A Buying Guide and The Best Tool Chest Reviews for 2017

A great tool chest isn’t just a box for storing your tools; it is an important part of your cache no matter the level of your expertise. In general, whether it is a professional car garage, home DIY or even large scale commercial building work, a good chest is a must have.

With all this information in mind, though, you should not just purchase any old box you come across, you need the best chest for your needs. You need something that is the right shape, design, and size for your needs.

So if you are wondering which tool chest is best for your handy jobs or you just want to buy a good product, you have come to the perfect place because we will look at the best tool chest reviews.

Benefits of a Tool Chest

Before we look at some of the best chests on the market today, let me give you four reasons why you should consider buying a tool chest:

  • Your tools will always be in a convenient place, ready for use when you require them.
  • Your tools will always be securely and safely stored away.
  • A great and organized chest will make your projects to get completed quickly and more efficiently.
  • Having your tools in a chest ensures that they are well protected and lowers the risk of damage.
Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox Red

Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox Red

Features of a Good Tool Chest

What makes the best tool chest? What are its features? Here are some of the key ones:

1. The quality of construction

The first thing that you should consider when buying a chest is the quality of the make or construction. What material was used to make the chest and how well was it assembled? With the intense weight of tools, a good chest should accommodate heavy objects and still work effectively. Strong gauge steel is a common material found in most chest design due to its durability and ability to handle intense weights.

2. The number of drawers

How many drawers do you require to store all your tools safely? Consider what you currently own as well as what you intend to own in the future as your arsenal grow. Choose a product that is large enough to have room for that growth. Additionally, having many drawers will benefit your chest structure. You will be in a position to separate supplies in a system that makes accessories and tools easy to locate.

3. The wheels

Not all tool chests come with wheels to enable you to move them from one area to the other as needed. These chests often became quite heavy when filled with supplies and tools so having wheels ensure that you move your chest close to the task. The wheels need to be of high quality with sturdy casters.

4. The total capacity

You need to know the total weight that a particular chest will be able to carry and gauge this with the weight of the tools you intend to store. It is advisable to get a chest that will hold huge capacities.

5. The lock

Many people prefer chests that have locks. Locks come as either a single lock for the entire product or different locks for every drawer.

6. Warranty

Tool chests should be a lifetime investment and although they’re quite durable, a warranty will offer you a way to replace or repair your chest, should it have a manufacture’s defect.

7. Whistles and bells

In modern’s high-tech world, tool chests have become multi-functional centers for the shop or garage. From incorporated power outlets (both DC and AC) and LED lights to built-in stereo systems, refrigerators, and 4-caster suspension, these hot systems of storage have exceeded the wildest imagination.

Tips to Get the Best Tool Chest

Tips to Get the Best Tool Chest

By answering the following question, you will be able to determine your storage needs and select the best chest without breaking the bank.

  1. How many tools and accessories will you store? – Like we said, even if you don’t have many tools, your collection might grow in the future. Therefore, you need to choose a product that will accommodate your future needs as well.
  2. What size are your accessories and tools? – If you intend to store small tools such as hand tools, go for a system with lots of small drawers. Some chests include a removable small-tools organizer that works like a drawer or a take-with drawer that slides out for simple portability. Go for a larger bulk storage or deep drawers if you want to store bulky tools such as power tools.
  3. How long do you want your chest to last? – Different factors influence the general durability of a tool chest. Definitely, the type of material used in manufacturing makes a huge difference – the heavier the metal, the better the chest.
  4. How is the hardware attached? – Rigidity and structural strength aren’t the only features that create a good chest. How the hardware is fixed can make a huge difference in its quality. For instance, the way the tool chest’s casters are installed affects both the performance and strength.
  5. How often do you intend to use your tool? – If you budget is tight or if you will not be putting your chest to frequent use, friction drawers slides might be the best alternative. Although they do not feel as effortless as ball-bearing ones, their affordable price will allow you to buy a bigger chest. A full-extension ball bearing drawer’s chest will be great if you will be constantly closing and opening the drawers.
  6. Will you move the chest from one area to the other? – Even if you do not intend to move the tool chest around the garage or shop, wheels are a critical consideration because they will determine the general load rating for your system – the bigger the wheels, the more weight your chest will hold. For the overall ruggedness and most maneuverability, go for large, pivoting heavy-duty wheels equipped with locks.

The Best Tool Chest Reviews

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1. Stanley 03702H 50 Gallon Mobile Chest

With a fifty gallon capacity, this rolling chest from Stanley has a wide range of storage applications for home and professional use. It is a lockable system of high-density structural foam and boasts of a soft grip handle as well as rubber coated wheels that enable easy navigation. The system is a very handy product for application around the barn.

