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Old 11-18-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
mikejpss
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Default Best tool box- Craftsman ,Kobalt or ???

Will be getting some for Christmas, so which are best for my wish list? Looking for value and quality. Your experience? impressions?
Looking to buy a multi cabinet, several drawer unit -- say 10-12 drawers- on casters.
I already know to avoid the non ball bearing drawers ! After watching Sears for a few months now it's almost a given they are on sale weekly (or so it seems) but the sale price still seems high.
Anyone have any experience with the Harbor Freight brand?
Thanks for any input.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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I have a friend who has the large HF rollaround box. It normally sells for around 800 bucks, but often goes on sale for around half of that. Its solidly built, hasn't had a problem and holds all the tools needed so far to restore his airplane....

I have considered one myself after seeing it in use. It's far cheaper than anything else out there.

Of course, there is always the Tool Porn World of Craigslist if you seek name barnds cheap and like to restore stuff...
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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I've had Craftsman for over 20 years, my dad has Craftsman stuff from when he was a mechanic over 35 years ago -- all are still in great shape and work fine.

I have the monster Kobalt one from Lowes with the fridge and the radio. My wife got it on a post X-mas / demo model sale. We got it for about 1/2 off.
Little plastic corners of the drawer handles keep falling off, but beyond that the drawers are very sturdy and work well.

Look at pawn shops or Craigslist for used units if you want lower price. Don't buy the Harbor Freight / Northern Tools / K-Mart crap. You will hate life if you do.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejpss View Post
Will be getting some for Christmas, so which are best for my wish list? Looking for value and quality. Your experience? impressions?
Looking to buy a multi cabinet, several drawer unit -- say 10-12 drawers- on casters.
I already know to avoid the non ball bearing drawers ! After watching Sears for a few months now it's almost a given they are on sale weekly (or so it seems) but the sale price still seems high.
Anyone have any experience with the Harbor Freight brand?
Thanks for any input.
My experience has been good with the higher end Craftsman boxes, I also have a big box from Costco that is excellent (Taiwan made). Lots of people have good luck with the Harbor Freight stuff. Search on this forum: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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craftsman
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
J S Machine
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Those stainless Kobalt boxes are pretty nice. I haven't been impressed with anything from sears Craftsman in the last few years. Just seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper. If you really want a good box, check out a Kennedy. Expensive, but worth it.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:33 PM   #7
Brett K
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That HF one mentioned above is the best bang forthe buck and it's weight rating is much higher than Anthony else in the price range. Do a search on garagejournal.com to find lots of reviews.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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Snap-On
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
~Josh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EG@EnglandGreen View Post
Snap-On
This.

Search craigslist in the tool section and every month or so there's a mechanic with hard luck... or stolen, but the prices are good.

If you ever want a new one someday, Snap-On actually gives credit back when you trade in an old one. Try that carrying your 20 year old box into Harbor Frieght.

Snap-on or Mac
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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I've got a large Craftsman cabinet for bigger stuff, but wanted a nicer setup with smaller drawers.
I bought this from HF hoping that I'd like. It works fine and it's plumb full and rols great. Drawers work just fine and for the money it's worked out great.
Might not be big enough or fancy enough for you, but hey, it spends 99% of its time sitting in my garage keeping my tools warm.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
The_Dude
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I have both Snapon and Craftsman. The Craftsman ball bearing boxes aren't bad at all.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Joshua View Post
This.

Search craigslist in the tool section and every month or so there's a mechanic with hard luck... or stolen, but the prices are good.

If you ever want a new one someday, Snap-On actually gives credit back when you trade in an old one. Try that carrying your 20 year old box into Harbor Frieght.

Snap-on or Mac
Used Snap on, some great deals out there.
FYI, they are made by Waterloo Industries.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:42 PM   #13
Old Man in a C
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I haven't compared prices lately, but my 25 year old Kennedys have held up well.

Edit. Whoa, just looked at Kennedy prices... not competitive.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EG@EnglandGreen View Post
Snap-On


I have had other brands of Pro boxes, Mac, and Macto that did not last 5 years, all of my Snap-On boxes are still perfect.
But it is a bit of over kill for a weekend mechanic that only uses them once in a while.
I need a newer bigger set of boxes, but I can buy a small house for what the next size up costs, so there will not be a new box for me.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noonie View Post
Used Snap on, some great deals out there.
FYI, they are made by Waterloo Industries.
Not correct, the good ones are made by Snap-On, they are not private labeled.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #16
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Snap-On > *
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #17
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Was looking for a used Snap-On, but wound up with a killer deal on a nearly-new Kobalt, for about 60% of new cost. Not quite the top of the line model (no radio or fridge), but it's pretty big. It's made in China, but it's decent. Stainless steel, nice ball bearing drawers, well made (except for the aforementioned plastic caps on the drawer handles).
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:23 PM   #18
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Stainless Steel for the long term win.

No more painted steel boxes for me.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #19
smearig
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My cheap Craftsman one is a piece of garbage. I keep most of my tools on peg board and shelving because the drawers are so terrible on that tool box.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:01 PM   #20
jh225
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Best value/Bang for the Buck? Hands down, this HF box which although made in PRC, it is an outstanding box for the money and just plain destroys anything Sears, Lowes, HD , etc has out there today.

It can be had for $349 with a coupon in Nov. 2011 Road & Track

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-to...net-90320.html

As for high end stuff, if that's how you wish to go, Lista. Again, hands down the best tool boxes and storage units in the industry, period. Ultra heavy duty, and each drawer is made to support 450lbs (yes, I said 450lbs). They are in some of the biggest industrial, armed forces, high tech shops, etc. Take it from someone who has had Snap On boxes for 25 yrs. The Lista tool boxes and storage units just blows them away.

http://www.listaintl.com/
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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