Review of Multitool Woodworking Tools

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Forum topic by Carl Webster posted 05-12-2011 04:05 AM 7448 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Carl Webster

82 posts in 2825 days

05-12-2011 04:05 AM

I am in the market for “one” of the brands of multitool woodworking tools. I have looked a Dremels, Rockwells, Porter Cables and have read the reviews on the Internet. Apparently the Fein Multimaster is rated very high, but is also the most expensive. Rockwells Sonicrafter “looks like a nice tool but the reviews said that they had trouble with the tool attaching mechanism coming loose. Would you folks out there share your opinions on the various brands available based on your actual experience with the tools?

-- Carl in SC

29 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2631 days

#1 posted 05-12-2011 06:30 AM

I just bought one of these multitools. I did a bunch of research and at the end of it decided on the corded Bosch. The cordless bosch got great reviews but the major complaint was that the battery died too quickly. The corded bosch obviously does not have that problem and is fairly price competitive. The Bosch also takes a wide variety of accessories from other manufacturers.

I bought my multitool to cut a roll pin that had become stuck in a very difficult to reach place. I quickly learned that multitools are useless for this operation because their metal cutting blades are designed for soft metals not hardened metals like tool steel. Since then I have found the sander and wood cutter to be very useful.

Of the companies that were being sold a month back I feel comfortable recommending the Bosch corded to anyone. That being said, since that time I believe portercable came out with a multitool which makes use of a toolless accessories “attachment point”. I don’t know anything else about the portercable but that might be worth looking into.

Of course what you plan to use it for will also have some bearing. If you need it for just one project the habor freight cheapy might be the way to go since it will definitely see you through one project.

View chickenguru's profile


45 posts in 3020 days

#2 posted 05-12-2011 07:21 AM

My dad bought the Fein $ 400.00 CDN ( tool less change one) and it is sweet. Used it to cut the glue from countertop and cabinets decided i wanted a dish washer after all and used pl premium. It worked great. For the amount i’ll use one I bought the Ridged Job Max on sale for $95.00 and used on a couple small jobs and worked just fine no regrets. It comes with 2 batteries and 1 battery lasted for the length of the job inteded. only thing wish it had was toolless change over. Added bonus is I have Ridged 12 volt drill so really I have 3 batteries now.

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3425 days

#3 posted 05-12-2011 07:49 AM

I wen with the Bosch version myself. I liked the tool overall and I have had great success with Bosch so stuck with what I know. I have a review of the kit I got at the link below with photos and video if that helps.

-- Tom Hintz,

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3217 days

#4 posted 05-12-2011 08:35 AM

I have the craftsman one. Cost 80 bucks with a lot of extras and wood magazine gave it
a little gold star to boot!!!! Mine is the corded one. I guess the cordless craftsman sucks
because the battery dies fast. In any case I use this little craftsman all the time for sanding tight areas and it works great. I am happy camper :) good luck Carl!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3077 days

#5 posted 05-12-2011 09:12 AM

I didn’t think I would use one very much so I bought the Harbor Freicht corded one on sale for #19.99. First thing I used it for was to trim a piece of 1” red oak that I couldn’t ge to with anything else. It worked so well that I sprung $10.00 for a blade to remove grout from ceramic tile. I’ve done just about the whole kitchen and the only problem is my knees. It may not last forever, but I’ll bet it will last long enough to get my $20 worth. It is smooth, has plenty of power, the blade changing requires a Allen wrench (included), but is easy and they stay tight. I’m happy with it and would recommend it to anyone for normal around-the-shop use. If you’re a pro and you will make your living with it, get the Bosch.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View Pathpounder's profile


98 posts in 3920 days

#6 posted 05-12-2011 12:37 PM

Another corded Bosch here. It does everything I need it to. No complaints.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2997 days

#7 posted 05-12-2011 07:15 PM

I bought the Ridgid cordless version and I really like it. I use the sanding function as much as the saw. I chose this tool because it has different heads available to make it a right angle drill, a power ratchet, or an impact tool. I have the angle drill head as well as the sanding/sawing head that it came with. A very handy tool.

I had considered the Dremel version but decided it was a “one trick pony” compared to the Ridgid. I chose not to spend the bucks for the Fein. At the time I bought this I had never bought any tools from Harbor Freight.

