In this guide we’ll look at the best cordless oscillating multi-tools for the UK Market.
I’ve compared power, performance, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
The best cordless oscillating multi tool for the UK market!
If you want all the versatility of the best oscillating multi tool but you don’t want to get tied up in power leads, then you need to go cordless. Offering the same, if not better, performance than the excellent corded DeWalt DWE315KT, the DeWalt DCS355N-XJ is simply a joy to use. The variable speed trigger gives you unrivalled control and safety, it’s built with rigidity and longevity in mind, and the accessory kit is of an extremely high quality.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool Reviews
DeWalt DCS355N-XJ 18V Li-Ion Cordless Brushless Oscillating Multi-Tool Review
The best cordless oscillating multi tool is the DeWalt DCS355N-XJ because it’s got an incredible brushless motor, it’s ridiculously well built, and the quick release system is simple to use.
DeWalt are one of those brands that professional builders and savvy DIYers like because they make robust and powerful tools that share the same family of batteries- meaning you can power up your saws, drill and sanders with just the one set of XR batteries.
Weighing in at just 1.1 kg, you’d be surprised to know that the DCS355N is capable of 0 – 20,000 opm which is more than enough power for the toughest jobs. And this range of speed is controlled by the large trigger – I think it’s the best oscillating multi-tool because you can change speeds on the fly without fiddling with a speed selection wheel. It makes it an even more versatile tool because of it. And the LED work light means you can use it in the tightest gaps without searching for a torch.
Included in the set are two cutting blades- one for wood and one for wood and metal, and a scraper attachment. You even get a selection of quality hook and loop sanding pads thrown in with the sanding shoe. As a “bare” tool, there’s no batteries included, and you’ll have to get a carry case separately as well.
Makita DTM50Z Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool (Body Only) Review
You want a quality cordless 18 Volt oscillating multi tool, but you’re unsure about how much hard-earned to commit. In step Makita with this great option – buy it completely bare at a really competitive price!
You’ll need at least one battery and a charger, but if you’ve already bought into Makita’s battery powered tool range that won’t be a problem. And if you haven’t already, you have complete freedom to choose whatever battery, charger and range of accessories you want. You’ll be ahead of the game price-wise and you will have a quality oscillating multi tool.
This Makita multi tool is incredibly versatile – its rotating head can swivel through 360 degrees with 12 stops at 30 degrees apart, so pretty much any nook or cranny is in reach, and its Oscillating Interface System (OIS) accommodates accessories (secured using a hex wrench) from both Makita and other brands.
The Makita DTM50Z Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool (Body Only) is a little heavier than some of its competitors at 2.2 kg with the 2 Ah battery, but this solid build does mean it vibrates less. It also has a soft-start and variable speed control to manage the 6,000 – 20,000 opm, and overload protection that cuts in if the motor gets too hot. The on-off trigger sits conveniently under your thumb and there is an anti-restart function to prevent accidental starting.
Worx WX678 Cordless Multifunction Tool Review
One of the best cordless oscillating multi tool kits that I’ve tried out so far is the Worx WX678. With a solid body, quick release system and decent selection of blades included, it’ll make a great addition to your Worx tool addiction!
Another “bare” tool, it weighs in at just 1.4 kg but still kicks out 5,000 – 20,000 opm. When the battery has been slid into place, it feels nicely balanced and not too nose heavy, which helps with accuracy. The rubber barrel grip is comfortable to hold, and the big quick change lever is sturdy and feels like it will hold up over time.
What makes this one of the best multi tool kits is the impressive set of extras you get with it. There are a whopping 39 accessories included in the box, and even though most of them are sanding pads, you won’t need to buy any more of them for a long time. You get a straight cutting blade, a wide angle blade and a handy round cutting blade as well. I’d like it more if it came with a carry case though.
Milwaukee C12MT-0 M12 Cordless Sub Compact Multi-Tool Review
US tool masters Milwaukee are one of the most respected brands on building sites and are making their way into the hands of savvy DIYers across the world as well. The C12MT-0 M12 cordless multi tool is a light weight 12 Volt piece of kit that has a slimline shape if you pair it up with one of Milwaukee’s 2.0 Ah batteries.
