A few years ago if you had told us Fein and Bosch would team up on Oscillating Tool Accessories we would have thought you were crazy. At the time there was a frantic rush for every brand to have their own accessories which meant a very narrow mix of accessories for customers and harder for retailers to stock. Fast forward a few years and a couple factors make this partnership pretty logical. With lots of new competition in the market and the expansion of what oscillating accessories are trying to accomplish it makes some sense for the top brands to come together to establish a universal standard. This will allow the accessories which require more power to be matched to tools that can perform, regardless of brands.
The new STARLOCK oscillating tool from Bosch GOP55-36 (coming spring/summer) has a 5.5Amp motor, up substantially from the current Bosch MX30EC ($199) model at 3.0Amp. We were surprised to see all the extra power really comes without much change to the overall tool size. It is hard to imagine needing almost twice the power of the MX30 but for some applications this makes a lot of sense. The STARLOCK accessories (coming February/March) all will continue to work with all the Bosch 12V, 18V, MX25 & MX30 tools however the new accessories labeled “STARLOCK PLUS” & “STARLOCK MAX” will not fit the tool because they simply require more power.
Why 3 different levels with accessories STARLOCK, STARLOCK PLUS & STARLOCK MAX? We do understand it is hard to try and accommodate not just Bosch and Fein but Milwaukee, Makita, Metabo, Ridgid, Craftsmen, Hitachi, Skil, Worx, just to name a few. If they are going to establish a standard that can accommodate all the current tools and accessories as well as plan ahead to what tasks we might try to use these tools for in the future 3 levels seems reasonable. What could you do with a 8, 9, 10 Amp oscillating tool?
Overall we think the STARLOCK program will be very good for everyone. If you can go to the store and find a much larger selection of accessories that you know will work as intended (not with a sloppy adapter connection that comes loose every 3 minutes) we think this great news and much safer.
Bosch Tools and Fein Tools are definitely viewed as the upper-end for oscillating accessories and with more and more oscillating tools going cordless, where they both lack market share this makes a ton of sense. People can have the option to get the top quality accessories they want for a cordless oscillating tool that fits into their existing battery system. Makes a lot of sense all around.