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Old 02-02-2020, 10:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tool Truck Tool Boxes for Dummies

I'm probably starting a new job where I need personal tools at work again and my 15 year old 40" harbor freight box has been retired to house garage duty. Looking to spend $2,500-$3,500 on a used tool truck box, at least 50" wide and 24" deep but would prefer a deeper box and need at least 1 full width drawer. There's a lot of 20" wide snapon boxes on craigslist and a little bit of everything else. What's decent, what's junk brand/ model wise? Anything to watch out for?

I have a really hard time going to harbor freight to spend over $3k on an icon box when used tool truck boxes are the same price.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Used Matco should be pretty easy to find, anything newer will be at least 25" deep. Best bet if you do buy, get the serial number and call and make sure it is payed off.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Snapon krl 1002/1022 are easy to find and right in that price range. Its my big stationary box.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As said above the snapon krl models can be had for that all day on Craiglist. Depending on the model number they can have one or a few full width drawers

Another option.....about a year and a half ago I was looking for a wider top box to throw on a bench in the corner of the shop. Looked at countless used boxes and finally ended up going to Menards and buying a Masterforce 40something wide box on sale for 380 bucks. The drawers are actually smoother than my snap on and the drawer liners are way better than what came with my snappy. I think the metal is a bit thinner but It hasn't been an issue. Box gets used daily and I have yet to have a single complaint.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another option.....about a year and a half ago I was looking for a wider top box to throw on a bench in the corner of the shop. Looked at countless used boxes and finally ended up going to Menards and buying a Masterforce 40something wide box on sale for 380 bucks. The drawers are actually smoother than my snap on and the drawer liners are way better than what came with my snappy. I think the metal is a bit thinner but It hasn't been an issue. Box gets used daily and I have yet to have a single complaint.
I played with the masterforce stuff when I was in Menards a while ago and can't remember what I thought about them. What ever I get will get loaded down with a bunch of heavy industrial stuff so it won't see a super easy life. My harbor freight box survived pretty well but some of the slides are junk after pulling drawers to move it a bunch. I'm not ruling out a new Chinese box but my thought is buy once, cry once and let someone else take the "deprecation" hit.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Im not sure how I would feel about the Masterforce being loaded heavy. Drawers definitely seem less sturdy than my SnapOn. Mine is loaded pretty light though so its a non issue for me. Other than the top that has 3-4 1/2 inch impact sets, 6 3/8 impact sets, about 7 impacts, and other random wheel sockets. That's under a flip up top though, not a drawer.

Ask your tool truck owners what they have for used or have coming up. There's always someone wanting to upgrade to the newest and best thing if they can get rid of their old box. My SnapOn guy regularly has 10-15 used boxes sitting in his shop for sale.
Any of the Mac, Cornwell, Snap On boxes Ive seen looked fine to me, as long as they werent the bottom of the barrel options.

Strictlytooloxes.com
Never seen any in person but the internet crowd seems to like them. Prices look damn good.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The tool box debt follows the tool box and not the debtor ?

Cant say ive ever owned a tool box that had a serial number that i know of that is.




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Used Matco should be pretty easy to find, anything newer will be at least 25" deep. Best bet if you do buy, get the serial number and call and make sure it is payed off.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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bob. Does your veh have a vin?
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Seth, I don't own any vehicles, I own trucks and Automobiles.

Major difference in law.


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bob. Does your veh have a vin?
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Do they have specified numbers uniquely sequenced to their specific configuration and order of production?
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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No, they are free range private property, lol same as a tool box.

Maybe the serial number is because they have wheels and its expected some pirate4x4 weld grinder shadetree mechanic will LS swap it.


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Do they have specified numbers uniquely sequenced to their specific configuration and order of production?
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I hate to be that guy, but Why not shave the emblems on a HF 56, and run it?




Even if you use the hell out of it and it wears out in 5-6 yrs you'd still have budget to buy 3 more times, and then sell your worn out box for half or more what you paid for it...
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I hate to be that guy, but Why not shave the emblems on a HF 56, and run it?




Even if you use the hell out of it and it wears out in 5-6 yrs you'd still have budget to buy 3 more times, and then sell your worn out box for half or more what you paid for it...
I'm not ruling one out, I've had one for 15ish years but only worked out of it for 1 1/2 years and the majority of my junk was in a truck and not in it. I just don't see them lasting well with a lot of heavy crap in them. My boss bought one for our water treatment plant, I'll have to go see how it's holding up but they really don't use it all that much.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I bought the 72" home depot husky for totalgirlfriend/me before i moved up to her place in the mountains. Didnt need a $5k box for a bs garage cleanup tool storage.

What a miserable joke cheap boxes are. Put 50lbs in the 48" top drawer. It wont stay closed
Keeps creeping open. None of the others do it. Non latching drawers with slef closing cant slam slides means nothing is truely keeping the drawers shut unless you lock it up.

I cant imagine what a hunk of shit the harbor frieght box is.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm not ruling one out, I've had one for 15ish years but only worked out of it for 1 1/2 years and the majority of my junk was in a truck and not in it. I just don't see them lasting well with a lot of heavy crap in them. My boss bought one for our water treatment plant, I'll have to go see how it's holding up but they really don't use it all that much.
I'm a finance guy so the HF box is 1/4 of the low end of your budget...

