View Full Version : Oscillating tool question. Fein vs. Bosch vs. Porter-Cable


kngelv
10-07-2012, 07:54 PM
I have never used an oscillating tool. I'm planning on remodeling two bathrooms and a kitchen in my house over the next few years. I think one would be useful for this endeavor. If anyone can offer any guidance for my situation I would appreciate it. At the end of the day does the convenience of the keyless tool change make the Fein the better choice over the Bosch? What about the PC. Thanks.

James

Andybull
10-07-2012, 08:00 PM
I have two Feins, they are both the professional models which require a hex wrench. They are the best, the accessories are expensive though. You may be able to use the cheaper blades from others by purchasing an adapter available from others.

shoturtle
10-07-2012, 08:07 PM
feins make a excellent oscillating tool, and they are pretty easy to find at sears. They are pricey. If you do not mind spending the extra money the feins would be the better tool. The bosch is a good tool, not as nice as the feins. But there is a bosch ois adapter that allows you to used other lower price brands blades as well. If it is a tool you will used allot I say go with the feins. The bosch is a pro level as well but with less bell and whistle.

PC are lower priced, think their quality have slipped recently. But is you are not going to be using the tools a whole lot, just for this project. It might be cost effective to get the lower priced PC.

skruft
10-07-2012, 08:07 PM
I have a keyless Fein and did have a Bosch. I think they are both excellent tools but that the Fein (like other Fein tools) is not worth the very high premium over all the other brands. At least not for a hobbyist like me. Check the reviews.

Addrock
10-07-2012, 08:16 PM
Buy anything but Fein they do business as if they still have patent protection. Case in point is tooling costs $15 for 1 or plunge cut not good econ 101. Bosch and Rigid make tooling at LEAST as good for less. I use these tools every nearly day, Makita is also on my list of maybe just in case I NEED 18 volt cordless.

Flyboy101
10-07-2012, 08:23 PM
I bought the porter cable and love it. No history with the Fein, sorry.

Think the PC is cheaper. Does everything they say it can do.

coolreed
10-07-2012, 08:24 PM
I have used Fein and it is the standard. But I do not use one all that much so I bought a cheap one at Harbor Freight. It really works good.

But if I was intending to use one alot I would go with Fein. They have reduced their prices about half due to competition.

bimmerZ5
10-07-2012, 08:40 PM
i have the single speed corded Harbor Freight version of this tool from about 2-3 yrs ago. i've used it heavily, cutting into wood, nails, laminate flooring, steel plates, plastics, drywall, sanding, scraping, etc. i got it for $20, so I didn't take care of it at first figuring it would die anyway and I'd get my $20 worth if it lasted a few times. well, it's lasted several years now and has gone through a lot of abuse... i finally realized this little $20 tool was one of my best and most reliable tools... so I actually went back and disassembled it and cleaned it inside and out and now take care of it much like my other highly regarded tools. I still have the extra set of motor brushes that came with it and have never used it. I even got a bag dedicated to this tool and so I can store all the blades and the tool in one place. I also bought several more as gifts to various relatives that use tools because I liked mine so much.

if i had to pick a problem with the HFT version, it is that it is loud and if I plan to use it for a continuous long period, I'll wear ear plugs or one of those noise cancelling head sets.

as for blades, the HFT blades aren't too bad. i really like bosch blades, but they are more expensive. certain materials are just going to be hard to cut, like when i cut laminate flooring, it wore down my bosch blades really fast.

3xpendable
10-07-2012, 10:57 PM
I too have the HF tool and used it everyday for around 5 years. I LOVE IT! Still going strong. But if you hit a nail with the plunge cut its all over but the crying. It eats the dremel's lunch way more power. It is great at undercutting door frames for tile.

