273 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2009
I debated a couple of years about purchasing a tool like this. At first, Fein was the only option and just for home use it was too much money for me to justify purchasing. Now that there are reasonably priced choices, I purchased the 37 piece Rockwell kit and added some accessories. Honestly, I felt like it was a gamble. Many reviews say the blades don't last and they come loose all the time. I rolled the dice. I WON!!!
This is a solid tool. I love working with tools and I own a lot of professional quality tools. I put this in the same class as my Bosch, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Rigid, and Makita tools.
For $208 I bought the 37 piece kit and a diamond segment saw, a carbide triangle saw, and a blade cleaner. (the 37 piece kit is the cheapest with variable speed; the least expensive kit is not variable speed). The harder the material you work on, the higher the speed needs to be set. According to the manufacturer, it is running the tool on too low a speed that causes overheating and excessive blade wear. The tool and add on accessories cost me less than half as much as the equivalent from Fein would have.
I immediately went to work taking out thinset from an old tile job, probably 1/4 inch trowelled. I had tried hammer and chisel and hated that. I bought an angle grinder which worked but threw dust everywhere. That lasted about one minute before I had to quit because of the dust. Then I threw a rug over it. That was a couple of years ago.
This Sonicrafter with the diamond segment saw is the right tool for the job. It is powerful enough. I used it for an hour, it did not overheat or bog down. The blade shows no signs of wear. The blade never came loose. It did not throw dust everywhere. After an hour my hand was tired. Operating this tool feels very much like operating a random orbital sander. The gentle vibration over time is fatiguing.
Be careful when you mount the blade. Blades mount like a twelve point socket fits on a nut; but these blades and mount are thin like a hacksaw blade. Make sure the blade is seated on the nut before you tighten the mounting screw. If the blade is mounted correctly, it will not work loose. I have used three different types of blades and have never had a blade work loose. Just get it on there right to begin with.
I am more than satisfied with my choice of Sonicrafter over Multimaster. I used some of the money I saved to buy myself a new Stetson hat.
Update: I was digging a post hole in my back yard and ran into a one inch root about 18 inches deep into the hole. All progress stopped. I smiled a lot as I qucikly cut the root out with my Sonicrafter.
Update: Obituary; April 22, 2014. My Sonicrafter died in the line of duty. Massive stoke, without warning. Unfortunately, I did not get the hours of service from this tool that I expected, it was a really solid tool. I think it was the switch that broke, I found no evidence of motor burnout. When I bought this, there were very few choices on the market, now there are many. I replaced it with a corded Rigid Job Max, lifetime warranty, and accepts all my Sonicrafter attachments.
476 of 492 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2008
OMG, the Rockewell SoniCrafter is great. I was looking for a corded oscillating tool and looked at the Fein Multitasker and blades, but it is just way too expensive to purchase for my needs. So I bought the Dremel and the Rockwell to compare side by side...
The $100 Dremel is lighter and a bit smaller but the buzz the motor makes compared to the Rockwell motor [a little bit heavier and slightly bigger] which humms smoothly is like comparing a Vespa scooter to a Victory street bike.
Since the basic Rockwell is only $20 more than the Dremel and the extra blades are about the same price, there was no question about going for the quality/durability of a Rockwell.
The only convenience problem that I can foresee is getting replacement blades:
Dremel is carried by big box hardware stores; hobbyists who do crafts on the spur of the moment and do not need to rip open walls, will appreciate the around-the-corner convenience.
Rockwell is carried by speciality woodworking stores or the internet; the Home Proj. kind of guys have to plan ahead before ripping into a wall for remodeling. So ordering parts in advance should be a no brainer.
I also really liked the Rockwell case, it is created with niches and screw-downs to hold lots of blades/attachments in place.
I looked at the Bosch 12v battery operated version, and that would have been a good choice but I do not want to have numerous 18v tool systems and chargers for the various power hand tools that I use. I read that the Bosch delivers 20 min of battery power and I might need more time than that between charges.
All four tools mentioned above have variable speeds pretty much the same: 10,000 - 21,000 opm. The Bosch details that I read boasted of 5,000 - 20,000 opm, but I do not know if I need to go that slow. If I did I would have researched more into the rare Praxon version of oscillating tool, which is reportedly underpowered and equivalent to size and weight of the Dremel.
158 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2008
I had looked at the Fein Multimaster, but couldn't justify the price. I bought the Sonicrafter specifically to sand between the rails of a baby crib I built for my daughter. This tool will see as much use as my random orbital sander! It's very well made, and does a superb job. A couple of experiential comments: 1. The tool is a fast worker, let IT do the work for you. 2. The dust collection attachment gets in the way, and is useless. 3. I haven't found a source for sanding pads that fit, except Rockwell, and they're relatively expensive.
87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2009
I first came across the Fein Multitool on a TV infomercial. The price sort of stalled me on that one in spite of the fact that Fien makes top-drawer industrial tools w/typical ***** German engineering.
Several months later I stumbled onto a (brand NEW) Rockwell-Sonicrafter Ad and started searching for info. Didn't take long to find them on scores of websites including Amazon, from whom I'd bought before. Good outfit.
