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The 6 Best Toolboxes (2021 Review)

If you’re looking for a portable way to organize your tools, toolboxes are a great option. Keep reading to learn about the best toolbox options available and how they withstood rigorous testing from our team. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Toolboxes

Toolboxes are an alternative storage method to tool chests or pegboards. They either have wheels or handles, allowing you to take them with you from project to project. However, toolboxes can vary in terms of durability, storage capacity, organization, security, and other factors, making it difficult to know which one will best suit your needs.

To help you choose the right toolbox, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best toolboxes on Amazon and performed a variety of in-depth tests on the products. Here are our top recommendations.

Top Toolboxes of 2021

DEWALT DWST17820 Toolbox with Wheels DEWALT DWST08204 Toolbox GEARWRENCH 83151 3-Drawer Steel Toolbox Craftsman 1000 5-Drawer Steel Toolbox Storage Chest Akro-Mils ProBox Plastic Toolbox Stalwart Heavy Duty Rolling Toolbox
DEWALT DWST17820 Toolbox with Wheels DEWALT DWST08204 Toolbox GEARWRENCH 83151 3-Drawer Steel Toolbox Craftsman 1000 5-Drawer Steel Toolbox Storage Chest Akro-Mils ProBox Plastic Toolbox Stalwart Heavy Duty Rolling Toolbox
Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price
Best toolbox with wheels Best for large tools Best portable steel toolbox Best drawer storage Most lightweight Best multi-purpose
4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.1 stars 3.9 stars 3.9 stars
A large toolbox that has wheels for portability. A large composite toolbox that can fit power tools. A medium-sized steel toolbox with a handle on top for easy transportation. A large steel toolbox with four drawers and an open top to organize tools. A small plastic toolbox that can store hand tools. Two plastic toolboxes on top of each other with compartments for small and large tools.
- Features anti-rust metal latches to keep your tools secure - The handle can be lengthened or shortened with a push button - Can stack with other DEWALT tool organizers - Has two carrying handles on the sides and one on the top - Has an IP65 rating, protecting your tools from water and other elements - Made of thick structural foam - Steel is coated for rust and corrosion resistance - You can secure the top with latches or lock it with the lock and key - Steel is more durable than plastic - Has a lock for the top half that swings open - Drawers remain locked until you open the top lid - Drawers are ball-bearing for a smooth open - Features a steel latch with an oversized padlock eye for increased security - Is the most affordable toolbox in this review - Comes with a removable tray - Features a fold-down handle and comfortable grip for easy transportation - Includes 24 small parts compartments, two removable tool trays, and a deep bottom compartment for maximum storage - Has cable hooks on the outside
- Has a chemical smell when you first open it - Some customers said the plastic parts of the toolbox broke off easily - Some customers may have difficulty carrying it after filling it with tools - Some customers said the side handles broke off - More expensive than the composite and plastic toolboxes in this review - Some customers said the steel was thin - Most expensive product in this review - Can be cumbersome to carry because of its large size - Plastic is less durable than metal - Only has enough storage space to store smaller tools - Its plastic isn’t very durable - Some customers said the hinges holding the lid to the body of the top box were weak

Best Toolbox With Wheels: DEWALT DWST17820 Toolbox With Wheels

DEWALT Toolbox

This DEWALT DWST17820 toolbox is designed to be wheeled instead of carried. It comes with two wheels in the back of the box and a handle that can be lengthened or shortened with the push of a button. Because of this toolbox’s composite material, it’s capable of withstanding drops, water, dirt, and more without suffering serious damage.

Key Features

  • Composite material
  • 4.88 pounds
  • Two wheels in the back
  • Adjustable handle in the back and a handle on the top
  • Two metal latches in the front
  • Removable compartment inside

What Customers Are Saying

Close to 8,000 Amazon customers have reviewed this product, giving it an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Ninety-four percent of these customers gave 4- or 5-star reviews, with only 2% of customers giving it a 1-star review.

Customers liked the size of this toolbox and said it was large enough to fit all of their tools but not so large that it was cumbersome to wheel around. They also liked how stable it was and said that it could hold other DEWALT toolboxes on top without tipping over. However, some customers complained about the plastic parts of the toolbox breaking off easily.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

The wheels on this toolbox made it easy to wheel over both pavement and carpet with or without tools inside. Although the toolbox is large, it’s light and easy to lift in and out of a car while empty. It was slightly more difficult to lift in and out of a car once it was full of tools.

Security

This toolbox has two latches on top to keep the lid shut during movement. The latches even stayed in place when we lifted and dropped the toolbox.