At just a shade over 1 kg without the battery, I’d put this multi tool in the ultra-light weight class. If you’re familiar with Milwaukee’s 12 Volt range, you’ll know that the power to weight ratio is excellent and you can get a lot of work done even with just the smaller battery packs. You could attach a 4.0 Ah battery for longer life, but it hangs over the back and makes it a little unbalanced in my opinion.
You can select between 5,000 – 20,000 opm and the soft-start motor keeps everything easy to control, even at full whack. The variable speed control gives you 11 settings to choose from, meaning you can dial in the exact speed that you need for the job.
Milwaukee includes a few accessories to get you started as well, a straight cut plunge blade, sanding adapter and a handful of “delta” sanding sheets. Don’t forget there’s no battery of charger included.
Bosch Professional GRO 12 V-35 Cordless Rotary Multi-Tool Review
Another 12V precision device, the Bosch GRO 12V-35 makes up part of their “blue” line of professional tools. Rather than an oscillating multi tool, this smart little bit of kit makes use of rotational energy to power all manner of different accessories.
Like the Milwaukee C12MT, this is a slimline and lightweight tool that weighs just over 600 g without the battery and can easily fit into a pocket to take with you. The small profile doesn’t mean it’s a toy though- the motor spins up to a massive 5,000 – 35,000 rpm, giving you plenty of power to drill, cut sand and buff as you like.
Essentially built like a small, high speed drill, you can use the tool-free chuck to fit drill bits, cutting discs, sanding bands and polishing brushes for fine work and to get into those tight spaces you can’t reach with larger power tools.
The LED work light is a welcome feature, especially when you’re working under kitchen cabinets or in the cupboard under the stairs, for example. What makes this one of the best multi tools out there is that it has more power than the common Dremel multi tool but takes all the same accessories. There’s not much you can’t do with this set.
Einhell Cordless Multifunctional Tool TC-MG 18 Li-Solo Review
German tool manufacturer Einhell are well known for their honest, reliable power tools that are affordable for professionals and DIYers alike. In fact, you could buy two or three of these multi tools for the price of the best cordless oscillating multi tools on my list.
Firstly, this is a well built piece of kit for the price- the slimline rubber grip handle is pleasant to hold and should keep some of the vibration down during use. With the battery installed it feels well-balanced and this goes a long way to making it comfortable to use over long periods.
The soft start feature means that powering from 22,000 – 40,000 is easy, but the lack of lower speed settings is something you must make do with on budget multi tools. Even though this is a low-cost machine, Einhell have still included a tool-free blade change feature that feels solid enough and is easy to get the hang of.
The range of accessories included in the set are fairly good as well- you’ll get a scraper blade, straight cut and wide angle round blade, sanding adapter and nine sheets of various grit “delta” shaped sanding pads. Not bad for a rock-bottom price multi tool!
Ferm Cordless Li-Ion Multi Tool 12V/1.5Ah – Rotary Multipurpose tool – With 45 Accessories Review
Hailing from The Netherlands, FERM have been making industrial and DIY level tools since back in 1965. Their CTM1016 cordless rotary multi tool is a large kit that includes everything you need to get started and is the only tool on my list that comes supplied with a battery.
With 12 Volts of power and a 1.5 Ah battery included in the price as well as a carry case and extensive 45-piece accessory kit, it’s one of the best budget multi tool kits for a hobbyist that wants to get to grips with a rotational multi tool without shelling out for one of the big brands.
The build quality is reasonably good, with a comfortable rubberised handle and streamlined body that doesn’t feel too bad in the hand. It’s not a professional level tool though, and it vibrates quite a lot at high speeds. You can select between 3,000 – 20,000 rpm and change the bits without using any tools.
As for the tool kit, there’s everything in there you could possibly want and probably a few bits you’ll never need as well- everything from drilling to polishing and sanding has been thought of.
Things to Know Before Buying a Cordless Oscillating Multi Tool
Getting into tight corners and doing the jobs that you thought were impossible, multi tools are the new kid on the block when it comes to power tools. Excellent at cutting, sanding and scraping, you’ll wonder how you got on without one before.
Believe me, when you’ve got one of these at your disposal you start asking yourself if you can fix it using your oscillating multi tool before any of your other tools, and usually “why on earth didn’t I get one of these things years ago?”
The truth is they haven’t been around that long in the UK, maybe 10 years or so. They in fact derive from a tool designed and developed by the Fein manufacturing company in the US to remove plaster casts from hospital patients!
