We got a chance to try out the new Fein Starlock Oscillating Multi-tool System which was integrated into the new Bosch GOP40-30 oscillating multi-tool being shown at the 2015 STAFDA trade show in Phoenix. The new Fein Starlock mounting system is being developed as the new standard for multi cutters or oscillating multi-tools. Bosch is particularly motivated to get the new system to take off, and it intends to make the Starlock system as prevalent in the oscillating multi-tool market (the OMT market as it’s known) as their SDS system is for rotary hammers for concrete applications. The new Starlock OMT accessory system is coming in January of 2016, and it will be interesting to see if it indeed sets a new standard in the industry.
Fein Starlock Oscillating Multi-tool System Features
The Fein Starlock oscillating multi-tool system is a brand new design, with a raised portion of the accessory that interlocks with the tool in three dimensions as opposed to current accessories which are simply pressed between a fastening washer or pin and the tool. With the Starlock mounting system, Bosch, Fein, and other tools using the system get to grasp the accessory with a 3D configuration in the form of a quasi 12-sided dodecagram (a 12-pointed star). Protruding upward from the surface of the accessory, it looks like an oversized bottle cap.
The accessory literally snaps into the tool—there are no levers or fastening system to prep or activate. It’s not just tool-less, you literally don’t have to touch a lever or insert a pin to load an accessory—you just place the tool over the accessory at whatever angle you want and press down. It automatically grasps the Starlock blade or accessory and locks it into place. A lever on the Bosch Starlock tool releases the accessory or blade without forcing you to touch it—a good thing if you’ve just, for example, cut through a bunch of wood or metal and heated up the blade to 160+ degrees. We assume Fein Starlock tools and other compatible tools will work in the same way.
Using the Bosch GOP40-30 Oscillating Multi-Tool with Starlock Mounting System
There are several advantages to the new Starlock system, but the most obvious is its snap-in function: Never before has changing the accessory on an oscillating multi-tool been faster or easier. With the new Bosch GOP40-30 oscillating multi-tool, you get the Fein Starlock mounting system with a snap-in function lets you change the accessory in less than 3 seconds. It also does it without requiring you to touch a potentially hot blade—which makes this a safer system as well.
Here’s the Bosch Starlock oscillating multi-tool mounting system in action on the new GOP40-30 oscillating multi-tool:
The Three Flavors of the Starlock System
The Starlock mounting system will come out in three variations for reasons of backwards compatibility. You have the basic Starlock system, which fits a majority of the corded or cordless oscillating multi-tools on the market (including the Bosch MX30E multi-tool or any Bosch OIS-compatible tools), the Starlock Plus which fits the Fein MultiMaster FMM 350 Q, and the Starlock Max which is being reserved for heavy duty tools and accessories. All three are trademarked by Fein. Noticeably absent are any solutions that will work with tools requiring a slotted accessory, such as the Dremel Multi-Max, Porter-Cable PC250MTK, or DeWalt’s newest oscillating multi-tool.
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.
The Fein Starlock oscillating multi-tool system is certainly unique (it’s also patented), but will it set the new standard in the oscillating multi-tool market? We’ll have to see. The oscillating multi-tool has gone from a fad of just a few years ago to a full-blown tool that’s indispensable for those doing trim work and anything requiring flush cutting for tile and flooring. It’s also handy in other applications like electrical work and when you need to cut a bolt (or anything else for that matter) flush to a surface.
The most telling thing about the Fein Starlock oscillating multi-tool system is that the accessories are backwards compatible with all OIS and OIS-compatible power tools currently on the market. The only hang-up is that new power tools from Bosch and Fein that use the new Starlock mounting system will only work with Starlock accessories. The recessed mounting position won’t accept any of your existing OIS blades or accessories.
The unique Bosch color coding will remain the same with the new Starlock accessories as it is with the current OIS accessories:
Look for the new Bosch GOP40-30 oscillating multi-tool and the new Starlock and Starlock Plus accessories to hit the shelves around January 2016. Pricing should be very similar to existing OIS products.