Although multi-tools have been around for years, one manufacturer - Fein - had the market pretty much to itself until recently. Over time, as builders and remodelers came to appreciate what these diminutive tools and their attachments could accomplish, demand surged - and now there are several companies producing them. For this review I tested four cordless models (powered by 12-volt lithium ion batteries) - the Bosch PS50, Dremel 8300, Milwaukee 2426-20, and Ridgid R82235 - and four corded models: the Bosch MX25E, Dremel 6300, Fein FMM250Q, and Rockwell RK5108K.

Considering its many capabilities, the multi-tool is a remarkably simple device. Its motor twists a short, perpendicular spindle back and forth through a seemingly insignificant 3-degree arc. But paired with an extensive array of specialized attachments, that tiny oscillation is able to carry out a surprising amount of work. Although some...

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