Help & Advice

Oscillating Multi-Tools - How to use them

An oscillating multi-tool is a must have for any professional tradesman or DIYer. A multi-tool has many uses from plunge cutting and trimming to grout removal and sanding, allowing you to work on a range of restoration and installation projects. Oscillating tools use a lateral, side-to side movement. Typically, the blade will oscillate at more than 300 strokes each second with a very small movement of between 2 and 4 degrees. Oscillating tools can be used with a variety of sawing and scraping blades, and with sanding pads. They truly are a multi-purpose tool.

Cutting Straight Lines with a Multi-Tool

When you need to cut a simple straight line, you have a choice of two blade types. Choose the straight edged blade where you need to plunge into a confined spot, perhaps to cut holes in dry wall.

If you are planning a lengthy linear cut, you will be best off with a segmented blade which will give you a straighter, cleaner cut in wood, plaster, plastic or metal (see picture below). Use it in conjunction with a straight-edge to ensure a level cut.

Grout Removal with a Multi-Tool 

Oscillating multi-tools are great for jobs such as grout removal on both wall and floor tiles. You will need either a carbide or a diamond edged blade for this task. Used carefully, you'll find this makes short work of grout removal whilst generating very little dust and avoiding damage to existing tiles.

You'll find you can remove the grout from a 12" tile in just a few seconds, so it is a real time saver. The carbide blades have a flat side which will enable you to cut accurately up to an edge and no further, perfect if you wish to remove the grout around a single tile. 

Trim Door Casings with a Multi-Tool 

If you install new flooring, it’s highly likely that you may need to trim excess from door casings and jambs to enable the flooring to fit beneath. This is a perfect job to undertake with a multi-tool.

Use a piece of the new flooring as a depth guide (as shown below) and plunge the cutter in to and across the casing. Once you’ve removed the debris, you should have a perfect fit for your flooring.

Sanding wood with a Multi-Tool

Use your multi-tool with a triangular or finger sanding pad and it becomes the perfect device for detail sanding. There's no better way of getting into the corners of window frames to remove paint and filler and to give an ultra smooth finish to any wooden surface.

The corners of the tool get right in to all the crevices and tight corners, and the sanding pads can be replaced in a flash.

Cutting Metal

Your multi-tool, fitted with the correct type of blade is perfect for trimming copper plumbing pipes, unwanted screws and nails and other pieces of thin metal. A good choice of blade for these types of jobs would be a bi-metal or titanium blade. It's yet another use for a multi-tool, which should be a staple piece of your toolkit.

Remove Paint with a Multi-Tool 

Make life easier by removing old and peeling paint with your multi-tool. A scraper blade will make short work of those blisters and old paint, leaving a surface ready for final preparation with a sanding pad attachment.

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