Oscillating tools are super handy in workshops, on the job site, and even in the average home. The versatility of these tools makes them one of the most useful tools that you can invest in, and they’re able to pull off almost any task you can think of. With that said, you may know that oscillating tool blades also come in various shapes and types.
This can be confusing for some, as they don’t know what all those blades do. This article will help you get to know all the types of oscillating tool blades and what they’re used for.
Different Oscillating Tool Blades
The following list is in no particular order and is only meant to discuss the types of oscillating tool blades, not rank them based on importance.
1. Fine Tooth Blades
Typically, fine tooth blades are used to make precise cuts, and their blades are small and close together. They normally come with measuring strips on the side of the blade to aid in making accurate cuts, so users don’t have to guess while they work. Although you should be able to cut wood and metal with equal ease with these blades, make sure they’re able to cut the material you intend to use them on.
You’ll find that fine tooth blades are available in various sizes, including 3/8″, 3/4″, 1″, and 1 3/8″.
2. Plunge-Cutting Blades
Plunge-cutting blades are similar to fine tooth blades but they offer a wider cut. This means these blades can be useful when you want to make deep and wide cuts and aren’t as concerned with precision. Using a plunge-cutting blade will make tasks such as cutting paneling or drywall a lot faster, though your work won’t be as precise and accurate.
3. Segment Saw Blades
If you’re looking for oscillating blades that can cut a lot in a limited time, you’ll love segment saw blades. Typically, they are 3 1/8″ wide and very versatile; they can cut anything from 4x4s to drywall with ease.
4. Saw Blades
These blades are serrated and are made to be used for cutting softer materials like plaster, fiberglass, and wood. However, there are saw blades that can cut bricks, stone, metal, and concrete quite well. If you need saw blades that are robust and durable, you should know that the best ones are made of bi-metal.
5. Scraper Blades
Scraper blades are ideal for removing old adhesive and silicone (as well as an array of other nasties). These blades aren’t really good at cutting anything, but they’re able to scrape away stubborn residue. You can use scraper blades to scrape off these materials from a wide range of surfaces.
You will find that removing tile adhesive, wallpaper, paint, carpet, floor lacquer, and stickers is a breeze when you’re using scraper blades. There are different forms of scraper blades: rigid and non-rigid, and if you have some really heavy-duty scraping to do, the rigid blade will be your best bet. The non-rigid blades are better suited to getting rid of softer materials like wallpaper and paint.
6. Carbide Blades
If you’re looking for oscillating blades that are durable and tough, you should be looking at carbide blades. They are extremely versatile and cut bricks, concrete, and cement as well as remove grout. Carbide blades are also capable of cutting through screws, nails, and stainless steel bolts with ease.
On top of that, you can buy fine tooth carbide blades that are suitable for woodworking and they may even last longer than steel blades. They really are ideal for just about any cutting jobs you want to do.
7. Drywall Saw Blades
You’ll find that there are many specialty oscillating blades, and the drywall saw blades are one example. Although it’s possible to use segment saw blades or plunge-cutting blades to cut drywall, it’s better to use blades made specifically for this task. Drywall saw blades are available in different styles and at various prices, and they’re all great at cutting drywall.
If you’re often cutting drywall, you may want to invest in some of these blades rather than using another type.
8. Bi-Metal Blades
Mentioned briefly before, bi-metal blades are the most common and the most popular. They are made from high-quality spring steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel. These blades have some of the hardest edges you’ll find, while their bodies are still flexible and won’t shatter.
Bi-metal blades are able to cut through fiberglass, non-ferrous metal, drywall, wood, and plastic without ever breaking. There are even some of these blades that can take on tougher materials without difficulty.
9. Wood-Cutting Blades
As you may have noticed by now, many of the already-mentioned oscillating blades are capable of cutting wood, but if you have a lot of wood to cut, it is best to use a blade made specifically for this purpose. Wood-cutting blades can cut through different kinds of wood like plywood and hardwood without damaging the wood or getting damaged. You’ll be able to make powerful but neat plunge cuts and cut through thick wood like it is butter.
10. Circular Blades
Circular blades, sometimes also called semi-circular blades, are ideal for long and linear cuts. Whereas straight blades are best for plunge cuts, these blades are better for shallower cuts. You will be able to cut through metal and wood alike with a circular oscillating blade, as well as bricks, stone, and cement.
