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The Dremel has long reigned as king of the multi-tools because it can handle most small to medium-size jobs with ease, but several contenders are looking to unseat the Dremel from its throne, including Rockwell’s SoniCrafter.  Instead of turning its attachments through a full revolution, the SoniCrafter’s “Microsonic” technology creates a high-frequency oscillating back-and-forth motion that makes the tool easy to control.

Depending on which tool or adapter you attach to the end of the SoniCrafter, it’ll saw, scrape, cut, rasp, sand, or remove grout.  This 2.3A material-removing beast weighs in at 2.8 pounds, including the 10′ cord.  It features a soft grip and a variable-speed motor, and it’ll work right- or left-handed.

The SoniCrafter sells for about $120 for the tool alone, or you can pay extra for a set that comes with different attachments.

SoniCrafter [Rockwell]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

40 Responses to Rockwell SoniCrafter

  1. Pepster says:

    Isn’t this the same as the Fein Multimaster?

    erm, I mean the Dremel MultiMax?

    errr, I mean, the HarborFreight Osclillating Multifunction powertool…

    Can’t say this strikes me as revolutionary, it’s a knockoff of a tool that’s about a decade old. Has the toolmonger shop been using one of these? Then it would be much more useful to post a review, than what looks like a paid endorsement.

  2. Stan says:

    I agree with Pepster, sorta looks like a endorsement from TM.

    The patent on the Fein Multimaster ran out this year. That’s why you are now seeing the Dremel MultiMax, and Bosch look-a like units.

    I like my Fein. The only thing I don’t like is the price of the accessories. Some of the Dremel’s will work on the Fein.

  3. Pepster says:

    Are these tools worth the hype, especially for the homeowner?

  4. tooldork says:

    Leap in logic required by comparing to Dremel. Understand the multi-tool comparison, but lacks congruency since this tool is directly modeled after the Fein tool.

  5. SuperJdynamite says:

    I’m tired of seeing the term “sonic” attached to devices that involve a fixed magnet moving inside a coil (like my SoniCare toothbrush). There’s no sound involved.

  6. dcdude says:

    I have the Rockwell and like it very much. If I used it daily, I would have gone for the Fein. For the occassional trim back of mouldings and door jams, I couldn’t justify buying the Fein. I don’t doubt the Fein is superior in quality, but you guys don’t have to hate on the “knockoffs”

  7. Steve Fine says:

    I bought the Dremel Multimax and I’m pretty happy with it. I couldn’t justify the cost of the Fein. The multimax is about $100 and has the lowest prices on their accessories. I was also looking at the Bosch cordless. I felt the small batteries would not provide a long enough run time. The only isssue I have with the Dremel is that it heats up quite a bit.

  8. Mike47 says:

    I recently bought the HF multitool, and used it for one job so far. The tool-securing nut wants to loosen instantly when I turn it on. If I torque the bejeebers out of the nut, or maybe use a lockwasher, it seems to hold OK. When it holds together, it’s a phenomenal tool for $59.95 (comes on sale for $39.95 often). For my occasional hobby/homeowner use, it’s a cool tool. If had to make a living using it, I would pick something else.

  9. Zathrus says:

    @dcdude:

    It’s not a case of “hating on the knockoffs” — it’s that this was written like freaking ad copy and doesn’t mention even the previously reviewed Fein or Bosch models or the unreviewed Dremel or HF versions. Instead it implies that this is a whole new kind of tool, which is simply wrong.

    I’ve heard good things about the Rockwell, Bosch, and Dremel versions, but all have their own drawbacks too. And Mike47 is the first person I’ve heard that has the HF version — good to hear his input too.

    Personally, I’d never buy the Fein model, but I’m very interested in the other manufacturers.

  10. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    I like the Fein – the quick-lock is great, and it just feels nice.
    Over here the walls are all made of concrete – structural stuff for post & beams and floors, but soft lightweight block for filling in the walls. You can break it apart or use a wood saw (one that you don’t care about) to cut it. When I have to cut out a cavity (for example for adding a recessed soap dish or toilet paper holder in the bathroom) I use the Fein with a coarse wood blade. The blade’s no good for wood anymore, but lasts OK for abusive work.

