Oscillating Tool

From CoMakingSpace Wiki

An oscillating tool moves its head back and forth at high speeds by a tiny amount, thereby eliminating much of the kickback you might experience with regular electric saws or sanders. It is therefore especially nice for delicate workpieces and hard-to-reach places.

Fein MSxe 636 II


Fein MSxe 636 II

Fein Multimaster.JPG
Synonyms: oscillator, oscillating multi-tool (OMT);
DE: Oszillierer, Oszillationssäge,
Vibrationssäge, MultiMaster, "Zappler",
Type: Oscillating Tool
Material: wood, metal, plastics
(depending on inserted accessory)
Location: Saw Station
Access Requirements: Oscillating Tool Introduction
Status: Working
Manual: manuals lib
Tutors: Lukas
Similar (More or Less): saws, sanders, rotary tool


An oscillating tool is a very flexible tool which can be used for a broad range of tasks and with a broad range of materials. In order to achieve this flexibility, a variety of attachments exist, which can quickly be attached to the tool. A list of these can be found at the Fein shop.

Depending on the attachment and the use-case, different oscillating frequencies are available. According to the manual, they should be selected following this logic:

  • high oscillation frequency: sanding, sawing, rasping; polishing stone and metal
  • low oscillation frequency: polishing varnishes

Please note that we do NOT have everything available in the tool's box, so you may want to bring the attachment needed for your project:

Sanding Pads

sanding pads


We have several sanding pads (Schleifplatten) that hold compatible triangular sandpaper sheets with a hook-and-loop (Klett) system. Please bring more sanding sheets when you consume some!

Shop Vac Adapter

shop vac adapter


We have an adapter for the shop vac (Staubsaugeradapter), which should be used when sanding! Please note that there are different sanding attachments. Please use the shop vac only with the ones with holes. Otherwise, it will not work.

Malte 3D printed an adapter to use this with our Festool shop vac, here's the design on Thingiverse in case it should break or go missing.

Saw Blades

Saw blades for the oscillating tool come in two basic variants - fixed or exchangeable. The Fein shop only seems to be selling fixed ones, perhaps because they are more stable and will deliver consistent quality?

exchangeable saw attachment

Exchangeable saw attachments are attachments to the oscillating tool in which the saw blade is replaceable. In case the saw breaks or becomes blunt, the saw blade can easily be replaced and therefore not the whole attachment has to be thrown away.

fixed saw attchment

Fixed saw attachments are attachments to the oscillating tool in which the saw blade is fixed and cannot be replaced. In case the saw breaks or becomes blunt, the whole attachment has to be replaced.

As with "normal" saws, there are different teeth profiles or coatings for various materials. Make sure to choose the appropriate one or you won't have fun for long!

Carbide Coated Saw Blades

carbide saw blade


Carbide coated saw blades (Hartmetall-Sägeblätter) are being used when cutting joints between tiles (Fugen). They are useful for removing defective tile ground, but can also be used for cutting into plaster or porous concrete (according to Fein).

Scraper Tools

scraper attachment


Scraper blades can be used "for removal of stubborn paint, adhesive residue, carpet, tile adhesive, and underseal." [1]