Tool chests - How much do I really need?

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Skippman
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Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:27 am

I know there's got to be a few mechanics and DIY'ers other than myself in the house here. I know Nate is a gear head. I'm in the process of putting together a full tech of mechanics tools and part of that process is selecting a toolbox. My tools need a home!

I've been reading and looking around and there seems to be 3 basic product levels.

Bargin Basement - Any of the stuff you'd find at Harbor Freight or Walmart.

Joe Home-User - Husky, Kobolt, Craftsman, etc.

Pro Grade - Snap-On, Mac, etc.


I'm looking for something that will last me a few years. I don't plan on using this thing daily but a couple times a month wouldn't be out of the question. I don't think anything I'm going to find in the Bargin Basement is going to stand up to 10-15 years worth of use and I'd rather spend $600 once, rather than $400 twice.

Do any of you have any experience with the mid grade, Joe Home-User stuff? I'm looking at Kobolt and Craftsman mostly. Just trying to get some personal experiences.

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by GI-JOE » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:30 am

I have a Kobalt tool chest. Stands up to what I use it for and far exceeds what I expect of it. (Brother passed it down to me when he bought a new one :mrgreen: )
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by XstollieX » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:43 pm

I have a craftsman chest that I have been using for years and it suits my needs well. Both my dad and uncle have craftsman tool chests as well. They have been using them for at least 30 years. My cousin, a master tech for audi has a Snap on set-up. If your tools are gonna take a beating go with quality. Like you said its better to spend 600 once.
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by bubba » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:43 pm

If your wanting something for the garage get you a nice craftsman, if you treat your stuff good it will last for ever.

Since I worked in a machine shop I have had my eyes set on a Kennedy 7 drawer roll around with 11 drawer top box, but I always find something better to drop ~$1000 on.
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Apoptosis » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:22 pm

I wouldn't look at it by brand... Each brand has different series... For example Craftsman...

Good - Standard Slides
Better - Quiet Glide
Best - Ball Bearing

Quiet Glide slides are 40% quieter and 30% smoother than the standard slides. They are nylon coated steel slides for smoother action vs. standard slides. In addition, they have riveted rubber bumpers to the slides to minimize the "clank" of the opening and closing of the drawers.

Ball Bearing slides use ball bearings rather than a nylon coating. Though they offer the same or better weight load performance, Ball Bearing slides actually open and close more easily as the load increases. Ball bearing slides also have a built-in detent system to help keep the drawers closed. Quiet Glide slides do not have this detent feature.

I have all ball bearing chests in the garage where some of the drawers push 50-100lbs, but inside I use quiet glide models as the drawers aren't loaded with heavy tools... The first tool chest I ever owned was a standard one and it still works, but the drawers suck and I'll never own a standard slide model again. I worked in tools/hardware at Sears for nearly six years, so I might be a bit biased.
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:39 pm

Biased yes, but very informative! Thanks Nate! I appreciate the advice.

I'll make sure to look for ball bearing based chests when I go shopping this weekend. Right now my two big brands I'm going to be looking at are Kobolt and Craftsman. I don't think Craftsman has the same warrenty on thier tool chests that they have on thier hand tools.

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Sparky » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:32 pm

Craftsman ball bearing here. The ball bearing drawers make a big difference in how a heavily loaded drawer slide in and out. My buddy bought a nice stainless steel one (name escapes me) at Sam’s Club a couple of years ago and it’s holding up well and the drawers operate smoothly.
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:02 am

I think I've come up with what I'm going to get after stopping by my local Lowes last night. They're having a 15% off sale on all thier Kobolt tool chests.

Bottom Cabinet:
Kobolt 6-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet
Model: LWK2PD07-BT06
Cost: $241.40

Image


Top Cabinet:
Kobolt 6-Drawer Tool Chest
Model: LWK3PD07-TP06
Cost: $168.00

Image

Total Cost: $409.40 - 15% = $347.99

This is very close to my original budget. The chests have roller bearings, are powder coated, and seem to be made of fairly thick metal compared to some of the lower end boxes I looked at. I like the gas struts on the top box. And if necessary I can always add another 3-5 drawer middle section in the future.

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Apoptosis » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:12 am

You might as well get the 3-drawer middle chest while you are at it...

$101.15 -15% = $85.98 Will make the total cost $433.97, which is very good for the quality and size of that combo


http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=p ... lpage=none

A few months ago that Kobalt 6-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet was $339.00 and then they reduced it to $284.00... Just this month it went down to $241.40... With the 15% off it makes it $205.19... That's $134 less than it was a couple months ago...

Don't forget 10% movers coupons at the post office.

That would bring the 3 piece set down to just $390.57.... A steal if you ask me
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:59 am

What's this about a movers coupon? Clue me in my brother! :-k

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Apoptosis » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:02 am

Skippman wrote:What's this about a movers coupon? Clue me in my brother! :-k
Go to the post office and ask about the movers pack... It's a thing you can ask for and get when moving... It has a 10% off lowes coupon in it ;)
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:12 pm

Apparently to get that now you have to fill out the form THEN they mail it to you. So no dice on the movers pack.

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Apoptosis » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:33 pm

Bummer...seems to vary by location then.
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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by aircommando13 » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:10 am

yea I work at harbor freight definetly bargain over quality. 11-drawer black tool cabinet on sale for $199($150 if you the have the coupon)

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by Skippman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:09 am

I ended up with the Kobalt after looking at similarly priced Craftsman and finding the warrenties comperable. I did also pick up a pretty large set of Craftsman tools.

One problem. I can't figure out how the heck the plastic tray attaches to the top of the roller cabinet. It sits on there fine, but there's no retention mechamism. It looks like there's supposed to be some bolts or such through it but there's no matching holes on the cabinet. The tray just lifts off with no resistance and the manual makes no mention of how to attach it solidly. Trips to the Gravois Bluff and Ballwin Lowes stores yeiled no results as thiers do not appeared to be permently attached either. :-k

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Re: Tool chests - How much do I really need?

Post by bubba » Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:57 am

Most of the trays like that I have seen the weight of the top box is what holds it in place.

You can always make a couple extra holes.
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