Have you ever used an oscillating multi-tool before? If so, then you probably have a solid understanding of why craftsmen and construction contractors across the nation use this tool daily. Not only is this tool fairly user-friendly, but it also allows a user to perform a variety of jobs with just a single tool in hand.
All of that is made possible by this tool’s interchangeable blade and attachment system, which any prospective user should become acquainted with. This guide should help you do just that, even if you already have prior experience with this versatile tool.
Herein, we’ve outlined seven of the most common oscillating multi-tool blades and attachments that you may need on a jobsite. We’ve also taken some time to address whether or not these attachments are universal.
Are Oscillating Multi-Tool Blades Universal?
This is a common question asked by folks who are planning on investing in an oscillating multi-tool of their own. The answer is actually fairly simple. For the most part, oscillating multi-tool blades and attachments are universal in their design.
This means that the blades from one brand can be used in almost any other brand’s oscillating multi-tool without any incompatibility.
That being said, you should not automatically assume that your chosen oscillating multi-tool blades or attachments are universal by default. Instead, you should check through that set’s listing or ask a salesperson if that particular blade set is designed to work with your oscillating multi-tool brand.
Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck with a proprietary set that is not useful to you.
In particular, you should check out your oscillating multi-tool’s arbor type before investing in a set. If it matches the style listed for your chosen blade set, then you should be good to go.
7 Types of Oscillating Multi-Tool Blades and Attachments
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the most common types of blades and attachments.
Bi-metal blades are considered the most “basic” blade option for an oscillating multi-tool. That’s because the strength and shape of these blades make them ideal for tackling standard-density cutting jobs.
Namely, you’ll be able to use this type of blade to slice through most woods and plastics without much trouble. Depending on the particular blade’s shape, these blades can also make a limited range of plunge cuts.
It’s also noteworthy that these blades are capable of cutting through thin-gauge nails. This can be rather important, especially if you intend to use your oscillating multi-tool for demolition work as an alternative to a reciprocating saw or an angle grinder.
As their name suggests, these oscillating multi-tool blades take on a semi-circular shape that provides them with a broad cutting space.
These blades are also usually reinforced more than their bi-metal counterparts, making them perfect for cutting through a wide range of metal hardware. In particular, you’ll find these blades able to cut through thin-gauge sheet metal with ease, as well as thicker steel nails.
Oscillating multi-tools are well-known for their ability to work within tight spaces. That’s made possible by an attachment like a flush blade.
As their name suggests, these blades can slot into a variety of tight spaces without losing the capacity to cut through a variety of materials. In most cases, a standard flush blade can slice through wood or plastic.
However, metal-cutting flush blades are also available.
Some folks don’t know that you can sand down a variety of materials with an oscillating multi-tool in hand. But you really can, so long as you have a practical sanding pad attachment equipped.
Typically, these pads are triangular in shape and mount on parallel to the unit’s orientation. In practice, they allow the oscillating multi-tool to act like a buffing tool without sacrificing its general ease of use and power.
However, for whatever reason, these attachments tend to be hard to come by.
So, if at all possible, it is recommended that you order them online or directly from your oscillating multi-tool’s manufacturer. Otherwise, you may be disappointed when they are not present at your local hardware store.
Grout blades are some of the strongest available when it comes to their general construction. That’s because, in most cases, grout blades are tipped with some type of ultra-durable material.
Indeed, many of the best grout blades are diamond-tipped, making them ideal for grinding out old grout from between tiles. Carbide-tipped grout blades are just as good while also remaining affordable enough for a DIYer to use regularly.
Caulking removal can be a tedious task if you’re trying to do it by hand.
An oscillating multi-tool can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you on this front, but only if you have a caulking blade available to you. These blades are not sharp like many of their counterparts. Instead, they feature a rounded head that is able to effectively scrap up old caulking without damaging the underlying brick or masonry.
At the same time, caulking blades are almost always scoop-shaped. This makes them ideal for forcing out long strips of caulking in a single pass.
However, between their dullness and scoop-shaped form, these blades aren’t useful for much else.
Paint Prep Pads
Technically, paint prep pads are just a modified version of the sanding blades described above.
However, these pads tend to use a different sanding medium that is better able to rough and remove multiple paint layers. At the same time, these pads also sometimes include a jagged edge that can be used to loosen up mildew and dirt that may have taken hold of a woodwork piece’s surface.
If it weren’t already clear, there’s a lot of jobs that you can accomplish with an oscillating multi-tool at your disposal. However, an oscillating multi-tool cannot do all of that work on its own.
Instead, you’ll need to have a full arsenal of blades and accessories at the ready to really make the most of your oscillating multi-tool. With that in mind, any new oscillating multi-tool owner should strongly consider investing in several of the blade and accessory types outlined above.