A multi-tool uses a variety of attachments in an oscillating motion for sanding, cutting, and scraping. In this DeWalt vs. Makita vs. Milwaukee multi-tool review we compare the three cordless models against a 3 amp corded Makita.
- DeWalt Model DCS355 —- ** the new 3 speed model DCS356 is out – see Amazon link below **
- Makita Model XMT03
- Milwaukee Model 2626
Power and Speed
Using fully charged five amp hour batteries and new Dremel carbide tips the Milwaukee took first place in the three nail test by a second or two. The corded Makita was faster through 1” x 8” beveled pine by a couple of seconds. And all of the cordless units were close enough to the corded Makita to justify ditching the cord.
Noise and Vibration
All of the tools are extremely loud. Vibration is pretty even across the board, unless you hold the DeWalt by the pistol grip, in which case it has more vibration than the others.
Size and Weight
The DeWalt and Milwaukee are both smaller than the Makita, with the DeWalt coming in around a pound lighter than the other two.
The Milwaukee and Makita use an on/off switch and a variable speed dial. The dial can be set from 11-18k oscillations per minute on the Milwaukee and from 6-20k on the Makita.
The Dewalt has a variable speed trigger and no on/off switch. The trigger goes from 0-20k oscillations/minute which, when brought up to full speed, can be locked on high with the trigger itself being the release.
DeWalt has released a new 3 speed, model DCS356B.
The DeWalt uses universal, open end type, accessories available from DeWalt, Dremel, Rockwell and others. All three models have a tool-less blade change: The Milwaukee and Makita use a lever and pin system, where the DeWalt uses a much faster quick-release mechanism.
Oddly, the adaptor ring that comes with the DeWalt does not line up with Makita, Milwaukee, or Bosch accessories. Meanwhile, the Makita and Milwaukee take each other’s accessories, as well as universal blades, with no adaptor needed. Even so, I would use universal blades on all three models because they install faster than closed end blades.
So which is the best cordless multi-tool? The Milwaukee has the best grip and was the easiest to control, but I prefer the DeWalt for its quick blade change and lighter weight. The Makita’s larger size, weight and missing work light put in a distant third place.
If you get one of these units I hope you enjoy it. Please share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below. And I’ll talk to you later.
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For more information, and to see the tools in action, check out this video: