Best Cordless Oscillating Tools 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

in the woodworking shopToday we are here to discuss the tool that no do it yourself should be without. A good oscillating tool is versatile, powerful and efficient.

A bad oscillating tool is nothing but frustrating.

The question is, how can you get an oscillating tool that will fulfill your needs without the frustration.

The answer? Through the help of experts like us! We want you to get an oscillating tool that you can be happy with so much that we went to the trouble of researching them for you. Below you will find five cordless oscillating tool review that will hopefully make your life easier.

Top 5 Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tools 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
DEWALT DCS355B 20V XR
DEWALT DCS355B 20V XR
(Top Pick)

Check Price
3 lbs5.0/5
Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT
Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT

Check Price
4 lbs4.8/5
PORTER CABLE PCC710B
PORTER CABLE PCC710B
(Best for the Money)

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4 lbs4.7/5
TACKLIFE PMT03B 20V
TACKLIFE PMT03B 20V

Check Price
6 lbs4.4/5
Ridgid Jobmax R9700
Ridgid Jobmax R9700

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5 lbs4.1/5

5 Best Cordless Oscillating Tools – Reviews:

1. DEWALT DCS355B 20V XR – Top Pick

DEWALT DCS355B 20V XR

DeWalt is generally considered to be one of the best tool manufacturers in the game, so it is no surprise to see that they delivered great results with this tool.

And indeed, there is a lot to like here. The first thing that really jumped out to us was the fact that this unit features a variable speed trigger. The extensive speed settings are going to give you the opportunity to add a degree of touch and nuance to each individual job.

The DCS355 also features a tool-free blade change system that will (naturally) make it quick and easy to change your blades when the need presents itself, and an ergonomic two-handed grip that will make the tool more comfortable to hold over long periods of time.

The DeWalt even features LED lights mounted towards the front of the unit to ensure that users will be able to see what they are doing even in dimly lit settings.

The only serious flaw that we were able to detect was that this is one of the most expensive tools we will be looking at today which means it may not be suitable for buyers on a budget.

This aside, it is a high quality tool that most shoppers will be happy with.

Pros
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Ergonomic
  • Tool-free Blade Change
  • LED Lights
Cons
  • Pricey

2. Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT – The Runner-Up

Makita XMT03Z 18V LXT

On the surface, this tool actually has quite a bit in common with the DeWalt. It features a variable speed trigger with a range between 6-20,000 OPM, it features a tool-free blade change system, and an ergonomic grip.

Also like the DeWalt, there is not a lot to discuss in the department of cons. The reason that it takes our second rather than our first slot is mostly a matter of value. The DeWalt and the Makita are priced similarly, but the DeWalt edges this unit out on performance by a hair by featuring a better battery life.

Unfortunately, the Makita seems to die at around the fifteen-minute mark (they advertise twenty minutes) which means it will be frustrating to use for bigger tasks.

This aside it is a good tool that may serve as an enticing option for shoppers who weren’t completely sold on the DeWalt.

Pros
  • Comfort Grip
  • Tool-free blade change
  • Variable Speed Trigger
Cons
  • Lacks value relative to the DeWalt
  • Poor Battery Life

3. PORTER CABLE PCC710B – Best for the Money

PORTER CABLE PCC710B

If you are in the position of needing to stick to a tight budget, you will want to pay attention to this next review of the Porter Cable PCC710B. This is going to be the tool that is optimal for shoppers that are looking for guaranteed quality in an affordable package.

The thing that really sticks out about the Porter Cable is that, at a glance, it really seems to perform quite a bit like the higher tier products that we mentioned earlier.

It features a simple, tool-free blade change procedure, a variable speed dial (which often isn’t included in budget buys) and it even has an LED light attached towards its front to keep your work accurate even in dimly lit areas.

It all sounds great, right? And really, it is, but it is also worth mentioning that there are some cons keeping the Porter Cable out of our top two. The motor seems to struggle when working with tougher materials, and we also noticed a fairly serious durability issue regarding the switches.

The controls seem flimsy, and we have indeed heard from users that have experienced them breaking.

These cons are certainly manageable if you are interested in going with this tool, but they are also worth keeping in mind.

Durability and power aside, this is a good tool that will make for an affordable alternative to our top two options.

Pros
  • Best for the Money
  • Tool-free Blade Change
  • LED Light
Cons
  • Struggles with tough materials
  • Power switch suffers from lack of durability

4. TACKLIFE PMT03B 20V

TACKLIFE PMT03B 20V

On the surface, this tool actually looks like a good, affordable option, similar to the Porter Cable. It features a variable speed trigger, a relatively comfortable grip, and it even comes with a carrying case included, which is nice because many don’t, and this is a tool that you may want to transport.

