Is Dewalt working on an oscillating multi-tool?
I haven’t asked, nor would anyone at Dewalt tell me if I did ask. Even so, I believe that YES, Dewalt is working on developing an oscillating multi-tool of their own.
All of Stanley Black & Decker’s other power tool brands – Black & Decker, Stanley FatMax, and Porter Cable – already feature multi-tools in their product lineups. Many competitors, most notably Bosch, Milwaukee, and Makita, have also brought oscillating multi-tools to market.
I have no supporting evidence to share with you aside from reason. It just seems highly unlikely that Dewalt would want to miss out on the sales a yellow and black oscillating tool might bring.
So What is Dewalt Waiting For?
The way I see it, there are two main reasons why Dewalt has not yet come out with oscillating tools.
Complete Line of Cutting, Sanding, Grinding Blades & Accessories
Dewalt doesn’t want to just sell you one oscillating multi-tool; they want to sell you attachments for that multi-tool for months and even years to come.
There are a number of Porter Cable cutting, sanding, and grinding attachments and accessories, but if Dewalt is going to compete head-to-head with Bosch, Fein, and other accessory makers, they’re going to have to offer premium accessories of their own. Designing and testing a complete line of accessories takes time.
Consider Milwaukee’s M12 oscillating tool. Milwaukee released it almost as a me-too product with no Milwaukee-branded accessory lineup to support it. Instead, the Milwaukee tool is fully compatible with Bosch’s OIS accessory system. From what I know about Dewalt, it is extremely unlikely that they would release any oscillating multi-tools without a full line of compatible high-quality blades and accessories.
There’s also the small issue of cross-platform compatibility. Dewalt wouldn’t want to just sell Dewalt-branded accessories to Dewalt oscillating tool users, they would want other multi-tool users to buy into the Dewalt accessory system as well. Designing and testing a universal or semi-universal interface is also a time-consuming effort.
This is all speculation of course, but I can think of no better reason why we haven’t seen any Dewalt oscillating multi-tools hit the market yet.
A Dewalt multi-tool would have to be an upgrade over Porter Cable’s new 3.0A corded and 18V cordless models. Porter Cable’s oscillating tools are quite good, meaning that any improvements will require plenty of time for testing and feedback.
It seems that, if Dewalt is developing oscillating multi-tools, they will come out with a corded multi-tool first, with 18V and possibly 12V models possibly following. Corded oscillating tools are usually better choices for contractors since cordless runtimes can be quite short.
Not only would the tools have to be an upgrade over Porter Cable’s models, they would have to have a competitive edge over other brands’ models. There is little reward for companies that produce tools with no advantages over tools already on the market.
Stanley Black & Decker has the experience and tech to produce a competitive oscillating multi-tool worthy of Dewalt branding. Of this I am sure. What I am not sure of is whether they have the ambition to bring a complete line of accessories to market.
Although it is highly probably that a Dewalt O-tool and accessory lineup will hit the market, there is unfortunately no basis by which to to predict when this might happen. Right now all we can do is wait.
There are four possibilities:
- Dewalt will not enter the oscillating tool market
- Dewalt is developing oscillating multi-tools that work with other brands’ accessories
- Dewalt is developing oscillating multi-tool AND a line of accessories
- Dewalt is developing multi-tools AND a line of accessories AND accessories that are compatible with other brands’ tools
My money’s on #4. Which do you think is most probable?