Big-Time Boxes: Chad Pritchard, Mac Tools and Cornwell Quality Tools

Oct. 12, 2021
This shop owner is so into his tools and toolboxes, he’s made a YouTube channel dedicated to them.

Owner: Chad Pritchard

Shop: CP Automotive

Location: Perry, Iowa

Automotive technician, mobile tool dealer, YouTuber, shop owner. Since the beginning of his career as a technician in 1998, Chad Pritchard has been all these things, and through it all, he’s always had a toolbox by his side.

Pritchard’s current setup consists of two Mac Tools toolboxes, one Mac Tools tool cart, and one Cornwell Quality Tools tool cart. The boxes and carts are arranged in an ‘L’ shape to be more efficient, so Pritchard has a toolbox both in front and to the side of the vehicle he’s working on.

To get an idea of just how large Pritchard’s setup is, if the boxes and carts were all lined up, the total length of the setup would be around 18’. As the owner and diagnostician of an independent repair shop – CP Automotive – Pritchard has amassed a multitude of tools and equipment over the years.

“You have to have the right tools to get the job done,” he says. “That’s why I have the amount of tools I do.”

His favorite tools are his scan tools. He owns several between his Snap-on, Autel, and Launch Tech scan tools, as well as having recently picked up the Matco ProAssist.

“Back in the day, you didn’t need that many tools,” Pritchard says. “When I first started [working] on cars, the toolboxes were smaller. The evolution of everything has just been so crazy because of the diagnostic equipment… but in order to determine [the issue] you have to have a slew of electronics.”

To keep his variety of tools in order, Pritchard likes to use organizers from Mechanic’s Time Savers, as well as keeping similar tools grouped together within the toolboxes and carts. His main toolbox houses his hardline tools such as wrenches, sockets, extensions, hammers, etc. and his Cornwell cart holds all his diagnostic equipment. His other cart holds specialty tools, and the older of his two toolboxes is home to his SAE tools, infrequently used tools, and tools that are a bit more nostalgic that have been in his family for years or are collector’s items.

A favorite part of his setup is the drop-top on one of his toolboxes.

“I really like the drop-top because it’s such a wide, open space, so I can just look at everything without having to open the drawer,” Pritchard says.

At one point, Pritchard worked as a mobile tool dealer for Mac — and a very successful one at that. After selling around 200 toolboxes in a year and becoming the number three distributor for Mac, Pritchard won a toolbox. But after five years working as a distributor, the technician decided it was time to go back to turning wrenches. He notes that, for him, working as a technician was just a more fulfilling career and lifestyle.

CP Automotive is a small, two-bay shop, consisting of Pritchard and one other employee. Pritchard handles the diagnostics and does some mobile diagnostics as well, helping other shops in the area when they get stumped on a diagnosis.

In the future, Pritchard is hoping to buy a larger shop and expand his business.

CP The Tool Addict

Along with his shop and mobile diagnostic work, Pritchard also runs a YouTube channel, CP The Tool Addict.

Initially, he started his channel just as a way to upload a video of his toolbox and all the tools in it to be able to provide evidence to his insurance company. From there, Pritchard continued uploading his toolbox tours and reviews of tools. But he really hit it big when he uploaded a video of himself customizing a tool cart.

"I built this franken-cart. I took two U.S. General carts and I stacked them on top of each other. I bought them for dirt cheap, and then I basically custom-built them. Then I did a video of them,” Pritchard says. “I got like 30,000 views on it. And that's what blew my YouTube channel up.” 

About the Author

Emily Markham | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Emily Markham is the editor of  Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group.

Sponsored Recommendations

Variable Valve Timing (VVT) Training Series

Almost every new vehicle is equipped with VVT technology. This video explains the weak points in OE designs and gives you a complete overview of the replacement options available...

Cam & Crank Sensor Training Series

Today's advanced engines depend on accurate and consistent information from cam and crank sensors for performance, fuel economy and emissions, and not all cam and crank sensors...

Buying Your Next Diagnostic Tablet

When you last invested in a diagnostic tablet for your shop, did you consider it a potential gateway to increased revenue? Probably not. It’s likely you viewed it as a necessary...

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!