I have not really noticed another new, country of origin, playing a
major roll in things we buy for our shops but Vietnam is here and from
what I see the quality is pretty good, maybe pretty darn good.
Ten or twelve years ago I was looking at larger stacked tool chests,
40+" wide and because they were north of a thousand dollars I built my
own and it has served me very well.
Recently I have noticed HD selling Milwaukee stacked tool chests and I
have to do the touchy feely thing every time I am in the store.
Anyway my son and his girlfriend are renovating the guest bathroom in
his house and he has been borrowing tools, not a problem at all. BUT he
has been collecting his own tools and so far their storage location is
on the garage floor around his small 2 drawer tool box. His birthday is
this week and my wife suggested getting him a nice tool so that he does
not have to borrow one of mine and I thought that was a good idea but
then I pictured yet more garage floor space being used up increasing the
tripping hazard. His significant other has mention this and told him
that she will not be happy if she trips and falls. ;~)
Soooo I decided a real tool chest was in order instead of another tool
and the Milwaukee came into mind and that is what we got him.
In particular this is the one we got for him.
These two units weigh in at 300 lbs and I ended up moving the two boxed
units two times, From the store to my garage and then to his garage, I
was a little fearful about all the loading and unloading and the damage
that might result.
He and I wrestled the bottom cabinet to the garage floor and began the
opening ceremony. He showed me how to break the welds on the fiberglass
reinforced straps, that hold all of the pieces of the carton together,
very easily with his fingers. I had always used a pocket knife. So the
straps come off and the top lifts off. We see the typical paper product
corner reinforcements that run down each corner and we see these also on
the 4 top sides and IIRC 4 bottom sides. These angle pieces are solid
multi layers of paper product with no corrugation, these things are
strong. Next the molded Styrofoam top cover comes off as well as the
four Styrofoam side panels around the perimeter. At this point the
outer cardboard box is easily lifted out of the bottom tray and the
plastic cover can now be removed.
The shipping container was a work of art. The top box packaging was the
No dents, no dings, no buckled corners and no scratched paint anywhere.
Assembly was also a no brainer. While there was an instruction booklet,
and it was well written, you really did not need it.
Assembly involved bolting on the huge casters, lower box pull handle,
cord storage brackets and braces to keep the top box in place on top of
the bottom box.
A wrench was included to bolt the casters on and I will say it was
pretty cheap so we resorted to using a 1/2" socket to tighten the caster
bolts. Every bolt/screw attachment on the boxes screwed directly into
threaded steel and welded nuts. The casters bolted directly into what
appeared to be 4 pieces of 1/4 angle iron.
Every threaded hole was precisely where it should be and there was no
need to pry or force any bolts or screws. What a delight, both my son
and I were amazed.
So the features of the box, red wrinkle paint on the boxes and smooth
black drawers. Steel peg board on the back top of the top box, soft
close full extension ball bearing slides, 100 lb rated. A circuit
breaker protected built in power outlet with 4~5 outlets, a hinged work
surface on the top of the top box bottom drawer, lite duty only, put
your lap top in there and that drawer is individually lockable by it
self. The 5"x2" HD casters are rated for 1,800 lbs and have a great set
of levers to lock and unlock the break, the levers are side by side and
you simply push down on the lock or unlock lever. The top box has a
clam shell type lid with gas struts and with no front lip so that you
can see every thing with out having to look up and over.
So I was impressed as was my son.
FWIW DeWalt and Porter Cable offer similar style boxes in brand
appropriate colors, YELLOW and grey.
If this is any indication of the quality that we will be seeing coming
out of Vietnam the Chinese will have to step up their game in a big way.
We looked at Harbor Freight first and saw a similar cheaply built top
and bottom box for $150 less. Not at all worth the $150 savings IMHO.
I will probably replace my 30 year old 26" Craftsman with the 46"
Milwaukee sooner than later. The Craftsman had dents straight out of
the box when I bought it and it did not do well when we moved it from
our old house to the new house 5 years ago.