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Best Multi Tool: 5 Top Buys That Cut, Sand, Grind and More

does ryobi have the best multi tool?
(Image credit: Ryobi)

The best multi tool is the perfect way to round out your tool kit — for many DIYers and professionals alike, it's their most essential, go-to tool for all kinds of jobs around the home. 

An oscillating multi tool is small but effective and super versatile. With changeable blades/heads, it can be used to cut, sand, grind and much more, and has applications all over the house, depending on which head you're using. 

These tools are small, making them effective for getting into hard to reach places, and accurate. They're especially helpful when making small changes to the fabric of your house, over working with large sheet materials where a dedicated saw or sander would be the obvious job. 

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Multi tools can be used for tasks such as:

  • Cutting out sections of skirting board and other trims 
  • Cutting plasterboard 
  • Undercutting door jambs 
  • Cutting nails, screws or pipes flush to a surface 
  • Removing mortar or grout 
  • Cutting holes in kitchen units
  • Detailing when laying flooring 
  • Sanding small and narrow elements to be painted 

And that's just to mention a few ideas. 

Sold on the idea of an oscillating multi tool? Find out which ones we rate with our buying guide. 

What are the Best Multi Tools to Buy in 2021?

does dewalt have the best multi tool?

(Image credit: DeWalt )

DeWalt DCS355N Cordless Multi Tool

A great quality mid-range multi tool

Specifications
Type: Cordless
Motor: Brushless
Speed: 4 speed variable
Weight: 1.1kg (without battery)
Reasons to buy
+No-tool blade change+Cordless
Reasons to avoid
-Extra accessories are expensive -No storage included

DeWalt's DCS355N cordless and brushless multi tool is a great place to start if you're looking for a multi tool for a renovation project. It's variable speed control is a really useful function to have in a multi tool and will give you better control when operating, especially when using it to cut. The brushless motor offers long run times than a brushed equivalent too, making it a more efficient tool. 

It doesn't require a tool to change the blade/attachments, which is a real plus, and it also features an integrated light which comes in handy when using in small, dark places. 

Be wary with the standard '29 piece accessory set' this multi tool is often advertised as coming as standard, as it's actually rather more limited than you'd expect. This 29 piece set is made up of three blades, a sanding pad and 25 sanding discs — enough to get started, but it could offer a more well-rounded selection. 

Buying extra DeWalt-branded accessories can add significantly to the expense of this tool, but it should also come with a universal adapter which means you should be able to buy cheaper accessories that will work with the multi tool too. 

Buy the DeWalt DCS355N cordless multi tool 


does ryobi have the best multi tool?

(Image credit: Ryobi)

Ryobi One+ R18MT-0 Cordless Multi Tool

An affordable multi tool with an adjustable pivot head

Specifications
Type: Cordless
Motor: Brushed
Speed: 6 speed variable
Weight: 1kg (without battery)
Reasons to buy
+4-position pivot head+Tool-less blade clamp +Variable speed
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy-Less powerful than some

Ryobi's One+ R18MT-0 has some great features packed in that make it not only easy to use, but very versatile. The clamped blade mechanism makes changing between heads super simple, while the pivot head, which can be set to one of four positions, allows you to create angled approaches with this multi tool that make it much easier to operate. 

Variable speed can be a useful feature for multi tools also, and with a 6 option wheel, this tool has great speed control, though it could benefit from a soft start function. 

Oscillating multi tools tend to be, by nature, quite noisy, but Ryobi's R18MT-0 is certainly on the louder side once the variable speed starts to crank up. 

It's worth noting that Ryobi doesn't at present have a brushless multi tool as part of its HP range and you may find that this multi tool isn't strong enough for some tough tasks that require a more powerful motor. 

Buy the Ryobi One+ R18MT-0 cordless multi tool


does makita have the best multi tool?

(Image credit: Makita)

Makita DTM50Z LXT Multi Tool

A reliable multi tool with a useful soft start function

Specifications
Type: Cordless
Motor: Brushed
Speed: 6 speed variable
Weight : 1.4kg (without battery)
Reasons to buy
+Soft start function
Reasons to avoid
-Requires tool for blade change-Slightly heavier

When you switch on a multi tool without a soft start function, you may find that the blade kicks, potentially leading to inaccurate cuts. A soft start can therefore be a really useful function, and one that you'll find in Makita's DTM50Z multi tool. 

As a slightly older model of Makita multi tool, it requires a hex wrench for blade changes, which can make it a little more tricky to switch heads on site, however this is traded off against a sleeker design that's makes accessing tight spaces easier that some people prefer. The alternative with a quick release system is the Makita DTM51Z.

