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Old 08-18-2005, 11:37 PM   #1
77crewcab
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Default Opinions on HF US General tool chest

Just checked this out and for the price it seems pretty good quality for a home garage enthusiast. Just looking for any first hand experiences. Looking at buying all three chests.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90320
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:40 AM   #2
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I saw them a few days ago. They are OK but don't seem to be a great value. I think the stainless boxes (Sams) are a better deal. I bought a used Snap On box for tools I that use often and I have a cheap sears box for supplies and tools I rarely use. You'll have nearly $1000 in the boxes. With that amount you have many options.

Also, consider the depth of the box. The deeper boxes give you a lot more storage.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:14 AM   #3
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I would just be getting the big box first and then add the others as b-day and presents from family. I have looked at new boxes like craftsman but wasn't really very impressed. Looked like you were paying for shiny paint and the name more than anything. I have looked at the stainless sets at sam's and HF also has an almost identical set from US General. Both seem nice but I don't really want a polished look. I looked at the local used tool store and the used boxes they have are much smaller and about the same price as the full set from HF with out the bearing slides for the drawers. Theyre old banged up Snap-on and Mac boxes. To me the name brand isn't worth that kind of money. Just wondering if anyone has actually bought the US General Box and how they last. The features are the same as many high priced brands so I am just curious.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:19 AM   #4
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It's a shame they don't list some important specs like max weight per drawer or gauge of the steel.
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:29 PM   #5
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Look for a used snap on if you can. I have a snap on top chest that is probably about 40-50 years old and it works flawlessly. They are built with extreme quality. Kennedy is another high quality brand. Normally I dont do this, BUt check out husky *gasp*. My friend has a ball bearing box from them and it is pretty nice. Craftsman boxes are made by waterloo. The homeowner boxes are junk. i have a homeowner roll around that I bought for storing crap I dont use more than once a year, and it does its job. Thier ball bearing stuff is decent. They also have those ball beaing - the griplatch feature which can be aPITA.

Id say the us general boxes will be crap.

Jim
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:18 PM   #6
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For the home garage enthusiast, like me, for the price, the US General boxes are a sweet deal. Im thinking of picking up a bottom chest myself. Here is a link to a quasi-review for ya TOOL BOX
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:54 PM   #7
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Shouldn't they rename those boxes "Chinese General"????
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:01 AM   #8
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I'll be honest I dont really care where something is made as long as I feel the quality is good. These boxes have welded joints, ball bearing slides, and powder coating not paint. When comparing to the craftsmen boxes I have looked at the US General box seems much sturdier. After reading some first hand opinions in the link above I feel confident buying them and going with them rather than buying a dinky box with a "name". As much as people seem to put down things from HF I feel they have a great value if you give them a shot. I have the 2 ton engine crane and stand and have been very pleased. The only problem I had was with the bleed control on the hydralic cylinder breaking off due to misuse (my wife backed out of the garage while I was using the crane and cought the pump handle on the bumper and it broke the valve on the cylinder) HF replaced it no questions asked and no extra warranty bought (this happened the day after I bought it) I have also started buying the Pitsburgh line of hand tools. They have a lifetime warranty just like crafstmen at a much cheaper cost. I have yet to have any problems after 4 years of weekly wrenching and junk yard scrounging. I have lost a few at the junk yards but don't sweat it cause I didn't spend a ton on them in the first place. The SK torque wrench has worked great as well. I think if you give them a chance you might be surprised at how well the tools can hold up. Are they "professional" quality? No, but they are great for an enthusiast that does moderate wrenching. For what its worth I am a Diesel Tech at the CAT dealership, most of my tools are Snap-on and Matco and Mac. I agree they are great tools and I couldn't make my living without them,but I'm not going to spend that kind of money for tools at home just for weekend wrenching. Just doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:22 AM   #9
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I just bought a Sams Stainless steel box...very nice...and 564.00, hard to beat. I looked a the HF boxes and I think the Sams is better.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77crewcab
I'll be honest I dont really care where something is made as long as I feel the quality is good. These boxes have welded joints, ball bearing slides, and powder coating not paint. When comparing to the craftsmen boxes I have looked at the US General box seems much sturdier. After reading some first hand opinions in the link above I feel confident buying them and going with them rather than buying a dinky box with a "name". As much as people seem to put down things from HF I feel they have a great value if you give them a shot. I have the 2 ton engine crane and stand and have been very pleased. The only problem I had was with the bleed control on the hydralic cylinder breaking off due to misuse (my wife backed out of the garage while I was using the crane and cought the pump handle on the bumper and it broke the valve on the cylinder) HF replaced it no questions asked and no extra warranty bought (this happened the day after I bought it) I have also started buying the Pitsburgh line of hand tools. They have a lifetime warranty just like crafstmen at a much cheaper cost. I have yet to have any problems after 4 years of weekly wrenching and junk yard scrounging. I have lost a few at the junk yards but don't sweat it cause I didn't spend a ton on them in the first place. The SK torque wrench has worked great as well. I think if you give them a chance you might be surprised at how well the tools can hold up. Are they "professional" quality? No, but they are great for an enthusiast that does moderate wrenching. For what its worth I am a Diesel Tech at the CAT dealership, most of my tools are Snap-on and Matco and Mac. I agree they are great tools and I couldn't make my living without them,but I'm not going to spend that kind of money for tools at home just for weekend wrenching. Just doesn't make sense to me.
You just got lucky...I had a long-winded diatribe all typed out but I hit the wrong key and lost it all. Suffice to say that I've had enuff trouble with cheap, Chinese-made tools breaking (cut-off saw, air sander, sand blaster, drill press, mini-belt sander, sockets, etc.) that I no longer buy that stuff. I have made a ton of buys of shop equipment in the last year....sandblast cab, belt sander, disc sander, mig welder, plasma cutter, verticle mill, air compressor and more...most are used (some WWII vintage) ...all are made in the USA. And I'm confident that all will STILL be working long after that Chinese stuff is in the scrap heap and I've assumed room temperature.

