By Fran J. Donegan
If you’re like many people, you won’t know you need a multi-tool until you actually have one. They have dozens of uses for all sorts of odd jobs, some of which won’t be apparent until you have the tool in your hand.
Multi-tools are hand-held, corded or battery tools that have oscillating heads. The head moves back and forth in a very tight arc. Fit a cutting blade or some other attachment to the head and you can cut, shear, grind and sand in a very small space. Its small size is one of the reasons it is so useful: It can fit in spaces where larger tools cannot. And the tools can cut through most materials, including wood, drywall, PVC, foam insulation, carpeting, metal and more. If you have a favorite tool manufacturer, there is a good chance they make a line of multi-tools.
Here are some situations where you will find a multi-tool useful.
Removing Hard-to-Remove Materials
When it is time to re-grout a backsplash or a tub surround, use a multi-tool fitted with a grout blade to remove the old material. The thin, rigid blade will fit between tiles, and the mild vibration of the tool makes it easy to control.
To remove carpet adhesive or any hard-to-remove adhesive, use a multi-tool with a scraper blade. They also come in handy for digging hardened caulk from joints.
Working in Tight Spaces
The small handheld design