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Though you don’t hear of Kennedy much around the garage-shop circuit, it’s a common name among machinists. (I have a very old Kennedy machinist’s chest that belonged to my father, for example. It needs a good cleaning up, but it’s still in one piece and all the drawers/doors move smoothly.) What you see above are Kennedy’s Pro-Line series — high-gloss powder coated finish, welded steel construction, ball-bearing drawer slides, and roller-bearing casters, plus a replaceable MDF top work surface.

Kennedy offers a variety of models, none of which come cheap. The baseline seven-drawer model, which forgoes drawers on the right side for a single large door and a shelf, starts around $900. The high-end 12 and 13-drawer models can easily bust $3,500. And while that might sound a bit pricey to the Craftsman type, it’s not out of line compared to the truck-marketed tool brands.

Anyway, if you get a chance you might want to check out the rest of Kennedy’s line. I was surprised to see that they still sell a machinist’s chest pretty similar to the one I have.

Kennedy Manufacturing [Corporate Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Pro-Line 7-Drawer Maintenance Cart Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Pro-Line 12-Drawer Maintenance Cart Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

12 Responses to Kennedy’s Pro-Line Maintenance Carts

  1. kg2v says:

    Come on, as a machinist, you really have 2 choices
    Kennedy (pick your model)
    and
    Gerstner 41/51/91 (The luxury option)

  2. KMR says:

    I know its not Kennedy, but the Harbor Freight knock-off of the cabinet in the photos above will be on for sale for the already excellent price of $339.99 in January (reg $500). Look through the current MotorTrend or Car & Driver and tear out the 20% off a single item coupon for Harbor Freight and that brings the price down to $272. That is a killer deal. The HF item is well built, with full extension ball bearing slides.

    Review of the HF cabinet here with lots of photos:

    http://www.mini-lathe.com/Reviews/HF_tool_chest/hf_toolchest.htm

    (Why aren’t my comments being published – weird – trying submit again)

  3. Chuck Cage says:

    @KMR You probably triggered our spam filters the first time. Really sorry ’bout that, but you’d hate what TM would be without ’em. ­čÖü

    And re: the HF tool box. My attitude is that it’s far better to have a toolbox and organize your tools than not. The ones in the post are awesome, but totally out of my price range. Amazingly my three boxes are all Craftsman. One of them my father bought for me right about the time I finally stopped losing all the tools he gave me and started using them (I was about 23 or 24, I think), the second and third he picked up at various yard sales and such in damaged condition. The small dents on the back and one broken drawer on the big one don’t really cause any issue. I inherited ’em.

  4. Dan says:

    @kg2v: I dunno, I’ve recently seen some Waterloo toolboxes popping up in local machine shops. Looks like a Kennedy, same drawer layouts avaliable, good quality, and a much lower price.

  5. fred says:

    At home my rolling box – base cabinet and chest (3 pieces all bolted together) are all Kennedy – and all about 40 years old and still working flawlessly.

    When we acquired our shops (woodworking/cabinetry – and pipe/metal fabrication) – rolling cabinets were not a big part of the acquisition. I’ve always suspected that more of these were sold for automotive shop, factory floor and industrial maintenance use.
    What we did aquire and add to were very good storage solutions from Lista, Stanley Vidmar and Rotabin (for parts). I would recommend a look at all three of these brands – as well as Kennedy.

  6. fred says:

    @Dan

    Sorry for the double post – but your comment about Waterloo – hit a note with me. I believe that in the past Waterloo was the OEM for some of the Craftsman boxes and they also supplied some of the Lowes hand held metal toolboxes under the Kobalt name. Recently, Ive noticed that the Lowe’s (19 or 20 inch “Kobalt” metal box) is made in China – looks a bit like the older Watreloo-made box – but has flimsly catches.

  7. JW says:

    I have seen so many tool boxes I can’t decide. What are your guys opinion on the best (price no factor). Matco looks pretty good. I seen those, Craftsman, Kennedy, HF, Snap On, Waterloo, Kobalt, Sams Club ones, others I’m sure.

  8. KMR says:

    I own a high end restoration / performance shop; you will not see any SnapOn / Matco / MAC boxes in our shop. First, most of these boxes tend to be monstrous, and that doesn’t make sense in a shop like ours where a car may have a dedicated bay for 6 months or even two years – the employees move around, so smaller service carts are more in order. Second, I’ve always felt that the expense of the SnapOn / Matco / MAC boxes have been outrageous, and I question whether the person that owns one bought it as a status symbol … because you can find boxes just as practical and of similar size from say Craftsman for less than 1/2 the price.

    (I’m not a big fan of SnapOn / Matco / MAC tools in general, I just don’t get it…)

    I purchased our rolling carts from a hospital auction (I love equipment / surplus auctions). They had just purchased new crash carts and were auctioning off the old ones along with loads of office furniture and other junk. I paid $50 / each for very nice crash carts with ball bearing drawers. We have four of those. Personal tool storage is up to each employee, and pretty much Craftsman is the winner there.

    If you want a status symbol box, now is the time to buy one on Craigslist. All those idiot mechanics who bought big $6000 snap on boxes on credit and then their wife got pregnant and now they have a kid and gifts to buy for xmas, but the same salary are now putting up their snapon boxes on Craigslist for low prices. I’ve always said that December is the best time to buy used tools, sold by fools that should never have bought shop status symbols they couldn’t afford.

    Anyone that thinks I skimp on equipment and tools would be wrong, while I am cheap. The stuff that needs to be high end is, we have some incredibly expensive strain gauge based torque wrenches that I bought two years ago for the dead on accuracy (awesome!). Our welders were all new Miller items. Our power tools in recent years tend to be Hitachi and Makita items. But if it has a lifetime warantee on hand tools (Craftsman, Husky, Kobalt, even most Harbor Freight hand tools)… it doesn’t matter to me which one I get in most cases, if it does the job and I have that guarantee to back it up, then I can’t see spending 3x for a status symbol brand.

  9. fred says:

    @JW

    We have had very good use from our Lista workstations and cabinets:

    http://www.listaintl.com/files/mobile.aspx

  10. JW says:

    @KMR
    Good idea about buying it in Dec! lol As for lifetime guarantees. My take on that is that if I buy tools that break all the time but it has a lifetime guarantee, just means I won’t have to pay to fix or replace it. But I will pay for it in lost time and more important frustration. What are strain based torque wrenches. Can you like an article or product or something, can’t find much on google.

    @fred
    Looks like what I was looking for. Very nicely organized cabinets and tool boxes. Thank you.

  11. lens42 says:

    I’d like to add another vote for Lista. I can’t see how Snap-On or Matco could be any better, and you can get reasonable prices with a bit of web hunting. When I cleaned up my garage a few years back, I rewarded myself with 4 Lista cabinets for about $3000. That’s a LOT of storage for less than 1 overpriced Snap-On. Every time I pull out a drawer, I just smile.

  12. Mark says:

    I recently purchased a large box from Sears. Paid $1500 for the box for use in a manufacturing facility. Let me tell you, craftsman name and tools is not what it used to be. I guess Sears no longs sells a pro model. I am getting ready to give the craftsman box to my 14 yr old son to use for bike parts or target practice or what ever and am going to order a Kennedy Maintenance pro 5800mp. Cost more but but I already wasted too much money on scrap of tin.

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