I no longer want to spend my hard earned money buying products from a country that OFFICIALLY has declared the USA as it's #1 enemy (true!)..and I no longer want to buy tools made by slave labor...child labor...and under-paid peasants.

That's why I drive a Peterbilt with a Cat engine...kinda help's with YOUR job security, too....
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:00 AM   #11
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If I honestly thought that things labelled "made in America" still meant that every part, ingredient, components were really "made in America" that might be a concern. However I can to terms with that fantasy years ago. You can't buy cars, electronics, clothes, shoes, books, or much of anything for that matter that is truely 100% Made in America. At most it is assembled in America. I don't bother with it anymore Our country is richest in the world and we get that way by making things that produce a profit. If that means hiring some body in a third world to work 16hrs for $1 US so be it. As long as it works and is a good value I'll buy it. Even most products that claim to be made in America are produced by overseas companies.
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Old 08-20-2005, 08:54 PM   #12
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Krooser Im with you 100%

Jim
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:53 PM   #13
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Any box might feel nice when it's unloaded, but try putting a bunch of tools in a drawer. Just because it has ball bearing drawers doesn't mean they will last for a long time or provide a nice drawer action a year down the road.

The powercoating is a nice idea. Some box manufacters are moving this direction in the future. Lista is one of them.

I tend to buy stuff I know will last a lifetime just because I hate having to replace stuff time and time again.

It's not a whole heck of a lot of money and it seems like HF has good customer service, so I'd go and buy it if you want a useable box. I just wouldn't expect it to last like the other more expensive boxes.
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77crewcab
If I honestly thought that things labelled "made in America" still meant that every part, ingredient, components were really "made in America" that might be a concern. However I can to terms with that fantasy years ago. You can't buy cars, electronics, clothes, shoes, books, or much of anything for that matter that is truely 100% Made in America. At most it is assembled in America. I don't bother with it anymore Our country is richest in the world and we get that way by making things that produce a profit. If that means hiring some body in a third world to work 16hrs for $1 US so be it. As long as it works and is a good value I'll buy it. Even most products that claim to be made in America are produced by overseas companies.

I hope you don't think that Caterpillar would have the quality reputation they have if they were using cheap, poor quality parts in their engines and equipment.
Just imagine if the parts were made by Harbor freight machinery!!! I know SOME of CAT's stuff is made overseas..but you'd be way busier in your shop if all the OEM parts were made in China.

