December 10, 2008

Dremel Videos

dremel_in_action.jpgA little bit back, in our Oscillating Tool Roundup, we mentioned that Dremel had posted up some videos of their Multi-Max in action. As it turns out, they've got all sort of videos up at their site, not only of the Multi-Max, but of their other tools as well. It's a good selection of projects and if you're looking for some inspiration or you're curious about what a Dremel tool is capable of, they're worth checking out.

We're big fans of Dremel here and have reviewed a number of their tools:
Dremel 75th Anniversary Rotary Tool review is here.
Dremel Duo review is here.
Dremel Multi-Max review is here.

Check out the videos here.

Dremel tools at

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 30, 2008

Oscillating Tool Roundup

oscillating_tools.jpg2008 has been the Year of the Oscillating Tool. Fein's patent wore out and a bunch of other companies got their tools to the marketplace. We've done the best we can to keep you up to date with all of these events, including reviews of all of the new tools (including the latest Fein). Because our information is scattered over a number of articles and reviews, we thought it would be a good idea to summarize our findings and give you links to all that we've written.

If you have no idea what an oscillating tool is, Dremel has recently posted up a good selection of videos so you can see their Multi-Max in action. It's a pretty thorough set of projects, so you should be able to get a handle on what these amazing tools are capable of. Dremel's Multi-Max video page is here.

If you're reading this, it's likely that you're thinking about buying an oscillating tool. So as for the question, "which one should you get?" we can offer the following advice.

ArrowContinue reading: "Oscillating Tool Roundup"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (10) | social bookmarking

November 28, 2008

Fein MultiMaster 250Q Top - Review

We've repeated the oscillating tool 'situation' in a number of articles here, but we feel the need to do a quick recap. Fein created the hand held oscillating tool and released the MultiMaster in 1986. At the same time, they slapped a patent on the creation, prohibiting other companies from using the same technology, giving them total marketplace dominance. What is interesting (and cool) about this is that they decided against making a variety of oscillating tools available at varying quality and price. Instead, they stuck to their guns and made the best tool that they could and refused to compromise any standards. Now, with the patent recently expired and a number of relatively inexpensive oscillating tools available, Fein is still at the top of the pack, refusing to enter the fray with anything less than perfect. Which brings us to their latest model, the Fein MultiMaster 250Q Top.

ArrowContinue reading: "Fein MultiMaster 250Q Top - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

November 13, 2008

Chicago Electric 120-Volt Multi-Function Power Tool (Oscillating Tool)

chicago_oscillating.gifReader Kent B. emailed to tell us he saw that Harbor Freight is now selling Chicago Electric's "120 Volt Multi-Function Power Tool," which is their way of saying "oscillating tool." The price on this is an extremely inexpensive $50, and it will be available on Black Friday for an even lower $40.

We've never touched this tool so we can't really comment on the quality, but with the freakishly low price, we feel confident drawing the conclusion that it's probably not the most durable tool in the world and that it'll likely have some kind of smoke pouring out of it before too long. We've had enough experiences with $20 angle grinders and $15 rotary tools to know what this kind of pricing indicates. You never know though, we could be wrong...

The kit comes with a scraper, sander, plunge cut blade, and circular blade.

At Harbor Freight

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (58) | social bookmarking

November 10, 2008

Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Tool - Review

Of all of the new oscillating tools heading to the market in the wake of Fein's patent expiration, the Rockwell is the dark horse. Everyone knows Dremel and Bosch, but who are these Rockwell guys and why should you drop some coin on a tool from a relatively unknown company when the tried and true fellows have some nice items to offer?

Before using the SoniCrafter, we knew very little about Rockwell, other than that they offer a reciprocating saw with a cool handle and that they produce the JawHorse, an interesting clamping device that is seemingly identical to the Triton SuperJaws (Triton is an Australian company and we're not sure who had the tool first or what the relationship between the two is). But here they are with an oscillating tool. If the tool is a success, it's sure to catapult Rockwell into the upper echelon of tool manufacturers, cementing their name and popularizing their products, if it's a failure, well then, they're just another company that makes passable tools.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (54) | social bookmarking

October 20, 2008

Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Tool

rockwekk_sonicrafter.jpgUPDATE: Our full review of the Rockwell SoniCrafter is here.

Well, the floodgates are officially open. With Fein's patent all worn out, Bosch, Dremel, and now Rockwell, all have oscillating tools headed for the marketplace. Rockwell's version is called the SoniCrafter and, judging from price alone, it appears to be most similar to the Dremel.

