When you see an oscillating tool in action most of the time the blade is oriented at twelve o’clock. It is sticking straight out, in line with the tool body. Many times this is the least comfortable and least ergonomic position of all. The oscillating tool does not care in which direction you orient the blade. Put the blade in the position that feels better to your wrist, allows you to see the cut, or lets you pivot the tool for better control.
All oscillating tools will produce some vibration. The lighter weight tools like the Dremel Multi-Max might have a little more vibration than the heavier tools like the Bosch Multi-X, but this is more a question of application than performance. The heavier tool can dampen this vibration with the weight from the copper in the motor and with the heavier gearing. The oscillating motion produces the least vibration when the accessory is symmetrical, such as round saw blade or a triangular sanding pad. With the straight blades, you set up an imbalance. The trade off is you can cut much deeper and faster. The applications you put these tools into are normally short in duration because you are working in a small space. This minimizes the effects of the vibration.
The amount of vibration will vary from tool to tool, but your cutting method can also help to reduce the feedback. Start with the position of the blade. Set the blade at plus or minus 45-90 degrees. If you are right handed try putting the blade at 45 degrees or at one-thirty. This will let you keep your wrist straight and let the tool do the bending. This will work well for molding cuts and door jambs. Move the blade over to 90 degrees, three o’clock, and now you can more easily make a plunge cut. Hold the tool in your right hand and use your left hand as a pivot point under the tool. This will keep the blade from jumping as you start the cut. Take notice of the tooth direction on the blade. Some lean left, some lean right, and some are straight. As you make the cut you may notice that the tool moves easier in one direction. This is usually in the direction of the lean, or the hook of the tooth. If it is a long cut, pull the tool in the direction of the hook instead of pushing and there will be less vibration.
Due to the rapid movement of the blade when cutting wood there will always be a high pitch noise to deal with. If you are in a small room trimming door casings it would be a good idea to grab some hearing protection. The noise will also be disturbing when you make a plunge cut into wood of any kind. The blade bangs away at the inner walls of the cut as it makes its way into the wood. If you will widen the cut just a little and give the blade room to make its swing, you can reduce the noise somewhat. This will also cut down on the heat build up. You might also look at your blade selection before you start your plunge cutting project. Imperial Blades has a wide selection of straight blades so that you can are able to choose the best blade for the project.
You have always heard, “Let the tool do the work”. Never has this more true than with these oscillating tools. Be firm but not overbearing. As you make the cut let the tool sort of self-feed. This increases your accuracy and your blade life. Always start with the blade in a comfortable position and proceed with light pressure.
Master of the Multimaster