Experienced craftsmen know that it takes effort to keep all the gear and accessories in order when you use them on a regular basis. After spending hours fixing one problem at home, you feel too tired to put everything in its right place. The best tool chest is what might ease the mess that gets only bigger and makes you more and more frustrated.
Modern tool chests boast lots of advantages. The majority of them are made of heavy-duty materials that ensure amazing durability. Many tool boxes have three or more sections that enable you to store numerous tools in order. Some are equipped with reliable locking mechanisms that contribute to better security.
They differ in cost, size, and purpose. You can see an endless variety of options on the market, and below are presented the most successful and alluring options among which you have a chance to find your best tool chest.
Read all the reviews to be sure which tool chest is able to meet your budget, personal expectations, and needs well.
Tool Chest Reviews
Dewalt DWST17804 — Best portable tool box
If you’re looking for a sturdy organizer for all your work-related small objects, the DWST17804 might be your best cheap tool box. Priced competitively, it offers a heavy-duty design and multiple convenience factors.
The overall size of the box is 16 ¼ inches in length, 12 ¼ inches in width, and 6 ⅜ inches in height. It’s designed to accommodate your nuts, screws, small screwdrivers, scissors, tapes, etc. The drawers are located on top of each other and slide outwards on the metal rails using the ball-bearing mechanism. The latter works smoothly without getting stuck or “throwing” the drawer out too fast.
The dividers inside this plastic tool box with drawers make nine separate compartments, which are deep enough to contain two handfuls of the ½-inch Philips screws without being overfilled. The drawer handles are put in the center, having a deep recession underneath. This design ensures you can take the handle and control the drawer movement fully. There’s also no risk of getting between the drawers for your fingers.
The black parts of the drawers are made of thick polycarbonate to withstand the occasional bumps and scratches. The other parts are made of transparent polypropylene. With a 2.1-gallon capacity, this organizer can be the best toolbox for an electrician, a repairs worker, and even for a fisherman. I can’t call it lightweight (with its 9 lbs), but the chest will definitely keep your consumables protected and well arranged.
- A simple locking mechanism keeps drawers in place during carrying the toolbox around.
- The on-top handle folds into a recession, making the top part flat.
- The unit can be assembled with other TSTAK boxes by side latches.
- If using the box separately (not within a stack), the bottom feet bow a little under the load.
- It takes effort to remove the inner dividers.
Keter 241008 — Best rolling tool chests
This trolley chest features three compartments for storing the tools of different kinds and sizes. The neat arrangement of your fasteners, pliers, and pneumatic wrenches (each in a separate compartment) makes it one of the best tool boxes for various applications.
The thick plastic chest sustains bumps well to be used at heavy-duty worksites. The lids for upper-part compartments are scratch-resistant ones. They fit closely, not letting the water get in. Besides, an extendable handle lets you quickly move this tool box on wheels around.
The central round switch secures the lids and keeps the toolbox together. Having turned it, I’ve taken each compartment and drawn it to the side to reach the bottom storage. The latter is quite deep and wide, fitting for big tools like a drill, an impact hammer, etc. Two other parts are slimmer and slide on the ball-bearing racks. One part serves to store the small- and middle-sized tools like pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, etc. Another part holds six plastic bins: four smaller and two bigger ones that help you keep your screws, staples, tips, and other miscellaneous objects arranged in a neat way. The overall dimensions of this large tool chest make 24.3 x 16.3 x 14.9 inches, letting you take everything you need for at least a single type of job.
- The upper tools compartment is equipped with a divider.
- The central switch can be locked securely with the padlock.
- The lid on the small objects compartment is transparent letting you see what’s inside.
- Fully opened, the chest takes much space due to the lids protracting upwards to the sides.
- The recession for wheels makes the bottom box an irregular-shaped one, so not all high-profile or wide tools might fit inside.
Craftsman 3-Drawer Toolbox — Best metal tool box
This review describes a handy and spacious chest designed to organize your tools that are usually scattered in your garage.
The metal body has three drawers with ball-bearing slides that perfectly work no matter how many heavy items are inside them. You can also notice a pair of hasps and a pair of staples that together ensure better safety and equipment protection, especially when you move the tool box. Besides, there is also some extra space you can get by opening the lid. But when the lid is closed, the drawers stay closed as well.
