"Multitool", good?

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

"Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:17 am

Hi there,

Anyone here ever hear of this relatively new tool, call simply the "Multitool"?

It is basically a tool that accepts special 'blade' attachments like various saw blades
and sanding triangles. The big difference between this tool and others is that this
tools blade vibrates back and forth, left to right (and right to left) so the saw teeth
are actually running west to east as you hold the tool like an angle grinder, when
most cutting tools either rotate around in a complete circle or else back and forth
north to south (and south to north) as a hand saw would operate as you push it
forward and pull it back and repeat to make a cut.
They make about 5 or more different kinds of blades for it which allow it to do
different things, such as a flush cut even though the tool does not go flush with
a given surface because the blade is bent in such a way as to allow the tool to be
actually offset from the blade. It's hard to describe, but an example would be
where you want to cut something on a wall of a room at the very bottom (or top)
of the room and you want a cut close to perpendicular to the wall and parallel
to the floor (or ceiling). The blade comes out flush with the floor while the
tool body is higher than that, but it allows this kind of cut.
Other blades are roundish (half round actually) and have saw teeth on them.
They are used basically the same way.

I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with one of these tools
and might be able to comment. I saw the tool first on one of those infomercials,
and i almost never watch them but this one caught my eye because the
tool was so different.

It runs on 120vac but they might make cordless models too.

Anyone try one of these yet?

Thanks...
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

User avatar
haklesup
Posts: 3046
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: San Jose CA
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by haklesup » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:39 pm

I've not actually used one but intend to get one someday or when I actually have a specific need. This technology is adapted from the saw used to cut plaster casts off a person. The blade only moves a small distance and thus does not cut flexible materials like skin readily. It is a mature technology but just a little unfamiliar to casual users since it replicates capabilities of other more common tools. I'm sure a career carpenter could make great use of one.

I put it in the same category as the roto tool (which I do own). Looks really cool and does work as advertized but since several common and less expensive hand and power tools can make the same cuts, mine doesn't get used very much.

Robert Reed
Posts: 2276
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: ASHTABULA,OHIO
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Robert Reed » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:47 pm

The first encounter I had with this tool was 2 months ago when my wife had a fiberglass cast removed from her ankle. We were both horrified when the paramedical fired this thing up and started to work. But she calmed our anxieties when she laid the spinning blade on her own arm without a hint of damage. Then proceeded to cut off the cast like a hot knife thru butter. Amazing tool!

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:44 am

Hi again,


hackle:
I guess i am hoping the tool gets into corners unlike the other tools like circular saw, jigsaw, etc.,
because of its unique bent blade which allows flush cuts on say a wall right down to the floor.
Should be interesting i think.

Robert:
Oh ok, so you have seen one in use already. I havent actually seen one being used except on
TV where it did look very promising. The blade you saw was spinning though or just vibrating
back and forth?
Yes it does look like an amazing tool so i hope it works as well as i hope it will.
I intend to try it out on PC board material, for making longer than usual cuts through
8 inch long material eventually.
Interesting, they also have triangle shaped sanding pads for them...but i dont know if
they will last that long or not before they need changing...because they are relatively
small.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

Dean Huster
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Harviell, MO (Poplar Bluff area)
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Dean Huster » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:11 pm

As a saw, they'll be OK for hard-to-reach corners and such, but for longer cuts such as sawing flooring flush to a wall, a RotoZip is better. However, RotoZip has a problem with their right-angle adaptor. It does a 2:1 speed reduction (giving a 1:2 increase in torque, but it vibrates too much to be useful for cutting tile. And even at 5.5 amps, the RotoZip doesn't seem to have enough power to operate the right-angle adaptor/saw combo without overheating. I've gone through one RotoZip when it's commutator threw a segment. My son-in-law had one literally melt in his hands. My second one (what was I thinking?) has overheated cutting tile (virtually only the load of the right-angle adaptor) and has begun melting through the wall of the handle, which is what my SIL's did -- I suspect that's where the triacs are mounted as his was variable-speed as is my second purchase. My first was a single-speed unit. I think Bosch screwed up somewhere.

Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:58 am

Hi Dean,


That's interesting what you say about the right angle attachment. I havent tried that one yet, but
i did get a right angle attachment for the standard Dremel tool, and i noticed it makes a bit of
racket when running even at 1/2 of full speed and the Dremel tool heats up rather quickly too. It
appears that the right angle thing is a load in itself too, which steals power from the Dremel and
makes it heat up much easier.
The problem i think is in the way the angle tool is geared, with the gears being designed for such
high speed (30,000 rpm) when most tools only have to run less than 4,000 rpm. There's quite
a bit of backlash in the gears too, which makes me wonder.
Luckily it works long enough to get some things done before it starts to get too hot to hold
anymore.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

User avatar
Bob Scott
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Bob Scott » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:58 am

Dean Huster wrote:As a saw, they'll be OK for hard-to-reach corners and such, but for longer cuts such as sawing flooring flush to a wall, a RotoZip is better.
Hi Dean.
How does a rotary tool cut flush to a wall? Is there another attachment? I'd think the bit diameter would prevent getting flush to the wall?
Dean Huster wrote:I think Bosch screwed up somewhere.
How many brands of oscillating tools are there? One on TV is a Feine.

