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How to Use an Oscillating Multi Tool for All Kinds of Indoor Repairs

By Kravelv @kravelv

An Oscillating Multi-Tool by definition is a tool that you can use with a variety of job depending on its attachments. The closest example we can provide you is a Swiss army knife. However, they are usually driven by either a battery or electricity. Do it yourselves aficionados are the most common people using these tools. These tools come in very handy for indoor repairs. You can perform multiple tasks using just one instrument. You do not need to buy another equipment for the next step that you need to do to finish what you need to finish. A very good example are tools that can grind, sand or cut, just to name a few, by just changing various attachments.

A survey was conducted among professional house repairmen how their oscillating multi-tools (both batter and electricity driven) makes life easier for them. And boy, we received some of the most interesting answers. Some of which are so amazing that it would excite you to go to your nearest handyman store and grab one.

An interesting answer we received says: “I just remodeled my own master bathroom and use just my oscillating multi-tools. I was able to repair door jamb casings for the new tile floor, cut the tiles perfectly to fit hard around spots such as toilets and sinks, I used it to scrape old tiles, remove dry paint, cut nails, create holes in the drywall and other interesting stuff. I didn’t even go out of the room to do all these things. I no longer remember the things I need to do before I bought one. But I can never imagine myself anymore working without my handy tool. It’s like having an assortment of equipment without the bulk of carrying all of them. It’s great for doing any house repairs. ”

How to use an Oscillating Multi Tool for all kinds of Indoor Repairs

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Another response said, “The main reason why I bought my Oscillating Multi-Tool is for cutting dry walls. It is not long before I am already using it for sanding metal, changing moldings, removing tiles, changing carpets and a lot of other house repair jobs. No need to bring an equipment for every other job that you need to do. I cannot imagine how easy it now to make cages for my birds when I hated the task years ago. It was as easy as slicing a butter using a hot knife.”

How do Oscillating Multi-Tool works?

Imagine yourself slicing a cake. However, you are doing it very fast, about 4.000 small scratches per minute. That is how these tools do their stuff. This is the reason why it’s so easy cutting through a drywall or removing a tile, or changing a carpet. Small, but fast cuts, they give you easier handling that way. Better control than by using a different kind of power saws.

Electric oscillating multi-tools are considered better than cordless oscillating multi tool. This is so true for just heavy users. There is no limit on long will you be using them. As long as you have an outlet to plug it in, you can start what you need to do and end working whenever you want. No worries of running out of batteries whatsoever. They are generally cheaper compared to the battery driven ones since you will use them generally for hose repairs, you would not really mind dragging a cord behind you as you work.

You will usually use an oscillating multi-tool on repairing or removing something already fixed on something. It might be as simple as putting the hole in a drywall, changing a tile, etc. it is usually used to restore something. You need to repair something that is already installed. The convenience that you have when working is paramount when using an all-around tool.

Best to use oscillating multi-tools with woods

You have watched the various commercials on TV. These different oscillating multi-tools tackle a lot of DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) jobs. Everything that you can think of and some were done. Removing grout, adhesive, cutting pipes, woods, boring holes and everything is a synch. We had first hand experienced using these tools and we found out that sometimes, nothing else works as fast or as accurate. Because of precision movements of its parts, a lot of this equipment are great for flash cutting. The blades and other attachment rest on flat surfaces thus giving a more accurate finish. When working with wood, especially small panels, the detail sanding heads are the most useful attachments. You can position them greatly to fit perfectly in tight spots. You cannot get a smoother surface on any conventional tools.

We used a wood cutting blade attachment to make a hole in the middle of a panel. This would allow electric cords to pass through easily. You would be hard put to do this with a conventional saw and drill combined. We were able to cut clearly and easily baseboards and trims to install built-in cabinets in bedrooms.

What makes a good oscillating multi-tool?

  1. Good grip – because oscillating multi-tool are hand tools, you should be able to grab it easily with your hand or both hand. You don’t want it vibrating uncontrollably because you cannot grip it properly. Remember precision depends on how you handle the tool. If you cannot grip it, all is lost.
  2. The weight of the tool – it should not feel too light or too heavy when using it. Being too light might affects its performance. Too heavy might be too tiring after a period of long use. This will affect the quality of the work being done. And believe you me, you don’t want that to happen
  3. Vibration and noise – you do not want the tool to be noisy and vibrating uncontrollably. Too much vibration will damage the precision and too noisy will make you irritable. Who wants a noisy environment when working anyway?
  4. Variable speeds – you should be able to select desired speed of the machine. There are the different mode for every job. Your tool should have speed control setting to do these.

Additional things to remember

Oscillating multi-tools have changeable attachments to use for every kind of job. After cutting the wood, you might want to sand it, or decorate it or whatever the next step is. You need to change the attachment for this to be done. The question you might ask yourself is: how easy will it be? Some tools will require you to almost dismember almost every part of the tool just to change attachment. You bought the equipment for convenience, no use of using if it will take forever to go to the next step.

Another important thing to always keep in mind: Parts availability. These are tools you will use again and again and again. This is so true if you are not just a DIYer but a professional home repair person. The parts of an oscillating multi-tool are not designed to last forever. It will have its wear and tear. About the time that you are at the end of the life of its part, can you just go to the nearest handyman place and buy a replacement? How long will it take to find parts replacement? It’s no use buying if it will not be fully functional at the end of a part.

Why own one?

An oscillating multi-tool is a very handy equipment around the house. Whether you are big on DIY jobs or a professional home repair person, this is just what you will need. Gone are the days that people are impressed with repair man who can operate a lot of equipment. It is no longer fashionable for professionals to carry a big tool bag wherever their next job will bring them. More often than not, a repairman or handyman as you call them this day will be bringing just one equipment when reporting for work. Either he needs to cut, or sand or curve there is always a tool to do the job.

In the Homefront, gone were the days when you need one room just to store your tools. I use to have a shed just for tools that I use inside the house. My kids dread their out of school days because they will be the one looking for tools when I need one. You can just imagine the frustration when a wrong one was handed to me. Imagine a doctor in an operating room being handed a scalpel when asking for something else. Know you know the feeling. Today, I converted my tool shed to a nice multi-function room complete with entertainment, mini theater, and excellent sounds. My tools are now stored in a small box inside my cabinet. I even no longer need a repairman when need to fix something or change something. All I do is bring out my old handy oscillating multi-tool and job will be done in a jiffy. The savings I had with the things I do at home from hiring somebody to fix my house is worth more than the money I spend to buy my own oscillating multi-tool. oh and the tool shed I converted, I did it all by myself.


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