THE REALITY OF OSCILLATING TOOL OWNERSHIP EXPLAINED part 1
New owners of multifunction oscillating tools such as the Dremel Multi-Max, Bosch Multi-X, Rockwell Sonicrafter and the rest are learning what Fein Multimaster & Supercut owners have been suffering through since the invention of the Multi-Function Oscillating Power Tool. The true cost of owning and operating these tools is in the blades and accessories, not the machine itself.
What’s so different about an oscillating tool to cause it to keep needing new blades? Isn’t this tool basically cutting using the same principles as your old hand saw? Well yes and well no.
My first old hand saw was passed down to me from my father and it still works well to this day. I did my first attic renovation with that hand saw and if I could get my kids interested I would pass it down to them too. However the new reality of oscillating tool cutting has kicked the door down on that kind of thinking. The undertaking of any sizeable work project using an oscillating tool will require a reserve of new blades to get through the whole project. Why does the continuous use of an oscillating tool eat up so many blades?
The physical reality of sawing with an oscillating tool is that the action of plunge cutting in itself is extremely fatiguing on blade teeth. Let’s compare oscillating sawing with my dad’s old 27” full size cross-cut hand saw. As you use a hand saw to cut a piece of 2 x 4 or any other size of wood each cutting stroke of the saw blade typically engages anywhere from 140 to 200 blade teeth sequentially sharing the job of cutting.
Now let’s look at a basic 1-1/4” oscillating tool blade with 14 or so teeth in total. If we want to cut that same piece of 2 x 4, the best teeth engagement you can hope to get is for all 14 teeth to be involved in the cutting action. We see already by comparison that each cutting stroke of a hand-saw will engage 10 times more teeth than that of an oscillating blade. Those 14 or so cutting teeth soldiers on your end-cut blade are experiencing stresses that you won’t see on any other kind of sawing tool including a reciprocating saw.
To maximize the effectiveness of your oscillating blades, you should make an effort to consciously engage as many teeth as possible into the action of cutting.
Your oscillating blade teeth are also exponentially subjected to the effects of friction and heat buildup as we plunge deeper and cut further while our machine oscillates along at roughly 20,000 OPM. (Oscillations per Minute). This is why having sharp quality cutting blades in your multi-tool is so important.
Now listen carefully; do not use this logic to stock up on only extra wide blades. Yes wider end-cut blades may engage more teeth for cutting which is good but the wider blades put a greater accumulated load on your tool motor. You must always be aware of any extra loads being put on your machine especially if your motor runs at less than 2 amps. Always listen to your motor as you cut.
In fact, your oscillating tool motor has the most cutting power when you use the narrower end-cut blades over the wider ones. This is an important consideration for you cordless tool owners who want maximum performance on each battery charge.
Experienced owners are realizing that the true potential for accomplishment with these machines really start with the blades and the more usage your oscillating tool gets the more blades you will need.
What will all this cost me? Generally speaking having a good variety stock of blades and accessories in your tool box may cost many times more than the original price of the machine. This is the new reality for ownership in the oscillating tool world.
The opportunity to own a multifunction oscillating power tool marks a new horizon for every tool guy everywhere. It’s a very safe and versatile machine that’s destined to become a top tool of choice as we discover even more practical applications for it. Discover yours.