11. Rasping Blades
This oscillating blade looks like a big nail filer and is actually a kind of sander. The rasping blade is smaller than other blades on this list and is covered in a carbide grit. They are made for sanding adhesive from surfaces like plaster, wood, tiles, stone, and concrete.
You’ll find rasping blades in different shapes, such as triangular, round, and finger-shaped. The latter is flat on the sides, pointed on top, and longer than the other shapes to reach difficult spots easily.
12. Caulking Blades
Sure, you will be able to remove caulk with any of the scraper tools in your toolkit, but caulking blades are so much better and more efficient. You can get caulking blades in different shapes and they can be suitable for large and narrow surfaces. In addition to being able to remove caulk, these blades can also get rid of other materials like silicone sealant.
The blades aren’t very sharp and have widely-spaced and small teeth designed to pull up caulk without damaging the surface.
13. Flush-Cut Blades
For anyone who needs to get into extra-small spaces, the flush-cut blade can be a game-changer. The blades are narrow and extra-flat, so they can make even and straight cuts. Flush-cut blades can cut through all kinds of materials like plastic and wood quite easily.
They’re also suitable for cutting into drywall and are available with diamond or carbide edges while being made from quality bit-metal.
14. Grout Blades
Grout blades are designed to remove grout, as you may have deduced from the name, and they come in different shapes so you can reach difficult nooks and crannies. There are also rounder blades that are better for broad surfaces. These blades are great at removing grout but can also get rid of tile adhesive, plaster, deck plank sealant, and porous-type concrete.
The most common grout blades come with carbide edges, but there are also diamond-edged blades that are able to cut tougher materials like wood and metal.
15. Polishing Pad
Although this is not actually an oscillating blade, a polishing pad is definitely still highly recommended as an accessory for oscillating tools. These pads make it possible for the tool to become a great polishing tool. You can choose from different kinds of polishing pads, which are used to polish different surfaces.
Felt pads, for example, can be used to polish stainless steel, brass, and stone. Wool pads, on the other hand, are better for ceramic, glass, and brass surfaces. These pads are easy to attach to the oscillating tool and will make an already versatile tool even more useful.
16. Sanding Pad
Lastly, we have the sanding pad. Another ‘technically not a blade’ addition that I just couldn’t omit. No, it won’t be able to cut anything, but it can make your oscillating tool an extremely useful multi-tool. By attaching sanding pads to your tool, you can take on just about any sanding task.
You can rapidly sand small areas to make furniture smoother as well as smooth wood surfaces during woodworking projects. They can even sand down paint and clear away sawdust.
Oscillating Tool Uses
As you may know by now, oscillating tools are very versatile and can be used for a huge variety of tasks. In case you need to know more, here’s a quick look at the most common uses of oscillating tools:
You can use oscillating blades to cut materials, though that is not the main use of these tools. Depending on the blade you use, you can cut through carpets, felt, leather, and rubber. The more robust blades are able to cut through metal, wood, and plastic as well.
This is one of the most common uses of oscillating tools, and you can easily saw through many materials such as drywall, wood, and paneling.
Oscillating tools are able to double as sanders, and when you attach a sanding pad, you can sand quickly and easily.
The ability to remove grout made oscillating tools very popular with construction teams. They are able to remove grout in no time and when you use diamond-edge blades the task is super easy.
You can use rasping attachments that are available in various shapes to swiftly deal with concrete, wood, and tile adhesive.
Removing stubborn materials such as adhesive can be a frustrating task, but oscillating tools can take care of the job fairly easily when using scraper blades.
Although polishing is not something most people think of when they buy an oscillating tool, it’s yet another task this tool is able to take care of. You can polish stone, glass, brass, and ceramic after attaching the right polishing pad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Diamond Oscillating Tool Blades Worth It?
Diamond oscillating tool blades are more expensive than the other types you can choose from. They’re pricier because they are more durable and of much higher quality. These blades are able to take on tough tasks and they last a lot longer than metal blades.
You’ll also get a higher quality cut while using diamond blades.
Can an Oscillating Tool Cut Tiles?
You can definitely cut tiles with an oscillating tool. It is highly recommended that you use a wet tile saw because they’re faster and cut easier, but oscillating tools can be just as useful. You can make plunge cuts quite easily, you can trim and file tiles, and you can cut from an angle with an oscillating tool.