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Re: [Shop-talk] Floor scraper -> oscillating cutter

To: Dave Cavanaugh <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Floor scraper -> oscillating cutter
From: Brian Kemp <>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 20:21:41 -0800
Cc: "" <>
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I'm on my second HF oscillating cutter, but got my money's worth out of 
the first one.  For under $20, you can't go wrong.

Buy some spare blades as they don't last long.  I like the half circle 
blades for cutting along a line where you need a cut flush with an edge 
or can't fit another saw.  I have not had good luck with the HF metal 
cutting blades and the regular blades don't like hitting a nail, so if 
doing careful demo, you may go through several.

These are more of a precision tool where something else doesn't fit.  
Good uses:

- Notching a stud for an electrical box over a vanity where other studs 
were close for a circular saw.

- Removing the roof sheeting in the attic to access another portion of 
the attic.  I have a regular rectangular attic then a second area where 
there is a bedroom off to the side.  They framed and sheeted the area 
and I didn't have access to the space over the bedroom. I'm in Southern 
CA, so we have low roofs.  Half the cutting was lying on my belly with 
my arms almost fully extended cutting along the rafters to open the 
space so I could run electrical and plumbing for my bathroom renovations.

- Removing painted trim that needed to be reused after the project. This 
used a scraper blade to split the crown molding from the painted cabinet.

- Separating a door frame from the exterior stucco molding so I could 
replace the door.  I didn't want to damage the stucco or custom trim 
inset in the stucco when removing the old door so used the plunge 
cutting blade as both a cutter and a scraper sliding it along the trim 
till I hit a nail, then pulling it back and cutting the nail.  All the 
teeth were gone from the blade, but I got the door out without breaking 

- Cutting floor tile that run under the threshold of the above door 
project.  For some reason, a previous owner tiled the floor to the 
exterior of the door opening, installed the threshold, then cut down the 
door to fit.  I used my angle grinder to cut most of the tile and a 
small diamond blade in the HF cutter to finish the ends to properly 
install the door without modification.

- Removing rotten subfloor in corners where the circular saw didn't fit.

- Using a diamond blade to cut grout so I could carefully remove tile 
for a new window without disturbing the tile that remained.

- Cutting a studs to frame for a new recessed medicine cabinet opening.  
I cut as much as I could with the circular saw then finished the cut 
with a plunge blade.  The other side of the wall is plaster and my 
daughter's bedroom, so a sawzall was out of the question.

- Cutting studs for a new electrical panel - no room for a bigger saw 
and didn't want to damage the plaster walls.

- Notching 1/2" out of the side of a floor joist to fit a new bathtub 

- Cutting back a window jam extension without removing the window during 
a bathroom remodel.  The new wall is thinner than the old wall and this 
is at least the third window in that opening and was installed inside 
the casing of an earlier window.

They are loud tools, so I recommend hearing protection.


On 11/3/2015 7:17 PM, Dave Cavanaugh wrote:
> I'll third the motion.  Everyone needs an oscillating multi tool and 
> the one from HF seems to work pretty well.  I use mine a lot more than 
> I expected; the sander is especially good for getting in corners.
> As for the tile, everyone else has pretty much covered it.
> On 11/3/2015 2:15 PM, Scott Hall wrote:
>> you're saying I need a new tool...
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