Oscillating tools are the multi-tool of saws, capable of performing diverse tasks ranging from cutting and grinding to scraping and sanding. But an oscillating tool will only perform these functions well when fitted with the proper blade. Oscillating tool blades come in various shapes and sizes, from fine-tooth straight models that make precision plunge cuts to large circular blades for long straight cuts. More specific types include blades with carbide teeth that can cut through hard metal, Japanese blades for executing smooth cuts through wood, and even diamond-coated blades for grinding through tile grout.
With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to determine what saw blade is suitable for the job. This guide will plunge deep into the crucial features to consider when shopping for the best oscillating tool blades and review some of the top products on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Vtopmart 20 Metal Wood Oscillating Multitool Blades
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Adust 50 Wood Oscillating Multi Tools Saw Blades
- BEST FOR CUTTING: Pecham 24PCS Universal Wood Metal Oscillating
- BEST FOR GROUT REMOVAL: DEWALT Oscillating Tool Blade for Grout Removal
- BEST QUICK-RELEASE: HERKKA 23 Metal Wood Oscillating Quick Release Blades
- BEST BLADE KIT: Powerextra 15Pcs Oscillating Multitool Saw Blades
Understanding a blade’s shape and consistency is crucial to getting the most out of an oscillating tool blade. Ahead, learn about these and other characteristics of oscillating tool blades.
Their small size makes oscillating tool blades ideal for cutting in places where circular saws, jigsaws, and other conventional saws are too big to do the job.
Oscillating blades can cut different types of material, including metal, plastic, wood, masonry, and drywall. Universal blades can cut plastic, wood, or soft metals. Blades designed specifically for metal are capable of cutting through harder metals, while Japanese-style saw blades are adept at making smooth cuts through wood. Some blades feature scraper edges ideal for removing caulk or for pulling up old wallpaper or linoleum. Special diamond-coated blades are suitable for grinding through mortar and cement.
To avoid confusion, most manufacturers print what materials the blade can cut through on the sides of the blade.
Their ability to cut through various materials and make plunge cuts make oscillating tool blades ideal for small jobs, such as cutting openings out of drywall, trimming baseboards, cutting pipes, grinding out old grout, and lopping off nail heads.
Oscillating saw blades come in different types of metal, including high carbon, carbide, and bi-metal. High-carbon steel has a higher carbon content, which makes the steel harder and stronger. A high-carbon blade is sharper and will hold its edge longer.
Carbide is a steel alloy that includes tungsten, which makes it much harder than other steel alloys, giving it a longer life and faster cutting speed.
Bi-metal blades consist of two different types of steel: conventional steel, which comprises the body of the saw blade, and high-speed steel (used for the teeth), which holds its hardness even at high temperatures. As with a carbide blade, a bi-metal blade cuts more quickly and is more durable than other steel alloys. Keep in mind that bi-metal blades and carbide steel blades typically cost more.
Blades designed for wood have a Japanese saw-blade style, which features blade teeth that cut in both directions. Speciality blades with diamond coatings are suitable for grinding through brick, cement, and even glass.
Some blades feature a black electrophoretic finish, which improves the blade’s wear while protecting it from corrosion.
Cutting blades come in three different types: plunge cut blades, segment saw blades, and scraper blades.
- Plunge-cut blades have a square shape with a flat edge and come in various lengths. The two flat sides typically have measuring strips, which serve as handy guides for determining the depth of the cut. These measuring strips, coupled with the blade’s shape, allow it to make more precise plunge cuts than a segment saw blade.
- Segment saw blades are circular, which allows them to make plunge cuts and long straight cuts. This circular profile is handy when making cuts in the middle of the material, such as cutting a rectangle out of a piece of drywall for a light switch or electrical outlet or when making longer cuts.
- Scraper blades simulate the look of a manual scraper with a broad, smooth edge that will slide under linoleum or into corners to remove caulk.
Some tools have added features designed to improve usability or extend the life of the blade. Most straight-edge blades feature metric and imperial measurements on the sides, making it easier to gauge the depth of a cut.
Since oscillating saw blades tend to wear out quickly, most blades have a quick-release system. This allows the operator to quickly change blades on the fly, which can be particularly useful for applications such as grinding out grout or cutting metal, which can wear an edge out in less than an hour.
Oscillating blades attach to the oscillating tool via a C-shaped piece located on the inside of the blade. Grooves cut into the piece are designed to fit most oscillating tools, including Milwaukee, Dremel, Ryobi, DeWalt, Chicago, Hitachi, Ridgid, Bosch, and Craftsman, all of which have universal mounting bracket patterns.
That said, not all oscillating tools will work with all blades. Some brands, including Bosch and Fein, use Starlock blades, which use a special star-shape to fit the blade to the tool. Starlock fittings create a tighter connection, allowing for better power transfer between the blade and the tool. The Starlock system also doesn’t require a hex key, making blade changes much faster. Only certain blades are compatible with Starlock oscillating tools.
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The oscillating blades below take into account the above considerations to cut the field to some of the best models by discipline.
Oscillating blade tools face harsher conditions than most manual saws. This is largely due to the amount of friction the oscillating motion of the power tool creates, which can quickly wear down lesser blades. These blades are thicker than most saw blades and consist of high-carbon steel, making them harder. This translates into blades that will hold their edge longer than typical oscillating saw blades.
This 20-piece kit is also versatile, with six different kinds of saw blades for cutting metal, wood, and plastic. Long, wavy teeth on each blade allow them to cut faster and smoother. Each blade has inch measurements on one side and centimeter measurements on the other, allowing for precision cuts. These blades are also compatible with most brands of oscillating tools, including Ryobi, Fein MultiMaster, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Craftsman, and Black & Decker.
Those who use oscillating tools on a regular basis can go through a lot of blades. This set of 50 keeps the cost of new blades down with its bargain per-piece price. This set includes a variety of blades for cutting metal, plastic, and soft metal. Each blade has metric measurements on one side and imperial measurements on the other, allowing for precision cuts.
Its universal mounting design fits most oscillating tools, including DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Dremel, and Ryobi. Keep in mind, however, that these blades won’t work with Fein Starlock, Bosch MX30, Fein Supercut, and certain Dremel models. Each blade features a beveled-tooth design, which makes them ideal for cutting through wood but also capable of chewing through other materials, including soft metals and plastic.
With its variety of blade types and a design that makes each of these able to cut through wood or metal, this 24-piece set from Pecham will cover most cutting tasks performed with an oscillating tool. This set comes with an impressive variety of blade types, including
standard-tooth, Japanese-tooth, and precision-tooth saw blades, each of which is designed specifically for cutting wood, plastics, or metal. Each blade is made of high-carbon and stainless steel, ensuring they’ll hold their edge longer than other blades. They also feature an electrophoretic black finish, which gives them an extra layer of defense against corrosion.
Built-in measurement markers on each side of the blade for inches and centimeters speed up the cutting process by eliminating the need to take measurements with another tool. This set is compatible with most oscillating tool brands.
Removing grout is a laborious process that can quickly wear out some of the best grinding blades. With its carbide construction, this blade is significantly harder than other steel alloy blades that can burn up more quickly. This allows it to cut more easily through grout. Although this blade is significantly more expensive than other oscillating tool blades, it will hold its edge longer, eliminating the need to repeatedly change out worn blades.
This model features an innovative wave shape that chews through grit up to twice as fast as other blades while also creating wider cuts, eliminating the need to make multiple passes with the blade. And, even though this is a DeWalt blade, it’s compatible with most major brands of oscillating tools.
Even the best oscillating saw blades will burn out fairly quickly, especially when doing a large job like grinding out all the grout in a bathroom or cutting through metal pipe. With that in mind, being able to quickly swap out blades is crucial to keeping the job moving forward. These blades from HERRKA pop quickly out of an oscillating tool, making changing blades on the fly easy.
They’re also compatible with a wide range of popular brands, including Ryobi, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Hitachi. This set includes seven different types of saw blades, including three circular blades for cutting through plastic, metal, and wood. The blades’ purpose is clearly labeled on the side, eliminating confusion. Each blade has metric and imperial measurements for quick reference.
Although this may not be the biggest set of oscillating blades on the market, its 15 pieces include a diverse collection that makes it ideal for a tool that can perform a variety of cutting tasks. This kit includes five kinds of blades that range in size, shape, and teeth type.
Three 3½-inch blades are suitable for cutting larger pieces of wood, soft metal, or plastic. Three bi-metal blades can handle denser woods and harder metals, while three general-purpose blades offer a narrower 2⅝-inch profile for cutting in smaller spaces. This set can also perform smooth precision cuts with its three long-tooth, Japanese-style blades or quickly make longer cuts with its three circular blades. Depth markers on the blade allow for precise cuts, while labels take the guesswork out of selecting the right blade for the job.
If you’re wondering about what oscillating tool blades can cut or how long they last, read on for answers to these and other commonly asked questions about these tools.
Q. Are oscillating tool blades universal?
Most oscillating tool blades are universal, allowing them to fit most oscillating tool brands. Newer Starlock oscillating tools are the exception. Blades that fit this type of oscillating tool must be Starlock compatible.
Q. Can an oscillating tool cut nails?
Oscillating tools can easily cut through nails and screws when fitted with a metal cutting blade.
Q. How long can a typical oscillating blade last?
This can vary, depending on what the oscillating blade is cutting. Cutting through metal or drywall will wear out a blade much faster than cutting through wood. Running the oscillating tool at a higher speed will also heat the blade to a higher temperature and cause it to wear out more quickly. With that in mind, for lighter-duty use, a blade may last for an entire day. For heavy-duty applications, a blade may wear out in less than 1 hour.