I don’t have the space to review one of these bad boys just yet, but hopefully that’ll change in coming months. In the meantime, I took the opportunity to kick the tires a little bit.
Both the top chest and bottom cabinet are 46″ wide and about 18″ deep, so it’s a fairly large unit.
The top compartment isn’t huge, but it’s a good size and certainly not unusably small. It’s a lot taller than on other tool storage chests, which is good or bad depending on your preference.
The pegboard insert could prove to be useful, but there must be awfully lot of empty space if you’re going to be able to reach any of those tools.
The largest drawer on the right-hand side of the roller cabinet has removable power tool organizer. By “power tool organizer,” they mean “cordless drill and impact tool” organizer. Seems like a nice feature, and if you don’t it, take it out. I’m *pretty sure* that the organizer tabs are all removable.
Built-in AC power is always nice. I forgot to check out the length and quality of the cord. Oops. There’s also a power strip built into the top compartment.
I’m pointing at the lock as a reminder. Why? The top chest and bottom are not keyed alike, even if you buy them as part of a combo.
BUT, the chest comes with a main lock and a separate independently lockable drawer. You can swap out the lock cylinder from the independently lockable drawer with that of the roller cabinet. That way, the chest and cabinet will lock with the same key, but the independently lockable drawer will be lockable with a separate key.
This kind of makes up for how the chest and cabinet locks aren’t keyed alike in the combo. Maybe.
One of the drawers is a pull-out work surface.
I should mention that the drawers and their ball bearing slides were a little wobbly compared to what I’m used to, but they were also empty.
And it doubles as a covered storage drawer for a laptop/tablet/etc, or simply more tools.
Don’t like the covered drawer? Drill out the rivets and remove the cover. BAM, it’s a regular tool storage drawer.
A reinforced frame is good, but “industrial casters?” Aren’t all caster wheels of this size industrial? Or is there a consumer application for heavy duty caster wheels?
They are quite nice, though.
Press the “on” lever to engage the brake.
There, it’s engaged.
Press the “off” to disengage the brake.
The “on” lever the pops up.
It gives you a clear indication of when the brake is on and off, and was pretty easy to use – easier than plain Jane casters.
The bottom edge of the cabinet has a bumper guard.
The cabinet has a tubular handle, but was surprised me was the connector bracket that fastens the chest and cabinet together with a little more stability.
Included work surface mats were thick and cushiony.
The new Milwaukee organizer also made an appearance.
Overall, I was impressed with the thought that went into the design of the chest and cabinet. The features all contribute to a well-rounded and functional system.
Can I recommend it? Not with certainty. I really need to load one up with tools to be able to properly evaluate it. I do think it’s safe to say that this presents one of the best values around.
User reviews seem to be great so far as well. At the media event, one other blogger/reviewer said something to the tune of isn’t this the best tool chest ever? I don’t think I’ve seen better for $800*, meaning this is a great value, but I’m not sold on it yet.
*We originally saw them listed at $300 for the chest, and $400 for the cabinet, but they’re now $349 for the chest, $449 for the combo, and $798 for the combo. Maybe the price will go down again around holiday time?
Update: The price is back down to $300 for the chest, $500 for the cabinet, and $700 for the combo, as of 11/10/2015.
They’re out of stock now, but I was told that the storage products aren’t seasonal and should be coming back to Home Depot shortly.
P.S. This is the last of my Milwaukee NPS15 new tool preview coverage, save for maybe a summary.