It used to be that you only had one oscillating tool to choose from. But as the patents have run out, more and more tool manufactures are coming out with their own oscillating tool reviews. They use small, rapid vibrations to power an assortment of accessories to cut, saw, grind, scrape, sand and polish a variety of materials.
The most important feature of an oscillating tool is the frequency of its vibrations, as this is what speeds up or slows down cutting. The tool’s transmission (or gearbox) is what dictates the oscillations per minute (or OPM) that an oscillating tool runs at, and the power it will produce. These tools commonly produce anywhere between 11000opm and 21000opm. A small dial on the tool dictates any variations in speed you would like to make.
With each oscillation the blade only moves about 3�, allowing for precise work without kick-back.
The other important feature on these tools is the blade clamp. In most oscillating tools, the blade clamp is made up of a circular row of notches and a hex drive bolt. The blade or attachment fits into the notches at any given angle, and the bolt is tightened with the supplied allen key to clamp it in place. On more expensive models, the blade clamp is usually a keyless system, which enables a blade or accessory to be changed in seconds.
The main considerations you should make when purchasing one of these tools is how much power you require, the size and weight of the tool, whether you need it to be cordless, and how often you will be using it.
An oscillating tool should be lightweight, comfortable to use, and have a high oscillation rate.
Also, every manufacturer will prefer you stick to their own brand of accessories for quality and finish assurance and warranty purposes, so ensure the model you go with has a large and reliable range of accessories you are prepared to work with. It also pays to note that some of these accessories are quite expensive and should play a major role in your purchasing decision.