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The folks over at Rockwell recently sent a 72 piece Rockwell SoniCrafter Oscillating Multi-tool kit to review, model # RK5102K. [shown below]
The tool is adapted for a wide variety of applications by attaching specially designed accessories on the end of the oscillating shaft. The SoniCrafter by Rockwell Tools is excellent for sawing, sanding, scraping, cutting, rasping and removing grout.
When I took this tool out of the box it looked and felt like a quality tool. I like the rubber grip casing on the tool and it's sturdy metal housing feels durable.
The on /off switch was placed well on top of the tool accommodating left or right handed operators.
The ten foot power cord is greatly appreciated as is the variable speed. I found myself starting a cut in a lower speed and once I had a scored line, I increased the speed to full speed and finished the cut.
I found the operating manual limited in describing how to use the accessories.
Testing the SoniCrafter in the field:
I've been using this tool for a few weeks now and have some practical input on it that you may find interesting.
I found the SoniCrafter very useful when splicing in exterior house trim like window sills, corner boards, sofit cuts and water table as seen below. The tool cuts easily with little pressure applied to the tool.
Using a speed square to keep the SonoCrafter straight I was able to cut out a rotted section of the water table trim in a matter of seconds.
Time is money and this tool will save you time and make you money!
Testing the SoniCrafter in the shop:
I attached the vacuum adapter easily to the SoniCrafter and then connected it to my workshop dust collection system via a 2" hose. I then attached the sanding pad and tested the tool to sand a cabinet door.
The SoniCrafter's vacuum adapter clips onto the tool and is shown installed below. The vacuum circles the end of the tool for 360 degree suction.
The hook and loop sanding pad and triangular sanding sheets have pre-cut holes for the vacuum adapter to collect the dust created during sanding.
The SoniCrafter easily sanded this painted door down to bare wood and with little residual dust left on the surface.
Look at how close the tool came to the edges and corner. A random orbital or palm sander could never get this close. I would normally have to use a scraper, risking gouging damage, to get this close.
This is a great tool for tight, hard to reach sanding applications.
I also used the SoniCrafter to successfully remove years of dried glue that had dripped onto my shop floor and was as hard as cement. The SioniCrafter quickly and easily removed 100 percent of the glue with ease.
Below is an example of the grout removal tool installed on the SoniCrafter. It is designed to remove grout from 1/4" grout joints which can be useful if replacing a damaged tile like the one shown below or re grouting.
I plan on testing this soon.
The blades index onto the Sonicrafters hexagonal shaped receiver [below] and then are locked on with a flange washer and a retaining screw.
This receiver and the cut out on the blades and accessories mate to allow the blade / accessories to be angled in many useful directions. This is useful since in real world application nothing is every straight forward or easy.
Having a tool that is adaptable to the demands of job site environment is advantageous and will no doubt save you time and money.
A flange washer and nut lock everything in place.
It is important to note that when mounting the blade on the SoniCrafter make sure that it seats tightly around the hexagonal receiver. A few times I failed to do this and the blade loosened on me.
Sonicrafter, like Bosch, Dremmel and Fein all have proprietary accessories that don't play well with others. SoniCrafter provides a universal adapter which allows this tool to be able to the competitions blades.
The adapter, shown below, fits over the hexagonal receive and locks in the blade. I did not test this adapter as of yet.
I was impressed with the SoniCrafter and did not run into any problems with the tool while testing it. It is competitively priced under $200. My Fein was $400.
My biggest issue with this tool was the lack of a tool free blade and accessory changing. It is an absolute reality that one of the guys or I will loose the nut, flange or hex wrench one of these days.
The SoniCrafter was not as powerful as my Fein but it had plenty of power to get the job done. Its a versatile, durable alternative at half the price as the Fein.