  11. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    P.S. I meant to finish up by agreeing that the TM articles are starting to sound more & more like ad copy. Disappointing.

  12. KevinB says:

    I agree with ToolDork’s sentiments, I own the Dremel version of this tool, and it itself is a knockoff of the Fein Mulitmaster. All of the knockoffs are really challenging the Fein MM since the patents wore off, then the dremel.

  13. @MeasureOnceCutTwice, Pepster, and Zathrus:

    P.S. I meant to finish up by agreeing that the TM articles are starting to sound more & more like ad copy. Disappointing.

    Can’t say this strikes me as revolutionary, it’s a knockoff of a tool that’s about a decade old. Has the toolmonger shop been using one of these? Then it would be much more useful to post a review, than what looks like a paid endorsement

    it’s that this was written like freaking ad copy and doesn’t mention even the previously reviewed Fein or Bosch models or the unreviewed Dremel or HF versions. Instead it implies that this is a whole new kind of tool, which is simply wrong.

    Sometimes all we have to go on is add copy and we have to try and make sense of the hype and try and present it in a way that states the facts without being boring and dry, so give Paul and the rest of us a freaking break.

    We post 6-7 tools a day that more than 30 tools a week. There’s no way we can review, let alone get our hands on all the tools we post on the site. We’re not rolling in money, hell we’re practically writing for free. Plus have you ever written a review? It take hours and hours of testing plus the writeup and photo editing.

    The point of this blog isn’t just about reviews anyway it’s about us finding things that we think are cool to write about and sharing them with you. If you don’t like the format then tell us how you think we can improve instead of bitching about something you’re getting for free isn’t up to your caliber. Or better yet try writing a few posts for Toolmonger it ain’t as easy as you think to do it day in and day out.

    @Zathrus,
    Maybe Paul should have used Fein instead of Dremel I think that would have diffused your complaint about the tool seeming to be a new kind of tool, but does he have to mention every competitor for every tool in every post, that would make for some mighty dry reading.

  14. Joe says:

    Ben,
    I’ve been reading this blog pretty much from the beginning. Hopefully you’re just having a bad day, but your attitude in this response is disappointing at best.

    I know it’s your blog to do as you want, but if you can’t take (what I consider) constructive criticism without attacking your readers, then you’re going to start losing them.

    Joe

  15. fred says:

    @Benjamin Johnson says:

    I for one think that the TM writers do a pretty good job of posting some interesting stuff. While not everything is spot on from a contractor’s viewpoint – the posts are sometimes stimulating enough to get others to provide valuable comment. Even consumer magazines that supposedly are unbiased (based on their not accepting advertisements) end up presenting some bias – and don’t purport to be the end-all and be all. I suspect that a professional photographer – as an example – might not agree with some camera best-buy recommendation in a consumer magazine I certainly know that I have a bias based on the types of work that my firm does and our experience having done it over nearly 40 years. I recently commented that we have found the Leica Laser tools that we use to be very accurate – that’s not meant to be a sales pitch – nor would I presume to tell a DIY’er that this $300+ tool will meet their needs better than something from Harbor Freight. What I hope to learn from sources like TM – is which tools might be worth a try for our business.

    PS we’ve been using Fein multimaster for years and they hold up very well – but their blades do cost an arm and a leg.

  16. Chris says:

    In the various TM bloggers’ defence, I would like to point out that a) this is a blog, and most of the posts are *supposed* to be two-paragraph summary-type entries; and b) a lot of the time, unless they’ve actually used the tool, all they have to go on is probably a press release. Having been in their shoes, it’s sort of hard to write copy that doesn’t feel like an outright lie *and* that doesn’t sound like pure advertising copy when all you have to go on is a press release that’s explicitly crafted to promote the item as much as possible.

    Unless the post is specifically calling itself a review, I don’t expect much from it other than a regurgitation of PR material. I don’t read this site for in-depth, biting commentary on every new tool that hits the market. I read it because it’s a lot more interesting than reading PRNewswire would be, and my taste in tools runs close enough to these guys’ taste in tools that what they find interesting is usually something I’d find interesting. If I’m *really* interested, I’ll look for reviews of the tool, possibly elsewhere, but most of the time, just knowing it exists (and where I can get it) is enough.

  17. @Joe:

    My comments are my opinion not the owners of the Toolmonger Blog or the other authors.

