A recent Tools of the Trade post discussed a STAFDA 2015 announcement: Bosch and Fein teamed up to create a new oscillating multi-tool interface, called Starlock.
Both brands will be coming out with new tools and new oscillating multi-tool accessories that support the new interface.
Here’s what we learned from ToTT’s post and an accompanying official-looking Bosch fact sheet (ToTT PDF):
- 3 new interfaces: Starlock, Starlock Plus, Starlock Max
- Fein MultiMaster tools will be redesigned with a new tool-free blade change mechanism
- Starlock-compatible accessories are backwards-compatible with Bosch OIS and OIS-compatible tools
What the 3 new interfaces mean is that Bosch might come out with different tiers of tools, similar to how Fein has their MultiMaster oscillating multi-tools and higher-powered SuperCut tools.
Users will be able to use Starlock accessories on all Starlock-compatible tools, but Starlock Plus can only be used on -Plus or -Max tools, and only Starlock Max tools can be fitted with Starlock Max accessories.
The new Starlock interface has a 3-dimensional fitment, which the fact sheet says allows for quicker and easier blade changes. It is also said to be safer, which they claim will lead to less injuries.
It looks like Bosch and Fein Starlock oscillating multi-tool accessories will look a little different.
ETA: January 2016
More details will be forthcoming, but this seemed like big news to just sit on.
My question is this: is there a demonstrated need for a better and more engaged accessory system?
To be frank, instead of “oh cool,” or “yes, that’s exactly what we needed!,” my first thoughts were to wonder if this is a solution in search of a problem, potentially for the sake of drummed-up sales. When is the last time you heard of an oscillating tool failing or wearing out?
Did Bosch and Fein come up with a new blade change interface in order to fuel the production and sales of whole new lines of oscillating multi-tools?
I’m not normally one to think like this, but could it be that this is driven more by marketing considerations than user demands? I really don’t think so, but cannot shake my head free of doubt.
That said, I can see how there would be benefit in a 3-dimensional interface. According to the fact sheet, the interface allows for highest work progress due to 100% power transmission, which I can totally believe. But that wasn’t the case for Bosch and Fein’s 2D interfaces?
The fact sheet also says that Starlock is unique and patented and will set the new standard in the market.
So what does that mean for Dewalt oscillating multi-tool users. Will these accessories be compatible with their tools? Will an adapter be needed as with other non-Dewalt accessories?
New Starlock blades will be backwards-compatible, but what about Starlock-equipped tools? Will users be locked into using Bosch and Fein Starlock-compatible accessories, or can they use “universally compatible” accessories from other brands?
How much more will these accessories cost, compared to current Bosch OIS and Fein Multi-Mount blades and accessories?
Since Starlock blades and other OMT accessories will be backwards-compatible, this probably means that OIS blades and accessories might start drying up.
Since January is just a month away, I’m thinking that we’ll see a trickle of new Starlock accessories, with new Starlock-compatible tools to follow.
Right now, our only sources of information are Trademark applications from this past year (e.g. this one), that name both Bosch and Fein as holders, and the ToTT story. We’ll let you know when we learn more.