One of the ways I have been diversifying my income is to start a small business repairing Motorcycles, ATV’s and Side-by-Sides. There are a lot of these types of vehicles in my area, but not many options for professional repair. I saw this as an opportunity to turn one of my hobbies into an additional income source.
As my new fledgling business is starting to get a few customers, I have noticed I need to improve my shop organization. My large tool chests do not fit well in the bay where my lift is. As a result, I am continually walking from the bay where I am working on a vehicle to the opposite side of the garage where my tool chests are. As I fetch more and more tools, I start stashing the ones I am still using near my project, on the floor, on the wall, or anywhere else I can rest a tool. The result is lots of looking for where I set a tool down. When the job is finished, I am left with lots of tools to shuttle back to the tool chests.
The problem with my larger tool chests
My tool chests are too large and unwieldy to move easily. Most of the time there are far too many things in the way to attempt moving them closer to my project at hand. I have realized the solution for all this is a mobile tool cart that I can wheel close to my projects. The Tool cart would then contain my most commonly used tools, and common supplies such as penetrating fluid spray, thread locker, etc.
I researched several brands and decided to buy the US General 5 Drawer Mechanics Cart. It has been reviewed extensively and compares very favorably to the much more expensive premium brands such as Snap-On, Mac, etc., but sells at a fraction of the cost. It is available on Amazon or can be picked up locally if you live near a Harbor Freight Tools.
I also decided to purchase the optional folding side shelf and the additional magnetic side tray. Here is how the 5 drawer mechanics cart is boxed in their shipping packaging.
Even though I had read several reviews mentioning the high quality, I was still impressed with the details. The castors are very nice. They feature large wheels with easy to operate brakes, and even feature a Zerk grease fitting on the swivels. The hardware is nicer than the usual import stuff. The castor units feature nylon insert lock nuts, which I was happy to see as for some reason the bolts on castor assemblies always seem to loosen up. The rest of the nuts have a serrated flared flange that serves to keep them tightened against the sheet metal components.
The corners of the frame are gusseted, incorporate sandwiched brackets, and plenty of strength that the 700lbs weight capacity does not at all seem a stretch.
There is some assembly required but nothing significant. The main chest is pre-assembled, with some of the remaining parts cleverly packed in the drawers. The assembly mostly pertains to bolting the castor assemblies to the bottom shelf, attaching the corner posts, and bolting the main box to the top.
The drawer slides seem of very high quality and work smoothly. The gas struts for the top lid work well. The lock seems to be a fairly high-quality barrel style lock, as opposed to the cheap file cabinet style many cheap boxes use. They even already lined all the drawers with a black foam rubber mat.
The depth of the drawers and the top container was sufficient for even my tallest deep well sockets. I was able to place the torque wrenches into drawers even with their protective cases.
Overall I am very happy with the US General mechanics cart, and I think it will serve me very well for a very long time. If you are in the market for a tool cart, I highly recommend you check these out!