Oscillating Tool vs Rotary Tool

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People who enjoy working with their hands and creating impressive projects made of metal, wood, plastic, glass, or dry wood are spoiled with choice these days when it comes to power tools. They can choose between a variety of handheld tools that provide great versatility and durability. Two of these incredible handheld power tools are oscillating tools and rotary tools.

What are the Differences Between an Oscillating Tool and a Rotary Tool?

The main difference between the two power tools is the size of the projects that they have been designed for. An oscillating tool is ideal if you take on large projects that include polishing, sanding, wood carving, constructing furniture, or shaping wood. However, a rotary tool is perfect for more delicate tasks that are smaller in size. So if you are working on items that are small in size or require great detail, grab your rotary tool.

Here are a few more differences between the two power tools:

  • Rotary tools are much older than oscillating tools since they have been around since 1932. Oscillating tools have only been around since 1967.
  • A rotary tool is more suitable for selective work that is small in scale, whereas an oscillating tool offers much more multi-purpose use.
  • The original rotary tool was made by Dremel Industries, whereas Fein Multimaster made the original oscillating tool.
  • A rotary tool offers much more compatibility, whereas an oscillating tool is much bigger and bulkier to work with.

Which Tool is Best?

Several people who start with DIY projects find it challenging to decide between an oscillating tool and a rotary tool. The reason for this is because both devices are excellent in providing users with versatility and flexibility. Therefore, it is impossible to say that one is better than the other because they are both practical and stand firm in their function area.

Which one is best for you will depend on what you plan to use it for. If you intend to stick to smaller, more refined projects, then a rotary tool is excellent. However, if you plan to go big and tackle large projects, you will probably find that an oscillating tool best suits you. They both have several benefits that might make it easier to decide which one is best for you.

What Benefits Does a Rotary Tool Offer?

If you are looking for a handheld tool that can offer remarkably precise work, a rotary tool is a great option. Here are some of the benefits that a rotary tool can provide.

Tasks of a much wider variety

An oscillating tool is more simple than the more advanced rotary tool. So by choosing a rotary tool, you will be able to take on a great variety of tasks and projects because on top of everything that both an oscillating tool and a rotary tool can do, a rotary tool can also carve, clean, rout, and polish. In addition, it can do all of these with greater precision than an oscillating tool. lf

More affordable attachments

Oscillating tools and their accessories are much more costly than rotary tools and the attachments that come with them. Therefore, you can build on your rotary tool attachment selection by adding parts as you like, and you will find that they are much more inexpensive than those of an oscillating tool.

Etching and refined working capabilities

Your rotary tool will make it possible for you to do fine precision projects, including etching. In addition, you can add great individuality and creativity to projects by using a rotary tool. For example, by investing in an etching tool with a diamond tip, you will have endless possibilities to work on all surfaces and add your unique touches.

carpenter work the wood with the rotary tool

What are the Benefits of an Oscillating Tool?

If you are working on large projects that require cutting, sanding, or grinding, you might enjoy an oscillating tool more. These are the benefits of an oscillating tool.

Less mess

By using an oscillating tool, you will find much less dust due to the larger size of the attachments. Rotary tools have smaller attachments that move faster, creating more dust to clean up after you have completed your project.

More accurate cutting

Since your oscillating tool is much larger and the attachments are much more significant than those of a rotary tool, they offer a much more accurate cut. If your main goal is exact precision, you will enjoy an oscillating tool much more.

Perfect for everyone

An oscillating tool is very user-friendly since it is very straightforward and time-efficient. Therefore, even beginners will find an oscillating tool very easy to use.


Both rotary and oscillating tools have made it easy for people to work on projects without frustration. Choosing your next power tool will be easy if you consider your primary intended use for it, and then the possibilities will be endless.

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