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There was a recent post about the usefulness of a multi tool which got me to thinking about how people use theirs. When I first bought mine I really didn't have a use for it and it took me some time to remember that I had one. Instead of reaching for it I would automatically go to what ever tool I had used in the past. More often than not the multi tool would have made the job easier. So is there one thing just one that you have really found the tool excellent at doing or has saved your butt? For me it was standing on an extension ladder trying to cut off 2x6's that were uneven and some of them 1/2" to long. The 2x6 (s) had been sistered on to existing roof rafters but they weren't all lined up so the fascia board couldn't be put back on. A jig saw would have been quicker however because of the size of the saw base it couldn't fit under the roof. The multi tool was the perfect tool to get the job done.
 

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Art, it is interesting that you have brought-up this topic and asked this question. I recently purchased a Multi Tool from Harbor Freight - it was recommended by a friend here on the Router Forums. I often have numerous projects on-going and my most pressing home project is a set of cabinets - directly above a work desk that I recently completed. My wife and I attended a birthday party for one of our grandsons and it was just a few doors from the pizza restaurant to the Harbor Freight. Knowing there was no immediate need for my full-time attention, I walked to the HF and made several purchases. They were having a "Black Friday Sale" and their already low prices were discounted an additional 20%. I also purchased a good selection of blades for this tool.

First thing I did (before using the tool) was to read the included instructions, safety precautions and (believe it or not) parts list & diagram. Later that day, I gave it a few tries on real work. I was amazed at how well it worked! Throughout this project I have found numerous applications for it and it has performed very well on all of those chores. I am building this set of cabinets in an unusual style - since it is utilitarian rather than elegant. The fronts will be two lengths of plywood (to become 14'-3" long) with no openings initially. Said plywood will be attached to a framework on all four sides of each future rectangular opening. The door openings will be cut into the plywood utilizing pattern-cutting bits with guide bearings - following the framework in which the plywood was affixed.

Did I mention that this set of cabinets isn't sitting on the floor? ..or.. Did I mention that it's not attached to the wall behind it? It is rather hanging from the floor joists above. It is for this reason that the "decking" has cutouts for the vertical hanging members (which will not show when complete). Those "cutouts in the decking" have proven to be something that is very easily cut with the Multi Tool.

I hope this proves helpful, Art!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) (excerpt)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.


The poem might sound a bit extreme but I'm thinking she had the Fein Multimaster in mind/hand when she wrote this...

...cutting out a window/door frames, door sills, window sills, sheetrock nails behind studs, small cuts, long straight cuts, frozen/rusted nuts n bolts n screws n etc..., exhaust brackets, cutouts for hinges, removing grout/linoleum/double stick tiles, etc..., small cuts in ceramic or porcelain tiles, plunge cuts, intricate cuts, angle cuts in place, trimming installed molding, copper, plastic, PVC, aluminum, brass, sanding, gutters, downspouts, brake lines, battery cable terminal ends, sheetrock, plywood, OMG...the list goes on and on... And I won't even attempt to add the use I've put on it for my boat, around the docks and fingers, general automotive, garage...

Keep the blades cool and they will last a long time...I've been using the Fein blades but I understand the Bosch blades might be better (and cheaper)...

When this one dies I will buy another Fein...
 

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I did a deck tear out and replace in 09, the rear of the house had so many inside and outside corners from porch addy to confusing modular bump outs and ell it would have been a laugh if I hadn't been the one working on it. The house was also built in the early 80s when T1-11 was a popular, (don't know why) plywood/sheathing replacement money saving option. The majority of the T1-11 was rotted away where the framer had attached the deck directly to it so it had to be removed. Because the work area was so close to the ground I went and bought a Saw Boss to accompany my PC 4 1/2" trim saw. We must have removed 50 feet of T1-11, the 2 saws helped big time keeping the chalk line in sight when it came to switching directions and or resting our arms. But, without the multi tool removing the inside corners would have been overly time consuming and nearly impossible without some amount of damage.

I originally bought the multi when I went through a spate of floor replacements in late 07. For me the craziest use was making a kerf cut along a counter backsplash so I could slip formica in.
 

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taking my cast off was the crowning for mine...
 

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So now it`s Dr. Stick.

I couldn`t list one use. Instead of having to take door trim off to install newer, thicker flooring just turning a piece of the flooring upside down and laying the saw on it and trimming the trim to fit in place. Also not wanting to take the base boards off so just trimming the bottom of the baseboards off so the flooring would slide under.
Cutting outlet holes in paneling. A drill and keyhole saw works but this is so much faster and easier.
As mentioned, any job where another powered saw won`t fit and the alternative is a hand saw and a gazillion short strokes or hammer and chisel.

This link is to an ebay seller selling blades for the multi tool and at the bottom of the ad is a tool test from FWW on them that everyone should read that has a multi tool. A lot of blades out there won`t even make one cut so it`s good to know which ones to avoid.
12 Oscillating Multi Function Tool SAW Blades Compatible With Bosch Multi X | eBay
 

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Putting in double french doors where there had been sliding aluminum. Cutting the bottom of the exterior door casing at the bottom to exact fit an oak threshold. Similar to trimming the casing. Tearing up and removing old tile in the sunroom. I forgot I had one and went and bought a second, both from HF. I keep finding little uses, like cutting off screws when disassembling a shop counter. One unsatisfactory use was trying to remove the grout from a tile counter top. Surprisingly useful tool.
 

