Oscillating multi-tools can get you out of a pinch, but who makes the best? Our team at protoolreviews.com brought in the top models for a head-to-head evaluation that raised some eyebrows thanks to the latest technology developments.
Editor’s Note: Since this video published, Fein has discontinued the SuperCut line and expanded the MultiMaster line.
- MILWAUKEE TOOL M18 FUEL – $329
- MILWAUKEE TOOL M12 FUEL – $238
- FEIN SUPERCUT – Discontinued
- MAKITA XMT03 – $349
- SKIL 20V PWRCORE – $149
- BOSCH GOP18V – $149 (bare tool)
Corded multi-tools are certainly relevant, but when we talked through our qualifications to earn the title of “best”, the convenience of battery power was a must. However, some of the models we’re recommending are available as corded options without any loss of performance while saving you some money.
We ran a series of tests to determine which of these tools is the best across several areas and learned a lot along the way. We started by undercutting a door jamb using a tile to support the blade and set the correct cutting height. We cut out drywall for electrical box installation and popped finish nails to remove trim.
Switching to a diamond grit blade, we removed lines of grout and then installed a sanding pad to see what kind of sanding speed each model offers. As we cut and sanded, we were also feeling out how much vibration each tool delivered to our hands and considering how the tool’s length, weight, and handle design played into the experience of using it.
During our testing, we used several different types of Milwaukee oscillating multi-tool blades and they performed great! They have a wide selection that covers just about anything you need—including some nice specialty blades for drywall and grout. If you’re on the Starlock platform, we recommend using Imperial Blades.
With all of that in mind, let’s jump right in with our recommendations.
Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel oscillating tool earns a big win for the ergonomics of its design. For starters, its 12V foundation is lighter than the 18V models. It’s also short enough to reach tighter spaces better, and its slim handle lets it easily maneuver into awkward positions. The M18 Fuel version shares the same handle design, so it really just adds some more weight and length if you want to use those batteries instead and benefit from the increased run-time and higher performance. Craftsman’s V20 is another tool that has a nice, slim handle and lighter weight.
We still have a love for DeWalt’s and Ridgid’s contoured handle designs, too. While they fit into your hand more naturally when you’re cutting and sanding, they’re not as comfortable when you need to switch your grip to the side or completely flip the tool upside down for plunge cuts.
There were no surprises in our blade change evaluation as Starlock still dominates in speed and ease of use. By simply pressing the interface into the blade, it snaps—locking the accessory in place, and you’re ready to go. When it’s time to change it out, the lever releases and ejects the accessory from the tool without any additional help. That’s particularly helpful so you can avoid touching a hot blade after doing a lot of undercutting or plunge cutting.
Bosch and Fein both have Starlock interfaces on the multi-tools we tested. Festool’s cordless Vecturo now sports it as well—a huge upgrade for them. Even though Starlock has a significant advantage, Craftsman and DeWalt have a clamping style interface that’s also very easy to use, though it does limit them to exclusively using slotted accessories.
Fein has long dominated vibration control in multi-tools. However, the latest generation of tools features some outstanding improvements in this area. The big story is that Milwaukee has finally overtaken Fein. The M18 Fuel multi-tool is very close to last year’s vibration leader, but Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel overtakes it with the lowest vibration of any of the oscillating multi-tools we tested.
Considering all of the available options, Milwaukee and Fein clearly lead the pack by a significant margin. That’s not to say others are content to sit still. Skil introduced an isolated head design that significantly reduces vibration in their 20V model—giving you a budget-friendly solution for saving your hands.
And, if you’re a Menard’s fan, Masterforce’s Boost multi-tool shares the same excellent vibration control design as Skil.
Let’s clear the air here—if cutting speed is your highest priority, there’s Fein and Milwaukee, and then there’s everyone else. On any given application, Fein’s SuperCut Cordless and Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel are way ahead of the competition.
Their control is also much better, making your cutting even faster because they help you reduce mistakes during the cut. In the end, the two are so close to each other in speed that it’s nearly impossible to concretely say one is faster than the other.
There’s a difference between getting the cheapest oscillating multi-tool and the best value. We didn’t bother testing the cheapest models. We’ve gone down that road before and were left disappointed.
The least expensive of the ones we did test, and are comfortable recommending, is Craftsman’s V20. It runs just $119 as a kit and $79 as a bare tool.
However, the oscillating multi-tool that gives you the most bang for your buck has to be Skil’s 20V model. For around $162, you get a brushless tool with a 2.0Ah battery, an upgraded PWRJump charger, and a nice blade/sanding set to get you started. Combined with its performance and low-vibration design, it’s a solid package for the price and is backed by a 5-year warranty.
That just leaves the best oscillating multi-tool overall. Fein’s Supercut Cordless has some serious competition from Milwaukee, but it’s still advanced enough to hold the number one ranking. It’s the complete package—outstanding speed and vibration control with Starlock’s lightning-fast blade changes.
The downside is that it’s bulkier than most of the other models we tested, and it has a pretty steep price tag. If those are potential pain points for you, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel is a very attractive alternative.
After extensive testing, those are our picks for the best oscillating multi-tools. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments below along with a shoutout to your favorite multi-tool and as always, thanks for watching!