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Cheap Toolboxes - Can anyone recommend a decent CHEAP roll away cabinet?


alsancle

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I have a scattered tool situation.    My good tools in my expensive used snap on box are with the antique cars.   But in my every day garage I have a hodge podge of crap that was mostly given to me or left on the side of the road.   I've gotten sick of looking at the broken box and bending over to get to the smaller box and want to consolidate everything in to a neat package.

 

Can anyone recommend a decent CHEAP roll away cabinet?    Would like to not spend more than 500 bucks.   Harbor Freight?  Tractor Supply?   Somebody else?

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How’s it holding up? I’ve been tempted by then before.

 

Costco has some nice boxes too. My dad got one several years ago and it still works like new.

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I don't know where you are located, but you might check out yard sales. My area seems to have an abundance of guy's my age (75) that are relocating to warmer climates and not taking their tools. One of my friends purchased a Craftsman roll around bottom and a top section that was loaded with tools for $250. 

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My local Home Depot will periodically have one of their larger tool chests up towards the front of the store as an open box special and they’re  a fraction of the retail price. I’ve checked them out and They seem to be fairly well-built but I’ve never owned one. When I’m not looking for one there’s always one for sale. When I am looking for one, they don’t have anything available as an open box.

The only hesitation I have, is that their brand of Toolchest is Husky. I can’t get over the fact that as a kid, the sizes of boys clothing was slim, medium, and husky for little boys that were ...........heavier than other little boys........Who in the marketing department at Home Depot thought that was a good brand name? What a swing and miss from the marketing department.......  “ I own the fat kid toolchest”.......?????


Not that there’s anything wrong with being a fat kid......

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Actually,back in the day (as much as I dislike the term), Husky was a fairly respectable tool line, maybe slightly

below SK tools in the 'tool pecking order' but not offshore quality. One of the automotive wholesalers I worked for before I started playing with  boats sold Husky with no customer complaints.

I suspect HD bought the name, goodness knows where the quality is now.

I always took the 'Husky' sized duds til out of my teens. Never got much flack about that.😁

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Husky toolboxes seem to get quite good reviews especially considering their price. They have lifetime warranties and can just be taken into your local home depot for repairs if needed. I've been doing research for my own toolbox and I have decided to go with Husky. I have heard nothing but good things.

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33 minutes ago, William Romoser said:

Husky toolboxes seem to get quite good reviews especially considering their price. They have lifetime warranties and can just be taken into your local home depot for repairs if needed. I've been doing research for my own toolbox and I have decided to go with Husky. I have heard nothing but good things.

Has anybody else seen some open box specials like I have seen in my local Home Depot?

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Even up here in Canada I see occasional Home depot tool box specials. But I never buy new tool boxes these days. Years ago when I was a young apprentice ,later 1970's,I bought a brand new, large { for the era } Craftsman top and bottom box. They were on sale far a very good price and have stood up well over the years.  But since that time I have bought several used boxes. Usually Snap On or similar " better " quality box's. I now have 3 roll- a-way's { 1 1950's, one 1960's Snap On } plus 3 more top boxes that sit on workbenches. All very good quality , and all extremely good value for the money.

Best deal of all was a recent find at a local thrift store. I had a few minutes to kill before a Dentist apt. so I took a quick look in the Thrift Store in the same strip mall as the Dentist. A smaller 1960's Snap on bottom cab. plus a 2 drawer Snap On middle cabinet, plus a very good quality but non Snap On top box. 

The whole stack for the princely sum of $50.00 plus tax. The lady at the check out said they were short of space and wanted them gone, so in to the back of the trusty Hyundai they went. They just barely fit !

 So keep your eyes open at swap Meets and garage sales , Craigslist and over time you will probably do just fine. 

I just hope to some day find the top of the line Snap on set up from the 1940's without breaking the bank. K - 60 top box and K 260 or similar " top of the line " bottom box.

 

 

Your toolbox - Moto-Related - Motocross Forums / Message Boards - Vital MX

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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34 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Even up here in Canada I see occasional Home depot tool box specials. But I never buy new tool boxes these days. Years ago when I was a young apprentice ,later 1970's,I bought a brand new, large { for the era } Craftsman top and bottom box. They were on sale far a very good price and have stood up well over the years.  But since that time I have bought several used boxes. Usually Snap On or similar " better " quality box's. I now have 3 roll- a-way's { 1 1950's, one 1960's Snap On } plus 3 more top boxes that sit on workbenches. All very good quality , and all extremely good value for the money.

Best deal of all was a recent find at a local thrift store. I had a few minutes to kill before a Dentist apt. so I took a quick look in the Thrift Store in the same strip mall as the Dentist. A smaller 1960's Snap on bottom cab. plus a 2 drawer Snap On middle cabinet, plus a very good quality but non Snap On top box. 

