How to Use an Oscillating Multi Tool: Best Practices

Published November 6th, 2022

how to use an oscillating multi tool

An oscillating multi tool is a must-have for any DIYer or professional contractor, as it can be used to tackle multiple tasks efficiently. This handy tool is quite useful for all sorts of jobs.

With the right knowledge and best practices, you can use an oscillating multi tool to complete projects quickly and efficiently. In this article, we will discuss how to use an oscillating multi tool and the best practices to follow when using it.

We will also provide tips on how to get the most out of your oscillating multi tool.

What is an Oscillating Multi Tool and What Can it Do?

An oscillating multi tool is a versatile power tool that can be used for a variety of tasks. It is capable of cutting, sanding, polishing, grinding and scraping materials in tight spaces where other tools cannot reach. This makes it an ideal tool for DIYers, professionals and hobbyists alike. The oscillating motion of the tool allows it to easily cut through materials such as wood, metal and plastic with precision and accuracy.

With its various attachments, the oscillating multi tool can be used for a wide range of applications from cutting drywall to sanding hard-to-reach surfaces. In an oscillating multi tool, an electric motor drives a blade that rotates in a continuous movement or at variable speed in response to the power applied.

An oscillating multi tool comes with many attachments and can have its function changed using accessories such as diamond oscillating blades, finger rasp oscillating blades, carbide oscillating tool blades, etc.

Step by Step Guide on How to Use an Oscillating Multi Tool Effectively

It’s important to use the correct blade or attachment when working with a multi-tool. This not only results in better outcomes, but it also helps to increase the lifespan of your tool attachments. Various attachments are available for cutting different materials.

It is essential to pick the correct oscillating tool blade for each project, for example if you’re doing a bathroom remodel project, using a bi-metal oscillating tool blade isn’t going get you much results in terms of removing grout in certain areas, in that case, that’s where a quality diamond oscillating tool blade comes in handy.

You can find oscillating saw blades to cut wood, plastic, drywall, fiberglass, metal, asphalt roofing shingles, cardboard, carpet, tile, grout and more, but if you want don’t want to be messing around with 10-20 different oscillating blades, we would suggest getting our High-Strength carbide oscillating tool blade for general purpose use.

Cutting Straight with an Oscillating Multi Tool

An oscillating multi-tool is a versatile and powerful tool that can be used for a variety of tasks. It is capable of cutting straight through materials such as wood, plastic, and metal with precision and ease. The oscillating motion of the tool allows it to make accurate cuts even in tight spaces.

With the right blades, an oscillating multi-tool can be used for a range of applications from making precise cuts on woodworking projects to cutting through tile grout. This makes it an essential tool for any DIY enthusiast or professional contractor.

Making Flush Cuts

An oscillating multi tool with the right oscillating blade is perfect for making flush cuts. For example, if you have a few sheetrock screws that are stripped and they are on a 2×4 stud, this is where you can put your oscillating multi tool to work.

  1. To make a flush cut, make sure that the oscillating blade’s surface is flat against the surface.

  2. Next, turn on the oscillating blade (for speed adjusted oscillating tool, put it slightly under the max speed)

  3. Place the oscillating tool blade flat on the surface slightly behind the sheetrock screw

  4. Apply medium pressure against the screw and wait for it to cut the screw all the way

  5. Repeat for other screws

A good rule of thumb when using an oscillating tool is to not apply too much pressure against the material you are cutting. Unlike a reciprocating saw or circular saw, pushing too much against the area you’re cutting will slow down the cutting process, put more wear & tear on the oscillating tool and the blade.

Many times, when the blade on the oscillating tool is wearing out, it can be habit to want to put even more against the tool to cut the an area to speed up the process, but if it’s taking you more than 2 minutes to make any progress, then that’s when it’s time to change blades.

However that won’t be the case if you have one of these tough High-Strength Carbide oscillating tool blade that last 100x more than the typical oscillating blade!

Cutting Against a Wall with an Oscillating Multi Tool without Damage

If you want to remove a piece of trim without damaging the wall or removing the paint, there are some workarounds that an oscillating multi tool would be perfect for.

There are two ways you can safely remove trim with minor damage to the walls:

  1. Using a utility knife to cut the caulk out, then using a wrecking bar to pull the trim out (biggest chance of damage the walls)

  2. Place tape or a sheet of metal against the wall while at the same time using the oscillating tool to cut the caulk then place the metal sheet farther down the wall after cutting the caulk out in order to remove the nails behind the trim. If you don’t have a flat piece of metal handy, then using painters tape behind the trim to protect the wall should suffice.

Carbide Grit vs Diamond Oscillating Tool Blades

Although an oscillating tool may not be a full replacement for a circular saw, it is still capable of performing certain tasks that the other saws are unable to do. There are specific types of oscillating tool blades for removing grout and tile work and that would be a Diamond oscillating tool blade.

Now there are some people that use Carbide Grit oscillating blades (not to be confused with Carbide tip blades for cutting metal), however, Diamond oscillating tool blades are going to last much longer than Carbide Grit ones.

When using a Diamond oscillating blade for removing grout, make sure to take it slow and steady, and cut in the middle of the grout line.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race. If you go too fast or are too aggressive with the oscillating tool, you’ll risk damaging the tile and your tool which will slow you down even further, don’t rush it.

How to Use an Oscillating Multi Tool: Final Words

There are many ways to use an oscillating multi tool, you can use it to remove trim, custom make cabinets, cut out small holes in drywall, siding, and wood, cut stripped screws, etc.

One of the best practices to do when learning how to use an oscillating multi tool correctly, is to not treat it like a reciprocating saw or circular saw in that you shouldn’t be pushing your entire bodyweight on it just to cut a sheetrock screw off, that will just wear out both the oscillating tool and the blade.

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