It's true we have lost lots of industries here in the US...outsourcing (read:greed) has taken many jobs "offshore". I'm forced to buy imported goods that used to be made here. But I'd sooner pay a little more for something YOU produced than someone in a faraway land. That's why, when I need service on my CAT engine, I go to a genuine Cat dealer. I pay a little more BUT I get a better parts...and a better job.

I should also mention all the environmental hoops WE have to go thru to make a product while the 3rd world countries just pour their industrial wastes into OUR air and water. Now I'm no hard core tree hugger but I think we should be able to compete on a FAIR and even footing. We do a better job than we did in the past on this pollution stuff...they should too. If China had to play by the same rules as we do their products would be closer in price to ours. You can even forget about buying American...buy QUALITY...that will eliminate 90% of the far eastern crap that's on the shelves today.

One slogan I always agree with..."You will never be sorry you bought the best"...

Now I'm done....
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:00 AM   #15
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As far as Chinese/China stuff goes...

Why do think all these steel prices are becoming outrageous? You can thank China for that...

Want to buy a lift (lots of steel)? It's considerably more expensive to buy one now compared to a year ago, etc.
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:53 AM   #16
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Hey 77crewcab...I hope you're not p-off'd at me...there's nothing personal in my rants...it's just become a hot-button issue with me in the last couple of years. It all started with toolsbreaking, no repair parts available, etc. And it kinda got bigger from there. Now, with them competing for crude and steel scrap, they've raised OUR costs here in the USA. I vote with my pocketbook...I've gotta show you how "anal" I am on this...The company I've got my truck leased to sells company logo'd t-shirts...one problem...they are $15.00 each AND are made in Honduras (Hanes-brand..used to be made here)...I went on-line...bought a dozen MADE in USA T's for $4.50 each...had the silkscreened for $3.00 each...now I've got USA stuff AND IT WAS CHEAPER!! Now you know I'm a real dork! 'Enuff on this for me! See you guys...
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Old 08-21-2005, 10:38 AM   #17
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Nah I'm not upset I actually agree with you as far as having a fair competitive trade environment. I especially agree with the buy quality statement. I just don't turn my nose up at something just cause it is not made in the USA anymore. I look for the best value. For instance automobiles. My wife and I just bought a new minivan 6 months ago. We looked at the big 3 dealers and for a price range of 20K all we could really get was a base model and even then the materials didn't seem to be that good. Left me with an impression of cheapness. We then decided to look at imports and chose the Kia Sedona (Korean) for the price it is far better equiped with more standard features, leather, more airbags etc. So that is what we chose based off comparing other options in the price range it came as the best value. Now with about 8K on the van with several long trips I have to say I am very impressed with the quality of the van and it fits our needs perfectly. Thats really hard to say as I am a die-hard Chevy/GM fan but it is true. At work I deal mainly with CAT/AGCCO products and I love it. Great product to work on. But just because I work there doesn't controll all my buying decisions. As for the HF tool box I am impressed with it in the terms of comparing what you get for the price. It may not last a lifetime but I don't expect it too. It will be a perfect value for a home enthusiast. I went ahead and bought the big box and currently have about 300lbs of tools inside. The drawers role smooth and stable, quality seems pretty good and it doesn't have the same cheap metal sound many of the craftsman boxes I looked at did when putting tools in or closing the drawer. Again its not a pro box but something good for home use and seems to be a very good value in what you get for the money.
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:37 PM   #18
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I've looked at alot of boxes.

Lowes, Sears, and Home depot all are painted, have a tin sound when empty.
Even got a smaller top box thinking I would get the rest.


Snap on at work sound and fell tighter but are still expensive.

My HF box is nice.


Just 1 drawer

Still opens as nice as empty. Plus the box rolls easy enough to move if needed.

Even mounted a small vice on it.

I'd recommend one to anyone.
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Old 08-21-2005, 04:25 PM   #19
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Glad to see I am not the only one that sees the value of these tool boxes. So far I am very impressed. How long have you had yours?
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Old 08-21-2005, 06:16 PM   #20
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Got the main box and 1 side back in Jan.
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