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Multi tools – Everything you need to know

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One of the most popular tools for renovation is the multi tool. As the name suggests, it’s a multi-purpose device that’s simple to use and removes the need to select and buy separate tools. If you’ve never used one before, here are the basics.

What is a multi tool?

A multi tool is a compact oscillating tool, featuring interchangeable heads for different applications. All multi tools come with a cutting blade and sanding pad as standard, but there are dozens of other attachments to purchase separately. Most of these will be variants of cutters and sanders, with heads for polishing, scraping, and grinding also available.

Multi tools are designed to provide a quick and more convenient solution to smaller cutting or sanding jobs, where it’s not always suitable or possible to use standard-sized saws or sanders.

How does a multi tool work?

Much like an electric razor, a multi tool head moves side-to-side at extremely high speeds (known as oscillation). Most other cutting tools move in either a spinning or backwards and forwards motion (known as reciprocation).

The speed at which the tool oscillates is what makes it cut and sand so effectively. Ryobi’s One+ multi tool for example, can oscillate up to 20,000 times per minute. This oscillation is what enables multi tools to be so versatile.

Different uses of a multi tool

Multi tools have a wide variety of uses thanks to their compact design and portability. Reciprocating or circular saws, although better equipped to cut through robust material, will struggle to offer the precise cuts that a multi tool can achieve.

One of the most popular uses for a multi tool is cutting the bottoms of skirting boards and door frames when fitting hardwood flooring. Without a multi tool, this job would need to be done by hand as most other conventional saws are unable to achieve the correct cutting angle.

They are also the tool of choice when fitting electrical outlets into drywall. The blades on multi tools can withstand the impact of hitting screws or nails used to hold the drywall together. The shape of the tool and the position of the blade also means the user can cut straight lines much more easily than they would be able to with a jigsaw or rotary tool.

One of the more niche applications for a multi tool is the removal of grout between tiles. A multi tool can cut out the grout in a fraction of the time it would take if done by hand. With the right blade, the tool can also cut through the tile itself.

When it comes to sanding capabilities, they are great for sanding around furniture legs, doors and door frames, and anything else with narrow edges or rounded surfaces.

For a more extensive list of ways to use your multi tool, check out the Popular Mechanics blog post.


If you’re in the market for a multi tool, but don’t want to pay the high prices charged by your preferred tool manufacturer, why not try looking into getting one from another manufacturer and partnering it with a Badaptor? A Badaptor allows you to use the 18V batteries you already own with compatible 18V tools from DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee and Ryobi. You can get your Badaptor today at

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