Review, Harbor Freight Oscillating Multifunction Tool

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Finally had an occasion to use my oscillating tool. Cutting 8"x16" holes on the underside of my eaves to create ventilation. 36 total! 3/8 inch plywood boxed eaves. Considered skill saw, saber saw, roto- zip and oscillating tool. Note: This is all overhead work, approximately 8-11 feet off ground.
Skill saw: While I do own a portable model, I considered it to be too dangerous to be used upside down and overhead. Also if I make a template, I could use it only to trace with a pencil and not trace with the saw. I'd probably end up cutting it to shreds in no time.
Saber saw: This would require starting holes in the corners or some clever plunge cuts. Template could be made to compensate for the shoe width. Tried this and found it to be heavy and difficult especially when coming across a rafter. Depth of cut can not be adjusted other than by cutting off part of the blade.
Roto-Zip: This tool worked nicely. Template has to be made larger due to the with of the shoe (base). Very agressive, hard to control overhead and LOTS of sawdust.
Multifunction: (MF) THIS WAS THE WINNER!!! Fairly light weight. Template (Masonite hardboard) with inside cutout exactly 8"x16". Plunge cut no problem. Used the half-moon "Wood & Drywall" cutter. Easy to follow template. WILL NOT CUT INTO TEMPLATE, except at the ends. Method used: Template tucked up against facia board. This offsets the cut-out 4 inches from the board. Template screwed to eave facing with two diagonally placed drywall screws. These screw holes match the holes in the new grill covers. MF tool traces lightly around the cutout simply scoring at about 1/4 depth of th plywood. MF tool stops about 1/2 inch short of the corners. Template is removed. MF tool finishes the cuts at full depth and out to the corners. Grill is screwed onto the hole (6 screws total) with two of the screws falling into the existing holes used in the template. Instead of working from a ladder, I welded a removable hand-rail unto my Kubota tractor and stood in the bucket with all the tools. Simply drive from location to location and adjusted the height accordingly.
TOOL PERFORMANCE: Loud, but performed very well. I did 14 holes by the time the blade wore out. Not bad, considering that it's 48 inches of cut per hole, for a total of 672 inches, or 56 feet. This would be equivalent to undercutting about 100 door jambs!! Extremely safe.
QUESTION: The teeth on the cutter don't have any 'set'. Would this work better with 'set' teeth? Is 'set' simply to allow saw dust to get out of the way? Of course, having no 'set' is probably the reason that the tool does not 'grab' and cut into the template as you slide it along.
Ivan Vegvary
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Forgot the link. Sorry. http://www.harborfreight.com/multifunction-power-tool-67256.html
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I bought a Chicago Electric right angle grinder a few years ago. It ran for about 40 seconds before the armature burned up.
Never again.
--
Jim in NC


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wrote

You didn't take it back? Usually the grinders last forever and at about $10 a pop are a terrific bargain. Also not that the Blade in the OP's MF tool lasted 56 Feet. The blades are about $2, IIRC.
--
If your name is No, I voted for you - more than once ...


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On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 15:14:54 -0500, "Morgans"

You're one of the few. Most of us run them for years on end without a hitch. Ten bucks well spent!
-- Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -- Margaret Lee Runbeck
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"Larry Jaques" wrote:

Count me in the POS crowd.
Took less than 15 minutes to burn one out.
Not worth the time it would take to return it.
When it comes to 4" right angle sander/grinder, you have Milwaukee and those that want to be Milwaukee when they grow up..
I've zapped Makita as well, just takes a little longer.
Lew
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Sounds more like You are the problem. I used to be that way with watches,
--
If your name is No, I voted for you - more than once ...


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I wrote:

"Lobby Dosser" wrote:

Working with fiberglass is a different kettle of fish than working with wood.
Lew
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Used to? I've got three watches that all have to be sent in for repair. Almost $600 spent on these POS and they keep breaking down on me inside the first year of warranty. I'm not violent with any with with them, don't bang them on anything and don't drop them. Yet, they keep breaking down on me.
Please, please tell me how you solved your watch problem? Do you still wear watches?
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wrote in message

Have not worn a watch for ten years. When I absolutely need one now, I use a pocket watch. My problems were almost exclusively with analog wrist watches. Bought a top of the line Timex in the PX at Lackland AFB just before I left for my next duty station in 1961. It died - forever - on the plane between San Antonio and Kansas City!
--
If your name is No, I voted for you - more than once ...


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I never solved my problem with analogue watches, either. I had about 10-12 of them die when they were less than two weeks old, every time. I too, resorted to a pocket watch for many years.
The digital era resolved that for me. They last an average of four to five years (batteries, scratches and paint) now.
Have not worn a watch for ten years. When I absolutely need one now, I use a pocket watch. My problems were almost exclusively with analog wrist watches. Bought a top of the line Timex in the PX at Lackland AFB just before I left for my next duty station in 1961. It died - forever - on the plane between San Antonio and Kansas City!
--
If your name is No, I voted for you - more than once ...




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wrote in message

I started buying Heuer watches, in 1984. I am wearing that watch this morning and it is has has been my daily wear watch. I have another "Tag" Heuer that I got for my 10th wedding anneversary, 20 years ago. My wife wears one and we gave one to my son when he graduated from college. They all work.
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On 11/10/2010 08:19 AM, Leon wrote:

for $40 at Costco. Accurate to a fraction of a second (updates via radio every night), solar battery powered (never had to change a battery), shock proof as I've beat the crap out of it and supposedly waterproof to 200M. Best watch I ever had.
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Milwaukee may make some good stuff, but they do break and then they are outrageous to fix. I had a Milwaukee close-quarters drill. The main drive gear on the armature broke. They wanted more for a replacement than the original cost of the drill. So I bought a similar drill from HF: It has been working great for years, but if it does die I could replace it four times for the cost of the Milwaukee version. Bob Wilson

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I now own 7 HF 4-1/2" grinders, plus one parts grinder. Do not put them through heave use, BUT, it's sure nice not to have to change wheels etc., and simply pick up the nest grinder. Mounted are grinding wheels, cut-off wheels, wire brushes, masonry wheels, diamond wheel etc. Had them for over 8 years. Yes, they are noisy, but at the price I'll simply wear ear protection. Contractors like them because if they walk off the job the loss isn't so great. Ivan Vegvary
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On Mon, 8 Nov 2010 07:05:15 -0800 (PST), Ivan Vegvary

And at that price, you have extras if one does die some day. You enjoy a whole lot more convenience while you wait, too.
PLUS, your out-of-pocket expense is still under half of what the other tools guys want you to buy.
-- Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -- Margaret Lee Runbeck
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I've had much better luck with mine. About five years before the little half-moon spline thing broke and my neighbor mad me another - back in business for another five years (of intermittent, of course) use. If I was a metal worker/had a welding shop, I might not want to rely upon HFTools. But,, then, I could charge the customers for the added cost of a more dependable grinder, no?
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I've been using my Milwaukee for 8 years now - almost 6 in a company mode. I use it with grind wheels and brushes. It is tough.
I treat it right and it keeps going.
Martin
On 11/8/2010 11:25 AM, Hoosierpopi wrote:

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On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 08:17:42 -0800 (PST), Ivan Vegvary

They can be tough, but for demo work, they're fine. They're heavy and buck way too much to be tame enough for following lines precisely.

Less fun when running over the stray rafter, huh?

Much wider kerfs are like that. Yeah they are.

I'm happy with the blade life, too. I (mostly) cut notches in PT tubasixes for decking and railings.

The lack of set has made me a bit ornery at times, too, but I learned to blow the sawdust out as I cut. I keep forgetting to put a piece of tubing in the truck for my next job, though. Hmm, this would work, though. I'll put it out there right now. <done>
I talked a newb into buying the cheapie at HF the other day, when I replaced a missing t-bevel (and, what else?) buy some more clamps. I had a coupon for the 12" quick clamp/spreaders for $1.99.
MFTs RULE!
-- Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. -- Margaret Lee Runbeck
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On 11/7/10 11:54 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Buck? Really? I haven't noticed that at all.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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