    I guess I did not interpret some comments as constructive criticism. The comments might not have been meant that way, but again that is my interpretation.

    You are correct, I should have been more professional and not responded the way I did.

    @Everyone:

    The fact remains that my comments were unprofessional and I apologize to the readers, writers, and owners of the blog. I truly do enjoy finding and sharing tools otherwise I wouldn’t be posting on Toolmonger.

  18. Hank says:

    I think the critics of the writing on this site need to heed the purpose of the site. It is to introduce the readers to tools, some of which are not new to some of us, but most of which are. It you really dig a tool, research it yourself. That research, unless specifically pointed out as TM research, is not TM’s function.
    ———————-
    RE: Pepster Says:

    March 16th, 2009 at 2:05 pm
    Are these tools worth the hype, especially for the homeowner? NO!
    —————-

    Mike47 Says
    The tool-securing nut wants to loosen instantly when I turn it on.

    I have owned the Fein MM for 5 years. I think it is a damned silly tool. My Fein has the same problem as Mike’s. Multi-tools are just trouble. They are similar to Motorhomes. They try to do too much, and don’t do much correctly.

  19. TomInDC2 says:

    I have had a Fein Multimaster for over a year — it has edged past my 37 year old (no that is not a typo) Dremel rotary tool as the handiest tool in my tool chest. I bought the Fein for my sailboat, but kept bringing it home to use. I just bought a Dremel Multimax — lighter, way cheaper, less powerful, definitely not industrial strength, but I seldom ran my Fein near its maximum capacity — so now I will keep the Dremel on the boat and the Fein in my workshop.

  20. Jim German says:

    So for all the MM fans out there, what are you actually using your tools for? I really can’t see enough uses for one of these to justify its price. I mean the only really useful thing I see them using it for is for flush cutting wood, but I’ve already got a hand saw that is much faster and makes a nicer cut than the MM does in the videos.

  21. Mike Fleser says:

    I own the Rockwell tool and have found it very useful. I bought it at a tool show and have used the saw blade and the scraper so far. I think it was well worth the money and can see many uses for this too. I like it because I don’t need a huge toolbox to get the job done. Just change accessories and you’re off and running.

  22. paganwonder says:

    I LOVE this site! And you guys do an awesome , Thanks!

  23. fred says:

    We use our Fein MM’s (2) for fine detai work in remodeling – when a client want us to cut something out and/or inlay something – and is willing to pay for the custom job. We don’t use it as a rael multi tool

  24. davis says:

    I love this site for the tools and the where to find them info. If this site was totally proper,some of us probably would not use it

  25. Ken says:

    Who would have though that one tool could generate so many harsh comments and some nice ones. Why the strong comments,everyone has their preference so let’s not get angry. Everyone have a nice day and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

  26. russ says:

    @Ben. I think we all need to let off some steam once in a while.

    I always thought this site was to show tools (with opinion/experience when possible) and to have the public give us their opinions, experience (such as pros or cons), but also important are what you use the tool for or ideas as to a good use for the tool. Maybe then we can justify as whether to buy or not to buy this tool.

    I think @Jim German made that point clear and @fred came back and was more specific.

  27. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    Having been one of the original negative commenters about the ad copy-ish entry, let me say sorry for being unappreciative. I read TM every day (it is actually one of the 3 home pages that come up when I start Firefox) and I quite enjoy it. One of the things I really like is the frank comments on tools, and the real world perspective.

    A last comment on the Fein MM – it certainly isn’t an everyday tool, but it has made a few jobs MUCH easier than the other options. One in particular I still don’t know how I would have done without it (shy of destroy & rebuild).

  28. Mike lee says:

    This is a popular tool. I went to 2 Home Depot and Sears looking for the Dremel, all sold out. Then I went on-line and Sears on-line was sold out. However, I found it on-line at lowe’s. I hope it’s all the hep as showed on TV. (Fein)

  29. Mike lee says:

    I think it’s a good thing that you readers are letting the other readers know how the knockoffs works. Just like most of you guys, I can’t justify buying the fein. I brought the Dremel and haven’t had the change to use it. However, I like to thank you readers for your input on the knockoffs.

