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Fein MultiMaster vs. Cheap Chinese Clone

renosteinke's picture

Comparing Fein tool, single speed, with Fein blade to Harbor Freight tool and blade. Task: cutting drywall.

Why? 1/8 the price, that's why.

I use this sort of tool to make cut-outs in existing drywall. The tool allows me great control of the cut, and the lack of vibration in the workpiece means I can almost always save a single piece and use it to patch the hole later.

Both tools were equally fast (not very) and controllable. The cuts were equally nice, and neither tool put much dust in the air.

The main differences were felt in the hand, rather in the results. The cheap tool seemed noticeably noisier, and it was much harder to feel when I encountered wood under the drywall. The cheap tool also produced more 'felt' vibration, and the head became quite warm.

Another difference was that blade changing was both quicker and more positive with the Fein. The chap tool needed a little bit of fussing to get the blade to sit just right.

Verdict? I'l be quite happy with the cheap tool until it wears out .... which I don't expect to be anytime soon ... then maybe replace it with a Fein.

If you don't have one, just (post #206288, reply #1 of 52)

If you don't have one, just about any multi-tool will pay for itself, not that I'm a fan of harbor freight for any mission critical tools - as little time as a multi tool gets used maybe a cheap one will last a long time - IDK of any from any brand that have been used to the point of failure - although almost everyone I know has the Fein.

If I only had a budget for something in the HF price range I'd go to the pawn shops and buy a used one from a better brand - seems about every 5th or 6th pawn shop has one at any given time.

I don't mind HF for some things - my favorite pry bar of all time that gets used extensively on every remodel came from there and automotive jack stands and engine lifts are a good deal, and I have a few air powered tools that I'll never wear out as little as they are used but there's nice to have.  

The only power tools I've used from hf are a 1/2" drill, tile saw, and electric hand plane.  I was working for a guy with all three and the drill went out in the middle of a tile job and it took 4 man hours to replace the drill and get back to work - the inexpensive drill suddenly became more expensive than a Milwakee!  

The tile saw cut many truck loads of slate until on one job the pump went out - 2 man hours to replace, then a day later a capacitor went out - HF wouldn't take it back since it didn't have the hf water pump - 5 man hours all together to sort it out and order the right cap from a supply house - toggle switch that only worked half the time was also replaced.  Including the original cost of the saw it suddenly wasn't any cheaper than a much better brand with the lost productivity. A few tile jobs later the bearings went out.  

As for the electric hand plane - it was needed to hang a dozen doors and the guy didn't have his plane in the right town at the right time so he picked up a hf to plane the door edges - it worked and the job got done.


If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

mission critical (post #206288, reply #2 of 52)

mission critical

Regardless of quality, from a military'aerospace perspective, mission critical performance ( 9 nines reliability)  requires REDUNDANCY no matter how high a quality or expensive a single item is.

Thus, having TWO HF tools is much better than a single Fein for mission critical tasks.

The drill example is a good one - IF there had been 2 HF drills available, there would not have been a 4 hour down time.

Own philosophy is to try and have 2 or 3 of any specific type tool available, or at least functionality equivalent.

Bearings on any tile saw would likely 'went out' after" many truckloads of slate" - and of all the nerve, HF would not take it back!

Got a MK-101 2 HP tile saw at a garage sale 'thrown in' to an overall $15 purchase - frozen bearings, so even the $1000 machines have the bearings wear out. . 

Well, that's a slight (post #206288, reply #3 of 52)

Well, that's a slight exaggeration.  Having a "spare" isn't much help if both units die after an hour of use and it's a 3-hour drive to HF to replace them.

MTBF in a redundant situation needs to take into account MTTR and various costs of "repair".

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I tried to be as nice as (post #206288, reply #10 of 52)

I tried to be as nice as possible, but what I really want to say is the HF stuff is pure crap and a carpenter is always better off getting a decent tool. Period!  

It's time wasting bull sh.t to work with someone with pos tools and I've not hired many guys because of it.  Professionals use professional grade tools for a reason.

