Thanks to Monte and Reflector, we came another news source talking about the new standard (here’s the translated page), and it sheds additional light onto the Starlock interface.
Most interestingly, there’s a list of upcoming tools.
- Bosch GOP 12 V-EC SL
- PMF 220 CE
- PMF 250 CES
- Bosch GOP 280 CE SL
- Bosch GOP 350 CE SL
- Bosch GOP 18 V-LI SL
- Bosch PMF 350 CES
- Fein AFMT 12 SL
- Fein AFMT 12 QSL
- Fein AFMM 18 QSL
- Fein FMT 250 SL
- Fein FMT 250 QSL
- Fein FMM 350 QSL
- Fein MultiMaster
- Bosch GOP 500 CE SL
- Fein AFSCA 18 QSL
- Fein AFSCA 18QCSL
- Fein FSC 500 QSL
Other Tools That are Starlock-Compatible
Remember, Starlock accessories are backwards-compatible with Bosch OIS-compatible tools.
- Bosch GOP
- Bosch PMF
- Fein MultiMaster
That’s a lot of new tools.
The first Starlock-compatible tool looks to be a new Bosch 12V Max oscillating multi-tool. They already have the PS50 multi-tool, but it’s long in the tooth and lacks a tool-free blade change mechanism. The new Bosch GOP 12 V-EC SL could potentially be a brushless 12V Max oscillating multi-tool, as suggested by the EC part of the model number.
Those other Starlock-compatible tools are “Bosch green” tools that are already on the market.
What I’m thinking is that Starlock-compatible tools will have simpler OIS-style blade interfaces. Starlock accessories will be OIS-compatible, and so the first tier of Starlock tools might not engage with Bosch and Fein Starlock accessories any different than they do OIS or universal-interface blades.
Starlock Plus, on the other hand, has a very long list of new tools. I imagine that most Starlock Plus tool users will use Starlock-compatible accessories, with Starlock Plus accessories being used maybe on occasion.
If the above list, taken from the chart we saw, is correct, then it suggests that Starlock Plus tools will be needed to see the full advantage of the Starlock interface.
It seems reasonable that the new class of Starlock Plus accessories might be considered more suitable for pro-grade 18V-powered and corded oscillating multi-tools.
When you think about it in these terms, brands don’t necessarily have to come out with 3 new classes of tools. There already are 3 classes of tools: 12V-class and DIYer brands of oscillating multi-tools, cordless and corded pro-branded OMTs, and heavy duty OMTs such as the Fein Supercut and Festool Vecturo OMTs.
Right now, you cannot really use regular oscillating multi-tool blades with Supercut and Vecturo tools, you have to use Supercut-compatible blades. Starlock would help bridge the gap. There’s an adapter, but word has it that it doesn’t work for both tools or certain tool and blade combinations.
If I’m understanding things correctly, Starlock = a universal (or near-universal) interface that works with existing tools, Starlock Plus = a more restrictive interface that will be debuted on a bunch of new Bosch and Fein offerings and heavier duty accessories, and Starlock Max = the most restrictive interface that ensures the heaviest duty accessories are only paired with the heaviest duty tools.
Bosch and Fein’s Starlock initiative is starting to make more sense and it grows more appealing every time I think about it anew.
I’m sure that Bosch and Fein intend for Starlock to be a new standard. And since it’s patented – and protected – that could mean other brands would have to seek permission or usage agreements if they are to market Starlock-compatible tools or accessories.
While Starlock accessories will be compatible with any (almost any?) oscillating tool that can accept OIS blades, it doesn’t look like the same can be said for Starlock Plus and Starlock Max.
In a few years, will Starlock Plus (or Max) tools be a big thing? And if so, will competing oscillating tool accessory makers have embraced or opposed it? What about tool makers?
For now, it looks like Bosch and Fein will effectively lock out their next generation tools so that they only fit Bosch and Fein Starlock Plus-compatible accessories, at least for some time until other accessory makers can catch up and develop for the new interface (if they choose to do so).
Maybe there will be adapters that help to improve cross-platform compatibility? But if so, wouldn’t that just work against this push towards a new standard?
It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.