10 Best Cordless Oscillating Tools of 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews
Cordless oscillating tools are one of the most versatile tools in your workshop, but choosing a brand that’s powerful enough to get the job done and durable enough to be there when you need it can take some research. Ther are many brands available, and with emerging lithium-ion battery technology and brushless motors, there can be quite a difference between brands.
We’ve chosen 10 different cordless oscillating tools to review for you. We’ll tell you about our experience using each brand, so you know what the pros and cons are from the comfort of your home. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we look at what makes one model better than the next and what you should look for while you shop.
Join us while we look at motor type, battery voltage, blade changing, oscillations per minute, accessories, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||DEWALT MAX XR Oscillating Tool||
|Best Value||PORTER-CABLE MAX Oscillating Tool||
|Premium Choice||Tacklife PMT03B Oscillating Tool||
|Makita XMT03Z Cordless Oscillating Tool||
|Milwaukee M18 Oscillating Tool||
The 10 Best Cordless Oscillating Tools – Reviews 2021
1. DEWALT MAX XR Oscillating Tool – Best Overall
The DEWALT DCS355B MAX XR Oscillating Tool is our pick for the best overall oscillating tool. It utilizes a brushless motor that they claim provides up to 57% more run time. We can confirm it held the charge long enough to get our work done. The 20-volt battery provides plenty of power and helps the tool reach 20,000 oscillations per minute (OPM). It has a dual grip variable speed trigger, so you can operate and adjust the speed of the device with your right or left hand. A bright LED helps illuminate dark work areas, and it’s lightweight at under three pounds. It features a quick-change accessory system and comes with two woodcutting blades.
The DEWALT DCS355B MAX is easily one of our favorite cordless oscillating tools. The only thing we can complain about besides having to buy the battery and charger separately is that it runs a little hot.
2. PORTER-CABLE MAX Oscillating Tool – Best Value
The PORTER-CABLE PCC710B MAX Oscillating Tool is our pick for the best cordless oscillating tool for the money. It features a two-finger tool-free stem for changing blades and comes with 11 accessories to get you started immediately with the ability to cut, scrape, sand, and grind. The bright LED work light will help you see in low light conditions, and the variable speed trigger allows you to adjust the oscillating option between 8,000 and 18,000 OPM. The three-position over-mold grip is easy to hold and keeps fatigue to a minimum, while the 20-volt battery will keep it running until the job is complete.
The PORTER-CABLE PCC710B is a great budget model that’s durable and works well. The only problem we had while reviewing it was that it vibrates quite a bit and can be difficult to control when doing precision work.
3. Tacklife PMT03B Oscillating Tool – Premium Choice
The Tacklife PMT03B Oscillating Tool is our premium choice cordless oscillating tool. You can use a 6-setting variable speed controller to set your speed between 5,000 and 16,000 OPM, and the 20-volt battery will keep the tool running for up to 20 minutes. The tool-free quick-release system makes it easy to change blades and attachments, and it comes with plenty of accessories, including a stainless steel scraper blade, a high carbon steel cutting blade, high carbon steel semi-circular cutting blade, alloy semi-circular saw blade, sanding pad, scouring pad, and 18 pieces of sandpaper.
The only real downside to the Tacklife PMT03B is that it’s a little heavy at almost 6 pounds, and it can get hard to handle after using it for a few minutes.
4. Makita XMT03Z Cordless Oscillating Tool
The Makita XMT03Z Cordless Oscillating Tool uses an 18-volt battery to deliver up to 20,000 OPM. Speed is adjustable via an easy to reach dial, and it features a soft start mechanism for smoother startups. A large on-off button is easy to find, and it has a lock-on feature for reducing finger fatigue during long jobs. The tool-less clamp system allows you to change blades easily, and a small diameter barrel grip is comfortable and easy to hold. It also features a battery level indicator light and two adapters that make it easy to use other brands accessories.
What we didn’t like about the Makita XMT03Z was that there is no LED to light the surface in low light conditions. We also didn’t like the position of the flip-lock for the quick change because it would prevent the blade from cutting as deep as it could.
5. Milwaukee M18 Oscillating Tool
The Milwaukee 2626-20 M18 Oscillating Tool uses an 18-volt battery to produce between 11,000 and 18,000 OPM. You can set it to one of 12 speeds, and LED illumination makes it easier to work in dim lighting. The rubberized handle cover is easy to grip, and it only weighs about 3 pounds. One of the first things we noticed when we reviewed this tool was that it doesn’t produce as many vibrations as most other brands.
