Every household in the world has a toolbox. At least, that’s the way it is for most people. These portable tool boxes might not be something you think about too often, but if you work with tools in your day job, you’re going to need something with a few extra specifications than your average container. For example, I keep all my tools in a shoebox, but an electrician or a carpenter would require a much more specific toolbox to keep all their specialized items within easy reach and well-ordered.
But what toolbox is right for you? This comes down to a variety of things. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the best toolboxes in 2023, to make your tool storage buying decision a little bit easier. We’ve done copious amounts of research – and we are fairly certain one of these portable tool boxes will be perfect for all your tool-carrying requirements.
Want to know more? Carry on to see our suggestions for your next tool box below.
Every person’s toolbox is unique depending on what equipment they need to carry. Portable tool boxes are specifically intended for organizing and moving your tools. If you are looking for a stationary tool storage area, a tool chest might be better suited to your requirements. If you are simply moving your tools around a large room, tool carts are more desirable. If you are certain it is a toolbox you are looking for – make sure to take note of several factors before spending your hard-earned money.
Read on for the best advice on what to look for in a toolbox.
Things To Consider When Buying a Toolbox
Buying a toolbox doesn’t sound complicated, but there is such a variety of toolboxes, you need to know what you’re looking for – and why you’ll need the toolbox in the first place. Having a plan of what to look for before you shop will help you save time and make you more decisive.
Size of toolbox
When buying a toolbox, it is important to consider how many tools you currently have in your collection, but also the amount of space you’ll need for future purchases. You want a toolbox that can comfortably hold the number of tools you possess now, but still has room for more additions if so required. If it is too small you will need to buy another toolbox; too large and you may end up carrying unnecessary weight. You can also buy tool chests. However, tool chests are quite large and are meant to stay in one place in your garage or workshop. Therefore, portable tool boxes are better for the person who is always on the go.
You can also find tool bags on the market. While not as sturdy as portable tool boxes, tool bags are a great option for people who only need to carry a few tools at a time. Tool bags are more comfortable to carry, as well.
You also need to consider individual compartment size and if the compartments are removable or adjustable. You need enough space for larger items and smaller compartments for smaller tools. Without them, you will waste a lot of time removing everything from your toolbox in order to find something buried right at the bottom.
For tips on organizing your toolbox, watch this video from R.J.’s workshop:
Indoor or outdoor use
Aluminum portable tool boxes are great for outdoor use as they are rust-resistant. They are also lightweight yet sturdy. Stainless steel is also rust-resistant but you’ll have to fork out a little more money. Plastic is the cheapest option and obviously cannot rust. It is, however, less durable. For indoor use, a wooden toolbox is often desirable because they are visually appealing, relatively sturdy, and can be less heavy than its metal counterparts.
Additional Factors to Consider
Comfortable handle or wheels
A variety of suitcase-style portable tool boxes with wheels and a handle can be found in most hardware stores. These are great for covering the flat ground with little effort. If it is necessary to carry your toolbox due to uneven ground (say if you work on a construction site), it might be worth looking into something with a comfortable handle. Look for a handle with a rubber grip and grooves for your fingers.
If your toolbox is going to be on display at your workshop, you will probably want to buy one which looks visually appealing when it is sitting on your shelf. In addition, having a beautiful work environment is better for your mental health and will encourage you to keep everywhere clean and organized.
Toolbox Price Range
Portable tool boxes can vary greatly in price, costing from $50 to $1000s. Make sure you give some thought about how often you are going to use it before you invest in an expensive one. Sometimes a second-hand toolbox is a better option, so long as it is in working order. Just to reiterate, you’re not going to need a top-of-the-range toolbox if you’re just using it to store sewing needles.
How We Choose the Toolboxes
To ensure we give you the best recommendations we cross-reference customer reviews with online sales records. We also check to see which portable tool boxes are popular in local hardware stores and supermarkets. We ask garages, electrical companies, and handymen for their top picks. We believe that it is important to ask those who work in the industry, as they know portable tool boxes better than anybody else.
We also like to keep our eye on new and innovative products. This is how we ensure that only the best portable tool boxes make it onto our recommendations list.
The Dewalt Tstak Tool Box is perfect for anybody who has to use large tools on a regular basis. Like many toolboxes, it has a top organizer which is perfect for keeping your drill and bits within easy grasp, and the body is deep enough to store particularly long hammers and screwdrivers.
Complimented by rust-resistant metal latches and a long handle, this toolbox offers everything you could want as a handyman. It also stacks neatly with other Tstak modules which are sold separately.