Reading (then) only a half dozen or so reviews on Amazon I knew I'd be more satisfied with the bigger, sturdier Rockwell over the other few light-weights around like the Dremel. I ordered the mid-range ($139.xx) Sonicrafter package.
Turned On or Off this tool has a solid feel, (and sound). It is smooth, quiet and strong. It's (comparatively) large 2.3 amp motor has plenty of muscle. My first need was when I had a 40gal. water heater hemorhage at 11 pm.
Next day I bought a tankless heater - which required a good bit of re-plumbing and cutting a hole larger under the "bottom" of a charged 3/4" PVC waterline in a nightmare place. An otherwise 2 hr. job draining and removing waterlines just to get back to the hole that needed lowering was surgically completed in about 5 minutes with the brand new Sonicrafter. As far as I am concerned this tool had just 'Paid' for itself first time out of the box.
A few tips. #1. Like most cutting tools including power drills, these new Multi tools (by whatever trade name) can not be "pushed" into cutting substantially faster. But, "Leaning" too hard on these tools 'will' do some things you're not going to like; Such as prematurely burning up or dulling cutter blades - overheating the motors - and, if you hear someone complain about the hub screw regularly loosening on a Sonicrafter you can bet that they are seriously 'dogging' down on that tool to make it happen.
The one I chose has the variable speed control - I expect the lower speeds might be handy only for 'sanding' stuff like 'less hard' finishes, aka old varnish. For hard, brittle material 'cutting' use a very high or highest speed... And no different than with any saw-type tool for cutting - your material must be held firmly 'still'. If not, you're just going to be "viberating" your work piece instead of cutting it.
I rate this tool as being a Real Winner among my 'manly' treasure chests of hand-&-power tools! ;-)
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2009
Rockwell RK5102K Sonicrafter Deluxe 72-pc Kit
I originally wanted to by the Fein all-in-one. I was a little hesitant to buy the Rockwell Sonicrafter but thought, I'll take a chance, the price was right. You can tell how well built this tool is as soon as you hold it in your hands and even more so when you turn it on. Soon after purchase we did a window and door frame "rebuild job" and found many uses for the Sonicrafter. I challenge anyone to remove elastomeric caulk from a steal door or from a pressure treated sill plate without damaging it, we did so with the scraper blade and left little or no marks, I was surprised how well it removed the caulk and how clean it left the surface. On that same job we needed to remove stucco from each side of the openings with out damaging the stucco outside of the jamb area, [we did not want to have a stucco repair], we used the Triangular Carbide Rasping tool and a vacuum to keep the dust to a minimum, normally we would have used a hammer and chisel which would have taken a couple hours, we were done in less than 30 minutes. Again I was very surprised at how well the Sonicrafter worked. I have also used it to, plunge cut base molding and other flat surfaces with extremely accurate cutting results. The Deluxe 72-pc Kit was worth every penny. The variable speed comes in very handy for different job applications. I have yet to find a job that we would not use this tool for. The oscillating action cuts, sands, scrapes and works amazingly well. It is a ideal tool for any one who works doing any type of remodeling.
PS, Every one who has purchased tools to use on their job site everyday to make a living knows, "you don't buy junk" and that some parts will where out ie; screws and bolts "used frequently" to hold cutting blades in place. The manufacture has thought to give you an extra "Allen screw" to hold the attachments to the tool, VERY NICE! Thank You Rockwell.
168 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2009
We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. We needed a handy tool. Rockwell become kind of disappointment. It feel good in your hands. Looks solid. That is positive, on negative side: blades are expensive, cheaply made - becoming dull just after few uses. Tool gets hot really quickly. Blades are becoming loose after few uses, no matter how hard you try to tight them up. In conclusion I think this tool is design for small jobs and only occasional use not for serious jobs.
74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2008
It was a toss-up between this and the Dremel, since Lowes had the Dremel (sort of, every store in the area was sold out!) locally, while nobody has this Rockwell locally (yet!). But after reading this other Amazon review, I went with the Rockwell. I expect to get a lot of use out of this in refurbishing my old 27 foot sailboat, and have a bathroom to redo too, so decided I'd go with the extra power of this Rockwell over the Dremel. I'm a big fan of Dremel, but it has a 1.5amp motor, vs. the Rockwell SoniCrafter's 2.3 amp (the original Fein tool has a 2.5amp I believe)...so figured I was basically getting Fein's power for less than half the price. (I got the 72-piece Rockwell set).
I think what sold me on the Rockwell was when I noticed this strange, long black tube pictured as included in the 72-piece set, and realized (and read somewhere) that it's a vacuum attachment for hooking to your ShopVac. I have a mini-ShopVac that'll be perfect for that use, so this feature, along with the extra power over the Dremel sold me.
