How to Choose an Oscillating Multi Tool - Finding the Best Oscillating Multi Tool

How to Choose the Best Multi Tool for the Job



Struggling to understand which multi-tool you require for the task in hand? We’ve put together this guide to help you choose which multi-tool to buy.


If we asked a tradesperson – or even an avid DIY enthusiast – what essential tool they'd always keep to hand, we bet a large majority would suggest an oscillating multi-tool. Because of its versatility and multi-functionality, a good multi-tool can be your go-to power tool for hundreds of household tasks. Regardless of whether you're an amateur DIY tinkerer, or a seasoned professional tradesperson, a power multi-tool is an essential purchase that is well worth a space in your toolbox.


sgs multi tool range


If you're wondering whether a multi-tool is right for you, or which multi-tool you should purchase, this multi-tool guide is designed to give you a general overview of the products available and what you might do with them.



Why buy an oscillating multi-tool?


It's often said for every job there's the perfect tool to do it, but if you're looking for something that will tackle a thousand smaller DIY jobs around your home, you can't beat an oscillating multi-tool. They're the Swiss Army Knife of the power tool world and a general ‘get out of jail free card’ for many tradespeople. Whether you're trimming pipes, sanding wooden frames, slicing floorboards to size or removing old paint, there's always a perfect multi-tool attachment for the job.


osculating tool


The idea behind an oscillating multi-tool is a simple one; a variable-speed oscillating head enables you to cut, grind, sand, scrape and more – all via a single tool. The head of the tool rapidly moves from side to side, enabling you to sand, cut or grind – as well as many other actions – depending on the accessory you have chosen. A multi-tool also works well in the difficult spaces that a standard power tool would struggle to get to. They may not deliver as much power as larger, singular sanders or saws, but for a cost-effective tool that is flexible enough to use anywhere, there is nothing better.


Take a look at our handy multi-tool guide, 10 things you can do with an oscillating multi-tool, for some more ideas and inspiration on what to do with this must-have piece of equipment.



What to look out for when buying a multi-tool


The basic functions of all oscillating multi-tools are the same: they aim to provide you with a flexible, all-purpose cutting, scraping, sanding tool for a whole host of applications. But if all multi-tools are trying to do a similar thing, how do you choose between them? Here are the things you need to look out for when selecting the best power multi-tool for you.


Multi-Tool Speed vs Control


sanding tool


There are two stats that are worth taking note of when you purchase a multi-tool power tool. This first is the oscillation rate. Measured in oscillations per minute (OPM), the higher the oscillation rate, the more power the tool has – and therefore the more work the tool will do. Normally, an oscillation rate will have a from and to value. The greater the range, the more variable your tool will be, and greater the amount of options and finishes you'll have at your disposal.


The second important stat is the oscillation angle. This will range from around 2.5 to 3.2 degrees depending on the power multi-tool you pick. The angle tells you how far the accessory moves from side to side per oscillation. The higher the oscillation angle, the more aggressive the tool. For example, a multi-tool with an oscillation angle of 2.5 degrees will have a greater level of precision than a tool with an angle of 3 degrees. On the other hand, the tool with 3 degrees of oscillation will cut quicker.



Standard Multi-Tool Features


At SGS, we supply premium quality oscillating multi-tools from renowned manufacturers including Ryobi and Milwaukee. Many of the multi-purpose tools in our product range come with similar features and functions to help you complete your next task.


As well as cutting, scraping, sanding and sawing, our selection of oscillating multi-tools boast a number of standard features, such as long-lasting battery time, variable speed settings up to 32,000 OPM and LED lighting to brighten your workspace. In addition, our power multi-tools have all been designed with the user in mind, offering both safety and comfort.


Multi-Tool Accessories


flush cutting pad


Having a specialist tool for every task could result in an overloaded toolbox. Plus, you could end up wasting a lot of time looking for the right item. We stock a wide selection of multi-tools and multi-cutter options to help you manage your projects easier, as each multi-tool can handle a huge range of jobs.


Some accessories such as blades, however, can be expensive, so it's worth having a look to see what's included in the kit before you make your purchase. Here at SGS, we sell some fantastic bundles, so you really can get more for your money.


Multi-Tool Bundles


Milwaukee M18BMT-502B 


multi tool and attachments
  • 1 Compact Multi-Tool (Body Only)
  • 1 Universal Adaptor,
  • 1 Wood Cutting Blade, 
  • 1 Sanding Pad, 
  • 5 Assorted Sanding Sheets. 
  • 2 Batteries
  • 1 Charger
  • 1 Bag




Ryobi ONE+ RMT1801M-0


ryobi multi tool and attachments
  • 18V multi-tool
  • 1 lithium-ion battery
  • 1 Super charger
  • 1 Flush cutting pad
  • 1 Wood / metal cutting blade
  • 2 Sanding pad
  • 6 sanding sheets
  • Universal accessory adaptor




Comfort and usability


versatile multi tool


Although every power multi-tool works in a similar way, some tools are more feature-rich than others. The Ryobi 18V Multi-Tool features a 4-position rotating handle and an integrated LED light for making light work of trickier tasks. Both the corded and battery-powered multi-tools feature GripZone moulding for enhanced comfort and accuracy during use.


