I don't know a thing about the MasterForce other than the net ,but I have my share of the Craftsman combo kits I'm sold on them, you can fix the error with the gear with a .10 cents spring if you want but it's not a must do thing.
If they go down you can get a new one anywhere in the states from many of the Sears outlets just walk in and walk out the door with a new one.
It's your buck and you want to get the most for it.
So to say if you like the MasterForce go for it you got to start somewhere.
All I know about MasterForce tools so far is that they are manufactured exclusively for Menards. I was completely ready to purchase the Craftsman set, until I happened upon the Masterforce. To me, through comparing them only on the internet, they seem almost identical in features and design. The Craftsman does have "Electronic Feedback" whatever that is? What I think it means is that the router maintains a constant speed throughout routing, without slowing down or speeding up at different points during a run. Of course I could be completely wrong. Anyone know what that is? The MasterForce doesn't say it has the Electronic Feedback feature, but I have no idea if that is even important since I don't know what it means. One thing I find odd though is that Sears charges an extra $18 for a 3 year warranty for the Craftsman router, but the MasterForce router has a 5 year warranty at no additional charge. One of the complaints I've read about from a number of people is when maintaining the depth. Here is a quote from one of them:
"The depth of plunge is set by use of a worm gear and these gears have so much slop that the adjusting knob can be turned to 5/64 of an inch before the gears engage and start to change the depth of the plunge. Further, the index collar on the knob would become stationary during the adjustment while the knob was being turned. This makes getting repeatable depths impossible and, for my purposes, useless. I would not recommend this product if you need to be able to do precise repeatable milling."
Of course that scares me, since a few people have mentioned it. Anyone else have that experience with the Craftsman?
Another complaint is:
"Good router, however its base does not accept any of craftsman's 3 hole accessories. I've been trying to find a replacement to use the dovetail jigs and parts simply aren't made for it. (Several days of looking and many, many phone calls) If you need just a router it's fine, but if you need to use accessories with it STAY AWAY FROM IT"
Not too sure what that means since I have no routing experience, but again it sounds a little scary. I guess what causes me to be so unsure is that the MasterForce has only one review on the entire internet. Kind of hard to judge from one person's experience.
Please feel free to through out your recommendations. I am even open to other brands, as long as they offer both bases, both collet sizes, and doesn't run over $130.