(X)

shoturtle
10-07-2012, 11:02 PM
The dremel is meant for a different purpose. Not for the larger jobs, but for more refine stuff. They cater to people looking to do very fine work. The big corder oscillating tools are for more robust work.

kngelv
10-08-2012, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'd really like to stay away from the HF. I mentioned the PC as an aside. I'm more interested in the Fein or Bosch. I should mention that I'm a journeyman electrician, so I can see this helping out occasionally on side work. Are there adapters that let you use Bosch blades on the Fein? I understand the Bosch blades are much cheaper but pretty close in quality.

James

Greatwhitewing
10-08-2012, 09:06 AM
I have a couple Bosch tools and think they are very well made tools. I wouldn't hesitate buying just about anything they make..

JASTECH
10-08-2012, 09:26 AM
I bought the Rigid and my Dad bought the cordless Milky, I took Rigid back. My Dad's Milky cam with an adapter to use Bosch and others on it. He used it resealing a entire shed, that Milky is still going strong and he likes being able to use other Mfg's blades and such on it.

theoldwizard1
10-08-2012, 09:31 AM
I bought a refurb Craftsman corded (skip the cordless) for less than $50 on eBay. Works great, even with the hex screw to change blades.

IMHO, as a homeowner, who is only going to get occasional usage, I would not spend more than $100 for this type of tool.

RKA
10-08-2012, 09:32 AM
I've used the HF once and hated it. The blades were horrible and they kept coming loose. It produces a bit more noise as well, but that is splitting hairs. For the price though, it's hard to argue the value.

I have a Fein that gets used about once every other month (DIY) and I'm happy with it, but the price (even today) is a bit steep. If I was buying today, I'd have a hard look at the others on the market. Case in point is the Porter Cable PCE605K. $118 on Amazon, 3 amp motor, and 2.8 degree oscillation angle outguns the Fein on paper. They also advertise tool-less blade change. I haven't used it, but at 60% of the cost, I would bet it would do everything I ask of it.

I would recommend the tool-less blade change. I'm constantly repositioning the blades so I can hold the tool at a good angle to have the most control (to get a clean cut). The one time I used an HF, I wasted more time fiddling with the blade than I did actually cutting, and when the bolt backed itself out, that just pissed me off.

To answer your other question, Bosch sells an adaptor called "OIS" which will adapt their blades to several other major brands of oscillating tools (Fein is among them). I love this since it allows me to run down to my local big box and grab a Bosch blade at the last minute (this was before Sears started hawking Fein). I don't think this adaptor will work with the PC tool though. I don't have any experience with PC's blades so I can't speak to their quality. I believe they are made in China, where many of the Bosch blades are Swiss.

Another option is the 18V Makita, which has a 4 degree oscillating angle (equivalent to the professional Fein models). If you're not using the tool continuously, perhaps cordless might be an option? I've been using their 18V system (not an oscillating tool though) for 6+ years now and I've been very pleased with the durability of their batteries. But, as I said, if you plan to use the tool continuously for more than 5 mins at a clip, cordless may not be the best solution. I'm also not sure about blade compatibility with this tool, so that's something to look into.

Den69rs96
10-08-2012, 09:36 AM
I have the Bosch multi tool. Comes with an adaptor to use other brands blades. Definitely well built. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. Bosch owns dremel, so the dremel is a step below Bosch, but still a good tool for the hobbist. Fein is a great tool, but there are great alternatives out on the market now so I wouldn't pay the high price.

Mr Ratchet
10-08-2012, 01:50 PM
I had a Dremel that worked fine. I did get pretty hot with extended use though. I ended up giving it to my brother. I considered a few other as a replacement with the Fein as the one I would go with if I could not find anything else. I've used the tool less Fein a couple of times and liked it quite well. I also like the tool less feature on most types of power tools.
I looked at the newer and bigger Dremel, Rockwell, Porter cable, and Bosch. I narrowed it down between the PC and Bosch. I ended up going with the Bosch because I considered it to have the better quality and I liked the tool less lever less on the PC than the Bosch. The Bosch has a tool less change as well, at least on the model I ended up with. I will say the case for blade storage inside sucks. The Dremel was far better in that case.


http://www.boschtools.com/Products/Tools/Pages/BoschProductDetail.aspx?pid=MX30EK-33#benefits

danski0224
10-08-2012, 01:55 PM
Fein.