If you buy the whole collection, you’ll never need another toolbox again!
Large volume for extra tool storage
Part of the robust Tstak collection
Long handle makes it easy to carry this toolbox around
The Akro-Mils ProBox is one of the most durable plastic toolboxes you can buy on the market today. This may not be the best toolbox for large tools, but if you are looking for something for your home, you can’t go wrong with this product. You can easily store certain hand tools, as well as arts and crafts supplies. You can even use it as a rudimentary first aid box if you are so inclined.
You can also securely lock this toolbox with a padlock or zip tie in order to keep any young prying hands away from danger.
If you want a truly stylish-looking toolbox, look no further than Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox. Due to the heavy-duty steel construction, this toolbox weighs a considerable amount – 25lb if you want to be exact. This toolbox also comes with three drawers, operated by ball-bearings, which provide a neat way to organize your hand tools safely.
Similar to the Craftsman, the Gearwrench Tool Box comes with a gloriously sleek steel exterior. It also comes with three drawers for optimal organization. However, this also comes with a center lock for added security and, whereas the Craftsman comes in hot-red red, the Gearwrench toolboxes are available in a stylish black finish.
And if you’re something of a clean freak, you’ll be happy to hear that this toolbox wipes clean with little effort.
The first thing you notice about the Stalwart Contractor Grade Tool Box is that it looks like something you would find in the military. With robust polypropylene and stainless steel construction, this is the industry-standard toolbox for contractors (as the name suggests), handymen, plumbers, and electricians.
The organization is the name of the game here: the storage system opens out fully to reveal everything inside the box. There are also 15 removable compartments to help you keep track of everything you’ll need for work.
Mixture of plastic and steel construction
Cantilever Tray Storage
Support legs for added sturdiness
Excellent organizational properties
Might be fiddly if you don’t know your way around the tiers
If you wanted to find some toolboxes which had been put through their paces before they hit the shelves, you’ll definitely want to check out the Anyyion 16.5-Inch Toolbox. This industry-leading piece of kit has passed the extreme freezing test, surviving temperatures as low as -22F. This is all down to the high-quality polypropylene construction, which ensures the toolbox is safe for kraken and smashing. Durability is the name of the game here, which is why many contractors use this exact model to store their expensive power tools and other work items.
With ample storage and a pull-out interior tray for organizing all your small parts, we are struggling to come up with a better tool for as low as $28.
Non-slip handle for added security and portability
Stainless steel lock to keep your tools safe
Removable organizer tray
Can also be fitted with a padlock or zip tie
Plenty of room for large tools
Conveniently priced compared to similar competitors
Better suited to contractors rather than regular home use
This versatile toolbox might be the most complete of all our suggestions, purely because it fits in so many different places. If you work in a workshop, garage or even just want something to keep your tools at home, the Apollo Tools Black Metal Tool Box should suit you down to the ground.
With a sleek design and the choice between black and pink, this really is a stylish toolbox for literally anybody who requires tools, whether casually or in the workplace. With great storage options in the shape of two sliding drawers, you’ll be able to store items and locate them again with ease.
Sleek, shiny design makes this is a stylish alternative to PP toolboxes
Ball-bearing mechanism controls two drawers for seamless action
Non-slip drawers liners keep your items in place
Comfortable handle for portability
Looks great in any location
Well-designed and easy-to-use
Comes in multiple colors
Not as much storage as similar toolboxes
People Also Asked
Q: What are some famous toolbox brands?
A: There are many brands responsible for quality toolboxes, though most of them make more than just toolboxes. Here are examples of just a few: Keter, DEWALT, Plano, Torin, Stalwart, and GEARWRENCH. Keep an eye out for these names and you are usually guaranteed excellence.
Q: How do you clean a toolbox?
A: Empty all of your tools onto a clean cloth. Clean the outside of the toolbox by washing up liquid, water, and a cloth. Clean the inside of the toolbox with paint thinner. You can also clean your tools in the same manner. If you want to reduce the overpowering smell of the paint thinner, try keeping a car air freshener inside.
Q: What items do most people carry in their toolbox?
A: You can store pretty much anything in a toolbox. Some of the more typical items include screwdrivers, spanners, and sockets, hammers, measuring tape, pliers, utility knife, spirit levels, torches, and clamps. Toolboxes may also contain safety gear such as gloves and goggles. That being said, you can also use toolboxes to house arts and crafts gear, sewing equipment, or even your packed lunch.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.