I just found Dremel's web site. They have an oscillating tool also. Man, visit http://Dremel.com and see all the attachment for all the Dremel tools! There's way more available now than there used to be.

BTW, Dremel advertises the right angle attachment as running cool. (?) :shock:

I find the development of new tools fascinating too. It takes a genius to invent the obvious.
I miss the monkey wrench. They're perfect for drain traps.
-=VA7KOR=- My solar system includes Pluto.

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:00 pm

Hi Bob,


I cant answer for Dean, but i cant see a RotoZip getting into
corners very well either, and that's part of the reason this
newish tool sounded so interesting.

Yes Dremel makes one too, but unfortunately i wont be getting
that one. I'll have to visit the site anyway though as you say
there are many more attachments then there used to be. I saw a
'saw' cutter that looked cool, but it was over 30 bucks at
Home Depot.

Interesting that they say the right angle attachment runs cool,
because mine not only puts an obvious load on the Dremel tool
itself but also heats up a bit itself.

Yes some of the new tools are cool these days.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

Dean Huster
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Harviell, MO (Poplar Bluff area)
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Dean Huster » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:14 pm

Bob, check out the site below. There's the XSHIELD that attaches to the right-angle adaptor. You can use several different flat blades (dry diamond tile blade, metal cutting blade, etc.) and the X blade that is a dished shape so that the head of the attaching bolt is inside the kerf line. With the safety cover removed from the XSHIELD, the saw will cut up to 3/4" deep and flush to a wall or floor, handy in my business where one wants to lop off the bottom of door casing in place so that a ceramic tile floor can be installed. I've also used it to get rid of old subfloor at the edge of a wall so that new plywood or OSB with a differing thickness from the old floor wouldn't be an issue.

I've never had trouble with the RotoZip and angle adaptor when cutting even 3/4" wood; but ceramic tile with the dry diamond blade with virtually no pressure kills it! I think the variable speed is the culprit. If I buy a third one (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; I hope third time's a charm), it'll be a single speed model to get the triacs out of the picture.

Dean

www.rotozip.com
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

User avatar
CeaSaR
Posts: 1760
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Phoenixville, PA USA
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:36 pm

Quotes:

"running cool" and "runs cool"

It's all in the punctuation (most of which is lost in today's society).
'Running cool' is way different than 'running, cool', and 'runs cool' is nowhere near 'runs, cool!'
Perhaps the grammar police were absent when the copy went to press, as it were.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

User avatar
Bob Scott
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Bob Scott » Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:57 pm

Dean Huster wrote:With the safety cover removed from the XSHIELD, the saw will cut up to 3/4" deep
Thanks. I see. Use XWheels with the safety off. I think I'd make myself a pair of metal gauntlets.
Every time I work on a car I get cuts on my hands. :grin:
-=VA7KOR=- My solar system includes Pluto.

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:15 am

Hi again,


That sounds interesting too.
I used a RotoTool one time and i noticed it had a lot of power behind that relatively
small body size. I was routing out some wood to make room for a door latch, and
it had to be fairly deep...about 1.5 inches into the wood 2x4 behind the door jam.
That tool pretty much made it a breeze using one of those side cutting drill
bits (probably HSS but dont remember now).
Cant say the same for the standard Dremel, which would have taken much longer
to do the same thing and would have heated up a little at that.
'Course the Dremel is good for smaller things where you dont want to overpower
the work or the tool.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

User avatar
Bob Scott
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Bob Scott » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:29 pm

MrAl wrote:'Course the Dremel is good for smaller things where you dont want to overpower
the work or the tool.
I found my Dremel handy last week for making 3 inch round holes in a stainless steel Ikea mixing bowls. Those cutoff/grinding wheels are handy for hard materials. I wore out 1 per hole.

I'm going to mount 8" speakers in the Ikea bowls and run a 3" air mass pipe up to 5 feet. The mass of the air will tune the speaker Q upwards to 1.0, and lower the speaker resonance to about 10 Hz, according to my calculations... keeping my fingers crossed.)
-=VA7KOR=- My solar system includes Pluto.

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by MrAl » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:39 pm

Hi Bob,


The speaker project sounds interesting, maybe you can tell us more too once you get it going.

About the wear of the cutoff disks...
You might want to look into the fiber reinforced disks they sell too, in two different sizes.
The smaller size is about 1 inch in diameter while the larger size is about 1.5 inches in diameter,
both for use with the Dremel. This disks wear out much more slowly than the small brown
stone composite disks they sell, with a slightly wider cut. They are worth picking up.
If that's not good enough, they also make diamond coated cutoff disks now too, which are
great for cutting through ceramic or ferrite. I've used this to cut through ferrite magnetic
cores...goes through that material like butter. Well worth having. Harbor Freight sells them
cheaper than Dremel too.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

Dean Huster
Posts: 1263
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Harviell, MO (Poplar Bluff area)
Contact:

Re: "Multitool", good?

Post by Dean Huster » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:49 pm

The only time the safety cover is off when I use the XWHEELs is when I'm doing flush cutting (and then the wall or floor is effectively a shield!) and keep the cover in place most other times. Regardless, I always wear safety glasses when using stuff like this.

I used the little cutoff wheels with my "Dremel" to knock the nails off the oak trim for all the door facings for a 5000-sq. ft. 2-story house.

Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

R.I.P.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 39 guests