Multi tools (also known as 'multi cutters') are a powerful, practical, and flexible must-have for any professional's toolbox. Not to be confused with the little multitools with the flip-out knife, allen key and bottle opener you're likely to take on a fishing trip, the oscillating multi tool is a powerful device valued by professionals and hobbyists alike.
Cromwell stocks a broad range of multi tools, from trusted brands such as Bosch®, Dremel®, Milwaukee®, Hikoki® and much more.
As the name suggests, multi tools are one of the most flexible power tools you can buy. An excellent all-rounder, multi tools can perform a variety of sanding, cutting or grinding tasks with ease.
By fitting the correct accessory to a multi tool, you're able to cut, grind, sand and scour even in the most confined spaces. Their slender form factor combined with exceptional power makes them tremendous at performing tedious tasks that would traditionally be done by hand.
Tradespeople value the multi tool thanks to their ability to save literal hours when performing some jobs, compared to doing everything by hand. Provided you have the right attachments, a multi tool can often be the only tool you need for several jobs.
...Anytime something needs sawing, sanding, scraping, or grinding! It goes without saying that versatility is not a weak point of the oscillating multi tool. Below are some of the most common DIY uses:
• Trimming wood - trimming floorboards, skirting boards, decking and much more couldn't be easier with a multi tool. Effortless portability means this can be done even in awkward or small areas.
• Rust removal - simply equip your multi tool with a fine pad to quickly remove rust from metal objects, such as garden tools or outdoor furniture.
• Adhesive removal - flooring adhesive or other high-strength mastics can be incredibly difficult to remove by hand. Fit a scraper to your multi tool to make scraping speedy.
• Grout removal - another task that can be a pain to do by hand, made easy with a multi tool.
• Cutting drywall - a multi tool can guarantee a perfect square is cut for plugs, fittings or switches.
• Sanding - multi tools excel when sanding smaller or awkwardly-shaped wood, such as furniture or decking stairs.
• Paint removal - removing paint can be frustrating, however a multi tool with a scraper can significantly speed up the process.
These are only a select few of literally hundreds of tasks easily tackled with a multi tool. If you have a job you're not sure a multi tool can perform, feel free to ask our experts for specialised advice.
The key to making the most of your multi tool lies in the attachments you choose - yet with thousands of blades and attachments on the market, it can be hard to pick the right ones. Here's some guidance on the main types of attachments you can buy.
• Sanding Pad - A sanding pad attachment does what it says on the tin. Quick tip - hook and loop sanding pads result in less dust when performing smaller sanding applications.
• Scraping Blade - A must-have for any multi tool, a scraper blade trivialises those annoying and fiddly scraping tasks such as wallpaper removal and adhesive scraping.
• Segmented Cutting Blade - These rounded half-circle shaped blades excel at making long cuts with ease. This makes them ideal for cutting tiles and wood to shape.
• Bi-metal Blades - These strong blades are hardier, sharper, and longer lasting than standard cutting blades, making them perfect for metal cutting applications, or for quickly cutting wood with nails in.
• Plunge Cut Blades - Similar to the segmented cutting blade, plunge cut blades excel at making smaller, deeper, or more precise cuts - such as cutting skirting boards or creating cut-outs in drywall.
• Fine Tooth Blades - Offering even more precision than a plunge cut blade, fine tooth blades are much smaller and often come with measuring strips to remove any guesswork in smaller cuts.
• Carbide Blades - Carbide blades, or diamond-cut blades, are the strongest and longest lasting blades available. Lasting around 20 times longer than a steel blade, carbide blades are designed for the toughest of jobs.
• Corded or Cordless - An obvious but exceptionally important consideration. As with most other power tools, corded multi tools always work at 100% power and eliminate any battery anxiety. On the other hand, cordless multi tools offer unparalleled flexibility and portability, providing easier access to tight or awkward spaces.
• Power - Depending on the type of jobs you're likely to do, a multi tool with a higher RPM may be necessary. Most multi tools have a variable RPM up to 32,000 which is usually more than adequate, however specialist multi tools are available with more oomph for tougher jobs.
• Tool Weight and Size - A smaller and nimbler tool is often necessary for awkward or fiddly jobs. In this case, make sure your multi tool has a built in LED to ensure accuracy, no matter the working conditions.
What is meant by 'oscillating'?
Oscillating essentially means moving back and forth in regular rhythm, like vibration. This is what helps multi tools create precise cuts and perform other tasks with ease.
What are 'keyless' or 'toolless' multi tools?
Keyless multi tools can be a real time saver, as they allow you to swap attachments without needing a hex key. Instead, they will have a lever or knob that releases the blade.
Are oscillating tool blades universal?
When you buy a blade for your oscillating multi tool, take a close look at the compatible materials. Generally, most blades can cut through wood, drywall and plastic, however other materials such as hard metals will require stronger blades.
Will any blade fit any multi tool?
Most blades and attachments are designed to be 'universal fit', meaning they will fit any multi tool. Adding to this, most leading brands have started making their blades Starlock compatible, which is the new standard fitting (developed by Fein and Bosch) for oscillating multi tools.