Best Tool Chests and Tool Boxes Reviews (2020)
Introduction to Best Rolling Tool Chests and Tool Boxes
Tool chests and boxes are amazingly useful for your garage or workshop. As you develop your mechanical skills and expand your offer, your need to get high-end equipment grows more prominent as well. You will certainly notice that a more varied set of different tools allows you to work faster and achieve better results. So, your collection grows, which is fantastic, but how to keep all the items well-organized? Because merely piling them on your workbench, or putting them on shelves in various locations, may not work any longer. It will become too messy and annoying, making it harder and harder for you to do your job properly.
If you are an experienced mechanic or DIY fan, you probably already have had situations like this: You are in the middle of fixing a complicated flaw of a car. You have the main component almost disassembled, and there are just a few final screws to get rid of. And to remove them, you need a special screwdriver. You need it straight away, and it is nowhere to be found. It can really unhinge you! Then, you probably wish you had everything organized in one place so that you could quickly grab the thing you want.
Whether you are a weekend warrior, a do-it-yourself type of person, or a professional mechanic that works in a garage, having a good quality tool chest and a tool box is crucial. There is almost nothing that will drive you crazy like having to look at multiple places for a tool you need. It is incredibly frustrating especially when you have limited time and a lot of work to do, so every delay is very problematic for you. Now, let us figure out exactly which one of the two you need the most.
Best Rolling Tool Chests and Tool Boxes
A rolling tool cart or chest is typically a BIG and heavy aluminium storage area where you can place things like torque wrenches, sockets, drills, screwdrivers, ratchets, hammers, extensions, and much more. When all is said and done, these things can weigh upwards of 1,000+ pounds. The other side of the spectrum, which is actually for lighter duty use and more convenience, is a well-made tool box. When it comes down to using those products, you will be able to fit just enough things in there that you can carry it around by hand. These are also on the more economical side, costing not nearly as much as what some good quality tool chests would end up costing.
It is understandable that you may not have sufficient knowledge in this area and you may not be sure which model would be best for you to buy. With so many options available on the present market, it is not hard to be confused and uncertain which product to invest in. Definitely, it should be well-adjusted to both your particular needs and your financial possibilities.
So as to make the decision a bit easier for you, we have put together a list of the five best tool boxes to buy, as well as the best tool carts. Which one to get, is solely dependent on how much space you need and what your budget is. Click on any of the models below to check them out.
Here’s 5 Best Tool Chests and 5 Best Tool Boxes to Buy
10 Excel TB2105X-Blue 26-Inch Steel Top Tool Chest
If you want a nice top tool chest, but do not want to spend hundreds of dollars, consider the Excell Steel Top Chest, colored in blue. This one is quite nice and popular among mechanics and a whole load of other users. It has 5 ball bearing slider drawers, able to hold up to 50 lbs each. In order to keep the body of this tool box scratch-free, it is powder-coated, which makes it much more durable.
There is a recessed side handle on both the left and right side of the chest, allowing you to move this thing around with ease. You will also receive 2 keys, enabling you to lock and unlock the cart ultimately.
Overall, it is made of pressed steel, allowing it to withstand some heavy-duty abuse. At well under 150 dollars, we would say it is one of the best tool chests you can buy (on a budget, that is). Click below to see more details.
9 WEN 77041 41-Inch Silver Tool Chest and Cabinet Combo
As we just mentioned, the tool chest right above, being an only 6 drawer design, this one is a full combo kit including both a cabinet and a chest. The WEN Silver Tool Chest and Cabinet Combo are exactly what you need to store all of your heavy-duty tools and equipment.This entire unit is a big step up from the Excel mentioned earlier.
It is a total of 41-inches tall, you get 17,695 cubic inches of storage available, a 100lb rated self-locking ball bearing slider for each drawer, and full-length aluminium drawer pull handles.
There are 12 drawers that have 17.1-inches in depth (or about 6,565 cubic inches of storage) and 12 more drawers with 18.3-inches in depth (or about 11,130 cubic inches of depth for storage). Being made of 15-gauge steel and complete with lockable drawers, you better believe it is not light even when empty.
8 Craftsman 6 Drawer Heavy Duty Top Tool Chest
Whether it is fully loaded with tools or 100% empty, there are steel handles on both left and right side of this box. Placing this on a rolling cabinet will prove to be just as useful as if you put it on a table.It is not only us who recommend this product strongly but an average user who has bought it would do that as well. Click below to see more information about this particular unit.
7 Seville Classics UltraHDHeavy Duty Stainless Steel Tool Box
95% of this entire tool box is made of stainless steel which, as a result, gives it a weight of around 30 lbs (not bad). The 5 sliding drawers slide out easily, as well as have cushions inside. The powder-coated steel frame gives it high resistance against any dings and scratches that would harm its structure.The top hardwood flip open top is held up by two folding arms, which also feature a lock making it possible for you to secure your top tools and bottom drawers.
