Harbor Freight 5 Drawer Tool Cart

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Review by Belford posted 01-09-2017 02:16 AM 6913 views 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Harbor Freight 5 Drawer Tool Cart No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Assembly of the Harbor Freight Five Drawer Tool Cart

Before you even begin to think about the assembly of the Harbor Freight Five Drawer Tool Cart you should take about seven or eight Valiums then wait for 20 minutes before you begin to unpack the tool cart.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that you were the only person in the continental United States to get a packing crate with no holes or rips in the cardboard. That doesn’t mean a thing, you will find that the Chinese are very adept about shipping a product that appears to have survived a class five tornado with no outward scars on the box.

Once unpacked, you will be faced with a decision…”do I repack this piece of red shit and drive 120 miles back to Harbor Freight to exchange this abortion for another equally as bad abortion or chalk it up as a life experience and learn to live with your bad decision.

If you chose the latter, take three more pills than gather the following tools. An assortment of drift pins or tapered punches, a very large mallet, safety glasses, two pry bars, several clamps, various adjustable wrenches, at least eight Chinese ASA nut drivers (all ½ inch), eight Chinese ASA ½ inch deep sockets, you are going to wonder why you need eight nut drivers and sockets all in the same size…. The reason is simple enough….all Chinese ½ inch nuts are different sizes. Do the same thing again, this time in “Metric” because some of your ASA nuts will be metric.

Additionally you will need a large boom box or construction radio to muffle your language and screams from your neighbors or any small impressionable children. One box of Band-Aid Brand bandages and a roll of ace bandages also, additional valiums and you might consider a Lincoln Arc welder just in case. Lastly, some red touch up paint. (A small warning here, an athletic support with a steel cup may be a prudent purchase prior to assembly)

If you have the money you may want to consider hiring a professional to record your efforts on video for future generations to view as the crowning achievement of your life.

INSTRUCTIONS…… I know what you’re thinking, “I’m a man I don’t need to read instructions”. The truth is in this case it doesn’t matter. Read them if you want, disregard them if you desire, either way it’s not going to go together anyway.

Supposedly you are to start by attaching the castors to the bottom of the bottom tray. Should the tray be upright or upside down during this procedure? Again, it doesn’t matter. You are going to flip the tray about twenty times while attempting to hold the heavy castor in one hand while pressing a bolt through the misfit holes with the other and thumb tightening the nuts with your third hand. I’ll say this much for Chinese lock nuts, they are so precise they lock on the first half turn. I guess tightening them further is optional.

Assuming you’ve assembled all four castors to the tray bottom and been released from the hospital with at least one functioning hand, you may proceed to attach the four corner uprights to the tray bottom corners.

If you read the instructions, you will note that the manufacture has a sense of humor, where he states…”Caution, it is possible to assemble the uprights upside down” (no shit) What that statement really means is that you will be installing the uprights twice. (you may safely disregard the part about measuring the uprights)

Now this is the part where your heavy duty mallet and punch comes into play. (see photo) You will get some relief assembling the uprights in that you no longer must use lock nuts. Lock nuts are now replaced with extremely loose fitting nuts that thread very quickly once the bolt has been forced through both holes.

Once you’ve installed the uprights for the second time you can proceed to installing the four supports that support the box itself. The front and back supports are straightforward enough and require minimal adjustment with your hammer. The side supports are another matter. The instructions show the side supports resting on top or above the front and back supports. The only problem with that arrangement is that it won’t work that way because none of the holes line up. Whereas if you do it just opposite from the instructions at least some of the holes sort of line up some of the time.

Now that you are ready to drop the box itself into place you would think the hard parts done. No such luck. The box is fairly heavy and most people recommend getting some help from a friend or two. The problem with that approach is that at this stage of the assembly (because of your language and bad temper) no one will come near you. Therefore you are left with several options. Option one, lay the half completed assembly on it’s back with the box itself also on it’s back and push the box into the supports. The only problem with that option is the tool cart now weighs too much to tip back upright.

Another option is to pry the box up just enough to get your toes under it then call 911. Or you could do what I did and leave the box itself on the back of your pickup then scoot the frame assembly close to the tailgate and with one fell swoop lift and slide the box over the supports, fart, then just let go and hope for the best. I was fortunate in that most of the box landed on the horizontal supports and the part that didn’t I kicked into submission until the holes nearly matched.

