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The Best Toolboxes

mr.kriangsak kitisak/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated October 2021

The workbench is a mechanic's best friend, but where do they turn for the portable solution? When that work or family call comes in and they need more tools than a canvas bag can carry, that's when a toolbox makes a huge difference.

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  Best Overall Best with Wheels Best Storage Capacity Best Truck Toolbox Best Budget Pick
Long Handle Toolbox
Rolling Toolbox
Deep Toolbox with Long Handle
SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box
Small Plastic Toolbox
Our SummaryThe ideal toolbox for almost any mechanic or repair tech, its long design and ample length fit most tools.With this toolbox, you'll get storage for the essential tools and accessories that are needed on the go.A spacious toolbox makes it much easier to store and organize almost everything, from loose screws to entire drills.A hard-wearing toolbox that secures your tools to your other favorite piece of equipment: the pick-up truck.A toolbox that understands what it means to travel light, this option was designed for the budget buyer who only needs the bare essentials.
Pros7 inches of depth, features internal dividers for smaller tools and accessories, rust-resistant latches.Wide array of tool chambers, wheels permit complete mobility, features two removable trays.Heavy-duty frame, crafted from bi-material and metal for comfort and durability, features top lid organizer.Conveniently bolsters into truck beds, crafted from tough ABS plastic, can support up to 75 pounds.Affordable for most users, 12-compartment design, plastic body makes it easy to carry.
ConsCompartments aren't as adjustable as other units, overall design can feel incomplete at times.Prone to taking on more weight than comfortable, large frame size makes it harder to store in a garage.Not much opportunity for organizing below the top lid, can get heavy fast if user stores too much.Compatible with only a select few truck bed types, large price tag, needs to be drilled into truck.Lightweight frame is susceptible to cracking, only available in two sizes, less than sturdy latches.
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The Best Toolboxes

a man holding a tool box with a yellow lid and black bottom
mr.kriangsak kitisak/Shutterstock.com

Having a toolbox at your side is a necessity if you frequently perform repairs on various vehicles, machines, and other industrial components or on-the-go circumstances. It allows you to organize all of your gear, and that helps make your job a heck of a lot easier. If you’re seeking an optimal level of organization that’s capable of standing the test of time, then here are a few toolboxes we think you should check out.

Buying Guide for Toolboxes

An open toolbox full of tools on a wooden table.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a toolbox?

Like the angler needs their tackle box and the chef needs their knife block, the on-call mechanic needs a good toolbox. The very idea of the toolbox was born out of the need to accommodate the user, as their deep bucket designs and layered compartment trays allow for the utmost organization for a variety of tools and work safety accessories. The toolbox was also founded on the idea of taking your tools wherever the day’s job requires because you can’t expect an easy work experience when it starts with tossing a handful of tools onto the truck floor.

What should you look for in a toolbox?

When searching for the ideal toolbox, consider these factors:

  • Storage Capacity: Today’s toolboxes can provide you with a surplus of storage options to better organize your accessories while maintaining a low-key design. They’re better optimized to ensure that technicians and repair professionals can store the necessary tools with better efficiency for each kind of job and tool aficionado, so size it up or size it down. Unless you’re anticipating a few more pieces of equipment to trickle in over the years, you should buy a toolbox that accommodates the loadout you have on hand with just a sliver of wiggle room.
  • Construction: Given their hard-wearing task, it’s important that you seek out a toolbox that’s just as durable as the tools it houses. Most of today’s choices feature a reinforced frame that’s designed to ensure better long-term use and reliability. The sturdy construction of the item itself also allows you to protect some of your more valuable and delicate tools. This relationship between material construction and size can directly affect your next consideration.
  • Portability: Alongside storage and durability, portability is a must-have. After all, the original toolbox was created for users to take their necessities and favorites on the go. It’s a delicate balance to navigate, but you’ll find that a handful of toolboxes understand this principle, offering lightweight ease alongside more ergonomic designs. A compact design will allow you to travel with your tools and take them just about anywhere.

Are steel-bodied toolboxes still a dependable choice?

The formula for toolbox success has changed over the years, so like most classic items, the steel toolbox comes with as many perks as it does downsides. To this day, it very well could be the strongest type of toolbox on the market. There’s also a sense of real craftsmanship in the design of steel toolboxes, offering you a welcomingly vintage look that’s often missing from modern plastic alternatives. However, that level of sturdiness can impede how you get around with your tools. Moreover, its hard frame, while protective, still isn’t immune to scratches, paint wear, dents, and even rust. So, take the good with the bad, or embrace the new.

Our Picks for the Most Sturdy Toolboxes

Best Overall

Dewalt Long Handle Toolbox

This is the ideal toolbox for most mechanics or repair techs.

Pros: With a 17-by-13-inch frame and comfortable 7 inches of depth, this toolbox is the ultimate option when it comes to storage combinations and optimal organization. It features several dividers to store drills, bits, and other small tools. Its handle is constructed out of a bi-material that ensures greater comfort when carrying the toolbox around on a busy workday. Also tacked onto the toolbox are expertly forged, strong latches that are rust-resistant.

Cons: This toolbox is intended to work as a standalone purchase, but it’s also meant to be paired with the rest of Dewalt’s tool storage organizers, so the design of a single level can leave much to be desired. Some users have reported its organization compartments to feel less than satisfactory, as they aren’t adjustable like the additional add-ons. Some users reported that in order to achieve the perfect fit for their tools, they needed to manually modify (cut) the toolbox themselves.