Lastly, there are side handles which are made of heavy-duty materials that allow you to carry and haul this box around.Overall, you get around 28” inches of length from right to left side. 11” inches in width (or depth), and 18.2” inches in height. Not huge by any stretch, but great for your basic tool needs. It is recommended to people who do not own a huge amount of tools, but still, want to keep them organized and be able to carry them with not much effort.
6 Viper Tool Storage V4109BLC 41-Inch 9-Drawer 18G Steel Tool Chest
Let us now move on to heavier-duty equipment, like the Viper Tool Storage Chest. What is so unique about this one? Well, the fact that it is a bit cheaper than some other name brand tool chests.
On top of that, this one is proven by past customers to be a quality product.The entire thing is built tough from 18 gauge steel. Each of the 9 drawers can hold 100 lbs each, even at full extension (thanks to their silky smooth ball bearings). To protect your investment from betting too beat-up, the entire unit is powder-coated.
Unlike most of the others we mentioned so far, we can choose this in one of 7 different colors. That is something that a lot of companies do not offer. If the appearance of tool storage is vital to you, choosing this product, you will be able to adjust it to your preferences more appropriately. To see more about this unit, click the button below.
5 Stanley STST19410 One-Latch Toolbox
We are now moving down to portable tool boxes, which are meant to be used as general tool holders. The first one we found to be quite nice is the Stanley STST19410 One-Latch Toolbox.
This particular model comes in a 16” inch long, 19” inch long, and 24” inch long size. There is a top handle which lets you easily carry it around whenever you need.
Additional storage is located at the top, and the main storage area is available as soon as you open the top half of the tool box. Being dry weight, it weighs only around 3.9 lbs dry. For about 17 dollars, you cannot go wrong with this tool box. It has the storage for a small to medium-sized load.
To see more details about this tool box, click the button below.
4 DEWALT DWST17808 TSTAK I Long Handle Toolbox
If you would like to see more about this product, click the button below.If you’d like to see more about this product, click the button below.
3 Stack-On SHB-16 16-Inch Multi-Purpose Steel Tool Box
With this tool box, we are taking it back to good-old fully metal portable tool carriers. This brand is Stack-On, and the model is SHB-16. The 16, in the end, represents the 16” inch long tool box from one side to the other. Right off the bat, this box is quite simple, with a metal handle on top and a metal latch to hold both halves of this box together.
The entire box is nickel-plated, allowing for more efficient resistance against rust and solvents. Dry weight is around 5.2 lbs, which is not overwhelming for being an empty box.
However, you have to keep in mind that it is an all-steel construction.For basic requirements, this box is a solid buy. As for the price of around 20 dollars, you will find it quite reasonable. To learn more about this particular tool box, click the button below.
2 DEWALT DWST08204 Tough System Case
Good old DeWalt, it is no wonder they have made it this far in our list. From drills through buffers to drill bits and what we have here – a heavy-duty tool case. It is not just your ordinary box that stores tools, definitely not. What we found here is an extra-large, robust space which is not only capable of holding huge power tools, but it also features modular pods that can fit your smaller accessories.
The top section opens up to show you a whole bunch of pods for things like screws, tape, nails etc. Opening it up with the two metal latches, and this is where your big tools can fit. Side handles allow you to carry this box with less difficulty. In addition to that, an IP65 integrated water seal allows for protection of content from the environment and a longer life for your equipment.
Even at its price of just under 60 dollars, you can find overwhelmingly positive feedback for this DeWalt tool case. If you want to see more information about this entire product, please click the button below.
1 Excel TB123-Red 16-Inch Cantilever Steel Tool Box
Best Tool Chest Buying Guide and FAQ
With many options being available on the market, you may not know which model of a tool chest to choose. In order to make it a bit easier for you, we have prepared a professional yet straightforward buying guide for you to read. First, we will explain it to you why is it recommended to buy a tool chest. Next, we will point to the most significant features you should look for in such a product.
After that, you will find out which items can be efficiently stored in tool chests. Finally, we will provide you with some of the most frequently asked questions, along with understandable answers. Nevertheless, if you still have some doubts concerning the choice of the best tool chest for you, do not hesitate to contact our consultants anytime! We will be more than happy to help you to make the right decision.
Why Should You Get a Tool Chest
If you have just a few tools that you can count on the fingers of one hand, a tool chest may not be necessary for you. It is quite a large container where you can store a lot of equipment, so it proves best for professional mechanics and die-hard DIY fans. It has a lot of capacities allowing you to keep both small and big tools, including wrenches, saws, pincers, hammers, prying tools, and many more.
