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June 16, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool DSC355 Review

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool
PTR Review
  • Cutting Speed 8.7
  • Vibration Control 6.5
  • Blade Change 9.0
  • Ergonomics 9.1
  • Noise Level 5.8
  • Value 8.5

DeWalt gets away from traditional multi-tool ergonomics and controls - a move that a number of users will welcome and others will need some time to get used to. 

Overall Score 7.9 (out of 10)

We recently spent a fair bit of time with 26 different oscillating multi-tools for our head to head shootout. Now, we’re taking some time to look at each of these tools individually. On today’s docket, we have the 20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool.


Noteworthy Features

Standard Pro Features

  • Brushless Motor: Brushless motors have slowly become the industry standard for Pro-level tools, so much so that we’ve found ourselves feeling let down when we find a new tool that still uses a brushed motor. Brushless motors provide more power and longer runtimes, as well as generally just lasting longer. Far be it from DeWalt to let us down in this department; their 20V Max multi-tool features the brushless motor that we’ve come to expect.

 

  • Lock On/Off Switch: Most oscillating multi-tools use a grinder-style on/off switch. Since the DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool uses a variable speed trigger, a lock on is crucial for those longer jobs. DeWalt is on board with that thinking and makes sure to include one.

  • LED Work Light: LED lights are much more common on cordless oscillating tools than corded, and lo and behold, DeWalt’s 20V Max model doesn’t let us down in this department.

 

Bonus Features

  • Dual-Grip Variable Speed Trigger: I prefer an on/off switch to DeWalt’s trigger format. But if you plan to go with a model that features a trigger design, we really like DeWalt’s. The dual-grip design helps with ergonomics and allows you to trigger the tool from multiple grip positions.

 

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool

 

  • DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool Guide System: This optional feature, which comes with the kit, allows the user to set a consistent depth for repeatable accuracy.

Missing Features

  • Variable Speed Dial: An oscillating multi-tool that has an on/off switch needs to pair it with a variable speed dial to make it more versatile. DeWalt makes a trade-off (the positive is in ergonomics) with a variable speed trigger. It’s tough to maintain a consistent speed other than full speed with this design considering the kind of awkward cuts you’re often making. I like the physical design, but I’d like to see DeWalt add a variable speed dial to it so I can just pull the trigger instead of trying to feather it.

Ergonomics

The DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool features the same thoughtfulness that the company puts into their other tools. The handle diameter is on the smaller side, and it has plenty of grippy overmolding. As I previously mentioned, this model features a trigger design that allows for multiple hold positions. Moving away from the traditional multi-tool styling, the handle ergonomics are up there with Ridgid as our Pro team’s favorite.

At 3.03 lbs with a slim pack battery, it doesn’t weigh a whole lot either.

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool

Overall, the DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool finished in 3rd place with 4.5 stars for its ergonomics, bested only by the Ridgid models.


Accessory Changes

Though it doesn’t use the Starlock System that we like so much, DeWalt has a pretty solid system working for it. Basically, a squeeze of the silver trigger loosens the blade enough to pull it out from the clamps. No extra tools, no muss, no fuss. Outside of Starlock, it’s the easiest system to work with and earns 4.5 stars.

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool

Vibration Control

Vibration is where we start to see the DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool lose a step or two. The vibration control on this model, or lack thereof, really hurts this tool’s final rating. After using this multi-tool for an extended amount of time, the chances are good that you’ll definitely know it – the vibrations rattling up your arm will likely cause some significant fatigue. Overall, it earns a 3-star rating for vibration control.

If you’re sticking mainly with making small cuts as your primary need for this tool, the vibration won’t be as big of a deal as extended sanding or grout scraping duties.


20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool

Noise Level

DeWalt has one of the loudest multi-tools we tested 102 dB(A) during the cut. For those of you keeping score, this means that the DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool finished in a tie for 10th place. Of course, a set of earplugs can remedy this problem. Realistically, you’re likely going to need them with any oscillating multi-tool. DeWalt earns a 3-star rating here, too.

To learn more about how excessive decibels can wreck your hearing, read our helpful article on the subject.

Understanding Hearing Protection with DeWalt

Cutting Speed

While not the fastest-cutting multi-tool we tested, the DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool is no slouch either. At a top speed of 20,000 OPM and an oscillating angle of 1.6° (3.2° L/R combined), this tool hums right along. In our plunge cutting test, DeWalt’s 20V Max Oscillating Multi-Tool averages 18.1 seconds. That’s good enough for 10th place overall and a 4-star rating.

Price And Value

For the kit, this model will run just under $300. We came across a few cheaper kits than this, however many of those cheaper models might not meet our qualifications for Pro-level tools. The DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool Kit presents a solid 4-star value rating and finishes in 15th place for value.

Accessories Included in the DeWalt DCS355D1 Kit:

  • 20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool
  • Storage Box
  • Depth Gauge
  • 2.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Fast Charger
  • Wood With Nails Blade
  • Sanding Pad
  • 25 Sheets Of Sanding Paper
  • Universal Accessory Adapter

The Bottom Line

The DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool comes up with a 14th place finish overall and 5th place in the cordless category, earning 78.5 points. They get away from traditional multi-tool ergonomics and controls – a move that a number of users will welcome and others will need some time to get used to.

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool Features

  • DeWalt brushless motor delivers up to 57% more run time over brushed
  • The quick-change accessory system allows blades and attachments to be changed quickly without wrenches
  • Dual-Grip variable speed trigger gives users ultimate speed and application control
  • Bright LED light illuminates dark work surfaces for accurate cutting
  • DeWalt Oscillating Tool Guide System allows users to set the depth or height for accurate repeatability
  • 28-Piece DeWalt accessory kit with storage box includes popular cutting and sanding attachments
  • Universal accessory adaptor for use with most oscillating tool accessory brands

20V Max DeWalt Cordless Oscillating Tool Specifications

  • Model: DeWalt DCS355D1
  • Power Source: 20V Max
  • Oscillations: 0-20,000 OPM
  • Oscillation Angle: 1.6 degrees
  • Weight: 3.22 lbs.
  • Length: 12.20″
  • Warranty: 3 years limited
  • Price: $218.12

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Don Donovan

I really like mine

Zachary White

I love mine but I also get a numb hand from vibration. Nature of the tool I’m sure.

Tadhg Muldowney

Find the vibration on the dewalt very strong

Victor Heinrich

Had it a few weeks. I’m definitely a fan.

Paul Matras

I prefer my Bosch with Starlock.

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