PE Tester Norman Bradshaw tries out the Bosch 18V-EC TE Professional Cordless Multi-cutter.
I’m not completely new to multi-tools but I’ve never owned one myself. I remember borrowing my cousin’s corded multi-trimmer to ﬁnish off some skirting boards in a house a few years ago. I thought it was a great tool but, because it was not cordless, I didn’t want to take the plunge. What’s more, I had always seen multi-tools as a niche tool, so never really gave them much of a chance.
Whenever I get a new power tool I like to take it for a test run, to get a feel for how it performs and gauge its weight and performance. I had heard that this multi-tool features a powerful brushless motor so to start with I did a carpentry job, just trimming back the edges on some wood ﬂooring and cutting some 4 X 2 wooden noggins. The tool had some kick but was controllable.
“The brushless motor is responsive and never struggled while cutting different materials. The machine was heavier and slightly larger than some others on the market but I found that this added to its stability while handling it.”
Happy with the result, I felt ready for my real challenge- to cut out some boxes in some bedside panels for some sockets.
The Bosch features a six-speed controller, so, setting it at ﬁve, I took my ﬁrst plunge. As I offered up the machine to the wood I was fully expecting it to jump on contact but it held ﬁrm and began to cut through the cabinet. The tool was easy to control and the cuts were precise, with the neat hole cut and fast ﬁx box inserted in about 10 minutes. I was so pleased that I went on to cut the next one straight away. Again, same results – clean cut square edges and with a little trimming around the edges using a slower speed to neaten up the job.
I got plenty of use out of the multi-cutter in the following weeks including using the metal attachment to cut the metal chimney section for a kitchen extractor hood. I was particularly impressed with this job as the edges did not need de-burring and the tool did not make the metal chimney section bounce all over the place as I cut it.
A cut above
I have really struggled to ﬁnd any faults with this model since I started using it and it is proving to be a real challenger as one of the best tools I have ever tested. You can neatly take up and put down ﬂoor board with it. You can cut wood, trim, plane, shine and adjust a whole raft of materials.
Multi-tool only tells half of the story about what this product can do as I found the more skillful I became in using it, the more things I found I could use it for. The standard 18V version comes with over 20 accessories. The attachments are great as they can be positioned to suit so many different angles and they can be locked to suit your requirements. You don’t even have to take the attachments fully oﬀ to choose your desired locking position. This is great when space is a premium or you need to use it in your left hand instead of right. The wood bits are very strong and, considering all the cutting I did, they are still very sharp.
The brushless motor is responsive and never struggled while cutting different materials. The machine was heavier and slightly larger than some others on the market but I found that this added to its stability while handling it.
My suggestion would be to take the Bosch multi-tool ‘plunge’ and see the change it can make to not only how you work, but where you can work. If you do then you could end up feeling like I did – even more professional than before.