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View Sparks500's profile

Menards MasterForce track saw

by Sparks500
posted 02-02-2018 02:28 PM


10 replies so far

View ClearWaterMS's profile

ClearWaterMS

8 posts in 198 days


#1 posted 02-02-2018 02:49 PM

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

9419 posts in 2373 days


#2 posted 02-02-2018 02:57 PM


Is it possible that this is the same tool as the ShopFox and Grizzly models?

- ClearWaterMS

EDIT: This is referring to the 4-1/2” track saws, not the larger ones here, sorry I missed that the first time!

For the 4-1/2” saws no. It is extremely similar, and I thought the same thing, but they are not quite the same thing. The Masterforce has a different track and base plate than the Shopfox/Grizzly. I have both a Grizzly and Masterforce, so this is an actual hands on knowledge thing, not a speculation/looking at pictures thing.

I ordered the Grizzly track extension to see if it would work with my Masterforce (which only has a 54” track), and it did not fit on the Grizzly track. So I ended up buying a used Grizzly saw and track so I have one that’s 54” and one that’s 96” (Which is actually pretty dang handy). Both are pretty good, but I think the Masterforce is a better set up. The track was smoother, though there’s nothing holding the saw down on the track, and the power cord was longer, and the trigger lock out was easier to use. Otherwise, they’re very similar.

I was surprised at how nice the Masterforce kit was, given the price point. I used it and the Grizzly to cut all the plywood for my shop ceiling and walls this past year, so I used them both a LOT. The extra power cord length on the Masterforce was a small thing that made a big difference.

I would be surprised if these larger saws weren’t a similar situation, almost the same, but just barely different enough.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

186 posts in 411 days


#3 posted 02-02-2018 03:09 PM

Mosquito, do you use the clamps every time, or do the sticky strips work pretty well?

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

186 posts in 411 days


#4 posted 02-02-2018 03:10 PM

And, no, I didn’t NEED a track saw, I just wanted one…....

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

9419 posts in 2373 days


#5 posted 02-02-2018 03:22 PM

I realize now that you’re talking about the fullsize track saw not the mini (4-1/2”), which is what I have both of. I’ll edit my response above to make that clear.

But with my 4-1/2” saw I usually used the clamps when I was cross cutting 48” of plywood, but if you’re pressing down the foam rubber on the bottom works well enough. I mainly just did that for smaller pieces because I couldn’t quite reach all the way across a 48” sheet of plywood on saw horses with out the risk of tipping it or twisting it. If I had it on a piece foam insulation on the bottom or something it probably would have been fine. Also, with a shop vac hooked up the dust collection was actually not bad.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View pneufab's profile

pneufab

113 posts in 3161 days


#6 posted 02-24-2018 02:59 PM

I just found out that Menards had this and picked one up last weekend. With the 11% rebate it ends up being about $177, which sounded too good to at least try it! I hear all the stories about setting up multiple tracks and I was a bit worried, but a straight edge and first try I got all four tracks set up to as good of tolerances that I would expect! I am still a table saw guy so I did just use for rough cutting, but after a few sample cuts on melamine coated pb, it cut very accurate! without a scoring cut, it did have chip out with the 40t blade it comes with, but I assume a slightly better blade will help. I did not hook up the dust collection yet, but the shroud and track kept me from getting pelted in the face with melamine chunks like a rough cut with a circular saw usually does. I have a hose now and will try it this weekend with the dust collection hooked up.

I tried a scoring cut and then a full cut and I was VERY impressed with the quality of the cut! Very few chips, straight, square cut. I was using the provided clamps to hold the track since the melamine coating is so slick and that is where I encountered my first issue.

While ripping the full sheet, no problems using the clamps and track. When I went to cross cut with the full track, I realized quickly with the track connectors in place, you can’t just slide the clamps to wherever you want them. I didn’t want to keep disconnecting and reconnecting the tracks, so I just slid the one side of the track to the end of the workpiece so that I could use one clamp and then on the side I started the cut, I was just careful so the track didn’t slip, it worked great.

I did purchase a Makita 55” track this week and after a bit of filing and sanding on the shoe of the saw, I was able to confirm it would work. I am going to now rip off the small lip on the Makita track to get a little more clearances. I can explain this better and maybe take some pics if anyone is interested.

This saw does not seem to be the same as the Grizzly/Shop fox/Scheppach that has been around for years. Many complained about the spring tension being too tough on those as well as the track pads being too close together making the saw tippy. This saw the tension feels right and although slightly annoying with the small tracks, they were surprisingly straight and sturdy. The saw is easy to get in with no wobble.

I was contemplating a Festool for years and was just about ready to pull the trigger on the Makita. I was fully expecting to use this, like the benefits of the track/plunge saw BUT not like the quality, return it to Menards and buy the Makita or Festool, but after using it, I felt this would work perfect for my work habits, speed up the breakdown time and possibly give me acceptable cuts without running through the table saw so I committed to keeping it. All for under half the price of the Makita with a 55” track.

I may do a full review and snap some pictures this weekend after some cutting with the Makita track.

View LJRay's profile

LJRay

105 posts in 1585 days


#7 posted 02-26-2018 02:14 AM

How is the cut quality on your Masterforce?


I realize now that you re talking about the fullsize track saw not the mini (4-1/2”), which is what I have both of. I ll edit my response above to make that clear.

But with my 4-1/2” saw I usually used the clamps when I was cross cutting 48” of plywood, but if you re pressing down the foam rubber on the bottom works well enough. I mainly just did that for smaller pieces because I couldn t quite reach all the way across a 48” sheet of plywood on saw horses with out the risk of tipping it or twisting it. If I had it on a piece foam insulation on the bottom or something it probably would have been fine. Also, with a shop vac hooked up the dust collection was actually not bad.

- Mosquito


-- Ray

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

347 posts in 3682 days


#8 posted 02-26-2018 11:00 PM

Sadly, the closest Menards to me is in the next state over. Which wouldn’t be a big deal if I lived in New England. I don’t, so not only is it a state over, but they’re on the OTHER side of Wyoming.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

186 posts in 411 days


#9 posted 02-27-2018 03:37 AM


Sadly, the closest Menards to me is in the next state over. Which wouldn t be a big deal if I lived in New England. I don t, so not only is it a state over, but they re on the OTHER side of Wyoming.

- BikerDad

They have an online store and pretty reasonable shipping. Bought one and had it shipped to my brotherinlaw in Louisiana, shipping was 11 bucks.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View UMP55's profile

UMP55

7 posts in 162 days


#10 posted 03-31-2018 03:05 AM

I recently purchased the Masterforce 6 1/2” plunge cut track saw from Menards. After using it to make about 6 cuts, I was a little upset. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO GET ONE!!!? I love this thing. Once you get it set and know what to look for during the set up, this thing is a dream to use. I was looking at some of the other, more expensive ones, but thought I’d give this one a shot as it was a lot less expensive and I could return it if I was not satisfied. Well, thats not gonna happen. Dont think I’ll ever cut sheet material again without it.

-- “Wherever you go, there you are.”

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