Multi-Tool and their blades

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Old 11-21-12, 06:58 AM
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Multi-Tool and their blades

I recently had a discussion with some folks on multi-tools, such as the Dremel multimax, or the Bosch multi-x or Ridgid Jobmax or the $20 Chicago Electrical one.

The discussion was when you compare a tool like that is it more the tool or more the blades?

Most of these blades are interchangeable and if not, you can use an adapter that cost $1 or so.

Some of the Bosch blades are $10, the equivalent Harbor Freight blade is $3 or $4.

So if you take a Chicago Electric tool and mount onto it a Harbor Freight blade does it work better or less?

Or if you take a Bosch and mount a cheap Harbor Freight blade does it make a difference?

I end up buying a Dremel version, I handled the other ones and tempted by the versatility of the Jobmax but ergonomically I like the Dremel one the best, plus it has a hard case. The Chicago Electric one is heavier, if I only want it for a single job and discard after I might consider the Chicago one.

I bought some blades from Harbor Freight and using those back and forth with the Dremel ones, and I can't tell any difference.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 07:14 AM
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What are these tools particularly good for, other than undercutting jambs and trim? I work in wood, metal, auto, and any material encountered in general DIY around the house. At this point I have tools coming out of my ears, I need a really good excuse to buy another one.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 07:36 AM
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I think the main idea is they cut hard/rigid things while not cutting soft/loose things due to the fact they work on oscillation. In other words, you're cutting the drywall in your ceiling and this won't cut the loose romex someone ran on top of it. Or, it won't cut your hand when you slip trying to get those crummy tiles some previous owner put on the bathroom counter in your house.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 07:58 AM
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Just used mine (Fein) yesterday as I was putting in a window. Had to cut the siding back to accept some larger trim, and used it to plunge cut the corners where my skilsaw cut ended. Had to strip an old interior door last week... used the triangle sander to sand into the corners of the door panels and along the edges. Also use it to cut off shims as I install doors and windows. I use the scraper attachment to scrape off old caulk.

Once you have one, you will be working along and (for example) come to some part of the job where you used to get out a hammer and chisel and then you'll think to yourself, "this would be the perfect job for the multimaster". And it usually is. And it usually does a nicer job than you could have done if you were doing it "the old way".

As far as the tool vs blade is concerned I guess I can't answer that, since the Fein is top of the line and I haven't used any of the smaller cheaper versions. Blades do get expensive though, so that's probably a big factor for some guys. I do push mine pretty hard at times, expecting it to do maybe a little TOO much, and when i do I'm glad I have the Fein because I would expect that I had one of the lower end tools and used it hard, I'd have burnt up 5 of them by now.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 08:42 AM
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I would assume the tool would come down to fit and finish more then anything. Some do play their name a bit when pricing (as is the case with most tools these days).
One area I have noticed a difference is motor speed controls. I have two (cheap ones). One can reach higher RPMs then the other and is easier to adjust the speed while working.

As for the blades... Like other tools with blades, mostly it's in the name and the materials used to construct the blade. A lot of cases, the material is the same, it's just the big name brand vs. the little name brand.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 08:57 AM
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I use it as a surgical cut tool when my sawzall or grinder don't fit.

It's not something you use day in day out like a drill, but so far I have used it twice to thrice a day on stuff that otherwise would be much more work.

I also using it to make very clean notches in 2x4s when running conduits that if I were to use my sawzall there will be some overcuts.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 04:51 PM
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I buy my Fein blades by the dozens online. They aren't Feins, but they aren't $20 apiece, either. We use mine almost daily from precision cutting of trim to undercutting jambs, etc. Blades don't last forever. Reminds me, I gotta go get some.
24 offset blades, 11tpi $55.00. It works. Little over $2.25 per blade.
 

Last edited by chandler; 11-21-12 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 11-22-12, 07:13 AM
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I have used the Fein, and own a HF and a Rigid Job Max cordless. While the Fein blade change is the best, it is not worth the couple hundred extra.

As for performance I have found the HF does not run when it is cold which is odd. I think it may be the variable speed or the soft start. Other then that they seem to be pretty much the same.

I buy my blades from HF. They are inexpensive, work well, and are smart because they are pretty much universal.

I do not use the tool a ton but it does things no other tool will do. Detail work and flush cutting is where it shines.
 
 

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