An oscillating tool, also known as a multi-tool, is one of those tools you didn’t know you needed until you got it, and then you wondered how you ever lived without it. Fortunately, its relatively small size and light weight makes it easy to toss in your tool bag so that it’s handy whenever the need strikes.
In fact, the small size and offset head design of an oscillating tool gives it access to places larger power tools can’t go, putting some power behind jobs that formerly called for hand tools.
Here are ten ways to use a multi-tool around the house:
- Remove molding: Instead of prying off old molding and risking breakage, slide the metal-cutting blade behind the molding to cut through each nail holding it on.
- Trim baseboard: To fit a cabinet flush against a wall, use a straight-cut blade to trim off the molding just where you need.
- Access outlets and switches: You’ve found a perfect spot for that bookcase — except it will block an electrical outlet or light switch. Use the plunge cut blade on your tool to cut out the bookcase back in exactly the right shape.
- Undercut a door jamb: Laying new flooring? To slide it easily underneath your doorframes, forego the chisel and use the oscillating tool’s cutting blade instead.
- Too big?: Whether you’ve made an opening just a fraction too small or cut a piece of wood just a fraction too long, the multi-tool can trim it, either with or across the grain.
- Too small?: If you need to shim out a cabinet or molding to make it fit, the multi-tool can flush-cut the excess shim in a flash.
- Remove grout: The grout removal blade of an oscillating tool not only goes a lot faster than manual grout removal, but it can be set so that it won’t damage underlayment.
- Remove mortar and adhesives: After removing wall or floor tile, or other types of flooring, a multi-tool lets you abrasively grind off the removing adhesive, leaving a clean surface on which to lay a new floor or wall covering.
- Flush-cut metal: Trim pipe, remove rusted bolts and flush-cut those nails or screws that you can’t get to go any farther up or down.
- Sand tight places: The triangular sanding pad allows you to sand in corners and inside awkward spaces.