Starlock: Everything You Need to Know 
In this blog you will find out everything you need to know about Starlock multi tool blades. The article is broken down into sections:
- What is Starlock?
- What are the benefits of using Starlock accessories?
- What’s the difference between Starlock, StarlockPlus and StarlockMax?
- Which multi-tools are compatible with Starlock?
- Where can I buy compatible Starlock tools, blades and accessories?
What is Starlock?
Starlock is a patented system for attaching multi tool accessories to multi tools – or oscillators as some people refer to them. The Starlock concept was the result of a collaboration between Fein – the inventors of the original multi tool – and Bosch. It was officially launched in 2016.
What are the benefits of using Starlock?
When you talk about benefits, you are usually asking why is one thing better than something else? So, let’s compare Starlock to the traditional OIS – Oscillating Interface System.
The unique shape of Starlock fitting
The most obvious feature of Starlock is how the blade fits on to the machine. In appearance, it’s very different to traditional OIS blades. The official term for this new fitting design is 3D Interface System but a much simpler way to describe it is that of an old-fashioned bottle top. Essentially, the OIS blades fit ‘onto’ the tool holding mechanism, whereas Starlock fits ‘into’ it. The major advantage of the Starlock fitting is 100% power transfer of the machine through to the blade or sanding pad – resulting in faster cutting and reduced vibration.
‘Push to Fit’ Blade Clamp System
Another feature of Starlock is the ‘push to fit’ blade clamp mechanism. Blades are attached instantly by simply pushing the blade onto the tool. Releasing the blade is just as fast using a lever – especially helpful if the blade has got hot during cutting. It is worth noting that not all Starlock specific machines come with this push to fit system but certainly Fein and Festool do.
Starlock, StarlockPlus and StarlockMax – What’s the difference?
As illustrated below, the first thing you will notice between Starlock, Starlock Plus and Starlock Max is that they look different.
The different Starlock fittings directly correlate to the power output of the multi tool, Starlock being the least powerful and Starlock Max being the most powerful. Power output of the machine determines which blades are suitable, as wider and longer blades put more strain on the motor. Therefore, as blades become wider and longer they take on the relevant Starlock fitting.
The main reason there are three different types of Starlock fittings is to stop you from burning your machine out. Below is a compatibility chart to make blade selection easy.
As an example, using the chart above, if you have a lower powered 12V multi tool and try to fit a long Starlock Max blade – it physically won’t fit, thus eliminating the chance of burn out. However, if you own a Starlock Max oscillator and want to fit a Starlock plus or normal Starlock blade, it will readily accept it. That’s because the manufacturer realises that the Max machine has enough power to take any type of Starlock blade without risk of burn out, therefore, the entire range of Starlock accessories can be used.
In summary, the three blades not only look different but are designed to only fit into machines they are compatible with for optimal user experience.
Which multi-tools are compatible with Starlock?
As you can see, Starlock shares the same 12 holes as the OIS blade. For that reason, a Starlock accessory will fit onto any mainstream brand of power tool such as Metabo, Milwaukee, Makita Panasonic and Hikoki (formerly known as Hitachi).
Starlock is not compatible with Dewalt tools as they require a blade with a horseshoe cut out at the back.
I have read some forums which suggest that Starlock blades can fit Dewalt multi-tools with an adaptor. This article is purposely avoiding the use of adaptors and is specifically focusing on blades that can be mounted on the tool, straight from the packet.
The reason for this is that adaptors tend to be small accessories which resemble a washer and are therefore easily lost. Also, let’s face it, you can adapt anything but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any good.
Where can I buy compatible Starlock tools, blades and accessories?
Protrade have a comprehensive range of Starlock tools, Starlock blades and Starlock accessories which can be purchased from our website www.protrade.co.uk. We have gone to great lengths to make the purchase of Starlock products easy by way of blade fitting pictograms and compatibility statements on every multi tool. If you would prefer to collect your Starlock accessories, we offer a click and collect service or alternatively you can call into any one of our Protrade depots and pick them up.
Des Duddy – Joint Managing Director