The size of a tool chest is appropriate for its purpose, so even if it takes quite much space in your workshop, it is definitely worth having it to make your work smoother and less frustrating. Many chests are divided into separate sections of various sizes so that you could organize your equipment more effectively and be able to find what you need without any difficulty. For instance, you can have all the drilling tools in one drawer, all the cutting ones in another, and so on. For people who have an expanded set of equipment, such a sense of organization will undoubtedly make their lives easier.
What is more, if you have a substantial automotive repair shop and you need to store even more items, you may consider buying a tool cabinet instead. However, you can also get a tool chest for a start, and as your business develops and you need more capacity in it, usually it is not hard to buy an extension and mount it. Tool chests often have modular structures nowadays, meaning that you can always place one module on another. In this way, your tool storage will follow the development of your company.
Even if you do not own an automotive repair shop, but you have a lot of equipment in your workshop or garage, such a product will come in handy. It is worth keeping your tools safe, as they are usually quite expensive. Having them all stored in a cabinet, you will be sure that they will not be accidentally broken. The complete worth of such equipment, especially in professional workshops, can reach as much as thousands of dollars. As this is a significant investment, it certainly needs proper protection.
Some people go even further and keep their tools in a vault, but in most cases, it is far too expensive. It is definitely more than enough to purchase a tool cabinet and place all of the items there, and just remember always to use the locks in it and close your workshop when you leave it.
The Most Important Properties to Look for in the Best Tool Chest
At first glance, you may think that this product is just an extended version of a simple tools box. However, there are some significant features you should pay attention to while choosing the best model for yourself.
- Solid Frame
Tools can undoubtedly be hefty, especially if a considerable number of them is kept together. For example, a customizable wrench can weigh as much as half of a pound. If you have, let’s say, fifteen of those, this set alone weighs over pounds, and you have a lot of other equipment to store! Therefore, you need a tool cabinet with huge loading capacity and a solid frame that will hold all of that together and will not break. You certainly do not want to have a light chest that will give in to the weigh of your equipment!
Usually, the tool chests available today have 18- or 19- gauge steel, but also, you can find models with more massive and thicker 15-gauge. What is more, you should check if a particular product is double or single. Undoubtedly, the frame construction of a double tool cabinet is more robust and can hold more equipment.
- Storage Space
Obviously, the minimum capacity of a tool chest depends on the type and number of items you need to store. If you have just a small set of the most commonly used implements, probably an ordinary tools box will be enough for you.
However, if you already have a vast amount of equipment, or plan to expand this collection thoroughly in the future, it is better to invest in one of the best tool chests or even a tool cabinet. Also, as it was mentioned earlier, you do not have to decide on one size of this storage because you can expand it without much effort anytime.
In today’s tool chests, you will most probably find one of two kinds of slides. The first type is the non-bearing or friction ones, working on the basis of kinetic energy. As unsophisticated as they are, they can be an excellent suggestion for people looking for relatively cheap tool chests. Moreover, they are quite sturdy and not that likely to fail you – all they need is just occasional lubrication so that the drawers could be pulled smoothly. Furthermore, you will experience no difficulties while reassembling such a tool chest.
There is also the second variant, namely, roller or ball bearing slides. They are noticeably quieter, quicker to use, and more effective while closing and opening drawers. Nevertheless, you need to take into consideration that the load capacity of the roller bearings is very significant. It is recommended to choose only one of those tool chests that have at least 100 pounds rating. Also, it will be excellent to get a roller slide with complete expandability.
Drawers are certainly essential in a tool chest. They should have enough space for you to store and organize your whole equipment. Moreover, it is beneficial if they have rolled edges because, in this way, they will be as stiff as they should be. Apart from that, you should pay attention to the fact if the drawers have a stamped bottom as it makes them much stronger and more resistant to damages. Some people may need to choose more space-saving solutions, and in this case, the feature to look for in drawers is a flush design.
- Wheels or Casters
Note that not every tool chest has casters or wheels. If you plan to keep it in one place all the time, it will not make much different probably, but if you need to move it now and then, such an improvement is unspeakably useful. You should check if they are made from heavy-duty materials and have durable rubbing so that they would not be damaged easily.
Also, such solid rubber will enhance traction or grip, and reduce the rolling noise. What is more, it is worth making sure that casters are enabled with swivelling and locking mechanisms which make them more stable, secure and mobile.
- Safety Locks
When placing all of your equipment in a tool chest, you certainly want it to be all perfectly safe. For increased security, you may search for models that have dependable locking mechanisms.
Some products have tubular lock systems in which you have to unlock or lock one drawer in order to make the same effect on all the other drawers. Apart from that, you can find a tools chest with standard padlocks or padlock eyelets. You should choose the lock system that gives you the highest sense of security.
What Can Be Stored in a Tool Chest?
