If you don’t own an oscillating multitool, buy one and you’ll wonder how you got along without it. It’s a saw, scraper, sander, and grinder in one handy power tool. It not only does those jobs, it does them in inaccessible places, speeding difficult jobs to completion in the process. And the variety of attachments for these tools keeps growing, allowing even more versatility, especially among different materials: steel, aluminum, carpet, hard tile, soft tile, hardwood, softwood, and various plastics.
Trim Cut In
Before the advent of the oscillating tool, adding or modifying interior partitions involved more demolition than construction. Now, you can make a surgical cut along anywhere on the wall, but especially along baseboard and other trim surfaces.
The only neat way to install new flooring in an existing space is to cut the doorjamb and trims to make room for it. That used to require an expensive (and dangerous) flush-cutting circular saw or laborious cutting by hand. The oscillating multitool makes short work of it.
The offset shape of the oscillating tool’s blades makes flush cuts a breeze. Here, copper tubing is being cut, but bimetal blades will allow you to make the same cut in in steel, say, if a nail is poking out somewhere and you need to remove it without disturbing the surroundings.
You may want to cut out and replace the grout in a bath area just to freshen it up, or you may have a major bath remodeling or repair that occurs when you replace a shower valve for example. An oscillating tool’s carbide-grit attachment can cut both grout and even the tile itself if necessary.
Cabinet Installation and Modifications
Whether you’re installing cabinets, modifying them to accommodate a new sink or dishwasher, or installing new hardware, such as a slide-out pantry, the fastest way to cut slots, squares, and notches is with an oscillating tool and a saw blade. The ability to offset the tool axis relative to the saw blade is a distinct advantage that speeds and simplifies the cut.
You can improve the function, appearance, weather tightness, and energy efficiency of old wood windows with an overhaul that includes sanding, cutting slots for weather stripping, and removing layers of old paint. An oscillating mutlitool’s sanding, grinding, and saw-blade attachments provide for all of these.
Thin Plank Flooring Install
Installing thin plank flooring is a test of wills. You need to make cutouts for floor registers, among other things. The easiest way to handle this job is to lay the flooring over the duct termination and plunge cut through one piece of flooring at a time using a half round.
At the most basic level, preparing to paint requires four steps: 1) cleaning to remove dirt, grease, and mildew; 2) scraping to remove loose paint; 3) sanding to smooth out the areas roughened by scraping, and 4) filling and hiding blemishes such as nail holes and cracks. Finally, you can prime. The triangular sanding head on an oscillating multitool helps you smooth rough wood in corners, sand down wood filler, and smooth over jagged edges of scraped paint.
Unusual Sanding Jobs
Doors, shutters, and furniture, among other things, have narrow edges and the long narrow shape of an oscillating multitool, combined with its triangular sanding pad, makes it particularly well-suited for smoothing these surfaces.
A clean, simple way to make a cutout in drywall for a switch box or outlet receptacle is to use an oscillating multitool with a bimetal or carbide-grit blade that will not only cut the drywall but will withstand impact with a drywall nail or screw.
The smooth scraper-blade accessory allows an oscillating multitool to peel caulk right off a surface.
Thin Set Removal
A tile pops off the wall, what do you do? You use the carbide-grit grinding pad to remove the thin set mortar from the wall and from the tile. Reapply the thin set to the freshly cleaned surfaces and reset the tile.