A couple of months ago, we talked a little about the new Bosch (and Fein) Starlock oscillating multi-tool accessory system, and then again with more Starlock details.
The new Bosch Starlock oscillating tool blade interface is supposed to be better for a number of reasons.
Compared to the previous style, the new Starlock interface is now 3 dimensional, which both Bosch and Fein, who jointly launched the new interface, say will allow for quicker blade changes. They also say that the new interface is safer.
To see the full potential of these new accessories, you’ll need one of the new Starlock oscillating tools.
But that does mean you should ignore the new offerings and stick to tried-and-true OIS-compatible accessories?
Over at Amazon, they started carrying a whole slew of new Bosch Starlock accessories, most only available for pre-ordering and not immediate shipment.
So I started looking at prices.
A 3-pack of Bosch OSC114C carbide-toothed blades is priced at ~$42.
A 3-pack of the new Bosch OSL114C carbide-toothed blades is ~$43. (4/30/2017 Price: $34)
But there’s a big gap in individual prices: $22 and change for the Starlock version, $15 and change for the OIS. Maybe this is an example of how Amazon’s preorder/prelisting prices are sometimes a little higher than their available-for-immediate-shipping prices.
(4/30/2017 Price: $16 for one blade.)
So then I looked at the Bosch Starlock OSL212JF blade, shown above. It’s a 2-1/2″ plunge cutting blade with extra-clean-cutting Japanese tooth profile.
The price: around $21. (4/30/2017 Price: $15)
The older generation OIS version, model OSC212JF, is a hair more expensive, at $23 and change.
Check Prices, or Buy: Starlock OSL212JF, OIS OSC212JF
So the new Starlock version is slightly cheaper. Interesting.
But they’re not the same blade.
The new Starlock blade has some of the same features, such as clean-cutting tooth profile. The OIS version is said to have a Japanese-style tooth design, and I’m thinking that the new version is designed similarly, even though it doesn’t seem to be advertised as having Japanese-style teeth.
Apparently the new Starlock version of the 2-1/2″ plunge blade has a new Curved-Tec overall blade shape, with the product description saying it offers greater control and smooth, precise plunge cuts.
That makes some sense. Actually, it makes a lot of sense. For a long blade, why not offer a curved cutting edge?
Oscillating multi-tools swing their blades, or other attachments, at a slight angle. With a smaller blade, the swing isn’t going to be much noticeable. But with longer blades, there is going to be a more noticeable difference in cutting depth at the other edges, compared to the center of the blade.
I can’t tell you whether a curved oscillating multi-tool blade will definitely lead to a “greater controlled, smoother, and more precise” plunge cut as Bosch claims.
At least one reader has previously suggested that gently curved blades might perform better than straight ones. I can’t find the email or comment, or I would have credited them for the foresight.
Update: Thanks to Nathan for mentioning curved blade edges in our recent Imperial Tools right angle oscillating multi-tool blade post, and Fred for the reminder!
Now that these Curved-Tec blades exist, they inherently make sense, although that could also just be wishful thinking being confused for something else. I also don’t recall if I was skeptical or encouraging.
Sorry back to the point.
I don’t currently own a Starlock oscillating tool, and don’t see a reason to upgrade from my Fein 250Q MultiMaster. I’m sure a Starlock tool or three will eventually hit my test bench, but I tend to prefer using my Fein for personal projects.
However, I’ve seen 2 reasons why I might look more closely at Bosch’s Starlock oscillating multi-tool blade and accessory offerings, even if I won’t own a Starlock tool (for some time?).
- Some Starlock accessories are less expensive (others are a little pricier)
- Some Starlock accessories offer new features compared to the OIS versions
Is the Starlock version of your favorite Bosch blade(s) or OMT (oscillating multi-tool) accessories any better or cheaper?
Buy Now(Bosch Starlock OMT Accessories)
The next time I need to buy some more oscillating multi-tool accessories, I’ll definitely check the Starlock versions too. Lower pricing is always good, as are more features. More features and lower pricing is even better! But there will likely be some accessories that are higher priced without offering anything new.
April 2017 Update: It looks like the Starlock blades have completely replaced OIS ones, at least in most cases. The prices have come down a lot too. Since Starlock blades are compatible with OIS-compatible tools, there’s no reason not to buy Starlock blades now.
Milwaukee tool Steve
As long as their better than harbor Freight then yes anyday. lol
I’ve really have had a troublesome time with those blades…
Maybe its time to retire my 12 year old Fein 636-2
BTW Stuart – I think that there were comments about the potential benefits of providing a curve to the blade – in your recent post about the Imperial right Angle blades
You’re right, thanks! About that second part. As for the first, maybe? I assume your Fein doesn’t have a quick release blade change mechanism? That, and other modern improvements, brought about due to the higher level of competition, might make it worth it if you use the older OMT regularly.
My Fein uses an Allen wrench – socket screw and washer to “secure” the blades – not only slow – but the blades can rotate around a bit.
I have a Milwaukee M12 cordless (2426-20) too – but I find that a bit more of a toy than a tool. The last time I used either was on an oak flooring install at one of my kid’s places almost 1 year ago now – so maybe I’ll wait until I have another “job” booked.
I wonder why there weren’t more curved longer cutters out there. Make a lot of sense to factor in the arc motion of the arbor. When you look at it from the tooth perspective it’s a circular saw that spins both directions but doesn’t complete a circuit.
it’s why I think those 3/4 circle heads work so much better. anyway.
are the star locks at least some what interchangeable with other devices? I was is the short strokes of buying a dewalt OMT the other day – still seems to be the device I like the best. (cut guide, kit price, accessories etc). And I like their blade retention system – so I was thinking I’d end up with one – only to have a product with limited blade choices about 5 years in the futures.
The DeWALT has a universal arbor just below the quick-release. Screw-on-and-off via allen wrench (included) so you’re not actually limited in blade choice. They will all fit that universal post at the bottom.
Ouch, $14-$23 for a single blade. Almost reminds me of Ink jet cartridges or toner cartridges ( Except that you still pay a bit of premium for the tool – instead of it being a loss leader). Premium priced products don’t always produce premium end results (sometimes its all in the tool operator). Yet I’ve spent those extra $$ in the past but I can’t think of many instance where it was far superior or justified the premium. Granted I think that HF blades are overpriced and its been a few years since I bought one, but I think that the mounting holes are proprietary and smaller so they only fit their tools.
I guess if one is doing high end cabinets or finish work as a livleyhood, it might be worth it.
I’ve got a few older Bosch OIS in my blade mix. Just hard to wrap my head around spending more on a OMT blade than what you can pay for some leatherman tools, when they they don’t seem to last or perform any better from a consistent measurable standpoint.
$2.50 vs $23(+/-) per blade for Platinum OMT blades on Amazon
Bosch oscillating blades cost more, but I’ve found them to be worth the price, especially the carbide-toothed ones.
I own the big dremel oscillating tool. I love the tool as it has plenty of power but hate that fact that it has a proprietary blade attachment system. These blades look similar to the dremel, but I doubt they would fit. Has anyone found an off brand of blades that fit the dremel?
dremel is owned by bosch, and before this starlock business, blades were pretty interchangeable, at least I didn’t have any issues finding blades. The one exception is Craftsman blades which require an adapter to fit other OMT models (i only bought the polisher pads, and caulk scrapers, no actual cutting blades as I can’t imagine them being good).
I really don’t think you should have problems finding blades for the dremel, but maybe you have an older special model.
I have been frustrated with the Bosch SDS Plus and SDS Max product differences and now they are putting that same difference into oscillating blades. Yuk, I had to buy two Bosch hammer tools because of the differences (sds max for big bore holes and sds plus for the rotary mode selections.). Now the same for oscillating tools. ? I love Bosch but I hate their marketing strategy.
I just want a universal mount across the blade brands. ESPECIALLY in the quick-fit/rapid-change/etc. versions. THAT is the make-or-break for me. I would TOTALLY justify Bosch blades 100% of the time, but I’m a DeWALT Cordless owner, and I’m not switching brands just for the blades. I don’t use it nearly often enough to justify that.
Bosch/Dremel make better blades than DeWALT does. And, being Canadian, “Harbor Freight” is not an option. When it comes to blades, and bits? Bosch is one of the best in the world, in my experience. There are exceptions, where certain features of a DeWALT Bit are better overall, and more durable, but they’re the exception instead of the rule. It all comes down to the interface. You have to have the interface to use a Bosch blade. This new Starlock thing? I doubt I can fit it on my DeWALT. So, that’s a deal breaker for me, no matter what improvements they did to the blade itself, I can’t use them.
JoeM: Isn’t Princess Auto the Canadian equivalent to Harbor Fright? Might find some there.
I just picked up the latest Fein MultiMaster and some of the Bosch carbide-toothed blades. Haven’t used them yet, but I might need to next week for a plumbing repair. I’ll report back on how well they work 🙂
Where is your report?
I have a Bosch occilating tool with the release lever that I absolutely love and use quite frequently. However, the Starlock blades will pop out suddenly. This is really frustrating. When I use the older Bosch blades I have no problem. Has anyone else had this experience? Is Bosch aware of this problem?
The starlock blades work best with the newest Bosch oscillators. It increases the hold onto the bits tenfold. The older Bosch model is exactly the same but for ten dollars more you can get the upgraded starlock. I will buy the Bosch gop with starlock because Bosch is ahead of the game and by working with friends they set the standard for these tools. DeWalt makes a nice machine bit your hand must always be on the trigger and it was made mostly to use DeWalt bits. The DeWalt bits don’t compare to Bosch bits, not even close.
Buy the Bosch Carbide Blades, for starlock tool.
Made the job really easy.
Cuts through steel, brass, copper/ used twice this week
no wear on blades , just a little stain on blade