Which tool chest should I buy?

Shop, Garage and Tools

Which would you recommend?

  1. Kobalt box for $750

    12.5%
  2. Snap on for $600

    75.0%
  3. New Red/Black craftsman combo from individual for $500

    3.1%
  4. New 41” craftsman combo for $678

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 41” lower box for $389

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. 52” craftsman combo for $778

    18.8%
  7. 52” lower box for $439

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. R72Demon

    R72Demon Well-Known Member

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    The us general boxes from harbor freight are a good box for the money
     
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    • mopowers

      mopowers Well-Known Member

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      I wouldn't be surprised if the Kobalt and Craftsman boxes were all made in the same factory and just went to a different paint line. Same with Husky.
       
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      • 75slant6

        75slant6 Well-Known Member

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        Gonna be kinda hard to match the paint of my car… lol

        94298BDA-B37A-4DA2-8B55-4CD4BE9F69C9.jpeg
         
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        • brian6pac

          brian6pac Well-Known Member

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          It is a pretty close match already! LOL
           
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          • brian6pac

            brian6pac Well-Known Member

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            You will never get the storage space from any of thoughs other boxes compaired to the Snap On unless you get 2 of them, so twice the price.
             
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            • brian6pac

              brian6pac Well-Known Member

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              My tool boxes, Still NOT enough room

              IMG_7059.JPG

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              • Craig Burriss

                Craig Burriss Well-Known Member

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                I think Kobalt is absolute trash. Anything but that
                 
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                • Dana67Dart

                  Dana67Dart The parts you don't add don't cause you no trouble FABO Gold Member

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                  Whichever has real drawer slides, bring 100 lb of weight and test it.

                  I have 30 year old lower end craftsman with the slot type slides and the heavy drawers with c clamps and monkey wrenches is a bear to open
                   
                • SLOPAR72

                  SLOPAR72 Well-Known Member

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                  This thread got me curious as to what is out there in the Marketplace in my area and I had not realized how much basic boxes are going for used.... Then I went to the HF website and was surprised. I have a couple of there boxes and a couple of Husky boxes and man how everything has went up....

                  I am not so sure now that I would spend the money on the budget boxes and look for a used Snap-on and such. Kennedy is another that was geared towards Industrial mechanics but they don't come up used often. But based on what I see that Snap-on you are talking about may not be a bad deal if you want to clean it up....

                  JW
                   
                • 72bluNblu

                  72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  The current Craftsman and Kobalt boxes are all made in China. From what I have seen, the Harbor Freight boxes are just as well made, if not better made, than the current batch of Craftsman and Kobalt options. Same for Husky. Costco has some nice stainless steel tool boxes, although it looks like they're a little more expensive than your current selections.

                  For the new toolboxes my suggestion would be to look at them in person, check the drawer slides, layout etc and think about what you like best. Look at the weight ratings for the drawers, the harbor freight boxes are better than a lot of the Craftsman boxes on that accord. Heck the Harbor Freight boxes have better weight capacities than some of the new Snap-On boxes (which are not all made in the US anymore).

                  As for the used Snap-on box, it looks pretty rough. I have a bunch of tool boxes, a newer stainless steel Craftsman box from about 10 years ago and then some 70's era Snap on, Craftsman and Matco tool boxes of similar vintage. Of those the Snap on and Matco boxes have the better drawer slides, the Craftsman boxes from the seventies (ish) have drawer slides I'm not a fan of, they just feel cheap. The drawer slides on the Snap-On and Matco boxes can be repaired, but the only place to really get those parts is from a Snap-On truck. And despite the lifetime warranty the older slides are a different design than anything that has been used for the last couple decades, so, you may not be able to get parts for a specific slide type. They can be repaired if they're not too hammered, I pulled apart the slides on the Matco box, cleaned and lubricated them and they work a lot better than before. But they're still not all perfect. If you really want to restore an older tool box you can check out The Garage Journal, lots of info there about restoring older tool boxes. It can be pretty involved, you could easily end up spending a lot of time restoring a tool box that you could have spent working on your car.

                  So, my advice for the used tool boxes is to make sure you check them out in person and test all the drawers. If the slides are a little sticky they can be cleaned and lubricated. But if they're jammed or the drawers are bent up it can be a lot more time consuming to repair them. And usually used Snap-On boxes cost a fortune, people always want a mint for them even if they're beat to hell. So even though I like to buy the older, better made tools and stuff I don't always recommend buying used tool boxes. I've done it, but like I said I'd be picky about checking them out. If they're beat to hell you'd be better off with a newer one from Harbor Freight. Your time it worth something too, and you could easily spend days just cleaning up an old box only to find it had a drawer or two that will never be quite right.
                   
                • RustyRatRod

                  RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                  I like that Kobalt box.....but I don't like Lowes. I'd find something comparable from Home Depot.
                   
                • MoparMike1974

                  MoparMike1974 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I hear the harbor freight boxes they are making now are pretty damn good for the money. They are stepping up their quality the past couple years to try to compete with the chain stores.
                  Craftsman tool boxes are junk, always have been. I would get the snap on box for that price you cant go wrong.
                  Whatever you get, make sure its got ball bearing sliders on the drawers.
                   
