Dewalt is soon coming out with their first-ever 20V Max li-ion cordless brushless oscillating tool, the DCS355. They also recently came out with a corded oscillating multi-tool, as well as a couple of universal accessories and a tool-free adapter for other brands’ tools.
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- Brushless motor delivers “up to 57% more runtime” than standard brushed motors
- Quick-Change accessory system allows for tool-free blade changes when Dewalt blades are used
- Universal blade interface allows for use with other brands’ blades (hex wrench needed for blade changes)
- 0-20,000 OPM
- Variable speed trigger
- Built-in LED worklight with 20-second delay
- Includes removable oscillating tool guide system for repeatable cutting depths
- 12.20″ length
- 3.22 lbs weight with compact battery
Dewalt says that the new oscillating tool is ideal for trim carpenters cabinet, flooring, and service installers, or any other professional tradesmen.
As with other oscillating tools, the new Dewalt cordless brushless multi-tool can be used to cut wood, metal, plastic, or drywall materials. With the appropriate blade or attachment it can also be used for detailed sanding, grout removal, or scraping tasks.
The kit, DCS355D1, comes with (1) Dewalt 20V Max 2.0Ah lithium ion battery pack, a charger, kit bag, and basic accessory set. A bare-tool option is also available.
DCS355D1 kit: $199
DCS355 bare tool: $129
Both tools will be available starting in November 2013 wherever Dewalt products are sold.
The 29-piece accessory set includes a couple of accessories to get you started with. As with the corded oscillating tool kit, most of these accessories are sanding sheets (some are not shown).
It looks like Dewalt’s brushless oscillating tool suffers from some of the same shortfalls of their corded version, namely a tool-free blade change mechanism that is only tool-free when used with Dewalt blades.
I am also not all that happy that a dust port adapter is not available or even in the works. After using my Fein MultiMaster with a sanding pad and dust collection adapter these past few months, I couldn’t go back to any multi-tool that doesn’t offer this at least as an optional accessory.
As with the corded version, the tool is operated via a 2-position Dual-Grip variable-speed trigger. Personally, I prefer separate on/off sliding switches with number-select speed control knobs. Here, you can squeeze the trigger for variable speed, or squeeze the trigger and press the lock-on button. If you prefer a slower speed, you’ll have to exercise your trigger finger.
Dewalt says that this grip design gives users improved control, but I would think that a numbered dial provides greater repeatability and user comfort.
I also don’t quite get Dewalt’s “up to 57% more runtime” claims. This is the same marketing message Dewalt uses with their brushless drills, but in this case it’s not at all clear where the number comes from since this is Dewalt’s first and only cordless multi-tool. Was this number born from a clipboard, or actual testing with brushless and brushed oscillating tools? Regardless of my nitpicking, a brushless motors are far more efficient than brushed motors, and so a brushless cordless oscillating tool typically will outrun a brushed multi-tool.
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One thing I do like is that the 20V Max brushless oscillating tool appears to be more compact than their corded version. Perhaps not significantly more compact, but 3/4″ is better than nothing.
The pricing is also another plus. $129 for the bare tool and $199 for the 1-battery kit is pretty good.
Overall, there are a couple of things that work to the 20V Max multi-tool’s favor, but an equal number of factors that work against it.
Pros: Brushless motor, low entry pricing.
Cons: Universal interface is not tool-free with other brands’ blades, trigger switch instead of variable speed dial with separate on/off, no dust port option.
Maybe the new 20V Max oscillating tool will change my mind if/when I test it out, but thus far I am not liking their corded oscillating tool very much. It’s not bad, but its design does not mesh well with my usage habits. I am optimistic that the cordless version will be just as well-built, but as of now I am not convinced that I will like it any better.
I have no doubts that this will be a good tool, but if you’re in the market for a cordless brushless oscillating tool, think long and hard about whether this is the best tool for your uses.