the oscillating tool, which saves time.
Things I Like About This Product: Changing the accessories and attachments is easy due to its universal system. It is also compatible with Versa Track attachments.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Unfortunately, the OPM is not that high when compared to similar oscillating tools on the market. Also, it’s worth noting that the tool doesn’t have a brushless motor.
The Worx WX696L 20V Power Share Oscillating Multi-Tool is yet another cordless unit that has a universal fit system that is compatible with many brands. This makes it easy to find the ideal attachment for your needs. Since it is part of the Worx Power Share family, it has an interchangeable battery with the other tools in the lineup.
With two speeds of 5,000 and 20,000 OPM, this tool is ideal for basic DIY tasks at home while its low-profile design allows you to easily fit into tight spaces. What I like about this tool is the blade-changing wrench that has its place on board. This will keep you organized while working on your project.
The tool has up to 3.2 degrees of oscillation so it has a wider range than others on the market. Included in the set are 30 sanding sheets, a wood cutting blade (1-1/8 inches), sanding pad, storage bag, battery, and charger. With its 1.5 Ah battery, the oscillating tool fully charges in somewhere between 3 to 5 hours.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a good speed and a wide oscillation angle. It also comes with many sanding sheets.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Even if it has a high OPM, there aren’t many speed selections for this oscillating tool, making it only ideal for general cutting and sanding work, since you can’t fine-tune the speeds.
Also bearing a 3.2-degree oscillation angle is the Makita MT01R1 12V CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool Kit. This unit has a variable speed control dial of 6,000 to 20,000 OPM, which makes it versatile for different tasks. Because the on/off switch is large, operation is a breeze.
What’s more, there is even a lock button on the main switch to avoid accidentally turning it off when you’re focused on the job. To illuminate your work area, there’s an LED light to keep tasks safe and accurate. In addition to that, it has an onboard hex wrench tool so changing the accessory will be simpler overall.
Spanning at a length of 10-7/8 inches and weighing only 2.4 pounds (with the battery), it is one of the most compact oscillating tools on the market today. Since it also comes with various adapters, you don’t have to worry if your other attachments and accessories are from different brands.
There is also a soft start feature that stabilizes your tool when you turn it on. Moreover, it has anti-restart protection for motor protection.
For more information, read my detailed review of this 12-volt Makita multi-tool.
Things I Like About This Product: This oscillating tool is lightweight and easy to carry, making it ideal for small spaces and tight corners.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Due to the small battery, it is only suitable for small jobs and not medium or heavy-duty ones.
As a 12-volt unit, the Milwaukee 2526-20 M12 Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool delivers 10,000 to 20,000 OPM. This makes it one of the most powerful oscillating tools out there, but with only a 12V battery. It has a brushless motor so the noise won’t be as jarring as those from the bigger tools, while it will also lengthen the lifespan of your tool in the long run.
Aside from that, the combination of the brushless motor and vibration-isolating tool design minimizes user fatigue by reducing vibrations. This is good news for people who are trying to avoid jittery oscillating tools.
What makes this oscillating tool stand out from the competition is the 3.9-degree oscillating angle, which is by far the largest of all. And of course, it has a tool-less blade changing system to save time.
Since it is powered by REDLINK PLUS M12 batteries (sold separately), it will provide battery protection and efficiency. As with many oscillating tools on the market, it has a built-in LED light to easily see what you’re working on. Because this unit has 12 settings for the speed, it will help you to fine-tune your ideal speed depending on the material you’re working on.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a high oscillating angle of 3.9 degrees, which makes it more versatile than most similar tools.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It doesn’t include a battery and only has basic accessories.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Oscillating Tools Featured Above
If you want to know how I came up with the oscillating tools featured above, here’s a handy guide that will help you to choose as well:
Oscillation per minute (OPM) is the unit of measurement for an oscillating tool (coming from its name). Nearly every oscillating tool has a variable speed feature, which will range somewhere between 2 to 12 settings, using a speed selector or dial. The average oscillating tool will at least have 5 to 6.
The lowest speed will usually be around 6,000 to 8,000 OPM, while the highest is about 18,000 to 20,000 OPM. If you value time most of all, having a high-speed oscillating tool is the better choice for you. However, if you work with different kinds of materials, it’s good to have a multi-speed unit for delicate items that require specific settings.
The LED light is helpful for tight spaces, corners, and dim areas, whether you’re in a garage, at a job site, or remodeling your home. An LED light will help in terms of accuracy, as well as with your overall safety.