The problem? There seems to be a pretty short life expectancy with the tool. We have seen a variety of users report that their Tacklife stopped working within six months.

While this does seem to be a select defect rather than something every user should expect to encounter, it is troubling. The warranty should cover that situation, but if you don’t want the risk of going through that hassle, you may want to think about going with something else.

Ultimately, the Tacklife does have a lot of promise, but it does seem like they have a few bugs to work out.

Pros
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Defects may lead to short life in some units

5. Ridgid Jobmax R9700

Ridgid Jobmax R9700

Last, we have the Rigid Jobmax. While this unit does have a few things going for it, most shoppers are probably going to find that some of the other tools we have looked at today fit their needs better.

This is not necessarily to say that the tool is bad. In fact, there are a few things that are unambiguously positive about it. It features a variable speed trigger, simple blade changes, and an easy to read battery meter that tells you exactly how much juice you have.

However, there were a couple of issues that we weren’t wild about. For one thing, the warranty isn’t great, and only seems to apply to tools purchased from specific vendors (like Home Depot).

But the biggest issue is just one of value. This tool is more expensive than many of the tools on this list, but underperforms most of them.

The majority of shoppers would be better served getting our best for the money pick, which is more affordable and efficient.

Pros
  • Variable Speed
  • Battery Meter
Cons
  • Bad warranty
  • Low value

Buyer’s Guide

If you have read the reviews but still are not quite sure on your decision, that’s ok. The oscillating tool is so versatile that it can be hard to get a good read on everything that you should look for in it.

Below we have assembled a list of buying considerations that will hopefully serve to simplify your decision and help you identify the right tool for you.

Comfort:

Comfort may not be the most important attribute of a power tool, but it is certainly something that you will appreciate if you plan on using your oscillating tool extensively.

Units that feature padded, ergonomic grips are going to be deeply appreciated by professionals, and by people who simply don’t want to feel achy after a day of work.

Our top choice, the DeWalt is a good example of a tool that has been engineered for comfort.

Speed Settings:

The more speed settings, the better! While you may not feel like you need an oscillating tool with a variable speed trigger, chances are you probably one day find yourself in a situation where having one would be in your benefit.

Why?

Speed settings add nuance to your work. Different jobs require different approaches, and that in mind, getting a tool with a variable speed trigger is going to help you take a very individualized approach to each task that you perform.

Blade Changes:

Oscillating tools require a little bit of maintenance from time to time. When the need to change the blades of your tool presents itself, you are, naturally, going to want the process to be as simple and straightforward as possible.

Oscillating tools that offer tool-free blade changes are the gold standard these days, but that doesn’t mean you should assume that this is a feature on every option that you encounter.

There are still plenty of oscillating tools out there these days that feature overly difficult blade changes, so pay attention to this feature as you shop.

Headlights:

LED lights are a popular feature amongst modern power tools. While they are not necessary, they can be helpful if you find yourself working in a tight, dimly lit area.

Whether or not you want this feature is going to have to be up to you. Some people actually find them irritating or otherwise distracting, while others find them to be an invaluable component of their work.

LED light ultimately probably will not be a make or break buying consideration, but they are something to look out for as you shop.

Battery Life:

When choosing most power tools, you have a choice between corded and cordless units. Both have their own unique set of pros and cons, but since today we are looking specifically at cordless tools, it is in this market that we will focus our attention.

Battery life is the at the heart of any cordless tools performance. The reasons for this are mostly self-explanatory. Tools with a good battery life will be able to serve your needs throughout the day, while tools with a more mediocre battery life suffer from diminishing usefulness.

As you shop for your oscillating tool, you are definitely going to want to get something with a good battery life if you can.

Keep in mind also that the time a company advertises does not necessarily reflect the reality of the performance that you will experience.

With power tools, battery life is often subject to the context of how the tool is being used. If you are really putting your oscillating tool through the ringer by working extensively with tough materials (it happens to all of us) then you are probably going to experience less than the advertised battery runtime.

For best possible results, try to get a tool that is capable of running longer than you need it to.

Weight:

Last, but not least, weight. Oscillating tools generally are not extremely heavy, but nevertheless some are lighter than others. Do keep in mind that this is exclusively a handheld tool, which means that it may grow burdensome during work sessions.

If you think that you would benefit from a lightweight tool, be sure to pay attention to item weight as you shop.

Conclusion:

Now the reviews of cordless oscillating tools are over, and it is time to do what we came here for in the first place: make a buying decision.

This is the part of the process that you will have to do on your own, but our hope is that the guide you have just read prepared you for it.

Just remember that good cordless oscillating tools come in all sorts of different packages. There are high-performing top-tier options, like the DeWalt, and then there are proficient but budget-friendly tools, like the Porter Cable.

If you buy the tool that makes sense for your situation, you will be pleased with the result.

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