Oscillating tools were developed in Germany by the FEIN tool company as an auto body tool designed to cut, shape and sand sheet metal and plastic. By the time it got to North America they had begun to add some wood cutting blades and in the last couple of years it has become an indispensable renovation tool. They have added fast cutting blades with Japanese style teeth as well as bi-metal blades for going through both wood and nails. They have straight blades, round blades, segmented blades (round blades flat on one side for working up against walls or other stops), knife type scraping blades, carbide grinders, sandpaper, even hook blades for taking out caulking between boat deck boards.
None of these blades spin around nor do they orbit as most sanders do, they simply oscillate back and fourth about 3 degrees and barely look like they are moving, but they cut so well and with so much control. It is like surgery in woodworking. This remained a tool guarded almost as a secret by the professional tradespeople until the FEIN patents ran out recently and just about every tool manufacturer has now put out one version or another of the oscillating concept. But there is a serious Learning Curve to using it -- and lack of power or durability in most of the explosion of newcomer tools has left the FEIN MultiMasterTM still as the head of the pack. Other tools work well, but are generally relegated to small model or hobby use. Even within the FEIN line, the trades level SuperCutTM model is the only tool for continuous extreme duty use.
I have asked Fein, the company with the most experience with this tool, to help me to help you with the fine points on how to use oscillating tools. That has led to the production of a good number of video clips on just how to use oscillating tools and how to avoid working problems. This is not a static list; as you ask for more information, more videos will be produced, or existing ones expanded to help you further. The full list is in the drop down tree at the left. Don't miss the blogs at the bottom of each video -- a good place to share your own experiences and to request further video development.
Learning Curve 74