Basically, you can store anything you want in your tool chest, as long as it fits there. You can put there your automotive tools, as well as masonry tools, woodwork or carpentry if they are not too big in size and if their overall weight does not exceed the loading capacity of the storage you bought.
The Best Tool Chest FAQ
➡️ How Am I Supposed to Maintain and Clean My Tool Chest?
It does not take too much time and effort to keep your tool chest in an intact condition. If it is a model enhanced with casters, remember about the annual lubrication with proper bearing grease, recommended by the manufacturer. When it comes to slides, it is advisable to lubricate them a bit more often – twice a year. In most cases, WD40 or its counterpart should be enough.
In order to take care of the drawers or other surfaces, you can wipe them a cloth with water and some mild detergent. Moreover, if you want your chest to look as shiny as a new one, you can use car wax. Sometimes tools can leave greasy, grimy or oily stains, and in order to get rid of them, you can apply just a regular degreasing or cleaning solution.
➡️ How Should I Understand the Maximum Product Weight?
The maximum product weight is a sum of the tool chest weight and its loading capacity. For instance, if your tool storage weighs 150 pounds and its maximum loading capacity equals 2,000 pounds, the ultimate product weight would be 2,150 pounds.
➡️ What Are Ball Bearing Slides?
In some tool chests, you will notice ball or roller bearings. They are very useful because they make the process of opening and closing drawers much quicker, smoother and less exhausting. Many clients appreciate such a solution and claim that a top chest should have precisely this kind of mechanism applied.
➡️ What Should I Do to Replace the Locks?
If you need to replace the locks in your tool chest, you should look for the ones that are made by the same manufacturer. They always have replacement locks available, as well as many other pieces of hardware. When you buy such an item, you will receive a manual along with it, so you will know exactly how to install it. Usually, you can get rid of the existing lock by removing the drawers at the top of the chest, as well as the lock bar and the existing nut. In this way, you will achieve a lot of space to reach the lock. Then, you need to insert the replacement lock and put everything back.
However, if you feel that you do not have the proper skills to do that alone, you can ask a locksmith to come over, or you can take your chest to their workshop. They will charge you for this, of course, but still, it is better to do that than to risk damaging your tool chest which you have spent a lot of money on.
➡️ If I Already Have a Tool Cabinet, Do I Need a Tool Box as Well? Or the Other Way Round?
It all depends on the specific nature of your work. Some people prefer to do all the repairs in their workshop and do not reach clients at their premises. In this case, a tool box probably will not be that necessary. You will be fine with just a chest or, if you have a lot of equipment to store, with a cabinet.
Nevertheless, it is worth investing in a model with wheels or casters because, in this way, you will provide it with at least certain mobility and you will be able to move it around the place. Then, you would not have to walk every time you need a different implement. Also, if you already have a tool box which you can carry with you everywhere, but it is not enough to keep all the equipment you have at your garage or workshop, you probably should get a tool cabinet additionally. Having both is the most recommended for people who work both on the spot and outside it because, as a result, they can have the complete set of tools in their premises but also are able to take the most necessary ones with them when they travel somewhere.
Our Choice of the Best Tool Box
The tool box that our team liked the most is the Excel TB123-Red Cantilever Steel Tool Box. It is constructed entirely of metal, which includes the folding drawers as well. Despite its metal structure, you can carry it easily thanks to the relatively big handlebar. Thanks to the powder coating added by the producer, this model is resistant to scratches or other damages that would harm its elegant appearance.
What is more, thanks to this enhancement, your tool box will be immune to rust, which is not available in the case of painted models. Apart from the primary storage compartment, the Excel TB123-Red Cantilever Steel Tool Box has four folding ones as well. Generally, it enables you to carry over 50 lbs worth of equipment.
Mechanics-Level Tool Boxes vs Professional-Level Ones
All the tool boxes we have presented are able to keep a large number of tools, handling their significant weight. In most cases, producers will separately define how many pounds each drawer can handle so that you could know when to stop placing implements in one section and move to another one. You can get a unit that will be able to carry from 75 up to a few hundred pounds in each drawer.
Generally, you can also notice that high-quality tool chests or boxes are not that cheap. You need to remember that the saying “you get what you pay for” is very relevant when referring to professional storage for tools. Therefore, you should not be a Scrooge in this matter! Bear in mind that a solid, quality steel product, enriched with drawers that open and close smoothly, will serve you for many years. It is better to invest a more significant amount of money once than spend it on the new equipment again and again!
Undoubtedly, you do not want to experience a situation where you load up your new chest with all of your tools, and then dump all of them while pulling open a drawer. Even worse, it could turn out that some of the drawers did not handle the weight of their load and were already bent, which makes them almost impossible to be opened. Remember that a top chest, cabinet or box for your tools is a life-long investment, so it is definitely worth your attention!