Bosch Power Tools has a highly respectable product lineup. Though anyone is welcome to purchase Bosch equipment, the company tends to cater to professional, experienced users around the world, with dedicated websites to clients in the US and Canada. With plenty of experience and testing under my belt, I can say that Bosch equipment is dependable and easy to work with. And specifically, Bosch has been my favorite oscillating tool supplier. And they did not disappoint with their CORE18V Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool. Read on if you’re interested in a great oscillating multi-tool.
Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Overview
The Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool centers around cutting blades that can go through various types of wood, plastic, and metal. The selling point is really the variety of blades that can be fitted to the Bosch StarlockPlus frame shown below. As I’m sure you can appreciate, different materials will respond differently to various blades. With high force and the heat generated through cutting, the wrong blade can damage the tool itself and put your surroundings at risk with sparks, flying debris, or even the tool “getting away from you”. Of course, it is possible to have a separate cutting tool for every type of material you encounter. But there is only so much room in your tool chest, and budget! The Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool comes with a variety of blades that turn one piece of equipment into many. Keeping track of several blades is far simpler than keeping track of several distinct tools.
Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Features
An EC brushless 18V motor powers the StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool (Model GOP18V-28N), delivering enough power to handle high-end professional jobs safely.
Something I appreciate that may not be evident is the 2.8-degree arc afforded by the oscillating multi-tool. Some jobs will require awkward positioning and working in close, tight spaces. Sometimes this can force you to choose between precision and accessibility. Without giving in to wobble or weak performance, the Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool allows you to arc the blade up to 2.8 degrees away from horizontal.
This cutting tool only weighs in at 2.7 lbs, a convenience that anyone will appreciate. Of course, it is easy to skimp on weight if the tool components are flimsy, but lightweight combined with stability and decent performance is a testament to Bosch engineering.
As far as protection, the associated warranty lasts three years for the tool itself, two years for the battery, and the buyer gets a 30-day “money-back guarantee” if there is any dissatisfaction with the product.
The Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool is powered by a Bosch CORE18V lithium-ion battery. Generally, CORE18V battery packs are, at the time of this writing, the “latest and greatest” in power tool battery technology. CORE18V batteries can be recharged and put to use for high-intensity jobs without compromising safety or adding on lots of burdensome extra weight. Given that materials to be cut and cutting locations can vary greatly, the inherent flexibility of being cordless is certainly a plus.
The slide-style power switch is convenient and easy to manipulate. As Bosch is geared towards knowledgeable users, this is my preferred option over a paddle switch design. That said, the light weight, reduced vibration, and ergonomic grip of the Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool all go a long way in reducing grip fatigue and subsequently maximizing control during prolonged use. And remember, the slide switch does not turn off blade movement if the tool gets away from you. PPE and attentiveness to the job at hand are vital when working with blades activated by slide-switch design.
With a range of 8,000 – 20,000 oscillations per minute (OPM), the Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool does not shy away from high performance. The variable speed dial lets you adjust blade oscillation speed, customizing cutting power and heat/friction generated as you go through a material. Remember that at the higher end of the tool’s OPM capacity, vibration reduction is critical for not only the user’s comfort but also tool longevity. We tested the multi-tool at variable speeds and subjected it to various materials and can report that it absorbs vibrations as well or better than expected.
Versatility is great, but versatility with minimum accessory parts is a cherry on top that professional customers can appreciate. After handling it, we were pleasantly surprised by the easy blade removal and replacement that the Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool affords. No extra tools are needed, giving another nod to Bosch design.
A LED light illuminates the region under attack by the blade. I like this because, as stated before, close-quarter and tight-squeeze situations are inevitable. Even a well-lit work area can have shadowy blind spots that the well-positioned and bright LED blast away.
The Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool purchase comes with a storage case which is a very practical place to store your various blades. Misplacing a blade is akin to losing one of the tool’s features. The handy case helps you keep everything relating to the multi-tool together, in one convenient place.
Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Performance
After some work, it was noted that there wasn’t much vibration generated by the tool, even at higher OPMs. Ease of blade replacement was confirmed. Lastly, and perhaps most important, the overall user-friendly ergonomic design was noticeable and reflects well on the Bosch brand.
Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Value
After a close look, we have to admit that this tool is worth the price. Currently available for $149.00 at Lowe’s, it offers a flexible and powerful cutting capacity that is not easy to match.
Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Wrap Up
This piece of equipment is certainly not unique when it comes to providing cutting capacity through various woods, metals, and plastics. Having said that, the ergonomic design, ease of use, and lack of accessory tools needed to change blades certainly put the Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool in a good light. It should certainly be in the running if you need a powerful, cordless, low-vibration, lightweight, oscillating cutting tool.