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What's your thoughts on Harbor Freight's rolling tool boxes?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by THRILLBILLY, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    I've been looking at some tool boxes for a couple of months now and seen Harbor Frieght had an awesome deal on thier "house brand'' U.S. General tool boxes. The smaller 44" bottom box was on sale for $389 and the larger 55" box was on sale for $769 I went there the other day to check them out for myself and they seem to be well worth the money they are asking for them. What's y'alls thoughts on these boxes? Or would I be better to just spend the money on something name brand like SNAP ON or MAC? I wrench on stuff everyday outside of my regular job but it's all on my own junk and some other friends stuff.
     
  2. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    check local tool trucks for used stuff and or craigslist. will get better deal on better/bigger box that way.

    and quality level depends on what you can live with to make you happy. :thumb:
     
  3. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    Good idea, for months all I've been doing is checking brand new stuff. I see the snap on and Mac guys all the time since I work next to the John Deere dealer and service shop. I'll see if they have anything. Harbor freight always seems way too cheap on their stuff and I guess there is a reason!
     
  4. ChadRay13

    ChadRay13 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If you have your heart set on brand new then those U.S. General boxes aren't to shabby.

    But I first suggest trying to find a Mac box used. You can find great deals.
     
  5. Big Ray

    Big Ray 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I bought a HF box last spring...all I could afford. I did check around, they were all too much $$

    I got a huge box for about 400$...it's been good, so far...:dunno:

    edit: this one
     
  6. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Thats the same box a guy at work has been eye balling for about three years now. Wish he would get off his ass and buy the damn thing so I don't have to hear him talk about it anymore. :doah: :haha:
     
  7. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    Haha yeah they seem good to me! I use my tools and all nearly everyday once I'm home from work, so it would see quite a bit of use but I don't abuse stuff. I'm still gonna keep these boxes in mind but look on craigslist here for awhile too before I jump to getting one.
     
  8. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    If you areI speaking of the one with the matte finish. I own em great box!
     
  9. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah that would be the one! I'm sure the people at the store thought I was crazy but I was taking heavy items from the racks and putting them in the box to see how well they slid with weight in them!
     
  10. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    Here's a picture of the boxes:

    The 44" bottom section:
    [​IMG]

    The 55" box:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Confedneck

    Confedneck 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]


    LMAO now that we have that out of the way... i took one of those top and bottom units you posted on trade a year or so ago. wasn't badly built, only 2 of the drawers had problems opening, but this guy could break a steel ball in a sand box. that 55" bottom is really nice looking, too
     
  12. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    Haha yeah I know those types for sure! The matte finish one I really like bc of the add ons. The 55" box is sweet though. I might just surprise myself for christmas with one!
     
  13. swettysblazer

    swettysblazer Swetty The Yeti Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    A buddy of mine has a US General box, its not as big as that one but it seems to be well built. No issues with it over about a year and a half or so as far as I know.
     
  14. ARAMP1

    ARAMP1 Aviator Extraordinaire Premium Member

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    The guys over at Garage Journal LOVE the 13 drawer 44" one. Probably the best bang for the buck as far as drawer space per dollar spent and from what I've seen, better built than a similar size Craftsman, Kobalt, or Huskey. The bigger 56" 11 drawer seems to be pretty well made with the exception of the thin plastic drawer locks. Another gripe is that the 13 drawer has matching top and side boxes and lockers, where as the bigger 11 drawer doesn't have anything else. The bigger usually sells for around $800 and the smaller one can be had for $350-ish with coupon. Personally, I'd rather have two of the smaller ones than one of the bigger ones. Several guys have put a few of the smaller cabinets together with good results and A LOT of tool storage space.

    Harbor Freight Cabs.jpg

    hfboxes2.jpg
     
  15. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    That looks sweet! I did notice the plastic locks. My buddy here has a classic 78 snap on so if I need more work space I'll use his haha. I think I'm gonna end up going with one of the 44" cabinets only because like you said you can add to that one were as the 11 drawer doesn't have matching components. Especially if I could have a setup like those!
     
