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on May 15, 2011
I had to install baseboard hot water into a log home. This required removing (squaring) out a section of the bottom logs so the baseboard would sit flush. I decided I needed a multi-cut tool to help with this project. I looked for alternatives to the expensive Fein and found the Craftsman 2.0 Amp Compact A/C Multi-Tool and the new Porter-Cable PC250MTK 2.5 Amp. These are both corded models which I compare below.

Features: The PC comes with a plastic case and the CR with a bag. I like the case better although too many compartments. I like a case with one area for the tool and another large area for attachments. This makes it much easier to shut the case without having to line everything up. The CR comes with a power indicator on the tool and a small built in light which may come in handy. Both tools have an easy to use variable speed dial. The CR has a vacuum port although I found it pretty useless in practice since the suction does not get close enough to the business end. The PC has a more flexible (rubber) power cord than the CR. I bet it would be less stiff in the cold as well. I really liked the quick change system on the PC compared to the hex key on the CR. Since the PC is relatively new the CR has more attachments options. In addition, I believe the CR is compatible with the Fein which has a very large assortment. Due to the quick change system on the PC other manufacturer's accessories will not fit. Besides the connection point on the blades they seem to be very similar in quality from both manufactures. The blades come marked for identification and depth of cut. These marking are painted and wear off just about on first use. Both manuals had very little useful information once you get past the pages of safety instructions. I liked the fact that the CR manual did not come folded like an old map you pulled from the glove compartment. You can actually lay it flat on a table and read it.

Ergonomics: The CR was smaller and felt good in the hand. You could certainly fit it into tighter spaces than with the PC. Vibration in the tools were about the same with a slight edge to the CR which I imagine can be attributed to smaller motor and less angle of oscillation. Both tools have good balance and seem well made.

Performance: The PC is the clear winner here for several reasons. The angle of oscillation and speed of oscillation is greater with the PC. This allows a similar blade to cut faster and the PC did seem to cut faster. My test was plunge cutting to the stops (1.5-2") into a pine log. Note: as you start to penetrate into an interior piece of wood, use GENTLE pressure which will allow the blade to work. If you try to force the tool the blade will stop oscillating with the energy transferring back into the tool; i.e. the tool with shake and it will not cut. In extended runs the PC does not get has hot at the CR. Changing the blade on the CR after an extended run can be a real pain with the hex nut, receiving housing and blade becoming super hot. In addition it takes time to back the hex nut out, install new blade or change angle, and re-tighten. On the PC you simply squeeze a spring loaded lever, change blade or adjust angle, and release lever to lock in place. Another advantage with the PC's blade change system is the blade stays connected. On the CR, I found the hex nut would loosen with extended use, especially if you try to force the tool to cut faster. I am sure this will lead to over tightening and stripping of that hex nut over time. In the end I kept the PC with the quick change system winning the day. I would have given the CR 3 stars. Hope this helps.
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on November 2, 2014
Construction is often a time-consuming burden! For the past 4-5 years, my house has been under construction. My family and I decided to add an addition to the house which doubled the house in size. We added a full 20x20 ft. basement on the very bottom, a full sized kitchen/dining area on the first floor, two bedrooms on the second floor, and an attic with a new roof on the entire house. Considering we ended up doing the entire interior portion of the addition on our own, one could say we’ve had our fair share of power tools.

While doing said carpentry work we found it completely beneficial that we were able to use the Porter Cable PC250MTK 2.5-Amp Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit. The tool comes in a hard-sturdy plastic case that ended up being rather reliable. It was certainly capable of handling a beating from transporting it practically everywhere. Even though it was sturdy, neat and whatnot, the pieces were made to fit in the case as it came in to be able to latch it shut. This often was a frustration of mine because I liked to have an easy pack-up when each job was done rather the struggling to figure out what went in to what compartment.

Another thing that came in handy was the weight and size of the tool. The PC is only one pound, more on the smaller size and very simple to handle even for a girl. This allows for one’s arms not to get too sore if they are holding it for a long period of time. It also allows this tool to be used not only by big strong men but also by the female carpenters as well. This permits for a wider variety of people to be able to purchase this product and use it comfortably.

Having used other power tools I’ve noticed that they often require tools such as screw drivers or a wrench in order to change the blade such as the circular saw. This task often came to be such a hassle. However with the PC you are able to change the blade with just a push of a button. This practically eliminates the hassle all together.

On top of being an easy change, it is reliable set up. The blade sticks in place rather than slipping. This will help prevent possible injuries when in use. This is beneficial so no one hurts themselves because the tool malfunctioned.

It’s also not just a blade attachment, there are other ones too. It can also be a sander attachment as well. Not only can you cut the wood you are using but you can sand it too. This tool can make the wood as smooth as a baby’s bottom along with cutting it all in one.

With being an individual hard at work almost all the time I would recommend this tool to those that do this kind of work as well. The more someone uses it the more they will appreciate having a tool like this around, ready to use at any time.
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on March 20, 2012
I bought the Porter cable oscillating multi tool from Amazon, and as always great service from Amazon.
In my experience this tool is excellent, My company has the Fein Saw and frankly I like the Porter cable better, specially for the price, you can't get better than this, I have not tried the Sanding future because I have all kinds of sanders for that, so I don't care much about the sanding future,but as far as the cutting and scraping I'm very happy with it, I don't know about the durability of it,Only time will tell, but it feels heavy duty and well made, I also like the quick change tool free accessory, the 10 ft cord,it cuts really good and with no effort, also we need to remember this tools, including the Fein saw are as good as the blades, and also it is important to use the right blade for the right job, I'm still using the same blades it came with.
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on May 14, 2012
UPDATE (5/17/12):
Received my exchange from the story below. Not happy because the replacement is used or refurbished. Housing is well worn and 2 of the scraping blades were chewed up. Seems to function well (no more blade shaft rotation), but I paid for a new tool, I want a new tool. This one is going right back to Amazon. Refund this time. Going to get the Fein and be done messing around. Amazon has been great with their quick shipping throughout, but a bit miffed they sent me a used product.

Initial review begins here:

I really wanted to like this tool. I researched extensively and read reviews upon reviews of all the different multi tools available out there. Other than the Fein, this tool was getting the most consistent good reviews on this and other sites and the price is amazing!

The quick blade change, strong motor, nice cord, hard carry case (albeit small) and large blade assortment are all nice features.

Now for the bad. After only 3 uses my tool is broken. The central blade shaft (the shaft the actual blade attaches to) has a fault. While I was using the tool today the blade started slowly rotating during use. The blade can start at 12 o'clock and end up at 4 o'clock in mere seconds.Turns out it is the entire drive shaft that is rotating (spring and all) not just the blade. There appears to be no serviceable way to tighten the shaft without opening the housing which would void the warranty.
Additionally, the quick release spring mechanism itself for gripping and releasing the blades is a bit over - rated. The spring trigger is sometimes hard to depress fully and get the blade out. Also fine dust from working gets onto the blade gripping teeth making it difficult to put a new blade in.

I have ordered an exact exchange through amazon, so hopefully the new one will function properly. As it stands now I cannot recommend this product. So if it fails a second time I will be purchasing the Fein.
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on November 26, 2012
I'm a hobbyist, woodworker, and tool finatic and have my share of tools from Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Makita, etc. Always thought the multi-tools looked useful, looked seriously at the Bosch but for the price this little guy from PC seemed like a great value and PC has never let me down before. The quick release works great, just finished using the tool to remove old peeling paint from some window sills, using the sanding pad and coarse grit paper this worked wonders -- easily getting into the corners. What a time saver. As others have said, should have gotten one sooner!
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on July 27, 2012
I purchased this based on other reviews. I got it and used it to remove grout along edge of counter, worked well. I also used it to do some sanding in tight spots. Works great but don't press down on it or you will melt the velcro on the sanding pad, let it do its vibrations with a light touch and it will sand just fine. My friend borrowed it to cut off the bottoms of door moldings to add hardwood floor, he loved it so much I ordered another one for him (he repaid me). Great tool, blades are a little expensive but I love the no tools required to switch accessories.

Update: The sanding platen is a bad idea, not only does the velcro on the sanding pads melt but so does the velcro on the sanding platen. No matter how hard I tried to sand lightly it eventually ruins the platen and wastes sandpaper also. I can't believe a metal platen with self sticking back wouldn't work much better, it works great on my sanding machines wheel so why not on an oscillating tool? Porter Cable needs to revisit this approach. I now need to order another platen. I may also sand my old one flat and try stick on sandpaper cut to fit. I would have given this tool 5 stars except for the sanding platen problem and the expensive replacement accessories.
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on June 14, 2012
I finally had a chance to use this tool heavily over the last three days, doing remodeling trim work. This meant using the tool for everything from special cuts my compound miter saw could not touch, cutting kerfs in a piece of molding to allow it to bend to fit a curved wall, to many cuts in drywall. I used it as a saw, a scraper, and a power rasp, where it works very well. It also cuts through the odd nail when that is needed.

Since then, I keep finding new places to use it. For example, I needed a hacksaw to make a car repair, cutting through a piece of steel. The problem was I had a half inch of free space to work in. No hack saw would easily get in there, and hand work with a free blade would have taken forever. This tool did the job in short time.

Changing blades is fast, and nice that no wrench is needed. Just a squeeze of your hand and the next blade is in place. It was also nice that I could easily rotate the blade into any orientation for a special cut.

If you are worried about the oscillating nature of the tool, I found no problems there. Ok, if you let it do so, the tool will oscillate your workpiece and do nothing. Clamp your work in place and no problems. Noise levels were not remotely objectionable. Yes, when I used it as a power rasp to shape some drywall, it threw up some dust, but can you be surprised? This is why dust masks are made. The cord is plenty long. The plastic clamshell case the multitool comes in is good to carry it around, and holds all the blades, etc.

Did I need a battery powered version? Hardly. When I did use this tool, I used it heavily for a few days. But the next time I pull it out may be some time from now, and I'm fairly handy. I see no reason to want to worry about a battery pack. Is it fully charged? Will it hold a charge when I do need it? An extension cord is a good solution for the few times that the lengthy cord supplied with this tool is insufficient.

All in all, I'd happily buy it again. This is the tool that lets me solve problems I could not easily solve otherwise. I only wonder why I did not spring for one before I did.
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on July 10, 2012
I am very pleased with this tool. I have been in the trades for 30+ years and used other multi tools with mixed results. Yet when I first set up the tool I hadn't read the booklet and didn't realize how to change the speeds. I was ready to send it back almost immediately. It had no power, until I read of the switch to set the speed and then was very pleased with it's ability to do whatever I asked of it. I would place this tool immediately behind the Fein unit at 1/4 the price. Having used both as well as other units the PC performs every bit as well as the Fein and much better than any other unit I have used. It also has other benifits none of the others have. Changing the blade is much easier than any other tool, the blades and cutters are much less expencive than other units and I feel they last just as long. I do wish they would package and sell ther blades in larger packages, 10 or 20 to a pack. I would recomend this tool to anyone that has a need to do the work they make so easy. Not just the $100 campared to $400 but the every day cost of opperation the cost of blades and cutters is about half compared to others. The one draw back I have found in this tool is the case it comes in. The case is a piece of junk, with little room for tools and accessories and makes it a challenge to pack up after use. However for me that is definately not a deal breaker. For much less than $300.00 I can buy or build a much better case. It would be an excellent tool for 2-3 x's the price, let alone for the $99.00 price tag through Amazon. Once I discovered the variable speed switch it has made several jobs much easier, and my life easier. Why did I wait so long.
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on February 2, 2013
A lot of people complained about the case. I got this for my son, and I think the case is nice. It has slots for the blades that are very handy.
I have the PCE605K 3-Amp tool which has a guide built in. This is a very nice feature, and I don't regret my decision. The PC250 is probably a better deal dollar-for-dollar due to the amount of accessories. I doubt that the power difference between the 3 amp vs 2.5 amp is anything to base your decision on. They are both excellent tools, and the versatility makes this a MUST-HAVE tool. The variable speed really helps the blades last longer and increases the usability of the tool. The quick release is a great feature! I had a Bosch Palm Router case that I was re-purposing by sawing out the dividers. I had to keep changing the angle of the blade so that I could get to all the dividers from the right angle. This tool made it a breeze. I never would have thought of this application of the quick-tool release, but I expect that I will find the need to do this often.
As for the blades, I haven't tested a lot of different blades, but there are options beside the Porter Cable Brand. Rockwell now makes blades that will fit it. (Haven't tried them).
Imperial is coming out with blades that will fit the Porter Cable. They should be out this month. They also sell an adapter which will work on most blades. It is inexpensive and works well. This is a great company to deal with and puts out a good product. If you get an adapter and it doesn't fit, suspect the tool, not the adapter. I had this happen and tested the adapter on 2 different Porter Cable tools at Lowes and it fit them both fine. I filed my tool a little and it fit and works great. Even though I plan on buying the Imperial Blades made for the Porter Cable, having the adapter is great since in a pinch you can use any blade.
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on July 5, 2016
This tool has done a great job for me. Had to repair a corner porch post. The post was a 6 x 6 PT post that was sheathed in 1 x and the bottom was finished with baseboard & cap molding that was rotting out. I was able to knock off the baseboard and cap molding. Some of the sheathing underneath was rotted and this tool did a nice job giving me a clean cut on all four sides. From there it was easy to replace the sheathing and install new baseboard and cap molding. Homeowner was very pleased with the results. It's also been useful when trimming away wood stock in hard to reach places a circular saw would never fit.
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