Rockwell F50 Sonicrafter Oscillating Multi-tool Review
Editor Rating: 4.7/5
The Rockwell F50 is an oscillating tool: an everyday tool that, thanks to its interchanging head system, can be used for a wide variety of different tasks. The Rockwell F50 is noteworthy because it has a higher degree of oscillation which means that it truly excels at tasks like sanding, scraping, and via its circular cutting blades. It is lightweight and comfortable, as these tools need to be, and it is powerful enough that it should easily cope with any job or task you can throw at it.
While earlier iterations of the tool required you to use a chuck to change the blades or heads, this is no longer the case, and the Rockwell F50 uses a chuckless change system. Its varied selection of accessories that are included with the purchase adds to the value of this set and if you don’t find a Rockwell head to match your needs, the F50 will accept blades, sanders, and other accessories from most other major manufacturers.
This is a very useful tool for the keen hobbyist and heavy DIYer, but it won’t hold up with ongoing professional use and the sander, although it does benefit from the increased oscillation, will quickly wear through sanding pads without having much impact on the work surface.
Rockwell F50 – A Quick Look
The greatest benefit of an oscillating tool like the F50 is that it is multifunctional. You can use the same tool to saw, sand, and even remove grout, with a quick change of the head. In the case of the F50, the head change is quick and convenient. It doesn’t require a chuck or hex key. Simply spin the lever, change the head, and tighten the lever again before closing it. It is a great feature and it cuts the time and increases the convenience of changing the head.
What’s more, as well as being easy to change, the Rockwell includes 31 different attachments and, if these aren’t enough, it is compatible with the heads and blades from other major manufacturers. Whatever you want your Rockwell for, you will be able to find a blade to meet your needs.
5° Oscillation Angle
The oscillation angle of an oscillating tool is the amount of distance that the head moves when in motion. Most tools offer around 3.5° oscillation, but the Rockwell F50 offers 5° which means that there is a lot more swing in the motion. Essentially, this means that the tool will saw, sand, and perform other duties more quickly.
You will really notice the difference when using the circular saw and the sanding heads, although the extra power could be detrimental to the sanding head because the pads wear loose and wear down too soon. The extra oscillation is also part of the reason that the F50 is known for vibrating quite violently compared to the less active models of oscillating tool.
LED Cut Lights
LED cut lights are basically workpiece lights. These shine from the nose of the machine and they illuminate whatever it is that you’re working on. While we don’t recommend that you do any DIY, let alone circular sawing in the dark, there will be many occasions when you’re working in diminished light.
When you’re working in tight corners or loft spaces, for example, lighting can be difficult to come by. There are some reports that the latest version of the Rockwell has dispensed with the LED lights, which would be a shame and would necessitate finding some other way to light the work area.
Although the F50 has a lot of positive points and many benefits, one of these benefits also poses something of a problem. The increased oscillating angle means that the head swings further and longer, and this means more movement from the head of the device.
Especially when used at higher speeds, this means that the vibrations of the Rockwell can be quite severe which, in turn, also means that the tool can run quite loud. This shouldn’t pose a problem for short-term and minimal use but may necessitate the wearing of gloves for long periods of work.
Does the Rockwell F50 include a case?
The F50 does include a case. It used to include a hard carry case, but this has been replaced by a soft bag. The bag is big enough that it will hold the tool, the cord and plug, and the accessories that are included with your purchase. It may also fit some additional accessories and sanding pads.
What is the difference between the Rockwell F50 and the F30
The Rockwell Sonocaster range includes the F50 and the F30. The two tools are very similar, but the primary difference is the power of the motor. The F50 has a 4.0-amp motor, while the F30 only has a 3.5-amp motor.
Does it offer variable speed?
The Rockwell F50 has a variable speed setting between 11,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute (OPM) and this is controlled by a simple dial.
What the Users Say
To give you a better picture of the performance of the Rockwell F50, especially in other situations and for a range of tasks, we have gathered information from online reviews and from existing buyers to find out what they think.
The consensus with this tool is overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of reviewers applauding its versatility and its power. However, several reviewers have pointed out that Rockwell has removed the LED lights and swapped the hard case for a soft carry case in recent years, saving money and potentially reducing the value of the set a little.
Several reviews are critical of the tool’s performance as a sander, stating that the sanding pads do not adhere well to the device and they wear down quickly because of the high level of vibrations that the machine emits.
The Rockwell F50 is an oscillating tool, which means that it can be used for a wide variety of tasks. This model excels over others because it has a wider oscillating arm. However, it is this same feature that leads to two of the device’s biggest problems – you will endure quite violent vibrations, and it is a little too powerful for the sanding feature.