My Oscillating Saw

What Did We Do Before These?

When I'm buying a tool I research the heck out of it before plopping down my shekels.  But, until recently I really didn't invest much time researching how to use the tool, I guess subconsciously I probably thought tools were intuitive.  Ha ha ha ha - I crack me up.  I wish I had looked up some how-to videos or even articles about using an oscillating saw- it would have saved me some time and may have even helped me avoid some mistakes.  Anyway - better late than never!  So, like the kids say - let me drop some knowledge on you with a scattered review of an article from Family Handyman and maybe a couple anecdotes from my own experience.


Before we get into this, I gotta tell you a little about how I got this tool.  I was at one of the big box stores getting supplies for some long-forgotten project.  On my cart was some considerable number of somethings (good grief, I'm straining to remember what the project was) and mixed up with those somethings was this oscillating saw.  When I got home I got right to work on whatever that project was.  At some point, whether that same day or days later, I somehow figured out that I hadn't been charged the roughly $60 for the saw.  I went back to the big box store but the lady at customer service insisted there was really no way for the store to take it back, so - free oscillating saw.  I still think the lady just didn't want to be bothered with it.  And that's how 173 came to have an oscillating saw.

Straight vs. Round Blades

 Knowing which blade is right for your project is obviously important.  So important that I was a few projects in before I realized whatever task I was doing would be easier with the correct blade!  So, partly for my used in the future, and partly to save you, dear reader, some frustration, here's some Family Handyman advice:
  • A straight blade is best for plunge cuts, where you stab the blade into the surface. For long, linear cuts, use a round oscillating saw blade. You'll get cleaner cuts with the round blade if you make a shallow scoring cut first, then gradually deepen it with an oscillating saw. In any case, keep in mind that heat kills blades. Occasionally swing the oscillating tool blade back and forth out of the kerf to clean out dust. And don't press so hard.
I think that last sentence is most important - don't press so hard.  I found this tool works much better if moderate pressure is applied.  It's almost like too much pressure just binds the blade and burns it up.  Moderate pressure and keep in moving!

Some projects where I used the oscillating tool
∙ An Outlet for the Basement Landing
∙ Trimming Baseboard for Flooring
∙ Front Stoop Railing Prep
∙ Cutting a Kitchen Cabinet
You might also like the story of the Table Saw of Death!

Straight Edge - Straight Cuts

During the kitchen remodel back in 2017, I wanted to remove a section of an upper cabinet.  I stressed for some time on just exactly how I would accomplish this task without destroying the entire cabinet.  It's kinda hard to describe, so here's a picture, the part to come off was that lower shelf to give a bit more usable counter space:

Here's what Family Handyman has to say:
  • Use the oscillating tool to make a clean, precise cut and make the problem go away. Use a straightedge if you need a guide for the oscillating saw blade. Just watch that the blade doesn't gouge the straightedge and go off-course.
And here's how that turned out:

This high frequency multi-tool features Micro sonic oscillation for a smooth-running, efficient tool. This tool is so versatile and multifunctional that it is perfect for sawing, cutting, scraping, sanding, shaping, polishing, and removing grout. The aluminum gear housing is light weight and yet solid for durability. This Sonic Crafter has an easily accessible on/off switch for comfort and control. The slim body design and soft comfort grip handle ensures a secure and comfortable grip at all times. - from Rockwell

The User's Manual

If you haven't explored House 173, you may not know I've begun building a static page where I adding links to the user's manuals to as many of my tools as I can. I figure that way I can have the manuals all in one place, and electronically! That page is under the "Manuals, Etc." tab at the top of the page. Here's the manual...

Stay safe out there!
Next Post Previous Post