Buy variable speed and quick change. Slowing the tool down helps blade life. Quick change saves time.

Buying blades in 10 packs brings the price per blade down a lot, almost on par with the knockoffs.

03protege
10-08-2012, 02:21 PM
I've only had the opportunity to use one of these tools once, and at least for what I was doing it really didn't seem to have to many useful applications. That is until you absolutely needed and it was literally the only tool for the job.

RCStocker
10-08-2012, 02:34 PM
i have the single speed corded Harbor Freight version of this tool from about 2-3 yrs ago. i've used it heavily, cutting into wood, nails, laminate flooring, steel plates, plastics, drywall, sanding, scraping, etc. i got it for $20, so I didn't take care of it at first figuring it would die anyway and I'd get my $20 worth if it lasted a few times. well, it's lasted several years now and has gone through a lot of abuse... i finally realized this little $20 tool was one of my best and most reliable tools... so I actually went back and disassembled it and cleaned it inside and out and now take care of it much like my other highly regarded tools. I still have the extra set of motor brushes that came with it and have never used it. I even got a bag dedicated to this tool and so I can store all the blades and the tool in one place. I also bought several more as gifts to various relatives that use tools because I liked mine so much.

if i had to pick a problem with the HFT version, it is that it is loud and if I plan to use it for a continuous long period, I'll wear ear plugs or one of those noise cancelling head sets.

as for blades, the HFT blades aren't too bad. i really like bosch blades, but they are more expensive. certain materials are just going to be hard to cut, like when i cut laminate flooring, it wore down my bosch blades really fast.

HF power tools are all crap and not worth the box they come in. If you you really use your tools you would know.
Prter cable was good but there is better. I hate Dewalt but their vibrating sandors cut much faster then the rest. I have PC, and others Mikita belt sanders are great. They are light and well ballanced and I like them the best.
Their quarter sheet sander is crap. Bosch makes fantastic tools. I don't think they make a bad one.

jbaccell
10-08-2012, 02:48 PM
I have a Bosch and I am very happy with it. Well made and works great.

bimmerZ5
10-08-2012, 02:57 PM
HF power tools are all crap and not worth the box they come in. If you you really use your tools you would know.

That's simply not a true statement. I certainly recognize that HFT sells a lot of crappy tools and by no means am I saying their stuff is all good, but there are a few key items they sell that are actually surprisingly good. The HFT multi-function tool that i picked up from a few years ago was definitely one of them.

thebeekeeper1
10-08-2012, 03:02 PM
Fein.

Buy variable speed and quick change. Slowing the tool down helps blade life. Quick change saves time.

Buying blades in 10 packs brings the price per blade down a lot, almost on par with the knockoffs.

This ^^^

For sure, don't start with a Fein and then try to use something else. They reek of quality. :rocker:

BlindViper
10-08-2012, 04:14 PM
Another option is the 18V Makita, which has a 4 degree oscillating angle (equivalent to the professional Fein models). If you're not using the tool continuously, perhaps cordless might be an option? I've been using their 18V system (not an oscillating tool though) for 6+ years now and I've been very pleased with the durability of their batteries. But, as I said, if you plan to use the tool continuously for more than 5 mins at a clip, cordless may not be the best solution. I'm also not sure about blade compatibility with this tool, so that's something to look into.

I have the makita cordless and it runs well over 30 min on a charge!

Monte
10-08-2012, 05:45 PM
In this comparison Fein wins:

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tools/reviews/more/oscillating-multi-tools/?page=1

Fein wins here too:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/power-tools/4325505#slide-1

a win for Fein again:

http://www.coptool.com/bosch-mx25e-vs-fein-multimaster-oscillating-tool-showdown/#more-582

Fein still holds the title:

http://www.protoolreviews.com/buying-guides/oscillating-multi-tool-shootout-comparison

Fein wins in print magazines....

http://www.selbst.de/sites/default/files/Test-oszillationswerkzeug.pdf

and in the TV.....

http://www.kabeleins.de/tv/abenteuer-leben-taeglich-wissen/clip/produkt-check-multifunktionstools-1.38122

RKA
10-08-2012, 09:11 PM
I have the makita cordless and it runs well over 30 min on a charge!

