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Thread: Recommend me a tool chest

  1. #1

    Recommend me a tool chest

    Afternoon All,

    I have been looking for a roll cab tool chest for my garage for a while now, so went to have a look at the Halfords and Machine Mart (Clarke) options yesterday.

    I was left feeling a bit disappointed with the build quality. Both the sizes I was looking at were around £250 for something around 26”.

    I wondered whether I would be better getting a used Snap On cab around the £500 mark, or should I save my money?

    TIA

  2. #2
    I have upwards of 12 in several workshops
    Best 2, unsurprisingly are Snap-on, but also have a nice Sykes pickavant one and then several Clarke HD chests- these have ball bearing runners and are actually quite good
    I wouldn’t personally bother with the non ball bearing types
    Various options there for add-0n drawer units that sit underneath too.
    Bottom line? Used snap-on but beware of some people’s unrealistic price expectations
    heres a snap on one on top of a very useful Bahco cart

    and some more...from L=R a useful collection of Bisley chests under the bench, then a stack of Clarke HD chests, a really useful american made cabinet-on-chest set bought for about £45 from an auction house and then another auction buy was the roller shutter fronted unit that has pull-out shelves about £20 ,that one. some fabulous quality industrial stuff does show up at these places, also look for Bott and Britool stuff from a few years back.
    Last edited by GOAT; 25th October 2020 at 15:56.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    You can’t got wrong with a snap on tool chest , but a used one in good condition doesn’t come cheap .
    For the price , us pro look good value , a few of my work colleagues use them ( mobile tech’s) & they survive being bounced around in the back of vans .
    Costco used to sell good quality stainless tool chests , worth a look if you have access to one .

  4. #4
    I took a photo of this because it blew my mind.......the scale of this snap on set up isn't even clear in this photo, it must have been 12 ft high and covered two walls of the unit. It was massive and i can only imagine what it cost.


  5. #5
    Journeyman
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    If you want decent quality at an affordable price then get the Halfords ones. The mid range ball bearing runner ones. Excellent quality and a good price.


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  6. #6
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    SGS have some decent ones that will not break the bank.

    Trouble with Snap On is that a lot end up being bought out of the agent's van with finance (salary deduction) and the prices new are eye watering to UK customers. Super quality but not for me with my usage.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    SGS have some decent ones that will not break the bank.

    Trouble with Snap On is that a lot end up being bought out of the agent's van with finance (salary deduction) and the prices new are eye watering to UK customers. Super quality but not for me with my usage.
    Yes SGS are also a good brand! I have a few jacks and Ramps from them and they are good quality for the price.


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  8. #8
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonewood View Post
    If you want decent quality at an affordable price then get the Halfords ones. The mid range ball bearing runner ones. Excellent quality and a good price.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I am very pleased with mine and you can get a trade discount card.

  9. #9
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Snap-On are great for the professional mechanic using them every day for years on end. For the home garage there are lots of choices at more reasonable cost and many are very good quality.

    I was surprised by some in our local Homebase, not the crap I expected to be honest and for home use pretty much ok.

    https://www.homebase.co.uk/search/pr...tool%20storage
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    I have an SGS one, the bigger ones,the top drawer isnt deep enough to take deep sockets stood up, its a right pain but well made and good value

  11. #11
    Thanks Everyone

    I really did not need my Kranzle pressure washer when I bought it, but I am glad I did as the build quality is phenomenal and I enjoy every car or bike clean so much more.

    I suppose I am feeling the same about a tool chest: I could get the Halfords one but I dream of the bank of Snap On chests as some lucky folk here seem to have.

    I think I will scour eBay for something local and realistically priced. As has been mentioned, some of the used prices are optimistic to say the least!

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Some right snap on bargains out there.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Costco occasionally have a really good one for sale at a reasonable price

  14. #14
    Master
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    Snap on are the Rolex of tool chests.

    I have a Halfords one which is fine for my average use. I also have an eBay cheapy which is surprising ok given is was very cheap.

    For pro use Snapon is the default. I did look at used ones but they didn’t seem worth it.

  15. #15
    Master
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    I bought the Halfords pro, I much prefer it to the SH snap on I bought to accompany it later on which was solid but crude in comparison.

  16. #16
    Here’s mine, built like trucksIMG_4563.JPG

    Classic 78 stack with side lockers, should outlast me, I've had five Snap on boxes and gradually traded up to this, I always buy them used but in perfect condition, as its a hobby and not for my living they have all gone back in very good condition so haven't lost much.

    I have a friend who is a Snap-On agent so get advance warnings on trade ins.

    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    Last edited by adrianw; 26th October 2020 at 10:58.

  17. #17
    Master
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    I bought a used Kennedy tool cabinet and have been impressed with it. Certainly a step up from the Halfords Advanced, with heavier metal. The SGS range would appear to have some that are dimensionally identical, so it may be that they’re all sourced from the same place.

  18. #18
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    I took a photo of this because it blew my mind.......the scale of this snap on set up isn't even clear in this photo, it must have been 12 ft high and covered two walls of the unit. It was massive and i can only imagine what it cost.

    They’ve got some awesome set ups at Snap-On’s HQ.

    Buy a decent Snap-On one.
    Mine’s about 25 years old and still going strong.
    Have a word with the local rep if you can. They may know of someone about to upgrade to a new box so will be selling their old one.

