Portable toolbox can be quite handy for organizing tools and screws in boxes so that you can take them anywhere you want.
From professionals to DIY’ers, it is the must-have box for everyone. However, with so many options available, it is quite hard to choose the right.
To simplify the task, we have analyzed the products came up with some important factors you have to consider while purchasing a portable tool box. We have mentioned them below for your reference.
While purchasing the perfect sized toolbox, you have to check out your tool collection size, box storage place and how frequently you carry it from one place to another. Remember that whenever the size of the box increases, its weight also increases. For instance, you need a hand-carry toolbox to carry basic hand tools, whereas you need a rolling type toolbox when carrying a lot of power tools.
Steel and plastic are two basic materials used to construct the portable toolbox. The steel box is strong, durable, expensive, and lasts longer, yet not waterproof and heavy. Plastic is lightweight, affordable, waterproof but won’t hold much weight. Based on your work environment, you have to choose the construction material of a toolbox.
- Number of Compartments
Most portable toolbox options offer multiple boxes, which includes 3 boxes or 4 boxes, depending on the particular model. A higher number of compartments like 4 boxes will let you store more tools in a well-organized way. Apart from checking the number of boxes/compartments, check out the compartment design to know the boxes are detachable easily or not.
For other factors and detail information, we recommend reading our “Buying Guide”. Based on the same information, we came up with some of the best portable tool boxes available in the market.
Best Portable Tool Boxes
Also check –
5 Best Portable Tool Boxes Reviews
RIDGID is a highly popular brand of tools and accessories that makes one of the best portable tool boxes in terms of the storage capacity.
The RIDGID portable tool box is present in the 1st position in this article as it offers an excellent storage capacity without having a premium price tag. This is possible due to its 3 box storage design that can store a lot of things. Apart from being large, these boxes offer a water and dust seal that ensures that the tools stored inside are not damaged.
Even though these boxes are made out of plastic, they offer a decent construction. You even get a lifetime warranty with this portable tool box for peace of mind. As you get all-terrain wheels with this portable tool box, taking it from one place to another is highly important. Another handy feature of this portable tool box is its handle that offers decent grip.
- 3 box compartment design
- Lifetime warranty
- Comes with all-terrain wheels
- Water and dust seal for box lids
- Offers a great construction for rigidity and strength
- Comes at a very justified price tag for given storage capacity
- Includes a long warranty for peace of mind
- No metal is used in the construction
There are a lot of power tool offerings from Milwaukee that generally offer handy features while being highly durable and reliable, just like its portable tool box.
Milwaukee’s portable tool box is present in this article as it is a highly durable and reliable option. Just like almost all other portable tool boxes out there, this one also offers a lifetime warranty to the user. But unlike other options, you get a rigid plastic construction along with metal reinforcement on the corners that offers a balance between weight and strength.
As for its storage, you get a total of 3 boxes in this set, all of which are completely detachable. You can use these boxes to store up to 250 pounds of tools and related accessories that you want to carry around with you. And just like the previous option in this article, Milwaukee also offers a weather seal with all of these boxes for extra protection.
- 3 box compartment design
- Lifetime warranty
- Metal reinforcement on the sides for strength
- Weather sealed boxes for extra safety
- Most reliable and durable portable tool box in this article
- Offers large and easy to use wheels
- Completely detachable box design
- Slightly on the expensive side
Erie tools is a relatively small brand. Nevertheless, the brand manufactures durable tools with high functionalities to get you the job done. Its tools are perfect for commercial as well as DIY applications.
The reason that Erie Tools’ portable tool box finds a place on our list is because of its advanced features to improve user convenience. To start with, the tool box comes with 3 detachable compartments that provide enough storage space for all keeping all your essential items. Furthermore, there are 3 trays featuring 8 divided slots that allow you to carry extra tools.