If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

Idaho, I can appreciate where (post #206288, reply #11 of 52)

Idaho, I can appreciate where you're coming from;  I think we've all had the 'pleasure' of working with tools that performed poorly. I have a particularly vivid memory of a guy who spent half the day fussing with a bargain tool, trying to make it work .... only to return a few days later with a 'real' one, and try to sell the fussy one at a bargain rate.

And yet ...

Since when did everything HAVE to be 'brand name?' I'll bet even you have a fair amount of stuff that you have either made from scratch, or modified to suit your needs. Heck, I recall when most 'ladders' on sites were site-made from framing lumber.  Indeed, I have quite a few 'home made' hammers, drivers, jigs, etc. Even some of my kitchen cutlery is made from 'scratch.' Nearly all my furniture, crude and simple it may be, is home-made.

The fact is, technology doesn't stand still. Tasks that were once 'cutting edge' in manufacturing are now routine- which is part of the reason it's so hard these days to find "Made in the USA" nuts and bolts. It wasn't long ago that Korean cars (Hyundai) were perceived as 'junk;'  these days they do quite well in the Consumers'  Union comparisons. The same principle applies to tools.

I'll submit that there's precious little difference in the skill level of an illiterate Mexican working in an Ohio factory and the skill levels of a Chinese peasant or Mumbai slum urchin. In any of their situations, they're winding motors and molding plastic on the exact same equipment. Any "quality" differences are in design- and, for all we know, the design came off a Siberian computer. That's our world today.

There's a news group that says 'we report- you decide.' That's what this thread is all about. When the HF tools are left out of the comparisons, one is denied the information they need to make an informed choice. I won't quarrel with a man's choices, or question his religion - nor will I make his choices for him.

GM makes Cadillacs and Corvettes; they also had the Corvair and the Vega. Nobody hits a home run every time. Not Milwaukee, not Bosch, not Fein. I'm even willing to grant that HF has some duds. I'm not talking about them - I'm reviewing one tool alone.

So, if you don't approve of HF, that's your privelege. No one is saying you're in the wrong. For everyone else, I have provided a specific review of a particular tool. Let everyone decide what they want  to buy.

If you don't believe that (post #206288, reply #14 of 52)

If you don't believe that significant differences in mechanical quality exist between something from hf and a high quality professional tool then honestly I don't know what to say.  Don't take my word for it, ask a tool repair place what they think of how something from hf is built.

If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

You may be right, a carpenter (post #206288, reply #15 of 52)

You may be right, a carpenter always needs to buy the best tool.  What about the other trades?

I imagine every electrician has a $150 cordlesss hammer drill that does occasional duty sinking a hole into brick/concrete.  What about that time when he now has 100 holes to drill for this one oddball job?  We both know a Bosch Bulldog (or similar) SDS rotary hammer is the tool he needs - right?  Nope, what he needs is a tool; a rotary hammer.  His job is NOT to drill holes in concrete day after day - it's a one time task.

Now, he could go to HD and buy a new Bulldog for $179.  He will definitly use it once, but will he use it again...?  Maybe.  He could rent a rotary hammer for $40 a day.  That's great... unless he needs it again, then that's a significant money suck that could have gone towards purchase of his own tool.  Or, he could spend $89 on the HF rotary hammer.  

Will it drill those holes in at least 70% of the time the bulldog does?  Yes.*

Will he save 50% on the tool cost?  Yes.

If he rents, will the cost be equivalent at 2 jobs?  Yes.

If he does 3 jobs, will he have enough experience with his work direction AND experience with the tool to know if he needs to buy the better tool?  Yes.

So, going back to the original question the Electricion/HVAC/Window installer/Carpet Installer/Etc/Etc/Etc... is faced with...

I have an expensive tool that is outclassed for the job at hand.  Do I...

  1. Buy the best in class tool for the single use I have for it.
  2. Rent the tool, as I only will do this once.
  3. Buy a cheap tool that does the one job.

Now, I'm going to back up your point of view for a sec... I own a Bulldog.  I bought it retail new.  Full Price from HD.  Was it the right choice for me... YES.  I have alot of renovations to do to my house... lots of 50yo hard concrete slab to deal with... plus the cinderblock fence around the yard... I KNOW I have use of this tool for year to come.  It's worth the expense to me.

But what about the guy I hire to run a power around my fence line (for lights and my power edger and whatever else I want to do)?  This electrician is going to put anchors for condoit and boxes in concrete and block walls...  the block wall (liner) is 50' + 60' + 80' + whatever concrete he would have to snake around to get to the wall.  That's alot of holes to drill for anchors.

So this electrician who I (if I was anyone else) would hire for this job, should he:

  1. Buy the $179 tool for this one he's never done before.
  2. Rent the $40 tool because he will never need it again.
  3. Buy the $89 tool because he might need to do something similar and the tool is good enough for the job.

Money is on the line... there is a fishin boat to pay for... what should be done?


* As a seperate note:  I declare throwdown.  I'm willing to bet that a HF Rotary hammer ( will do at least 70% of the job that my Bosch Bulldog 7/8" SDS will do.  I've got a bunch of concrete I need to bust up anyway, so there is alot of old hard concrete that can be used as a test bed.  We can colaborate on exactly what the test would be, say something like 10 or 100 holes drilled with a new Bosch bit with the weight of X placed on the handle.  The stakes:  You would buy me the HF tool I linked to for whatever the price was I paid for it...  If I loose, I would pay you the same price back - So I pay DOUBLE for the tool - the price I pay plus that same amount back to you (i.e. buy my bulldog again), and acknowledge that you were right... or you buy the tool you say couldn't do the job.

We can use a seperate forum member as arbiter.

At current listing price, you can gain or loose about $89 (sales tax not included).  You game?

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


Neither of my electricians (post #206288, reply #16 of 52)

Neither of my electricians would be without a professional quality SDS drill.  If they ever need a power tool they buy a good one without thinking twice.

I've yelled at electricans for using dull SDS bits or using a pos sawzall when they should be using a corded tool that cuts 3 times as fast - I don't pay them a dollar a minute to waste both our time and the client's money doing something at half speed because they are too cheap to keep their tools in good shape.

I see hacks in the building trades almost every day that have the worst tools and they are paid accordingly.  I suggest that's not a very high bar to strive for.

If I hired you by the hour specifically to drill 100 holes and you showed up with a hf drill I'd send you home - I have guys with good tools that will do it faster for the same money.

HF tools are great for homeowners who aren't getting paid based on performance.  Guys in the trades ALL get paid on performance.

If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

Don (post #206288, reply #17 of 52)

I'd like to add to your arsenal.

I still have and use the original Rockwell 315 circular saw bought new when I started 40 yrs ago.  Luckily I've found 3 others as recently parts availability is on the wane.

It's still better than any sidewinder available.


I could have bought one of the first offered plastic circ. saws at the time for way less.  


Hammer drill from Hilti-purchased in the mid 70's.   Still in operation-(8 yrs ago I added a hilti rotary hammer-should have got that way b/4-no comparison in the production.)

Sawzall-still running-'72

Many of the tools I purchased new are still in operation and producing.  I never bought used (cept for an old hole hawg), never bought junk, never loaned any out, repaired instead of replaced.

Tools can make you money and if not respected, can cost you money.


Over a span of 40 yrs, how much would the cheap have cost me?

It's a career for us, not a part time job.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Buy good tools (post #206288, reply #44 of 52)

There is another thing to take into consideration, another way of looking at buying tools concerns resale value.  If you buy the $179 Bosch Rotary Hammer and use it where it's still going to function well when you sell it you may get 2/3 of your money back plus having used a good quality tool, plus helped out a good European quality toolmaker.  If you buy the cheap Chinese crap rotary hammer from Harbor Freight you are dealing with a subpar tool, but not only that you're profiting the Chinese who merely copied from the American, European, or Japanese tool manufacturer who put in the initial research and design and paid for the marketing costs.  Plus, when you sell it you're lucky to get $10 for it if you can sell it at all.  

