More than any other, the Swiss Army Knife of power tools has to be the Multi-tool. The key to this comparison being the variety of different attachments for the diverse applications it can perform. These unique and versatile tools are available from most of the major power tool manufacturers and at a number of price points.
At the end of the day, all multi-tools need tooling. They need the cutting, sawing, rasping, scraping, sanding, polishing and specialty blades that make the job simple. Here’s a rundown on the types and styles available, most of which you can find at any KMS Tools and Equipment store.
With the proliferation of multi-tool models from the various manufacturers, several types of arbors have been deployed. Some manufacturers use their own, proprietary arbors and produce their own tooling while other brands prefer a more universal and sharing of tooling approach. In any case, it’s important to know what type of arbor you need for your particular tool.
At KMS we carry Fein, King Canada and Imperial Blades, the later being strictly a tooling manufacturer covering a wide range of tooling for just about every machine out there, including their T340 Bi-Metal STORM blade with an 18 TPI, titanium-coated, 1 3/4″ wide cutting head that can cut almost anything from wood to screws. It also features an offset design for flush cutting and a full 1 5/8″ plunge depth.
Oscillating Tool Blade Types
Multi-Tool Blades come in a variety of size and types, depending on the application. Here’s a rundown of the various categories of blades. At the end of this article is a pictorial chart showing many of the different forms.
While there are many types of cutting blades for the multi-tool, actual cutting attachment blades are designed more for shearing and cutting softer material such as felt, leather, polystyrene, lino, rubber, cardboard, carpet, etc. Hooked cutting blades are ideal for cutting out deck caulk,cabin chinking rails, gunwales, cleats, etc.
One of the premier applications for multi-tools, sawing blades are available in a number of formats.
Carbide rasps are great for coarse sanding of tile adhesive, fillers, concrete, stone and wood. They are available in triangular, round and finger shapes.
Scraper blades are available in both rigid and flexible and are the choice to use when removing stubborn paint, silicone, carpet or tile adhesive, undercoating, etc. Scraper blades are available in a wide straight blade with flexible blades also available in a wider mushroom shape.
With the use of one of the various sanding pads or sanding finger attachment, the multi-tool can be used as a sander. Sanding pads are available in both 4 1/2″ round and a triangular version, both plain or perforated. Abrasives are held with hook and look and are available in a variety of materials including aluminum oxide, for universal use on most surfaces, zirconium, for unequaled removal rates on extremely hard surfaces.
Following up after the grinding and preliminary surface prep is a medium density felt polishing pad, Bristle fleece and/or felt and fleece polishing pads that attach to the standard backing pad by hook and look are useful in creating a high quality final finish polishing chrome, stainless, aluminum, non-ferrous, polycarbonate and natural stone materials, gel coat, removing discolouration caused by heat and more.
There are a few different configurations of round blade in both carbide and diamond edges. Carbide edged blades are used for the softer, more porous materials such as tile joints and grout, plaster, porous concrete and deck plank sealant. The diamond edge blades can be used for the same with the added ability to work in harder materials and increase tool life.