The concern here batteries get hot if a tool used continuously and under load That will kill batteries in short order. Not just discharge, but shorten their useful life. Multi-tools generally don't get used that continuously, but don't forget it makes a nice detail sander. A job that can leave it running for 30 mins continuously. You don't want to be replacing $80 batteries every other month.

Mr Ratchet
10-08-2012, 10:57 PM
In this comparison Fein wins:

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tools/reviews/more/oscillating-multi-tools/?page=1

Fein wins here too:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/power-tools/4325505#slide-1

a win for Fein again:

http://www.coptool.com/bosch-mx25e-vs-fein-multimaster-oscillating-tool-showdown/#more-582

Fein still holds the title:

http://www.protoolreviews.com/buying-guides/oscillating-multi-tool-shootout-comparison

Fein wins in print magazines....

http://www.selbst.de/sites/default/files/Test-oszillationswerkzeug.pdf

and in the TV.....

http://www.kabeleins.de/tv/abenteuer-leben-taeglich-wissen/clip/produkt-check-multifunktionstools-1.38122

Most of these are older reviews and none of them have either the Bosch or Porter Cable models that have the combination of tool less blade change, speed controls, and more powerful motors. The Fein is a very good tool without a doubt and set the bar for performance and features. The Fein has not changed much while the other brands have made steady improvements. Their prices have reflected these advancements as well, but still less than the Fein.

kngelv
10-09-2012, 08:37 AM
Just saw the info on the Bosch MX30. I like the tool free blade change. Not sure I like the extra weight over the Fein. I guess my next step is to find a place that has both.

James

buening
10-09-2012, 10:40 AM
My opinion, you can't really go wrong with either the Bosch or the Fein. The Fein is typically more expensive and it can be a challenge finding Fein brand blades (unless you use other brands), whereas you can get Bosch blades at Lowes. I own the MX30 and don't find it overly heavy. Keep in mind the Bosch MX30 is a 3.0A whereas the Fein is 2.5A, so you will get a bit more weight due to the extra power.

kngelv
10-11-2012, 10:32 PM
A quick update. Ordered a Bosch MX-30 kit. Should be here tomorrow. I'll put it to use this weekend. Thanks for the insight.

James

jkeyser14
10-11-2012, 11:28 PM
HF power tools are all crap and not worth the box they come in. If you you really use your tools you would know.

I have to disagree with you like others here. The HF multi-tool is actually pretty decent. The blades don't last long but I have a Bosch universal adapter that lets me use blades from other manufacturers.

I've used the multi-tool extensively in remodeling my house over the last couple years. I've used it for cutting off nails, cutting through the wire mesh behind the plaster in my walls, making tiny notches or cutouts on mouldings, cutting out junction box holes in drywall, cutting grout to remove broken tiles, etc.

That being said, it doesn't have some of the nice to have features that other brands do. I would like a depth stop, quick change blade, and variable speed option. However, for my $30 it has paid for itself many times over and I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

I'm all for buying American, but I highly doubt any of the multi-tools or other common power tools are made in the USA these days.

danski0224
10-12-2012, 06:11 AM
The Fein is typically more expensive and it can be a challenge finding Fein brand blades (unless you use other brands), whereas you can get Bosch blades at Lowes.


I doubt that any other manufacturer, yet, offers the depth of blades/accessories that Fein does.

Fein blades are readily available online, usually at a small discount.

