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Thread: Roll-around tool chests?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Spokane Valley, WA
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    Roll-around tool chests?

    Howdy all,

    I hope this is the "right" forum for this topic. I did a quick search for this but didn't find anything much. Anyone have recommendations, especially brand, for the roll-around multi-drawer, multi-compartment tool chests? I don't want to spend the major big bucks for something like the SnapOn (no offense to those who may have that brand) but I do want to get something that will stay together for a while. I've seen certain brands that seem to use lighter gauge metal for the drawers, etc. and they are held together with pop rivets. Maybe I"m being too demanding...

    Experience and/or suggestions appreciated! Thanks, all.
    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" - anon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Upland, CA
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    1,293
    You first need to supply some info on the type you want and the intended use. Most sit in one spot so it helps if it doesn't need the rigidity to roll around with a ton of weight, or at least not move very far.
    There are 18,20,22,24,30" deep boxes.
    Is this for mechanic tools? Will you be putting a lot of weight into each drawer? Do you need super long drawer? Do you want the ones with lots of drawers that are also a bench on top, which typically means wide and deep so everything fits?

    Great info on Strictly Tool Boxes .com.

    The US General line at Horror Freight are shockingly good for the price.

    Snap On is horridly expensive but very nice. I still have their very first large bottom box that was designed to move around with a big load. Still works great after 40 years.

    If this one fits your needs, it is a current great deal on a 20" deep unit:
    https://www.strictlytoolboxes.com/to...l-cabinet.html
    Last edited by Greg R Bradley; 03-14-2019 at 6:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs
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    149
    1+++ for strictly tool boxes. Love mine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Mine are Husky from Home Depot, but Harbor Freight is also a good source...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
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    I know Craftsman is out of favor with a lot of folks, but I have a Craftsman 41" Heavy Duty rolling tool chest with a matching top unit, and I've been very happy with them (they're about a year old). I think it's 10 drawers in the lower unit and 6 or 8 in the upper, with a flip top. The combo was a little over $600, on sale.

    I wouldn't touch Craftsman's "standard duty" chests, unless you're looking to store needles and thread for your sewing hobby.

  6. #6
    My advice would be to spring for ball bearing slides. That might be enough of a minimum standard to weed out some of the cheaper boxes.

    My dadís been a mechanic for 40 years. His tool box is from Menards. My younger brother is closing in on 20 years working with Dad. He just upgraded his first Craftsman tool box with a new Craftsman tool box.

  7. #7
    The new 5 drawer roll around from HF is pretty decent for the price. I am currently trying to find a bigger roll around plus a big bottom tool box. Looking for used snap on or Mac. Used prices are pretty tolerable.

  8. #8
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    I've had my Husky for a while. The rolling function is good for when cleaning the shop, or when a special project requires more room. It is fully loaded with planes, chisels, hammers, and heavy tools, but it tools fine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    251
    Very timely thread! We're moving next week, and I am wanting to be a bit (okay, a *lot*) more organized in the new shop.

    I've been eyeballing the roll-around tool cabinets / chests in Home Depot & Harbor Freight for the last month or so. Good to know that the US General brand stuff isn't too bad, as the prices a certainly decent ��

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    927
    I’ve had both the 56” and 72” chests from harbor freight and they are both well built for the money. If bought on sale with coupon they are a bargain compared to the snapon they copied. I sold the 72” and now just have the 56” with the top chest and it will hold a ton of tools. I don’t roll it in my shop but when I do it’s hard to move due to sheer weight but it moves easily when I do. Over the years I’ve seen people swear by their 44” chest as the best bargain in tool boxes when bought on sale. I’m not sure that their smaller boxes are built the same as the larger ones so make sure to compare. I think they might have made changes recently too as they now come in multi colors instead of just red. Good luck which ever way you go.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    I have some craftsman and husky boxes but as mentioned, think first about what you want to put in it. Most of mine have drawers about the same, shallow in the top and middle boxes and some deeper in the bottom cabinet - great for screwdrivers/wrenches, drill bits, and other generally small tools and supplies. I like the ones with three small drawers across the top of the upper cabinet.

    But the one I keep by the big rollup door in my maintenance is much wider and has deeper drawers along with some deeper narrow drawers on one side of the top cabinet. This one is perfect for air tools, electrical things, and other bulkier things I use on vehicles and farm equipment. The drawers are stronger too I don't know the name but I can check later. The big drawers would be better for things like sanders and such.

    Regardless of the size I'd insist on strong drawers with good ball bearings.

    JKJ

  12. #12
    I went through this process a couple years ago. You simply cannot beat the Harbor Freight boxes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Williamston, SC
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    693
    I bought my 1st Kennedy in 1969 and it is as good today as it was new. I have bought 6 more over the years.

  14. #14
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    I will add that if you are running a fast paced commercial shop and the chests are in constant use, then the heavier duty, more expensive stuff is probably worth the investment, but for "most of us" who are using these things for personal tool storage, you can shop around for the best locally available deal that provides the storage setup you need with any special features you prefer. For me, that was Husky (and on sale), but there are many options as have been mentioned by myself and others.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Kamiah, ID
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    239
    I have 2 different rolling tool chests from Costco. Bought at different times. One is 4' long with a laminated wood "workbench" top. The other is around 41" long and has both top and bottom boxes. This one I've had for at least 10 yrs and it holds all my heavy mechanics tools. All have various size drawers...tall, short, wide, narrow. Of course, being Costco, it depends on what they have right now. IIRC, these usually show up around Christmas time but there might be some left overs. Looks like there are 3 Costco's in your general area.

    Kennedy's as mentioned earlier have a great reputation and the Husky boxes Jim mentioned seem to be on par with what I got from Costco. Costco boxes are stainless steel outside. Though, other than looks, I don't think that makes a lot of difference. I also like the looks of the Milwaukee boxes I've seen at the BORG. A little higher price point but still well below the Mac's and Snap-Ons.

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