Take a Fein Multimaster tool for example, if you pay $180 for a new Fein with the Quick Change blade system with a few blades you can use it a year and resell it in good shape for a good price (probably $100-150 depending on condition and accessories) and they are snatched up on ebay!  You can save some money and buy a Rockwell Sonicrafter new for around $100 but you can buy a remanufactured one on ebay for $35 shipped, so how much do you think you will get when you sell it?   $20, maybe?  And you don't see too many used HF tools on ebay because no one gives them much of a chance of any longevity. Plus, if you buy a used Bosch rotary hammer or Fein Multimaster on ebay for a good price, you're chances of them lasting and performing well are very good because they're a quality tool, as well as being able to sell it for approximately the same price when you go to sell it!  So use your head, if you buy a new HF rotary hammer for $89, use it a year, you can sell it for $10 maybe, if anyone would actually buy it. Or you can buy a used Bosch rotary hammer on ebay for $89, use it for a year, and sell it for $79.  Do the math!

Not only that, you're helping out your fellow craftsmen by offering them the chance to buy a nice tool at a good price on ebay!  I think it's a no brainer for anyone except those that have no bank account.  Buying cheap tools is for  people who are in the same situation as those that have to get their furniture from Rent-To-Own stores, and they face the same fleecing from an investment standpoint.  

I bought the HF saw.  It does (post #206288, reply #46 of 52)

I bought the HF saw.  It does what I ask it to.  No, it's not a fein, or even a rockwell sonicrafter.  It was about $20.  I don't really make any money with my tools, so it's a good deal to me, but I hate supporting the Chinese.  I buy good tools for when I need them, but some are cheapies that get a job done and that's all they do.   And I dont cheap out when there are safety issues, like a miter saw, etc.

hf tools (post #206288, reply #47 of 52)

I just appreciate owning fine tools,  Harbor Freight sells the Chinese oscillating tools for $20 for the non variable speed one, and $40 for the variable speed one.  I really doubt that you could resell it, and it's probably not going to last through too many jobs, so you're investment was $40 (for the variable speed one).  You buy a used Fein for $100, use it on as many jobs as you like using a quality tool for a year or two, and then sell it on ebay for $80-90 (plus $10 transaction fees).  You're investment was $20-30 and you used a quality tool.  No brainer, IMO.  But, Harbor Freight has it's appeal with those that are on a very tight budget just as Rent To Own stores do, and that's sad because they're both a bad investment. 

Well, I spent 20 bux, and it (post #206288, reply #49 of 52)

Well, I spent 20 bux, and it does the job.  It's not like I use it much, and the jobs I bought if for are all done.  I've had pretty good luck with HF myself.  And so, you would buy a used fein, gamble that it works good, sell it for up to a $30 loss, and not have an oscillating saw, while I'm out $20, but still have my tool.  It's a no brainer for me to buy the HF tool.

Who sells their tools and why (post #206288, reply #48 of 52)

Who sells their tools and why would you? I wear mine out and throw them away.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

I sold a tile saw once.  It (post #206288, reply #50 of 52)

I sold a tile saw once.  It was cheaper to buy than rent, and I sold it for half price after I was done.  The guy who bought it was delighted to get it.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I've got tools I bought 30 (post #206288, reply #51 of 52)

I've got tools I bought 30 years ago just waiting for the day when I'll need it again. For guys who use tools it's usually cheaper to let them sit unused than spend the time and energy to go get another one 20 years later. If I've ever sold a tool I don't remember it and I don't collect them for fun either. .

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Problem is, I don't have room (post #206288, reply #52 of 52)

Problem is, I don't have room for any new tools, because of all the tools I bought 30 years ago taking up space in the garage.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

You're hitting on the reason (post #206288, reply #4 of 52)

You're hitting on the reason I posted this report.

For some reason, FHB does not include HF in their tool reviews. A pity, that, because here I was able to compare the two (HF and Fein) side-by-side ..... and I cannot support any assertion that the 10X expensive tool was 10X better. Or even 5X better.

It is pure foolishness to assume quality based upon a name. For example, there's a German hammer-drill maker who makes marvelous tools ... save for his smaller combo drill/hammer drill, which has been a maintenance pig for decades. Or, as in this case, a mediocre name (HF) manages to hit at least a double. (Some baseball lingo there :) )

Otherwise, the 'country of origin' assumptions have a few faults. Down the road from me is a former Milwaukee plant .... Milwaukee having been bought by the Chinese. For all I know, HF tools come off the same line as today's Milwaukee tools.

