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Thread: How would you rate Menards? How about their Masterforce tools?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N.E. Ohio

    How would you rate Menards? How about their Masterforce tools?

    I've picked up some tools and supplies from Menards over the last year and a half - since they built one w/in an hours drive.

    I've been happy with both the selection and the quality of their materials as well as the prices.
    Menards is usually 2/3 the price of Lowes and Home Depot, sometimes much lower - like half the price.
    Much better selectiion also.
    The quaility of the wood from Menards far beyond what either Lowes or Home Depot carries.

    So far, I've avoided buying their tools though.
    I've seen some very good prices on their Masterforce line and wondered about the quality.
    Where does if fall?
    Harbor Freight level? Ryobi? B&D?, "New" Porter Cable?

  2. #2
    I have not bought any Masterforce power tools yet. I have bought a few hand tools & the quality of those were very good.
    I would rate the hand tools I have on par with Craftsman.
    Some of the Masterforce levels are make by Stabila. I do not believe that Menards would sell poor quality tools under their house name.

  3. #3
    I practically live at Menards. I go there almost everyday when I'm at home. You can't beat them for prices on hardware, lumber, doors, electrical supplies, etc. I wouldn't buy any of their tools, though, but I'm big on Made-in-the-USA when it comes to my machinery. I have bought smaller stuff like Bostitch nailers, Bosch sanders, QuickGrip clamps, and Stanley hammers, though, so they do carry tools a step up from their own brand.

  4. Back before Christmas they had a sale on the Masterforce 6" jointer pretty resonable. Have not seen one set up though in any of the 4 local stores so I passed on it. Has anyone tried out the jointer or seen one up close?

  5. #5
    As a child I was convinced that Menards was an earthly incarnation of hell. Now as a homeowning-adult, I feel lost without access to one

    I think Menards is better than Home Depot - everything Menards sells is "economical"-grade, but they don't try to convince you otherwise (unlike Home Depot and Lowes, who seem to have made a business model out of selling low-quality junk and pretending that it's the "real deal")

  6. #6
    Some years back, when I was building our house, I spent thousands at Menards. The products were fine but one was hard pressed to find an employee with opposable thumbs who could answer questions. Then, Lowes built a store across the street from Menards and Menards really stepped up its game, personnel-wise. Even though Lowes has been open for a few years now, I'm always amazed at how empty their parking lot is while Menards is full.

    I haven't bought any Masterforce tools, but I shop Menards for all my hardware, electrical stuff, construction lumber and sheet goods. They also have some great sales; I try to pick up a couple Jorg cabinet clamps every time they go on sale. IIRC, the 24" sell for $20 and the 36" and 48" get cheap as well (just can't remember how cheap).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Manistique, Michigan
    The employees at the Menards that I frequent really dont know what is going on. My experience is you really have to watch the quality. I have had a lot better quality products from Lowes and Home Depot as long as it is a good name brand. If you go with off brand product, it is a risk. Menards does not carry very many good name brand products. The employees at Lowes and Home Depot also tend to know about products and how the products work, are to be installed, etc.

    My last resort is Menards. However, I was also wondering about the Master Force tools. About a year ago, I read where the Master Force tools are made by Makita, but I dont beleive it.
    Rich Aldrich

    65 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf.

    "To a pessimist, the glass is half empty; to an optimist, the glass is half full; to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be." Unknown author

  8. #8
    I like that Menards sells U.S.-made plywood (they also sell foreign, but at least you have a choice). Their stores are better organized and better stocked than any Lowes/HD around here.

    I have a HD 3 miles away. I prefer the Menards that is 12 miles instead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Quad Cities, Iowa
    I have bought a lot of building materials in the past at Menards. Good value when you can cherry pick because they are almost always cheaper, but their quality varies greatly from one day to the next. I used their lowend power tools when I want a throw away item. Some of their Tool Shop brand was literally cheap enough to used for a couple jobs and discarded. It's HF equivalent to me.

    I am a Lowes guy whenever possible. They have better brands in my opinion. I like their military discount, especially on the occasions they add it to the sales price. They have a better selection of the small power tools I use most. Dewalt, PC etc. Just my opinion of course.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    SW Michigan
    Over the years, I've spent considerable money at Menard's on materials, supplies and tools, even a Bosch front load washer and dryer set. What I like about them more than the other big boxes is generally cheaper prices on many items, and the cabinet grade plywood which I've had good luck with. I've bought materials for a custom kitchen, privacy fence, deck, vinyl siding, insulation, lighting fixtures, several doors, plumbing supplies, and more than I can remember but have never felt welcome in the local Menard's though I'm a pretty familiar face there. My Menard's has a very overacting security team that makes me feel like I'm on a most wanted poster in the Post Office. I feel like I'm stalked when I shop there, even in the lumber department[never know when someone is going to hide a 4X8 piece of ply under their jacket].
    I realize shoplifting is a real problem for retailers and it drives up the cost of products for everyone, but after spending thousands of dollars at one store, I resent being followed around by some wannabe detective with a microphone stuck in his ear. This is the norm at that store for me, not an isolated incident. Because of this atmosphere, the last 3 or 4 years I've been shopping the blue and orange stores much more, and feel like I'm a valued customer by their pleasant staffs rather than a potential criminal.

  11. #11
    I really like Menards but my biggest complaint is their tool selection. Aside from the nail/staple guns they sell what is in my opinion crap tools where as the blue or orange boxes at least sell several different brands of what I believe is a higher quality. On everything else that I've price matched Menards is generally at least 10% cheaper if not more. As far as the help all I really want out of the help is to be able to tell me where something is, if there is any more in the back or somewhere else, or help loading if I'm buying something heavy or bulky.

  12. #12
    The Masterforce tools are I believe made byBosch, I have the portable table saw and love it , It was the second one Menards ever sold also have the bench grinder.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    black river falls wisconsin
    menards is good on price but other than that.....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    N.E. Ohio
    The Masterforce tools are I believe made byBosch,
    For real?
    That would/could put a whole different perspective on things!
    I may have to start paying more attention to their tool offerings.

    Interesting take on the employees..
    Menards has a reputation for being "tough" on their employees, yet, they also have a reputation for very little turnover.

  15. #15
    Yes, you're fairly unlikely to get much in the way of knowledge from your average Menards employee, but the average Menards employee is also about 20 years old. I don't have a problem with a 20 year old not knowing anything. They're probably not in it as a profession, more likely just to get some spending money as a part time job. What I have an issue with is the 50-year old Home Depot employee who thinks he's an expert and just keeps spewing BS as long as his mouth keeps moving. If you need some better advice at any of the box stores, go to the contractor desk. They seem to be a little more knowledgeable there.

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