When you’re just getting started as a mechanic you’ll end up spending a fortune on tools, and that’s perfectly normal. However, you’re going to want a place to safely store and organize them. The problem is, tool carts cost a fortune and some are selling for more than all your tools are worth combined.
We understand the struggle, and would like to help you pick the best tool cart under $500. This is mainly for mechanics just starting out, but tool carts are useful for auto detailers as well. Maybe you already have a big tool box and just need something small to roll around the shop with you as you work in different bays. This list has you covered!
CRAFTSMAN Tool Cabinet with Drawer Liner Roll & Paper Towel Holder, 26-Inch
Craftsman is a household name that we all know and recognize. Their tools aren’t made as well as they used to be, but that’s another topic we won’t get into.
Their 26-inch tool cart is everything you’ll need to get started, with storage space for big and small tools. It’s portable enough to roll around with you in a shop setting, and tough enough to last for many years.
This tool cart has a 1,500 pound load rating, so it can definitely handle the weight of all your tools. It’s made in the USA, although the materials it’s made with come from overseas.
Still, the tool cart comes with a 10 year warranty and includes drawer liner. It’s a perfect starter tool box for the young and new mechanic.
OLYMPIA TOOLS 84-956 4-Drawer Heavy Duty Tool Cart
This tool cart is more affordable, but smaller than the Craftsman tool box above. It’s a great choice if you want something simple, as it can carry all the sockets and wrenches you’ll need to complete a job.
The Olympia Tools 84-956 HD cart can hold up to 600 pounds of weight, which is enough considering the size of the cart.
Olympia Tools made sure this cart was powder-coated to prevent rust, and its all-steel construction means it should last for many years.
Like most tool carts, this one features a locking mechanism so you can lock the drawers and store your tools safely. Non-slip liners are also featured for all the drawers in this cart.
It’s a great cart for auto detailers, as you can easily keep your microfibers, brushes and chemicals organized with it. In fact, it can store all your auto detailing tools. But it will work just fine for a mechanic who wants to move around a tool cart with his wrenches, ratchets, sockets and other small tools.
U.S. General 30-inch 4-Drawer Tech Cart
Harbor Freight is known for its amazing deals on tools, and their tool carts are no exception. Their U.S. General line of tool carts offers a variety of color choices so you can pick the color you like most. Orange, green, red, blue, yellow and black are all color options.
This cart is capable of holding up to 580 pounds, and is made from steel. It features an industrial powder-coated finish to prevent rust from occurring. The drawers close and stay secured without popping back out (a common problem for many tool boxes) and you will find non-slip pre-cut drawer liners in all compartments.
There is also a barrel lock to keep your tools safe, and anyone who plans on bringing this to a shop will appreciate that. The top lip opens with dual gas struts to keep it up, and it provides for a great place to put your socket trays and other miscellaneous tools.
JEGS 4-Drawer Tool Box Cart
Made from 16-gauge steel and capable of carrying 580 pounds – the JEGS 4-drawer tool cart is a great option for anyone who needs a new place to store their tools. It’s 33.5 x 17.375 x 38.125 inches design is a decent size, capable of holding the essentials.
Like the other tool carts in this list, the JEGS cart has a powder coat finish and won’t rust unless it gets damaged prematurely. Drawer liners are also included. It’s a very similar option to the U.S. General 4-drawer tech cart above, but it does sell for slightly less. According to many of the reviews on Amazon, the cart sometimes gets damaged during the shipping process. However, it’s usually a minor dent and nothing major. If you’re concerned about shipping damages, then consider picking up the U.S. General tool cart from Harbor Freight.
U.S. General 30-inch 5-Drawer Mechanic’s Cart
Finally, the best deal of all has to be the U.S. General 5-drawer mechanic tool cart. It’s one step up from the 4-drawer, so it holds a little more, and it hold 700lb worth of equipment. For most new mechanics, this is all you need. You can expect the same powder coat finish and non-slip drawer liners which are already pre-cut to fit each compartment.
If you don’t need that fifth drawer, than go with another option. However, it’s best to buy as much storage space as you can afford. As a mechanic, you will likely get more tools over time and need more space. This cart locks up properly, keeping your tools safe.
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