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I have the HF model. It has performed well. I have used it to cut openings for outlets, trim baseboards for flooring, trim door jam bottoms and a few other things.

But best of all, I used it to cut away the baseboards where new base cabinets were being installed. And what a time saver that was. There is no need to remove the entire piece of molding, cut it and then reinstall. Just make one vertical cut and remove the piece where the cabinet will be installed.

A little dab of caulk and it's a done deal.
 

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I too have one purchased from Harbor Freight and so far it has worked much better than I had expected. I've only used it 2 time so far. Trimmed the bottom off of door molding when putting a laminate floor in. 2nd time was to remove some dividers form a plastic storage box SWMBO purchased. After breaking numerous cut off wheels for my dremel, I used this and it works very well for that as well.
 

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I have a Fein and had to remove a layer of floor when I moved a wall . I got most of it with the skill saw , but where the skill saw couldn't get I used the Fein.

I also had to cut my my 4" sewer drain as I wanted to add a stand up urinal . I cut a piece of 2/4 to the proper height to sit on the floor and act as a guide to to place the blade on as I went around the pipe . Worked perfect and I never would have gotten a perfect cut around the perimeter like that otherwise . Loving the concept of these multi tools
 

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I bought a cheap one at HF, and intended to use it to cut cabinet walls out between 2 corner cabinets to get better access to the dead corner. But first I used it to trim cut an opening for a brand new Elux Micro-Combi Oven in our kitchen. Noisy but great results. Standard cutter won't cut nails though (don't ask how I know that). I will also use it to remove tenons or spigots on my wood turnings while on the lathe so I don't have tear out.
 

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i have a Dremel multi tool that I have found is great for cutting the thin plastic panels like in florescent light fixtures. No worries about cracks and damage to the material.
 

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The multi tool excels at cutting out holes in wood panels for electrical outlet boxes. No tear out, just a nice clean hole. It also makes a great detail sander for small projects.
 

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I think they may have been modeled after surgical bone saws.
 

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I got the Rockwell version a few years ago to flush cut staples off the joists of a mobile home. The rotted floor boards were glued & stapled, this cut right through it all. At the time I thought it was going to be a one-time-use tool, instead it's turned out to be one of my most used tools. Quite often I'll grab this one first, before realizing a circular saw or jig saw would be a better choice.

- Cutting off and shaping trim while it's still attached to the walls, doors, cabinets, exterior, decks, pretty much everywhere. You name a piece of trim and I've probably cut it with this tool.
- Cutting out for a sink after the countertop is installed (because a jigsaw can't cut close enough to the backsplash).
- Plunge cutting holes in plywood, sheetrock and other things for outlets and pretty much every other time I need a hole in sheetrock.
- When I need a precision or surgical type cut, ie cutting only in one small place without affecting the surrounding material or removing the piece to be cut from the scene.

My only complaint is the blades are expensive. I mostly use a wood blade with longer teeth, for a fast cut, but they break off if they even hit a staple.
 

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After posting I realized that on amazon I can probably get knock off blades for a lot less than the $8+ each I'm paying at Lowes. Look at there, I can buy 10 or 20 at a time for $2-3. With the speed at which I burn through blades (cutting into old trim and finding hidden nails) even if they don't last very long it will still be a better deal than buying the Rockwell brand blades.
 

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At the moment I don't own one but having watched a crew of professional carpenters open up and remodel my shop I can certainly attest to the versatility of the device when used correctly. The question, do I need one, probably not. Will I own one some day, most probably yes. Somewhat akin to not having enough routers or clamps.
 

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I bought the Fein a couple weeks ago...lots of great advice from here. I'm in the middle of a home entryway remodel, and it's amazing all the little things I've found it useful for. I'm just getting started exploring all of the possibilities with it.
 

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Curiously, I had the same experience while making a roof repair, real handy for hard to reach places. Not near so handy for cutting openings in plaster and lath, had to go back to the drill, sawzall and jigsaw. Went through a bunch of blades before I remembered how much I had paid for them!
 

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I have the Dremel version, and it has proved useful many times over. Bosch gave away some blade adapters a while back, so I can use anybody's blades without issue.

It has earned it's keep mainly as a home repair tool, taking on tasks that really would have stank without it. A couple of winters ago we had a pipe split in the wall behind the base cabinets in the kitchen. My two choices were to go in through the kitchen, or through the Hardee siding on the outside. I was able to cut an access in the 3/4" back of the base cabinets using the multi tool, and did it at a 5 degree angle. When I put everything back together it was hardly noticeable. While inserting the new pipe, I had to adjust the opening in the sole plate and subfloor to get everything back into proper alignment. The small frame of the saw fit where I probably would have been stuck using a rasp for hours.

It also did an incredible job of getting an old vinyl floor up when I redid my kitchen floors, detail sanding, fitting trim around windows, cleaning glazing compound off of windows....... not bad for a $100 investment
 
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