The Craftsman 3-drawer tool box is remarkable for extreme sturdiness. Unlike other toolbox models, it is not equipped with wheels because its weight is about 20 pounds and you will find it hard to move it.
The tool chest has a bright and eye-catching look. The red color is always classy. This is why this nifty but cheap tool chest will bring a little bit of fashion into your place.
My recommendation on the Craftsman 3-Drawer tool box is that this chest is primarily designed for mechanic equipment that is heavy and needs a secure storage area.
- The locking bar can be removed.
- The included diagrams show how you can oil the drawer tracks and remove the drawers if needed.
- The depth takes only 8 inches. It may be too small to store lots of tools at a time.
Video Craftsman 3-Drawer Toolbox
This US general tool box is able to carry heavy loads and remarkable for an extra-large capacity that lets you store all the essential tools in one place.
The box is made of heavy-duty materials and has a soft-grip handle that ensures easy and secure transportation of your gear. The toolbox is water-resistant, so you can also keep battery-powered tools in here without fear of getting them damaged. It is also equipped with rust-resistant metal latches that protect your items safely. You may also like V-grooves designed to hold materials that you are cutting, including lumber and pipes.
The Stanley heavy duty-tool box definitely wins points due to its ergonomic design. The chest box is absolutely versatile and designed to carry all types of tools of any weight. It also has a portable tray that allows for multiple storage options of your equipment. The chest box is easily portable and won’t be a burden to its owner in spite of its huge size.
I recommend buying this Stanley extra-large box for folks that want to keep both their big and small gear in safety and order. Also, it is a good option for those looking for the best portable tool box.
- The price is budget-friendly and fully fits the benefits this toolbox offers.
- The hinges and handle are sturdy.
- If you keep it open for over 2-3 days, the chest box may bend and the waterproofing seals won’t line up.
This Omega 92450 model could be the best mechanic tool box for those buyers who need a mobile and compact cabinet to store their gear in perfect order.
The body consists of three 3-inch drawers that let you sort out your tools and accessories effectively. The box is made of heavy-duty materials that provide enhanced durability and long operating life. The toolbox’s rated capacity reaches up to 450 lbs and allows for the storage of heavy and bulky tools. There is a pair of trays located on the front and back that you can use to store some accessories that have to stay on hand.
This creeper tool box is mobile and user-friendly. It is rigged with four polyurethane castor wheels that make it possible to move this cabinet easily, even with heavy weights stored inside or on the trays.
The Omega tool box’s design is quite extraordinary. You can see a soft leather seat cushion built on top of the cabinet that transforms this tool chest into a comfortable chair if necessary.
The unit is not lightweight, but it is not big trouble because the user is expected to benefit from a side handle that allows moving the cabinet easily. The Omega 92450 comes only in classic black color that is fit for any décor and furniture.
- The price is extremely low
- The tool box does not have a locking mechanism.
- There are no similar casters on the market to buy in case you damage these ones.
- The trays are made of plastic.
If you are looking for a versatile option, the Stanley 037025H is definitely should be added to our tool chest review list.
The toolbox boasts a vast capacity of 50 gallons that are enough to store all your mechanic tools as well as other stuff that need a strict arrangement. The body is made of structural foam that features good durability and equipped with a soft-grip handle that helps you transport the toolbox conveniently. The Stanley H 50 has a couple of heavy-duty rubber-coated wheels that allow for mobility and transportation.
What you may also like about this model is a wide work surface on the top that can be of use when cutting materials or fixing something outdoors. Besides, the tool chest has a locking mechanism allowing you to feel safe while you are away from the cabinet.
My recommendation is that you should go with the Stanley 037025H if you are intent on getting a large and hard-case tool box that provides increased safety and security.
- The unit is suited to store deep-cycle batteries and battery-powered tools.
- The hinges are made of poor-quality plastic.
While equipped with the caster wheels, the Craftsman tool cart is designed like a stationary unit for storing the tools on a constant basis. Besides, the casters are a plus, as they let you move the chest closer to your current worksite and put it back then.
