October 14, 2010

MasterForce 18-Volt Bandsaw - Review


We've used bandsaws on a variety of job sites, but its always been on metal, so we sort of mentally anchored the tool to that material. Now, after having the MasterForce cordless bandsaw just kicking around the shop for about two months, we can say that the bandsaw is a far more versatile tool than we gave it credit for. In fact, it's sort of our new best friend.

masterforce_bandsaw_2.jpgThe MasterForce, supplied to us by the company for this review, has a 2-1/2" cutting capacity so it can pretty much handle anything in the plumbing repertoire save a waste pipe. It has a removable side handle if you want some extra leverage and it's got a very easy blade change-out process. Just flip the tension lever, put the blade on, flip the lever back.

We tested it out on a lot of different materials in a lot of different settings and came to the conclusion that we're very nearly obsessed with the tool. It's sort of become our go-to cutting implement. It doesn't come with a case, but that's ok, because it now lives on the corner of the worktable.

masterforce_bandsaw_bottom.jpgAs for power, this saw has it. We've never tried the Bosch bandsaw or the Makita one and we've only used the Milwaukee in a very controlled setting, so we can't compare directly to them, but the MasterForce didn't think it was much of a problem cutting a 1-1/4" chunk of steel that we keep around (as our travel anvil). Wood, obviously, it doesn't care about cutting wood. Copper, no problem. Threaded rod...whatever.

The Bosch, Makita, and Milwaukee all have larger cut capacities and judging from the price, it's likely that they can hold up to more abuse than the MasterForce, but when buying a tool, it's worth thinking about what exactly you need it for. If you're looking for a good all around bandsaw to be used in the shop and on the jobsite, check this one out. If you're a plumber working on a massive commercial job, the other brands might work better. Still, we really liked this thing and for our low key metalworking and shop needs it should fit the bill just fine.

masterforce_bandsaw_shoe.jpgThe saw is only available at Menards and it's only sold as a bare tool ($100), so it helps if you've bought into the MasterForce cordless line already. If not, a battery and a charger is going to set you back another $120 ($40 for the charger and $80 for the battery). Might sound like a lot, but the Milwaukee is in the $400 range.

At Menards

Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Metalworking and Welding | Plumbing | Power Tools

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at October 14, 2010 10:30 AM
Recent Comments

I just purchased the master force band saw. I am a union electrician in Chicago and I install lots of conduit. So far the band saw has held up to the test. I have worked for two days with one battery. Its light and does the job. I would recommend this tool to any electrician

Posted by: john petrivic at April 30, 2013 10:35 PM

Puyrchased the 8 piece set back at christmas and thought - what would I ever use this for. Well the other day it came in handy when cutting 2 1/2 inch box steel to make a hitch. My mechanic was going to use his bench band saw but I wanted to try this out. It cut that steel like butter - I love this tool

Posted by: steve at May 17, 2012 3:13 PM

I've noticed the quality of Masterforce tools improving. They have a cordless leaf blower that is far superior to the Black and Decker version. The Masterforce quality seems about on par with Ryobi (that isn't a bad thing since I own some Ryobi tools - cheap and durable). I won't be surprised if the tools came from the same factory in China. BTW the Masterforce lithium packs use Sanyo cells. In my experience, some of the best lithium cells available.

Posted by: Rob at October 14, 2010 9:08 AM
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