The tool box is made of polypropylene that makes it durable and resistant against harsh environments. With the help of stainless steel latches, you can securely close and release the trays and compartments of this tool box. Designed for portability, the tool box uses two 4-inch wheels to conveniently push it in your work floor. When carrying the tool box on long distances, you can use the foldable auto-lock handle. The tool box is lightweight with 21 pounds and comes in a compact size of 18 x 32 x 10-½ inches for maximum portability.
- 3 detachable storage compartments
- Foldable auto locking handle
- 4-inch wheels for portability
- Compact size with decent storage capacity
- Detachable design for maximum portability
- Multiple compartments, trays, and slots
- Poor construction quality
Stalwart is one of the high-end brands out there when it comes to tool storage options like a portable tool box set
Stalwart’s portable tool box can be a great option if you are looking for large-sized storage options, as you can tell by its name. Although, unlike other heavy-duty options, this one offers a 3 in 1 design to the user. Due to this, accessing all of the compartments or boxes at once becomes quite easy. But you cannot take one box with you if you do not want to move the whole toolkit.
Even though you have fairly small wheels in this tool box, they offer a smooth movement to the user so that this tool box can be moved around easily. Both the wheels, as well as the boxes of this tool box set, offer a great build quality to the user. Unfortunately, it only comes with a 5-year long warranty at the given price tag, which is a downside.
- 3 in 1 box compartment design
- 5-year long warranty
- Easy movement wheels on the bottom for ease of use
- Allows you to access all wheels at once
- Adjustable carrying handle on the back
- High capacity for storing large tools
- Only comes with a 5-year long warranty
- Price tag could have been lower
At the last position in this article, we have Stanley that offers a lot of affordable and value for money products just like its portable tool box.
This Stanley STST18613 portable tool box is the cheapest option present in this article. And even though it has a cheap price tag, you get a lot of features with this 3 in 1 portable tool box. Due to this, you get a high value for money with this tool box set. Just like other all in one designs, this one also allows you to access all boxes at once.
Unlike most other budget options out there, you get a lifetime warranty with this portable tool box that is always great to have. Although the build quality offered by it could have been higher. You also get wheels on the bottom of this tool box set that makes it further portable and easy to use.
- 3 in 1 box compartment design
- Lifetime warranty
- Includes wheels on the bottom
- Affordable price tag with high value for money
- Decent storage capacity for the given price
- Easy to use 3 in 1 design
- Build quality is on the average side
Buying Guide For The Best Portable Tool Box
The portable toolbox will help you to find tools quickly when you need them to handle emergency repairs/simple maintenance or regular work at your job site. We have provided all the essential information about the portable toolbox to help you in selecting your best option, as per your requirement.
Let’s check out what factors to consider while shopping for the portable toolbox.
1. Types of Portable Tool Boxes:
There are two main types of portable tool boxes – hand carry tool boxes and rolling tool box. Take a look at them to get a detailed idea.
Hand-Carry Tool Boxes:
This is designed to build with either hard plastic or sheet metal. Here the toolbox made with metal is strong and more durable, whereas the plastic toolbox is lightweight, compact and waterproof. So, based on your personal preference and how you use the toolbox, you have to decide whether to purchase a plastic or metal toolbox.
Also, check out that your toolboxes should have enough space for the basic hand tools like screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches (up to 27 mm), and other small hand tools. A few high-end models offer some extra space for small power tools, including an angle grinder or hand drill.
We generally notice several large tool boxes are piled on top of each other that are placed on a rolling trolley with two wheels for easy movement. The best thing about this rolling type is that it can easily hold more tools compared to the regular toolbox.
They are a couple of hand-carry tool boxes piled on top of the other. Most rolling tool boxes let you remove the top box and thereby use it as a hand-carry compartment. If you want to carry all these tools to a remote worksite, then a rolling tool box is a perfect option for your needs. Also, a few models come with large, solid rubber wheels that can be easily carried over any kind of terrains. While other have casters that let you coast over smooth or hard surfaces.
