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HF Icon Tool Storage - Huh?

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vtcnc

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I got an email giving 20% off their new line of tool storage - ICON. I thought, ok, maybe worth looking at...something better then their General line but won't break the bank.

Man, was I mistaken! I'm trying to figure how HF lost sight of their demographic on this one...If I wanted to drop $5000 on a tool box (not that I could or even would), I'd flag down the Snap-On truck or search CL for one. This seems completely out of step with what HF is really good at.

Rant over.
 

C-Bag

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I got an email giving 20% off their new line of tool storage - ICON. I thought, ok, maybe worth looking at...something better then their General line but won't break the bank.

Man, was I mistaken! I'm trying to figure how HF lost sight of their demographic on this one...If I wanted to drop $5000 on a tool box (not that I could or even would), I'd flag down the Snap-On truck or search CL for one. This seems completely out of step with what HF is really good at.

Rant over.
I think what they are up to is in the name, "Icon".

In a certain way it's a somewhat logical progression. I'm not saying it's good. It reminds of when WallyWorld was expanding in the 90's. The first thing they held a free breakfast for all local retailers and after it was over informed all in attendance they were going to come in and keep cutting their prices until all local competition was gone. Then once they had the market they raised their prices back up. I see this with HF because there are tons of others like Jet, Grizzley, PM etc that have been getting the same stuff from China and charging 2x's as much with just a different paint job. HF is obviously aware of the price difference because they often quote and do price comparisons in their ads.

As local manufacturing continues its decline and Chinese economy slows and they can't afford to support prices more and more prices are going up. This is happening in other Chinese goods like musical instruments. But they have been coming out with more and more segments or lines that have different prices along with quality. Things are still so crazy like SnapOn, Mac, Matco etc catering to the line mechanics. So even if they can get 50% of what they want for their boxes it's a huge increase in their prices. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Without the price supports will domestics afford to come back?
 

Be_Zero_Be

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Price an equivalent "Tool Palace" from Snap-On and you will run to HF.
 

Bob Korves

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I got an email giving 20% off their new line of tool storage - ICON. I thought, ok, maybe worth looking at...something better then their General line but won't break the bank.

Man, was I mistaken! I'm trying to figure how HF lost sight of their demographic on this one...If I wanted to drop $5000 on a tool box (not that I could or even would), I'd flag down the Snap-On truck or search CL for one. This seems completely out of step with what HF is really good at.

Rant over.
Toolboxes like that just remind me of guys playing their usual "Mine is bigger than yours" game...
 

HarryJM

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Unless you need/want new the CL is the place to buy from and yes you pay a premium just for the Snap-on name.
 

Be_Zero_Be

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The Snap-On boxes like that run $30,000.00 plus.
There are auto mechanics that will be paying off their tools long after they retire. :(
 

Radials

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I was surprised when I saw that email as well. In general I think HF trying to make product improvements is a good thing for everyone but I hope they don't loose sight of where they are situated in the hierarchy of the tool world. I own several HF power tools because I simply couldn't justify purchasing what I really wanted, a name brand tool. However if HF starts to inch their prices too close to a name brand its likely that they're going to loose out in the final decision. They can come up with all the facade brand names they want but the bones are still HF.
 

mmcmdl

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You can still find Vidmars , Listas Waterloos around . I would rather pay the used prices on these boxes .
 

C-Bag

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You can still find Vidmars , Listas Waterloos around . I would rather pay the used prices on these boxes .
I'd love to find a used Vidmar or Lista but around here they are gold and never even get close to a standard HF box.
 

rwm

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I just bought a US General box form HF and I am very pleased with it. That is a crazy price for the "Icon" and the price comparison to SnapOn is a little artificial. I don't know anyone who has paid list price. Also, you can get some really nice ones on the secondary market.
Robert
 

BGHansen

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I have 4 HF US General boxes and am very happy with all of them. I think the problem HF will have selling the 4-10 times more expensive boxes is the US General's will be setting right next to the Icon's. Tough to justify the cost difference when US General meets the needs of 99.9% of us. Almost like putting your hands on a CDCO BXA tool holder for $12-$13 and an Aloris at $65; do I take 5 of these or 1 of those.

Bruce
 

vtcnc

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I have 4 HF US General boxes and am very happy with all of them. I think the problem HF will have selling the 4-10 times more expensive boxes is the US General's will be setting right next to the Icon's. Tough to justify the cost difference when US General meets the needs of 99.9% of us. Almost like putting your hands on a CDCO BXA tool holder for $12-$13 and an Aloris at $65; do I take 5 of these or 1 of those.

Bruce
Yeah, I agree, that's sort of what I was thinking when I imagine walking in and seeing one of these monsters next to the U.S. General display. I started reading some of the fine print on these. Looks like they will be putting these ICON products in select stores. So I'm not counting on seeing these anytime soon, not that I could lay down that kind of cash anyway, nor would I want to.
 

