Well any Multi-Tool is Better than no Multi-Tool, here's Why.
Every oscillating multifunction power tool that I’ve had the pleasure of using was quite capable of performing your basic saw cuts, scraping and sanding jobs required of them. So if you’re looking to choose your first multi-tool it will speed up your selection process if you start out by looking at the multi-tools within your budget. Thinking this way will quickly help new users to narrow down their choices in a crowded field of multi-tools.
For example, if you’re someone quite comfortable with inexpensive discount power tools then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the performance and capabilities of most multifunction power tools in the low price range. The same goes for the aspiring professionals who only want the best built equipment in their tool cabinets. The quality and performance of a high-end multi-tool will be a wise choice from a longevity perspective. Stay true to your preferences to simplify your selection.
Now let me add another criterion to our thinking. As you become a seasoned oscillating tool user the experiences you gain will probably lead to more creative uses of this tool. I believe that no matter how carefully you selected your first multifunction power tool, the experiences gained by using your tool will eventually expose a need for another multi-tool that will be what your first tool is not. What does that mean?
Well, if you acquired a corded multi-tool you will soon wish you had the freedom of a cordless the next time you’re stringing together extra extension cords to do a simple cut. Conversely if you acquired a cordless multi-tool and you’re trying to remove all the grout in a room full of floor or wall tiles, the continuous demands of that big job will cry out for a corded multi-tool. Additionally if you acquired an expensive multi-tool, sometimes it’s safer to leave that tool at home and instead bring a cheaper multi-tool to the jobsite, especially if tools commonly go missing there. And finally to the owners of those cheaper machines who now find themselves taking on more demanding situations. You really need to bite the bullet and get that premium multi-tool.
Personally I believe every serious user should at least have a corded and a cordless multi-tool to cover a broader range of situations. From experience having a couple of multi-tools working together with you on the job can be very beneficial. For example you may be doing a task where you’re alternating between scraping and cutting. So instead of removing and reattaching back and forth between your scraper and your cutter attachments, leave the scraper on your cordless and leave the cutter blade on your corded. That way you’ll have a loaded tool within reach as needed without missing a beat.
With the possibility in mind that we may eventually own two or three multi-tools; before actually purchasing your first oscillating power tool you should investigate the availability of other multi-tools that are compatible to your selection. The key to a cohesive ownership of several multi-tools will be in collecting just one set of blades and accessories to fit all of your machines. We never had to think this way with our other electrical tools (i.e. power drills, reciprocating saws etc) but in our oscillating tool world the leading makers of multi-tools have chosen to design their blade attachments with a proprietary uniqueness. Which actually means it’s common for cutters of one multi-tool model to not fit onto another multi-tool model.
If the machine you’re currently looking into doesn’t come with a well designed compatibility adapter you may need to seek addition help from an oscillating tool blade supplier. In fact many of these aftermarket suppliers have taken their understanding of the subtle differences between manufacturers to design their own multi-compatible universal fit blade design.
So whether you choose cheap or expensive, corded or cordless, your first multifunction power tool will introduce you to a world of possibilities that will only be appreciated when you actually start using your machine and if the need ever arises for additional machines, your goal will be to successfully utilize all of your new multi-tools with one common set of blades and accessories.