Last Updated on March 22, 2022 by Dave Farquhar
Masterforce is Menards’ house brand for power tools and hand tools. As a house brand, they are less expensive than the big name brands. But are Masterforce hand tools good? And who makes Masterforce hand tools for Menards? I did some digging to find out.
Masterforce hand tools are made by Apex Tool Group, a company owned by Bain Capital. Apex also makes several brands you may have heard of, including Wiss, Allen, and Weller.
Who makes Masterforce hand tools?
Menards doesn’t make the Masterforce products themselves. Menards sources Masterforce hand tools from a company called Apex Tool Group. While you probably haven’t heard of them, Apex owns and makes several storied brands with good reputations. Wiss is famous for metal shears. Weller is the leading brand of soldering tools. And Allen’s name is synonymous with hex wrenches.
Apex also makes hand tools for other stores, including Lowe’s, and has made various Craftsman tools for Sears. Remember, of course, that the Craftsman tools at stores like Lowe’s aren’t the same as the ones at Sears anymore. Not that that’s super important when it comes to hand tools.
Are Masterforce hand tools good?
Masterforce hand tools are good tools for the money, and I’ve certainly seen professionals use them. And I can tell you as an IT professional that I won’t wear out Masterforce screwdrivers taking computers apart with them. If I needed to re-buy the tools I need to work on computers, Masterforce is a brand I would consider. Like the house brand tools at most DIY-type stores, Masterforce tools give reasonable quality at a reasonable price, especially when Menards is doing one of its 11% rebate promotions.
Don’t get me wrong. Masterforce tools aren’t tool truck quality. They’re not meant to compete with Snap-On, and they usually won’t. They’re prosumer grade tools. But that’s good enough for do-it-yourselfers, and for many professionals, it’s good enough too. If not more than good enough. Masterforce screwdrivers stand up better to abuse (like being used as a pry tool) better than no-name tools or Harbor Freight’s Pittsburgh brand, and Masterforce sockets are much less likely to rust than cheaper brands. Perhaps the biggest danger with cheaper hand tools is that they’ll rust due to being stored in a toolbox in a garage. Masterforce tools have a heavy enough plating on them that they’re less prone to do that. And let’s face it, you’re going to keep a lot of your tools in the garage, because that’s where you use them most.
Most importantly, Menards backs Masterforce hand tools with a lifetime warranty. Like days of yore, when you could take a broken or rusty Craftsman tool to Sears to get a replacement, you can take a damaged Masterforce tool to the customer service counter at Menards and they’ll replace it, as long as you didn’t do something totally ridiculous with it. No receipt needed.
If you find a good deal on Masterforce hand tools, there’s no reason not to buy them. The quality is fine, since they’re hand tools, you don’t have to worry about the battery system, which is really the only knock on Masterforce power tools. If it’s a tool you need and the price is right, get it.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.