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Economic tool chests/boxes


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I'm sort of in the market for a new (or used) toolbox. I have a bottom/top chest made by craftsman thats 40" wide and 18" deep. It's plumb full and I'm needing to upgrade some. I'm not made of money and don't abuse my stuff or work out of it for a living but want at least some degree of quality/luxury. I really like the craftsman box I have now and the newer craftsman boxes look good, but I'm not really seeing one that seems to have enough drawers and space. I've looked into the husky, homek, and Carlyle and of course scoured the sales places for used snap on, matco, and Mac boxes with not much avail in my price range. The homek and Carlyle seem to be the same boxes just badged different. The husky line of boxes really caught my eye and I'm kind of liking what I see initially. What does everyone run at their home shop or work out of? I'd like to get something larger than a 54 because I want to have just a bottom chest and a work space on top. 

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I got lucky and bought a used Snap On box. It is an aviation box. It can be pulled around a hanger. My top box is a Homek. The Snap On has tool compartments/drawers on 3 sides, I just keep stuff in the doors on the back that don’t get used very often. 

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US General boxes at HF are good for their price. Their Icon boxes are quite a bit more expensive but look to be nice too. 
Buying used can get you a good deal if you’re patient. The best deals seem to be on older smaller boxes though. 

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I got mine for Christmas a couple years ago. I think she got it from Orschelens when they closed. Mine is okay but it is doesn’t have the easy close nor is it big enough. 
Just like a shop. Get twice the size and it will still be too small. 

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Thanks guys, I was really leaning towards the husky boxes. The hd one where the top rises up is kind of neat but I also see they have a standard one with lots of larger drawers. Figuring out the square footage is most important so it's about like looking at new cars. You look till you're about sick of looking and just buy the next best one. 

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Used off name boxes can often be bought for reasonable prices.

Check the box out carefully. Many off brand boxes are very good. Some boxes are not, especially smaller ones.

Shop around. You'll find a deal.

I bought a big south bend lathe for $200 that came with a nice older snap on top box full of tooling. The box was worth more than what I paid for everything (and it filled up a 16 ft trailer.

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I look at the husky boxes in Home Depot whenever I’m walking buy, because I have a buddy that bought the $1000 one one day, for $500, (because it had a perfect 1” hole stabbed through the side of it and they were trying to figure out how to price it).   
they are nice boxes. 
but the harbor freight boxes are much more robust. In my opinion

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3 hours ago, 5488ih said:

What’s ur budget? Im sure we can find u something.

I'm hoping to stay around the $1500 range. I find nice used snap on boxes for a little more but willing to spend more on quality like that. 

1 hour ago, FarmerFixEmUp said:

Thanks but that's about what I have now. I'm looking at probably at minimum a 60" box. I have another service cart with some things in it and tools up on the shelf that don't fit in my box. Pliers stacked on pliers and screw drivers specialty items. 

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I have two sets of the stackable sets of Masterforce brand that Menards sells. Like you I'm not a professional wrench twister but I do have a fairly large collection that needed an organized home. I've been happy with the Masterforce.

Menards has a lot of size options to choose from for top and bottom. 

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Harbor Freight US General are excellent quality for the money. 3/4" Craftsmen socket set, 3/4" impact standard and 3/4" impact metric sockets sets all in one drawer and opens easily.  One set at the shop, one set at my house and one set of those tool boxes at my FIL shop, never had a problem other than being too full. 😬

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if you’re not in a terribly big rush, I’ve had good luck buying stuff off of government liquidation auctions. Bottom 60 inch snap on roll round tool chest for 500 bucks. Was I lucky? I don’t know. But it’s an option as well.

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That would be dirt cheap for a Snap On

I've got an old Beach that was my first, the best things are the handles don't allow for anything other than center pull, bought a HF General a decade ago down in Spokane, nice cabinet well made, have another Craftsman bottom that is the lightest built of the 3, for economy the HF General are hard to beat and their coupons.

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I have a big Husky from HD. I had to fix the center slide on the big drawer already. Couple rivets and it works fine enough. I may or may not have overloaded it...

I hear good thing about the HF boxes and may get a 2nd box to keep metrics apart from standard tools.

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The only thing I have against most of the store brands is drawer depth. 16-18” isn’t enough. Would be nice if u can find a box with 24-30” deep drawers. They have acres of room.

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12 minutes ago, 5488ih said:

The only thing I have against most of the store brands is drawer depth. 16-18” isn’t enough. Would be nice if u can find a box with 24-30” deep drawers. They have acres of room.

Yes I agree with that. My brother has a classic 78?? If I recall and it has almost as much room as both of mine combined. I think it's nearly 28" deep? I don't remember but it's pretty deep compared to mine. I had no idea that master force made the larger ones. I'll have to look into them. 

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Just now, WisIHCFarmer said:

Dewalt and Milwaukee both have nice boxes. I have a Dewalt and have been happy with it.

I have looked into them some and I don't really care for the drawer layout. I like to have more thin drawers than large deep ones because I don't keep my tools in the blow mold cases that you get the tools in. 

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This is what I'm using. It's a vidmar cabinet. Each drawer has ball bearings and pull out the whole length of drawer. I think each drawer has a weight rating of 300 pounds. Best tool box I ever used. 20240120_110419.thumb.jpg.2ce93115c007631d2c18b7268633222d.jpg20240120_110511.thumb.jpg.c8c158e1a9232502c1215c01f8f29a8e.jpg

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