The Mac Tools Tool Box: Does Its Reputation Hold Out?
Mac Tools and Mac Tools tool boxes have been around nearly as long as Mac trucks. They were founded in 1938 and became a part of the Stanley Works more than 40 years ago, in 1980. They have more than 2,000 distributors, and sell not just in the US, but to customers in Canada, the UK, Latin America, Japan, and throughout Europe.
They have a reputation for excellent quality, and quite a few die-hard fans who would change their vote in the next election before they would buy another brand. But these days, many of the big brands are compromising on quality while hoping to be able to sell on just their names. How good are Mac Tools tool boxes today?
Well, we’ve had a look for ourselves, as well as trawling the reviews from reputable trade publications and individual owners alike. Here is the overall consensus we’ve arrived at:
Mac Tools Tool Boxes Come In Three Main Categories:
Mac Tools tool bags or tool totes are just what they sound like – relatively well-made soft fabric tool transportation and organization solutions. The smallest cost a modest $30 retail, and the largest barely top $130.
These are a great way to move your tools around, and are quick to fill with exactly the tools, parts, and accessories you’ll need for a particular job. They also don’t hurt near as much as a steel tool box when you catch your leg with a corner.
Most Mac Tools tool boxes in the tool top range offer vertical pockets for keeping wrenches, screwdrivers and similar small tools handle-up for easy access. All have soft yet sturdy handles, and the largest have wheels and a telescoping handle. They are basically luggage.
Workbenches and Workstations
Mac tools workbenches are also pretty self-explanatory. They feature a large worktop that might be a wooden “butcher block” or a simple steel table top. Some have a few drawers integrated into them, basically making them a mechanics-shop grade writing desk. Others have storage and tool organization options placed above the worktop.
A “workstation” is really just the bottom box of a combination tool cabinet with a worktop. On a high-end line like the Mac Tools Macsimizer tool boxes, that might be a shiny stainless steel top. On something more modest like the Tech series, it is more likely to be a flat top hatch that allows easy access to the deeper insides of the container, but still acts as a work surface when closed.
Mainly, though, a workbench or a workstation can be thought of as a short, one-piece combination box.
The last category of Mac Tools tool box is the utility cart. These vary from a tiny 28-inch-wide single drawer cart that could hold at most the specialty tools for doing one job (but could actually be moved around a garage or workshop easily) to a 37- or 41-inch wide 5-drawer unit with a pair of liftable hatches on the top which could really double as a bottom box, except it offers top access.
They are available in ten or more colors with different finishes and other options. In the Macsimizer range of tool carts, you can get anything up to 6-drawer carts of the largest size with all the bells and whistles.
Different Lines Of Mac Tools Tool Boxes: What You Need To Know
Let’s start at the top and work our way down.
The Macsimizer series offers the best Mac Tools tool boxes available today. These not only offer the best build quality overall, but they also come with all the extra options most mechanics or workmen could want. The drawers are double front-walled and are interchangeable with other drawers of the same size. Where there are lift cylinders, they are oil-filled rather than gas-filled to heft the extra weight of the hatches. They also tend to be very large and very expensive. Still, they cost less than the Snap-on equivalent, the Mr. Big series.
The Tech Series and Expert Series are a noticeable step down, in all of build quality, materials, and price. That said, neither the Expert nor Tech Series of Mac Tools tool box are budget brands. Their features and solidity keep them firmly in the middle range for most products. At the moment, Extreme Tools tool boxes are considered very high quality, and a worthy competitor to big names like Snap-on in every way. Will they last 30, 40, or even 5 years like a Snap-on tool chest? We’ll have to wait at least 10 years to find out. Will this quality persist when the toolboxes are all made overseas? We might find that out quite a bit sooner.
Facom is another line of Mac tools tool boxes. These are of a similar quality and price to the Tech Series, but they specialize in getting the most useful storage space out of a given volume. They get a lot done in a small amount of space, but they aren’t suitable for big tools or big jobs. Many of the drawers in a Facom Mac Tools tool box are rated at only 25 kg – around 55 pounds.
The Mac Tools Classics Range is where you’ll find a budget priced Mac Tools tool box. You’ll sometimes see these sold overseas and domestically as Britool Expert toolboxes. For a budget line, the quality is not bad. They generally offer powder coated steel of decent quality. However, these are definitely aimed at the home hobbyist market, rather than the professional workshop.
Why Would A Tool Box Need An Internet Connection?
Well, it wouldn’t. And the tool box in question doesn’t, really. The MB7432 Macsimizer Tool Box has an integrated workstation. This includes a drawer for a laptop or tablet, which offers both a pair of 110 volt power outlets and a RJ45 (Ethernet) jack if you don’t want to use Wi-Fi. Almost every garage I’ve seen has a computer hidden away somewhere. As it might be as expensive as some of your other tools, why not protect it the same way?
Would A Working Professional Be Happy With A Mac Tools Tool Box?
Generally, yes. Anything they sell which actually bears the Mac Tools logo is going to be OK, and most professionals will at least be satisfied with something in the Classics or Tech series. The Macsimizer line is fully competitive with the big names like Snap-on, even if they do aim slightly down-market. The Expert Series is suitable for professional work, but they won’t be anyone’s “dream toolboxes.”