The whole stack for the princely sum of $50.00 plus tax. The lady at the check out said they were short of space and wanted them gone, so in to the back of the trusty Hyundai they went. They just barely fit !

 So keep your eyes open at swap Meets and garage sales , Craigslist and over time you will probably do just fine. 

I just hope to some day find the top of the line Snap on set up from the 1940's without breaking the bank. K - 60 top box and K 260 or similar " top of the line " bottom box.

 

 

Your toolbox - Moto-Related - Motocross Forums / Message Boards - Vital MX

 

 

My "real" box is a Snap On roll away that came from an estate,  full of used Snap On tools.  I don't think I've ever bought a new snap on tool - they are just too expensive.

 

I really was looking for some thing new only because I wanted it shiny - the tools at home don't get used much.   Although they do get used some.

 

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I have been looking at the Yukon line at Harbor Freight. I looked at them this weekend. The only problem is they do not deliver. Very inexpensive.

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6 minutes ago, Den41Buick said:

I have been looking at the Yukon line at Harbor Freight. I looked at them this weekend. The only problem is they do not deliver. Very inexpensive.

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It looks like the Yukon stuff is back-ordered until Sept also.

 

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 My main tool box is one I Made from a disguarded hospital cart that I added two mid-sections

 from the used pile.  I lowered the top tray so the whole thing rolls under my main work bench.

 The top tray gets rachets & sockets, the eight drawers are all labled with a black marker so any

  helper can find stuff, if asked.

  After installing a lift on the other side of the building, I bought a 4 drawer Harbor Freight roll

  around box that I lowered it also to fit under a work bench.   It got a full set of SAE & Metric

  wrenches & screws drivers, but all the specialty too remained in the main box.

  The lower tray is full of grinders and wire brushes and LARGE tools.

  I'm real happy with the Harbor Freight tool boxes.

    

 

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I have Harbor Freight US General toolboxes, two of the 26" wide upper and lower ones, and one of the 44" upper and lower. I am happy with them. The only issue I ever have is the aluminum "handle" at the front of the drawers will  slip sideways, so I crimp them better. Maybe I should try glue.🤔

 

I also have Craftsman roll around chests from the early 80s I got new, and a used (80s model) Snap-On Antique Car roll around chest.  I also have MAC side boxes I have added to the Harbor Freight 44"  Most all have some heavily loaded drawers, so they get a workout. The 80s Craftsman with the simple slides don't take the weight as well as the others anymore. 40 years will do that!😄

 

I'm happy with them all.

 

I see Yukon toolboxes are also at Harbor Freight now, along with the ICON line.

 

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My tool boxes are a mismatch of stuff Ive got over the years. I have a nice craftsman chest that is at least 30yrs or older. Then I got a stackable unit from Sears I think. They are a bit rikety, slides arent always even but they hold all of my tools, which isnt a lot but plenty enough for me to rebuild my junk. 

Last time I was at HF, I took a gander at their tool boxes as I have heard good reviews. They actually are pretty nice boxes, seem to be as well built as most others I have seen (snap on excluded-way above my pay grade).  I have seen some Milwaukee boxes and large rolling cabinets and chest at HD that look really nice too. I have been tempted but come back to earth and realize what I have is doing the job.

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Some of you may remember my misadventure with delivery of the HF USG 72" box last summer. It was on sale for the best price I'd ever seen on it, but it was delivered on a 30' tractor trailer that wouldn't come into the yard and I had no way to push its 500 lb weight 150' up the hill to the garage. Booey.

 

I've since figured I can get the 56" box plus a 14.5" end cabinet for $260 less than the 72" roller alone. An inch and a half will not make a difference in this case and a friend has offered use of his utility trailer to go get it (which he didn't have last year).

 

The idea is to put 3 smaller boxes of tools into one larger box and sell two of the smaller boxes. I remember someone pointing out that having two empty boxes meant I had room for more tools! 

 

Now if I can just get stuff to quit breaking and taking up the tool box money...

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I just got a new Craftsman from Lowes a few weeks ago....it's ok, not like my first one that I bought new back in the '80's, the drawers are not as smooth like my original one, the top hood cover was wacked out of alignment, but other than that, I'm ok with it.

 

Steve

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Considering my snap on wrench set cost more than most of these complete boxes I guess my expectations are low for quality.  As a hobbyist I’m only opening a drawer once every few days, not once an hour so I think it will be ok.

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Pay attention to what the drawers are hanging on (hopefully ball bearing slides), and the thickness of the metal. Look real close and then ask yourself "what happens if this breaks?".

