The SoniCrafter is among the first oscillating tools on the market similar to the venerable Fein Multi­Master. It’s not an everyday tool for deck builders, but with the variety of cutting, scraping, and sanding attachments available for it, I bet all deck builders could use one at some point to get out of a tight scrape.

The deck builders who’ll reach for this tool first are those who build porches, incorporate paint-grade trim details, or convert windows to doors and need to neatly terminate interior trim elements like base-molding mid-span. The SoniCrafter plunges through material, so you don’t have to remove an entire piece of molding or try to make a clean cut with a knife or a chisel. It requires zero clearance to cut, say, against a floor. It’s good for the ever-fun minor paint scraping and caulk removal necessary to weave a new assembly into an old one (re-casing exterior door trim), and it even cuts downspouts.

I get the most mileage out of the SoniCrafter on porch remodels. Glutton for punishment that I am, I paint these projects, which means I fill the nail holes, which means putty needs to be sanded. I used a Bondo-type filler on some PVC trim, and the Soni­Crafter sanded it quickly with much less effort. It works perfectly on flat moldings (1-by) and very nicely, albeit not perfectly (because its sanding surface is flat), on crown.

Anywhere there’s paint or glue, this tool is a time and sanity saver. I used it on urethane adhesive that oozed out of an assembly and onto a concrete slab, and the scraper blade took up the dried gob wholesale — quicker, easier, and cleaner than with a 5-in-1 tool.

At 2.3 amps and 20,000 oscillations per minute the tool has plenty of oomph for the tasks I throw at it. If it cost more, I’d have been hard-pressed to buy it — that’s why I spent years with MultiMaster envy. But this tool is so affordable that it paid for itself on a single job. And even though I don’t use it every day, or even every month, when I do use it I’m making money and saving time.

SoniCrafter RK5101K 40-Piece Kit, Rockwell, 866/514-7625,, Street price: $140