This is Kobalt’s new 3000 series 45″ steel chest and cabinet tool storage combo. I haven’t seen it in person yet, having only first spotted it in their 2017 Black Friday adscan tool deals pages.
Let’s start by talking about the top chest, which sports several non-traditional features.
There’s no top lid. The top is just… flat, with no top storage compartment.
Next, there’s a pull-out vertical socket storage drawer, equipped with magnetic socket rails that hold your sockets in an upright position. You can pull the rails to take them with you, or retrieve a socket at a time.
I suppose one side is for inch sockets, and the other for metric, with 3 rails each for 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ drive sockets. There’s one empty section at the top, where one might attach another socket rail or other kind of magnetic holder to store some adapters or accessories.
There’s an “open till work area” on the right, with the drawer front flipping down for access. The LED lighting, turned on via push button, looks to be a nice touch.
There are spots for 2 drills (or similarly sized tools), and a place to put spare batteries, chargers, or anything else you wish to keep in the quick-access storage bay.
The chest also features recessed side grip handles, 5 drawers with 99 lb capacity soft-closing drawer slides, fitted drawer liners, keyed locks, and a magnetic power supply with built-in USB charging ports.
The bottom tool cabinet looks to be a little more traditional, except for the large shelves section that’s accessed via cabinet door.
The images show there being 2 magnetic latches for the cabinet door, which to me suggests that the designers and engineers took extra steps to ensure user satisfaction.
My Milwaukee and Husky mobile workbench test units have shorter cabinet doors, and they’re a nuisance because the single magnetic latch isn’t strong enough for my liking. I’ll have to retrofit something when I have a chance. It’s little touches that can make a great tool cabinet truly excellent. I suppose the same can be said about tools and all kinds of products in general.
Kobalt’s 3000-series tool storage products don’t come cheap. The top chest is currently on sale for $469, and the bottom cabinet $569. It doesn’t actually look like you can buy them yet, but since they’re mentioned in Lowes’ Black Friday 2017 sales flyer, I’d conclude that they’re still on the way to stores or distribution warehouses.
I am happy to see Kobalt breathe new energy into their tool storage lineup. With Sears and their independent Craftsman activities – allowed as part of their sale of the brand to Stanley Black & Decker – in increasing financial trouble, there’s a huge amount of tool storage market share up for grabs.
That said, I’m not sure how I feel about the tool cabinet, either the top or bottom. I like for my tool storage products to be highly efficient, and that usually means high drawer density. Cabinets can be a waste of space.
I don’t know if I could make good use of the new and very nontraditional design of the top chest. What if I have more sockets than can fit on those rails? Is that the most efficient way to store sockets?
I can fit most of mine in a 26″ x 16″ (chest size, not drawer size) 3″ height drawer, and then some. See my Westling socket rail review for more.
What are your thought? I can see benefits in both the chest and cabinet, despite my preferences leaning me in a completely different direction.
Would you make good use of the top chest, bottom cabinet, or cabinet?
Pricing: $469 for the chest, $569 for the rolling cabinet, $1038 for both
P.S. Does the vertical alignment, or lack thereof, bother anyone else? I’ll have to see it in person to be sure, but from my computer screen, it’s an eyesore.