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Tried a bunch of "multi tools" before buying the sonicrafter

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Review by Wade posted 02-08-2010 11:30 PM 3665 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Tried a bunch of "multi tools" before buying the sonicrafter No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Overall this tool is a must have. The product performs all the functions that the infomercial claims and is extremely heavy duty. There a few flaws that the designers of this tool did not take into consideration with heavy use.

Problem 1. The hex head bolt that is used to hold on the blades/cutters/sanders/etc… came loose a few times causing the attachment to bounce around. Second thing with the bolt was that after repeated changes of the attachments the hex head bolt and hex head wrench both stripped out making accessory changes impossible. I took it to the dealer that sold it to me fully expecting to either get a new one or for them to send it into the manufacturer…They did neither, however they grabbed a few easy outs off the shelves and a few drill bits and took me into their shop. Eventually they got the bolt out and told me that they have had some other heavy users of the tool run into the same problem. The solution to fixing the stripped bolt issue was to replace it with a #3 phillips head machine screw with a star washer behind it. Problem solved and I have yet to replace teh screw or for the screw to come loose. I give Kudos to the laumberyard I bought it at because they did not charge for the easy outs or drill bits or the screw and washer for that matter. Kind of off the subject here but for good customer service go to the mom n pop stores for this kind of service because you sure as heck wont get it at Home Depot or Lowes.

Problem 2. The blades are not made of very high quality steel in my opinion. Doing alot of remodeling one will inadvertantly hit a hidden nail or something and the blade is toast. There went a fast $20.00 I know several people who have other brands of this tool and we all have the same complaint about any of the blades. I do wish the blades were universal like most sawz alls or jig saws. But then I guess the companies would be losing revenue now wouldn’t they. Fein only uses fein, Ryobi only uses ryob….ect on down the line.

I removed my dust collecter… It just gets in the way and for no more dust than it creates it was just easier for be to blow it away with a quick poof. These tools are extremely accurate as long as you have a steady hand and the ability to rotate the accessories makes getting into tight places much easier. The only one of these tools that even compares to this one is the Fein Mulit-Master. The rest of the brands seem to lack the power and quality which is evident just holding one of the other name brands. I did find an outlet online through an Ebay store that sells the blades for much less than the retail places but have not purchased any to have on hand as of yet. I have been just running to the hardware store whenever I break or damage a blade. I would recommend that weather or not you get one of these or one of the competitors models that you buy it locally or at least make sure you can get replacement accessories close to where you live or you will be waiting on the good ol mail system to get your replacement accessories. One final note LET THE TOOL DO THE WORK and do not force it to go faster, forcing it actually slows it down. Hope this helps.

Wade

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"




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Wade

18 posts in 1734 days



20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112326 posts in 2267 days


#1 posted 02-08-2010 11:36 PM

Thanks for the review Wade

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 1993 days


#2 posted 02-09-2010 02:46 AM

How much does it cost?

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Wade's profile

Wade

18 posts in 1734 days


#3 posted 02-09-2010 02:54 AM

I like the way the accessories change out better on the fein. The Fein has a lever that allowes for quick release. Other than that therre really wasnt much difference in performance at all that I could tell. If memory serves me correctly the Fein cost about $260 at the time and I paid $179.00 for the SoniCrafter 72 piece set. I really liked the fast change that the Fein offers but could not justify the extra $$$$$. The accessories for each are within a buck or 2 of each other. The main reason that I went with the SoniCrafter was that it is sold locally and I can go to the hardware store and get the blades and things versus having to order blades for the Fein or Drive 100+ miles to Denver, CO to a dealer.

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

View Wade's profile

Wade

18 posts in 1734 days


#4 posted 02-09-2010 02:56 AM

One other thing I did forget to mention and I think it applies to pretty much any tool of this type if you happen to slip or touch the blade you will not get cut just a little vibration is all. A big bonus if you have ADD like me…haha

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

View sphere's profile

sphere

109 posts in 1721 days


#5 posted 02-09-2010 03:16 AM

I have the old style fein ( before they were called MM’s) the dremel, and the Harbor Freight , you may find that other blades DO cross over, for example, Bosch and HF and Dremel blades all have pin holes, the old style fein has no need for those, but the 10MM arbor is the same.

I don’t recall the exact fits and swaps, but I keep a jumble of blades and such ( and make my own) and most are somewhat cross compatible. IIRC Sears brand fits many as well.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View Wade's profile

Wade

18 posts in 1734 days


#6 posted 02-09-2010 03:46 AM

Cool… Spherer… Thanks for the heads up on the different crossovers. I just assumed that since they all looked different with their pin hole configurations that the blades were proprietary with each manufacturer. The sonicrafters configuration is kind of like a multi point star. Next time I go to Lowes or Home Depot im going to take mine and see if any other brands will fit.

On another note… of the three different ones you have which do you like the best.

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

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sphere

109 posts in 1721 days


#7 posted 02-09-2010 04:00 AM

Wade,
The old Fein is terrible for blade retention, I assume that prompted the change. It has a “finer” osc. and somewhat quieter. The HF is a beast and best bang for the bucks, 39.00 on sale. The dremel is light and var. speed, so I kinda baby it.