                • gzig5

                  gzig5 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  If you sing up for their email list HF has a sale now.
                  upload_2021-10-16_18-15-20.png
                   
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                  • Dartswinger70

                    Dartswinger70 I been North I been East to the California beach

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                    I have mr Snap on KRL and my tools from when I was in the wrenching business professionally, also have my single bank "home box" mac bottom and snap on top. When possible buy the best you can afford. Even if it is antiquer snap on. that old snap on was made in usa with better parts and metal etc.The newer boxes are more than likely made overseas with cheaper bearings etc. Youll notice when you have to roll it around with all the weight in it how the casters and drawer bearings are etc.
                     
                  • Steve welder

                    Steve welder Well-Known Member

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                    I had older but still made overseas Craftsman box, they are junk....... I needed a new box after. looking around as much as it broke my heart I bought a HF, it cost me about $700 the roller cabinet type and I use the top as a work bench. Im limited for space and this works......Ive accumulated a lot of tools and this box is over loaded but the slides feel fine and the box is well made......Its not Snap On but I dont use it everyday
                    Now having said that what I will tell you is I started out as a millwright in a power generation plant.... I was given a Kennedy cabinet box that was mounted on a roller cart..... We had as much tools as could be possible fit in these drawers....Nothing was laid out nicely as we had a lot of tools and not much room plus these boxes were being pushed up and down ramps and over gratings
                    There was a open space in front of the tool box on the cart that we all made homemade steel boxes, usually ten gauge steel and in mine I had heavy stuff, 2 foot pipe wrench, sledge hammers, larger combo wrenches 1 1/4 and up. to 2 inch, 3/4 drive socket sets and other stuff.
                    Those boxes were pushed to job locations throughout the plant and they took a beating.....They were used and abused and did not fail.......Kennedy is IMO the best tool box made for industrial applications.....Maybe not the best choice for automotive work however were a box is more stationary
                     
                  • Dartboy69

                    Dartboy69 Slant Six Aint Cuttin It

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                    As a tech and former snap on franchise owner, I would absolutely invest in the snap on box. There are still parts and accessories for a lot of the old boxes, and many of them can be converted to ball bearing slides with ease (if they are that old). All of which are lifetime warranty. My only word of caution is to make sure the seams in the drawers are all still welded fully, i.e. make sure the box was not beat up too badly inside the drawers, as these are often discontinued.
                     
                  • LO23M8B

                    LO23M8B Well-Known Member

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                    The Snap On will be a investment. Buy it if it's not trash.
                     
                  • halfafish

                    halfafish Damn those rabbits, and their holes! FABO Gold Member

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                    Wow. As usual, a good question bring a huge variety of opinions from knowledgeable members. I spent 30 years with this Craftsman box and then the smaller roller box. I'm completely pleased with them, although they are friction slides (not roller slides). They have never let me down. And that was with the drawers horribly overloaded the entire time.

                    20170610_192734.jpg

                    When I retired, I added a new Craftsman box circa 2014 or so with roller slides and it's also been stellar. I know many dislike Craftsman boxes, but I'm a fan and have been pleased with my boxes. YMMV...:D

                    20180311_184722.jpg
                     
                  • RustyRatRod

                    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                    I have seven boxes. The "highest end" is a Blue Point roll cart. The newest one is a HF roll chest with a wood top I can use for a work bench.
                     
                  • abodyjim

                    abodyjim Well-Known Member

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                    I'm in the process of upgrading my box(a 30 year old Matco) for more space. Aside from the space having a deep drawer for sockets to stand up was high on the list. I decided on the US general. The only down side is waiting on the top 20210723_214959.jpg 20150320_194231.jpg because of the green color.
                     
                  • Darter6

                    Darter6 Well-Known Member

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                    I bought my Snap on boxes in 1976. Top and bottom cost $1200 total.The largest boxes they had at the time.
                    I made $10 payments weekly. Never thought I'd ever get them paid for.
                     
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                    • rbkt65

                      rbkt65 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      hf has a tool box sale today. last day of sale.
                       
                    • toolmanmike

                      toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Buy the best quality and biggest you have space for and can afford. (that goes without saying) I would stay away from the Snappy box the OP posted a pic of. It's a clam and their economy box. Painting a tool box is a POS of a job. Most all, except for the cheapest models will have roller drawer slides. That's always a plus. If the box has a big top drawer, make sure your deep sockets will stand upright on a clip rail or pegged holder. Some don't.
                       
                    • toolmanmike

                      toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I should have kept this one but no room in my garage for it.

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                    • Mopar44134

                      Mopar44134 Well-Known Member

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                      I like my Husky 52". Kids and wife got it for me last Christmas. My buddy is snap on. His doesnt have the quiet close drawers. He had it painted to match his sublime green custom ram. I like the fact he could trade his in but he has alot of money in it. Both are nice. i quess its all about what you like and can afford.

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