The Best Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool — Buyers Guide, Review, and Comparison
Oscillating Multi Tool Top Picks
Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool Top Picks
|Check Price at Amazon Review Check Price at Tractor Supply DeWalt DCS356B Review DeWalt DCS356B Review
|Check Price at Amazon DeWalt DCS355B Review DeWalt DCS355B Review
|Check Price at Amazon Makita MT01Z Review Makita MT01Z Review
|Check Price at Amazon Review Bosch GOP18V-28N Review Bosch GOP18V-28N Review
|Check Price at Amazon Milwaukee 2626-20 Review Milwaukee 2626-20 Review
|Check Price at Amazon Makita XMT03Z Review Makita XMT03Z Review
Porter Cable PCC710
|Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Tractor Supply Porter Cable PCC710 Review Porter Cable PCC710 Review
Best Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool Buying Guide
For DIYers, home-improvers, and trade pros — no serious toolbox is complete without a cordless oscillating multi tool.
The battery-driven format is the most portable of all the oscillating tool types by delivering cord-free operation — allowing you to work away from power outlets, ditch the headache of a snake-like mains lead, and shield against the hazards of high-level use.
These multifaceted units are the consummate all-rounders, capable — through their seemingly inexhaustible access to a variety of interchangeable heads — to cut, sand, grind, polish, shear, and hone.
Able to be used for a cornucopia of materials, including plastics, metals, acrylics, ply, and timber — their project suitability is vast. And, with models designed for casual users, dedicated DIYers, and pro-contractors — there’s a machine suitable for anyone interested in power tools.
When selecting your ultimate cordless oscillating tool, consider the following:
- Oscillations per minute.
- Speed range.
- Velocity settings.
- Tool head replacement method.
- Included tool accessories.
- In-built LED lamp.
What Is a Cordless Battery Oscillating Tool?
For an in-depth examination of the workings, application, and benefits of oscillating tools in general, check out my complete 101 here. However, here’s an overview of these units, specifically focusing on the cordless models.
So, what is a battery operated oscillating tool?
To be honest, all the clues are in the name. An oscillating multitool is a handheld unit — typically around 12 inches in length — that instead of using rotary or reciprocal motion (for example, as seen in drills and saws), utilizes an oscillating movement.
If you want the science behind the physics concept, it’s all here. However, for people who actually have a life, consider oscillation to be just another word for vibration — basically, a repetitive movement either side to side or up or down, or around and around.
This motion allows the best cordless multi tool machines to be utilized with a plethora of interchangeable heads — the ‘vibration’ action being suited to cutting, sanding, polishing, chipping, and scraping.
Hence, the multitool can be your one-stop shop for everything DIY — negating the need to have your garage or workshop full of power tools that you’re only going to use intermittently.
And obviously, being cordless, they don’t require a mains lead or access to a power outlet. Driven by long-lasting lithium-ion cells — typically in the range of 12-20 volts — they permit around an hour’s worth of continuous operation.
Admittedly, as you’re wielding the tool and cell in your hand, they’re heavier than their corded counterparts. However, delivering greater operational freedom, ability to access confined spaces, and suitability for off-site applications — they’ve become the most popular format of multitool.
Do You Need a Battery Powered Oscillating Tool?
Every self-respecting DIYer, crafter, and trade contractor should own the best cordless oscillating tool they can afford. With virtually an inexhaustible list of applications, it will become your tool best friend — saving you from having to pull out your drill, saw, or orbital sander from the abyss of your garage every time you need to complete a small project.
As long as you own the correct accessory, you can address a multitude of jobs, including:
- Shearing outcropped screws and nails.
- Plunge cutting into worktops and decking.
- Trimming floorboards, baseboards, and timbers.
- Cutting socket recesses in drywall.
- Removing rust and oxidation.
- Scraping off old adhesive.
- Chipping mortar.
- Removing tired grout.
- Trimming sprues.
How to Choose the Best Battery Multi Tool
While all the best cordless oscillating multi tool machines share the common elements of lithium-ion power, interchangeable accessories, and handheld operation — they can differ in design, brawn, size, and integrated features.
Therefore, when selecting your ultimate multi tool battery operated machine, I suggest examining the following:
Oscillations Per Minute (OPM)
This describes the frequency at which the motor head vibrates every sixty seconds. And, in theory, the higher the OPM, the more rapid the machine at sanding and cutting.
Precise cutting and honing applications usually require a slower speed — around 8000 OPM — whereas rust removal and timber smoothing typically demand a more intense output — about 17000 OPM. What’s ideal for you depends on the nature of your projects.
OPM Range and Control
In my opinion, the best battery powered multi tool will have an expansive OPM range — increasing the scope of applications the machine can deal with. Units such as the Makita XMT03Z offer a spectrum of 6000-20000 OPM, making the tool ideal for both steady accuracy-demanding jobs and high-velocity repetitive work.
