Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Gerstner vs. Windsor Design (Harbor Freight)

I wanted to pick up a wood tool box for my wife's craft tools and supplies.  So, I bought the Harbor Freight wood machinists chest.  I seriously thought it was smaller.  It was as large as my Gerstner, and just as heavy.  It has a 10.5" x 20" foot print, and is just as tall.  The Gerstner is on the left in these pictures.

It sure does look good.  There is not as much effort put into finishing the wood panels on this - it could have been sanded quite a bit more.  Additionally, the Gerstner has five latches on the lid, while the Harbor Freight only has three on the front - the side latches only come on the Gerstner.  Also, the Gerstner has side handles, which the Harbor Freight does not.

To open the Gerstner's front panel and access the drawers, you need to open the lid.  With the Harbor Freight, you have to use the key - there is no latch.

Because of the fit and finish, the drawers do not slide as well.  You can sand them down and have smoother function.  However, many people apply soap to the drawer slides.  I have not done this, but I believe that will be the direction I will go.  All in all, if you are a machinist and want one of those wooden tool boxes but can't afford a high-end, this still is not a bad purchase.

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