It also uses an Oscillating Interface System (OIS) for attaching blades/heads. This is a system shared across several brands, meaning you can mix and match attachments as required, but otherwise this tool doesn't come with the universal adapter other multi tools do, potentially limiting the types of blade you can use. 

The Makita DTM50Z is not also as powerful as some models, especially corded varieties, so bear this in mind when trading off against the versatility of a cordless design. 

Buy the Makita DTM50Z LXT Multi Tool


does bosch have the best multi tool

(Image credit: Bosch)

Bosch 603102070 PMF 220 CE Multi Tool

A budget-friendly corded multi tool that's great for beginners

Specifications
Type: Corded
Speed: Variable
Weight: 1.1kg
Reasons to buy
+Tool price+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Requires expensive Bosch blades-Tool required for blade change

Bosch's 603102070 PMF 220 CE is a pretty basic tool in comparison to some, however, its functionality for the cost makes it perfect for beginners and those not looking to expand on a cordless tool collection. It comes ready-to-go out of the box, with a small but brilliantly considered selection of blades and a sanding pad, as well as a carry case, perfectly able to see you through some beginner-friendly DIY jobs, whether that's cutting timber or cutting out plasterboard. 

For a corded multi tool, it's great — lightweight, as no need for heavy battery packs, and with a long 2.5m cord that's unlikely to restrict how and where you use it. 

However, this tool is unlikely to hold up to the same standards as some more advanced options, making it good for sporadic, rather than regular, use or face the risk of it burning out. It's worth considering that the blade system used on this multi tool is proprietary to Bosch, meaning that you can only fit Bosch blades, which are more expensive than the cheaper blades that can be used for tools which have universal adapters. 

Buy the Bosch 603102070 PMF 220 CE multi tool


does makita have the best corded multi tool?

(Image credit: Makita)

Makita TM3010CK Corded Multi Tool

The best multi tool for hardcore DIYers

Specifications
Type: Corded
Motor: Brushed
Speed: Variable
Weight: 1.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Professional quality +Soft start function+Constant speed control +Quick release blade changes
Reasons to avoid
-Price-Heavy for a corded multi tool 

Makita's TM3010CK multi tool is fit for both DIYers and most professionals. It's a powerful, corded tool that also features some useful functions. 

The blades can be fitted at 30° increments over the full 360° of the cutting head, meaning there's 12 angled positions that can be used for a variety of jobs. Like other Makita multi tool's, this model also has a useful soft start function, while also offering a variable speed and constant speed control under load. 

The TM3010CK also offers the all-important tool-less blade change. 

Of course, as a multi tool that's nearing professional level, the price is higher than a lot of corded multi tools, but still offers great value for money. You may find, however, that this tool is on the heavy side for a corded multi tool, however, it's likely to still be lighter than most cordless models when batteries are taken into account. 

Buy the Makita TM3010CK corded multi tool


What to Look for in an Oscillating Multi Tool

An oscillating multi tool is a super useful tool that can be adapted to all kinds of DIY jobs, however, there are some key things to consider when choosing one to purchase. 

What kind of blades/heads does it fit? This is an important question as extra blades and accessories can be expensive when bought from brands, especially when there are plenty of cheap blades to be found online. If you buy a tool with a proprietary blade system, you won't be able to use any blades other than the official blades, adding to your expense. Many multi tools come with a universal adapter however. 

Does it have a quick release system for the blades? You may be required to change between blades for different tasks and systems that don't require a tool make this quicker and ensure you're never stuck if you've mislaid your tool box momentarily. 

Does it have variable speeds? Control over speeds will help offer some nuance and control when operating a multi tool, ensuring you have the right speed for the right project. This will help you to avoid overcutting and get a more accurate cut. Look out for tools that have a soft start function, helping to reduce the kick from the motor when turning the multi tool on. 

How powerful is it? Look out for the power output and oscillations per minute it offers. Corded multi tools tend to be more powerful than cordless ones, while brushless motors offer a more efficient use of power. 

Hugh Metcalf

Hugh is Digital Editor of homebuilding.co.uk and has worked on a range of home, design and property magazines, including Grand Designs, Essential Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms and Good Homes. Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture and green homes, and moonlights as an interior designer, having designed and managed projects ranging from single rooms to whole house renovations and large extensions. He's currently renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, DIYing as much of the work as possible. His current project is a kitchen renovation which involves knocking through walls and landscaping a courtyard garden.