In most cases, the LED light turns on and off alongside the tool itself, so you don’t have to separately switch it on if you need it.
Most oscillating tools on the market already come as a kit with the basic blades you’ll need, such as woodcutting and bi-metal cutting blades. It may also have sanding attachments as well as sandpaper of different grits.
If you want to pay extra, some kits may also include the battery and charger so you don’t have to look for it elsewhere. This is ideal for those who haven’t owned any tool yet from the same company. Bare tool kits, however, are more suitable if you already owned the battery from another tool or a previous oscillating unit.
As with many power tools nowadays, you’ll most likely encounter oscillating tools that use lithium-ion batteries, which are power-saving and more efficient compared to Ni-Cad batteries. They will hold a charge far longer with proper care and they mostly have protective features to keep the battery life long and to maintain the tool and motor safety.
Size and Weight
An oscillating tool is usually lightweight compared to most power tools out there, with most around 2 to 4 pounds. However, a lightweight tool doesn’t always mean it is the best – it just means that it is easier to maneuver around small spaces. In the end, these tools are only ideal for smaller jobs.
If you want a moderate oscillating tool for the most common tasks, go for a weight that’s balanced with its speed and features. Moreover, the tool length also plays a role – some oscillating tools have a shorter length that allows you to get into narrow corners and store it more conveniently.
When it comes to usability, many oscillating tools I mentioned above have lock-on features for the trigger switch, which decreases the likelihood of accidents. Many of these tools also have convenient locations for their switches and variable speed controls, which makes switching between OPMs easy, even when not so much looking at the tool.
One more important factor to consider in an oscillating tool is a quick-change system. Most oscillating tools have a universal attachment mechanism that not only accepts a wide range of brands but also allows you to easily change your attachment in seconds. In line with this, be wary of tools that only accept specific brands of attachments.
A rubber grip is commonly found on many power tools today – the oscillating tool is no exception to that. Rubber grips are ideal for sweaty hands and for those wearing gloves because they provide you with better tool stability. Moreover, most of such tools even have a slim grip that will help maintain a good hold on the unit.
Likewise, anti-vibration mechanics in the oscillating tool will also help to reduce user fatigue when you use the tool for hours. A brushless motor often produces less noise and fewer vibrations. Therefore, it’s more suitable to go for a brushless motor unit if you prefer a less shaky tool.
The oscillating angle of the tool ranges somewhere between 2.8 to 3.9 degrees, with the most common being 3 or 3.2 degrees.
A higher oscillation angle means that it is more fit for cutting tasks aggressively. Usually, the oscillation angle is for both sides. Therefore, if your material is known to be a stubborn type, go for a cordless oscillating tool with a higher angle.
When it comes to durability, do consider an oscillating tool with more metal parts, especially if it’s meant for the job site or medium-scale home repair and remodeling jobs.
Many companies that sell power tools, including oscillating tools, usually have one to three years for their warranty period.
My overall top pick is the DeWalt DCS356D1 20V MAX XR Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit, which has a dual-grip variable speed control for easy and precise usability while at work. The second tool on my list is the Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool, which has a battery warning system to help you plan your usage.
If you’re on a budget, why not try the Tacklife PMT03B 20V Max Cordless Multifunctional Tool? It has a quick charging feature (as fast as 5 minutes for a 25% charge) that lets you use the tool in an emergency. However, if you prefer a 12-volt tool, I think that the Skil PWRCore 12 Brushless 12V Oscillating Tool Kit is a good choice. This tool also has a fast-charging capability due to its cooling material.
For those who aren’t too sure of what speed to use, you’ll find the Metabo HPT CV18DBLQ5M Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool useful thanks to its automatic mode. If you want a unit that’s easy to hold for hours, the Porter-Cable PCC710LA 20V MAX Oscillating Tool Kit is quite the ergonomic choice.
Likewise, if you’re looking for durability, the Milwaukee 2626-20 M18 18V Orbiting Multi-Tool has an all-metal construction that will last for a long time with proper care and storage. If you have any Versa Track attachments, the Craftsman CMCE500D1 V20 Oscillating Tool Cordless Kit is a compatible unit with that.
The Worx WX696L 20V Power Share Oscillating Multi-Tool, Makita MT01R1 12V CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool Kit, and Milwaukee 2526-20 M12 Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool are great choices if you’re looking for a unit with a high oscillation angle, ranging from 3.2 to 3.9 degrees.