I have an older (35 years) Craftsman 4 drawer top box which has survived many moves, a hurricane and a divorce. It shows its age but has held up well.
Now that I am starting to do more around the home and cars I have been slowly expanding my tools and an running out of room and was considering either a slightly larger top box or a middle box (I do not want a bottom box as I have top sitting on a re purposed kitchen island/cart that is perfect and offers plenty of cabinet storage).
Yesterday I went to both Lowes and Sears to look at a few things and i was very disappointed with how cheap and flimsy the new boxes seem to be. Crappy drawers, thin walls and just an overall "cheap" feeling to them, hell, I would almost be afraid to put my current box on the middle that they offer now.
Go look at harbor freight, thier pro line of tool boxes are actually really nice
I was actually going to head over there this weekend and see what they had to offer
The harbor freight boxes are heavier, though the drawer rails are weak and not well attached, and can fail under a load.
Craftsman boxes are actually made by Waterloo. There are various grades of boxes; not all Craftsman boxes are the same. I have a number of them in my garage, top and bottom, some 40 years old. Any without ball bearing rails will last if you keep greasing them or cleaning them, but are nowhere near as good as the ball bearing rails.
Lowes stainless boxes are largely pop-riveted together, rather than welded. They don't take a lot of abuse, dent or twist easily, and are fairly light weight.
A lot of the boxes out there have drawers that are much deeper than needed, and a lot of wasted space.
If you won't be putting the box to heavy use, then it probably doesn't matter which one you get.
I'm not a big fan of middle boxes, but if you don't have much space, that may be your only choice.
Yeah, the more I look and think about the middle box idea the more I dislike it. Currently the box is at the perfect height to be able to see into and use the top area and with a middle box it would be too high.
I think the new plan is to do some serious housekeeping and get rid of shit that I will never use again and reduce redundancy then if i still need room I can move bulky and or seldom used items to a separate portable solution
Hit the pawn shops. I came across an older, pristine Kennedy box. Bought it and sold some of the machinist tools in it for more than I paid for it. I's a beaut.
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I've got a Husky (Home Depot) chest that serves me well. It is definitely a consumer grade item, and the price (about $500 for top and bottom cabinet) reflected that. I've had it for about 4 years. It's a little too full, but I don't have space for another tool chest. It stays in one place, I'm not constantly in and out of it and and it has held up well.
I'd recommend looking at Husky unless your going to be in and out of it every day, really loading down the drawers, or moving it around the shop all the time.
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HF has a new years sale going on
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I believe Waterloo makes the husky boxes, too.
Kevmo, I got a 3 piece Craftsman about 15 years ago for Father's Day. It does have the roller-bearing slides which help. It's held up pretty well for my hobby style wrenching (clutch in the Honda this past weekend).
I don't seethe comparable set up is at Lowe's/Craftsman anymore, but at Sears it's about $379. The top is too tall for me and the lower drawer doesn't move as well when I have it loaded down with hammers and impact wrenches. I too need to thin out a bunch of crap.
Waterloo, professional series. https://www.amazon.com/Waterlo...FAJ9BNHB13252WVRSDB9
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Check out the HD Husky pro boxes. They get outstanding reviews, are made of heavier gauge steel, have excellent glides, heavy-duty casters.
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Don't forget Northern Tool, if you have one.
I got a great set at a good price. It's a plenty heavy duty especially for a home shop.
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I have a Homak top and bottom tool chest from Northern Tool and they are very solid.
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I was in your place several years ago. My current boxes have nothing on my dads. His is about 40 years old and made of very thick steel.
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I have a US General from Harbor Freight that is coming up on 10 years old.
Drawers are still smooth and slick
I have a Craftsman as well and the Craftsman is nowhere near the quality of the US General.
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This matches my experience. If I was a professional mechanic, I'd probably want something brand name, but for a DIY guy like me, the US General works very well.
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When does HF not have a sale?
It's like Truck Month in Texas, it's a permanent thing.
It doesn't appear the chests are eligible for the coupon according to the fine print.
The disclaimer list for the harbor freight coupons IS quite long
US General II from HF probably the best bet. Here is a review for a rolling cart, not the same, but the same construction that you will see. Looks good to me. https://youtu.be/1swTDW8JQXU
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