Otherwise, the tool you have on the truck beats the heck out of the tool at the supply house. One cannot go out after their first day of work and buy EVERYTHING, and at top quality. Nor is everything worth carrying on the truck.

My own personal rules of thumb are:

1) If I borrow it twice, it's time to buy it;

2) Get the cheap version first. This will teach you whether it's worth having with you all the time, as well as let you figure out what features matter to you. Only THEN can you make the right choice when you buy the good tool; and,

3) Nobody ever steals HF.

Fein is much better than the (post #206288, reply #5 of 52)

Fein is much better than the competition. That said I have a friend who is quite happy with his HF model. I can tell you the dremel version is the worst one out there.

I'm not totally anti-HF, I know several people who have had good luck with certain items. I personally use the HF chipping hammer to bust out tile, as I don't want to wreck the Hilti removing 300 sf of ceramic.

The Fein is only 200 now, really not a bad deal, but I'd probably go with the HF if I didn't already have one.  There are certain jobs that only a multi can do, but it is just not used too often. At least for me. The HF works and its really cheap. Just don't expect it to cut through oak stair treads over and over or use it as a jamb saw on a whole flooring job.

Robert Griffin, Owner

Katy Custom Kitchen and Bath


But.. I have a dremel... (post #206288, reply #12 of 52)

"the dremel version is the worst one out there" -- that's good to know.  I was needing a Fein, but couldn't afford it.  Got gifted the Dremel and have not been all that thrilled with it.   I don't use it often, so I might swing by HF and see what a better tool (not the best) might cost.


That is exactly the kind of (post #206288, reply #6 of 52)

That is exactly the kind of review I'd like to see.  And you really presented a great case of why/how one is different from the other... Thanks!

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


Paul (post #206288, reply #7 of 52)


Over the years you surely have read the opinions on the Fein MM?   I know of no one that gets rid of theres and runs out and buys one of the competition.


A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


That's not at all what Paul (post #206288, reply #8 of 52)

That's not at all what Paul said. He said he liked my review, that it gave him the information he wanted to see.

Nobody is saying 'throw away a perfectly good tool and get a different one.'

I'll bet there are planty of folks asking this question instead: "I don't have that sort of tool - and I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on something that might not be used very much.  Should I try the cheap one first?"

There might even be a few folks asking "OK, I have the cheap one .... should I upgrade?" 

To answer those questions, you need facts. You need to know exactly what the differences are - and not just plattitudes along the lines of  "German is good, Chinese is bad." I attempted to provide those facts. Each can decide for himself.

Ironically, on this same job I used an expensive angle grinder and an expansive saber  saw. Both were purchased as replacements for cheap tools. With hindsight, the saber saw is an awesome improvement, while the grinder is only slightly better. (If you dig deep enough, you'll find my reviews buried somewhere on this site).

IMO - Mr. Fink and I have discussed this a few times, and have differing perspactives - there is a real need to compare the fancy stuff with the bargain bin, and let the consumer decide.

longevity.... (post #206288, reply #9 of 52)

One big problem with power tool reviews is that they cannot predict durability. It isn't reasonable to do.  Probably the editors figure the pro grade tools are inherently more reliable than the cheapest stuff. That has certainly been my experience.


Having said that I will admit that a HF multimaster makes it's way into my tool truck regularly, but that's the only one of it's kind to do so.  


Rockwell Consideration (post #206288, reply #13 of 52)

I own a rockwell mult tool and have found it to be very durable and resonably priced at around half of the fein..  Fein makes great stuff, especially their shop vacs which I own.


With regards to cheap power tools, I used to own a HF metal chop saw.  The arm that attaches the saw to the stationary base broke and the spining chop saw seperated into two pieces.  I was only saved by having the transport chain still attached to the base. After that experience, I rounded up all of my no name power tools and hand tools and donated or destroyed.  That was eight years ago, I decided if I wanted a long career in a difficult and dangerous business as construction, cheap tools would not be a wise investment.

