DeWalt just announced the launch of the DWE315K, the company's first oscillating multi-tool (OMT).

When Fein's patent on the OMT expired a few years back, most major tool companies quickly introduced OMTs of their own. DeWalt was a conspicuous hold-out so when the company announced this tool I wondered if they had used the extra design time to come up with something unique or unusual.

As it turns out, the DWE315K has a couple of unique features, the most noticeable being the shape of the housing. DeWalt made the tail end of it much thinner – like the end of a rat tail grinder – so it's more comfortable to grasp at that location. The forward end of the housing, while heavily rubberized, is not all that different than what can be found on other tools. What is different is the switch; it can be operated from either end so there are multiple ways to grip the tool and still be able to get at it.

The switch is variable-speed, which allows for greater control at the beginning and end of cuts. This feature is not unique (Ridgid's JobMax has had it for years) but it is unusual. The built-in LED, while not unique to this tool, is out of the ordinary for a corded model and should make for better visibility when using the tool in cabinets or other tight quarters.

The tool-less blade clamp is similar to the one used by Porter-Cable (which like DeWalt, is owned by SB&D) but will not accept blades designed for that machine. The accessories for these tools look more of less the same (both kinds are notched), but the hole patterns are different; Porter-Cable's are round and DeWalt's are square or rectangular. This new blade configuration is referred to the Universal Fitment system and is expected to contain more than 30 accessories, which will fit many competing models when used with DeWalt's universal accessory adaptor.

The kit version, DWE315K will retail for $159 and comes with a bag, three blades, a sanding pad, and multiple sheets of sandpaper.