If you’ve read our previous article on the benefits of multi-tools, you already know how useful they are. This little yet effective device is great for getting exact results in confined spaces and may be used for a variety of tasks, including sanding, polishing, sawing, cutting, rasping, and many other things. Due in major part to multi-tools’ capacity to take a wide variety of blades and attachments, this wonder tool can operate with a wide variety of materials, including ceramic, masonry, wood, metal, and brick. It also works brilliantly to remove materials like glue, paint, caulk, and grout.
There is a lot to learn about multi-tool attachments, making it difficult to know where to begin. So let’s start with the fundamentals. Teeth per inch (TPI), blade composition, and blade form should all be taken into account when determining which accessories or blades to use.
The cutting action and appropriateness of a blade are primarily determined by this factor. Get a blade with smaller, finer teeth for more control and better cuts when cutting wood; tiny teeth are essential when using nails to cut metal or even wood for a clean cut without catching on the hard material and posing a risk. Longer-toothed blades will cut more swiftly, but they will also cut more forcefully. Because of their quick action, these blades are best used for harsh cuts in hardwood work components. Japanese tooth blades are unique in their own class when it comes to tooth features. Their angled, precisely ground teeth, which are solely intended for use with wood, remove more material more effectively while yet producing an enviably clean cut.
Blade & accessory composition
- HCS : High carbon steel, or HCS, has some give so that it can be bent without breaking. Because of this, they work best when cutting softer materials like wood or plastic. Remember that because of their flexibility, blades are the least resilient of all.
- Bi-metal blades : These blades are an improvement on HCS and may be used on both non-ferrous metal and wood. High-speed steel, which is used to make their teeth, provides heat resistance, hardness, and durability; high-carbon steel, which is used to make the shank, provides both flexibility and break resistance.
- Carbide tipped & coated : These blades and accessories cost a little more, but they’re worthwhile. Because of their excellent resilience, they work well for grinding concrete and tile adhesive with rasping attachments, as well as for cutting screws, nuts, and tough nails.
- Diamond grit : You can pursue into ceramic, brick, and stone and remove hard tile adhesive, concrete, and stone without breaking a sweat thanks to this premium-grade coating for a range of blades and rasps.
Main accessory types
Multi-tools come with a wide range of attachments; in fact, there are so many that we can’t possibly list them all here, as much as we’d like to. As a result, we’ve only included the most important ones for all of the most typical tasks.
- Plunge cutting blades : As the name implies, these blades are made for rapid, accurate holes, primarily in drywall and wood where there isn’t an edge to start from. When installing electrical components like recessed light switches or wall outlets, this is quite helpful. Purchase a blade with smaller teeth and more teeth per inch, such as a bi-metal blade or a blade with a cutting edge coated with carbide or diamond grit, for cutting nails, pipes, and bolts.
- Segmented blades : These blades, which are also known as semicircle or half-moon blades, work well for lengthy, straight cuts in any direction and are particularly helpful when using a circular saw isn’t a secure or practical choice. Even a straight edge may be utilised with them.
- Scraper blades :These firm, toothless attachments are excellent for getting rid of a variety of substances, including lino, old carpet, adhesives, and sealants. Additionally, there are unique hook-shaped choices for cleaning out gaps, crevices, and corners, as well as flexible scraper blades that are perfect for removing caulking or paint.
- Rasping blades : Instead of teeth, an abrasive material (often carbide grit) is brazed into the working surface of these attachments. Rasps may be found in many different forms, such as tapered finger rasps and delta (triangular) blades. They work well for removing grout and tougher materials like tile adhesive and hardened concrete as well as for rounding the edges of ceramic tile or wood.
- Hook blades : These cutting attachments, which are available in a variety of forms and styles, can quickly and easily cut through carpet, roofing felt, and cardboard to speed up and simplify your tasks.
- Sanding accessories : With specialised attachments like the profile sanding kit, you can even sand microscopic features like grooves. Sanding accessories for multi-tools enable you to sand a range of surfaces and difficult-to-reach locations in a variety of forms. In order to get the greatest results for your work, you must choose the proper grit size, which is categorised into numerical grades. A sheet with a lower grit number (40-60) contains bigger abrasive granules that may operate more forcefully. Aim for a coarser grade, such as 40 to 60 grit, for sanding and removing tough paintwork and varnish. Grit numbers 80 and 120 work well for eliminating surface flaws and priming surfaces for paint, although normal applications often won’t need much more than 120.
Blade fitment systems
The OIS (Oscillating Interface System) and the Starlock system are currently the two primary systems used for blade fitments. The 12-pin format of the OIS fitting, released by Bosch in 2010, was created to provide a more stable connection between the tool and the accessory. This technique is a vast advance over earlier formats in that it allows the blade to be oriented in a 360° arc on the tool head. Greater interoperability with multi-tools made by established companies is another benefit of OIS blades.
- Starlock system : This system was created by Bosch & Fein and comprises of the StarLock, StarLock Plus, and StarLock Max models. Each of the three subcategories has a rapid, tool-free blade-change system despite having distinct names. More surface contact between the tool head and the blade fitting is also made possible by the curved “cake-tin” interface, resulting in a more secure connection and maximum power transmission for improved performance, stability, and accuracy. Numerous multi-tool manufacturers, including Bosch, Fein, Makita, Metabo, Hitachi, Milwaukee, AEG, Einhell, Ryobi, and Skil, are compatible with Starlock blades. Most because DeWalt multi-tools need an adaptor.