There have been some struggles for both the Milwaukee ONE-KEY and Dewalt Tool Connect platforms as Theft Deterrent Systems and Makita feels they’ve got a strong agreement for their new Sync Lock Security System. These other systems offer multiple features, App connectivity and a lot of Bells and Whistles however in many small, mid-size and larger companies we’ve talked with they are looking for simple to use, low cost solutions for just theft deterrents for their tools and batteries. The Makita Sync Lock takes a much different approach and we think have really nailed an easy to use straight forward solution that will be exactly what some companies are looking for and the best part is it works with all the batteries you currently own!
What is Makita Sync Lock?
The Sync Lock Battery Terminal BPS01 ($199) is all you need to access it and get going, a very simple device (along with free software anyone can download) which allows you to very quickly set up your terminal (or multiple terminals) for your company. Then any Makita 18V battery that goes on the terminal is set exclusively to just your company and needs to be reset on one of your company’s terminals at an interval which you determine either in hours, days, weeks, months, years or whatever you want. When time expires that battery does nothing (not even charging) until it is put back on one of your companies terminals! The terminals themselves work in about 2 seconds and use a standard alkaline battery that’ll last 2+ years so very trouble free to operate.
How Does Sync Lock Work?
It is actually a brilliantly simple solution. Since the Makita 18V battery changeover 3+ years ago (any with battery gauge) Makita has put a 4 digit internal pin in all their batteries, which is 0000 by default. When you connect the terminal to a computer via USB you set that terminal to any new 4 digit pin you want and an amount of time when it expires. Once set that terminal really never needs to touch a computer again unless you want to change a setting. The terminal will reset any Makita battery it touches (with a default 0000 pin) to your new 4 digit pin. If that battery ever walks off it will be totally useless when time expires.
What Sync Lock Does Not Do
This system is a basic Theft Deterrent system it does not track you batteries, not GPS and it does not work at all with the cordless tools. Sync Lock cannot change settings of the tools, you cannot access them with an APP, you cannot charge your battery with the terminals, and it will not let you know when the battery leaves the jobsite. Also if give your trusted employee your 4 digit code they can go in and rest the expiration date to 10 years, steal the batteries and use them at home. If you trust them with that code however they probably have a key and can steal whatever they want anyway, nothing is full proof.
How Sync Lock is Different
The Big Problems with other systems in the market is first you need to buy new (more expensive) tools and batteries. Right there you’ve lost most people, $50 more for the tool ends a lot of conversations. Are dealers really going to stock both versions of that tool? Only certain models have the connectivity so now they are managing some tools with and without tracking. There are some advanced features that are really nice for some applications but only a small fraction of people are really taking advantage of these additional settings and features.
Most companies are just looking for tool tracking and theft deterrent features (to save on costs) and adding $$$ to the tool makes it a much tough decision. Nobody has yet made the jump to simply add these feature to all our high end brushless tools without changing price, which we think it what it’s going to take for long term success and mass adoption. Even though Makita Sync Lock is late to the party they have a huge advantage in that hundreds of thousand batteries are already out there with Sync Lock.
I don’t know about you but if something of mine gets stolen knowing that it will turn itself off and never be used again does give me about as much satisfaction possible for have just gotten something stolen. The Sync Lock Terminal includes stickers for your batteries and there are larger Sync Lock signs which can also be used to help keep thieves from stealing these batteries in the first place. As a Theft Deterrent, especially if it’s internal theft, just the signage along can be very helpful to ensure more batteries make it back to the tool crib.
We’ve really been impressed with the Makita 18V Cordless platform and now with some of the larger two battery 18Vx2 tools there is a lot of options to go cordless with power and runtime that professionals can depend on. We do not think the Sync Lock system if for everyone but we think it will a nice solutions for some companies because of the simplicity and very low cost of entry to update your entire fleet. If you have any questions on Makita cordless or the new Sync Lock technology give the Pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 and they will help!
- Sync Lock™ works with Makita 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion 2.0Ah, 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah, 5.0Ah and 6.0Ah batteries equipped with L.E.D. charge-level indicators. The following battery model numbers are compatible: BL1802B, BL1830B, BL1840B, BL1850B, BL1860B.
- Disables operation and charging of Makita 18V LXT® Batteries by programming a lock-out schedule (preset day, time, and calendar)
- Software enabled system to limit distractions on job sites that may be caused by mobile devices
- Pass code protected to ensure only authorized users can manipulate the system
- Terminals can be installed with tamper proof screws for further security
- Compatible with BL1820B, BL1830B, BL1840B, BL1850B and BL1860B
- System requirements Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
- Required program included on flash drive or downloadable at makitatools.com