Organization

When you open the lid of this toolbox, there’s a compartment resting on the top that can fit smaller hand tools and fasteners. You can remove this compartment to reach the rest of the toolbox, which is just a large open space. The lack of compartments and pouches makes it difficult to find the tool you’re looking for because they all end up in a mound at the bottom of the toolbox.

Durability

This toolbox received full points for durability. It’s made of composite, which is the most heavy-duty material you can expect for a toolbox. DEWALT doesn’t specify an IP rating for this product, but we assumed it’s IP65 because DEWALT’s other composite tool organizers, including the DEWALT DWST08204 toolbox, have an IP65 rating. When we dropped a brick on this toolbox, it only acquired minor scratches.

Our Score

This toolbox received full points in the security and durability categories, but it lost points for being heavy when full of tools and for only having one storage compartment.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 4.88/5
Security 5/5
Organization 3/5
Durability 5/5
Overall score 4.5/5

Best for Large Tools: DEWALT DWST08204 Toolbox

DEWALT Toolbox

Because of the large dimensions of this DEWALT DWST08204 toolbox, you can fill it with your larger tools and carry it from place to place by gripping the handle on the top or the two handles on the sides. If this toolbox doesn’t provide enough storage space, you can stack other DEWALT TSTAK storage units on top for additional storage.

Key Features

  • Composite material
  • 13.51 pounds
  • Handle on the top and two handles on the sides
  • Two metal latches in the front
  • Removable compartment inside

What Customers Are Saying

This product has an average rating of 4.7 stars from close to 5,500 customers on Amazon. Ninety-four percent of these customers gave the toolbox a rating of 4 or 5 stars. Customers liked how roomy this toolbox was and were able to fit several large tools inside without a problem. Satisfied customers also felt like the lack of storage compartments made it more versatile, allowing them to decide how they wanted to fill the space. There were some complaints from customers about the two handles on the sides of the toolbox breaking off.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

It was fairly easy to lift this toolbox in and out of a car because of its handle options. However, it does have some weight to it, which made our arms tired after carrying it for a while, especially after the box was full of tools.

Security

Similar to the DEWALT wheeled toolbox, this one has two metal latches in the front that keep the lid closed and the tools inside even when the toolbox is dropped.

Organization

This toolbox is organized the same way as the other DEWALT product, with a removable compartment on the inside and a big open space below it. Because this toolbox has only one compartment, you’re limited to how much you can organize your tools.

Durability

This toolbox is as durable as they come. It has an IP65 rating, is made of composite, and only received minor scratches from the brick test.

Our Score

This toolbox received a score similar to the other DEWALT toolbox, but it had a slightly lower score for ergonomics because it couldn’t be wheeled around, causing our arms to get tired when carrying it.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 4.25/5
Security 5/5
Organization 3/5
Durability 5/5
Overall score 4.3/5

Best Portable Steel Toolbox: GEARWRENCH 83151 3-Drawer Steel Toolbox

GEARWRENCH Toolbox

Weighing less than 10 pounds, this GEARWRENCH toolbox has metal latches, a lock and key, and a top handle, allowing you to easily carry this product with all of your tools inside. Additionally, this toolbox has three ball-bearing drawers on the bottom and a swing-open top, allowing you to separate your tools into compartments.

Key Features

  • Steel material
  • 9.46 pounds
  • Handle on the top
  • Open top
  • Three drawers
  • Lock and key for the top
  • Two metal latches in the front

What Customers Are Saying

Just over 600 Amazon customers have given this steel toolbox an average rating of 4.6 stars. Eighty-seven percent of these customers rated it 4 or 5 stars. Customers were impressed with the quality of this product, especially considering its price. They said it was aesthetically pleasing, had drawers that easily slid open, and could fit a lot of smaller items. A common complaint by dissatisfied customers was that the steel felt thin and flimsy.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

This toolbox was a little heavy on its own without tools, but it put significantly more strain on our arms once it was full of tools, affecting its ergonomics score. It’s also a little long and doesn’t have side handles to help it easily slide in and out of a car.

Security

This toolbox has two latches and a lock and key for the top half, allowing you to decide if you just want to quickly latch the top or if you want to completely lock it. The drawers on the bottom also automatically lock if the top half is closed, making it possible to carry the toolbox without worrying about the drawers sliding open.

Organization

This toolbox has a total of four storage compartments, with three drawers and an open top. While this provides some room to organize tools, it may not be enough for the homeowner who owns a lot of tools.