Considering how often you'll find a reason to pull out your multi-tool, it's worth investing in something that's comfortable and easy to use. A good grip and a variable speed trigger will mean a higher level of accuracy and a greater level of operator comfort.



What is the best oscillating multi-tool to buy?


With such a wide variety of multi-tools on the market, you could find it tough to decide on the perfect one for your needs. When it comes to finding the best oscillating multi-tool for you, it all depends on what you will be using it for.


What are you using your multi-tool for?


Now that you know what features to look out for when purchasing your new multi-tool, the next step is to understand the purpose that it will be used for. While all our tools are built with performance and durability in mind, our professional range is much more suited for heavier, prolonged use. Will your electric multi-tool be used for occasional weekend projects, or daily for various lengthy tasks? Knowing the answer to this will help to determine which category you need to look at.


DIY / Home Use


Ryobi ONE+ RMT1801M 18V Cordless Sanding & Cutting Multi Tool 


ryobi multi tool

Powered by a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, this Ryobi cordless multi-tool is a compact and versatile unit perfect for a variety of applications. Whether cutting through drywall or sanding furniture and uneven surfaces, know you're always ready to go with this all-in-one hand multi-tool.


Complete with an accessory kit, this is the perfect addition to any keen DIYer's toolkit. The lithium-ion technology provides up to 20,000 oscillations per minute for quick, simple task completion, as well as 3 degrees oscillation for fast sawing and cutting. The added benefit of an LED light is great for darker working areas, and perfectly complements an all-in-one cordless solution.




Ryobi ONE+ R18MT-0 18V Cordless Multi-Tool


ryobi osculating tool

The R18MT-0 cordless multi-tool from Ryobi is lightweight and easy to use. Without the hassle of power leads, it guarantees tangle-free usage and no restricted movements. The multi-tool is ideal for cutting drywall, metal, wood, plastic, composite and many other materials, and it also sands the finest details.


The tool can plunge cut into any material quickly and easily or cut flush, right up to a surface without damaging it. It also features a 6-position variable-speed wheel for ultimate control across a range of applications, whilst the 4-position pivoting head makes it even easier to cut and sand in those hard to reach areas. The lithium-ion technology provides up to 20,000 oscillations per minute for quick, simple task completion.






Milwaukee C12RT-0 12V Rotary Multi Tool


milwaukee multi tool

This Milwaukee tool integrates a high-performance motor, optimised electronics and red lithium battery technology for exceptional power and durability. The compact and versatile multi-tool offers variable speeds of 5,000-32,000 RPM and a collect that’s compatible with all 0.8mm - 3.2mm shank accessories for thousands of cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing solutions.


The variable-speed dial provides fluid control, while the 0.6kg weight permits hours of comfortable use. Grinder-style exhaust ports and front-bearing protection help this power multi-tool exceed performance and endurance expectations. This notable item comes with five cutting wheels, a mandrel and wrench.




Milwaukee C12MT-0 12V Multi-Tool


milwaukee osculating tool

The Milwaukee C12MT-0 multi-tool is ideal for flooring contractors, re-modellers, maintenance technicians, electricians and any other tradespeople that need to tackle a variety of awkward applications on job sites. The multi-tool is suitable for plunge or flush cuts, removing grout, sanding and scraping. With 12 variable speed settings and an OPM of 5,000-20,000, it’s ideal for cutting an array of materials quickly.


The universal blade adaptor allows you to use many leading brands of multi-tool cutting blades. Users can rest assured they won’t over cut materials due to the unique cutting depth stop adaptor. If you are working in a dimly lit environment, this must-have compact multi-tool comes complete with a bright LED work light to illuminate where you are cutting. Your workspace will also be kept dust-free, thanks to its efficient dust extraction facility.




Milwaukee M18BMT-0 18V Compact Multi-Tool


milwaukee professional multi tool

The Milwaukee M18BMT-0 Multi-Tool provides 3.4 degrees oscillation, which is ideal for quick completion of trade applications for metal, wood and plastic materials. Not only does this cordless model have 12 variable speed settings that range from 12000opm to 18000opm, but it also uses redlink technology for overload protection and constant speed electronics, which delivers superb durability and performance.


This incredible multi-tool offers up to 50% faster and more versatile solutions for cutting and removal applications – compared with corded options – whilst its red lithium-ion battery packs deliver up to 2x more run time, up to 20% more power and up to 2x more battery life.






Do not worry. Our in-house experts are always on hand for buying advice and to provide bespoke care, regardless of the application. Whether you’re getting to work on a DIY project, or need the best multi-cutting tool on the market to take to work with you, we can help you to choose the perfect multi-tool for you.


Still need help?

So, if you are still wondering which power multi-tool to buy, give us a call on 01332 576 850 or fill out our contact form today.



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