Bottom Line: A lightweight, easily manageable toolbox, this Dewalt Long Handle Toolbox provides just enough compartmentalization and depth for you to pack tools of varying sizes for your workday.


Best with Wheels

Stalwart Rolling Toolbox

With this toolbox, you'll have storage space for the essential tools and accessories needed on the go.

Pros: Featuring a wide array of tool chambers and removable pieces, this toolbox offers size, rugged protection, and swift mobility. It features two 4.2-inch nylon wheels and a fold-down handle that promotes great grip power, so you don’t have to feel like you’re doing work on the way to the job. There are a total of 24 small parts chambers for items like screwdrivers, loose nails and screws, and pliers. This toolbox also includes two trays that can be removed for complete access to your equipment.

Cons: Though its space gives you the opportunity to store more equipment, that also increases the chance of you adding more weight to the toolbox than you can easily work with. On its own, the toolbox weighs just over 11 pounds, but with the inclusion of various heavy metals, you’re likely to go from pulling to tugging it along. This is also one of the largest toolboxes you’ll come across, so if you don’t have the space in your garage, its 17.5- by 10- by 24.5-inch frame can cause a few issues.

Bottom Line: Sporting a heavy-duty frame, multiple storage slots, and convenience on wheels, this rolling toolbox is an ideal option for workers looking to take the stress off their backs during the workday.


Best Storage Capacity

Dewalt Deep Toolbox with Long Handle

This spacious toolbox makes it much easier to store and organize your tools.

Pros: Designed with the ideal type of frame reinforcement, this heavy-duty toolbox offers extra storage for those who have a wide range of repair and maintenance accessories. Like the other Dewalt stackables it stems from, it features a combination of bi-material comfort on its handle and anti-corrosive durability on its latches, so you bear little concerns while towing it around. It also features a top lid organizer that’s great for small items you can easily misplace.

Cons: As its name suggests, this toolbox offers deep storage; however, once you get below the top tray, you’ll have to strain your organization skills. Most of its storage space lacks real compartmentalization, so nothing really keeps your tools in place. And the top tray only features two sections that run length-wise, so you don’t have a lot of space to keep long yet small items in place. Because of its large size, you’re likely to store an abundance of tools in it, and that can cause issues for users who want to avoid the back pain often associated with lugging around toolboxes.

Bottom Line: This Dewalt Deep Toolbox is another robust option that provides a well-crafted balance of storage for both small and large work equipment, plus plenty of adaptabilities when purchased alongside its accompanying styles.


Best Truck Toolbox

UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box

A hard-wearing toolbox that secures your tools to your other favorite piece of equipment: the pick-up truck.

Pros: Providing a new kind of spin on portability, this truckbed-compatible toolbox can be taken almost any distance without you breaking a sweat. It’s crafted from easily transportable ABS plastic that’s light enough to load up and down without much work, but it’s strong enough to resist high-impact strikes and a multitude of hard weather days. Best of all, this toolbox swings toward you with ease, even when it’s loaded with 75 pounds of equipment.

Cons: Despite its convenient layout, this toolbox isn’t compatible with all truckbeds. In fact, it’s only designed to be installed on the driver’s side of 2020-2021 models of Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras, so that limits it. The installation process itself can make you second guess a purchase, as you’ll need to drill a hole into the side of the truck bed for proper bolstering. The toolbox’s price is also worth noting, as its high cost is definitely one to budget for well in advance.

Bottom Line: Sporting a traditional yet sleek appearance, this case truly embodies what it means for a toolbox to be both portable and weatherproof while providing the right storage means.


Best Budget Pick

MagDurnus Small Plastic Toolbox

A toolbox that understands what it means to travel light, this option was designed for the budget buyer who only needs the bare essentials.

Pros: Ideal for small odd jobs around the house, this inexpensive toolbox features more room than you may give it initial credit for. In total, there are 12 compartments throughout three tiers of storage space. It features a top layer that’s protected by a transparent cover, and just below that is a long interlayer, followed by an open storage bucket. It’s made supremely easy to tote around, thanks to the toolbox’s full plastic body.

Cons: Its material construction is light, but that’s likely to its detriment, as this toolbox isn’t explicitly designed to take on hard hits, harsh weather days, or an excessive amount of heavy tools. It’s only available in two sizes (10 and 13 inches), so you won’t be able to cram too much in it. Its plastic latches are a bit flimsy, akin to something you might find on a children’s toy.

Bottom Line: Undoubtedly, the most wallet-friendly choice you’ll find on the market, this MagDurnus Small Plastic Toolbox provides more than enough space for the minimalist tool user in your life.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s coasting by on a pair of wheels or comfortably resting in the palms of your hands, there’s perhaps no greater convenience than owning a toolbox. Big or small, steel or plastic, compartmentalized or open, there’s a toolbox out there for almost every garage junkie with an overflow of equipment on their workbench.

Nick Pappas Nick Pappas
Nick Pappas is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy from South Bend, IN. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and has written content and short stories for ABC57 News and Kansas City Voices. Away from the computer, you can find Nick traveling and filmmaking, though his interests are constantly changing! Read Full Bio »
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