Now that all the patents have run out, all major power tool brands offer a range of oscillating multi tools. They’ve developed into a very versatile, sophisticated and pretty much essential piece of kit for both professionals and DIYers.
Even the best cordless oscillating multi tools on our list are supplied “bare” – this means you don’t get a battery or charger thrown in. It’s up to you to pick the battery size that’s going to get the job done without knackering your arms.
Whether the motor in your multi tool is 12 Volt or 18 Volt, the number you need to look at is the Ah, or Amps per hour. The bigger the number, the heavier and larger the battery is, so you must decide whether you can get away with a lighter tool and less running time. Alternatively, if you want to be able to work for a long time you’ll have to make do with more weight at the end of your arm.
The oscillating multi tool’s unique selling point is in its name – it’s ability to oscillate. When 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 at a very rapid rate. The oscillation rate (which can be over 20,000 RPM), is usually controlled using a speed dial 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 while a smaller angle ensures a slower cut and allows for greater control and less vibration.
While 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 dangerous kickback.
Where the metal meets the workpiece- the range of blades you can fit to your multi tool are what makes it the tool you’ll reach for more than any other.
The standard scraper blade is something that comes with all the best multi tools I’ve used in the past- made from strong steel and with a sharp blade on the front, you can use it to scrape off grout, old adhesive, thick paint or anything else that’s stuck on and you want it gone.
Next up are cutting blades- there are tons of different types of cutting blade available but the one that changed the way I work the most is the straight cutting blade. It lets you plunge cuts directly into the workpiece like a chisel, but without using much effort at all, and they’re available in a whole host of widths.
You can get blades that cut soft materials like wood and plastic, up to high performance titanium or carbide tipped blades that can cut through metal such as hard screws that need trimming off. Another handy shape cutting blade is rounder, letting you cut straight lines in any direction.
Most of the cutting blades you can get are offset, which means you can cut flush to the floor- a task that is not impossible without a multi tool, but certainly takes more time and skill to do neatly.
Other blades available for specific tasks include grout removal, insulation cutters, rasps and box cutters.
Sanding right into corners is a difficult task at the best of times and is completely tiring when you have lots of them to do in one go. The hook and loop pad you can attach to the front of the best multi tools are ideal for these situations. You’re not going to use it sand down a whole floor, but when you need to get into a tight spot, the multi tool is unbeatable.
Like with the cutting blades, there are plenty of different types of sanding pad to choose from in a range of sizes to suit your task. You can get large sanding pads that are suitable for sanding and levelling larger areas, “delta” shaped pads for getting into corners and up against edges and different profile sanding pads for specific jobs.
This is a bit of advice that can apply to life in general- “you buy cheap, you buy twice”. Now, I’m not saying you must go out and buy the most expensive professional level multi tool to carry out home DIY tasks. But investing in quality blades and sanding pads will make all the difference. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake myself in the past.
Oscillating Multi Tool FAQs
If you’re a professional tradesperson, you’ll probably have the best oscillating multi tool already in your kit, but if you’re a DIYer they’re still one of the most useful tools to have around. If you’ve ever tried to cut a hole in the middle of a sheet of plywood or plasterboard, a job that takes 10 minutes with a jab saw will take ten seconds with a multi tool- and if you’ve got a depth stop attached it won’t cut through hidden electrical cables either.
Do I think they’re worth the investment? Yes. And if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there’s a whole range of multi tools available that won’t break the bank, especially when you don’t need them to be cordless.
As I said above, finding the best blades turns an average multi tool into the best multi tool for all sorts of tasks. Check your user manual carefully though, because there’s not just one type of blade fitting out there. If your multi tool receives “universal” fittings, or has a quick release system, there’s a good chance that aftermarket blades will fit. However, some multi tools such as Bosch use their own fitting system like the AutoClic which will not receive universal fittings. Just check the paperwork before you open your wallet.
The cutting or sanding power of an oscillating multi tool comes from vibration, which can be intimidating at first and hard to handle. Just like any other power tool, it takes a bit of getting used to before you can handle them with ease.
Some of the best multi tools come with side handles- they can be screwed into either side of the body and let you use both hands to keep the sharp side where you want it- other multi tools like the excellent DeWalt DWE315KT can be held in both hands using the long pressure trigger to keep everything balanced.