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Drop by any machinist’s shop and you’ll more than likely run into the Kennedy 3611 or one of its little siblings.  Machinists have favored these boxes — and other manufacturers have copied them — since Kennedy started making them in 1910.

The 3611, one of the larger boxes, contains eleven felt-lined drawers covered by a front panel that protects and secures your tools. The front panel stores in the slot on the bottom of the box until you need to lock things up.  You can lock the upper center drawer independently of the other drawers.

The Kennedy 3611 sells for about $500.

3611 [Kennedy]
Street Pricing [Google]


13 Responses to Kennedy 3611 Machinist Chest

  1. Mike Yancey says:

    Wow – that’s pretty amazing.

    Looks remarkably similar to my Dad’s toolbox. He was a machinist for a while in the 1950’s before going into the Fed civil service.

    This is just a classic product – looks like a 50 year old model, but improved, and will still look good and work well 50 years from now.

  2. BC says:

    Kennedys are timeless. My father in law gave me his from when he was a greenhorn engineer. I’m not a machinist, so it mostly holds my drill bits, a few screwdrivers, and my electrical testing stuff.

  3. fred says:

    I have 2 Kennedy #260 6 drawer toolchests mounted on their #265 2-drawer bases.
    Both red crinkle finish.
    No ball bearings – but after 4 years they have held up very well.

  4. fred says:

    BTW – 40+ years – not 4

  5. Joe says:

    Kennedy makes great “regular tool” boxes as well. I bought mine off the tool truck in the ’70s and it’s still in great shape. It’s been in and out of a lot of vans and seen a lot of the country too, it’s no garage queen.

  6. Frank Townend says:

    I have my father’s model Model 52611 he bought in the 50’s or 60’s. As with my sister, nothing can compare to the sound of the drawers running closed on their ball bearings.

  7. wackyvorlon says:

    I’m a fairly new owner of a Kennedy toolbox. I love it, it’s great. The middle drawer fits Machinery’s Handbook perfectly.

  8. DP says:

    I recently picked up an antique front drop-panel? Kennedy kits toolbox at a garage sale. I’m cleaning it up, but can’t figure out how to remove the drawers so that I can get behind them and also to clean the backs of the drawers. Does anyone have any pointers they can give me?

  9. Joe Kesselman says:

    I just rescued an old seven-drawer Kennedy myself. Mine’s got a brown crinkle finish (mock leather?).

    If DP’s is like mine, the drawers are held into the slides by a spring clip near the front of the slide, which hooks into a notch or hole in the drawer body. To release the drawer, pull gently out on the end of the clip nearest you (ie, nearest the front end of the slide). You may need to wiggle the drawer slightly before this releases, but it only has to come out about 1/8″ or so to release the drawer. Repeat on the other slide, and the drawer will pull out.

    These old steel kits weigh a lot even when empty; I can see why they switched to aluminum later on. I’m not sure it’s heavier than the even older wooden equivalents, but I’m not convinced it’s lighter either!

    New (Aluminum) versions of the 7-drawer kit appear to be running around $300 retail. I’m not sure whether the older steel ones have any collector’s value, but for someone who works with a lot of small tools and wants to organize and care for them properly, this definitely beats the tackle-box approach.

  10. Tom Harmon says:

    I am trying to find out the Model Number for a Kennedy Tool Chest that my Father had.

    It was like a 520 with 7 drawers but my Father’s had a 3 position roller lock on the front of it.

    Kind of like a Sesame lock.

    So far I have not been able to find one of these anywhere on line.

    If you can give me any information I would appreciate it.

    My email address is, Tom_Harmon@Tacp.com



  11. John Milner says:

    After having this old Kennedy on my work bench for 20 years and kicking it up and down gangplanks for 30 years before that, I’ve decided to restore it. e-mailed the Co., they say they don’t have anything to help. This box has a tag on it from Consolidated Aircraft Co. with my Dad’s name and number from making bombers during WWll. It’s wrinkle green w/green felt and sticker that says it’s a BIGHORN LINE of KENNEDY’S. It’s a 20″ three drawer. Any help out there?? jmilner42@msn.com

  12. Richard Baker says:

    John’s story is similar to mine – I have 3 boxes with the youngest being from 1938 and all were used by my father at Grumman in Bethpage, NY prior to WWII while in High School. They became his mainstay as a PE and Plant engineer during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s until I inherited them in 85. I am currently restoring them and Kennedy CO. due to several closing and import competition has lost much of its early heritage. This is one company that was involved with every part of the industrialization of America. My units still work like new and after electrolytic derusting, leading and priming with chromate I expect them to survive another 70 years. I am looking to replicate the original wrinkle paint in an epoxy so if anyone knows a source please email at baker@ackmecorp.com

  13. Josue says:

    Hello, I just bought a Model 520 7 drawers but I wonder if someone of you can tell me what year is it? Thank you very much.


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