oscillating tool

Oscillating tool review. Don't Buy the Rockwell Sonicrafter RK5102K Until You Read This

oscillating tool

For those in the market for oscillating tools, the Rockwell RK5102K Sonicrafter should be on their list to look at. It is great for just about every task the professional or hobby carpenter may ask of it. It is wonderful for reaching small, difficult areas to cut, as well as lightweight jobs such as cutting drywall and copper tubing. A great value for the money, this tool is useful; on the other hand, it will leave those looking for a tool to do the heavy lifting on tough jobs requiring long hours of continuous work or cutting through dense materials disappointed.

This oscillating tool kit comes with 72 pieces and enables users to sand, polish, scrape, and cut almost any type of material; it is the single solution to almost every carpenter's needs. With such a large selection of accessories, this tool has variable speeds and uses microsonic high-frequency oscillations to create smooth, safe, and comfortable kickback-free operation. This tool has minimal vibrations, resulting in a very quiet unit compared to a circular saws, saber saws, and sanders. This reduced vibration is much easier on the user's hands as well. With less pressure required and the comfortable grip, great shape, and light weight, it is much easier to use the tool more often or for longer time each use than other heavier or more cumbersome models.

The Oscillating Tool advantages

This tool is a great fit for work as well as home, and its slim contours make it great to work in small places. It has a great array of accessories, both helpful and hindering. For instance, the additional dust collection system accessory is cumbersome, making it one of the least helpful of all the attachments. However, this really is not that big of a deal because it creates very little dust when sanding, cutting, or scraping; the dust just falls in place when cutting or sanding. This makes cleanup of your projects a snap; whether you use the dust collection system accessory or not, the time required to clean up as you go is greatly reduced.

oscillating tool rockwell sonicrafter

The Rockwell RK5102K has many great features besides its great selection of attachments and small size. Its quiet, smooth, and powerful 2.3 amp motor ( compare to 1.5 amp Dremel Multimax motor, 2.5 amp original Fein MultiMaster tool ) makes this oscillating tool capable of handling all of the work, and requires very little pressure or force from the user. The specialized high frequency oscillation only cuts hard materials, not soft ones like fingers. It does not have any quickly spinning or alternating blades that create tool motion; the high frequency oscillating action results in a smooth and comfortable operation. Also, the Rockwell Sonicrafter Deluxe allows you to work right up to the edges and corners of your project, as well as other hard to reach angles. Instead of having to do these types of tasks by hand, users of the Rockwell tool will speedily work through these compact areas with ease. Your hands and joints will thank you for this tool! It works surely better than a Dremel oscillating tool

The Rockwell Sonicraft is a great sander. It is great for window and doorframe rebuild jobs as well as installing decorative glass into existing doors and sidelights by cutting out steel and fiberglass sidelights with the universal end cut blade. It has clean, fine-cutting capabilities with 1/2inch and 3/4 galvanized pipe, and is incredible for removing grout from floor tile. The time shaved off these projects using this tool is very surprising, especially when the user is accustomed to spending a day or two on projects like these.

The Rockwell RK5102K is good for contractors and hobbyists. It is perfect for cutting and sanding drywall, trimming wood, and cutting PVC pipe. Its sleek design makes it very nice to remove grout or to trim the end of a fireplace mantle, as well as other jobs that require considerable detail and fine motor skills. At the other end of the spectrum, this oscillating tool makes tasks like removing loose paint from old crown molding and making the various surfaces smooth, ready for priming and painting.

rockwell oscillating tool

The Rockwell Sonicrafter features solid-as-a-rock construction. It is very durable, able to withstand the rigors of both construction site and home use settings without serious injury. The kit includes 2 polishing pads, 1 finger sanding pad, 30 finger sanding sheets, 1 triangular sanding pad, and 30 triangular sanding sheets; when users run out of sanding paper, you may use any sand paper, as long as it is cut to fit. This saves money because you do not have to purchase additional brand-specific sanding papers. This saves money and time, because these items found and obtained easily; that is not always the case with every accessory for this particular tool.