I fired the SoniCrafter up as soon as I opened the box, and I can attest to the quiet, smooth motor, and really solid-as-a-rock construction. And, speaking of the case, I was very impressed with it's solid construction, particularly the hinges. One common weakness of the typical plastic tool case is the pathetic plastic film used as a so-called "hinge." We all know what eventually happens...that little film of plastic eventually breaks, and you end up with two case halves you stick duct tape on where the hinges used to be, to try and make the case usable. Well, I was very happy to see this Rockwell case has actual hinges...so this whole setup looks like it's going to last a very long time. I'm happy I spent the extra for the SoniCrafter over the Dremel.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2009
I just received the Sonicrafter and put it to use removing grout from floor tile. The carbide blade that came with the kit worked very well but like others have said it wears quickly. You must remember what you are cutting. Tile grout is a very hard and course material and a thin blade like this will wear quickly. I am not disapointed. I am a professional and do like good quality tools and this is one of them. In other reviews I have seen disapointment in the 'hum' of the tool, what do you expect from a tool that is working for you. The best thing about this tool and others like it is that it does not make dust that is uncontrolable.
As for those who are having trouble with the blades coming loose, you must take care, like most tools, in mounting the blades and get it in the groves and tight. What do those with the problem of the thin blades think, it is better to have a well built tool with precision cutting than a hand grinder. I could have used that tool, which I have several, but watch out for the dust.
As for the carbide blades that comes with the tool, the cutting material is on the side of the blade and you should attempt to use that part of the blade as much as possible. Just working it in against the edge will wear that part of the blade quicker. If you choose to go the the diamond blade, which I am going to do, you will exerience the same problem of wearing the blade if you do not use the cutting surface as much as possible.
The tool has a very good feel and the switch is better than some of my other tools with a simular switch. The cord has a good length but when I am all over the floor I use an extension in addition. I rated it a 5 star because I have not found any flaws and if treated with respect it should last a quite a while. Some have complained because it does not have a quick-release rather than an allen head screw. Just think of how much room a quick-release would take up. It is best to have a tool that fits in close to the work.
I feel strong about Bosch tools and considered the cordless one that Bosch makes but I went this route to get an uninterupted use hearing that the batteries only lasted a short time. I considered the Fein Multimaster but could not justify the cost and I don't know how it would be that much better. Don't look at the number of pieces in the kit, most of it is sanding pads. Not knowing how you are going to use the tool they put a little of most things in the kit. You can determine how many of the blades, etc. you will need.
I read reports where some complained about the bag the came with the tool rather that a hard case. I haven't had hinges or latches break off my bags like I have with the hard cases.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2010
I bought the Rockwell Sonic Crafter about a year ago because I needed a "multi-tool" type device and thought that the Sonic Crafter looked like a more affordably-priced alternative to the Fein Multi-Master. I have several older, Rockwell Delta power tools which have given excellent service, so I chose this Rockwell tool partly based on that experience. Mistake. As others have noted, here, Rockwell evidently "ain't what it used to be".
The Sonic Crafter worked well for a while, performing light tasks such as notching baseboard, cutting wiring access holes into sheetrock and detail sanding. Then, as if on cue (right after I spent $50 on replacement blades) the trouble began. As has been noted by many other reviewers here, the issue involves the mode of blade attachment. At first, the attachment allen bolt would only rarely vibrate loose. Now, the tool has been rendered totally useless by the fact that this bolt vibrates loose within less than a minute EVERY TIME I try to operate the tool, regardless of how tightly I cinch it down or what speed setting I'm on.
It's a shame that Rockwell is apparently disinterested in rectifying this obvious design flaw (too many people are complaining about this for my experience to be deemed just a fluke), because the device is otherwise a decent, reasonably-functional tool. I am not a contractor, so my Sonic Crafter received only light-to-moderate use before this problem rendered it utterly worthless.
I plan to attempt contacting Rockwell about this but, given the stonewalling others have reported running into in that regard, I am not particularly optimistic that satisfaction will be forthcoming. Sorry, but I expect better quality and greater longevity for almost $200. I'm unlikely to buy any other Rockwell tool in the future and advise other, prospective, multi-tool buyers to cross the Sonic Crafter OFF their list of candidates.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2009
Why four stars instead of five? The blades need to be put on VERY CAREFULLY. They MUST be seated properly, or else they won't cut, and will begin to gouge their axle, which for all we know, might ruin the tool. Also, as it is made in China, we won't know for some time whether it is a quality tool. p.s. Tighten the hex drive screw very securely!
We do a lot of work on our apartments, but are not contractors. Here's what we love about the Sonicrafter. It does not get dust all over the place when cutting or sanding. The scraper is incredible. You really can make cuts right up to any surface. The sanders get into tight spots. The tool does NOT kick back. You can use it in a cramped space (like between a floor and the ceiling below it). you can easily make a shallow cut when there may be something behind your workpiece. You do not have to be strong to use it. It is quieter than a circular saw, a sabre saw, and a sander.
It will not replace your sabre saw, your circular saw, or sander. But it is great. The best instructions are on the online videos for both the Sonicrafter and the Fein oscillating tool.
April, 2010 Update.
We have been using our Sonicrafter for almost a year now. NO PROBLEMS! A great tool, well made. And it's more useful than we had expected. We have not used the dust attachment: the tool does not create a lot of dust.