The remainder of the assembly went much quicker when I got out my variable speed drill and drilled my own holes where I thought they should have been located in the first place.

Harbor Freight recommends at this point that you start at the top and go down tightening all the nuts and bolts. In as much as most of the Chinese nut and bolts are cross threaded , I recommend an impact wrench set to about 5000 pounds of pressure and spot welding every one just to be sure they don’t loosen when the struts fail and the lid slams down.

I forgot to mention the side mounted can holder….I anticipated a difficult time attaching that because it requires lining up three holes rather than just two. Fortunately for me I was spared any difficulties because Harbor Freight forgot to include a can holder on with my tool cart.

Anyway, it’s assembled. Most of the drawers open and it’s Red. I’m glad I bought it and my Doctors say I can bring it with me when I check into the sanitarium tomorrow.

View Belford's profile


77 posts in 1275 days

30 comments so far

View runswithscissors's profile


3097 posts in 2792 days

#1 posted 01-09-2017 03:32 AM

Why did you give this 5 stars?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Belford's profile


77 posts in 1275 days

#2 posted 01-09-2017 04:22 AM

Why did you give this 5 stars?

- runswithscissors

I wasn’t aware I had given it any stars. I’m new here.

View Redoak49's profile


4716 posts in 2756 days

#3 posted 01-09-2017 11:58 AM

Five stars on the write up

Zero stars on the tool cart

View Dautterguy's profile


51 posts in 4529 days

#4 posted 01-09-2017 02:03 PM

Excellent write up. I must get a cloth to wipe my comp. screen. Coffee leaves a very brown stain,spewed while laughing and drinking…......

View UpstateNYdude's profile


947 posts in 2750 days

#5 posted 01-09-2017 02:09 PM

LMAO! awesome review

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View abie's profile


913 posts in 4538 days

#6 posted 01-09-2017 03:51 PM

Not enough Vallium consumed.
try more

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View MrStyle's profile


88 posts in 2497 days

#7 posted 01-09-2017 06:39 PM

Brilliant review.

Right up there with the infamous review of the 3 wolf shirt

View dday's profile


177 posts in 2197 days

#8 posted 01-09-2017 06:52 PM

This is hilarious and exactly how I’ve felt on numerous occasions with tool assembly, project assemble (when I screwed the holes up) and late night Santa Claus endeavors…...

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 3082 days

#9 posted 01-10-2017 01:24 AM

Oh man, I really felt every move you made … Been there, but never had the wonderful sense of humor that you do about it … Out the back door of my shop the ground is littered with Chinese nuts, bolts and screws thrown out there in frustration … as my wife picks them up to save them, I tell her that I’m paving the area in a new art style.

I enjoyed reading your review and found it very honest …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View CTobes's profile


4 posts in 2662 days

#10 posted 01-10-2017 03:01 AM

Very well done and thank you for the laugh!

-- Cheyne

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3176 days

#11 posted 01-10-2017 04:52 AM

Loved the review!!!!!!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View playingwithmywood's profile


444 posts in 2364 days

#12 posted 01-10-2017 05:19 AM

maybe you are just skilled at writing and not mechanical things

the reviews on Harbor Freight are just too good for it to be as bad as you say it is

View Belford's profile


77 posts in 1275 days

#13 posted 01-10-2017 05:36 AM

maybe you are just skilled at writing and not mechanical things

the reviews on Harbor Freight are just too good for it to be as bad as you say it is

- playingwithmywood

I guess I wasted 33 years as a tool and die maker then. Perhaps you should buy one then put it together, then post your own review.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2877 days

#14 posted 01-10-2017 02:27 PM

the reviews on Harbor Freight are just too good for it to be as bad as you say it is

Filter to the three star and lower reviews… Plenty of references to misaligned holes, missing parts, and redrilling.

That’s why I’m a big fan of only dealing with Harbor Freight locally. WE are the QC department for cheap stuff… More than once, I’ve opted for the display model, as I’m sure it’s all there and it fit together properly.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3064 days

#15 posted 01-10-2017 02:42 PM

I bought the narrow add on chest from HF and had no issues, but admittedly it was pre-assembled. For the money you can’t beat the stuff. I see people trying to sell old Snap-on chests covered with bumper stickers for 4 to 5 times the price of a HF. I don’t see 4 to 5 times the difference.

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