Why Are Kennedy Tool Boxes So Expensive? (Explained)

kennedy toolbox expensive

Kennedy tool boxes are some of the most popular around, especially among machinists. But with some of their tool boxes costing upwards of $2,000, you may have wondered why they appear on the high side. Commonly, the question erupts: why are Kennedy tool boxes so expensive?

Kennedy tool boxes feature some of the highest quality materials we have seen in the tool box market. Few manufacturers combine sleekness, portability, and ruggedness as excellently as Kennedy does. More critically, Kennedy tool boxes are produced locally in Ohio using American labor and locally sourced steel. This makes them more expensive.

If you were questioning why Kennedy tool boxes are so expensive (and yet so loved) when other manufacturers offer arguably equivalent tool boxes, here is the article for you. 

Kennedy tool boxes are robust 

The sturdiness of a tool box is perhaps the most significant determinant of its cost. Kennedy understands there is no wisdom in you paying cheap for tool boxes of cheap quality that throw you back into the market (searching for a new tool box) within a year or two.

Therefore, Kennedy invested in providing top-notch tool boxes made from heavy-duty materials (premium industrial grade). Given this wealth of quality – as readily demonstrated in the sturdiness of Kennedy tool boxes – it is understandable Kennedy tool boxes don’t come for peanuts. 

Take the reputed K20B, for example. It can be argued that this is one of the toughest portable tool boxes in the market today, boasting a hefty 20-gauge steel construction. 

In other cases, we see Kennedy tool chests like the Kennedy-Pro 4-drawer stainless top chest being decked with double-wall construction panels. Kennedy even went further to enhance its rigidity with welded joints.

Kennedy tool boxes are classy

Before we dive further into functionality, it is crucial to understand that Kennedy tool boxes come with this unique elegance that endears them to the heart of artisans.

It is easy to pick out the signature brown wrinkle finish of Kennedy tool boxes. Tool boxes like the Kennedy Manufacturing K20B All-Purpose Tool Box are most admired for their hue, particularly the vinyl cushion. 

Just like your iPhone has this prestige, so too are Kennedy tool boxes esteemed in the machinist community. Having a Kennedy tool box as a craftsman unconsciously pulls respect from colleagues.

Come on, we are talking about a tool box manufacturer that has been around since 1911. For such a “statement” tool box, it is unsurprising that its price is relatively steep.

Kennedy tool boxes are very secure

Another valid explanation for the seeming expensiveness of Kennedy tool boxes is their superior security features.

Kennedy tool boxes leverage some of the most powerful and latest lock systems in the tool box market today.

The tubular lock and key system we see in most Kennedy tool boxes will inevitably push the price up. 

More interestingly, high-end Kennedy tool boxes like the Kennedy manufacturing 297xb 29″ 7-drawer rolling tool cabinet have drawers fitted with an internal, automatic locking system. 

With such elite security technology, we wouldn’t complain much when we hear such a Kennedy model goes for a whopping $1,200.

Some other Kennedy tool boxes feature heavy-duty locking systems with the possibility of further upgrading their security with padlocked locking hasps.

Kennedy tool boxes feature really nice handles

Yes, the loveliness of Kennedy tool box handles can’t be separated from the steepness of the price of these boxes. 

Many machinists feel pacified doling out a substantial amount for Kennedy tool boxes for the assurance of comfort the handles give them. 

Kennedy tool box handles are easy on the hand and yet sturdy. Typically, they are cushioned with vinyl to improve the grip. 

These handles – particularly for Kennedy tool chests – are robust enough to support the weight of the tools you load inside. 

Kennedy tool boxes have amazing drawer slides

If you have used tool boxes and chests long enough, you would understand the importance of the drawer slide. Traditionally, craftsmen would prefer drawers that they can enjoy unlimited access to while still neatly tucked in the cabinet.

Kennedy offers this feature, boasting a top-class drawer slide experience. It is easy to ignore how pricey Kennedy tool boxes are when considering how smooth and quietly their drawers slide.

Commonly, Kennedy tool chests are armed with full extension drawer slides – just the favorite of machinists. This drawer design makes it easier to interact with your drawers without fully separating them from the cabinet.

Kennedy tool chest drawers are typically produced from double stainless steel pieces – one part joined to the cabinet and the other installed on its drawer box.

Depending on your model, the sliding motion is triggered by ball bearings or nylon rollers. Also, one of the pieces is outfitted with a lip that keeps the drawer steady in use – preventing those horrible back and forth jerking we have come to know from drawers.

Kennedy tool chests have amazing casters

Yes, the seamless functionality of Kennedy caster also explains why they don’t come that cheap. What stands out about Kennedy’s casters is their readiness to suffer.

Yes, you read that right. These casters are rugged, providing a rubber thread design that goes a long way in improving the shock absorption capacity of these casters. 

Usually, most Kennedy casters are fitted with double swivel and fixed bearing. It is also exciting to note how easy it is to install Kennedy casters. 

Assembling these casters requires minimal technical experience, with a flat tip screwdriver and ½” open-end wrench all you practically need to get things going.

Kennedy tool boxes are American made

Conventionally, we all know that tool boxes produced in the United States with American materials and American craftsmanship come at a steeper price.

This explains why many producers prefer to outsource their material sourcing and manufacturing to Asia, where it is cheaper, giving them a competitive advantage in the relative affordability of their products.

Albeit, Kennedy tool boxes are produced end-to-end from American materials and craftsmanship. 

The whole process is localized in Ohio, where Kennedy Manufacturing moved from Indiana. This is where the bulk of Kennedy’s manufacturing plants and labor reside. 

Being locally produced, Kennedy tool boxes are a bit higher than what is obtainable from foreign-manufactured tool boxes.


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