  16. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Only thing I dont like about their boxes is how shallow they are. Drawers are not deep at all. I would never buy one myself but they are not a bad buy.
     
  17. ARAMP1

    ARAMP1 Aviator Extraordinaire Premium Member

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    Yeah. Drawers are only 16" deep or so. Bout the same as my craftsman boxes though. For as cheap as they sell for, buy two of them and lay the long stuff sideways.
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I've got a very old Craftsman roll-around. It was what they called "Professional" back before they had the separately colored "professional" (yeah, the quotes are intentional) line with ball bearing slides. Heavier steel, larger rollers, better locks, and thicker "work top"; it's been a good one for about 25 years.

    Since I got addicted to machine tools, I've gotten equally addicted to "high density storage" cabinets. Names like Vidmar, Lysta, Lyonn, Nu-Era, etc. Full extension 24"(?) drawers, each rated to 400 lbs. And I've got some pushing it that still open smoothly with 1 hand! They can typically be had in good condition for around $500 to $800 as a "good deal". Rarely you'll do better, for instance I got one filthy specimen that cleaned up nice for $50. Another for $300 IIRC, and one for $500. Generally people figure the price on number of drawers (my $500 one has ~20 drawers). Typical street price for my 20 drawer cabinet is ~$50 a drawer, or $1000 used. I'll be buying more as I find deals! You get more for the price than any of the "truck boxes", and frankly, they are made better. They are available with fork bases or flat. If you want a roller you can add industrial casters (my 2 larger boxes have 6" industrial casters).

    All that said, lately I've been working a lot on vehicles outside my shop. I'm getting tired of having to load all the tools on a utility cart, then roll them back in to clean and put away. I wanted a bigger box to roll outside with me, AND provide a good work surface. I also wanted it to have NOTHING but basic general purpose automotive tools, specialty stuff stored separately. That eliminates the vast majority of the back-n-forth while keeping the tool depth minimal for easy organization and quickly finding tool, or knowing if something is missing. Now all that above should say I'm pretty particular about good boxes. But looking at the HF box, the build quality is fantastic for the price, and even more so when you consider the source. I've been pondering that box for a while, then a friend of mine got one, and I finally gave in a few weeks back. Too early to tell much, but so far I'm not disappointed. The only minor gripe I can report is that the lock itself is pathetic and the lock system is not the most robust (again, full points go to the industrial systems) . Now I just need to find a suitable organization system. I'm partial to the slot dividers like the high-density industrial boxes use, so hoping to find some that can be adapted...
     
  19. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Okay so I have the matte red boxes, had em right after my buddy bought a lower end Matco box, I would take my HF boxes over his Matco box any day of the week.

    I talked to a friend of mine that I hadn't talked to for a while after I bought mine, He is a mechanic by trade does it out of his garage in his house. Has a ton of tools, buys enough the snap on guy and the Matco guy stop by his house once a week at least.

    He sold his Snap on box that was only two years old to some guy Sold his Matco box he had (8 years old) to another guy. Went and bought 3 HF bottom boxes and 2 tops. Put all his tools in em and still had enough left over to buy a ton of new tools he has been wanting.

    He has been using the HF boxes for over a year now. Says he will never go back to a tool truck box. He loves em, and he works out of em every single day. Wishes HF would make a couple more like this.

    I love my boxes, have nearly 250 lbs of crap in one of the bottom boxes, slides as nice as the empty ones, maybe just a bit better.

    I do mechanical and fab work out of my garage ( part time) so that box isn't just sitting there either.

    I think just about anyone would be happy with these boxes

    BTW I bought my top box for 279 and the bottom for 529
     
  20. THRILLBILLY

    THRILLBILLY 1/2 ton status

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    I think everyone seems to have good feedback about these boxes, I will probably end up getting one here in the next month or so. Seems too good to pass up a deal like that on something that will be well worth the money.
     

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