Before I dive into the Dremel Multi-Max review, allow me to provide a bit of disclosure. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Fein Multimaster. With that said, I’m not a big fan of monopolies. That’s partly why I’m happy to see companies coming out with competing oscillating tools, and the Dremel Multi-Max is one of them. I’m also happy to report Dremel is sponsoring this month’s free stuff giveaway, with not one, but two free Dremel Multi-Max’s! These will be given to two lucky winners at the end of this month!
If you haven’t owned an oscillating tool like the Dremel Multi-Max, go get one now! They are the kind of tool you are not quite sure you’ll have a use for until you get one and realize how incredibly handy they are. They’re great for everything from flush-cutting door trim, to removing grout. Because they oscillate (rather than having a spinning blade) they also tend to be relatively safer and far less dusty to use on many types of projects. Great for cutting into wood or drywall to make electrical outlet cutouts, sans a Sahara-like dust storm.
So how did the Multi-Max fare in general, and how did it stack up against the cherished Fein Multimaster? Overall, I was impressed with the Dremel. At around $100 for a basic kit, it comes in about $100 less than a comparable Fein setup. Does a cheaper tool mean 1/2 the performance of the Fein Multimaster? Not in my opinion.
The Fein Multimaster I own is an older model without the quick-change accessory setup. So in my case, both the Dremel and Fein require the use of an included hex key to change accessories. When compared to the old Fein Multimasters, the Multi-Max actually has the advantage in this department. The Dremel accessories feature little holes that line up with spurs on the tool itself. This helps insure your accessory won’t start rotating while you’re working with the tool. On my old Fein, I have had many projects interrupted by the need to adjust and re-tighten the accessory bolt. The Multi-Max accessories also have a slot cut into them, which means you don’t need to completely remove the bolt to change accessories. A real time saver, and another advantage over the older Fein Multimasters.
I tested out the Dremel Hook and Loop pad and sandpaper, a small flush cut blade for wood, and the flexible scraper blade. I found the included sandpaper wore down a bit faster than the Fein paper I’m used to. However the sanding function still performed well on the Multi-Max. The flush cut blade for wood performed very well, and managed to work it’s way through several clean cuts I needed on some wood shelving I was working on. The blade bogged down a couple times, but a quick little shift in tool angle got things back on track. The wood blades cleverly feature a printed depth ruler on the blade itself, which is very handy in certain types of cuts where you know the material thickness and don’t want to cut into the material behind it.
The Multi-Max also boasts a 1.5 amp motor, which did feel like it had slightly less juice than my Fein (which I think runs at slightly over 2 amps). If you’re doing what the tool is designed for, I don’t see the 1.5 amp motor being under-powered though. Lastly, I removed some old adhesive with the flexible scraper blade, and it worked like a charm, except then I had to get the adhesive off the Dremel blade. I thought about getting out the Fein Multimaster with a scraper blade to clean the Multi-Max blade, but I was worried the Multi-Max and Multimaster might get in a fight and I’d lose control of them both in the ensuing melee.
All in all, I think the Dremel Multi-Max held its own against the Fein. The one glaring difference I see between the two tools is that the Multi-Max is far more affordable than the Fein (both in terms of tool cost, and in terms of accessories). Fein accessories are high quality, but also notoriously expensive. According to Dremel, their accessories will also fit both the Fein Multimaster 636 and the Bosch Multi-X PS50. Check out this article for a detailed breakdown of which oscillating tool accessories fit specific tools if you’re into oscillating tool accessory swapping.
You can pick up a the Dremel 6300-01 120-Volt Multi-Max Oscillating Kit for about $102 at Amazon.