Durability

While this toolbox may be made of thin steel, it only received a minor dent during our brick test. This toolbox doesn’t have an IP rating, but its steel is coated in a powder that makes it rust-resistant, suggesting that it has a moderate amount of protection from the elements.

Our Score

This GEARWRENCH toolbox received full points in the security category. However, it lost a small number of points because it’s heavy, only has four compartments, and isn’t as durable as composite.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 4/5
Security 5/5
Organization 4/5
Durability 4.25/5
Overall score 4.3/5

Best Drawer Storage: Craftsman 1000 5-Drawer Steel Toolbox Storage Chest

Craftsman Toolbox

This toolbox from Craftsman looks like a storage cabinet with its large size, four drawers, and an open top. The different compartments allow you to organize your tools, and the handle slots on the sides allow you to carry the toolbox from place to place. This toolbox is made of powder-coated steel, meaning that it’s durable and won’t rust or corrode when exposed to the elements.

Key Features

  • Steel material
  • Two hand slots on the sides
  • Open top
  • Four drawers
  • Lock and key for the top

What Customers Are Saying

Tied with the Stalwart toolbox for the lowest score in this review, this Craftsman toolbox has a rating of 4.2 stars from just over 100 customers on Amazon. Around 77% of customers gave a 4- or 5-star review. Satisfied customers liked the toolbox’s steel material and how the four drawers and open top gave them plenty of storage space to store their tools. A common complaint was that the locking mechanism didn’t work well.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

This toolbox received the lowest ergonomics score out of all of the products in this review. Without tools, the toolbox was heavy, but adding tools made it nearly impossible to transport. It also only has two shallow hand slots on either side, which are difficult to use because the toolbox is extremely wide. When transporting it, we had to awkwardly stretch our arms out to successfully carry it. The toolbox would have been easier to transport if it had a handle on the top.

Security

Similar to the GEARWRENCH toolbox, this one has a lock and key for the top half that swings open. The four drawers on the bottom also automatically lock if the top is closed, so all of your tools will stay secure during transportation. While some customers said their locks didn’t work, we didn’t experience that problem. We were able to lock and unlock the top several times with no issues. It even stayed locked when we dropped the toolbox.

Organization

This toolbox has five storage compartments—an open top and four drawers—allowing you to separate your tools into different compartments and easily find them when it comes time to use them.

Durability

While this steel is more durable than plastic, it isn’t as durable as composite. This was proven by the fact that the brick from the brick test left a clear outline on the top of the toolbox. The toolbox was still usable after we dropped the brick on it, but it was severely dented. Additionally, this toolbox doesn’t have an IP rating, but it’s rust- and corrosion-resistant thanks to the powder coating over the steel.

Our Score

This toolbox received full marks for security and organization. However, it lost points for ergonomics because it’s heavy and large, and it lost points for durability because of its poor performance during the brick test.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 3.25/5
Security 5/5
Organization 5/5
Durability 3.25/5
Overall score 4.1/5

Most Lightweight: Akro-Mils ProBox Plastic Toolbox

Akro-Mils Toolbox

This toolbox is small in size and made of plastic, making it a lightweight and easy-to-carry storage option. You can store hand tools in the bottom compartment and their fasteners in the removable storage compartment. Because of this toolbox’s small size, it’s best for the homeowner who only has a few tools that they need to carry from room to room when doing the occasional home maintenance task.

Key Features

  • Plastic material
  • Metal latch in the front
  • Handle on the top
  • Removable compartment inside

What Customers Are Saying

Close to 1,000 customers reviewed this toolbox, giving it an average rating of 4.5 stars. Eighty-eight percent of these reviews are 4 or 5 stars. While customers were aware that this material is less durable than composite or steel, they still said that the plastic was hard and the metal latches were heavy-duty. However, several customers received the toolbox with a detached handle, and they couldn’t figure out how to reattach it.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

This toolbox was the easiest one to lift and carry in this review. Because of its small size, it can only hold so many tools, making it lightweight to carry regardless of what you put in it.

Security

The one metal latch in the front of this toolbox is enough to keep the tools secure inside, even when the box is dropped from a few feet off the ground.

Organization

Similar to the DEWALT DWST17820 and DWST08204 toolboxes, this toolbox has only one removable compartment at the top of the box. While this is less of an issue with this toolbox because it’s so shallow and can only hold a few more tools below the compartment, it still means you’ll have to dig through a mound of tools to find the hand tool you want to use.

Durability

This product received the lowest durability score in this review because it’s made of plastic and doesn’t have an IP rating, meaning that dirt and water can easily get inside. However, it performed better on the brick test than we expected. It sustained a crack across the top, but that crack didn’t make the toolbox unusable.