So between a 10 yr old truck branded box for 3-4x the cost, or a new US general, we're wondering about wearing out??

as i said, if you get into it a yr or 2-3 and don't like how its wearing, you can sell it for less than $10/mo loss.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I bought the 72" home depot husky for totalgirlfriend/me before i moved up to her place in the mountains. Didnt need a $5k box for a bs garage cleanup tool storage.

What a miserable joke cheap boxes are. Put 50lbs in the 48" top drawer. It wont stay closed
Keeps creeping open. None of the others do it. Non latching drawers with slef closing cant slam slides means nothing is truely keeping the drawers shut unless you lock it up.

I cant imagine what a hunk of shit the harbor frieght box is.
i spent 6 mos or more finger fondling the HD husky, lowes Kobalt, craftsman offerings vs the HF boxes, i got a much better impression of the HF product. while the husky/kobalt/ craftsman drawers sometimes felt tighter, they seemed to be thinner sheetmetal.

I've used snappy and other higher end boxes and believe they're maybe worth a 1.5-2x multiplier, but they're not 4x + as good in my estimation
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've had my HF boxes for a year and a half, and use them every other day. Lots of heavy shit in them, especially my air tools drawer. No issues whatsoever. Would buy them again in a heartbeat.

Call a few stores to see if they have any scratch and dent ones. Found the 72" in a store with missing keys, and got a killer deal. Paid about $1000 for all three pieces shown here (56" top, 72" bottom, 30" mechanics).

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Old 02-04-2020, 04:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I’ve been pleased with my used Matco and Mac boxes. I have two Matco boxes, one was a brand new old stock “2 Fast 2 Furious” movie edition my dealer couldn’t give away. After it had a birthday on his truck, I jokingly offered him $1500 one day and he took it. I peeled the stickers off of it before I pushed it in the shop and it was a nice black Matco box underneath. It’s not their top of the line version, but it served me well.

I bought an identical model in Yellow from a lube tech who got in over his head when the first one got too small. Gave him $1750 as I remember, and its been great.

The best deal I got was on a used Mac for the house. It’s a big one like the Matco boxes, but I only gave $600 for it, as it was a used box that the tool guy repoed from a deadbeat. I just paid what he owed on it and he delivered it to the house.

The deals are out there- get it good with a tool truck guy and he will help you find a deal.

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Old 02-05-2020, 10:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I’ve got an older Mac box, still works great. I paid $200 for it like a decade ago. It’s a bottom box, top box and side box. The deals are out there if you look.

Mac, Marco and SnapOn all seem to have good boxes. Search the for sale ads and you can pretty regularly find them for half what they cost new. My old boss had a toolbox topple over, messed up a bunch of drawers. He was all lined out to buy a brand new $10,000 box when we started searching Craigslist and found good condition ones for way less.

On the topic of Harbor Freight.. Ive had experience with older boxes and they’ve held up. Only complaint was the drawers didn’t detent. The new boxes feel like absolute garbage to me. It might just be my local store, but every single box felt horrible. Drawers felt like with a little weight in them you’d need a pry bar to roll them.

The Husky/Milwaukee/Kobalt boxes all seemed pretty decent to me. I’ve never had personal experience with them. Only know a couple people with them, and they’re happy, but they probably get in their box as much in a year as I do in a day..

So my vote goes big box stores or get on the Craigslist or Facebook marketplace.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have the US General 72" and an older Snap On KR1000 and the US General more than holds its own. I have my top drawer absolutely packed with sockets and ratchets and it feels smooth as can be. Got it with a $999 coupon too.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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72" masterforce is a bit beefier than the smaller ones, and has heavier slides, they are a damn nice box. They are significantly better than anything Hf has(I own both)

Sadly the price has gone up quite a bit on them in the last year or two, but they are still worth every penny, IMHO
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Update,
I stopped by HF today, and tried out the 73" ICON box they had there.... Detent drawers suck complete ass, but other than that, decent.... that being said, I'd still saw 72" masterforce>73" ICON> 72" US general... YMMV..
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Old 03-04-2020, 07:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I bought the 72" home depot husky for totalgirlfriend/me before i moved up to her place in the mountains. Didnt need a $5k box for a bs garage cleanup tool storage.

What a miserable joke cheap boxes are. Put 50lbs in the 48" top drawer. It wont stay closed
Keeps creeping open. None of the others do it. Non latching drawers with slef closing cant slam slides means nothing is truely keeping the drawers shut unless you lock it up.

I cant imagine what a hunk of shit the harbor frieght box is.
The husky/kobalt boxes are generally rated at half the weight capacity of the HF boxes. Should have looked at the fine print before you bought your pile of crap.
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Best bet if you do buy, get the serial number and call and make sure it is payed off.
Why? Itís the sellers issue if itís not paid off not the buyers. Not like they can repo it from you after you bought it off CL because how wound they track it down anyway? How would you know if the seller wouldnít take the money he sold it for and pay it off after the sale? All that is the sellers business anyway and they donít come with a title.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:15 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Why? Itís the sellers issue if itís not paid off not the buyers. Not like they can repo it from you after you bought it off CL because how wound they track it down anyway? How would you know if the seller wouldnít take the money he sold it for and pay it off after the sale? All that is the sellers business anyway and they donít come with a title.
Because if it isn't paid off, and you buy it, and he doesn't pay on it, then you are basically buying stolen property. They are collateral for the loan. And Yes, they have serial numbers.
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