As part of our oscillating multi-tool blade comparison (which is funded by Bosch), the first thing we looked at was cutting speed for each of the three Bosch, Dewalt, and Imperial metal-cutting blades.
In our nail-cutting tests, what we found was that Imperial’s metal-cutting blade is fastest at first, but Bosch’s carbide-toothed blade took the lead after a few nails and had consistently short cutting times.
Cutting performance and blade wear will be discussed in continued coverage of the comparison testing.
The final testing setup was discussed in Part 4 of the comparison post series. In short, an oscillating multi-tool was secured to a horizontal sled, with speed set to maximum (~20,000 oscillations per minute). Each blade cut through 16D nails, with a vise set up to hold one nail at a time in the same position.
Here’s a quick video of a single nail-cutting test run:
The easiest way to time cutting speed was to look at the current and power draw of the oscillating multi-tool that is recorded before, throughout, and after each cut. Video footage was also used to verify the time it took for a blade to make each nail cut.
The original plan was to record the time it took for each blade to make 20 cuts, with a diagram showing if and how the time of cut changed for each nail. However, the blades did not all last for 20 cuts, and so we looked at fastest cutting speeds for each blade.
For these measurements we took the cutting speed for the BEST performing blades of THREE test runs for each blade.
Bosch OSC114C Blade (Carbide Teeth)
Bosch’s quickest time of cut was 5.66 seconds to cut through a 16D nail. After that, cutting speed was typically between 6.5 and 7.5 seconds.
By the time the 20th cut was made, cutting time was still just 7.74 seconds.
Dewalt DWA4209 Blade (Bi-Metal and Titanium Coated Teeth)
The quickest time of cut speed for a Dewalt blade’s first cut was 12.37 seconds. The same blade was not able to make a second cut.
Imperial Storm MMT340 Blade (Bi-Metal and Titanium Coated Teeth)
Imperial’s STORM metal-cutting blade actually took home the medal for top speed. The quickest speed for first cut was 4.35 seconds.
However, the speed didn’t last long. The second cut was pretty quick, and the blade cut through its third nail in a little over 6 seconds.
By the fourth cut, cutting time had increased to 9.98 seconds. After that, the Imperial blade started producing a lot more dust than chips and failed.
Imperial’s blades were consistently faster when fresh, but their better cutting speeds were not sustained.
Bosch’s metal-cutting blades provided fastest speed of cut overall, except for when making those first few cuts. Bosch’s blades quickly surpassed the Imperial blades after just a few cuts.
The Imperial blade with the fastest cutting speed had shorter cutting times for the first three nails. Starting with the fourth nail, the Bosch blade had the fastest cutting speed.
The best of three fresh Dewalt blades took more than twice as long to cut through a nail.
So Which Blade Had the Fastest Cutting Speed?
Nail #1: Imperial
Nail #5: Bosch
Nail #10: Bosch
Nail # 20: Bosch
It’s not entirely accurate to say that the Bosch blade had the fastest cutting speed in regard to the 10th and 20th nails. Why? Because the other brands’ blades came nowhere close to cutting 20 nails at all. Only one of the Imperial blades came close to cutting its 10th nail, and it wasn’t quick or without a little smoke and a lot of sparks.
Test Bench vs. Real-World Expectations
In the testing apparatus, a short section of cutting teeth are repeatedly used to cut each nail. This allows for more controlled testing, but it also accelerates blade wear. This amplifies any differences in cutting speed or blade performance. Even so, these results should translate well to what you will see when using blades in a handheld multi-tool for real-world cutting applications.
You should also remember that, when making handheld cuts, you can use the entire length of a cutting blade’s edge if you move the oscillating tool back and forth horizontally. So even if you break or dull a few teeth in one section of the blade, you can sometimes use another part of the blade before the blade needs to be replaced.
The Bosch blade is not fastest at first, but the gap between Bosch and Imperial cutting speeds disappears rather quickly after just a few cuts. Beyond the first few cuts, Bosch’s blade always had the fastest cutting speed.
The best way of putting this is that the Imperial MMT340 blade has the best sprinting speed, and the Bosch OSC114C blade is the marathon winner.
Buy Now: Bosch OSC114C, Imperial MMT340, Dewalt DWA4209 via Amazon
Table of Contents
Part 1: Comparison Overview
Part 2: Testing & Measurement Tools
Part 3: Test Setup Optimization
Part 4: Final Test Setup
Part 5: Best Cutting Speed (current page)
Part 6: Cutting Performance
Part 7: Durability
Bosch funded this comparison testing project. They did not tell us what to say, and made it clear that it was not their intent to influence the results in any way. We were given full control over how the OMT blades were to be tested, and how the results were to be presented.