US General or used Snap On/ Matco garage box

Discussion in 'Tools and Fabrication' started by TXSunDevil, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    Do you think the 44" HF box is a good box? I was impressed with the quality. I can see it lasting a lifetime with only part time use and not being rolled around in the garage. Ideally I want something that will last
     
  2. bigredmachine

    bigredmachine

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    one of the guys at work has one and its held up for a year or two so far. would I expect it to hold up like the snap on boxes that the old timers have that are older than I am, no not by a long shot. not saying that the us general is bad or sub standard but you can get a mac/matco/snap on box for 2-3k new and youll be able to upgrade with add ons if you want and sell for nearly what you paid for it if you need to.

    the other thing to consider is if something brakes can you get parts for general box? mac/matco/snap on you will be able to buy parts and make repairs when necessary
     
  3. davegonz

    davegonz Keeping it Weird SILVER Star

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    US General is the best bang for the buck out there if buying new. The other option is to keep scanning Craigslist for deals on the expensive stuff. I picked up two nice rolling Stanley Vidmar tool boxes from a retired US Air Force mechanic for $200.

    20160806_105312.jpg
     
  4. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    Stopping in at Lowes today, they had a bunch of Craftsman boxes lined up on display in the aisle at the entrance to the store. I didn't have a lot of time to spend, but I have to say that initially they looked to give the HF boxes a good run for bang for the buck. I'll have to take a closer look at them when I have some time.
     
  5. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    I have seen the Craftsman boxes online. They are only 18" deep and have 1000#s less capacity than the HF boxes. I have been doing some googling and it appears the HF 44" should be available in Blue this summer. I am going to try to wait. I did buy the Blue 5 drawer tool cart and felt it was a great value at $169.
     
  6. PAToyota

    PAToyota Keystone Cruisers SILVER Star

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    I had a chance to stop in again this morning. Yes, only 18" deep - as well as shorter and cheaper than the comparable HF ones: 41" ($700) and 52" ($800) to HF's 44" ($770) and 56" ($1220) models (prices for top and bottom). I do somewhat like the deeper top storage of the Craftsman top chests compared to the shallow top storage of the HF top chests. Craftsman also has a power strip with USB ports in the top chests. I'm not sure how much I'd use that as I move my tool boxes around and having them plugged in might be a pain.

    The last I looked at Craftsman was years ago. At the time, the cheaper boxes were about the same price or a bit more than the HF ones but really seemed flimsy compared to the HF ones. By the time you got up to a decent box, the cost was well above the HF ones. It really wasn't a competition. Now I think they're more equally matched and it will come down more to what features you want. I could see people going for the 52" Craftsman set over the 56" HF set to save the $400. The 41"/44" sets are more of a match and would be about which features you preferred.
     
  7. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    I have yet to go touch the Craftsman at Lowes. I was extremely disappointed with the Sears Craftsman offerings. These are not the boxes I had seen in the past. They were a touch thicker than aluminum foil. Ill be by Lowes in a few days and I will check them out. My local store shows to have 2. The HF 44" in Blue is now on my wish list. Hopefully it will come out soon.
     
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  8. RAYJON

    RAYJON Get a bigger hammer..

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    the big harbor freight boxes are built on a snap on patent, I have the 54" one and other than the way the drawers latch its the same as a snap on. the paint and fit and finish are not anywhere near a snap on box but the functions just the same... the roller slides on a 5k snap on box are much nicer but having had one of the first big us general boxes for 6 years they are not that bad.. and are excellent for the money.. but dont by the 350$ one buy the 700-1200 dollar one...
     
  9. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    Now the 44" is $449 with a coupon. The $350 are no more in my area. I would like the 52" but I am worried about loading the thing up. It shows to weigh around 375#. That is a little too heavy for me and I have a small garage that would work better with a 44". Still hoping for the blue one.
     
  10. Hack

    Hack

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    Yeah. $100 price increase. I wonder if there is a substantial difference between the two? I should have purchased two of them when I was thinking about it last year. I'd like to use them for my workbench.
     
  11. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    I gotta ask: how are the slides on those US General? I have quite a few large boxes, but most are older Craftsman from Craigslist. Some have OK slides although not that sturdy, others are terriby flimsy and bind if I overload the drawer. But all in all it seems to me that the slides are probably the most important thing in a drawer tool box. So, do they roll easy when loaded, do they tend to bind or bend sideways?

    And on the more practical side, I see some of those weigh 2 or 300 lbs. I imagine they come unassembled. Do they come in separate smaller boxes so they are easy enough to load and unload alone in a truck or is it a big ordeal?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  12. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    I wanted to complete this thread. I think I am one of the first ones to pick this up. I have been going to HF and calling all my local stores. One in the entire city happened to show up today and I snagged it. I had the coupon and it ended up being $488 out the door. I kept looking in the mean time for truck brand boxes. They sold for several hundred more than this and many were banged up and were missing keys and such. I think for my needs this one will do fine. Just for comparison I have attached a picture of my garage sale box I have been using for 15 years.
    IMG_3925.JPG IMG_3926.JPG
     
  13. TXSunDevil

    TXSunDevil SILVER Star

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    The slides are worlds apart from my Craftsman and do not feel much different from the truck brands I looked at over at the pawn shops. I know this is not a truck store quality box but I think it will work well for me.

    My teenage son and I unloaded this out of the F150. I used some pallets as an intermediate step. Not bad at all. The only thing I had to assemble was the side handle.
     
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  14. Drake2

    Drake2

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    I have the Tactic Lower Box from Farm & Fleet. Compared to the US General I think the Tactix is more heavy duty. Farm & Fleet cost was on sale for $1,100 and they have a matching top box for $800 when on sale.
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  15. Drake2

    Drake2

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    No wonder I can't find any ????????
     
  16. Drake2

    Drake2

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. GLTHFJ60

    GLTHFJ60 Rum Runnin' SILVER Star

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    I've got a us general mechanics cart, 54" top box and 72" bottom box. Replaced a husky and craftsman professional. For me, the us general boxes kick the crap out of husky and regular craftsman, just a shade under craftsman pro, in terms of quality. There is no better deal out there if you need a tool box, would recommend 10/10.

    I spend 20-30 hours a week in the shop using these.

    IMG_20180711_085515.jpg
     
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