Oscillating tools bridge the gap between the functions of other tools. They can save the day when you least expect it, especially if you’re armed with a good range of accessories. They’re useful for an incredible variety of tasks including flush cutting, scraping and sanding.
An oscillating tool works by moving the blade from side to side in a small arc at very high speed. The blade only moves about 3º, at a rate equivalent to about 20,000 rpm. It is compatible with a wide range of attachments, from flush-cut saw blades to sanding pads to scrapers
Here are 8 ways you can use an oscillating tool for easier DIY.
1. Make plunge cuts
One of the handiest applications of an oscillating tool is its ability to make plunge cuts in materials ranging from plasterboard to plywood and weatherboard. It’s ideal for cutting away a damaged section of a wall as well as making cutouts for switch plates or multimedia cables.
TIP Rotate the blade to cut neat, perpendicular corners.
2. Undercut a doorjamb
When installing a new laminate floor, or tiling over an existing surface, it is often necessary to trim the base of the doorjambs. Instead of using a handsaw, make the cuts using an oscillating tool with a segment blade.
Position an offcut of flooring under the blade to use as a guide that will instantly align the blade at the precise height required.
3. Slice through fasteners
When replacing weatherboards or wall trim, you may be faced with screws that have seized or corroded, or nails that split the timber when you try to pry it off. The simple solution is to lever the board just enough to slip the blade of an oscillating tool in, then use a timber and metal blade to cut through the stubborn fasteners.
TIP Protect the adjacent surface with an offcut of sheet metal.