MasterFirce vs. Craftsman - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question MasterFirce vs. Craftsman

I intend to purchase a new router this weekend. I was going to purchase the Craftsman 2 hp Soft Start Fixed and Plunge Base Router w/Electronic Feedback, 11 amp. Sears also allows you to purchase a 3 year replacement warranty for about $18. In researching, I've read some mixed reviews about it. Most people seem to like the router, but I have read some reviews where people were not so pleased.

While doing a little more research, I stumbled upon the Masterforce 2 hp Router Combo Kit 2 Base. I could only find one person who has reviewed this router. The person was very pleased with the purchase and had only good things to say. This router is manufactured for and sold by Menards only. It automatically comes with a five year warranty at no extra cost.

These two routers seem almost identical, but since I have never even heard of the MasterForce brand, I am looking for some advice. Does anyone know anything about this MasterForce router? I would greatly appreciate some advice on which router may be the better purchase.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default I meant MasterForce

Sorry, seems I misspelled MasterForce.
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Originally Posted by ryanlamprecht View Post
I intend to purchase a new router this weekend. I was going to purchase the Craftsman 2 hp Soft Start Fixed and Plunge Base Router w/Electronic Feedback, 11 amp. Sears also allows you to purchase a 3 year replacement warranty for about $18. In researching, I've read some mixed reviews about it. Most people seem to like the router, but I have read some reviews where people were not so pleased.

While doing a little more research, I stumbled upon the Masterforce 2 hp Router Combo Kit 2 Base. I could only find one person who has reviewed this router. The person was very pleased with the purchase and had only good things to say. This router is manufactured for and sold by Menards only. It automatically comes with a five year warranty at no extra cost.

These two routers seem almost identical, but since I have never even heard of the MasterForce brand, I am looking for some advice. Does anyone know anything about this MasterForce router? I would greatly appreciate some advice on which router may be the better purchase.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 05:31 PM
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i think id go after the craftsman. im a happy craftsman owner and own various other brands. sounds like you may be outside the U.S.A.?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 07:50 PM
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Menards is a US store. Midwest states, maybe some other locations.

Masterforce is made at the same place a lot of other tools are if I remember correctly and wiki had correct information. Would be china and might be the same place as some other tool brands are made. The same factory that makes rybobi and ridgid for home depot used to (or might still) made some craftsman power tools.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 07:56 PM
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sorry , Derek

i thought menards might be a canadian store?

as far as craftsman routers are concerned they look like the bosch routers an awful lot.

seems like i have seen some mastercraft tools, but was scared of a brand that i wasnt familiar with.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 08:46 PM
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I just bought the MasterForce router last weekend. I was pleased with the soft start and variable speed feature. I did a little project that it seemed to handle very well.

Another thing that I liked was that it screwed directly to the WolfCraft router table that I bought a week or two earlier without having to use the adapter plate.

I'll find out more this weekend when I try routing some rails and stiles for a cabinet. that is why I bought it was for th e1/2-inch shank bit capability.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Nope, I live about an hour South of Chicago.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Thanks
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 11:30 PM
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Hi Ryan

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.

=========

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanlamprecht View Post
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.

Thanks



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanlamprecht View Post
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.

Thanks
Ryan,
I have looked at the MasterForce router several times walking through the local Menards. I have considered picking it up, and may do so yet, I just haven't had a need for it that would justify the purchase in the eyes of the "CFO".
I understand your hesitation as I feel the same way, but it's hard to beat the price. I did like the feel of the router and it looks fairly well made for what it costs. As far as where it's made, I would seriously question where just about anything is made anymore. If Menards will stand behind it for 5 years, I'd be inclined to give it a try. If I'm not mistaken that kit also comes with some bits and guide collars and a case to boot.
Let us know what you ultimately decide.

BTW, Which of the South suburbs are you in? I'm in Lombard but spend most of every work day traveling around the South 'burbs and NW IN.

Tim
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