Furthermore, also consider how the speeds are selected. Some units, for example, the Porter Cable PCC710, have factory set intensity levels — adjusted by rotating a dial. Other models — like the DeWalt DCS355B — boast a throttle, permitting you to select a virtually infinite number of velocities from 0-20000 OPM depending on how tightly you squeeze the trigger.
Brushed or Brushless Multi Tool
The internal powerhouse of every oscillating multitool will either be brushed or brushless. For an in-depth examination of these two motor formats, check out my ultimate Brushed Vs Brushless Motor Battle.
In brief, the difference is one of efficiency, with the brushless format having less energy wastage through heat and friction than its brushed counterpart. This is a crucial factor when looking at battery-driven machines — as the lower volume of power input the motor requires, the longer the cell will last off a single charge.
Therefore, I would always recommend opting for a multi tool brushless format — as exemplified by the DeWalt DCS356B — over its less efficient sibling. However, bear in mind that they are somewhat tougher on the wallet.
Tool Exchange Method
The choice is straightforward — tooled or tool-free.
A tooled oscillating multitool utilizes a hex wrench to remove and attach accessories, whereas a tool-free model uses a twist clamp that’s finger operatable.
Typically, a hex key — as used on the Makita MT01Z offers greater attachment stability, but with the downside that it can be easily misplaced. Conversely, the tool-free machines don’t require you to hunt around in your toolbox for the tightening wrench.
Always investigate what additional accessories are included in your chosen cordless multi tool kit.
Some units arrive with nothing more than a cutting blade. Other machines, such as the Porter Cable PCC710, come with a plethora of extras such as universal tool adapter, sanding plates, and sanding sheets. Choosing wisely for your initial purchase can save money in the long run.
Perhaps most importantly, check whether your item is a cordless multi tool with battery and charger. The common trend is for retailers to market their machines as tool-only — without the crucial cell and charging unit.
Discovering upon opening the box that your machine lacks these two components is not only severely disappointing — but also means further expense.
Many battery oscillating multi tool machines, like the DeWalt DCS355B, boast an integrated LED lamp.
Mounted on the tool head, they can provide welcome illumination in poorly lit areas such as in attics, beneath floorboards, and between drywall slats — negating the requirements for a torch or secondary work lamp.
And, using LED tech, they are low on power demands, having little effect on the running time of the battery.
Size and Weight
Consider the demands of your projects. If you often find yourself working in confined spaces, a shorter unit — such as the 10.9-inch Makita MT01Z — will provide more straightforward use than a longer machine.
Furthermore, a lighter weight tool is crucial for projects that are heavy on time — preventing the onset of fatigue. That said, battery-powered models are usually heftier than their corded counterparts — as you’re wielding a battery as well as the multitool itself.
Battery-powered oscillating multitools offer the ultimate in operational freedom combined with the versatility of 1000-tools-in-one.
Without the constraints of a mains lead, these units can hone, polish, cut, and sand — all you need to do is make a swift accessory change, and you’re ready for your next project.
When selecting your perfect tool, consider the OPM output, whether it’s a brushed or brushless motor, how accessories are exchanged, and the overall size and weight of the machine.
Sure, they’re not for everyone. Some guys may prefer a bespoke tool for a particular job, others may believe that the steady and non-waning power of a corded unit is more appealing.
However, for DIYers and pros that want the complete tool package that fits into the palm of their hand — nothing comes close to a cordless oscillating multi tool.
Cordless Multi Tool Oscillating FAQs
Q: What Is the Best Cordless Multi Tool With Battery?
In my opinion, the ultimate battery-powered oscillating cordless machine is the DeWalt DCS356B. It offers up to 20000 OPM, weighs just 2.33 pounds, and features a three-speed velocity selector.
Q: What Is a Cordless Oscillating Saw?
A cordless multi saw is simply an oscillating multitool fitted with a saw accessory. Remove it and replace it with an alternative head, and it can become a sander, cutter, grinder, or polisher.
Q: What Is Better a Cordless Brushed or Brushless Oscillating Tool?
A brushless oscillating multitool, due to its low energy wastage, is a superior format to the brushed variety. Requiring less power input, these machines draw less juice from the power cell, allowing you to work longer from a single charge.
Q: What Is the Best Cordless Oscillating Tool Kit?
For me, the ultimate package is the Porter Cable PCC710, which comes with a cutting blade, universal adapter, sanding plate, and sanding sheets.
Q: Can an Oscillating Tool Cut Wood?
Yes. When fitted with a plunge blade, a cordless multitool can cut directly into the center of wood — making them excellent tools for creating recesses.
Q: Can You Drill With a Cordless Multi Tool Oscillating?
No. Drilling requires a rotary motion, not an oscillating movement. Drilling is one of the few projects a multitool can’t handle.