Professionals should probably avoid the Facom or Classics lines. These are better suited to light duty.
Why You Might Not Want A Mac Tools Tool Box
Mac Tools has several lines of tool storage devices, so not all Mac Tools tool boxes are created equal. Their best products, such as the Macsimizer line, are definitely competitive with names like Snap-on. The Mac Expert line are good, solid middle- to high-end tool chests. Anything less, though, and you may have problems.
The quality of the steel in the high-end boxes is good, but both its strength and its thickness drop dramatically in the budget lines. Also, even at the high end of the range, a Mac tools tool box will come in second best to a true top market product.
A Detailed Look At A Few Mac Tools Tool Box Products
Mac Tools Jesse James Tool Box Set
You won’t see these new anymore, as they were special edition Mac tools released for West Coast Choppers and Jesse James around 20 years ago. There was an entire line produced at that time, including both top and bottom boxes in several sizes, and some came with entire sets of tools.
Still, a Mac tools tool box was built to last 20 years ago, and there are many of these still around and in great condition. They cost less than a completely new model of the same quality in most cases.
Mac Tools Gatornationals Tool Box Set
You won’t see many of these around either, as they date from the turn of the century. Ouch. I just made myself feel very old. This Mac Tools tool box set was created to commemorate the 34th Gatornationals (now known as the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals), held in Gainesville, Florida.
Mac Tools Tech 1,000 Tool Box
Just as collectable but a lot less stunning than the Mac Tools Jesse James tool box sets are the Mac Tools Tech 1,000 tool box sets. These came in a range of different color schemes, from the blue and chrome pictured, to orange and black, green and black, white and black, or white and chrome, just to note a few of the most popular.
As you can see, many different units were available, including roller boxes with different drawer configurations, top boxes with different drawer sizes, and a range of side boxes or double height lockers.
Mac Tools Macsimizer Tool Box
Again, this is an entire line of Mac tools tool boxes and tool box accessories. Unlike the ones previously mentioned though, the Macsimizer line is still in production. There is even an “upgraded” line called Macsimizer HD. You know, in case your tool box was beginning to look pixelated.
The entire Macsimizer series is a top-quality line and made to be competitive with the best tool chests and roller cabinets out there, with a lower price point, and slightly lower performance. If you want a Mac Tools tool box with everything, it’ll be a Macsimizer HD.
Mac Tools Mini Tool Box
Unless you are the size of a G.I Joe, this isn’t the tool box for you. It is literally a toy. But it is a pretty well-made toy. This is a 1/12 scale model of a Mac tools tool box, with working drawers and everything. Some even came with 1/12 scale tools. A whole line was produced at one time, and you can still find the 1/12 scale Macsimizer coin banks for sale.
If you need props for a Mac Tools themed garage diorama, or if you want to play dolls with your kids but in a “manly” way, this could be the answer. I’ve got a 1/12 scale Corvette Stingray that could use some company. Lord knows the real thing spent enough time in the shop that it would be a realistic representation.
Mac Tools Titan Tool Box
The Macsimizer Titan is... not small. At 12 feet long and 30 inches deep, this is in the category of Snap-on’s Mr. Big. The top is a seamless stainless steel work surface. The slides on each drawer are rated at 200 pounds capacity, for a total of 400 pounds on the larger drawers.
The steel of the structure is a hefty 14 gauge. The six casters can support a total of 2,000 pounds. I’ll let you in on a pretty obvious secret though – this is a pair of 72-inch Macsimizer 12-drawer tool chests side by side on a single chassis and under a single sheet of worktop. Is it more awkward to move than a pair of smaller units? Yes. But if you’re in the market for a really massive tool box…. this is it!
The DECKED Drawer System – All The Storage, Hundreds Of Times The Mobility
The DECKED Drawer System gives you 2,000 pounds of tool and gear storage that travels with you to and from the worksite. It is a weatherproof, secure and convenient under-bed tool organizing system which actually increases the usable cargo area of most work trucks or pickups. Better still, it protects the bed of your pickup from damage no matter what kind of loads you carry.
The DECKED Drawer System is just as tough as you’d hope, as well. It is made of high-impact poly resin, and heavily reinforced with both steel and aluminum. The plastic is even recyclable, and indeed contains a good proportion of recycled material already.
The DECKED Tool Box – The Best Truck Mountable Tool Box Solution Yet
DECKED Tool Boxes mount behind the cab of most pick-ups and work trucks. In all but the smallest models, they can even be used alongside the DECKED Drawer System.
They are made of the same ultra-sturdy polymer resin and benefit from the same kind of steel and aluminum reinforcing, especially around the lock and rail mounts. The DECKED Tool Box is a great way to protect your tools on the worksite or while parked overnight. It’s even watertight!
We’re glad you could take the time to explore the Mac Tools tool box options with us, and some of the more mobile alternatives from DECKED. If you’re ever in the market for secure, weatherproof vehicle-mounted tool storage, think of DECKED first.