I’ve always wanted a nice tool box. Probably even before I was working on cars and I just wanted one to store stuff in something with such a nice aesthetic. Almost like a hipster approach to repurposing something. Anyways, I had been shopping around for one for a while and figuring out what I wanted out of one and the optimal spot between price and quality.
I was looking at many factors because I’m not looking for the best option, but what’s really the best for my need. I planned on putting the tool chest under one of my shelving units and there’s a limited space for it. The base of my garage walls also has a step protruding about 4″ so I can’t have anything that’s too deep. I looked at Home Depot’s Husky Brand, Lowe’s Cobalt, and even Sears’ Craftsman. While looking at the Craftsman options, I noticed anything other than the top of the line PRO stuff wasn’t really up to the Craftsman brand quality that I’ve been accustomed to over the years. The cheap stuff is REALLY just rubbish and the higher end consumer stuff is really hard to use like the drawers require alot more force than normal.
I looked at so many brands and kinds of types, but I ended up at Harbor Freight’s US General brand. They like to compare most of their items with other big name brands such as their tool chests with Snap On ones. Not that they really needed to since people who could afford a Snap On box would just get one of those. The price is so disproportionate with the common man’s budget for home use which is what HF is mostly catered to.
The US General unit felt really good in the store in terms of quality like smooth sliding drawers, the drawer lining, and sturdiness. The unit fit what I was looking for and potential for expandability should I opt for expansions later on. The main unit is a 44″ 13 drawer cabinet and I added the 18″ 7 drawer end cabinet that sits attached to the main unit. I could have opt for the longer cabinet such as the 56″ or the 72″, but those also have a deeper dimension of 22″ versus the 18″ which mean it would have stuck out really far from the wall. I parked my car right next to it so I can’t have that. Also the bigger cabinets have locking drawers and by that I mean each drawer has a locking tab you have to pull to open…every…single…time. The 44″ only locks all the drawers when you turn the key.
I wish they came in other color options because nothing in my garage is red and red tool chests are a cliche…as much as black and white checkered floors.
I don’t have any crazy master mechanic set of tools for every possible job because I usually just acquire tools over time when new jobs require new tools so there’s a need for space for future acquirement. I do wish some of the drawers were deeper so I could fit my power tools in as well.
I also picked up these clear bins for random parts storage and miscellaneous items. They are Storehouse (HF) bins that are supposed to be stackable, but due to the extremely cheap plastic, they warp and essentially not stackable. All of the Storehouse items I’ve ever gotten are like this and practically unusable. Avoid the headache.
No regrets on buying the tool chest either because less than a week later, the new HF ad book came in and they raised all their prices. I saved about $100 over all because I also used a $20 off coupon for the tool box that came in the previous month’s ad book.