The 10 Best Cordless Oscillating Multi Tools
This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in January of 2019. What’s next on your to-do list? If you need to start a renovation of your bathroom, prepare a wooden surface for a layer of fresh paint, or install a new cabinet, one of these oscillating multitools can help. These cordless models are highly portable and easy to maneuver, and come with an assortment of blades and accessories for scraping, sawing, sanding, polishing and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 14, 2020:
It was a busy round of updates that ultimately saw 60% of our previous rankings replaced by new options. While the VonHaus Set and Workpro Universal were removed due to availability issues, the DeWalt DCS355D1 was replaced by the DeWalt DCS356D1 – which features a new three-speed transmission and decreased unit weight – and the SunZi PT12301 and Tacklife PMT03B were both eliminated due to quality concerns; in the case of the latter model, we were specifically concerned about several reports of the unit suddenly losing power, which could be a continuity problem or a battery issue, but in any case seemed to be unacceptable. We also decided on striking the Makita MTO1R1 from our list, recognizing that we were already featuring an 18-volt option from the company, the Makita XMT03Z.
Some of our new additions include the Bosch GOP18V-28N — a brushless option that puts out up to 30% more power than the company’s brushed option, the Metabo HPT CV18DBLQ5 — which features a convenient automatic speed setting that increases its OPM by 33% under load, and the Craftsman CMCE500D1 — which is backed by a three-year warranty, although it isn’t a brushless model.
A few things to think about for this category:
Voltage: For the most part, we took care of this consideration for you, in that we did our best to include only 18- and 20-volt models on our list, which are generally considered to be top-end cordless tools. While some companies also maintain 12-volt offerings, and that may be an option worth considering for some casual users, my tendency is to urge users to consider an 18- or 20-volt model if they can afford it. For one thing, it’s always nice to have the extra power, but more importantly, when it comes to power tool collections, it’s nice to keep all your batteries coordinated, and the 18- or 20-volt line tends to be the set that not only offers the best performance, but also has the most options, in terms of tools available.
Also, don’t get hung up on whether it’s 18 or 20 volts. We don’t have time for a full lesson on peak and effective voltage here, but suffice to say that the difference in this case is marketing semantics, not actual output. So, it’s safe to consider them about the same.
Speed: This consideration is twofold. First of all: how fast can your tool go? And, second of all: how do you control that speed? While many models – including the Makita XMT03Z and Metabo HPT CV18DBLQ5 – can go as slow as 6,000 oscillations per minute, for finessed work, most will top out around 18,000, although both the Makita and Metabo HPT push that envelope a bit, and max out at 20,000 oscillations per minute.
Most models – including the Bosch GOP18V-28N and Milwaukee 2626-20 – feature speed dials, but some users will appreciate options like the DeWalt DCS356D1, with variable-speed triggers that offer tactile, on-the-fly control (which, in the case of the DeWalt, is supplemented by a three-speed transmission). However, my tendency is to recommend speed-dial models to most folks. I’m not normally a fan of trigger locks, because of how unsafe they are, but in the case of this particular tool – which often needs to operated for long, tedious periods, and presents very little risk of injury – they can be a welcome luxury, and one that’s made practical by the addition of a speed dial, so consider giving one a go.
Accessories: This is another twofold consideration. First off, how many attachments does your tool come with? Blades for these devices tend to not last long anyway, so don’t let this be the deciding factor when weighing your purchase decision, but it is nice to have some accessories from the get go, so you can get to work as soon as you get your new acquisition out of the box. While models like the Porter-Cable PCC710B and Craftsman CMCE500D1 come with a collection of 11 accessories, others come with considerably more, like the DeWalt DCS356D1 that comes with 28.
Secondly, and especially if this is the first tool you’re buying from the company, you’ll want to pay attention to whether or not it comes with a battery and charger. Bare-tool options – like the Ryobi P340 and Ridgid R862105B – come as just the tool and little else, which might be fine for users who are already invested in a given company’s cordless collection, but could also amount to a large additional expense for those who aren’t. Other options like the Fein MultiMaster and DeWalt DCS356D1 include both a battery and a charger. The Fein even comes with an additional battery, so you should never need to worry about waiting for a battery to finish charging before you can get back to work.
If you're set on investing in one of these units, but find all this talk of batteries and chargers to be off-putting, then you might want to check out our general list of best oscillating tools, which includes several corded models.
January 30, 2019:
Although the Makita XMT03Z and Milwaukee 2626-20 only include the tool itself (no batteries or charger), this actually gives the user an opportunity to take advantage of a really nice value for a quality tool, especially if you already own batteries and chargers for these brands. Noted that the Makita MT01R1 and VonHaus Set both feature built-in lights for working in dim areas.