As discussed yesterday, Bosch and Fein teamed up to bring you a new oscillating multi-tool accessory interface, called Starlock.
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.
So the only people out of the list for starlock is Stanley Black and Decker group?
I wonder what they will devise next.
Don’t forget Festool who I believe is the only other “SuperCut” compatible (Vecturo) maker than Fein itself. And since there’s no backward compatibly sans a full on adapter I’m really interested in how they play this out. Festool looks like it was left out completely here and I’m surprised because a Festool Vecturo meant Fein SuperCut blade sales.
Fein manufactures the Vecturo for Festool. That may change in the future. Years ago Festool sold a router that was made by Mafell.
I’ve used these guys for about 3 years now for my Vecturo and am very happy with the quality – you can find Supercut and Festool stuff here: https://imperialbladesdirect.com/product-category/fein-supercut-festool-vecturo-blades/
Reminds me of the bicycle bottom bracket and headset standards that change annually from Shimano. We got along great for decades with english and italian standards, not it BB30, press fit, tapered, (I can’t keep track). I guess they’ve got to get the public to ‘upgrade’ on a more frequent basis. I’m slightly irritated, since my brand new Bosch multi-tool arrived on Tuesday, the day before this announcement. Only slightly, since it looks like Starlock will work. But will my new tool be useless in 5 years?
“Starlock” is basically what Bosch sells today but in “3D”. So you will be able to use the new blades too. Don´t worry 🙂
Recently just bought a gop 10.8v & 250ce so i”m a bit “peeved” off with this new system coming out also…………….
Im still very confused, particularly the state of Supercut interface tools like the Festool Vecturo. Later they mention from research:
“Presumably, there will be a redesign of the Fein SuperCut line and accessory interface as well, preparing it for the heavy duty Starlock Max mounting system”
So this sounds more like a phase out of the “SuperCut” standard in the background, but no mention of backward compatibility (with or without an adapter) for current “SuperCut” multitools.
Though, someone was helpful providing me info with an adapter for Festool Vecturo to use “Multimaster” blades (which I would assume would mean you could use Starlock basic blades as well):
Fein 63733005010 Adapter – Use Multimaster Accessories on Vecturo / Supercut
Im assuming all the SuperCuts will need some type of adapter, wether or not they provide that remains to be seen as Festool doesn’t appear in any of these lists for participation or consideration.
I don’t want to mess with adapters. Needs to be 2 classes of universal interfaces, one for standard duty and one for heavy; i.e. 1/4 and 7/16 hex or sds-plus and sds-max
There needs to be ONE interface. This isn’t a matter of shank size as is the case with SDS plus and SDS max. Unless they create a significantly larger “hole” (for lack of a better word) to hold significantly larger accessories, there is absolutely no sense in having multiple interfaces. You can dress up changes in proprietary interfaces by saying that the new one has some benefit such as better efficiency, but in that case (assuming it IS actually more efficient) the old interface would be unnecessary….and we are back to ONE interface.
I don’t think this Starlock Max has to do with over-sized accessories, but I may be wrong.
Either way, I don’t see how any of this can possibly seem more appealing. It is ridiculous. The only thing these interfaces do is LOCK a friggin’ accessory in place. It has one function. It is the tool that is vibrating and that vibration is transferred to the accessory by being locked in place.
Look at the current systems. They are ALL roughly the same size. They just have different embossed patterns to lock the head of the tool to the accessories. This is something like a key and keyhole. This is comparable to having several companies make precision screwdrivers: one goes with 3.5mm, one goes to 4mm, and the last guy says “ours is 4.5mm so it’s REALLY REALLY good.” Or several companies make angle grinders: one picks a 1/2″ hole, one picks a 9/16″ hole, and the last one goes “ours is a half inch SQUARE, so it has great ummmm torque transfer.”
Do we need 6 different systems of locking into place nearly identical accessories? Are we so stupid that we need forced lockouts to prevent non-recommended accessories from being placed on certain tools? It’s certainly not a safety issue either. Remember we are talking about oscillating tools: you can stick your finger right up against a wood cutting blade and not penetrate the skin…
I agree completely
Concur, Blythe. I will keep using my $21 dollar Harbor Freight special oscillating saw. Cheap and effective.
I believe this change is just a grab at people’s back pocket. Why?
