Bosch OIS Oscillating Tool Interface System Review
Ever since we checked out Bosch’s 2010 Tool Line-up, we were fascinated by their OIS (Oscillating Interface System) Universal Multi-Tool Adapter for oscillating tools. That’s a mouthful, but Bosch had basically ensured that most major manufacturer’s tools fit their interface (Bosch, Skil, Milwaukee, and others), then supplied the OIS Adapter to cover nearly all the rest. We’re talking Bosch’s Multi-X, Milwaukee’s new Oscillating tool, Skil’s model, Dremel’s Multi-Max, Rockwell Sonicrafter, and even Fein’s MultiMaster Top 250Q. Bosch OIS Oscillating Interface System
Bosch OIS Oscillating Interface System Features
Oscillating multi-tools are rapidly becoming a toolbox staple for remodelers, finish carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and even DIYers. Why? These users are discovering that the wide range of accessories gives these tools the functionality of multiple tools, and even helps them tackle a few tasks they couldn’t accomplish before. Have you seen these things attack grout? Get used as an undercutting saw? The possibilities are endless, and we find ourselves pulling out ours again and again,
When Bosch Accessories introduced the Oscillating Interface System (OIS) to help oscillating multi-tool users get the most out of their tools, it became the first company to develop a standard accessory interface in a rapidly growing and segmented market. So just as Bosch did previously with its well-known T-shank jigsaw blade standard and its SDS hammer steel interface, the company is taking the lead in identifying and developing the best possible interface system to deliver the best possible performance in any competitive tool.
Do’s and Dont’s
OK, here’s the deal:
- What the OIS Adapter Does: Allow Bosch accessories to fit onto virtually ANY oscillating multi-tool
- What the OIS Adapter DOES NOT do: Allow any oscillating multi-tool accessories to fit onto the Bosch Multi-X oscillating tool (that’s what the included OSCAD1 adapter does, at least in part).
Get it? The OIS Adapter was made by the Bosch Accessories division. It is meant to make their accessories compatible across all existing multi-tools. It is NOT designed to allow your Multi-X oscillating tool to be compatible with Dremel, Fein, Rockwell, or other accessories.
The physical OIS adapter itself seems very solid and is only about 3/32″ thick, so it works with the existing oscillating tool fastening systems and won’t require longer bolts to secure it along with the Bosch accessory. We used the OIS Adapter on both a Rockwell SoniCrafter…
…and a Dremel Multi-Max.
Both tools fit snugly with the adapter and easily allowed us to place a Bosch accessory cutting blade on our non-Bosch multi-tools and make clean cuts with no added vibration or instability. It’s an amazingly simple adapter to use and it made both our tools Bosch accessory-ready.
“OIS is a unique 12-pin system from Bosch that provides a secure, reliable connection between the tool and the accessory. That’s important, especially with today’s high-torque oscillating tools. It also enables users to position accessories in 12 different angles to deliver great maneuverability and access to work spaces.”
The advantage here, of course, is that Bosch can really focus on making some excellent accessories – and make sure they get those accessories into proper distribution channels so users can purchase them when they need them. Bosch (as well as Dremel) accessories are already sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s home improvement stores. In terms of convenience, it doesn’t get much better than that for the masses. When you think about what Bosch has done, you see the genius of it. If Bosch accessories will work on all oscillating multi-tools, then the problem of carrying 7-10 different manufacturer’s multi-tool accessories is solved – you just carry Bosch’s along with the OIS adapter.
Somebody in Bosch’s Accessories division must have gotten a massive raise over this. If not, they should have. Heck, I wish I had thought of it.
The Bosch OIS adapter ensures that OIS accessories work on all oscillating multi-tools on the market, regardless of interface, and is designed to provide the best fit for all tools. The other adapters we’ve seen utilize a pressure fit solution instead of an actual interface for the multiple interfaces available, sacrificing performance and stability.
In addition, tool manufacturers seem to have caught on and have begun designing tools specifically around the OIS standard. Oscillating multi-tools from Bosch, Skil and Milwaukee Electric Tool are already OIS direct fit tools, with more on the way.
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It’s the Accessories
Along with the OIS introduction, Bosch is also rolling out an expanded lineup of blades, scrapers, rasps and sanding sheets designed specifically to improve the function and versatility of popular multi-tools. As we said, the OIS system gives retailers a good reason to just stick with Bosch for accessories and sell them to anyone looking for a blade, scraper or other accessories for their oscillating multi-tool.
Because users spend approximately 80 percent of their time with oscillating multi-tools performing cutting applications, Bosch concentrated first on developing accessories that deliver great performance when cutting wood, metal, and other materials.
The New Accessory Range
Included in the new cutting accessory range are:
- 4″ HCS Serrated Knife Blade – A Bosch exclusive, this accessory makes it easier to cut insulation and other soft materials with a serrated edge than with a sharp edge.
- 2-1/4″ Caulk Removal Blade – Offers precise removal in corners due to the tapered body and narrow cutting tip.
- 1-3/8″ Bi-Metal Cutting Plunge Blade – A wider blade with shorter length brings support and strength. Designed for cutting non-ferrous pipes, flush cutting fasteners and plunge cuts in drywall.
- 4″ Bi-Metal Saw Blade – 1″ cutting depth to accommodate common door frame thickness.
- Increased width to handle larger applications, such as parquet or laminate floor cutting.
- 1-1/8″ Bi-Metal Plunge Blade – Bi-Metal construction allows for cutting metal and wood applications. Great for cutting trim nails from baseboards.
- 1-3/8″ Japanese Tooth Plunge Blade – Great for fast and very smooth wood plunge cutting. Perfect for hardwoods such as oak flooring.
Oscillating multi-tools are gaining popularity for making grinding cuts in tile, masonry, plastic and other materials, especially in cramped spaces. For these applications, Bosch is introducing two new blades, including:
- 3-1/2″ Diamond Grit Blade – This blade lasts 50% longer than the leading competitor and cuts up to 40% faster. It’s perfect for notching and fitting tiles, cutting fiberglass or grout removal.
- 2-1/2″ Thin Kerf Carbide Grit Segment Blade – An ideal blade for removing grout from narrow 1/16″ seams between small tiles. Also suited for detail cutting for automotive dash work.
Not Just Cutting
Users also commonly use their oscillating multi-tools for scraping, light shaping, and sanding applications. For these applications, Bosch will offer a full line of accessories, including:
- 3″ Carbide Grit Delta Rasp – This full carbide faced delta removes thinset, paint, and other materials quickly and easily.
- Flexible & Rigid Scraper Blades – Scraping away epoxy, paint, glue or even drywall mud is a snap with the Bosch scraper blade.
- Assorted Sanding Pads and Sanding Sheets – Available in assorted grits, these triangle-shaped sheets fit into corners perfectly for the best results.
Bosch’s OIS system and its new family of oscillating multi-tool accessories are available now at distributors and home centers as individual products or as part of a variety of multi-accessory specialty packs. The OIS universal adapter is available now with several more blades launching in the first quarter of 2011 (pricing on those is yet to be determined).