The 20-volt max RK2863 (below) has the same front end and tool-less blade clamp as the corded F50.
Doug Mahoney The 20-volt max RK2863 (below) has the same front end and tool-less blade clamp as the corded F50.

I recently had the opportunity to test two new oscillating multitools (OMTs) from Rockwell, the 4.0 amp F50 and the cordless RK2863K. This story is about the cordless model; I’ll cover the cordled tool in a separate review.

The RK2863 is 20-volt max (18 volts) OMT that is similar to the corded F50. It has the same LED lights and blade clamp (for a description of the blade interface see Rockwell F50 Oscillating Multitool). But the cordless tool has a lower top speed and angle of oscillation (the amount of back and forth), so it doesn’t cut as fast.

Like all cordless OMT’s the Rockwell has a relatively short battery life. During a timed test, the Rockwell provided about 12 minutes of aggressive cutting, which is about what I’ve come to expect from cordless OMTs. Keep in mind that this is constant use and not the start/stop of normal workflow.

To put this in better perspective, it took me about three or four minutes to cut in an outlet through 3/4"-inch poplar. Because I was using the tool for punch list work, I was able work around the battery life and charging time (1 hour), so that I was never left high and dry. If you’re going to use your OMT for more constant use, a corded version like the F50 is a better option.

The RK2863K is comfortable to use but has less cutting power than the F50 or the Fein MultiMaster, so it’s best suited to small tasks. With the new Rockwells priced within $10 of each other I’d recommend going with the F50. Yeah, there’s a cord to deal with, but the tool cuts more efficiently and there’s no chance of any work stoppages due to a depleted battery.

Sonicrafter RK2863K Specs
Battery: 20-volt max (18 volts)
Oscillating angle: 3.2 degrees
Speed: 5,000-20,000 OPM
Max. cutting load: 21 pounds
Weight (w battery): 3.1 pounds
Interface: Universal accessory
Country of origin: China
Kit version includes: tool, one lithium ion battery, charger, carry bag, one 1 1/8-inch standard wood end cut blade, one 3/8-inch bi-metal end cut blade, one 3 1/8-inch HSS semi-circle blade, one scraper blade, one sanding pad, 20 sanding sheets, one carbide semicircle grout blade.
Price: $159
Available: Fall 2014