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Old 09-17-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
Treorp55
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Default Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Looking to get rid of a couple tall Cman boxes and want a bigger box for home on the cheap. Which of these do you guys recommend?
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Can you post some links on what you are looking at?
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I bought the largest Masterforce box from Menards several months ago. I like the box very much but just yesterday noticed that the paint on one of the drawer fronts is bubbling up. I assume that it means that there is rust forming under the paint. It is a small area maybe one inch by one inch. Haven't decided what if anything I will do about it yet.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I do not have a link to the masterforce box as menards does not have it online, and the harbor frieght is the large one that there has been a few topics about. Im leaning towards the masterforce without seeing the harbor freight in person just because its not HF!
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Look at each, buy the best. Both of these seems to have good and bad boxes. When dealing with each of these sources, we look at it and if it is good take that exact item home. The quality seems to change from shipment to shipment.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I have the 36 inch Masterforce top and bottom and I am very happy with them. I feel that the drawer slides on the Masterforce as well as the built of it is better then the Harbor Freight model. The only thing that I have against it is that the top lid has a brace that runs length wise down the middle of the lid and comes down about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. If you are thinking of using Hansen trays you have to place the 1/2 inch Hansen trays just right towards the back of the lid or it won't close. As far as the locking mechanism goes the Harbor Freight model locks the drawers from the back I believe and the Masterforce box locks the drawers in the front by having a little tab that comes up in front of the ball bearing slides like the Craftsman stainless models.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

i have the harbor top and bottom and don't have a problem with it at all. Its almost like a rhino liner covering over the box so its hard to get it looking dirty or scratched up. Its worth the price, and was actually quite suprised at the quality of it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

If you are looking for a less expensive box, check out Greg Smith Equipment. I looked at their boxes at their Atlanta showroom and I was pretty impressed with them. I thought they were a good buy for the money. I almost bought this one in black/orange:

http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/AT...ttb4411bbs.htm

For $399 this one would also be a great buy:

http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/3-.../htt4004-x.htm
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Quote:
I bought the largest Masterforce box from Menards several months ago. I like the box very much but just yesterday noticed that the paint on one of the drawer fronts is bubbling up. I assume that it means that there is rust forming under the paint. It is a small area maybe one inch by one inch. Haven't decided what if anything I will do about it yet.
The box is supposed to be powdercoated. I think you have a year on it if I am not mistaken.

Other than that, I have two MasterForce boxes. I have the 41" top and bottom and home, and I went and bought a second 41" bottom box for work. I like them real well. BUT.......I had a 12 drawer 29" Crapsman box and I could organize better and actually store more in it than the 41" roll-a-round. Reason being the smaller drawers in the sears box. Deep drawers eat up a lot of space. The MasterForce box would be way better if it had 6 narrower drawers instead of 3 deep drawers. I also think the 36" Masterforce is on sale now. I got a flyer last week and the top and bottom was both on sale.
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I believe my Cman boxes are 26" and i cant store jack crap in them. a wrench set takes up a drawer
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I've only had the Masterforce for a little over a month now with no problems. The drawer bottoms and slides seem to be heavier than the Craftsman. I have the top drawer loaded down with quite a bit of weight and it opens and closes fine. It doesn't show any problems handling the heavy weight.

The only negative so far is the same as Kevin54's. I wish it had a couple extra shorter drawers instead of the deeper ones.
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Yea i noticed that as well at the store, especially the bottom of the box. But regardless, i would have to think its better than a 26" craftsman.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Masterforce is the best bang for your buck! I have 4 sets of the 41inch and like them very much. Some of the drawer slides stick a little and mite have to get them replaced. Even as they are I'm very pleased with them.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Quote:
Originally Posted by RbrtAWhyt View Post
If you are looking for a less expensive box, check out Greg Smith Equipment. I looked at their boxes at their Atlanta showroom and I was pretty impressed with them. I thought they were a good buy for the money. I almost bought this one in black/orange:

http://www.gregsmithequipment.com/AT...ttb4411bbs.htm

I bet those come out of the same factory that makes the HF ones. I'd save a couple hundred and get the HF boxes. The HF bottom goes on sale for $299 a couple times a year and you can use a 10 - 15% off coupon on top of that. (I've got less than $500 in my HF top & bottom box.)
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Menards has the 41" on sale this week for $678 ($289/top $389/bottom).
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Masterforce has limited lifetime warranty on toolbox like 36in and 41 in wide toolboxes at menards. i like that masterforce and i would buy it if i could but i already have toolboxes at home. the giant KRL1203 and KRL1003 are at my work. so it is enough for me...
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

The Harbor Freight US General appear to be rated for more weight than the Masterforce. For example, the base cabinets - 41" Masterforce is 230 lbs. while the 44" US General is 302 lbs. Also, if you look at the load capacity for each of the above cabinets, the 41" Masterforce is rated to 1120 lbs. , while the 44" US General is rated to 2633 lbs.

I've also read somewhere that the US General boxes are made with 17 gauge steel as opposed to 19 gauge steel of other brands. I can't really confirm this. I've looked on the Menards website and the Harbor Freight website for confirmation of the steel thickness but find nothing.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Get the one that has the drawer configuration that fits your needs best. I know the HF is a very good box, but the drawer config did not meet my needs with allot of big power tools. While other need allot of thin drawers for allot of hand tools.

