Dewalt is expanding their Xtreme 12V Max cordless power tool lineup with a new oscillating multi-tool, model DCS353.
The new Dewalt Xtreme 12V Max oscillating multi-tool features a brushless motor, tool-free blade clamp, 3.2° oscillation angle, 18,000 OPM max speed, variable speed trigger, on/off trigger lock, and an LED worklight.
The Dewalt Xtreme oscillating tool features their iconic squeeze-type quick-change blade clamp system, which is designed to work with universal-style split-ring accessories, such as the ones Dewalt offers. It also comes with a universal-style full-ring accessory adapter, which requires the use of a hex key.
The Dewalt Xtreme brushless OMT looks to work with all of the same accessories one might use with a 18V/20V Max or corded tool.
Dewalt depicts the new Xtreme OMT being used for the same sorts of cutting, sanding, and scraping tasks as their 20V Max and corded tools.
Compared to the 20V Max XR brushless oscillating multi-tool, model DCS356, the Xtreme model appears to be a little more compact. The geometry is different, such as at the front of the tool, and the Xtreme OMT also appears to have a smaller trigger switch, as well as a smaller main grip area.
The Xtreme 12V Max OMT matches the 18,000 OPM top speed of the 20V Max Atomic model, DCS354. The 20V Max XR model, DCS356, tops out at 20,000 OPM.
The new Xtreme SubCompact multi-tool will be available as a bare tool, DCS353B, or in a kit, DCS353G1. The kit comes with (2) blades, a charger, (1) 3.0Ah battery, a tool bag, and a universal adapter.
Price: $129 for the bare tool, $159 for the kit
ETA: Spring 2022
What I’m excited about:
- Compact size
- Kit comes with a 3Ah battery
- Same tool-free blade change as other Dewalt OMTs
- Reasonable price for the kit
What I could live with:
- Variable speed trigger switch
A variable speed trigger is one of the best features in Dewalt’s cordless oscillating multi-tools. However, it can be difficult to hold the tool at a lower speed for sustained periods; a variable speed dial with on/off switch would be much easier for lower speed operations.
A variable speed trigger and speed range dial provide the best of both worlds. You can get this in Dewalt’s 20V Max XR brushless 3-speed oscillating multi-tool.
Dewalt’s 20V Max Atomic series brushless oscillating multi-tool, DCS354, also only has a variable speed trigger, and plenty of users have been perfectly satisfied with this.
What I’m a little concerned about:
- Smaller main hand grip
I find Dewalt Xtreme 12V Max power tools to be very comfortable to hold and use, and I am sure that Dewalt tested the ergonomics of this new OMT with a broad user group. Still, it looks like they changed the hand grip positioning quite a bit with this tool.
When using Dewalt 20V Max oscillating tools, my hand wraps around the grip, with my pointer finger aligned with the rounded part of the trigger switch. With this Xtreme 12V Max model, it looks like my pointer will rest on the top part of the trigger switch, and my middle finger on the rounded part.
I attempted to simulate the Xtreme 12V Max-type of hand grip with my recently purchased 20V Max XR 3-speed model.
What I found is that the girth of the 20V Max tool creates some discomfort – which isn’t a big deal as I assume the Xtreme 12V Max tool is smaller – and that the on/off lock, which is used to prevent unintentional activation, is the bigger issue.
As shown in the images of the 12V Max tool, the on/off lock is positioned ahead of the trigger switch, and so it shouldn’t get in the way of my hand.
So while I am a little concerned about the shortened main grip area, I don’t think it will present any issues.
One of the product images shows the Xtreme 12V Max OMT being used to cut a PVC pipe.
If we magnify and enhance the image – insert spy movie sound effects – we can see that the hand and finger positions are indeed designed to be shifted upwards compared to the 20V Max models.
Different does not necessarily mean bad.
If Dewalt engineers managed to shave down the width of the tool around the trigger switch, it might even be more comfortable than their 20V Max tools. We’ll know for sure once the tool starts to ship.
One thing to be aware of:
One of the product images shows the tool with Dewalt’s cutting depth control guide, but this accessory does not look to be included with the bare tool or kit.
I’m happy to see that the tool is compatible with this existing accessory.
On one hand, users have reported difficulty sourcing the depth guide, leading me to think it might be better if it were included with all tools. On the other hand, not everyone wants to pay extra for an accessory they might not need.
As far as I am aware, the cutting depth guide is not available as an add-on accessory, but it does look to be available as “replacement parts.” Here are Amazon listings for the three components (N275350, N278801, N275341). You can also order them from Dewalt’s service department for ~$25 including tax and shipping.
Thank you to Big Richard for the heads-up!