Best Tool Boxes: Organize This

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Top 8 Best Tool Boxes

It’s a debate for the ages: should one put tools back in their place during a repair? One school of thought says that if you don’t, then they’re at hand and easy to reach. Others argue that the time spent walking back to the bench is well spent since you always know exactly where the tools are sitting. We’ll let you guess which side of the debate this author resides.

It’s an argument not likely to be settled any time soon. What both camps can agree on, however, is the necessity of a good toolbox for all this kit. We’ve selected eight options from Amazon – whether you choose to put your tools back during a job is up to you.

Table of Contents

1. Editor's Choice: DEWALT Tool Box, Tough System XL

This one ranks high on our list because it is part of a modular system that can scale anywhere from a home-based DIYer to a professional with an entire van-racking system. This particular XL box measures about one foot by two feet which makes for a wide and deep tool back that will accept almost all your garage-based detritus.

It has a weight capacity of up to 110 pounds, durable structural foam walls, an IP65 rated integrated water seal, and rust-resistant metal latches. As a part of the ToughSystem family, it can be attached to the trolley using the adjustable brackets or stacked with other ToughSystem units using the side latches.

Pros

  • Fit-together system, keeps out water

Cons

  • Betcha can't buy just one

Bottom Line

  • Great by itself or with its friends

2. Big Red Torin 19" Portable Steel Tool Box

As our own Murilee Martin has proved on many occasions, it pays to have a small (and likely beat up) toolbox at the ready for impromptu trips to the junkyard. This 'hip roof' style doesn't refer to its level of cool but instead the barn roof shape of its lid.

This design means you can poke a few extra 10mm sockets and flathead screwdrivers in the removable top shelf without having to bend the lid into a pretzel while closing it. Don't expect any fancy compartments or waterproofing here; this is strictly a rugged and affordable toolbox to grab on your way out the door. Sounds good to us.

Pros

  • Great price, ideal size

Cons

  • The removable shelf is plastic

Bottom Line

  • Don't worry about knocking this one around

3. COU 5-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest

Hey, you might not be an ASE Certified mechanic but with a tall toolbox on rollers you can definitely pretend you are one. It's tough to beat this particular unit, with five drawers and a pair of locker cabinets for less than 200 bucks.

It is available in three colors - black, red, and orange - and stands just under four feet tall when fully assembled. The works of it weigh about 40 pounds, meaning you'll be grateful for those stout castor wheels when the time comes to move this thing about the garage.

Pros

  • Plenty of storage capacity, looks good

Cons

  • Just a single review

Bottom Line

  • Quickly upgrade your workspace

4. Milwaukee 22 in. Packout Rolling Modular Tool Box

Similar to the DEWALT boxes shown above, these units from Milwaukee are sanitized stackable for your convenience. The various sellers on Amazon all promote these boxes as being weather sealed and designed for use in harsh job-site conditions. Your spic-n-span garage should be just fine, then.

Ample real-world pictures from customers show a sturdy toolbox system with plenty of storage cubbies for small items. The extending handle and twin roller wheels remind your author of a carry-on suitcase that, while on brand, would probably not be welcome in an overhead bin.

Pros

  • Stellar ratings, excellent feedback

Cons

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

  • You get what you pay for

5. McGuire-Nicholas 22015 15-Inch Collapsible Tote

Believe it or not, there is a subsection of gearheads who may not have enough free space to dedicate to a toolbox. Yeah, I know. For these folks, a collapsible tote might be just the answer. This one has more than a dozen exterior pockets and a bunch of webbed loops inside the main compartment to keep all your kit in one place.

Made of soft material and framed by tubular steel, its interior dimensions are about 6 inches wide and just over a foot long. In addition to holding tools, customers say they've used it for carting around cleaning products and few drinks (just don't get those two mixed up, okay?).

Pros

  • Consumes a small footprint when folded

Cons

  • No shoulder strap

Bottom Line

  • A handheld tool belt

6. Step N Store Step Stool Tool Box

Leaving easy jokes about the vertically challenged aside, it never hurts to have a step stool on hand, particularly if your garage has a 9ft+ ceiling (many of them do). Instead of wasting the empty space underneath the step stool, certain bright minds decided to build a toolbox right into the base of the thing.

Measuring about 9 inches deep and tall with a 14-inch width, this neat solution is capable of holding a decent number of hand tools. Its drawbolt latch is pretty standard and should keep the thing closed and tools contained if it gets tipped over. The included removable basket can help prevent smaller items from getting lost in the mire.

Pros

  • Innovative design, two-in-one product

Cons

  • Not the best in terms of portability

Bottom Line

  • Stand on it!

7. Ganchun 18-inch Toolbox

Here's a basic plastic tool box with almost no metal parts at all. You can decide for yourself if this is a good thing or not (at least it won't rust). Two see-through cubbies atop the lid permit easy access to stuff like nuts and bolts.

Customers report that it's construction is robust enough to handle not-insignificant amounts of weight, including the likes of a cordless drill and its battery/charger companion. Complaints include carping about the quality of the latches.

Pros

  • Affordable, generous size

Cons

  • Concerns about latch quality

Bottom Line

  • A good starter box

8. Stanley 19-Inch Big Space Metal Tool Box

Wrapping up this list is a robust steel tool box from the Stanley brand. Single handed latch operation means you can open the lid with your head still stuffed in the wheel well of your knackered SBC-swapped Jeep CJ. That's a strangely specific example. Anyway.

While not technically part of an official box system, it is apparently stackable with other tool boxes of the same type. On the inside, it measures a generous 18 inches wide and 9 inches deep. Customers also remarked on the stout handle.

Pros

  • Robust steel construction, known brand

Cons

  • More expensive than some

Bottom Line

  • Get it and stop leaving a mess about

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Studio 72 / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.
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