Black & Decker Oscillating Multi-tool

Black & Decker Oscillating Multi-tool

Manufacturer:  Black & Decker

Model:  BD200MT

Amperage: 2

OPM: 20,000

Cost:  $900131131545

 

I cannot say enough about Oscillating Multi-tools (OMTs).  OMTs are a relatively new type of tool on the home improvement market and are fast becoming the most purchased tools after the cordless drill.  These tools do just about everything.  I am surprised that they have not come out with an egg beater attachment yet.  An OMT is a tool that uses attachments such as saw blades, scrapers, sanding pads, and abrasive edges to accomplish a lot of work.  The “engine” moves the attachment in a circular fashion at very high speeds (up to 20,000 oscillation per minute).  OMTs make very fast cuts in places that you would not be able to get traditional tools.  OMTs are in my opinion quite safe.  In fact, I have made contact with the blade during operation with my other hand (we’ll not go into that right now) and there was no damage to my hand.  The only thing that happened was that I jumped about 10 feet from the surprise of the contact and expecting to see my fingers laying all over the place.  I first recall an OMT when I was about 11 years old.  After I broke my leg playing sideyard football, my parents took me in to have my cast removed.  The doctors used this electric tool that sounded like a great big mosquito.  I remember being scared that he was going to cut off my leg and he took the tool and while it was running touched his hand with the blade.  It did not cut him.  So, I believe the the OMTs we see in the home improvement industry come from that little tool I saw many moons ago.  Anyway, enough of that, lets talk about OMTs and specifically the B&D 200 MT.

The first OMT I bought in 2009 was an inexpensive ShopTool brand.  I used that tool almost everyday for about a year.  I used that tool for cutting everything from door casings while installing flooring to cutting steel pipe.  It did a fine job, but it soon felt the stress of the job.  The blade changing mechanism was a pain to operate.  You had to use a hex head wrench to remove the clamp washer.  Loosen the clamp seemed to put stress on the motor each time I changed attachments.  This is probably why it failed so soon in its life.  The other issue was with the attachments.  You could only use ShopTool brand attachments and the only place to get those (at the time) was Menards.  Though I love Menards, it just wasn’t very practical.

I knew that the top of the line OMT was the Rockwell SoniCrafter but it was really pricey ($170).  So I decided to look for an intermediate priced OMT.  I figured that I would work my way up the scale and really test these OMTs to their limits.

I purchased the Black & Decker BD200MT and went to work.

The BD200MT is the same size as all other OMTs and the motor size is the same.  The one thing I did notice right away is that it could take multiple brands of attachments.  That was really nice.  I could purchase B&D, Bosch, MasterForce, or Porter Cable attachments and all I needed was to find the best deals.

The attachment mechanism is probably the best in the industry.  Even the Big Dawg (Rockwell) did not have this.  The mechanism is simply a “trigger” lever that releases the “pinch” of the attachment.  Wow, I’m telling you that that right there was impressive.  All other OMTs use a tool to disengage the attachment which took minutes to change out an attachment.  The BD200MT mechanism only takes me about five seconds.  The mechanism is not flimsy either.  The spring tension that holds the attachment is intense, but the pull of the trigger is not stressful to your hand.

The cutting action of the BD200MT is really not any different or better than any other OMT.  Even the cheaper models did the job to my satisfaction (and my customers).  The real “secret” are the blades themselves.  ShopTools blades didn’t last long.  It seemed that I was purchasing blades everyother day.  However, Black & Decker and Porter Cable have superior blade attachments.

Other than my cordless drill and cordless impact driver, the BD200MT is my most used tool.  In fact, I think I have invented uses for it.  I use it (to name a few) to undercut door casings when installing flooring, cut copper pipes, old bolts off toilets, cutting drywall for outlets, cutting shims, cutting plaster and lathe, removing old grout from tile, and cutting vinyl siding.  As a matter of fact the other day I used it to cut open a coconut, which I believe is the hardest object on the planet.

The weight of the tool is very comfortable.  It is easy to maneuver and gets into tight places.

OMTs have sanding attachments, however I do not like to use them.  That is where I believe there are better tools.  The sanding attachments are plastic and do not seem to stand under the stress.  But a DIY’er might find OMTs useful for light sanding jobs.

The scrapers are wonderful.  I use the scraping blades to remove old vinyl flooring that was putting up a fight.

The BD200MT has been going strong since 2011 and has not shown any signs of slowing down.

To be honest, any OMT will do the job but I believe the BD200MT with its revolutionary attachment mechanism makes it the best OMT on the market.

Posted June 12, 2014 by admin in Tool Reviews

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