Off-topic message for renosteinke (post #206288, reply #18 of 52)

Hi Reno,

I'm sorry for this off topic message, but I came accross some of your posts regarding spray foam during a discussion on this forum from 2006 titled "Icynene + wood ceiling a fire hazard".  I came accross the discussion during an internet search.  I am trying to research this, as a friend's home burned down a few days ago on the same day Icynene DC 200 closed cell insulation was sprayed in the home.  We are wondering if there is a connection.  Do you have any resources, links to information, or advice for us?  We greatly appreciate any information you may be able to provide and again sorry for being off-subject here.  Thanks, Edo

I'm probably not telling you (post #206288, reply #19 of 52)

I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't already know if you are looking into this, but when I hear of house fires of any kind the first thing that pops into my mind is wiring.  If your friends house had a number of wires, especially old undersized wires with poor connections, the spay foam insulates enough to make a warm wire hot, and a hot connection or wire super hot. 

If the spray foam was especially thick in any one area, they are supposed to spray it (at least some foam formulations) in layers because it generates heat as it cures and too much thickness becomes a fire hazard.  I honestly don't know off the top of my head what the thickness is and it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't apply to all foams, or if the information I recieved was in error, but many chemical reactions make a little heat and so it seems plausible in my mind.  

We'd all be interested in hearing what becomes of the investigation (both offically and what you find out) so keep us up to date on what you find out!


If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

Thank you (post #206288, reply #20 of 52)

Thank you so much for your reply, IdahoDon.  I will pass this info on to my friend and I will keep you posted on the investigation!

I have discussed the (post #206288, reply #21 of 52)

I have discussed the flammability of foam many times at this forum.

Yes, it gives off heat as it cures. Yes, it insulates well. Yet, it is neither the curing nor the wiring that concern me.

First off, foam requires moisture to cure. It generally produces (and traps) a non-flammable gas in those little bubbles in it. So, it's not particularly flammable when it is curing, as compared to when it is 'old.'

NEMA - a trade group that includes wire makers - has examined the effects of foam insulation on wiring and concluded that there is no need for any concern. The key is that their opinion is based upon a proper electrical installation, and not one that has been used, abused, and tampered with.

No, I worry about the flammability of foam because foam, even cured 'fire retardant' foam, burns like rocket fuel in industry-standard fire tests. Look at the instructions, and every foam will tell you: protect it!

Yes, there are certain situations where you're not required to bury the stuff in drywall - but those are very limited exceptions, limited by both circumstance and specific product details.

There's no substitute for actual data. Thus, I will protect my foam. Maybe excessively.

The "electrical fire" canard has been around for decades, and the simple fact is that very little serious research has been done, and the statistics supplied by fire departments are quite misleading. Probably the best look at the issue was a detailed 'dissection' of some old homes, with the materials re-evaluated. The results of that study are no surprise to those in the trade: when something goes wrong with a home's electrical system, it's because rules were broken, rules that were 'old news' even when the house was built.

With that in mind, I suspect the fire you mentioned was not the fault of the foam itself. If the crew foamed over a light bulb, and the bulb lit the foam .... well, you can't fix stupid.

Yes, we're off on a tangent. Feel free to open a new threadin 'general' for a greater discussion of these issues.

"Facts" are what this thread is all about. I didn't open it to draw sweeping generalizations I fully recognize that not everyone has the same priorities.  But ....

I can share with everyone the results of my experience comparing a specific pair of tools, on a specific task. I report, you decide.

Buy the HF tool, or not. I don't care. Now, though, you can make a better informed decision.

One interesting 'sidebar discussion' regards the various cordless multi-masters out there. It is interesting that Milwaukee has come out with one, putting their name behind a tool that Fein has found unacceptable. Fein has tried designing a few cordless multi-masters, and discarded each as not being 'up to their standards.'  Yet, several posters at FHB have come out in support of their cordless versions.

Again .... it's probably best to let folks make their own decisions.

Despite what the others have (post #206288, reply #22 of 52)

Despite what the others have said, if the house had any old K&T wiring, or just old 40s-50s romex then it could easily have been disturbed sufficiently to cause a fire.

The big question is the care of the installers.  If they took care to avoid any K&T, were careful to not cover any boxes, or (what at prior times were legal) open splices, AND they were careful to not install the foam in a way that would stress old wiring, then the foam is likely not at fault. 

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville