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Team FIN Test: putting a multi-tool to workTeam FIN Test: putting a multi-tool to work

Team FIN tests an oscillating multi-tool that can pick its own best operating speed.

Katie Honnette 1

March 1, 2016

3 Min Read
<p>Whether you choose the manual speed setting or leave the Hitachi oscillating multi-tool on auto, Team FIN had good luck with the unit&#39;s performance.</p>

Hitachi Power Tools launched a new 18v oscillating multi-tool. Built to cut, scrape, grind, or sand, the cordless tool has a brushless motor and an oscillation speed of up to 20,000 RPM. Team FIN tested the tool on how it performs and rated it on a scale of 1 to 5.

The multi-tool has 2 modes of speed – standard and auto. In standard mode, the operator can change the vibration frequency from 1-5 or 6,000-20,000 RPM by adjusting the variable speed dial. Or the operator can select auto-mode, which allows the tool to determine the appropriate level of vibration needed based on the load. Hitachi claims that auto-mode lowers vibration, reduces noise, and increases the battery run time.

When Team FIN used the auto mode, they were surprised by how well it adjusts to demand. Because the tool is very noisy under load, Team FIN appreciated how auto mode continually adjusts to a slower, quieter mode when the tool doesn’t have to work as hard, which in turn keeps the noise level down. Overall, Team FIN liked the auto feature and found it does save on battery life compared to standard mode where the operator may be tempted to use a faster speed than necessary.

Range of features

To increase safety, the oscillating tool features a soft start. It also offers a tool-free blade change that is designed for quick and easy accessory replacements. Team FIN said the step-by-step method for changing the blade works well. Although the tool only comes with a bi-metal plunge cut saw blade, it has a universal design that accepts the majority of accessories available on the market. While testing, Team FIN used a competitor brand accessory kit with the tool, and the accessories lined up perfectly and worked great.

An LED work light on the front of the tool illuminates the tip of the accessory. Team FIN said the light is bright and makes it easy to see the work surface even in tight, dark spaces. The tool has an ergonomic design. It is well-balanced and comfortable to use. It also has a low-battery indicator light that activates when the battery power runs low. It is sold as tool-body only, but is compatible with Hitachi 18v slide-type lithium ion batteries. So, a downside of this tool is the added expense of purchasing batteries and a charger separately.

The tool vibrates quite a bit and is noisy under load, but that is to be expected for an oscillating tool. Team FIN found the tool handy for close detail work, precision applications, and working in tight spots. For small wood cuts where a reciprocating saw is too big and clumsy, the oscillating tool is a great alternative. It’s also nice for sanding small items and in tight spots. There are many different accessories available for oscillating tools on the market, which make this tool a handy addition to a farm shop.

Rated: 4.8 out of 5

The Hitachi oscillating multi-tool (CV18DBLP4) is sold as a tool-body only at $199.97, and is compatible with any Hitachi 18v slide-type battery and charger system. For more about Hitachi Power Tools, visit hitachipowertools.com.

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