The SoniCrafter has 2.3 amps and a no-load speed of 11,000 to 20,000 opm. Beyond that, there's not a whole lot of information available on the tool, so things like accessory compatibility with other oscillating tools remain a mystery. Amazon, who lists the tool in their inventory, doesn't say that it hasn't been released yet, like they do with some items, but they do indicate that it is not currently available, leading us to believe that the official release date hasn't yet come to pass.

The SoniCrafter is/will be available in three kits; a 20-piece, a 37-piece, and a massive 72-piece. Respectively, they will cost $120, $140, and $180. If the accessories are anything other than total junk, the 72-piece kit looks like a winner to us.

If we find out any more info on this tool, we'll let you know.

20-Piece Kit at and Rockwell
37-Piece Kit at and Rockwell
72-Piece Kit at and Rockwell

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (20) | social bookmarking

October 13, 2008

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool, Bosch PS50 Oscillating Tool - Review

Update: Because there is so much interest in these tools, we're going to keep updating this article as we use the tools more and as you write us and let us know any questions or comments that you have. In a sense, this will be a 'living document.' Sounds very intellectual for a review of a couple of power tools.

Update II: We've spent more time with these tools and have updated our review with further thoughts. We also have review up of the Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Tool and the Fein MultiMaster.


We're going to review these tools together because it seems that there are two questions to be answered here: 1) should I get an oscillating tool? and 2) which one should I get? The answer to the first question is a simple, yes. Of course you should get an oscillating tool. The Fein Multi-Master, which has essentially been the only one on the market for years (aside from the mini-model making Proxxon) is without question one of our favorite tools. Its durability and versatility make it the go-to in a wide range of circumstances. Oscillating tools can cut, plunge cut, sand, grind, and polish. To this point, they've been indispensable to the carpenter, and because of the price, unreasonable for the homeowner.

But now that Fein's patent has worn out, both Dremel and Bosch are offering their own versions at lower prices. A while back Proxxon struck some sort of licensing deal which allowed them to make their oscillating tool, but due to the fact that it was so much smaller than the Fein, it wasn't a competitor (our full review of the Proxxon is here).

This review is going to be broken down into the following categories; ergonomics and ease of use, power, accessories, the case, and price. We're going to comment on both the Dremel and the Bosch for each one and add in comments on the Fein and Proxxon where we see fit. Our goal isn't to pick a winner, but rather, since we've already decided that you need an oscillating tool, to lay it out which one's best for your needs.

So onward with the Bosch v. Dremel v. Fein v. Proxxon smackdown...

ArrowContinue reading: "Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool, Bosch PS50 Oscillating Tool - Review"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (37) | social bookmarking

September 26, 2008

Bosch PS50 Multi-X Oscillating Tool Arrives for Review

bosch_multitool2.jpgThe last time we were this anxious for something was when Star Wars: Episode I was released. Back then, our hopes were crushed like an ant trapped under an excavator tread ("Mee-zo ruin Star Wars"), so we're hoping this time things are different. At first glance, the situation looks positive; the tool feels good in the hands, the case is top-notch, and there's a great removable blade storage system. No floppy-eared, comic sidekicks in sight.

We're going to dig into this one (and the new Dremel oscillating tool, which showed up a few days ago) this weekend and we'll have some thoughts up for you soon.

PS50 Cutting Kit at
PS50 Carpenter Kit at

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

September 12, 2008

Bosch PS50 Multi-X Oscillating Tool

Finally it's here! Bosch's long awaited entry into the oscillating tool world, the PS50 Multi-X. We've been looking at Euro-Bosch's pmf 180 e multi for over a year now, thinking that when they released it in the states, we'd be getting something identical, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

First, the new PS50 sits on Bosch's compact 12-volt battery system (much like the PS20 that we reviewed yesterday), so, if we're not wrong, this is the first battery powered oscillating tool out there. This also makes it a nice compliment to Dremel's corded oscillating tool due out in October (which isn't all that surprising actually, seeing as Bosch owns Dremel). Oscillating tools might be the most versatile tools in the market, so a cordless version only makes it more portable, more hassle free and just easier to use.

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Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

July 21, 2008

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool System

We just got word the other day that Dremel, one of our favorite tool companies, is on the verge of releasing a new oscillating tool. This is some unexpected news for us. We've been carefully watching the potential release of Bosch's PMF 180 E Multi oscillating tool and here comes Dremel out of nowhere with their own model. If you've never played around with an oscillating tool, you've got something coming. Not only are they precise, but they can be used an a staggering number of situations; everything from sanding to flush cutting to grinding to polishing. ArrowContinue reading: "Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool System"

Doug Mahoney at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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