Earlier this month, Craftsman announced their new Contour powered tool boxes at the Consumer Electronics Show. The new ball bearing chest and mobile cabinet combo is designed for the multi-tasking Do-It-Yourselfer who wants to amp up the workspace. In addition to storing tools, the powered Contour system is designed to connect with your music and phone.
Craftsman has built a number of interesting features into the new tool storage system, calling it a central project station:
- power tool charging station recharges up to 3 power tool batteries at a time
- built-in stereo system with 220W speakers
- compatibility with MP3 players and Bluetooth-enabled devices
- retractable locking work table provides 670.4 square inches of extra space
The press release also goes on to mention that the audio system allows you to manage phone calls without wires. Maybe this means you can route phone calls through the speakers, but then don’t you still have to use the phone’s built-in mic? In any case we would probably stick to our phones’ speakerphone options.
Now, the actual tool storage part – there are a total of 16 ball bearing drawers for your storage and organizational needs, one of them full-width, with each drawer rated at 100 lbs. The entire combo is ~49″ wide and ~18″ deep, and rests on four casters rated at 500 lbs each.
With the entire unit being about 49″ wide, each drawer but the full-width must be about 22-24″ wide. The drawer configuration and weight capacity ratings actually seem pretty decent for a tool box strictly designed for DIYers to use at home and in the garage.
The intermediate section is the power center, housing the charging and audio connectivity components. There will be additional options and upgrades available, such as a CD receiver with USB and AUX inputs, and CD receiver with USB, AUX and built-in Bluetooth.
Expect to see these powered Contour tool boxes later this year in Q2 2012. MSRP is not yet available.
Our thoughts? This looks interesting, but we’ll hold our judgement until we see more pics or a display model in-person at the local Sears. We cannot help but think back to the flashy Craftsman AXS tool boxes that never seemed to attract widespread appeal. The powered Contour tool boxes do look more cautiously designed, but we’ll need hands-on time or at least a peek at the inside of the intermediate and top compartments to know for sure.
(Note: We’re sure the combo does not weigh a full ton. “Total weight” probably refers to the total weight capacity of the casters.)