If you’re tool dies you’re forced to upgrade, this is inevitable if you work for a living. If the rest of your system is with one of these companies you’re committed. They inturn paten a system you’re locked to and if you use tools to make a living you quickly work out the cost isn’t in the tool it’s in the consumables.
These companies have effectively increased their profit by 500% as the new consumables are at a minimum 10 time the price of the previous attachment system and your locked to them.
The price of Starlock accessories, at lease those whose prices I’ve been tracking, have decreased. They have also in some cases replaced the non-Starlock variety.
Starlock accessories are compatible with other tools, but the Starlock tools require Starlock accessories.
The Starlock accessories do provide some benefits, such as ridiculously quick and easy attachment to Starlock-equipped tools.
At first I had considered it was new for the sake of being new, but there are advantages to the new interface system, and price-wise there don’t seem to be downsides or compromises. You can’t use 3rd party blades (yet?), but in my experience Bosch and Fein are the 2 best brands of oscillating multi-tool accessories anyways. Maybe in time we’ll see other brands brought into the Starlock fold via licensing or partnerships.
I don’t see the “utility” in this “innovation”. It’s a system of locking you out of certain device/blade combinations. To save the consumer from some terrible fate if they pick a “pro” blade with a non-pro (or wrong manufacturer) power tool? I have a hard time imagining such a thing.
It seems more like a way to manufacturer lock-in and up-sell you on the power tool to avoid being left out from some super-awesome accessory in the future, while not providing any more utility than any of the other competing “standards” already out there.
So, what about this anti-consumer, “patented – and protected” is “grows more appealing every time I think about it anew”?
You can buy cutting knives for the Fein Supercut so you can use it to remove car windshields. The Supercut has no problem with that.
Imagine somebody now uses his/her 10,8 volt Multitool with these glass removal knives…..
So i think this is the reason they have different “Starlock” systems, like they already have now. So you cannot use a recent Multimaster/Multitool together with a tool/blade designed for the Supercut. Makes sense for me, because some people always mess things up 🙂
You also better stock up on your Supercut glass-cutting blades or buy a new tool because they’re about to be obsolete due to this patented miracle known as Starlock.
Also I’m imagining using my M12 oscillating tool with the glass removal knife, and unless I’m incorrect, I am imagine it either 1) not cutting as quickly and efficient or 2) not working. What is the third scenario I’m failing to imagine?
(Sorry if this came off as abrasive. I mean no offense to you. 😉 )
Hi Sean, which glass cutting blades do you mean?
looks like they will be bringing out a fein 500 SC! Damn and I just bought the Fein ASCM when toolnut had thems on sale.
Sigh, me too. Wonder if we can retrofit the arbors on our soon to be obsolete supercuts?
Man this irks me.
now we know why it was on sale lol
Yeah and that thought did cross my mind, oh well matt and I can take solace in the fact that the new model will more than likely be $500-600.
This is stupid.
Fully agree. I’m keeping my Festool as long as possible. Plenty of compatible blades.
Craftsman has been using something that looks like the starlock plus for some time now
Interesting video on blade change with the new system
Just an FYI, I just bought the newest high end OMT from Bosch; StarlockMax. What. A. Beast.
The longer blades, greater oscillating angle and increased wattage really make it eat through wood. It’s close to jigsaw speeds in small strips of wood.
Sanding is way faster too 🙂
The tool handles well and the cord had one of those ball type connections on the tool. Overall impression is great.
New way to attach blades is fast. Lever is only needed for unlocking. Locking a new blade: just push it in place at the desired angle!
I purchased a fein starlock plus 6 months ago, a and now I can no longer purchase the blades unless I order online. Home Depo is where I purchased it, and now they are telling me that the tool was a clearance item and they no longer sell the blades. I am not very happy about the whole situation because I am a contractor and dont have the time to wait on a blade to do the job. In my opinion fein should offer to replace the tool with one that will accept standard universal blades.
Depending on what you’re looking for, Ace Hardware does carry a selection of the blades in their warehouse, and your local store may stock them, or at least be able to get them for you pretty quickly.
Fyi i have a fsc 2.0q 2016 supercut with extra quick in adapter for Starlock and Another one for Starlock plus.
They seem to exist for the old model without quick in also