Stanley 03702H makes a perfect tack trunk because it’s large enough to place things that keep on wandering off. If you do not have a lot of tools, you may even tuck away your saddle too. The best thing about this chest is that it is easy to move around when you want to clean your garage or shop. The product is well built and secure whenever you wish to lock it up and get more materials.

Stanley 037025H 50 Gallon Mobile Chest

Stanley 037025H 50 Gallon Mobile Chest

For about 1/5th of the other chest in its class price, this chest is quite affordable and stores all your accessories and tools. It comes with a pullout handle that makes it easy to close and open. Its lid lock, which is useful around the barn, is of high quality and the system hold thousands of items: medical supplies, large grooming tote, shampoos, saline bottles, wormers, fly spray, spare wraps and bandages, boots, show sheen, etc. The yellow tool tray is also great for storing extras such as gloves, ointments, and sponges. The chest is quite a study and of great size; just like you would expect from this company. Big, heavy duty, and thick.

I bought this product for my personal use and I must say I haven’t been disappointed at all. It has given me years of services – more than I expected. I would say it is among the best tool chests on the market today.

Pros:

  • Comes with a wide work area on the lid that has two 2-inches by 4-inches saw grooves.
  • Comes with a great lock and key system.
  • Pull-out steel handle is spectacular as it boasts of a soft grip for better maneuverability.
  • It also boasts of huge, heavy duty wheels which are coated with rubber.

Cons:

  • The plastic arms/hinge that support the lid might get broken easily.
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2. Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox

When you are on a project, you want all your tools right by your side. The Craftsman 3-Drawer Chest comes with 3 sliding and a flip-up top tray to keep all your socket sets, pliers, and screwdrivers with easy reach. This beautiful, steel tool system is designed for the professional on-the-go. It stores your accessories safe, secure, and very portable.

Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox

Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox

Its sliding drawers close and open easily, even under intense loads, and they lock when you close the lid – so you do not need to worry about your things falling out when carrying your chest. The chest is built strong with the handyman in mind. Its heavy-duty draw nuts latches keep the lid closed and offer spectacular security, but you may also lock with a padlock for additional safety – this is made possible by its staple and hasp.

The tool chest boasts of a comfortable top handle that allows you to transport it with ease. The cover hinge is tough enough to keep the drawers and lid open for easy tool reach. The elements automatically shut when the lid is fastened. The full-extension all-action drawer offers a very smooth operation, sliding open and closing even when the system is full of heavy accessories.

Full of tools, it might be quite heavy to pull around, but remember you will not be pulling it on wheels. But to have all your tools in a single place ready to lift from your van to the job site is really a benefit.

My neighbor is a professional constructor who bought this product about five years ago. It still looks great and got a lot of space left. He uses it to store all his tool, trust me they are many. The chest is always at the back of his van.

Pros:

  • Heavy duty construction.
  • Three drawers with tough storage spaces.
  • Smooth open and close sliding action on its drawers even when it is full of loads.
  • Great product for a professional constructor that requires his tools ready.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have wheels for easy transportation.
  • This chest can really get heavy.
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3. The Original Pink Box PB218MC 18-Inch 2-Dyawer 18G Steel Mini Storage Chest

The 18-inch 2-drawers mini chest from Original Pink is designed from 18-gauge steel to last forever. The powder covered finish features a vibrant and durable color that is highly resistance to chips, wearing, or scratches than other finishes. Every drawer provides fifty-pound capacity, extruded aluminum pulls, and full-extension ball bearing.

The Original Pink Box PB218MC 18-Inch 2-Drawer 18G Steel Mini Storage Chest

The Original Pink Box PB218MC 18-Inch 2-Drawer 18G Steel Mini Storage Chest

Locking systems keep the drawers tightly closed until you decide to open them. The system secures the drawers and lid at their slides with the ease of just a single key. The side carrying handles ensures that the chest is portable keeping your tools close by whenever you require them. Its heavy-duty design makes this multipurpose chest ideal anywhere, from the workplace to home.

For additional security, you may insert a padlock into the tab to ensure that the box is lockable. The system is ideal for an ordinary tool set, makeup-up, jewelry, hair accessories, arts and crafts, car accessories, gardening tool, supplies, and much more. The tool chest also combines steel make with a plastic base to merge durability and light-weight for easier portability.

The tool chest boasts of over 900 cubic inches of spacious storage space to keep your items organized. Every drawer is made with tough material to hold up 50 pounds with smooth ball bearing slides. The tool is quite pretty and is what you have always dreamt of – a chest to last you for a very long time. The chest is pink in color, which is easy to clean and appealing to the eyes.

