We have calculated reaction rates for the reactions O + HD → OH + D and O + DH → OD + H using improved canonical variational transition state theory and least‐action ground‐state transmission coefficients with an ab initio potential energy surface. The kinetic isotope effects are in good agreement with experiment. The optimized tunneling paths and properties of the variational transition states and the rate enhancement for vibrationally excited reactants are also presented and compared with those for the isotopically unsubstituted reaction O + H2 → OH + H. The thermal reactions at low and room temperature are predicted to occur by tunneling at extended configurations, i.e., to initiate early on the reaction path and to avoid the saddle point regions. Tunneling also dominates the low and room temperature reactions for excited vibrational states, but in these cases the results are not as sensitive to the nature of the tunneling path. Overbarrier mechanisms dominate for both thermal and excited‐vibrational state reactions for T > 600 K. For the excited‐state reaction (with initial vibrational quantum number n > 0) a transition state switch occurs for T > 1000 K for the O + HD(n = 1) → OD + H case and for T > 1500 K for the O + DH(n = 1) → OD + H reaction, and this may be a general phenomenon for excited‐state reactions at higher temperature. In the present case the switch occurs from an early variational transition state where the vibrationally adiabatic approximation is expected to be valid to a tighter variational transition state where nonadiabatic effects are probably important and should be included.