I am fortunate to live close to 2 stores that carry most of what Fein offers for the Multimaster, but the stores charge accordingly.

buening
10-12-2012, 09:24 AM
I guess I should have specified more clearly, in my area its a challenge to find anything Fein brand locally. If I'm working on a project and burn through a blade or happen to need a different type of blade, I'd have to wait a few days while the online order arrives in the mail. Just depends on how much you value local availability AND what you have access to locally. Some places carry them, many don't.

Phobo
10-12-2012, 01:19 PM
anyone knows if the bosch battery powered version has the same power output as the cable version?

Monte
10-12-2012, 04:58 PM
anyone knows if the bosch battery powered version has the same power output as the cable version?

I donīt know but i guess not hence Fein uses 14,4 Volt....:)

cheechi
10-13-2012, 08:12 PM
I would recommend if you're going to spend the money for the Bosch, it is a great tool, but I would recommend the Fein over it. And I really love Bosch. I think the Bosch is closer to the price the top end ones should cost, but while it is good, the Fein is that much better in my usage.

Feins... They are the best, the accessories are expensive though. You may be able to use the cheaper blades from others by purchasing an adapter available from others.

i have the single speed corded Harbor Freight version ... it's lasted several years now and has gone through a lot of abuse... i finally realized this little $20 tool was one of my best and most reliable tools

...

as for blades, the HFT blades aren't too bad. i really like bosch blades, but they are more expensive. certain materials are just going to be hard to cut, like when i cut laminate flooring, it wore down my bosch blades really fast.

Both of these are true and 100% accurate. Fein is the best. The HF is also a great investment, including their blades. When buying blades, look at cost per cut, not how cheap/expensive they are each, and you will see Bosch as a very cost effective blade as well as HF. With the Bosch adapter, both Bosch & HF blades (as well as cman) work on my Fein. Aside from a recent sale, Fein blades are not cost effective when you look at cost/cut. When I remember to order them, I get my blades from here (http://multifitblades.com/).

If you plan to use this kind of tool professionally, regardless of which you buy get an HF (I have both the single & variable speed ones) as a backup. No matter what you do with this, if you use it professionally you will eventually wear it out; at very least you will have to let it cool down a bit or you can seriously damage it.

See my post here (http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2465512&postcount=12) before I got my Fein for more info.

Monte
10-15-2012, 03:40 PM
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fergus
11-14-2012, 10:53 AM
I know this thread is a little old, but check out this link for an alternative for blades:

http://www.thetooladdiction.com/2012/07/31/imperial-blades-a-blade-solution-for-your-oscillating-multi-tool/

Just stumbled onto that blog recently and seems to have some good info. They are associated with a tool store so take it with a grain of salt...but the Imperial blades seem like a decent option.

JASTECH
11-14-2012, 11:18 AM
A little update, The Milky Dad bought is still going strong. I noticed Home Cheapo has the Bosch in their clearence section. I think the price is marked $129? Not sure.

RCStocker
11-14-2012, 11:41 AM
Buy anything but Fein they do business as if they still have patent protection. Case in point is tooling costs $15 for 1 or plunge cut not good econ 101. Bosch and Rigid make tooling at LEAST as good for less. I use these tools every nearly day, Makita is also on my list of maybe just in case I NEED 18 volt cordless.

Bosch is by far the better of the two. Bosch really makes top quality. As a contractor I have tried every brand. Black and decker bought out Delta and Porta Cable. We picked up their 18 v drill, driver and flash light on a half price sale last Christmas. It was $75. and came with a charger and 1 battery. We got a second battery at half price. They are really low in price but do they ever do a good job. For the money they are hard to beat. I picked up a 4 inch angle grinder for $40 for the set. I cut bolts and things off with it and it has worked very well. For the home owner it is hard to beat. It is much better then Ryobi.

Over all Milwaukee and Bosch make the two over all best tools. Makita comes in right behind them. I do not like Dewalt. They are also owned by Black and Decker.

Hitachi comes next and the rest are about the same.

For a home owner I would go with PC and save the money unless you see a lot of use for the tool down the road then I would go with Bosch. I own about a 100 different power and cordless tools. That is my 3 cents worth of opinion.

buening
11-14-2012, 12:15 PM
I noticed Home Cheapo has the Bosch in their clearence section. I think the price is marked $129? Not sure.

Might be the 2.5A (MX25) version. They have the 3.0A ones out now (MX30), so most likely its their older model on clearance. For a homeowner I doubt you'd notice the 0.5A difference, so the clearance ones would be a good buy. My MX30 is still going strong!

hevnbnd
08-19-2013, 04:59 PM
Yes it is an old thread but good info. I have a fein and need some new blades. Looking at either the Long Life e-Blades (http://www.amazon.com/Fein-63502160030-8-Inch-E-Cut-10-Pack/dp/B007Y6PE40) from fein or the Imperial Titanium Blades (http://www.amazon.com/IMPERIAL-10MMT340-Universal-Oscillating-Blades/dp/B005D7HJ3Q). Anyone tried them both and have a recommendation? They are very close in price. Or if there is a better solution out there now. Thanks

Todd.Brock
12-23-2013, 01:27 PM
Brought back from dead!!
I need to remove 5 tiles and replace them. I have extra, but the grout won't match. I thinking about springing for a multi tool. They look gimmicky. I want to replace the broken tiles and then regrout the whole bathroom.
I read so many reviews here that they are legit, so I will give it a shot. My bathroom is about 45sq ft. Has anyone used a multi tool for grout? I found lots of promo videos on YouTube, but nothing real world.

Thanks!

cheechi
12-23-2013, 01:46 PM
let me put it this way; I would recommend the multi tool over the dremel attachment for this use. Some guys will only do it with hand tools even today with other options, others will go grab a power tool just for the sake of a power tool.

Me personally, I have removed a few tiles with the HF blades on a HF oscillator. The world didn't end. It was loud, annoying, and my least enjoyed use of this tool. But it did the job. The remaining grout won't be pretty, there is the possibility you can go too deep (the finer/nicer the grit blade the more its likely to cut into the back board or other materials) and you can have chips of grout & tile flying every which a way. It's not like cutting wood at all with one, which is what I use mine for almost exclusively. Afterward there was still some hand tools needed to clean up the cuts some but it wasn't bad, just not very much fun.

Bigplum
12-23-2013, 02:22 PM
Love my fein , tried the cheaper ones and the vibration kills my damaged wrist , very good tool . It's got me out of endless trouble ,
Some of the cheapy tools are driven by a flexi speedo type drive bent at a 90* angle ,very limited life span

cheechi
12-23-2013, 02:42 PM
Oh yeah now that I have a Fein i would only use the others for when I need another right on hand (some trim jobs it helps to switch blades; I switch tools) and you're right about the vibration. a good pair of gloves is still a good idea even with the Fein.

skruft
12-23-2013, 03:43 PM
I have a Fein that seems good so far. I would not buy their very expensive blades though. Other brands work the same. This is my first saw of that sort so I have limited experience with them.

The Bosch seems to get good reviews.

Many of the tasks they do can also be done with a small hand backsaw if there is space and you are careful. Maybe the backsaw is better for some. But the Fein saw has been great for working in places where no other saw will fit and I would otherwise use a chisel.

Lightfoot
12-23-2013, 04:01 PM
HF power tools are all crap and not worth the box they come in. If you you really use your tools you would know.


Sorry RC, i gotta disagree with ya this time, and side with BimmerZ5 on this one. Normally i steer away from HF too (on anything electrical), but i needed a multi-tool for two small jobs. Rather than spend 150-200 bucks for 2 small jobs, i bought a HF one for $19.99 with coupon. It paid for itself on the first task. That was three years ago i think. I have used the heck out of the thing, and even loaned it out a few times too, and it just keeps working. This is the one and only HF electrical tool i have had a good experience with, but i would have no problem recommending this particular tool. I would be the first to bash a HF electric tool if it weren't good, but this one has been more than worth the money for me.