A multi tool is probably the most aptly named tool you can buy as it is precisely that; a tool with a multitude of uses.
The general principle is that the machine converts rotary motion into a very rapid oscillating motion and you can get a variety of blades, sanding pads, and scrapers to fit and take on a wide variety of jobs whether it’s sanding, grinding or cutting cutting, the multi tool is only limited by what attachments you have for it.
The perfect tool for sanding
Various shaped sanding pads can be attached quickly and easily with a huge variety of sanding papers that can then be stuck on by means of hook and loop fastening. With a multi tool and a triangular shaped sanding pad (called a “Delta” pad) you can sand right into the tightest corners and flush to the wall with ease.
Ideal for cutting in tight spaces
Cutting is where the multi tool really comes in to its own with an even wider selection of blades ranging from TCT, Diamond for tiles, metal cutting, and some blades are even specialised for plunge cutting. The added benefit of the multitool is its ability to cut completely flush so it is ideal for trimming doors without taking them of their hinges and cutting off pipes. Most manufacturers also offer a cordless version for even more versatility, so its usefulness really can’t be understated.
Scraping made easy
A further benefit of these machines is their scraper function. Scraper blades can be easily fitted and will make light work of removing things like glue, grout between tiles, and even old paintwork. There really isn’t much you can’t do with this tool, providing you have the right blade of course.
What’s the catch?
This all sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? There is a slight catch though, not all blades will fit all machines.
Fein, the pioneers of the tool, have a system called “Starlock” that allows you to simply push the tool onto the blade and it will lock itself in. When you’re finished, you just need to pull a lever and the blade pops off, so it really couldn’t be easier to change blades. The downside is that Starlock blades will not work with some other brands.
Its not as bad as it sounds though as the vast majority of blades are universal and you can get adaptors for the odd few that aren’t. It is advisable that you make sure the blades you want are compatible with your machine before you buy them though.
A multitool is seen as such a key piece of any tradesman’s or DIYers toolkit that all of the big name manufacturers have invested heavily in their version of the multitool. We’ve seen the Starlock blade change system, the introduction of cordless tools, you can also now get smaller 10.8v versions.
The number of tasks that can be accomplished with a multi tool and its relatively low price point have made it an invaluable asset to any tool box either at home or on site. With the proper blade you can sand, grind, cut, and scrape everything from steel to marble and you’ll ask yourself how you ever managed without one.