Bosch Starlock Oscillating Multi-Tools

GUEST POST – Dwain is one of the experts behind oztooltalk, from Australia . You can find more of their video tool reviews on their Youtube Channel.  

Most Coptool readers would know that Bosch and FEIN worked together to create Starlock, an innovative system for attaching oscillating multi-tool (OMT) blades and bits. Currently only Bosch and FEIN tools employ the the Starlock system, though it will undoubtedly start appearing on other brands in the near future.

Tool-less bit changes have already been increasing the flexibility of OMTs for a few years, making tradespeople more likely to use them for multiple tasks (like sanding). But apart from making the blade change even faster, Starlock makes a huge difference because users don’t have to handle the blades. Why is this this useful? Because OMT blades get hot! It’s quite common for users to want to rotate a blade several times, but the hot blades are painful to handle.

Coptool discussed the Starlock system was a while back – (previous coptool post). The new OMTs come in two variations, StarlockPlus and StarlockMax. A summary of the blade compatibility is listed below:

  • Starlock: Compatible with most OMT brands
  • StarlockPlus: Only able to be used on StarlockPlus and StarlockMax tools
  • StarlockMax: Only able to be used on StarlockMax tools

Bosch sent us the following tools for review:

  1. GOP 18V-28 –  Cordless 18V, 2.8° arc, 8,000 – 20,000 OPM, StarlockPlus
  2. GOP 55-36 –  5 Amp, 3.6° arc, 8,000 – 20,000 OPM, StarlockMax

The most important take-away was that the Starlock blade attachment system works perfectly. Just leave the blade sitting on the bench/floor and push the OMT into it. There’s no way to mess it up, and the sound and feel of the locked blade means you are always sure the blade is correctly attached.

The power of the GOP 55-36 with it’s 5.5A motor is truly astounding. I’ve never used any OMT that  cuts with this sort of easy power. With a fairly agressive blade it can but a 4×2 structural stud in around 14 seconds. Despite this it’s a very comfortable, compact tool at only 3.5 lbs and 11 inches.

The cordless GOP 18V-28 looks and feels exactly like it’s predecessor, the GOP 18V-EC, with the addition of the Starlock feature. However in testing them head-to-head, we discovered that the newer Starlock model doesn’t have quite the same power, despite identical specifications. The explanation of this surprise isn’t apparent, as the 3D Starlock connection should allow improved transfer of energy. I’m pleased to see the great size and form factor of the older model retained, at only 3.5 lbs and 12.3 inches. It also includes a much welcomes LED light on the front.

You probably don’t need to be told this, but Bosch also make fantastic OMT blades. Mike and I (from oztooltalk) have used them almost exclusively.

Also now available in a 12V Max Brushless Starlock option for a compact solution GOP12V-28N ($89). For more information on Bosch Starlock Accessories, check out Ohio Power Tool or give their pro staff a call at 800-242-4424.

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