All that said, like children, I can’t say who is my fav. they all have pluses and flaws.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View Wade's profile

Wade

18 posts in 1734 days


#8 posted 02-09-2010 04:26 AM

Sweet… Thanks for your input and review. I did see that the HF one is on sale I just might have to grab one for a backup or for real heavy abuse use. I love the HF air nailers and air staplers I get a ton of use out of them they last about 3 to 4 years and for another 15-20 bucks just buy a new one. I think that HF tools are a little under rated.

-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

View papadan's profile

papadan

1156 posts in 2058 days


#9 posted 02-09-2010 05:58 PM

I’ll just continue using my Fein MM.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View SteveC's profile

SteveC

23 posts in 2566 days


#10 posted 02-09-2010 06:05 PM

I have the Fein top-line kit and long & short of it is there is no equal.
None of the other tools have the quality of blades/attachements or tool body Fein does (which is why they are much cheaper too).

I have learned over the years that it makes no sense to buy a tool TWICE so I wait and spend more and get what I should have the first time around FIRST!

The MM is one of those infrequent use tools that it’s hard to justify the cost for but when you DO need it it’s the ONLY tool that will work for the job. It’s those few instances that these things pay for themselves.
Now for such infrequent use I suppose one of the lesser brands would do so it’s a trade off.
FWW just did a shootout with all the other tools and the result pretty much agreed with my take.

-- Steve in Kemptville On. Canada

View sphere's profile

sphere

109 posts in 1721 days


#11 posted 02-09-2010 06:25 PM

I managed to break my Fein the first day of ownership. I had bought from 7 corners ace back in the day when we didn’t have such common web sites and such. Like late 80’s.

I had duct boots for HVAC to cut into 3/4” SYP subfloor plywood, and most havc guys used chainsaws back then ( shudder) so I bought the sander that took BLADES! Cool. I got about 3” into the first cut and someting inside snapped. Hadda mail it back, but did get a brandy new one, which I still have , but don’t abuse like that.

BTW , I can get a lot of life outta the blades with a Japanese feather file or a small xxxslim taper triangle file. One can also use a cut off wheel in a Dremel to re tooth, or even weld a hunk of Japanese saw blade or hack saw blade to a worn out or damaged blade. I also get cheap PVC pipe saw blades and lop off a hunk with a cut off grinder and drill a 10mm hole..yer all set. Just keep in mind the distance from the arbor to the teeth, being as it oscillates, too far away ( like 3” max) and the blade oscillating too much for good control and power is reduced.

I do such a wide variety of work, that I can easily justify multiple tools , my wife can’t, but I can..LOL

Seems that HF has made some huge leaps in quality ( Or China has I should say) I have been pleasantly surprised with some recent buys. We happen to have one close enough I can get my hands on stuff before a buy, that helps immensly in deciding if it really is worth it, and really, the return policy is pretty painless if ya get a lemon.

China is on the verge or world dominance, we may as well get used to it. That cow is long outta the barn.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View clover128's profile

clover128

5 posts in 1718 days


#12 posted 02-09-2010 08:12 PM

I don’t know – I love my Fein Multimaster.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4342 posts in 1738 days


#13 posted 02-09-2010 09:17 PM

I use the Harbor Freigth version of this tool that I paid a full $29.00 on sale.
I have used and abused it to remodel my home.
I am very happy with it and it comes with a carbide coated blade with which I have cut nails No Problem.
I recommend the HF to anyone who desires a good and inexpensive version of this tool, you will be happy with it.
On the HF, at the beginning I had the issue of the fixation bolt getting loose also.
I just tighten it more and I never had the issue again.

By the way: I do not work for HF and I get no commission, I just am a satisfied customer.

-- Bert

View adb's profile

adb

17 posts in 1728 days


#14 posted 02-10-2010 02:48 AM

Some times you just need to cut something in a place no other saw will reach or can do the same way. Nothing special, nothng fancy just needs to be cut. That $29 HF tool has saved me a lot of time trying to figure out another way. I just do it. I quit worrying about if i should have bought a more expensive one. I’m just glad I have one. I think the blades cost too much but that’s life. Every tool has it’s place.

-- Dave Brown

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PhineasWhipsnake

77 posts in 1738 days


#15 posted 02-13-2010 02:23 AM

I bought the cordless Bosch version of this tool, mainly because of its weight and a closeout deal I got at the time. The big drawback of the Bosch is the run time of the batteries – about 10 minutes on a charge. Since I have two other Bosch 12v Lithium-Ion tools, I have 6 batteries, so it’s not a problem. It’s powerful enough to do the small jobs I use it for.
Reading all the reviews on these tools, the Fein is alwas the clear winner, but its price (starting at $400) is an automatic disqualifier for me. Also, their blades are way overpriced. Like the other European tools (Festool, etc.) the quality is there, but you’re paying for their cradle-to-grave government. It’s worth it to some, I guess. The HF tools are certainly improving in quality, and the price of their oscillating tool is less than a pack of blades for the Fein. I haven’t tried the HF blades on my Bosch yet, but plan to try them soon. Looking at the Rockwell and Harbor Freight tools side-by-side, they seem to be identical except the color. I’ve seen other Rockwell tools which are exactly like their HF counterparts.

-- Gene T

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