Dewalt’s new oscillating multi-tool is just one part of their oscillating tool strategy – they are also coming out with an assortment of oscillating tool blades and accessories. In addition to these new oscillating accessories, Dewalt has come out with an adapter (DWATFA1) that can be used on other brands’ older tools for easier blade changes***.
Essentially, the adapter is designed to be installed on older oscillating tools that require a hex key to swap accessories, and provides for tool-free blade changes***.
***Use only with Dewalt blades.
According to the fine print on Dewalt’s product packaging, if you want to mix brands of accessories, you will still have to keep a hex key around to install and remove the adapter each time you want to switch to other brands’ accessories.
Dewalt designed their oscillating accessories with a new Universal Fitment pattern, which means they can be used in other brand’s tools without needing an adapter. In a similar sense, you can use other brand’s blades and accessories in Dewalt’s oscillating tool, but you will need a hex key for blade changes.
If you want to use Dewalt’s oscillating tool with Dewalt blades, you can enjoy tool-free accessory changes. If you want to use other brands’ oscillating tools that require a hex key for blade changes, and intend to exclusively use Dewalt accessories, this adapter will allow you to enjoy tool-free blade changes.
It seems that Dewalt created some nice incentives to lock users into their accessory system; using their oscillating tool or this adapter will be less convenient if you opt to use any other brands’ accessories.
But, since the adapter only works with tools that require a hex key for blade changes, requiring a hex key to install and remove the adapter anytime you want to change to a different accessory brand is not a big deal at all. Just don’t lose the adapter or its machine screw in your tool bag.
The adapter works by means of spring-action collar that is twisted to expose the blade-holding pins. Twist it back to lock the blade in place.
Works on: Bosch, Craftsman, Dremel, Fein, Makita, Mastercraft, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi, and Skil oscillating multi-tools that require a hex key for blade changes. (Many of these brands’ newer multi-tools feature tool-free blade changes and do not need such an adapter.)
There is no word on pricing yet. I would estimate the adapter to be priced at $25-30.
It seems to me that this adapter will have some appeal, but only to non-tool-free oscillating multi-tool users who plan to use Dewalt accessories exclusively. Otherwise there’s diminished advantage and the added hassle of having to keep track of the adapter and its long machine screw.
Oh – and don’t lose the smaller hex screw that came with your oscillating multi-tool. You’ll need to reattach this screw when you want to use other brands’ accessories and need to detach the Dewalt adapter from your tool.
I am also somewhat concerned that the added height of the adapter could potentially lead to a slight loss in tool control or precision. On the other hand, the height of the accessory could improve access and reach in some situations. Maybe.
In the above product photos, it looks like the adapter doubles the height of the Bosch multi-tool.
If you ask me, Dewalt should offer this for free with an $XX-amount accessory purchase. Maybe spend $75 on Dewalt oscillating accessories, get a free adapter.
After using a Fein MultiMaster with tool-free blade change for nearly 2 years now, and a Bosch Multi-Max for a couple of months, I could never switch back to using a hex key for accessory swaps. I can absolutely see the appeal of a tool-free adapter for those who have non-tool-free-equipped tools, but being limited to only using Dewalt’s accessories is a major limitation.
For me, only being able to use the adapter with Dewalt accessories would be a deal breaker. I am quite fond of Bosch’s OIS accessories, Fein blades and sanding attachment, and Dremel blades. One of these days I intend to try Imperial Blades as well.
Unless it’s priced at $15 or less, which it probably won’t be given as the adapter comes with 2 “free” cutting blades, I would save my money to be put towards a tool-free oscillating tool upgrade.
P.S. If anyone at Dewalt’s marketing team is reading this, please consider giving the adapter a different model number – maybe DWATFA2. Everytime I read DWATFA1, I see an invisible L at the end, and read it as DWATFAIL.