The downside to the Milwaukee 2626-20 is that the instruction manual is hard to follow and doesn’t explain how to use the tool very well. If you are inexperienced with oscillating tools, you might need to look up better instructions. The blade and accessory change are also more complicated than several other brands and can slow you down if you need to change accessories often.
6. WORKPRO 20V Oscillating Multi-Tool
The WORKPRO 20V Oscillating Multi-Tool comes with a powerful 20-volt battery and charger. The body features an ergonomic design, and a soft rubber grip is easy to hold and guide. The weight is about right at 4.29 pounds, and the speed is adjustable in five speeds by a rotary dial. It comes with a universal accessory adapter for using off-brand accessories and comes with 15 accessories, including multiple sanding pads and a carrying bag.
We didn’t like the strong vibrations that the WORKPRO produced, and the OPM is not listed, but it didn’t have a lot of power. You need a tool (Allen wrench) to change the blades and accessories, and the speed selector is hard to reach while you are using the tool.
7. SKIL PWRCore Oscillating Tool
The SKIL OS592702 PWRCore Oscillating Tool features a brushless motor for more power and longer battery life. It also comes with the battery and charger so you can get started working immediately without any extra purchases. You can adjust speed to six different settings between 11,000 and 18,000 OPM, and you can change accessories without using tools. The included 40-piece accessory kit is one of the largest on this list and contains everything you need for almost any job.
Unfortunately, the SKIL OS592702 only uses a 12-volt battery and is underpowered compared to many of the 18 ad 20-volt models. Ours worked well and took a lot of abuse but was continuously bogging down and adding time to the project.
8. GALAX PRO Oscillating Tool
The GALAX PRO Oscillating Tool uses a 20-volt battery to create between 15,000 and 22,000 OPM depending on what you have set on the 6-speed dial. It comes with the battery and charger, and you can change the blades accessories easily with the tool-free blade replacement system. The soft-grip handle is easy to hold, and its four-pound weight is easy to manage. It also comes with 14 accessories you’ll need for many jobs.
The GALAX PRO works great at first, but we tried three different models, and each one burned out after a few months of light-duty work
9. CRAFTSMAN CMCE500B Oscillating Tool
The CRAFTSMAN CMCE500B Oscillating Tool is a 20-volt cordless oscillating tool that can produce between 8,000 and 18,000 OPM. An LED helps illuminate the area where you are working, and it only weighs 2.6 pounds, so it a pleasure on larger jobs. A contoured over-molded handle is comfortable to hold, and a tool-free blade and accessory replacement mechanism make changes quick and effortless. It also comes with a 12-piece kit that includes a carrying bag, wood blade, scraper, sandpaper, and more.
The downside to the CRAFTSMAN CMCE500B is it doesn’t come with the battery or charger. The LED does not illuminate very well, and the handle will be a little too big for many people. It’s also surprisingly loud, especially toward the higher OPM. There is no noise level spec listed, but we advise a pair of earplugs if you spend a lot of time with this tool.
10. Ridgid R9700 Jobmax Oscillating Tool
The Ridgid R9700 Jobmax Oscillating Tool is our last model to review, and the best thing about this model is that it comes with a 2.0Ah battery and charger so you can get right to work. A battery charge indicator lets you know how much power is left, and it also comes with a few accessories, like a cutting blade and sandpaper.
At 5.1 pounds, the Ridgid R9700 can get quite heavy well before the charge runs out, and it produces strong vibrations. At higher OPM, it begins to get quite loud, not as loud as the last model but still worth mentioning. However, despite the noise and vibrations, it didn’t do a good job cutting and didn’t seem very powerful overall. The OPM is not on the packaging, but we’re sure it’s not very high.
Here are some things to look for when choosing your next cordless oscillating tool.
The battery is the heart of the cordless oscillating tool, and in most cases, a larger battery will give you more power for longer. On our list, you’ll see 12, 18, and 20-volt batteries. 12-volt oscillating tools are better suited to light-duty work, and we recommend the 18 or 20-volt batteries for most people.
Unfortunately, many brands don’t come with the battery or charger, and you will need to purchase one separately. We tried to mention when a brand in our reviews came with a battery.