Our Score

This toolbox received all of the possible points for ergonomics and security. However, it lost points for organization because it has only one compartment, and it lost points for durability because of its plastic material.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 5/5
Security 5/5
Organization 3/5
Durability 2.5/5
Overall score 3.9/5

Best Multi-Purpose: Stalwart Heavy-Duty Rolling Toolbox

Stalwart Toolbox

This toolbox from Stalwart can store a wide variety of tools. Its top box has compartments for small tools and fasteners, and its bottom box has an open space to store large tools. This toolbox also has three wheels for transportation—one in the front and two in the back. You can pull it up onto the two back wheels or use all three wheels to wheel it flat across the ground.

Key Features

  • Plastic material
  • 11.05 pounds
  • Two toolboxes stacked on top of each other
  • Two wheels in the back and one wheel in the front
  • Adjustable handle in the back and a handle on the top
  • Two latches in the front and two latches on the sides
  • Removable compartments inside both boxes
  • Three built-in compartments in the top box
  • Three hooks on the outside for cords and other accessories

What Customers Are Saying

Just over 1,000 customers have reviewed this product on Amazon. It has an average rating of 4.2 stars, with 77% of customers giving it 4 or 5 stars.

Customers said this toolbox did a great job of storing large equipment and their small accessories. All of the small compartments in the top box allowed for accessory storage, and the big open box on the bottom allowed for tool storage. Some customers expressed their concerns about the quality of the product, specifically citing how the hinges on the lid of the top box broke if you stored too many tools inside.

Our Experience

Ergonomics

This toolbox can be easily wheeled on different types of flooring, including tile, concrete, and carpet. However, we experienced some difficulty when trying to transport it in a car. Because of how tall this toolbox is, it will tip over if you stand it up on a car seat or in the trunk. You either have to lay it down or position it on the floor where a passenger’s feet would go when transporting it in a car.

Security

This is the only toolbox that lost points for its latching mechanism. When the product arrived, the latches on the top of the toolbox were already broken, so we couldn’t secure the lid when wheeling the item around. Additionally, this product failed the drop test, as the lid flew open as soon as it hit the ground.

Organization

This toolbox has the most storage compartments out of all of the products in this review, with five in the top box and two in the bottom. Three of the compartments in the top box were further organized into smaller sections to allow storage for small supplies.

Durability

While this toolbox is made of plastic, which is less durable than steel and composite, and is vulnerable to weather conditions, it still withstood the brick test with only a few minor scratches.

Our Score

This Stalwart toolbox lost points in the ergonomics, organization, and durability categories, but this was mainly because the product was poorly constructed.

Scoring Breakdown

Metric Score
Metric Score
Ergonomics 4.6/5
Security 2.5/5
Organization 5/5
Durability 3.5/5
Overall score 3.9/5

Buying Guide

Since each toolbox differs in terms of material, mobility, and storage space, decide what you want out of yours before making a purchase. Here are some important factors to consider before buying a toolbox.

Storage Space

Toolboxes come in different sizes depending on the tools you’re trying to hold. Smaller boxes, for example, are good for hand tools like hammers and screwdrivers, while larger boxes are best for holding power tools like cordless drills and jigsaws.

Load Capacity

Load capacity is how much weight a toolbox can hold. Most manufacturers will provide this number in the product description or owner’s manual. In general, expect composite and steel toolboxes to hold more weight than plastic ones.

Price

The price of a toolbox ranges from $15 to over $100, depending on its size and material. If you’re looking for a lightweight, plastic toolbox, you’ll pay less than if you’re looking for a heavy-duty steel or composite one.

Toolbox

Review Standards

We started our toolbox research by looking at the options available on Amazon, paying particular attention to Amazon superlatives like Amazon’s Choice and #1 Best Seller. We also considered factors like Prime shipping eligibility, the number of customer reviews for each product, and the average customer rating for each product.

We then narrowed our options by looking at factors specific to toolboxes, such as material, portability, storage compartments, and locking mechanisms. After our research, we selected six products, which we ordered and tested using the metrics below.

Testing Metrics

To determine the best function for each toolbox and who would benefit most from each item, we tested the products on ergonomics, security, organization, and durability.

Ergonomics

When looking at toolboxes, it’s important to determine how easy it is to carry the box when it’s full of the tools it was designed to hold. If you’re doing a home improvement project and need to carry your tools around the home, you may want a toolbox that has a handle or wheels so that it can easily be transported.

Security

Your toolbox should have some sort of latching mechanism so that it doesn’t open and dump out your tools when you lift it during travel. A high-quality toolbox may even have a lock on it to prevent your tools from being stolen.

Organization

A toolbox with storage compartments or drawers allows you to organize your tools and easily find them. The alternative to this is a box with no organization where you have to dig through a mound of tools to find the one you want.

Durability

Traditionally, toolboxes have been made of either steel or plastic. Steel boxes are more durable and last longer, while plastic toolboxes are typically more affordable and weigh less, making transportation easier. Some newer toolboxes are made of composite—the mixture of two or more materials makes these toolboxes even more durable than steel ones.

Another durability factor to consider is a toolbox’s Ingress Protection Code. This code is used to determine how well mechanical casings protect against the elements, like rain and hail. The first digit represents a toolbox’s protection from solids, and the second digit represents its protection from liquids. You’ll want a toolbox that has a rating of IP65, IP66, IP67, or IP68—these codes refer to a toolbox that has ultimate solid protection and some degree of liquid protection.

Testing Process

To test each toolbox, we performed a variety of tests that allowed us to score each product on ergonomics, security, organization, and durability.

Ergonomics

To test this factor, we started by transporting the toolboxes without tools in them. We tested wheeled toolboxes by moving them on hardwood and carpet and by lifting them in and out of a car. We tested handled toolboxes by carrying them up and down three flights of stairs and lifting them in and out of a car. The toolboxes received a score for each test on a scale from 0–5, and the two scores were averaged together.

After performing these tests, we added tools to the toolboxes and performed the same tests to determine if the added weight had affected their ease of transportation. Again, their score for this was an average of the scores from both tests. Their final ergonomics score was an average of the overall score without tools inside and the overall score with tools inside.

Security

We confirmed that each toolbox had a latching system and ensured it didn’t open while performing the ergonomics tests. We also held each full toolbox five feet off the ground and dropped it to see if the latch became undone and any tools fell out.

Organization

We determined how many storage compartments and pouches each toolbox had. Toolboxes with at least five compartments received full points, while toolboxes that had fewer compartments lost points.

Durability

To test durability, our team first looked at the material the toolbox was made of and its IP rating. We then performed a brick test to determine how the toolbox held up against wear and tear. The brick test entailed dropping a brick on each box from five feet above the ground and noting if the box received any damage or remained relatively unharmed and still usable.

Scoring

Each metric was scored out of five points, and the final score is an average of the metric scores.

Ergonomics

After our team members calculated the ergonomics scores, we awarded points as follows:

  • If a toolbox received a 5, it received 5 points.
  • If a toolbox received a 4, it received 4 points.
  • If a toolbox received a 3, it received 3 points.
  • If a toolbox received a 2, it received 2 points.
  • If a toolbox received a 1, it received 1 point.

Security

A toolbox received 5 points if it didn’t open during our ergonomics tests or our drop test, and the tools remained inside of the box. We gave a toolbox 2.5 points if it opened during the ergonomics or drop tests and the tools fell out.

Organization

Our team awarded 5 points to the toolboxes that had five or more pouches or compartments, 4 points for toolboxes that had four pouches or compartments, and 3 points for toolboxes that had three pouches or less.

Durability

Two points were allotted based on the material used to construct the boxes. Composite boxes received 2 points, steel boxes received 1.5 points, and plastic boxes received 1 point. We also awarded 1 point to a toolbox based on its IP rating. A box with a rating of IP65, IP66, IP67, or IP68 received the full point, while a box with a rating lower than those codes received half a point.

The remaining two durability points were awarded based on the toolbox’s performance during our brick test. If the box was unharmed or slightly dented, it received 2 points. If the toolbox was seriously damaged but still usable, it received 1 point. If the toolbox was damaged past the point of use, it received 0 points.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is a spray-on plastic or polymer that prevents rust on stainless steel. It’s used on both toolboxes and tool chests and is preferred to regular paint because it’s tougher and more affordable.

What is the manufacturer measuring when describing the toolbox in inches?

The number mentioned is the toolbox’s length. However, this number can be misleading because 20-inch boxes could have different depths and heights. We recommend looking at all three of the box’s dimensions instead of just the one advertised by the manufacturer to get a comprehensive understanding of the product’s storage space.

What if my toolbox doesn’t have compartments?

If your toolbox doesn’t come with a tool organization system, you can always purchase one separately. You can buy organizers for specific tools like wrenches and pliers, or you can buy generic plastic organizers that will work for a variety of items.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.