My friend bought this tool chest to store his DIY tools and it hasn’t disappointed him. He is able to store all his tools in an orderly manner and ensure that they are always easy to find. The cleaning is as easy as A B C. I truly admire his tool chest.

Pros:

  • Comes with a removable plastic tray that is perfect for keeping small items.
  • It is a compact tool chest with plastic a grip handle for additional comfort.
  • Huge storage capacity.
  • Comes in a great color.

Cons:

  • The plastic tray might break if you are not careful about your system
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4. DEWALT DWST08204 Tough System Case

In light of the fact that our best tool chest reviews don’t seem to have a lot of portable tool chests in the heavy work environment, we will now look at the DEWALT’s chests that measures up in this area. Appropriately named the DWST08204 Tough System Case, this is a chest that is made to take a beating.

DEWALT DWST08204 Tough System Case, Extra Large

DEWALT DWST08204 Tough System Case, Extra Large

To begins, there are no multi-tiered systems in this tool or wheels to consider. This is a simply pick up the chest with a weight capacity of about 110lbs. Great, durable design is the main feature – DEWALT is great at building structures that last for a very long time. You will surely carry this with you and get your tools whenever you want them, safely and secured. The tough system case also boasts of durable structural foam walls as well as an IP65 rated incorporated water seal. Working outside isn’t an issue with this super system, your tools will be protected and remain dry. Even its metal latches are resistant to rust.

Inside the tool chest, you have a vertical storage space for bigger tools. Additionally, there is a removable tray for additional items. One of the biggest benefits of this chest is that you may expand your space as your needs arise. There is a wide range of Tough System Case units.

The DWST is attachable to trolleys using the adjustable stacked or brackets with other system’s units using its side latches. In general, a system is a good option for a professional handyman that need simple, waterproof, and robust tool chest for his accessories and tools while out in the field.

Pros:

  • Very sturdy design due to its durable 4mm thick construction foam box wall.
  • Inner removable trays and vertical storage for hand tools.
  • Anti-rust metal latches.
  • IP65 included water seals for water protection.
  • Side latches offer the option to add modules from the system family or other metal carriers.

Cons:

  • The design could be better if it was even tougher
  • Doesn’t have wheels and thus harder to move around the workplace.
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5. DEWALT DWST17806 TSTAK VI Deep Box

DEWALT has two tool chests systems on the market today: The Tough Case System and the TSTAK System. We have already looked at the Tough System and now we will look at the TSTAK system. These tools are both great but they are not similar. Each has its own pros and cons and you should choose the one that fits your personal needs.

DEWALT DWST17806 TSTAK VI Deep Box

DEWALT DWST17806 TSTAK VI Deep Box

The DWST17806 tool chest has a flat top that provides new innovation in this firm’s storage options. This flexible product allows various combinations; all items may be stack on top of each other and still connect with durable latches for safe stacking and carrying. This system can be used to store cordless and corded tools and comes with a removable tray for easier access to necessary tools. It also boasts of heavy duty metal hinges and latches for additional durability.

DEWALT firm has a huge reputation for designing and constructing many of the globe’s best-performing and most reliable professional grade tools. And every tool is forged with its unwavering commitment to manufacturing accessories and tools that can withstand tough job site conditions and fulfill the increasing day-day demand of professional handymen. This is also true for the DEWALT DWST17806 TSTAK VI Deep Box. The firm has used the same guaranteed tough philosophy and non-nonsense attitude to build this tool.

The system features a clear lid as well as removable elements. The simplicity of the chest allows you to decide which storage element will suit your particular needs. This ensures that you have a custom tool chest that is available at your workstation or to have your tools arranged together by function so you only pull the modules you require for a certain day and carry them and leave the rest at your shop.

Pros:

  • Removable elements for small accessories and parts
  • Impact resistance and heavy duty lid clear
  • Unique lid design that locks all parts
  • Built-in huge handle for stable and easy portability, tough and strong metal latches and metal hinges
  • Heavy duty latches and handles

Cons:

  • The chest structure is not only poorly designed but also poorly manufactured.

The Bottom Line

Think of tool chests as furniture for your workspace or garage. Take measurements of the available space, like you would do for a chair, when looking for a large chest. Allow enough space to work near your system and for the drawers to open fully. Also, consider their prices as well as your available budget.

Craftsman has been a popular choice for many decades, but you will also get lower-priced alternatives from other manufacturers. A few years ago, other firms started to produce great tools such as DEWALT and STANLEY. All these tool chests are great, but you need to consider your personal needs before you buy one.

A higher quality chest will include better drawers sliding bearing and hardware, heavier load ratings on drawers, better exterior finish and paint, and thicker gauge steel. Craftsman has these and other qualities – now you understand why it has been a popular choice for quite a long time.

James F. Core
 

I love fishing, that's all.

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