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Technical Best tool box, rolling cabinet?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1927graham, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,008


    I have a couple of 20+ year old craftsman boxes and they are OK. A few years ago I bought a big lower and upper MAC set for $300--much better than the Craftsman boxes!!
  2. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 4,781


    Harbor Freight, US General Pro, 44" 13 drawer, on sale now, $339.99, have had this for 7 years, paid $369.99 on sale back then, Nice roller cabinet. Think it's better than my Craftsman roller, but then I'm a hobby guy.
  3. my Craftsman stuff from 28 years ago still hanging in there. It's a 3 piece set up, always been to tall. Starting to rust. It's full of Snap-oN tools. I have had my eye on the boxes at Northern tool. I am after wide workbench height box. I think I would spend 3 grand on the right box. 10 grand on Snap On is hard to justify. I worry the used ones on the internet are stolen.
  4. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,392

    from Missouri

    My guess on the snap on,mac and matco you see on craigslist for sale probably still own the tool man.
  5. Leakie
    Joined: Nov 10, 2010
    Posts: 258


    OP have you tried looking on the Garage Journal board? There's a lot of tool box discussions over there.
  6. Just got my new Milwaukee tool cabinet today, great price/quality and lots of room for this old guy. New work shop is almost finished!!
    mil 1.jpg mil 2.jpg
    mgtstumpy, BradinNC, 1lucky1 and 6 others like this.
  7. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 455

    from Walpole MA

    Just a comment...The Husky and Milwaukee type boxes aren't really mechanics boxes. Their deep drawers are perfect for power tools and larger stuff but mechanics tools tend to need shallow drawers where everything can be laid out in plain sight.
    I recently got the HF 44" unit with the top box and the 18" side cabinet with all the drawers. What a beautiful box. I actually retired my SO 26" roller and side cabinet in favor of these.
  8. mr.chevrolet
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 6,973


    I have and use Drafting Drawing File Cabinets. wide , deep & shallow. perfect for hand tools.
  9. Entropic
    Joined: Mar 26, 2017
    Posts: 1


    clunker likes this.
  10. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,443

    from MN,USA

    Your new shop looks great!
  11. used snap-on........I think are the best toolbox /rolling cabinet.
  12. ....And it's got some mighty big rollers, too.
  13. I have the Costco, Kirkland brand. They only have the one size, 42", and it comes only as a top/bottom set. They are made in China like all the rest these days. but the quality is very respectable. One of the ball pivots for the top lid strut was badly forged but I had a spare in one of my old coffee cans full of spare bits and pieces. The paint finish is wrinkle black so that's no good for your sticker collection, though.

    Here's the best part; The set is regularly $599 but about once a year they go on sale for $499 so I waited. When the sale came up, I knew they would go fast so I got my happy ass right over there. They had one waiting on a flat cart up at the front and I asked a worker dude to roll up a set for me, too. He said to grab the one already there and he would get another one for whoever was coming for that one. Before he walked away, he mentioned that they had dropped the price a $100. I replied that I knew about the sale so that's why I was there. Then he replied that the $499 sale price had been lowered again to $399. I was glad x 2! Let's just say that for the great price, it's the best there is. DSCN0031.JPG
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  14. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer

    Just something to consider
    O.P. wanted a stacked tool box. I make my living out of my box and found that for me a wide bottom box works best. You don't need a stool to get stuff from the top and it gives you a work surface. Like having an extra work bench

    Sent from my XT1526 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  15. RR
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 101


    Chasing down a tool truck to buy a tool box from them is like committing a robbery so you can go to prison and get prison raped. You will have that same sensation when you walk away from the tool truck.

    I will echo the comments about the HF box. I have one HF box (2 years old) and three Craftsman boxes that are 15+ years old. The HF box is much better quality and thicker steel. As for the comment about the casters, tighten them up when you buy the box. I don't roll mine around so I cannot testify to how well they live with being used a lot.
    Frankie47 and cretin like this.
  16. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 3,549


    Harbor Freight sells their boxes as a lost leader so you spend the difference on their tools. I picked up a used one in a small town 2nd hand shop with a few tools in it. IIRC it is Hobart brand. Very good quality and better than my Craftsman. Or you could get one of these...

    Attached Files:

    mgtstumpy and stanlow69 like this.
  17. Frankenstein unit picked up at garage sales, MBC, Mac and an off brand bottom, under $200.
    1927graham, that is one clean garage.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  18. I have several large combination Craftsman boxes that have ball bearing slides and work great but one is a newer model that has the positive latch built into each drawer handle that is a big plus. On the older model the drawers will come open if it isn't level and is inclined toward the front. I quit buying from the tool trucks like Snap-On and Mac in the 70's when I was a motorcycle mechanic because even then their stuff was twice the price of Craftsman. If I wanted to eat and have a place to live I couldn't afford it. I had a new Mac box in 1975 but gave it back to the tool man because the quality was worse than Craftsman and I could buy a brand new left over '74 Honda CR 250 in the crate for less money! I sure wish I would have kept that bike! You can buy a nice old car project nowadays for what a big Snap-On set-up costs these days! It looks like the Harbor Freight deserves a good look at since Sears is circling the drain.
  19. NORSON
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 466


