The Fein Multimaster, as the name implies, is a multi-purpose tool that is designed to be helpful in renovation and interior construction jobs. The Multimaster tool is helpful in any sort of home improvement job that you could ever attempt. Whether it's renovating the bathroom, installing tile, trimming wood, cutting lumber, building intricate models, or constructing an entire new wing of your home, the Multimaster and its scores of accessories should be close to enough to finish the job without needing any other tools.
In reality, even if you purchase the most expensive Multimaster tool, which comes with all of the accessories, you are likely to need some outside tools. Specifically which tools you will need depends on the job you are doing, but this much should be obvious to anybody who has even the smallest amount of experience with carpentry. No one tool will be enough to complete the job. The Fein Multimaster does come close, though.
There are four separate models of the Multimaster: The FMM 250Q Basic, the FMM 250 Start, the FMM 250Q Select, and the FMM 250Q Top.
At most retailers, the 250Q Basic will run you about $270, the 250 Start about $200, the 250Q Select about $320, and the 250Q Top about $400.
The Q in the model names stands for Fein's "Quick In," which is a clamping system that allows you to swiftly switch accessories. Since the Multimaster is a multi-purpose tool, it is extremely important that you are able to quickly switch accessories, or else the tool loses a lot of utility. For this reason, I would advise against considering the 250 Start. Even though the 250 Start is the cheapest model, the 250Q Basic only runs you about $70 more and is immensely more useful. After all, if you are going to spend in excess of $200 for a multi-purpose tool, you would be well advised to actually purchase one that will be useful.
The basic differences in the models:
Between the Q Basic, the Q Select, and the Q Top, the main difference is in the accessories that come with the tool.
Q Basic: The Q Basic is the most basic kit you can get. All that comes with it is the Multimaster tool and its case. You will have to buy all of the required accessories separately. This is good to buy if you already have some tools and accessories that will fit on the end of your MultiMaster
Q Select: The Q Select comes with the MultiMaster tool, a 29 mm Saw Blade, Sanding Pads, a Scraper Blade, Key and Mounting Bolts, a Carbide-Tip Segment Saw Blade, and an HSS Segment Saw Blade. The Q Select comes with many of the tools that you will need for your home improvement or renovation job. However, it is a good idea to keep in mind just what sort of tools that you need to make the selection between the Q Select and the Q Top. It should be noted that the Q Select does not come with a case, so you will either have to go without one or purchase your own case.
Q Top: The Q Top comes with all of the accessories included with the Q Select, and additionally a number of perforated Sanding Sheets, a Dust Extraction Device, a triangular Carbide Rasp, and the carrying case. The Multimaster Q Top model comes with every accessory out there that is manufactured to fit on the Multimaster tool. Because the Q Top comes with the incredibly useful triangular carbide rasp and the sturdy carrying case, I would have to say that it is easily the best value.
When choosing the right Fein MultiMaster for you, you have to weigh the cost of the particular unit versus the accessories that come with it. Due to the basic purpose of the Multimaster, I would highly recommend that you bite the bullet and buy the 250Q Top model, which comes with all of the accessories and the case. There is something to be said for buying the basic unit and only buying the accessories as you find that you need them, but there is nothing more irritating than being in the middle of a job and finding out that you have to make a trip to the hardware store. Even worse, the hardware store may not have the accessory you need and then you would have to order it online. If you value your time at all, you know how much of a hassle and a time waster that chasing after the right tool is. The Q Top is only $70 more than the Q Select. I realize that in these economic times that that is a pretty good chunk of change, but I can also guarantee that having all of the accessories will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
I say this because if you are buying a multi-purpose tool that is intended to do as much as the Fein Multimaster is, then it is likely that you already are lacking a lot of the major tools that you need to complete your job. People who have a large, varied tool set typically do not purchase multi-purpose tools at all. If you are in the market at all for one of Fein's Multimasters, then you should probably just splurge and go for the Top model. This way, you are guaranteed not to have to buy any extra tools or accessories, since by definition you will be getting pretty much accessory out there that will fit on a Multimaster tool.
Assuming you get the Top (which is the model I personally used when I performed a gut rehab of some apartments), there are a lot of positives to using the Multimaster instead of separate tools.
First of all, the Multimaster is a very high quality, professional tool on its own. Many people complain that multi-purpose tools are watered down in order to perform a lot of different functions, but this simply is not true with the Multimaster. With the saw, I was able to cut right through windows, cut tile with ease, and do all of the required sanding work by myself. I know that for many do it yourself carpenters that these jobs can be very hard and labor intensive, but using the Multimaster I did not have any particular problems.
In addition, the Multimaster will do a lot of small jobs that you would never anticipate in the planning stages. I was able to cut shims out of some blocks of cedar that were lying around. A carpenter friend said that he thought they were professionally cut, so I was proud of my work and the job that the little Multimaster did that day. One day we even had to do some precision work on some of the baseboard moldings. My friend was going to drive back to his home and get his tools, but I suggested that he use the Multimaster tool instead. He was able to perform some intricate, highly detailed, precision work with the Multimaster's small blade, and we saved a lot of time in the process.
The Multimaster will prove to be a lot more useful than you thought it would. It can satisfactorily perform almost every small job that crops up around the house. I find myself popping it out every few weeks. Every so often, I have to dig through my pile of accessories to get the right tool, but the right one is there every single time. This is why I am so happy with the Top model, and why I highly recommend you get it if you decide to buy a Fein Multimaster.
The Multimaster is a multipurpose tool that will do some jobs even better than tools that were specifically designed for that particular job. This is a huge plus in my eyes, and is a definite reason to buy the tool.
Firstly, the price is quite high. For four hundred dollars, you can buy a lot of tools, or a much cheaper multi-purpose tool. The Multimaster can be more convenient, but you won't really feel that you've gotten your money's worth until a few months after you've bought it. And that's assuming you use it quite often. Additionally, you will need to buy replacement blades as the years pass, and these can run you quite a bit of money.
The Multimaster gets a lot hotter than you expect it would. It gets so hot that you need to take breaks every so often, even if you are wearing gloves.
As I mentioned before, the Multimaster tool is a multi-purpose tool that performs some jobs better than specialized tools. For this reason, and its overall versatility, it is very hard for you to go wrong by buying one of these. If you do make a purchase, get the 250Q Top. You really will use just about every accessory.