In this guide we’ll look at the best budget oscillating multi-tools for the UK Market.
We’ve compared power, range of settings, accessories and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Budget Oscillating Multi-Tool?
More Detailed Budget Oscillating Multi-Tool Reviews
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Silverline Tools 430787 DIY Multi Tool 300W Review
The Silverline DIY Multi-Tool is the one of the best budget multi-tools on the market thanks to its 300-Watt motor, 6 speed adjustments, its vibration-reducing soft-grip handle and its very attractive price tag.
The 300-Watt motor can produce a maximum no-load speed of 23,000 rpm, more than enough for tackling most tough multi-tool tasks. The 6 easily adjustable speeds provide you with plenty of options for tackling most common DIY tasks. For example the lowest speed of 1,500 rpm is ideal for more delicate work.
This low-cost multi-tool has a nicely designed ergonomic handle and a vibration-reducing soft-grip, making it comfortable for use over longer sessions and combating fatigue.
A blade, hex key, scraper, sanding base, and two sanding sheets are all included with this oscillating tool so you can get started with your projects straight away.
Performance and price make this one of the best budget oscillating multi tools on the UK market.
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VonHaus 280W Oscillating Multitool Review
The VonHaus Oscillating Multi-tool is another good but cheap multi-tool.
This oscillating tool has a 280-Watt variable speed motor that generates speeds of between 10,000 rpm and 21,000 rpm. It also has a handy vibration reduction feature.
The VonHaus multi-tool comes with a wide range of accessories including a sanding base and 9 sanding sheets, E-cut blade, half-moon saw, stainless steel scraper, dust extraction port and storage bag. The tool has a long 180 cm cable.
This is another contender for best budget oscillating multi-tool on the UK market.
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Ferm OTM1005 280W Oscillating Multitool Kit Review
The Ferm Multi-tool has a 280-Watt motor with electronic variable speed and an excellent range of accessories.
The 280-Watt motor gives this oscillating tool plenty of power. The tool also features an electronic variable speed controller that automatically adjusts the speed depending on the task in hand. The speed ranges between 11,000 and 20,000 rpm.
The wide range of assorted accessories that come with this oscillating tool means you can get started on your projects right away. An HSS segment saw blade, plunge cut blade, carbide saw, scrape knife, Velcro sanding plate, ten sanding sheets and a hexagonal key to change accessories are all included.
Overall, this is a good option if you require a multi tool with a decent motor, electronic variable speeds and a good range of accessories.
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Hi-Spec DT30301 220W Oscillating Multi Tool Review
Like the Silverline multi-tool above this Hi-Spec Oscillating Multi-Tool has a 220 Watt motor, but this one has 7 preset speeds.
The powerful 220-Watt motor, 7 speed settings and a max speed of 23,000 rpm make this multi-tool ideal for heavy-duty tasks, whilst the lower settings provide control for more intricate tasks.
This oscillating tool has a comfortable ergonomic handle that is dual-moulded with a soft grip rubber coating, all designed to increase the level of comfort, reduce vibrations and limit fatigue.
It is also one of the best value multi tools on the market.
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Lomvum 2301 220W Multi-Oscillating Tool with 6 Variable Speeds Review
The Lomvum Multi-Oscillating Tool is another good but cheap oscillating multi-tool.
This multi tool features a 220-Watt motor and an all-metal gear head for extra longevity. The six variable speeds range from 1,500 to 23,000 rpm.
A comprehensive range of accessories include a plastic saw blade, semi-circular wood blade, scraper knife, curved scraper knife, straight saw blade, scouring pad and 15 different grit sandpapers. All these features go to make this a tool a great budget oscillating multi tool option.
Oscillating Multi Tool Buyer’s Guide
An oscillating multi tool is a small hand-held power tool that can cut, scrape, grind, sand and saw in places that you could only dream your more conventional power tools could reach.
Believe me when you’ve had one of these at your disposal for any time at all you start asking yourself if you can fix it using your oscillating multi-tool before any of your other tools, and also why on earth didn’t I get one of these things years ago!
The truth is they actually haven’t been around that long in the UK, maybe 10 years or so. They actually derive from a tool designed and developed by the Fein manufacturing company in the US to remove plaster casts from hospital patients!
Today all major power tool brands offer a range of oscillating multi-tools and they have developed into a very versatile and sophisticated tool, and pretty much an essential piece of kit for both professionals and DIYers.
The tool’s key feature is it’s incredible versatility; its small footprint, its compact but solid profile, the fact that it can be controlled with one or both hands and its ability to run off a corded or cordless power supply, all make this is a power tool that can operate in places few other conventional power tools can. And for its size it can pretty much do anything! It can cut, saw, scrape, grind, sand, polish and more!
How Does an Oscillating Multi-Tool Work?
The oscillating multi-tool’s unique selling point is there in its name – it’s ability to oscillate. As you hold the body of the tool and switch it on, the head of the tool moves from side to side in a narrow arc or angle at a very rapid rate. The oscillation rate (which can be over 20,000 rpm), is usually controlled through a speed dial with presets or a variable speed trigger.
The maximum angle of oscillation ranges narrowly between 2 to 4 degrees across most brands. When using the Oscillating Multi-Tool for making cuts a larger oscillating angle results in a faster more aggressive cut whilst a smaller angle ensures a slower cut and allows for greater control and less vibration.
Whilst on the subject of sawing, another great feature of a multi cutter tool is the almost complete lack of kickback you get. This is due to the tool’s oscillating motion. Conventional power saws deploy rotational movement and it is this that can induce kickback.
The head of the oscillating multi-tool is designed to accept a wide range of accessories.
Back in the day oscillating multi-tools first became mainstream the most common method of attaching a blade or accessory to the tool was with a bolt and an Allen wrench. Add to that the fact that most manufacturers had their own accessory mounting system you can imagine both the frustration involved when changing blades or accessories on a regular basis and the extra limitation incurred because you could not choose an accessory offered by another manufacturer that yours didn’t happen to make.
Today all that has changed! More and more brands are now offering a quick and efficient ‘tool-free’ accessory change. Their oscillating multi-tools come with universal adaptors that can accommodate most accessory-mounting configurations out there and hence a huge range of both branded and after-market accessories. Such versatility is one of the main reasons this tool’s popularity has increased so much in recent years.
No matter the attachment mechanism the accessory itself protrudes forward from the head of the tool and in many cases is also stepped downward from the head so that its range of movement is not impaired by the body of the tool. Its bottom surface can therefore rest flush on the material being worked on. This arrangement is fantastic for getting into those places other tools simply cannot reach!
So what about the accessories themselves? As previously mentioned they can come in all shapes and sizes and can be grouped by their main applications – cutting, scraping, sanding and grinding.
There are two main shapes of cutting blades for a multi cutter tool, straight and semi-circular. Straight blades let you make plunge cuts whilst circular blades are better for making longer cuts through sheets of material. Blades with less teeth produce coarser cuts whilst those with more teeth produce cleaner cuts but can get clogged with waste material and take longer to make the cut.
There are of course many blades available for cutting different types of material such as wood, plastic, masonry, tiles, fibreglass and some types of metal. Carbide and diamond edged blades are more suitable for cutting through masonry for instance and bi-metal blades are popular because they can cut through wood embedded with nails.
With an electric multi tool you can use wood-cutting blades for indoor projects such as creating recesses in walls or floors for installing switches or vents, cutting through plaster ceilings to install light fittings or fans, trimming wood flooring or door frames to allow tiles to fit underneath, cutting away sections of plasterboard or masonry to install cabinets, trimming plaster coving or mouldings, cutting through panels to create openings for wires to pass through, cutting notches out of beams to fit joists, or cutting through PVC pipes or acrylic panels. The examples are endless!
With metal cutting blades you can cut through nails and screws, corroded nuts and bolts, metal tubes and copper pipes.
One very useful accessory you can use to help you achieve a perfect cut is a depth guide. This is used to limit the depth of cut and also acts to steady the tool as it cuts.
Scrapers come in both rigid and flexible forms – they are effectively blades with no teeth. Common uses for rigid scrapers include scraping away rust, old mortar, adhesive, tiles, putty, carpet and lino. There are also specialist blades for removing grout. Flexible scrapers are good for removing old paint.
One of the main reasons people buy the best oscillating multi tool is for sanding because there are so many nooks, crannies and crevices that orbital sanders just cannot reach!
Pretty much all oscillating multi-tools come with one or more triangular-shaped sanding pads or an attachment to which you can affix a range of velcro-backed sandpapers of various grades. The pad is a neat solution because it’s soft edges prevent collateral damage when undertaking precision work.