 

Prior to the toolbox wars of the 90s, most Snap On boxes had plain slides with no bearings. That was fine because it was well made, and because Snap On would replace the slides when you bent or broke them, free if I remember correctly. Even if it wasn't free, it was OK because parts were readily available and it would be fixed in less than a week.

 

If you buy a toolbox built like that now from some chain store, it would be fair to assume the whole box is going to be scrap the first time you bend or break one of those. It happens more often than you would think.

 

The Harbor Freight stuff I have seen in the last year or two looks far better than you would expect for the price. Too bad it's out of stock.

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If I'd subscribed to that, I wouldn't have any nephews and their friends left!😁 To their credit they always brought them back when they were done.

 

Smartest money I ever spent was buying them $99 Craftsman starter sets for birthdays and following up with Sears gift cards for other occasions. Got 'em out of my toolbox... and then they got territorial about their own tools!😃

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/3/2021 at 12:12 PM, rocketraider said:

I've since figured I can get the 56" box plus a 14.5" end cabinet for $260 less than the 72" roller alone. An inch and a half will not make a difference in this case and a friend has offered use of his utility trailer to go get it (which he didn't have last year).

 

The idea is to put 3 smaller boxes of tools into one larger box and sell two of the smaller boxes. I remember someone pointing out that having two empty boxes meant I had room for more tools! 

 

Now if I can just get stuff to quit breaking and taking up the tool box money...

Ended up getting the HFUSG 56" roller and 14.5" end cabinet last summer. Got a good manager's special deal on the roller chest. Big deal it was orange! It was in stock and between the discount and a coupon I saved almost $200.

 

Then to get it home. The utility trailer wasn't available so I hired a local towing company to bring it home on a rollback. Well worth the tow charge and the driver's tip. Hey, he was a young buck who'd hauled my broke-down stuff before, and he even helped me uncrate the toolbox.

 

A couple months ago I was cleaning out one of the storage buildings and found a virtually new 26" Craftsman top and bottom I had forgotten about, stuffed in a back corner of the building and covered with a disintegrating movers blanket. I then remembered buying it for a good price at some holiday sale Sears had, probably 25 years ago. 

 

Like most car people I have trouble resisting a good deal.😁  So now I have FOUR smaller chests.

 

That's alright. Ain't like I don't have stuff to put in them.😏

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Those Harbor Freight 44" and 56" cabinets are very nice!👍

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If you want Snap On tools at a low price, stop the Matco or Mac tool trucks. They take trade ins and sell Snap on stuff for less than 1/2 of the retail.  Also check with the Snap  On dealer for repo tools.

 

I have been buying Snap On tools for years, trade in's and repos offer cash and the price gets even better. Also check with tool truck dealer for good deals on trade in boxes. They usually have a selection of trade ins and need to get them out of their stock again cash talks.

 

frontyboy.

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For the price of used Snap-On, you can buy a garage full of Harbor Freight boxes. Checkout the guys on Garage Journal who built in Harbor Freight boxes to make workbenches. I have Snap-On, Mac, Craftsman and Harbor Freight tool chests. The only issue I have with the HF is the aluminum handle extrusion on the drawers needed some glue or crimping of the end, as they tended to slide out of position. This happened on both the 44" and 26" upper boxes. Might just be the way I grip them.:D 

My older Snap-On drawers will not stay closed, have to carefully close them. I have not checked floor slope, but the Craftsman next to it doesn't, due to the drawers are harder to open. ;)   

 

And I did shop the Snap-On truck for trade ins/repos/estate settling. Tool chests were never affordable. I never priced them on Ebay, where I have gotten some bargains on Snap-On tools, due to shipping costs.

 

Vidmar cabinets are also great tool (and parts) storage! I have two of those. Have to find locally, due to shipping, and desperate seller, as they too can be expensive even used.

 

 

 

 

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When I started my apprenticeship in 1970’s,I fell in love with the chrome handles, that the tool box on the Mac tool truck had.I worked at a Chev/Olds dealer all the guys had Snap on boxes and thought I was crazy to buy a box just for the handles. There were 13 mechanics,all old school who taught me a lot,but one thing was always owe the tool guys about $500 bucks and you will always get warranty on your tools,it worked!

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Last time I looked at the Harbor Freight boxes they seemed to be really nice. And they were not all that inexpensive. Im sure they are not in Snap on territory but not cheap either. I am a carpenter by trade and buy the best tool for the job at hand. It makes me money. Mechanic tools on the other hand do not. That is a mere hobby. For the cheapy stuff I have I get along just fine, although I try to buy the best I can afford for the job at hand. Now if I were a mechanic that would be a different story.

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