Bob Korves

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Moving it around would be a PITA. If it doesn't need to be moved around, then you don't need roll around tool storage, go for something a lot cheaper and more sturdy...
 

PT Doc

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Nobody asked but bang for the buck I feel that Montezuma are very good. Strictly Toolboxes sold them and still might in Various configurations. I was able to change the drawer configuration on my bigger box. Handy if you have limited space but want to get your stuff into an organized tool storage deal. Having everything on casters has been helpful for me to allow for reconfiguring without the need to unpack anon mobile storage box.
 
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nnam

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Talking about tool storage, I bought two heavy duty file cabinets, with drawers that are only half of the usual height. They have ball bearing drawers. They're heavy. However, the metal is pretty flimsy. My first try was to put 4 wheels on it with the bolts at the bottom replacing the 4 adjustable height bolts.

They bent pretty easily due to not mush support down there. So I cut out some metal plates, some bed rail and welded 4 rectangle corners, then welded 4 small bolts each, then bolts a new set of swivel casters on it. I was exhausted at the end. The smoke and fume was bad, even outside. I had a large fan on, it was not so much wind, and when there was wind, it went all kind of directions, causing the fan to work against the wind, not working basically. Good think I wasn't sick after that.

After I finished with 1 cabinet, I decided to give away the 2nd, just too much. But after 2 days of no claims, I moved it into a right place for it. I still didn't have time to organize my stuffs into it.
 

matthewsx

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I made good money with my HF tools and still have and use most of them.

As someone who used to work for them I can assure you they know their market and will sell the heck out of their new higher end stuff. And if not they will be just as quick to clearance it out.

I haven’t seen anyone else jumping into the space (dedicated tool store selling to a local market nationwide). In most other places your only option for tools is Home Depot or another big box where good luck finding someone who can even spell hammer.

When I worked there I met plenty of customers who could have spent $5k on a toolbox if we had one. Lots of old guys like us who keep buying even when we already have two of everything. I also met lots of tradesmen who just had their trailer or shop full of high end stuff stolen and they just needed something to finish the job they were working on.

Plus, just the fact they support high school trades education makes me happy:)

Cheers,

John

P.S. I love my big old stationary (vidmar like) box. Never saw the logic of putting my tools on wheels so thieves could roll them away.
 

NCjeeper

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I don't think they are going after the average Joe with the Icon line. Its geared more toward the professional mechanic turning wrenches all day everyday. If the mechanic can buy the Icon box for thousands less than the same Snap on box then that is the target market. Plus HF is going to offer credit.
 

cjtoombs

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I bought a US General 56" chest to use for a lathe stand, and given the quality of that chest and the price, I don't know how you would need anything more. It's got all full roller drawers with latches, it's made from fairly heavy guage steel and mine is loaded to the gills with lathe and mill accessories, not lightweight stuff and it has no complaints. Full disclosure: I built a subframe and used leveling casters to lower it by about 7 inches so I didn't have to reach up to run my lathe, so I can't speak for the casters, but they looked good and I will probably use them on another project. I think maybe we're a little spoiled nowadays for toolboxes, considering 25 years ago you would have paid the more in inflation adjusted dollars for a 26" full roller chest from Sears. I don't even know when they started selling full roller toolboxes to the general public, might have been later than that.
 

Aaron_W

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I bought a US General 56" chest to use for a lathe stand, and given the quality of that chest and the price, I don't know how you would need anything more. It's got all full roller drawers with latches, it's made from fairly heavy guage steel and mine is loaded to the gills with lathe and mill accessories, not lightweight stuff and it has no complaints. Full disclosure: I built a subframe and used leveling casters to lower it by about 7 inches so I didn't have to reach up to run my lathe, so I can't speak for the casters, but they looked good and I will probably use them on another project. I think maybe we're a little spoiled nowadays for toolboxes, considering 25 years ago you would have paid the more in inflation adjusted dollars for a 26" full roller chest from Sears. I don't even know when they started selling full roller toolboxes to the general public, might have been later than that.
After looking at quite a few tool chests I bought a US General 26" and 44" as stands for my mini-mill and lathe, as well as to store tooling for both the larger and smaller machines. I agree these chests are better made than most others in the general price range, and I think a very good value for the money.

I don't see these new Icon chests as being any competition for the US General line, totally different class of budget.
 

vtcnc

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I don't think they are going after the average Joe with the Icon line. Its geared more toward the professional mechanic turning wrenches all day everyday. If the mechanic can buy the Icon box for thousands less than the same Snap on box then that is the target market. Plus HF is going to offer credit.
Ah. This seems like the most reasonable explanation but I still can't see my father (runs a body shop) going to HF and saying to himself I need to have that toolbox where do I sign up for credit. I suppose there are people out there though that value this kind of proposition. Each to his own!
 
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