General uses include finishing off cuts, furniture restoration and even sanding down metal edges (all with the appropriate grade sandpaper of course).
Grinding discs or blades are another useful attachment. Their edges are usually reinforced with tungsten-carbide or diamond grit, and this greater resilience often makes them a better choice than scrapers for tougher jobs like removing old mortar or adhesive from the back of ceramic tiles or other masonry work.
Corded or Cordless
One of the biggest decisions you will have to make when choosing the best oscillating multi tool for the UK is whether you want to go corded or cordless. There is no right or wrong answer to this, it is more a case of weighing up the pros and cons that apply to your individual circumstances. Here we outline the main considerations.
Progress in the development of Lithium-ion batteries over the last few years has meant that many cordless power tools, not least the oscillating multi-tool, can now run off battery-generated power to perform many of those tasks that previously could only be performed by their corded equivalents.
Only a few years ago using a battery multi tool this would not have been possible – Lithium-Ion batteries were too expensive for most consumers and their NiCad predecessors would have been too cumbersome and heavy to use in smaller cordless tools such as the Oscillating Multi-Tool.
Lithium-Ion batteries have smaller profiles, are significantly lighter in weight, last much longer per charge, take less time to charge, and have much lower discharge rates (i.e. it takes them ages to go flat if left standing) than NiCad batteries.
Furthermore prices of battery multi tools have dropped considerably these days. When going cordless in general though the two things you must consider are the power (Voltage) and capacity (Amperes / Hour – Ah) of the battery to use. It should be fairly obvious that 18 Volt batteries are more powerful than 12 Volt ones but the downside of this is that 18 Volt batteries are heavier.
It’s a similar story for capacity. A 5 Ah battery will last you much longer than a 2 Ah one but again it is that much heavier. If you are going to be working a large part of the day with a cordless 18 Volt, 4 or 5 Ah cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool that is vibrating incessantly your arm is going to get pretty tired! You need to find a happy medium.
If you are serious about cordless power tools in general one way to mitigate long-term costs is to purchase a charger and a small number of batteries and swap them between your tools. Two Lithium-ion batteries should keep you up and running for long periods (using one battery whilst the other is on charge). But you might need more than two batteries due to different voltage and capacity requirements of the tool you are using / application you are working on.
Another possible downside of this approach is that you could be restricted to buying the products of a limited number of brands, although to be fair some manufacturers do produce batteries that can be used across brands, plus there are generic after-market offerings too. You do have to eventually factor in the cost of replacement batteries too, but the argument against this is that most power tools are guaranteed for a maximum of 3 years and if they fail after that time you would be looking to replace the complete tool anyway, regardless of whether it is cordless or corded.
Of course the other main advantage of cordless tools is no trailing power cord to watch out for and with it the complete freedom to go wherever your power tool takes you!
The advantages of corded power tools? Like for like they tend to be more powerful than cordless tools and of course the power supply is unlimited and constant. No changing or charging batteries either. Plus corded tools been around longer, there are more options out there and they are cheaper.
The motor in corded tools tends to be larger and so the corded tool does have a larger profile. From an ergonomics perspective when comparing it to a cordless tool with a larger battery, the corded version will feel more balanced because the heavier battery in the cordless tool will make it feel bottom-heavy.
If cordless is still your priority it is better to work with 2 x 2 Ah batteries rather than one 4 Ah one. The cordless tool will feel lighter and better balanced.
So there you have it, no right or wrong answer! If budget is your main concern corded oscillating multi tool will give you more options. If not cordless becomes a serious contender!
So how do you take all this information and make the right choice? Well everyone’s circumstances are different so this is just some general advice. Most Oscillating Multi-Tools perform similar tasks so from a technical perspective there’s not too much to differentiate between them. Maybe more important is how well made the tool is, the quality of its components, how long it is likely to last, its look and feel, its size, weight and profile, how comfortable it is to grip and control whilst in use and how much it vibrates.
These last points are particularly important since the essence of an electric multi tool is its incredibly fast oscillating motion so of course there will be associated vibration. Therefore the tool needs to be insulated well enough to absorb as much of this vibration as possible and this will be down to the build quality. You should also consider the corded versus cordless debate described above, and last but not least seeing if you can extend your budget to get hold of one of these great tools!