If I was in the market for one today I would be very tempted to go HF.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2720 days

#8 posted 05-12-2011 07:19 PM

I think the Fein is worth the money, sad to say. I don’t own one but I watched my floor guys absolutely abuse a few of them for a couple weeks. I saw one guy pry off a baseboard with the blade; another guy drove a nail in with one. Maybe you could find a used Stryker saw, abandoned by a surgeon somewhere. Other than that, I think the Fein is expensive for a reason. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3115 days

#9 posted 05-12-2011 07:35 PM

Depends on how much work you do with it. If you want to get serious, definitely go with the Fein. I have a friend with the bosch, it seems to be the best corded model other than the Fein, and pretty reasonable price. I have the Ridgid cordless one, and I love it. It doesnt have quite as much power as a corded model, but it works very nicely, and I like that it fits almost any brand of blade. the blades can be expensive, so I like that I can stock up on whatever I see on sale. There was actually a comparison study of these tools in a popular mechanics magazine about 6 months ago, maybe you can find it, but I remember it said that the Ridgid was their favorite cordless model. I already had the tool, but hadnt compared it to others, and I was surprised that the multi-head tool beat the purpose-built tools.

hope that helps a little, bottom line is, decide whether you want corded or cordless, beyond that it is a very subjective choice to balance price with quality, depending on your usage.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4018 days

#10 posted 05-12-2011 07:39 PM

I never even thought about these tools until a few months ago. Recently after the passing of my parents it became obvious that we needed to do some mild remodeling in order to get the house ready for sale. I used it when removing a partition (cutting nails), cutting in dry-wall, pulling up old laminate tile in the kitchen trimming base boards, etc…. the list goes on. I personally would go after the Fein again in a heart beat!

P.S. the dust pick-up with the sanding is quite good too!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View MrWoodworker's profile


65 posts in 2621 days

#11 posted 05-12-2011 08:30 PM

The Bosch is in a pretty good spot for price vs. value.


View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#12 posted 05-12-2011 08:45 PM

I have the Dremel. It does what I’ve needed, but not always well. It get hot after a short amount of time on its highest speed. I don’t care for the alien bolt blade connection, but it’s not terrible. The saw blades are not very durable and will tear up pretty quickly.

The Fein is said to be a real horse, but whether it’s worth that much money is subject to debate. I suspect it’s worth it, much the same way a Festool is worth it.

But I’d probably, today, opt for the cordless Ridgid. There is a certain convenience factor with these tools because they are so versatile. I get tired of running extension cords when I need to use this. For me, I typically use for it jobs that take only a second or two…a cut here…a cut there. I really wouldn’t need a long battery life for such a tool, unless I’m doing a lot of intricate sanding work, removing a lot of grout, or scraping up a lot of glue.

I suppose the best of all worlds is the cordless Fein…but it’d be a tough justification for me IF the Ridgid (or Bosch) is as good as I’ve heard.

-- jay,

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3689 days

#13 posted 05-12-2011 09:00 PM

I have the Rockwell, and the complaints others have voiced about the screw coming loose on the tool attachment are dead on. I have found that to be the case when I am cutting harder/denser metals, so I just keep the hex wrench handy and take a break every few minutes … hasn’t prevented me from getting anything done, and is not (IMHO) a safety hazard.

Other than that, I am quite happy with it (I have the corded model). The kit I bought had a number of blades and attachments.

There is no question that the Fein is the cream of the crop … just depends on what you can afford and how much work you intend to do with it.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View mrg's profile


827 posts in 3026 days

#14 posted 05-14-2011 02:16 AM

I have the Dremel corded multimax, it works fine for what I have used it for. The Fein is a sweet tool but I couldn’t justify spending that type of money for a tool I use once in a while. The Dremel I have used for many things around the house and have had no issues. Great as a flush saw, removing grout, sanding.

-- mrg

View Clarence's profile


125 posts in 3133 days

#15 posted 05-14-2011 06:11 AM

Based on the Wood Magazine shop test and review (March 2011) I bought the corded Craftsman, which was rated as “Best Value” (cheapest).

I got it to grind out tile grout in my bathroom floor. Maybe I missed something in the instructions, but I wound up removing the grout with a tapered punch and a hammer.

The tool has a good feel and sound. It just doesn’t cut grout. I haven’t tried any of the other attachments yet, but I suspect the sanding feature will be nice.

-- Getting old is a good thing, but being old kinda stinks.

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