  30. Shopmonger says:

    I must Back up Paul and Ben, these posts are not alwyas written with all data at hand sometimes it is just to get out the information. If all you ahve to go on is the add script then you simply try and “translate” all of that into a good post. This sight if about tools, not always about good/bad just about tools in general. Some of us are pros, some of us are hobbyists, some are just avid tool dorks…..

    As for this tool, I am excited i think the MM was a great idea but I could not see spending the money for how often I would need it…something in the $100 range is more likely to be in my shop.

    TM Rocks……..if you don’t like it ….

    you can google “knitting, how it can change your life”

  31. fred says:

    I think that Shopmonger makes a good point. When we bought our first Fein MM – it had no real competition – and it proved its worth on many jobs. If we were replacing the 2 we have – we might consider the newer Fein model – but also the Bosch. This is not a tool that we use day in and out – so the Fein high-quality may be overkill

  32. [...] Rockwell SoniCrafter Now that the patent for the Fein Multimaster has expired we’re seeing several companies come out with more affordable versions, like Rockwell’s SoniCrafter.  These Dremel-sized multi-tools work by oscillating their attachments back and forth at high frequency, rather than spinning them around.  Our readers discuss how the knockoffs compare with the original Multimaster. [...]

  33. Maury says:

    You guys all make great points. At $400 the Fein is priced for the professional / frequent use. I plan to buy the Rockwell – likely the 72 piece for flush cutting base in my home and adding cased openings. I also need it to replace tongue and groove porch floor boards. Allows on a 14 / 16 ft tongue and groove board to flush cut out only rotted portion of board over joist and avoid replacing entire board. One thing that sold me on buying up to the 72 piece Rockwell is that this is the model with dust collection. In addition, the base model does not have variable speed whereas both the mid point and 72 piece model has variable speed. This doesn’t come through all that clearly in ad print.

  34. I bought this for my husband to help with a bathroom remodel project. He cannot stop talking about what a great produce this is. He has shown it to several of our neighbors and told several friends about it too. Makes some nasty work very easy!

  35. mod says:

    If compare rockwell sonicrafter vs Fein multimaster .. you already know who won..

  36. mod says:

    Please delete my comment .. Sorry I put it in the wrong place.. really sorry

  37. daveo says:

    I’m considering purchasing the Rockwell Sonicrafter. I haven’t decided whether I should I get the single or variable speed model. What types of jobs require variable speed?

    I will be using it primarily for tile work, cutting door jambs, and cutting holes in sheetrock for outlets.

  38. LightningMike says:

    I think the Fein is probably the Rolls-Royce of this category, and probably overkill for the average homeowner/handyman. Many of us get by just fine with a basic chop saw, and don’t buy the top of the line $600 DeWalt sliders. We have $99 and $175 alternatives to the Fein in the Dremel and Rockwell units that probably will serve us just fine in our very casual useage. If I were a contractor and needed the best of everything, I guess I could justify spending 3X the money for a Fein… but I’m just another retired guy attacking the “honey-do” list and the $200 I save by buying a Rockwell Sonicrafter will get put to use somewhere else.

  39. I think fein multimaster is better than rockwell sonicrafter. How can you use rockwell to cut the hard materials??

  40. Carol in Toronto says:

    Yeah..I am an intense person too, Ben..and typing is not the same as chatting in real life..that’s mainly been my problem and I’ve been on the net for 2 decades now LOL. (I’ve often gotten frustrated too, and found that sometimes what I’m typing, and what I’m actually trying to say comes out uniquely opposite hehehe.

    As for the tool..well..although it seems attractive, it also seems that anything I would need to send in the mail for (let alone parts) is just not worth it..I’d much rather run to the store to buy a part for a tool I needed right away then wait for the mail , let alone the very expensive shipping and processing fee. (p.s..what I mean by expensive is this: I paid $80 for a $30{taxes included} product once those fees were attached to the invoice)..wow ey! P.S..they say on the shopping channel that “the blades are designed to cut the material..not cut you”. That made me think, then that the blades must need to be sharpenned, then I looked again at the blades, and it seemed they were not ‘made to sharpen’. Well…that got me thinking , then..how many times would I actually have to send a request in the mail?..hmmmm I say. Have a great day..AND THANKS TO ALL YOU DO WITH THIS SITE M8′S!

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