    Harbor Freight would be my choice. I've had their 48? inch wide bottom box for four years and paid $370 and have had no problems. HF has their 56 inch lower on sale now for $650. I really like the deep top drawer for storing deep wall sockets. I have old MAC and Wards boxes that I've had for years. The drawers are too shallow in my opinion and they don't have rollers.
  20. A friend of mine and I went into HF the other day. We walked by the display tool boxes. Now, I never have even paid attention to them. Walk in, get my rubber gloves and walk out. He said "try the drawers". Laughingly I did. The drawers worked smoother and easier than my Craftsman. What the heck???? Again, I think it depends on what you need. My boxes don't move, a line mechanic's would. Back in the day we updated the casters, today I don't need them except for cleaning the shop.
  21. When I worked in a shop and we rolled our boxes around to each job alot. We would notch and bend a length of 2" angle iron around the frame of the bottom box and weld the joints and then weld the castors to the frame. Then ya just set the box down into the frame and you're good to go.
    DFWSteveFoster likes this.
  22. ???????????????
    When I was shopping around for tool storage I was totally unimpressed with Harbor Freight.
  23. There's deals out there on tool boxes if you look hard enough.... I bought this no-name 52" 23 drawer box a number of years ago for $1000 off ebay, you can still find similar units for about the same price...

    tool box.jpg

    ... although I don't see as many stainless steel units these days. Stainless exterior, 12 gauge galvanized inner structure, and powder-coated drawers with ball-bearing slides, snap latches, and pre-cut mats. I won't claim SnapOn quality, but it's close. Definitely much better quality than the lower-priced Craftsman boxes and HF boxes, although I'd take the HF box over the cheaper Craftsman any day.
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,896


    All of my tool boxes are used old ones, from off-brand sources. My "pro mechanic" friends look down on them, because I did not spend $10,000 on tool boxes alone.

    To this day, not a one of them has been able to answer me just exactly how much their $10,000 tool boxes make for them, in a calendar year.
  25. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 651


    google dragonfire tool boxes and benches. A lot for the money.
    wesdon likes this.
  26. lucas doolin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 421

    lucas doolin

    You would do well to "think outside the box." (Groan). Storage boxes and cabinets designed for industrial (factories, etc) and professional (hospitals, clinics) applications are built to very high standards with roller slides and reinforced frames. Periodically, these locations upgrade their facilities or, on occasion, go out of business and you can acquire great storage for a small fraction of the cost of a name brand tool box. They often have provision (pads) on the bottom to mount casters or use the bent channel approached described above to add casters for roll-around use. Then you can invest the savings in tools.
    Frankie47 likes this.
  27. Konita
    Joined: Dec 6, 2018
    Posts: 2


    I have wanted Montezuma - XL450B - 36-Inch Portable Toolbox for a while now and finally I have one. However instead of mounting it to the bed of my work truck I built an angle iron base frame with rollers so I could roll it to the back of the flat bed when I need it. And roll it up to the back of the cab when done. Two locking hasps keep it secured to the back of the cab when not in use and keep it from growing legs when no one's looking. One really nice feature of this box is that all of the sockets, wrenches, screw drivers are securely held in place when the lid of the tool chest is closed. This keeps my tools from wandering around the inside of the box while I'm driving around the ranch. Another nice feature of this style tool box is that every tool is visible and within easy reach, no more hard to open drawers to dig through, no more hidden tools rusting on the bottom of that old box. And the powder coat paint all but eliminates scratched and chipped paint. This tool box is built extra heavy duty, with thick metal and no cheesy spot welds. Great construction, made in America, just like in the good ole days. My only regret is that I waited so long to buy one. I highly recommend this tool box to the serious minded mechanic or farm hand who needs a good solid reliable tool box or road chest. Well worth the money!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  28. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,757

    dirty old man

    In my shop I have 4 rollaway bottoms, a Craftsman of unknown but old vintage, the same for a Kennedy, another Kennedy 30-35 years old, and a Kennedy about 18 years old. Middle boxes, a Kennedy about 20, a Craftsman about 5, and a Kobalt also about 5. Top boxes are 1 Kennedy about 18, and 5 Craftsman of varying ages.
    The rollaways are all decent, with the Kennedys being the best. The middle boxes, the Kennedy is a good box, the Kobalt decent, and the Craftsman of about the same age is a piece of shit. The Kennedy top box is first class, and the older Craftsman boxes are OK also.
    I'm 81 and have zero plans for any additional tools or boxes, unless I have to replace something.
    But I've examined the HF boxes and would have to say they appear to offer a lot for the money, especially for the hobbiest.
    JOYFLEA likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    I recently bought a HF 56 inch roll cab and love it. It's much better than the craftsman box I replaced.
  30. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,524


    now...don't start throwing combination wrenches at me, but....
    This Craftsman set was on CL a few months back. I had to let a day go by waiting to find out if my SIL would want it and more importantly, have room for it.
    Craftsman Tool Chest_1.JPG

    Daughter messaged back and said "yeah, he could use it"
    So, hurried on over there and got it loaded up while the owner was busy answering more calls about it.
    He was asking $80 for the set. I did NOT offer less !
    The ad said keys would have to be made for it, but when I got there, he had found them.

    Took some cleaning up and some new liners (just happened to have some material that worked).
    The pad on top of the bottom unit is treadmill belt.
    Touched up the paint in places.

    The locking mechanism on one of the large drawers wouldn't work. Found out that the light-weight liner that they used had gotten pushed back into the void at the back of the drawer and was preventing the locking bar from engaging the tab on the back. Easy fix.

    To me, this is on the "light side". I've got a Snap-On set that uses metal about twice the thickness of this Craftsman set.

    BTW, that COSTCO set looks like quite the bargain.
    JOYFLEA and mgtstumpy like this.

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