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A few years ago, before we’d figured out how the shop would actually work, we would experience a curious phenomenon which Chuck half-jokingly referred to as “Tool Explosion” — tools would be everywhere, out of order and difficult to find on cue, especially when I was working an automotive project.  Then, thankfully, the tool cart came into play.

This simple Harbor Freight cart has helped contain tool explosion so much, it’s become the central hub of the shop.  If you want to know which tools we prefer over any other, look in the cart — we don’t put away our favorites.

If you want to know which manufacturers or suppliers have treated us well and made us happy, look at the cart.  We use the side of the cart as a sort of leader-board, and yes, you can be removed from it should you send us parts that catch themselves on fire — or if you give us the runaround on customer support.

The cart encapsulates much wisdom.  Not only does it haul tools around and keep the shop a bit cleaner, it’s been a part of every project both large and small for the last several years, so we feel this very underrated item deserves a small tip of the cap.  It’s not sexy — there’s no Li-ion power or slick marketing behind it — it just works.  It works all the time, everyday, for as long as it’s in the shop.

Tool Cart [Harbor Freight]
Street Pricing [Google]


6 Responses to TM’s 2008 Favorites: Harbor Freight Tool Cart

  1. Bugler says:

    If you’d rather build than buy, this is a good cart. Cheap, easy and fast to build, and very sturdy.


  2. Old Donn says:

    Got 2, one plain jane table top, the other a Craftsman with two drawers and a lift up top. Tools on top, parts in the bottom tray. I put the tools away after each job, that way they don’t grow wings and migrate.

  3. Davo says:

    I have one of these…the casters are plastic, and kind of cheap. I plan on replacing them, one of these days, with rubber-footed ones, that will make the cart sit a little lower…mine is top-heavy from a large tool chest that sits on top, making it unstable…it’s just a matter of time before I knock it over.

    A good value, overall.

    Be careful during assembly, however – the bolt holes & slots can line up in such a way, that a heavy load will shift the cart into a trapezoidal shape…like I said, mine is overloaded, on the top shelf. I really need to do something about that…

  4. Hah… I have one HF’s rolling toolboxes… and mine also has the PCM for Less decal on it.

    Alvin is the man down there..

  5. Angelo says:

    Alvin, huh? That’s a first. I usually see Herter’s name pop up on forums. Of course, his name always pops in my head when my car rewards my enthusiastic driving with a nice crisp shift. 😉

  6. Paul Lapczynski says:

    I have the Craftsman version of this cart (about $50 on sale). I keep the top loaded with tools for the job and parts to be installed on the bottom.

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