Last edited by shoturtle; 09-10-2012 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Get the one that has the drawer configuration that fits you needs best. I know the HF is a very good box, but the drawer config did not meet my needs with allot of big power tools. While other need allot of thin drawers for allot of hand tools.
Makes great sense, shoturtle!
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:46 AM   #20
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

i think they're both decent boxes for the money. i prefer the hf ones because i like the drawer layout better. i hate the green color of the menards boxes. i don't like the pull out shelf on the menards box. waste of space for me. i'd prefer another drawer. these are all just personal preferances though.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:00 AM   #21
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Holy 4 year thread bump Batman!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #22
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

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Holy 4 year thread bump Batman!!!!!!!!!
I liked the thread. I hope I didn't offend anyone.
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:44 AM   #23
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I just bought a 36" Masterforce roller cabinet, $110 off! It'll be for my basement wood shop. I don't particularly like the forest green colour either, but I have my Dad's dark green Beach machinist's chest, and it will look perfect on top of the Masterforce box. I also like the full width drawers for woodworking tools.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:10 AM   #24
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I have one at the hangar. its an ok box. i liked it more than the horrific freight unit. but i dont think you could go wrong with either one. but i wanted something that was different than the standard red that everyone has. and i just liked the masterforce one better.

My only gripe is when you go to close it it seems like on my box at least you have to push the drawers in and put force on them in order to get the lock to engage. but the other nice things is unlike other cheep boxes is with this box you cant accidentally lock it and forget a drawer and have it rolling around open for prying hands to go through.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:49 AM   #25
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I wanted the HF box for the longest time. I even built a workbench with a spot for the HF box to slide into. However, every time I was at Menards, I couldn't help but prefer the Masterforce box.

At the end of the day, here we're my pros and cons of each.

HF pros
- cheap
- good quality/price ratio
- 2 extra drawers
- acceptable color

HF cons
- side to side movement when the drawers are open
- emblem has holes behind it
- drawers don't close as solidly as the Masterforce
- overall feel is not quality

Masterforce pros
- I like the way the drawers close
- feels more solidly built
- pull handles are more solid and easily removed
- emblem can be removed with no holes behind to worry about
- made in china, but at least you are supporting an American retailer that stocks a lot of American products

Masterforce cons
- horrible horrible color
- 2 less drawers
- retail price is more expensive than the HF
- did I mention color?

When the 41" box went on sale for $339, I pulled the trigger and went through the tough process of painting. This is the result

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Old 09-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #26
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

That paint job came out very nice!

Could you describe the process you took to do it?

Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:17 PM   #27
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

Quote:
Originally Posted by allinon72 View Post
I wanted the HF box for the longest time. I even built a workbench with a spot for the HF box to slide into. However, every time I was at Menards, I couldn't help but prefer the Masterforce box.

At the end of the day, here we're my pros and cons of each.

HF pros
- cheap
- good quality/price ratio
- 2 extra drawers
- acceptable color

HF cons
- side to side movement when the drawers are open
- emblem has holes behind it
- drawers don't close as solidly as the Masterforce
- overall feel is not quality

Masterforce pros
- I like the way the drawers close
- feels more solidly built
- pull handles are more solid and easily removed
- emblem can be removed with no holes behind to worry about
- made in china, but at least you are supporting an American retailer that stocks a lot of American products

Masterforce cons
- horrible horrible color
- 2 less drawers
- retail price is more expensive than the HF
- did I mention color?

When the 41" box went on sale for $339, I pulled the trigger and went through the tough process of painting. This is the result

Very nice paint job! I've gone through the various pros/cons. One of the big things I like about the HF roll cabinet is the larger angle iron base to which the castors are mounted. I also like that the overall weight of the HF boxes is higher. Lastly, I like the several accesories that are available that match the HF box.

As for the Masterforce boxes, I prefer the Masterforce handles - very, very nice! I also, unlike so many others, like the pull out stainless steel work surface. Lastly, I like the clips that bolt the top box to the roller box.

I wish I could get the best of each of these two boxes into a third better box.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #28
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

I just bought a 44" HF box. I'm pretty impressed. Obviously not Snap On quality but those for $349 plus tax. I couldn't beat it. Only problem is, I am almost out of room. Haha. Might have to spring for the top box to match. My father in law who is a mechanic and strictly Snap On, helped me unload it and he got to playing with it. He was even impressed.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Masterforce Box VS Harbor freight??

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I just bought a 44" HF box. I'm pretty impressed. Obviously not Snap On quality but those for $349 plus tax. I couldn't beat it. Only problem is, I am almost out of room. Haha. Might have to spring for the top box to match. My father in law who is a mechanic and strictly Snap On, helped me unload it and he got to playing with it. He was even impressed.
Hanen42 - I know what you mean about being impressed, especially for the price point. Initially, I started looking at the Masterforce cabinets at Menards. I really like their pulls and the pull out stainless steel table top. But after really looking over the HF US General cabinets and comparing the specs with the Masterforce, the HF US General are heavier cabinets with a beefier angle iron base. I'm on the fence about the drawer glide comparison - which ones are better? I can't tell.

Maybe you should get a top box to match and then grab another top/bottom combo for good measure. Why chance running out of tool space in the shop?
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