Back in May, a Garage Journal tool forum member, who goes by the handle "Mister Moose," shared with his group his personal odyssey in the pursuit of the perfect tool cabinet. Hell-bent on being thorough, he visited several hardware stores, most of the time coming away disappointed. Here are some of the observations he made along the way:
- Sears - "All the floor models are overpriced, underbuilt disappointments. I’m fine with their hand tools, but the chests and roller cabinets are not worth the price, not by a long shot. The tool chest buyer at Sears should be publicly run out of town."
- Home Depot - "Nothing to see here. Worse than Sears."
- Tractor Supply - "They carry 2 lines, Jobsmart, and Masterhand. Jobsmart is just like the Sears ball bearing series, except it’s black, and the slides are smaller... Masterhand is better... The really odd part is that they are priced the same. That’s right, you can get cheapo drawers and slides or decent ones for the same money at the same store. The 26 inch 8 drawer base is $329, and the 40” 12 drawer base is $499."
- Lowes - "I wouldn’t spend the $610 on the 41” model."
- Matco - "Just to compare to a higher end tool truck box, I measured up a 40” Matco box at a mechanic shop I do business with... It is a very deep breath to pay the extra tool truck price... and you won’t have to peel the name plate off in shame. You will however pay dearly for that name plate. This whole name plate shame thing really should stop if in fact HF has built a high quality box and offers it with no expensive commissioned salesman in a truck to the vast unwashed masses of us garage folk."
Having run the gamut, he finally turned his attention to the US General 44" 13-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet ("Otherwise known as the favorite child of a large percentage of Garage Journal members") at Harbor Freight Tools. At least he was honest about how he got to Harbor Freight (let's just say, it wasn't the first place that came to mind).
"I hadn’t even considered the place until I started reading good reviews here."
A big thanks to the folks at The Garage Journal! But it didn't take long for him to spot the HFT tool cabinet's quality and value (great pics, BTW!):
"Lower drawer with double slides, riveted to drawer. Look at the left side upper edge, the rolled over reinforcement is visible. Lesser drawers don’t have this. Also, look at the drawer front. Both the top drawer pull and the lower edge of the front form a structural girder that allows more weight before deforming."
"The 14 pair roller bearing cage. Full double wall construction."
"The steel wheel caster with polyurethane tire. You can also see the other style casters on the 56” and the 5 drawer cart. Look at the dual angle iron supports & perimeter angle iron welded to the cabinet, and compare that to the ‘U’ channel visible on the 5 drawer cart."
In the end, it came down to either the Kobalt 27" or the Harbor Freight "44, which were (not quite) in the same price ballpark:
"Hmmm. Better construction, and 63% more storage... This is a no brainer. I bought the HF 44” box."
To read the customer's full review-- with tons of pictures, measurements and observations-- click here to go to the Garage Journal thread.
**NOW FOR A LIMITED TIME**-- exclusively for our blog and Facebook readers-- the favorite US General 44" 13-Drawer Roller Tool Cabinet can be had on sale for just $369.99! Click on the image below to redeem and print your coupon now!
Opinions are like hand tools: everybody's got them. But while they vary when it comes to which Harbor Freight tools customers have on their wish lists, one item seems to make ALL the lists-- the wildly popular US General Pro 44" 13-Drawer Roller Cabinet.
How many times did you have a 'honey-do' fix, or faced a weekend auto project, and didn't know exactly where your needed tools were? They used to be in that drawer... or was it in that one spot on the workbench? I think it's safe to say, I'm not the only one who goes through that hellacious routine from time to time.
In the December 2012 issue of Chevy High Performance, Henry De Los Santos shared that, since his team finally graduated to a "real toolbox" (the 13-drawer cabinet), they now enjoy being able to find any particular tool right away when they need it. And since this tool cabinet is modular, he gushed, it can expand even more, with the industrial-strength US General Pro Top Chest...
...and the super-tough 7-Drawer End Cabinet.
Whatever your work or hobby, the US General tool cabinets and carts are the best values you're going to find. A lot of folks try saying that about their cabinets, but they don't quite live up to the combination of solid construction and low prices you'll find at Harbor Freight. Of course, you don't have to take my word for it, or even the testimony of a magazine. Just go on the site and read the dozens of reviews given by the customers who use them every day. They pretty much all say the same thing as this owner of the 13-drawer cabinet:
"I have shopped around for a new tool cabinet for quite some time, and this is by far (very far, actually) the best value I have found. The reviews confirmed what I had already seen in the stores, so buying this beauty was a no-brainer.
The cabinet is very well built, and the sheet metal is a much heavier gauge than the competition. The large top drawer and the two deep bottom drawers have a double guide set-up to carry some extra weight, which is a very nice touch when you have to store heavy tools. They'll load it for you at the store, but you better ask a friend to come over and help you unload this sucker or you might get hurt! When I unloaded mine, I had to remove all the drawers to even be able to slide it to the tailgate.
I bought it to put my mini-mill on, and I was a bit worried about how the 44" span above the top drawer would do with a 150 lbs mill on it. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood as a bench top, put the mill on it, and the cabinet didn't budge one bit. I had planned to bolt the cabinet to the wall to make the setup more rigid, but I didn't have to, it was solid as a rock after locking the casters. However, it does have threaded holes (for the handle) on both sides, so it would be very easy to add wall brackets if I ever decide to do so.
The handles have paper labels with plastic covers, a nice feature for us who want to keep things organized.
I'm pretty picky with everything I buy for my shop, and usually try to stick with the "pro brand" stuff. However, this cabinet blows the competition plumb out of the water. A similar unit from the big brands would run at least three times more, and would still not be the same quality. Granted, I haven't compared with the top-of-the-line professional brands, but it sure beats everything I have found in the department stores and home improvement stores." TN Gunsmith
I was puttering around the house last Saturday, when I heard my wife in the other room suddenly burst out, "That's CUTE!" I assumed she found another pair of shoes or a purse on sale, or maybe one of those Cape Cod beach houses only a Kennedy could afford. But then she hurried in, gripping a magazine. "Isn't that CUTE??!" she asked (rhetorically, I hoped), holding the mag open in my face. And there it was...
In their June 2012 issue, Better Homes & Gardens featured the U.S. General 350 lb. Locking Drawer Tool Cart as an addition for a home organization project:
"A tool cart is a good home for bulky items, plus you can use it as a service station or bar."
Not to mention that it's a good-looking and affordable alternative to organizers at those shi shi "home" stores. Huh... using a Harbor Freight tool cabinet for kitchen design, or a design idea for any room in the house. I get it.
And the wife got it.
Now available for viewing! Our latest product video for U.S. General Cabinets. Great tool storage solutions at great prices. Enjoy!