How Can an Oscillating Tool Help Me?

Posted by John Rennie on

Oscillating tools are often described as the Swiss Army Knives of the construction world, and this is predominantly down to the multitude of ways in which they can be applied. Every tradesperson knows that for every job, there’s a perfect tool; however, getting your hands on every perfect tool isn’t only difficult, but it’s expensive. Therefore, an oscillating tool presents the perfect compromise, as it operates as a jack of all trades. Whether you’re a professional tradesperson or simply a DIY enthusiast, there are many ways in which an oscillating tool can help you.

What is Oscillating?

First thing’s first, you may be asking yourself what oscillating actually is. Well, oscillating describes a movement of swinging side to side in a regular rhythm. This is essentially how oscillating tool blades move.  

How Does an Oscillating Tool Work?

As previously mentioned, oscillating blades swing side to side and they do so extremely quickly; in fact, some oscillating saw blades will move as many as 20,000 times a minute. Consequently, oscillating tools feel like they’re vibrating due to the sheer speed of the movement.  

What Can Be Done with an Oscillating Tool?

The rapid side-to-side motion of an oscillating tool makes it extremely versatile and capable of cutting, sanding, scraping, and much more. All you need is the correct blade (e.g., oscillating multi-tool metal cutting blades, oscillating tool wood blades, oscillating tool sanding attachments, etc.)

Listed below are some of the best types of blades for specific applications:

  • The bluntness of scraper blades makes them ideal for applying plaster, which makes them the perfect replacement for a putty knife.
  • When it comes to piercing into a surface, straight-edge blades are the perfect contenders.
  • For longer cuts, one might select rounded blades.
  • In terms of grout removal, you won’t find a better attachment than carbide grit or diamond blades.
  • As the name suggests, bimetal blades are designed to cut through metal.

The above list isn’t exhaustive, and there is a multitude of other ways in which an oscillating tool can be used. On top of this, blades are available in various sizes and widths, meaning this also needs to be of consideration when shopping for oscillating tool attachments.

Are Oscillating Tools Worth It?

In short, yes, oscillating tools are worth it. In fact, they’re capable of replacing bolt cutters, grinders, jigsaws, and many other bulky tools. As a result, the purchase of an oscillating tool will make your toolbox a lot more streamlined. Similarly, oscillating tools can fit into tight or tricky spaces that other tools can’t, meaning that all manner of problems can be solved via the use of an oscillating tool.

Are Oscillating Multi-Tool Blades Universal?

Technically, oscillating tools aren’t universal, as every manufacturer has its own blade connection format. Despite this, the top oscillating tool blade makers have come up with a handful of universal blades that are designed to comply with any oscillating tool style. For instance, the selection at Rennie Tool Company can be considered for Bosch, Makita, and DeWalt oscillating tool blades.

What Should One Look for in an Oscillating Tool?

For something that is so often used, you don’t want to compromise on quality. As a result, it’s vitally important that one assesses their chosen oscillating tool properly. In doing so, there are multiple aspects to consider, as detailed below.

Motor Power

One of the most important objects of consideration is the motor power, in which a stronger motor equates to quicker work. This strength is measured in amps, whereby a stronger motor will have higher amps, resulting in greater efficiency.

With this being said, a good motor doesn’t guarantee a well-engineered tool, meaning that you can’t solely rely on the motor power when making your choice. For instance, if you find a cheap oscillating tool with a strong motor, this should signal some red flags.

Power Source

Now we’ve discussed the motor power, we can touch on how the tool is actually receiving its power. Power can be obtained in one of two ways: via batteries or a power outlet.

Cordless oscillating tools are the most versatile solutions, as they can be used just about anywhere. Despite this, the batteries will gradually lose power and eventually die, meaning a cordless tool limits you in terms of power.

In contrast, a corded tool will remain powerful, and you aren’t prone to a battery dying. Although, a corded tool can only be used when a power outlet is within reach, and a cord can sometimes act as an obstruction in certain scenarios.

Blade Mount Style

As earlier touched on, different oscillating tools are equipped with different formats for the attachment point. Consequently, a tool with more potential attachments allows for more versatile use. Some tools will try to lock you into a specific brand, which may result in the tool needing more expensive attachments.


It goes without saying that a scraping, sanding, grinding, or cutting tool is going to make a noise that won’t necessarily be pleasant. Although you’ll never find a silent oscillating tool, you can control how much noise is made via your selection of the motor power and speed. For example, a strong motor working at a quick speed will result in an extremely high-pitched sound.  


The cost of an oscillating tool can range anywhere from £19.99 to hundreds of pounds, and you can determine how much you want to pay by how much use you’re looking to get out of the tool. For instance, if you’re a tradesperson that will use the tool every day, it’s fair to say that a £20 solution won’t cut it. On the other hand, if you’re someone who’s looking to keep the tool in the shed for odd jobs, you needn’t be spending £700 on it.


The length of the warranty offered by the manufacturer translates into how well they believe the product will last. Oscillating tools operate under rough conditions, making a substantial warranty an essential.

Additional Features

Plenty of oscillating tools will come with unique features, such as lights or longer cords. If you’re torn between two options, the additional features might be what sways your decision.

Shop Oscillating Tool Attachments at Rennie Tool Company

It’s clear that an oscillating tool can help you in a multitude of ways, so long as you have the correct attachments. Shop the range at Rennie Tool Company or contact us at for advice and guidance.

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