The US General 5-Drawer Tool Cart: Too Sexy for Your Tools?

If there was a category for “Single-Most-Loved Product” at Harbor Freight Tools, the US General tool cabinets and carts would probably be in a tight group, a length ahead of all the others. Be it the insanely popular 44″ 13-Drawer Tool Cabinet, the extra large 56″ 11-Drawer Industrial Rolling Cabinet, the mammoth 72″ 18-Drawer Industrial Roller Cabinet or the economical, yet rugged, 4-Drawer Tool Cart, the US General tool chests have amassed a ton of rave reviews– both for the quality and the value.
Which is why it’s no surprise to see the way-thumbs-up reviews of the 700-lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart

Same beautiful fire-engine red as the other models, the rugged all-steel, 5-drawer tool cart is the ideal choice for the wrencher with just enough– but not too many– tools. As pointed out by Jeff G. Holt in the May 2013 Used and Abused column of Hot Bike :

“This all-steel 120-pound tool cart is a great place to store a myriad of tools for not a lot of money. This bright-red powder-coated rollaway is constructed (of) 14-gauge steel and can hold up to 700 pounds worth of stuff.”

Jeff wasn’t a pushover for just the pretty face, though. He put the baby to work immediately.

“Sure, that is all well and good, but for a cabinet such as this, with a rather low price tag, I was worried about things like the drawers opening smoothly and other quality-related issues. Once I freed it from its shipping box, I assembled it (it took less than a half hour) and loaded it full of my wayward tools and was able to put it to the test. The ball-bearing rails on each of the drawers worked smoothly and they even had a locking lever per drawer like only the carts costing three times the price usually possess. The key-controlled locking mechanism on the top of the cart also worked flawlessly, which is truly a feat for something of this price. When fully loaded, this cart rolled around freely due to the two fixed and two swiveling locking casters. It even did so on chunky asphalt.”

Sounds like a winner. But, how about down the road? Did the tool cart stand the test of time?

“After throwing tools in and out of the cart for almost a year now, I have been pretty impressed with the quality construction and ease of use. The only problem I am currently having with it is that I am running out of room and I’ll need to switch to a larger storage system. If you are looking for a rolling workstation such as this, don’t let the low price keep you away, buy this and save a couple hundred dollars over the competition.”

A larger storage system? Harbor Freight can do that! Or, how about just getting a second tried-and-true 5-drawer tool cart? You can find the 700-lb.Capacity 5-Drawer Tool Cart at your local Harbor Freight, or online, for a low $199.99– or, keep your eyes peeled and get it for $169.99 with coupon! Girls on Hot Bike magazine cover not included.

Johnny Hunkins, editor of Popular Hot Rodding magazine, also posted a great article on his blog about Harbor Freight’s tool carts. When he visited our QA facility in Calabasas, CA, he was impressed with the thoroughness of our tool testing. 5 drawer tool cart, and the US General tool cart was actually one of dozens of products he got to sample side-by-side with competitors’ products that are generally much more expensive. As Johnny observed:

” You really have to put your hands on this cart, open the drawers, slam the lid, and roll it around to believe it. With severe-duty ball bearing roller tracks, thick gauge steel cabinet, chunky ball bearing casters, smooth pneumatic lid struts, locking drawer tabs, grippy drawer liners, durable powdercoat red paint, and beefy frame, the HTF cart would be a welcome addition to any garage at twice the price.”

Jacob Jackson of Truckin’ magazine had his own thoughts on the subject, handing the crown of “Best Mechanic’s Cart Under $250″ to Harbor Freight’s tool cart:

“It’s difficult to overstate the incredible value the US General Pro five-drawer tool cart, represents in the tool world. You get super-strong 14-gauge steel, five storage drawers of varying depths, and gas struts for the lid, which can support 176 pounds. The bright-red powdercoat was tough yet looked good, and for under $200, you get a legitimate mobile workstation and not just a little cart. It was the clear-cut winner of this shootout.”

