Oscilating Tools (Fein Multimaster, Dremmel, Rockwell)

shw001July 5, 2009

I've seen the Fein and Rockwell models on TV and the Dremmel version in a bix box store. These tools do a variety of tasks, like cutting in close spaces, sanding, grinding, etc.

Are these tools any good? Do they really work as well as claimed?

Are the Dremmel and Rockwell models as good as the Fein (which is 2-3 times the price)?

How are they for sanding, cutting metal, cutting hardwood?

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I have a Fein Multimaster and it is a well-built tool that has allowed me to do things no other tool could accomplish. That being said, the cost for replacement blades is obscene. It is my tool of choice for cutting openings in drywall accurately and the cutting produces very little dust. Otherwise, except for cutting drywall, I reserve the use the Fein Multimaster for those very specialized situations only it can do.

Here are some articles you might find helpful:

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

Fein MultiMaster 250Q Top - Review

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Thanks much Sequoia. Those sources are fantastic.

I am now between Dremmel and Rockwell. The word is that Rockwell is sturdier and uses better blades than Dremmel, though only $20 more than Dremmel. The advantage of Dremmel is that they are distributed widely and it is easier to get aupplies/parts or repairs. Although for occational use the extra quality of the Rockwell will probably not make much difference.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:08PM
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The Fein is an awesome tool, but geared toward the pro market. If you are using tools to make a living this is the one lots of guys use. Blades are much more affordable at multiblades.com That being said, you can get several of the homeowner/hobby machines for the cost of one Fein.
There are threads on these tools at johnbridge.com -search the pro hangout, as well as jlconline, look in the forums.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 7:26AM
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I know this is long after the last post, but have to relay my experiences with the multi-tool. I bought the Dremel Multi-Max 6300-01 when it first came out. Having no prior experience or expectations, I found it great for cutting drywall and trimming; it died just after one year - $100 out the window. I then bought a Fein MultiMaster at $200 - it is totally awesome. I found that if you go online, you can find blades that have a longer life than the Dremel or Fein, and at a savings. I am putting down a laminate floor - priceless to have this tool available. Porter Cable lost out - they will not accept any blade but their own.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:39PM
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Also there, in my experience, have been several wholesalers who have stopped carrying that particular tool because of durability, when compared to the Fein.
I use the Fein.
I also have and have had several Rockwell/Porter Cable/Delta tools.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:12AM
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I have a cheapie version of this I bought at a garage sale. When it dies, I will buy the Fein. It is one of the handiest things ever, and has saved me hours of work doing some trim repair on my old house. I'll be checking out multiblades.com, too.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:16AM
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I cannot answer all of your questions..
specifically the fein Vs the rest.

they will do things other saw cannot..do you ever work in tight spaces..like cutting between floor joists at the joist..no room for a sawzall or circular saw..these saw fit and work..I use sonicrafter, for the pasted year..so far my thinking fits with mabeldingeldine..when the cheaper one dies I buy a fein..I do this a lot with tools that I don't think I'll need all the time or can use another tool for the job(like sanding). I bought a $20 angle grinder from HF..worked great until the cord had a problem..then I bought a Hitachi angle grinder..for 50..so far it works fine. I also bought a $10 sander from HF..it was just junk..
so if it doesn't work on the first use..take it back..
no it was dead..just didn't sand very well.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:30PM
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I have a Fein. At the rate I use it, it should last forever. But I know people that use them every day.

Most of the blades are universal fit or fit via adapters.

"There is hardly anything in this world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and those people who consider price only, are this man's lawful prey. It is unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money - that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot; it cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better"

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Great quote. Thanks. I think along those lines every time I am mumbling under my breath while installing some kind of cheap junk (cheap bathroom fixtures, accessories, lighting, etc.) Not that there isn't expensive junk out there, too.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:27AM
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"Anything cheap is always expensive". I found that out 15 years ago.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:28PM
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I have the Fein and a Bosch.

They are tools that will do the little things that took you so long to do in the past. Or the things that took you two hands, or two tools, or multiple steps...you can now do with one. One tool, one hand, one time. They'll do those little things, faster, neater, and more precise.

I don't have a preference for one over the other. Both work well, perform well, etc.

The blades are pretty much universal now.

Last thing I used them for? Everything in adding an addition with gable dormer onto an existing building:

For precisely cutting into the fascia trim on the existing house that allowed me to tie the new trim in with the old.

Precise cuts into the existing clapboard siding.

Cutting gutters.

Cutting through the old roof's drip edge, roof sheathing, and shingles from the underside. Clean flush cuts.

Had to nibble a shaving off the end of a rafter that was a tad too long. Easy and fast and one-handed with the multi-tool.

Definitely worth the money. Convenience. Accuracy. Ease of use.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:45PM
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I have a Fein. At the rate I use it, it should last forever. But I know people that use them every day.

I had a project where I needed an oscillating saw. I was in Home Depot buying some materials and stopped by the rental counter and asked if they had a oscillating saw. Fein Multimaster or SuperCut drew blank looks so I went to explain what I was looking for and added that Bosch and Makita offered a similar tool. The employee said something to the effect of, "Oh, those wouldn't be durable enough for the rental market."

Then I went to the locally owned rental store and picked up a Fein SuperCut. Actually I knew the local guys had a SuperCut, but they tend to be a bit pricey (hence the inquiry at Home Depot). The bill was about $68 for three hours including a Fein E-cut blade ($38.50).

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 11:39PM
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