Oscillations Per Minute (OPM)
The next thing to look at when choosing your cordless oscillating tool is the oscillations per minute it can reach. Tools that produce more isolations per minute are typical of higher quality, and they do a better job. The blades cut better, and it grinds and sands much faster when there are more oscillations per minute.
We recommend looking for a brand that produces at least 15,000 OPM at full speed.
Most cordless oscillating tools allow you to adjust the speed in some way either by variable speed trigger or via a rotary dial. It’s important to be able to change speed, and since some rotary dials only allow you to select between a few presets, the variable speed trigger is better. However, if you only plan on using your tool for light-duty, the rotary dial will be fine.
When choosing a cordless oscillating tool, you’ll notice two types of motors, standard and brushless. Brushless motors use a different design the reduces friction and delivers more power to the user. Since there is less friction, the batteries last significantly longer before requiring a recharge.
We recommend choosing a model with a brushless motor when possible.
Since the cordless oscillating tool is so versatile, its weight is a critical detail when choosing a brand to purchase. You will use these tools at many awkward angles, including overhead, and their oscillating nature causes them to vibrate and shake violently. Just a pound or two can really make the tool hard to handle, so we recommend a cordless oscillating tool that weighs no more than 4½ pounds for most people.
The handy thing about cordless oscillating tools is that they are portable, and you can use them anywhere. Unfortunately, experience has shown us that most of those remote work areas have poor lighting. We recommend an oscillator that includes a built-in LED headlight. These tools have a small light mounted on the front to illuminate the work area, making it much easier to see what you’re doing. It helps with detailed work and allows you to see blemishes and problem areas better.
Vibrations and Noise
Two things you’ll need to get used to when using a cordless oscillating tool are noise and strong vibrations. There are usually no specs on the box that tell you how loud and shaky the tool will be, but it is possible to find models that create less noise and vibrations, and we tried to list those in our reviews. Some models can also be quite loud, and we tried to list those as well.
You can just wear earplugs for loud tools, but strong vibrations can become hard to hold if you don’t have good hand strength. Strong vibrations can also make it more difficult to do detailed work requiring precision.
Tool-Free Blade and Accessory Change
One of the great things about the cordless oscillating tool is that it is so versatile, but every time you want to use it for a different job, you will need to change the blade or accessory that it’s using. Accessory changing can become tedious if you need to locate a tool to loosen the chuck every time. A tool-free system that allows you to change accessories with the press of a lever is far more desirable.
Most of the brands on our list of reviews use a tool-free system, but we tried to point out any that didn’t.
Because cordless oscillating tools are so versatile and create strong vibrations, a comfortable, ergonomic design becomes a critical factor. Some tools tend to become bulky to hold onto, and we tried to list those in our reviews. We recommend looking for a model with a formed ergonomic handle with the rubber coating to help reduce vibrations and provide a firm, comfortable grip.
We have written more articles about oscillating tools:
- Rockwell F50 vs F80 Sonicrafter Oscillating Tool: Which One’s Best?
- Rockwell F50 Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-tool Review
- Rockwell F80 Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-tool Review
When choosing a cordless oscillating tool, we recommend something lightweight with a brushless motor that creates at least 15,000 OPM. It should have a comfortable rubber-coated handle, an LED headlight, and a tool-free accessory change. The DEWALT DCS355B MAX XR Oscillating Tool is our top choice and fits the bill perfectly. It has all the things we mentioned, uses a 20 Volt battery, and comes with two wood cutting blades to get you started. Our budget model, the PORTER-CABLE PCC710B MAX Oscillating Tool, doesn’t have the brushless motor, but it’s much less expensive, uses a 20-volt battery, and comes with a huge assortment of accessories.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and found our buyer’s guide informative. If you know anyone else looking to purchase one of these useful tools, please share this guide to the best cordless oscillating tools on Facebook and Twitter.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best Cordless Oscillating Tools – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. DEWALT MAX XR Oscillating Tool – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. PORTER-CABLE MAX Oscillating Tool – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Tacklife PMT03B Oscillating Tool – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Makita XMT03Z Cordless Oscillating Tool
- 2.5 5. Milwaukee M18 Oscillating Tool
- 2.6 6. WORKPRO 20V Oscillating Multi-Tool
- 2.7 7. SKIL PWRCore Oscillating Tool
- 2.8 8. GALAX PRO Oscillating Tool
- 2.9 9. CRAFTSMAN CMCE500B Oscillating Tool
- 2.10 10. Ridgid R9700 Jobmax Oscillating Tool
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion