Save yourself money on DIY equipment with these adaptable multi-tools from only £30
If you’ve got a shed or garage overflowing with gadgets but can never find the right one for the job at hand, the best multi-tool could be just what you’re looking for. These versatile devices can save both space and money, handling a wide variety of DIY jobs in one unit.
Generally, those jobs include anything that can be achieved by vibrating something back and forth – we’ve yet to see a multi-tool that incorporates drilling or screwdriving into its repertoire, so we’re talking cutting, sanding, scraping, grinding and trimming.
Any time something needs removing from something else, reach for your multi-tool. Once you’ve bought one of these, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Before you rush off and buy one, however, take a read through our guide to choosing the best multi-tool for you and our selection of reviews to find a device that perfectly matches your needs and budget.
How to choose the best multi-tool for you
There are two main things to consider when choosing a multi-tool: do you want a corded or cordless device, and what sort of attachments does it come with? Before we tackle those two questions, however, let’s just run through what you can expect from a multi-tool.
The body of the multi-tool is just a motor (and battery, if cordless) that oscillates an attachment point back and forth rapidly. Whatever you attach to this point will also wiggle (technical term), becoming a sander if you click a shoe and paper to it, or a saw if you attach a blade.
One of the benefits of the multi-tool is that it’s a more surgical cutter than many other solutions. Because of the way the blade vibrates back and forth you can cut directly into things such as decking, whereas a longer saw would have to be applied at the edge of the deck. The ability to rotate the blade and place it exactly where you need it means you can cut a protruding pipe off flush with the wall, instead of leaving a little bit sticking out because the bulk of a saw got in the way.
Multi-tools oscillate their heads. Those that move through three degrees or more can cut more quickly, but those with lesser movement generally give a higher-quality finish.
Then there’s the eternal debate between corded and cordless tools. If you’re already invested in a cordless tool system with batteries and chargers ready to go, or you know you’ll be using it in places too distant from power sockets to run extension leads, then a cordless model makes sense. For occasional use within a few metres of a power socket, a corded model will be the better choice, as you can grab it and work without needing to charge the batteries beforehand.
Finally, there’s the variety of attachments available. Commonly you’ll get round and flat cutting blades, grinding discs, triangular sanding shoes, scraping blades and little attachments for getting the grout out from between tiles. However, there are many differently shaped attachments out there, and they can be put to all manner of different tasks.
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The best multi-tools to buy in 2024
1. Bosch PMF 220 CE: The best corded multi-tool
Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon
An excellent choice for a versatile corded model, the Bosch PMF 220 comes with a sanding head and paper inserts, plus straight and circular blades. You get a depth gauge to control the extent of your cuts and a plastic case, but note that the side handle – very useful for heavier jobs – is sold separately. A couple of bundles, with extra blades and a small dust extractor, are also available.
The tool holder is magnetic with a universal screw system, and Bosch claims you can switch attachments in three seconds. Note, however, that Bosch has moved to a proprietary “Starlock” fitting that means universal blades can’t be used.
The 220W motor and 20,000rpm maximum speed make short work of most cutting jobs, and the four-position depth gauge is useful for controlling your cuts and making sure you don’t burst out the other side (unless you want to!).
Key specs – Dimensions: 38.6 x 28.8 x 11.1cm; Weight: 1.1kg; Cordless: No; Power: 220W; Top speed: 20,000rpm; Angle: 1.4°
2. Silverline Tools 430787 DIY Multi Tool: The best-value multi-tool
Price: £33 | Buy now from Amazon
It may require an old-fashioned hex key to change its blades, but this Silverline multi-tool is a bargain.
Mains-powered, the 300W motor with maximum oscillation rate of 23,000rpm should slice through anything you need it to. The speed is applied via a six-stage selector that allows you to build up the power for cutting then rein it back if debris starts flying.
While there’s a soft-grip finish to the tool’s body, there’s no attachable side handle for extra control, and vibration can be a problem.
Included in the box you get a flat blade, curved blade, sanding shoe and paper inserts, plus the hex key required to swap them. Such is the low price of this model that a pack of additional blades – curved and toothed – costs almost as much as the multi-tool itself.
Key specs – Dimensions: 28.5 x 6 x 9cm; Weight: 1.45kg; Cordless: No; Power: 300W; Top speed: 23,000rpm; Angle: 3°
3. Teeno 20VMAX Cordless Oscillating Tool Multi-Tool Kit: The best cordless multi-tool
Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon
A rare cordless multi-tool that comes as a complete set rather than leaving out something important, such as the battery charger or spare blades. Teeno may not be a household name, but on the strength of this showing, it should be.
Inside the red-and-black case you find the tool itself, a single 20V battery, and a fast charger capable of filling it with juice within an hour. Three saw blades, a scraper and a sanding shoe with ten inserts are also provided, meaning you can unpack it and get straight to work without waiting for parts to arrive.
Blades are changed using a quick-release lever on the top of the unit, which also incorporates an LED work light to make it easier to see what you’re doing. The only thing it’s missing is a side handle to assist in gripping the tool.
Key specs – Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 10cm; Weight: 2.78kg; Cordless: Yes; Power: 20V; Top speed: 15,000rpm; Angle: Not specified
4. DeWalt DWE315KT 300W Oscillating Multi-Tool: The best multi-tool for accessories
Price: £142 | Buy now from Amazon
DeWalt tools are always aimed at the pros, and this is no exception. With 300W of power behind it, this corded model is larger than most, and though it lacks the side handle that makes these tools so much easier to manage, it comes with a remarkable 37-piece accessory set.
In the black-and-yellow case you’ll find a blade for cutting wood with nails in it, a grout removal blade, a sanding head with 25 inserts, semi-circular and straight wood blades, a scraper, depth gauge, dust-extraction adapter and two hex keys. There’s a powerful work light to illuminate the surface you’re cutting or sanding, and a universal adapter to attach extra blades with.
If you’re buying a multi-tool that you expect to use regularly and want to be sure you don’t miss anything, then this is the one to look at.
Key specs – Dimensions: 44 x 33 x 15.4cm; Weight: 2.0kg; Cordless: No; Power: 300W; Top speed: 22,000rpm; Angle: 1.6°