The Rockwell Sonicraft is convenient because it allows users to cut through small pieces of wood without digging out all of their tools, it has a generous power cord, so I never have to worry about a battery running down or whether I have enough additional batteries charged to finish my project, and it has a perfect support policy. Rockwell ships to you a complete new kit without problems or pushback, and they send it to you before you return your previous tool. Its sturdy construction is also a huge relief; I have dropped it from a significant height onto a hard surface, resulting in no apparent damage. This can be an invaluable advantage, especially in the workplace, where dropping the tool as well as having it stepped on are almost daily occurrences. However, it would be nice if they included some sort of beeping device, like when I lose my cordless phone, so that I can find it easily after I have set it down somewhere!

Drawbacks

For everything in life, including the Rockwell RK5102K, there are drawbacks. One such drawback is that, while a novice can definitely use this tool without a lot of trouble, it does not include precise instructions, and in inexperienced hands, it can burn more wood than it saws. While the carbide blades are impressive, they wear quickly and replacement blades are expensive: around $10 per blade. The soft bag was a little disappointing; I would have liked to see a hard case for such a high-quality tool.

There were a few concerns when using this oscillating tool for prolonged periods also. First, the tool gets hot when I used it for a deep or prolonged cut. Next, after intensive use the on/off switch sometimes became intermittent, and the blades can lose an attachment at the highest speed setting; however, there were no such issues at speed 5. The best solution I found for this issue was to use a proper speed setting for each application and stick to it. Remember, this tool does require some patience; it is not like using a hot knife to cut through butter. In addition, the Rockwell Sonicraft does not seem to work well to cut steel nails and screws, as the universal blade wears down after only two nails.

I cut through two nails with the universal blade before it gave up. New blades cost ten dollars apiece, and guess what? They are not available in local stores. So, you have to wait to get them in the mail. This is very frustrating. You can read Amazon customer reviews here

Suggestions on Rockwell Sonicrafter

I will reiterate that patience is important when working with this tool. If the user hurries or pushes it too much, he or she may end up dulling or burning up the cutter blades, overheating the motor, or loosening the attachment, all problems in their own rights. For hard materials such as very hard wood or other dense items, use only the high or highest speed; save the low speed settings for sanding only. When using the tool on large projects, at high speeds for prolonged time, or other taxing tasks, take breaks every two hours or so to let the unit cool down properly.

Make sure that the cutting material is on the side of the blade and try to use that part of the blade as much as possible; working it in against the edge only will wear that part of the blade faster. When working with any type of material, hold it firmly and keep it still. If not, the material will just end up vibrating a lot and you will not get anywhere, especially if your goal is to cut it.

To ensure the best cutting results, make sure the blades are seated properly listen for the click of the blade; that means it is seated in place or else they will not cut and begin to gouge their axle, which will end up breaking the unit. Make sure to tighten the hex drive screw carefully!

If you want to buy this oscillating tool, you can get it on sale on Amazon through this link for $159

Another useful link: blades for Rockwell Sonicrafter at Amazon.com

So

The Rockwell RK5102K Sonicrafter, just like many things in life, is not perfect. It's ideal for precision light duty tasks such as cutting wood, drywall, linoleum, and copper tubing, but not for heavy-duty cutting or other strenuous tasks. It is incredible for working on delicate projects or ones that require the user to make cuts in tight places; no other tool I have ever used can do these jobs like this oscillating tool. Also, it is a great value for the price. There are other comparable tools out there but either their quality is lacking a great deal, or the price is outrageous. For less demanding tasks on the job site or at home, this tool is a must-have; for those looking for a more industrial tool that can handle hardwearing jobs, my recommendation is to keep looking.

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Rockwell RK5139K Sonicrafter Hyperlock with Universal Fit Oscillating Tool Kit

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by Anatolie Borisov,
Current Owner of a Rockwell Sonicrafter
Updated March 3, 2013
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