Which tool chest is best?
Owning a few tools can become a lot of tools over time. From homeowners to auto mechanics to construction workers, there is a common need to keep our tools collected in one place with easy access.
Tool chests are designed to keep your tools organized and protected. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, both portable and permanent, and can accommodate basic hand tools and larger power tools, depending on their design. For its adjustable wooden top that supports large projects, the best tool chest is the Husky 72-Inch Workbench Tool Box.
What to know before you buy a tool chest
Tool chest vs. toolbox
The terms “tool chest” and “toolbox” are sometimes used interchangeably, since both are designed to store tools. But there are crucial differences.
- Tool chests are primarily designed to stay in one place, whether a jobsite, home or truck. They are heavier and made from steel.
- Toolboxes are meant to take tools from one point to another. They are smaller but still important for storing tools in an easy-to-access design. Some toolboxes made from heavy-duty steel are called chest toolboxes.
What are the advantages of steel construction?
Tool chests made from steel are the strongest available. Steel comes in different thicknesses, known as gauges. Thicker steel is more durable but also heavier. Consider steel with a powder coating, which protects the surface against spills and dents while also keeping the color vibrant,
What are the types of drawers?
Tool-chest drawers come in a variety of widths and depths to accommodate all sizes of tools and even small power tools in larger units. Drawers that have matted lining are excellent for protecting tools against the steel and keeping them from banging into each other.
The best tool chests have drawers that use ball bearings in the slides. This makes for smooth gliding and less sticking over time. This will increase the price, but should reduce your frustration with drawers that don’t open correctly.
What to look for in a quality tool chest
Some tool chests have a large wooden top that provides a workspace immediately above your tools. This lets you maximize the space in your garage, workshop or jobsite while keeping your tools close by.
If you need your tools to travel with you, a portable tool chest is the best option. Chests with sturdy handles and caster wheels are the easiest to move around.
There are hard plastic trays that fit in your tool-chest drawers to keep small tools from comingling. They also have handy compartments for spare parts and other items that often get lost in the mix.
Some chests are designed to be added to in the future as your tool supply grows. These allow another section to be placed on top with the same design and features.
Premium tool chests include a power strip attached to the side of the chest with multiple electrical outlets available for power tools, lights, radios and other devices that you may need nearby.
How much you can expect to spend on a tool chest
Tool chests cover a wide range of prices, from $60 to over $1,500. Portable chests with two or three drawers run $60-$100, with most units used by homeowners costing $100-$500. Professional chests easily can push or exceed $1,500, depending on the size and features.
Tool chest FAQ
Do tool chests come fully assembled?
A. Smaller tool chests are fully assembled and ready for use. Larger chests may require the user to attach handles and wheels. Review the manufacturer’s instructions closely to ensure that these weight-bearing additions are properly installed.
What kind of warranty is available?
A. Each manufacturer has a different warranty, with longer warranties typically reflecting better craftsmanship. Since chests are usually made from steel, they should last a long time. Look for warranties of five years or longer. Some manufacturers have lifetime guarantees regarding any defects.
What is the best tool chest to buy?
Top tool chest
Husky 72-Inch Workbench Tool Chest
What you need to know: This large tool chest accommodates projects of all sizes and is constructed from 19-gauge steel.
What you’ll love: Its adjustable solid wood top comes in a variety of colors and it features premium drawer liners. It has built-in outlets and an internal key-locking security system. It has a large push bar, tubular side handle and six caster wheels.
What you should consider: There is limited storage for larger tools.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
Top tool chest for the money
What you need to know: Ideal for smaller homes or projects, this tool chest is easily transported and has two drawers for storing basic tools.
What you’ll love: This affordable steel chest has a center latch and sturdy handle for lifting. It has lined drawers to hold tools in place. It weighs 30 pounds and comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
What you should consider: It has limited depth and is not intended for large tools.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox
What you need to know: This sturdy tool chest is big enough for your basic tools but has a compact design for easy transportation.
What you’ll love: The chest features three drawers made from steel. It has a flip-up handle and a secure latching system to keep the contents protected while in transit. The Craftsman brand has an excellent reputation.
What you should consider: The top drawer has to be opened for the other drawers to be released.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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