Let’s face it, the garage can be a magnet for things other than your prized tools and hardware. In our household, it is also the deposit area for anything my wife deems to fall in the man’s domain. This means I regularly find little “presents” like the spoon I’m supposed to repair – that somehow found it’s way into the garbage disposal, or the random tools that somehow get left scattered around the house either during or after projects and then are picked up by the tool fairy. If your garage is a black hole that seems to attract just about everything, you’ll need some decent storage. That’s where the Premier Five Drawer GearDrawer from Gladiator Garageworks comes in.
Gladiator sent us one of their Premier GearDrawers which we were very happy to put to use in swallowing up at least some portion of the chaos that exists in our garage. The Gear Drawer or “GearDrawer” as Gladiator prefers, arrived via a freight truck, with an unloading process that thankfully went more smoothly than Liz’s 18-Wheeler custom metal delivery. The driver even suggested we open up the box to ensure the GearDrawer didn’t sustain any shipping damage. By the way, anytime you receive a freight shipment, I recommend opening up the shipment before signing for it. It’s amazing how often freight gets damaged, and if you don’t at least note it in writing when you sign for it, you may be out of luck in making a claim for it. Shippers are often required to report damage when a shipment is received, not sometime after you get around to opening the box. Your driver might get a little grumpy having to wait for you to inspect the package, but many are quite understanding and would probably do the same thing themselves. Of course, if you have a truck or SUV and can swing buying locally, all the better (however, you will sadly only have yourself to blame for any transport damage).
As much as I like working with tools, I’m always happy when products don’t require an entire weekend to assemble. The Gladiator Premier GearDrawer is relatively easy to put together, although I recommend having a second person on-hand to flip the unit upside down (to attach the casters) and to flip the unit right side up (once you have the casters attached). All there really is to assemble is attaching the side bumpers, attaching the wheels, and inserting the included drawer pads into each drawer. Each wheel has four bolts that slide into slots and are tightened into place. Unfortunately one of the bolts sheared in half while I was applying relatively mild torque with a small ratchet. Which brings me to this brief, non-Gladiator-specific hardware rant. . .
There are few things worse than excitedly piecing together your latest tool, furniture or garage product and then suddenly realizing you’re short necessary hardware (due a bolt shearing off, a screw getting stripped, or a glitch during hardware packaging). That’s why I’m making this public appeal for manufacturers to please include an extra piece of hardware for each hardware type. I’ll cut slack for a $20 product, where every penny counts, but for let’s say $50 and up, I officially voice my request for manufacturers to consider throwing in a couple extra screws and bolts. The cost will probably be offset by saving your customer service people the hassle of shipping individual replacement bolts and screws. That, and you’ll provide a happier assembly experience in the process. You could even bag the extras separately so people don’t get freaked out they missed a bolt during assembly. Given how incredibly powerful tool and home improvement bloggers have become (not really), I’m sure manufacturers will all immediately revise their hardware policies by the end of the week (also not really). – End of Rant –
I was very happy to see the Gladiator Five Drawer Modular Gear Drawer has deep, nearly full extension drawers. So often drawers stop well short of fully opening, which means you rarely, if ever, see that stuff you forgot your stored there 10 years ago. Some other notables:
- Tubular Lock keeps most unauthorized snoopers out of your tools
- Rear swivel casters/recessed side pulls make maneuvering easy
- Caster brakes make for a remarkably solid foundation
- Generous 24″ deep and about 23 1/2″ wide (before bumpers)
- Heavy-duty welded steel construction supports 1,400 lbs. & 65 lbs/drawer (A LOT of tools)
- Overall 34.5 in. high x 28 in. wide x 25 in. deep
You’ll also find a nice mixture of drawer heights. The top drawer is about 1 3/4″ tall and is perfect for low profile tools like wrenches, sockets, the remote control to your 65″ man-cave entertainment system. The three drawers below that are about 4″ tall, making them a great multi-purpose height for things like cordless tools, bulkier hand tools, or your double-stacked Good Delivery gold bars. Finally, a cavernous bottom drawer has about 8 1/2″ of height , making it ideal for bulkier corded tools, or your favorite collection of special “magazines” from the 1980’s you can’t part with for sentimental reasons. Whatever you need to stash away in the garage, consider the Gladiator Gear Drawer one of your strongest allies.
There wasn’t much to complain about with this gear drawer. We got over the sheared bolt (sort of) and simply opted to use three bolts instead of four on that one caster. Gladiator Garageworks thoughtfully included five drawer liners and a mat for the top surface (which can also be topped with an optional Maple block surface for around $120). The liners were a tad wide and the top matt a tad narrow, but since I’m talking millimeters here, to call this a fault is probably a stretch. All the drawers have what appear to be drainage holes in them. Are these to drain water if there’s a tsunami in your garage? Or to let air escape when closing the tight tolerance drawers? Or to distribute spilled beer? Or for leaking oil containers? We’re not really sure, so we’re calling them an un-feature for now. All in all, we’re hard pressed to find serious faults with this garage storage beauty.
So, to sum things up, the Gladiator Garageworks Premier GearDrawer ranks high for quality (except for the that one bolt), high for style, and high for functionality. It also ranks relatively high on it’s price tag. If you’re looking for budget storage, you’re probably better off getting a Sears Craftsman storage cabinet for about half of the cost of this Gladiator version. But if you want to grin every time you pull out or put away a tool (and inspire neighbor man-cave envy in the process), then the Gladiator Gear Drawer should be on your wish list. It turns out Sears is a good place to find great pricing on both lower cost Craftsman products, and Gladiator Garagworks gear as well. You can find the Gladiator Premier Five Drawer Modular GearDrawer at Sears for $399, a full $100 off retail. If you use the $5 off link and coupon code here, you can make that $394. There, you owe us a frosty beverage now with that huge savings.