  19. #19
    I have had several roll cabs and stacks. In my view, and given your comments re quality, I would go second hand Snap On or Mac. The older Canadian-built Mac stuff is unreal: when you strip it down next to the equivalent SO, there’s a lot more going on. But either is great; everything else being equal, I would say the older the better.

    Couple of thoughts generally, in no real order:

    1. Work out whether you’ll be moving the box about much, and/or if you have kids about who could pull multiple drawers at once. Either of these factors would push me heavily towards a 40”+ cab rather than a 26” stack for the stability.

    2. Second hand, be prepared to pull the whole box apart to clean, degrease and relube everything.

    3. SO and Mac friction slide stuff can significantly outperform a lot of mid market ball bearing slides, particularly if you do (2) right.

    4. Really gunky, oily boxes will typically be well preserved as a result. “Gunk” degreasant is your friend - but avoid that new purple version you’d have better luck with water.

    5. Boxes covered in a manufacturer’s kitsch SE decal scheme will be well protected, and the stickers can be removed with a heat gun and a load of white spirit. So don’t rule out some of the unfashionable stuff like Budweiser / Kenny Burnstein Boxes: under all those decals (and they were even up the sides) you might well have a mint paint job.
    Last edited by JGJG; 25th October 2020 at 23:36.

  20. #20
    Also, I completely forgot to add by way of brands I like and would recommend:

    - Bott is really very good; used by a lot of aero techs and on the Bloodhound project etc. They’re also lovely people, stand over their kit and have refused payment for random service items in the past.

    - Facom seem to have suffered of late (part of B&D now?) but I picked up a smallish top box from the 80s/90s and it is properly top notch too.

    - Bisley - as mentioned by Goat, their tambour units are great. Strong, configurable, easy access where you mightn’t have room to swing a door, etc....

    - Stanley/DW t-stak range is magic for stuff that gets moved about a lot.


    And at the other end of the scale, I have a couple of Ikea Bekvam (?) trolleys that I modded into rolling carts for pillar drills and the like. Cheap cheerful and plenty up to the task with a little bracing! They also do a metal A4 filing cabinet for about £25; flimsy, but great value for something like a collection of bits.

  21. #21
    Got a few Halfords Pro cabinets and okay for the price when on (regular) sale.

    Couple of niggles - bit of surface rust developing in some of the drawers and couple of drawer bottoms slight bowed and scrape on ones below.

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    We start our trainees on Costco ones now- seem to be holding up well and they don’t have to get tied up in finance.

  23. #23
    All mine have come from Costco over the last three decades and proven to be very *reliable. A more relevent testimony is that my brother has got all of his from there and they've really stood up to a lot of hard usage, having been shipped to many parts of the world and back loaded up with tools for his work in the oil & pipeline industry.

    *For a period of time they supplied a double tower unit that didn't have the top drawers lock shut and being super-smooth ball bearing sliders it didn't take much of a tilt to allow them to slide out.
    I found this out the hard way.



    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post

    *For a period of time they supplied a double tower unit that didn't have the top drawers lock shut and being super-smooth ball bearing sliders it didn't take much of a tilt to allow them to slide out.
    I found this out the hard way.



    R
    I'm glad you weren't under that when it went over

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    I'm glad you weren't under that when it went over
    I was kneeling down in front of it and rummaging about in the bottom drawer which was open and held some heavy items. I just flung myself sideways in the nick of time, not sure I could react so quickly nowadays though.

    It took absolute ages to empty all the drawers afterwards as it had to be done in situ. I took the top box back to Costco and told them what happened - and that I couldn't get the lower box in the car at the same time - but they refunded the whole price anyway.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  26. #26
    Master Tifa's Avatar
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    I've got a really old heavy US made two storey cabinet.
    Loaded to the gunnels, it can be rolled around with all drawers open, perfectly stable.



    OP..if it's just for home use, just get the best you can afford.
    SnapOn is great, but total overkill unless you're using it daily.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    I was kneeling down in front of it and rummaging about in the bottom drawer which was open and held some heavy items. I just flung myself sideways in the nick of time, not sure I could react so quickly nowadays though.

    It took absolute ages to empty all the drawers afterwards as it had to be done in situ. I took the top box back to Costco and told them what happened - and that I couldn't get the lower box in the car at the same time - but they refunded the whole price anyway.

    R
    I'm Glad it all worked out, with the Snap on drawers they are all locked individually, you slide to the left to open, I suppose if you had enough of them open it could go over, For security or transport there is a master lock that bolts all of the drawers in.

  28. #28
    I have a Halfords Professional 5 draw bottom chest with castor wheels & a 5 drawer intermediate one which sits on top.

    I got them when the were on sale in December 2016 & they have been fine for my needs.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions. Bell & Ross BR03-92 Nightlum

  29. #29
    Craftsman
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    I purchased a set of these las year - https://www.uktoolbox.com/products/s...m-x-460mm.html

    It's a modular system so I bought all the separate components and designed my own layout according to my garage.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by gavsw20 View Post
    I purchased a set of these las year - https://www.uktoolbox.com/products/s...m-x-460mm.html

    It's a modular system so I bought all the separate components and designed my own layout according to my garage.

    We use that stuff at work, its does get damaged easily, we buy it from here https://www.rapidonline.com/Catalogu...aley%20modular

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