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The oscillating multi-tool must be a larger market than we first suspected, because Bosch and other manufacturers keep cranking out tools and attachments for them at breakneck speed. The latest we’ve seen is the MX25E corded multitool. Yep, you heard right: corded.

The MX25E, like any other of its kind, is built to do flush cutting, plunge cutting, sanding, grinding, grout removal, scraping, and whatever else you can manage to do with it — except this one is built to run with 2.5 amps of power and go all day, not just until a 12v battery runs down. We’re guessing Bosch talked to enough contractors who liked using an oscillating multi-tool, but didn’t want the hassle of charging and keeping up with the change out on the jobsite.

The new system uses the same OIS 12-point attachment system the 12v unit does, and features the variable speed control and well as an OSCAD1 adapter that doesn’t lock you into the Bosch-only bits. In our opinion, the adapter is a sign Bosch at least understands that locking consumers (even pros) into one line isn’t going to work. It’s a small thing, but worthy of note.

We don’t use one much around the shop; however there are plenty of folks who do. Flooring contractors love them and we’re thinking the price reflects that. There are two kits: The MX25E-21 runs about $159 and features 4 cutting, grinding, and scraping accessories — 16 sanding and a bag. Then there’s the MX25E-33 that runs $199 and features 6 cutting, grinding, and scraping accessories, 26 sanding accessories, and an accessory box and carrying case. So pick your poison when they begin arriving at the local big boxes soon.

MX25E Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool [Bosch]


10 Responses to Preview: Bosch MX25E Corded Oscillating Multi-Tool

  1. Toolhearty says:

    I wonder what the ratio of cord/cordless people is when given a choice.

    Personally, I despise battery packs (probably due to bad experiences with NiCad packs with cheap chargers from years ago) and installed a longer power cord (12′) on my drill and keep a 25′ extension in the toolbag. Yes, I do have a cordless drill, but it only gets used when there is no choice (usually outdoors and up ladders).

  2. zoomzoomjeff says:

    I’m with you Toolhearty. I do own many cordless items, however half of them I wish were corded, and still other tools I own I would never dream of having in a cordless version. Especially a multi-tool. After having used a multi-tool, I can’t see a need for a cordless version. I guess when I used it, I used it for extended periods. Not just a little zip here and there.

    I do like how the review commented on Bosch’s willingness to concede that owners don’t like to get locked into one brand of blades/attachments, so they made an adapter. +1 for Bosch there.

  3. ian says:

    I bought a Fein about 6 or 7 years ago, when they were the only unit available. It was expensive, but I love it. Yes, they work fine for flush cutting, etc., but what mine is invaluable at doing is surgical cutting of drywall. I can put a shopvac nozzle next to the blade and cut an outlet opening or slice out a cable channel with almost no dust. The best part is that if you are careful, the kerf is so narrow that you can use the removed piece as a patch to repair the wall.

  4. After field testing the MX25E for awhile, I can say that it is a great tool. Gobs of power, as smooth or smoother than anything else out there, and takes OIS blades natively. All oscillating tools are only as good as the blade you put on them.

    Oh, and heads up for anyone who already bought a different tool: we are still running the free OIS blade and adapter to make the blade fit on any tool at bethepro.com. Use the code OISM11, which is good until March 31, 2011.

  5. fred says:

    We have invested in quite a number of oscillating tools over the years. I started with the original Fein Multimaster – that used a hex key to affix blades. Most crews thought it was a great tool with capabilities way beyond detail sanders that did more to vibrate your hand than sand wood. We bought more recent models of the Fein Multimaster with quick blade change capability – again an improvement. We bought a couple of Fein Supercut “the big daddy of multimasters” – which are stronger and up to more continuous operation. In the production shop – we like pneumatic sanders – including the pneumatic multimaster. We have never been convinced that an oscillating tool (even the $900 class Supercut) is the Jack-of-all-Trades that some ad men would have you believe. But it does do some things very well –so well that we carry one on most of our trucks.

    On the cordless front – since we are big fans of the Milwaukee M12 lineup – we thought to try out their cordless oscillating tool. It comes with the Red Lithium battery – which is supposed to extend usage time. Our thoughts so far is that it’s an OK choice when working with saw blades and scrapers on a ladder or staging – but its not up to much continuous sanding. We buy other tools for niche applications – and I think a cordless oscillating tool is just that – but it would not be my choice if I wanted a multipurpose tool – which of course is the selling point (at least in advertising hype) for an oscillating tool.

    Regarding your point about the number of new entrants into this tool category – since the Multimaster went off patent – I’m guessing that Fein’s price point leaves a lot of room for competition. How long the competitors stay in play – will probably be determined by how the market develops. Some of the other Fein tools we’ve bought over the years (wheel polishers and pipe sanders come to mind) have few competitive brands – but also less of a potential market – so it was either bite the bullet and pay up – or be less productive (in our view) doing the job some other way. Since I don’t see Bosch, Techtronics or others entering the pipe sander market – but they did enter the oscillating tool market – I’m guessing that their marketing surveys must say that the latter tool has a much larger potential.

  6. Dave says:

    Father-in-law installs hardwood flooring. Might have to check out the $199 for him. Might be a good present.

  7. DeadGuy says:

    Floor guys do love the multi-tools. My buddy lays tile and says he can’t live without his for cutting door frames, scraping grout and making repairs. Last week, I had hardwood installed in a small area and the two guys used a hardwood nailer, nail gun, rubber mallet, speed square and a multi-tool and that was it. I was surprised by how well it worked and everything they used it for, including corner cuts on the shoe molding. They used a speed square to get the 45 and back-cut it with a new yoke attachment they had just gotten. They were actually arguing over who got to do the next back-cut.

  8. Alan says:

    The corded PMF180E has been around for a while. I bought one recently for fitting a floor. I guess the USA and European markets differ a bit.
    (Cordless might be more convenient in some ways, but the corded model was quite a bit cheaper, and worked for what I wanted it for.)

  9. browndog77 says:

    I bought the Bosch cordless model on sale a few months ago, chiefly because it came w/ a “free” pocket driver. While I use the driver every day (which has me in the market for the ps20), I have only tried the multi a couple of times. On a small sanding project it was suitable, but when I needed to cut into the side of a cabinet base for a central-vac sweep inlet, I was not impressed. Neither of the 2 blades that came w/ the unit was very good at plunging into 3/8″ veneered maple plywood.
    Maybe a different blade would have worked better, but the vibration actually made my hands numb!!

  10. Keith Oatney says:

    Cord or no cord? To me it’s pretty simple. I use a cord when it’s continuous use or I need the extra power, and cordless for intermitent normal use. I use my Dewalt 18V drill every day and wouldn’t be without it.
    I am fairly new at multi-tool use and plan to buy a corded model. I like the look and the price of the Bosch and I would expect to use it for more extended run times than would be practical for a cordless. I bought a cheap tool to try them out but it’s a single-speed and I hate it.
    Another point regarding cordless; I have about every 18V Dewalt tool made and carry a half dozen batteries and two or three chargers. I am not going to buy into another brand of cordless tools and have to pack more than one brand of battery. No multi-tool from Dewalt yet.

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