What is the Best Oscillating Tool for Grout Removal?

You’ve got this whole bathroom full of tile staring at you and you’re thinking, It’s going to take forever to remove all that grout from the tile! Well, it doesn’t have to be if you have the right tool for the job. As my Dad always said, there’s a tool for every job. In this case, an oscillating tool can do the job and do it very well saving you lots of time and energy from having to manually remove it all from your shower.

The most common way to remove grout is with an Exacto knife or utility blade. This is definitely an option, however it’ll take forever as you go through every single vertical and horizontal piece. With this method, you also have to be careful to not damage the tile with the knife. The biggest downside of this method is the amount of time it will take.

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Which tool is the best?

I recommend the DEWALT DCS355D1 20V XR Lithium-Ion Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit. Pair it with one of the many accessory blades they make and you’ve got a great combination. If you want more information about the tool, you can read my review of the most popular oscillating tools here: Best Oscillating tools. Once you’ve used one for a job like this, it feels like it was made specifically for removing grout. That’s the beauty of this type of tool, it’s so versatile and does so many things very well.

DeWALT makes a variety of blades depending on the application, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a grout removal blade that can reach all areas of your workspace. Do you have any corners to work on? Any other tight spots? If so, you may need a blade that can reach corners. Some accessory blades are rounded while others are pointed allowing you to access different areas. Again, just look at the area you’re working in and see what’s best for the application.

What you need to get the job done

  1. Oscillating tool
  2. Grout removal blade
  3. Vacuum or shop-vac

How to remove the grout

First off, make sure you’ve got a clean area to work in and around. If you’re in a bathroom, remove anything that can get in the way such as toiletries and shower caddies. Visually analyze your work area and determine a quick plan of action. For example, you may want to go from left to right following the horizontal lines and then move down one line at a time. You may have a better way, but following a direction and having a plant of action will keep you from backtracking and wasting time and motion.

Once you’ve got the hang of it with one hand, see if you can use your other hand to vacuum the dust as you go. I’m always trying to think of ways to be more efficient and clean up as I go. Just take caution and don’t let the quality of your work decrease though by doing multiple things at one time.

Experiment with the speed of the tool as well. Start out at a lower setting and slowly move it up until you see the best performance. You may want to stay around the mid-range for the best results. Oscillators can give different results depending on the speed at which you run it and the material you’re working on. Just experiment and see what works!

That covers all the tools, accessories, and process for your project! Now you know the quickest way to remove grout for your bathroom project!

A quick demo from DeWALT: