Starlock – The system & the top ten most popular accessories for your toolbox
Here Nathan Ford, National Applications Specialist at FEIN discusses Starlock and the top ten most popular accessories for tradesman’s toolboxes.
In 2016, Starlock was launched as a joint venture between Fein and Bosch as a new system which allowed for the end-user to be able to change over accessories quickly whilst offering the end-user more application opportunities. Whilst Fein multi-tools and other imitations of it might have excessive play or give in the mechanism whilst delivering certain applications, the star mechanism was developed so that it could hold the accessory at multiple points, removing this issue. Lastly, the accessory can be fitted onto most of the recent imitations of the Fein Multi-tool, some aided with an adapter.
Introductions to Starlock over, lets discuss the top ten accessories. We start with a fine bi-metal blade known as the 157 blade, which is our most popular saw blade. It has fine teeth and will cut sheet metal, delivering precise and thin cuts into material up to 2mm thick, including aluminium profiles and copper pipes. Then there is the 223 saw blade, which is a universal blade, with similar cutting properties to a hacksaw. It will cut metal, wood, plastics and plasterboard, but unlike the 157 it will become blunt if used to cut screws or masonry.
Next there are precision and curved blades. As you might guess, the precision blades are just that, providing a shorter blade with strong Japanese teeth designed to make cuts in stronger materials. Effectively you pay a premium for a stronger and more durable blade. The 205 is a straight edged blade with a width of 35mm, the 225 blade provides curvature on the end of the blade with a greater width of 65mm.
So far we have covered various straight (BIM) blades, but circular (HSS) saw blades are also popular, delivering cutting work in similar materials. Due to the curvature of the blade they allow the piece to reach flush against the work piece. The 97 blade is a fully-rounded blade which is perfect for sheet metal and strong plastics/glass-reinforced plastics. Other HSS saw blades are either universal or made of softer materials.
We offer similar shaped carbide versions of the blades and carbide triangular rasps. The 118 is a cost effective segmented blade for the removal of grout in-between tiles, with a diameter of 75mm. The 80mm rasp is ideal for rough sanding or the rasping of fillers, tile adhesive, old paint, concrete, stone and wood.
Sanding: Many end-users still don’t realise that the multi-tool is not just a machine for cutting, but it also a powerful sanding machine, removing the need for a separate standalone sander. There is a huge of range of small/large triangular and circular pads, with sheets of various GRIT levels which attach easily to the pad, and to the machine. The most popular pad is the delta shape with each side measuring 80mm. The pad, like all others comes perforated or unperforated (holes). Why? If you use an extractor you can attach it to the multi-tool as you work, collecting dust and removing most of the mess as you sand.
Last and not least, we have a scraper blade, used to remove carpet, tile adhesive residues, old paint and underseal coatings. As an extra bonus, our 11th most popular accessory is the long-life saw blade. Typically 78 or 90mm in length, they are great for delivering plunge cuts, but the specialist SuperCut/other alternative would be needed to make this application possible.
It is important that you use the right accessory for the right application. Fein blades are premium quality and will last far longer than other cheap alternatives, but only if used properly. We consistently receive feedback that the blades last less time than expected but investigation usually finds that an end user has attempted to cut sheet metal with a wood blade or vice versa, exhausting the teeth of the accessory quickly.
Pricing is a hot topic amongst end-users. Last year, Smart blades began manufacturing and selling Starlock as a cheaper alternative, and more manufacturers will join the market this year to offer alternatives on the same system. Whilst Fein blades are recognised as the best quality in the market, whence its price, it now offers various multi-buy deals where end-users can purchase some of these popular blades at just £5-6 per blade.
Starlock was met with criticism when it first launched in 2016, many end-users not understanding the system or its importance in terms of the technology enabling the end-user to achieve more applications. As people move over to the system and awareness is now growing, finally Starlock it is being seen as an important development in oscillating technology. As the inventor of this technology, Fein is proud to have lead the next step in its evolution, hosting the biggest range of accessories, and many of the most popular, in the market today. To finds out more about Fein Starlock blades check out https://fein.com/en_uk/starlock/
Fein continues to offer 3 free blades when you buy 25. Set up an account and find out more at https://fein.com/en_uk/specials/we-reward-your-loyalty/