The box contains the four drawers installed on top of each other and equipped with a well-assembled ball-bearing mechanism. They’re easy to glide out and inside even with 30lbs inside them. Overall, this steel tool box can handle up to 500lbs of tools, materials, and whatever you’d like to keep inside. The total width of the chest is 26.5 inches, with an 18-inch depth, and 32-inch height. The upper drawer is a bit smaller than the other ones that are equal in dimensions. Considering the sturdy steel construction, you can fill each drawer to the top (as I did) without experiencing any troubles with retracting and pushing them in.
The drawers can accommodate various objects like middle-sized and small power tools (I had three circular saws kept in the bottom drawer). I used the upper one to store my fasteners, hand tools, and miscellaneous things like sticking tape, tool manuals, etc. Still, the storage capacity is limited to the 8 cubic inches of space inside. This tool storage chest comes with a soft mat that can be put on top and serve for arranging the tools and consumables you need for a current job.
- Each drawer handle is wrapped in a ribbed rubber pad and is non-slipping.
- It features a keyhole for locking the box with a key.
- The chest doesn’t feature a handle.
- To unlock the bottom drawers, I had to extend the top one to a full length.
Some Tips on How to Organize a Tool Chest Effectively
Keeping your things organized requires time and patience. If your tool box is messy, here is a simple way of getting it neat.
#1 Empty your tool box
Before establishing order in your tool chest, it is important to assess the situation and make sure that all the things inside the storage box really should be there. Look at the tool box’s contents and see to it that each item is part of your equipment or gear. Then make sure that the tools and the box are both free from dirt and do not require any extra cleaning. If either is somewhat greasy, take it outdoors and get rid of the filth.
#2 Sort it out
After cleaning everything properly, you should examine the tools for fitness. If some are rusty or damaged, they won’t serve a purpose. It is better to throw them away so that there would be more space in your storage box. Leave only those things that are really going to be of use to you. If you have doubts about some tool, it usually means that you probably won’t take advantage of it later. I recommend you to keep that gear that you are sure to apply for sure.
#3 Evaluate the weight and size of tools
The tool box is designed to store mainly small-sized stuff that tends to get lost in disarray. In theory, you can use it to keep some bulky items, but there is no point in doing it because it would be impractical. This is why you should prioritize your equipment and give preference to the most important gear. I recommend leaving out some bulky tools that can be easily placed on the shelf and do not necessarily require the tool chest.
Then you should evaluate your tool box’s capacity. If it is medium-sized with a capacity of 25 lbs, you won’t be able to put lots of stuff inside.
#4 Organize your tools
There are various ways of organizing your equipment. It fully depends on your vision and preferences. I can distinguish three principal ways.
Some tools may fulfill the same duty. For example, bolts and washers can be interchangeable in some cases. You could group all similar items to make it easier to find what you need at an urgent moment.
Another method is to divide all your gear into classes where each class is involved with one project. For instance, some tools are strictly used to deal with water systems, while others are necessary for repair work. This might be a bit complicated though because you should possess a tremendous number of items to build upon this classification. If you do, however, this could help you a lot.
As a craftsman, you know that some tools are a lot more used than others. I suggest that you could group your equipment by popularity. For example, the tools you use most often should be stored conveniently so that you could access them easily at any moment.
#5 Label your tools
After sorting out your gear, you should label the drawers storing it. It would be much easier to look for a specific item when you clearly see the name of the contents inside each drawer.
#6 Place a cardboard
Take a piece of cardboard and put it on the bottom of your toolbox. This is a safeguard against grease, oil, and lubricants that may accidentally leak. The cardboard will absorb it and save your tool box from unnecessary dirt.
#7 Deal with miscellaneous items
There is always some stuff that does not belong to any group and literally has no storage place. I recommend buying a few trays on which you can place all these extra items that are difficult to sort out. Some tool chests have the built-in trays that are perfect to store nails, nuts, and other tiny stuff.
Now, you can put all your tools in their right places. Here are some tips on keeping your tool box neat and clean:
- Lubricate the casters at least once a year. This will help your tool box stay mobile longer.
- Dust the box only with a soft cloth that won’t scratch or damage its case.
- If you have spilled something on the tool chest unintentionally, wipe it off immediately because some liquids can eat into the surface and damage it.
These rules and tips will help you extend your tool box’s service and take advantage of it for a long time.