Decide for yourself. Come visit your local Harbor Freight Tools and try the US General 5-Drawer Tool Cart mano y mano. We think you’ll walk away a believer– and a proud new owner– too.

Tools for a Good Marriage

Ah, young love. My 21-year-old nephew just got married last weekend to his girlfriend of 3 years. It was a nice affair: the cake was delicious, the decor tasteful, the gift tables stacked high with juicers, crock pots, cookware, towels, bedding, crepe makers, dishes, salad tongs, fondue pots– the usual. My opinion, the kids are never going to use a lot of that stuff. It’s a pity, they don’t know what they really need. And let’s face it, the bride put the registry together. No offense, she’s not the one who’ll be going to the hardware store a dozen time later on to get tools for putting the home together.

May I make a suggestion? The next wedding you attend for a young couple (or even a not-so-young couple), go rogue on the registry and give them a tool kit. For less than $100 with a coupon, you can put together a complete set that they’ll use  all the time, maybe even for the rest of their lives. At least longer than the kettle corn maker they got.

Here are some basic tools to throw in the kit. It’ll make their lives a whole lot easier:

 

 

  1. Hammer – Nothing fancy, just a simple, sturdy claw hammer. This one from Pittsburgh has a shock-absorbent fiberglass handle that won’t splinter or split.
  2. Screwdriver Set – As you know, if you don’t have the correct-sized screwdriver, it can be a bad experience. It keeps slipping out of the slot, stripping the slot, etc. That’s why getting a set of comprehensive slot and Phillips screwdrivers is the way to go– and this 32-piece screwdriver set is perfect for whatever household job comes up.
  3. Wrench Set – Just as a screwdriver, you need just the right fitting wrench. That means you’ll want both SAE and metric on hand. This low-price 22-piece combination wrench set accommodates the most widely-used sizes and comes with a handy rack for quick access.
  4. Tape Measure – When putting up pictures and wall decor, measuring for furniture space or executing most any home improvement, you’ve got to have a tape measure on hand. Like this 30-ft. one from Harbor Freight, they’re cheap but they’re invaluable!
  5. Level - Got to make sure the family portraits are up for when the relatives come over– but you can’t do it right without a level. At $6.00, the 9″ Magnetic Torpedo Level will save you a lot of headache for vertical, horizontal and 45-degree leveling.
  6. Socket Set – A wrench set is great to have, but for some jobs a socket set is so much sweeter. Pittsburgh makes a good, long-lasting 64-piece set at a low price, which includes both SAE and metric, with 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ drive. It comes with a rugged custom carrying case for storage and transport.
  7. Screws, Nuts & Bolts - Hey, it’s at least one less trip to the store, right? Probably a number of trips– a 1,001-piece set with wood screws, sheet metal screws, nuts, bolts, washers, lock washers and cotter pins. Definitely worth the 12 bucks.
  8. Tool Box -You’ve got to get one– the ready-made gift box that keeps on giving. The 20″ Stainless Steel Toolbox from Storehouse is a Harbor Freight best buy, with a dent-proof, high-impact base, heavy-duty tray and strong rubber-grip handle. With a full-length piano hinge, two sturdy latches and a brushed steel finish, this toolbox is built to last.
  9. Cordless Drill - OK, so this isn’t going into the toolbox, but it certainly completes the set. If there’s any power tool the new couple’s going to need, it’s a cordless drill, and the low-cost Drill Master 18 Volt Cordless 3/8″ Drill With Keyless Chuck is a rugged, reliable addition to the arsenal.

So, when the top tier of the cake disappears in the freezer under some ground chuck, all the returns and re-gifting’s been done and those crazy kids go one with their lives, they’ll remember you every time there’s an outlet plate to replace or a bicycle to build, an armoire to secure to a wall or a tiki mask to hang in the bathroom… the wedding guest who had the good sense to ignore their registry.