We recently took 26 corded and cordless oscillating multitool models and compared them next to each other to see who makes the fastest oscillating, most comfortable, easiest-to-use multi-tool that presents the best value. If you’re curious about how it all turned out, check out the full details of our Oscillating Multitool Shootout. As is the tradition around here, we’re taking a look at each of our individual entries. Today, we’re putting the corded Porter-Cable oscillating tool under the microscope.
- Excellent value
- Excellent blade change system
- Better performance than we expect from a Prosumer brand
- Not a model to compete with the top performers in the multi-tool space
This is an excellent choice for serious DIYers, Prosumers, and Pros that need an oscillating multi-tool occasionally. While it doesn’t compete with Fein, it gives you a lot of performance for the price and has one of the best ergonomic designs.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool uses a pretty solid tool-less accessory change system. Instead of horsing around with wrenches and bolts to change out blades, you’ll simply pull up on a lever to release the blade clamp. It works simply and efficiently, and though it’s not quite as slick as the Starlock system that both Fein and Bosch have developed, we have no complaints.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool has some good things going for it from an ergonomic perspective. First of all, it weighs in at 3.23 lbs. We tested some lighter models, but we also tested models that were quite a bit heavier. Weight factors into the comfortability scale more on the longer jobs, but even on those smaller cuts, a lighter tool usually equals a more maneuverable tool.
Porter-Cable designed this oscillating tool with a barrel grip. The handle also has some grippy overmolding at the front, middle, and back of the tool. Overall, the tool feels relatively comfortable to hold onto, with the size, weight, and rubber grips playing a big part. A bit more contouring might help even further, but to be fair, we didn’t test a lot of multi-tools that really emphasize a contoured handle, and this is one of the more comfortable designs in the shootout.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool features a 3-amp motor and a 2.8° oscillation angle. You can adjust the speed using the variable speed dial on the back of the tool, and it has an available range of 10,000-22,000 OPM. This multi-tool also features a lock-on switch, as opposed to a variable speed trigger, which is helpful for longer cuts.
As far as speed goes, the Porter-Cable oscillating tool didn’t disappoint, but it also didn’t blaze through cuts like a few of the models did. It finished in the middle of the pack, but aside from the far ends of the ranges, the differences in cutting speeds amongst the tools we tested fell within ten seconds of each other.
One thing that’s unique to the Porter-Cable oscillating tool is the depth and cutting guide. We didn’t see this with any of the other models, but this attachment could find a lot of use with plunge cutting applications.
Again, this is one of those areas where the Porter-Cable oscillating tool finished in the middle of the table. Its vibration control was about what you should expect from any professional level multi-tool, but it didn’t go above and beyond in this category. Still, we tested some models that really disappointed on this front, but Porter-Cable holds its own here. Running this tool for longer periods of time won’t cause any undue numbness or discomfort that you’ll get from some of the cheap models.
The Porter-Cable oscillating tool probably will you to keep ear protection on hand, er, on ear. We measured decibel levels at the ear while the tool was in use, and this one cranked out 101 dB(A). None of the tools we looked at were necessarily quiet, but this one thumbs its nose a bit at the idea of keeping its voice down.
At $129, the Porter-Cable oscillating tool presents a pretty great value. It’s comfortable, it has a great accessory change system, and it cranks out the type of performance we expect from a Pro-level tool. Plus, it comes with a depth gauge that we didn’t see on any other model. It retails for less than many of its competitors and comes with a 3-year warranty.
Included In Kit
- Oscillating tool
- Depth/cutting guide
- Precision wood end-cut blade
- Wood/metal end-cut blade
- Flush-cut blade
- Sanding plate
- 25 sandpaper sheets
- Flexible scraper
- Storage case
We’ll be honest here, the Porter-Cable oscillating tool impressed us in our shootout. Even though it finishes in 9th place overall, it beat out some big names like DeWalt, Hitachi, Bosch, and Milwaukee. For a brand that’s generally considered to exist in the prosumer sphere of the market, this tool exceeds our expectations and leaves several members of our testing team with the impression that this is a tool they’re willing to reach for.
The potential downside is that its future is in question with Stanley Black and Decker’s relaunch of Craftsman.
Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool Features
- 3 Amp Motor delivers power to complete applications fast
- Tool Free System: blade change allows quick changes and adjustments for specific applications without wrenches and bolts
- Depth and Cutting Guide helps complete plunge and cutting tasks faster and with more control
- Variable Speed Dial (10,000 – 22,000 OPM) optimizes performance and control across a complete range of applications
- 3 Position Over Mold provides a gripping area on the front, middle and rear to improve comfort by reducing vibration
- 10 Foot Cord minimizes the need for extension cords
Porter-Cable Oscillating Tool Specifications
- Model: Porter-Cable PCE605K
- Power Source: 120V
- Motor Size: 3.0 Amp
- Oscillations: 10,000-22,000 OPM
- Oscillation Angle: 2.8 degrees
- Weight: 3.7 lbs.
- Length: 11″
- Warranty: 3 years limited
- Price: $79.49