Verdict – Check out which type of toolboxes you need to use without wasting your money on improper purchases. For instance, if you carry a lot of power tools with you, then go with a larger rolling tool box. Whereas, carrying a handful of regular tools with you to your workplace, then get the hand-carry toolbox.
The perfect toolbox size you want to purchase is determined by the size of your tool collection, the place where you are storing the toolbox, and how frequently you carry it from one place to another (portability).
A general rule is – look for a larger box when you have to place more tools in the box. So, as the box size grows, the weight does the same (reflects). This becomes an issue while moving or lifting the toolbox quite often.
If you are carrying some basic hand tools like hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc., then a hand-carry toolbox will be your best option, while carrying a lot of tools/power tools like an angle grinder, electric drill, etc., then opt for a rolling type that offers a large storage bin at the bottom. As it gives you more than sufficient space to place all of your tools and other stuff in the toolbox.
3. Storage Options:
Usually, we notice a few toolboxes appears like a basic box with a handle. While most models offer several inner compartments, dividers, drawers, or pullout bins for effective storage of various tools in a well-organized manner.
Most inexpensive or small options provides a larger compartment and a lift-out tray with small compartments to store nuts, bolts, and screws. While medium-higher priced toolboxes offer trays, drawers, or pull-out bin to store a lot of larger tools along with various smaller components. If you have a basic tool collection, like not more than a screwdriver, hammer, a nails box, and pliers, then you need a hand-carry box with a simple lift-out tray.
Mostly, prefer to use a toolbox offering a mix of large and small compartments, then use deep, undivided compartments to hold large tools (like saws or drills). Meanwhile, a toolbox with large, divided compartments will offer the perfect sufficient space for small parts and hand tools. So, check the weight capacity of your tool box to make sure that it don’t be under the weight of the tools. Thus, it aids in the proper storage and carries your toolbox effectively from one place to another.
Usually, steel and plastic are two basic materials used to construct the portable tool box.
Plastic Portable Toolbox – Are you concerning about budget (or) want to buy a box to store a small collection of tools for domestic tasks (or) Don’t need to carry the box to rugged surfaces? Then plastic tool box will be your best option. It is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, waterproof, and inexpensive, yet won’t be durable as steel. They won’t hold as much weight as steel one does.
Steel Portable Toolbox – Are you looking for a portable toolbox for outside worksites, professional use, busy shops, or a heavy and large collection of tools? Then the steel will be your best option. They are strong, durable and expensive but they are quite heavy and may prone to corrosion, if not used properly.
Consider the work environment to know what type of material suits you best. For instance, a plumber working near water (or) one who exposes to hazardous chemicals need to use a plastic portable toolbox. They provide waterproof storage space for your tools to prevent them from getting rust or corrosion. If working on a regular worksite like construction, choose a metal made toolbox, as it can easily handle heavy weighted tools and sustain minor drops or other physical damages.
5. Load Capacity & Weight of a Toolbox:
How much weight a toolbox can handle will determine the load capacity of a particular toolbox. Since the manufacturer gives a clear idea of this load capacity of their toolbox on the pack or user manual. Basically, steel and composite toolboxes rather than a plastic toolbox. Obviously, the heavier the toolbox, the harder it can be to carry and lug around the worksite. Also, the weight and load capacity of a toolbox are interconnected. A heavyweight toolbox can easily hold a lot of tools weight but a bit difficult to transport, unless and until it has casters to move freely.
The weight of the portable toolboxes will range from less than 3 pounds to over 40 pounds. Here a small plastic box weighs less than 3 pounds, while a large, multi-drawer metal toolbox weighs over 40 pounds and almost all toolboxes will lie in between these two extremes.
Usually, a simple and small box weighs 5 pounds (or lesser), and large heavy-duty toolboxes weigh from 10 – 20 pounds. Finally, a large toolbox with multiple drawers and wheels can have a weight that ranges from 30 – 40 pounds (or above). So, choose the weight and load capacity of a tool box based on your collection of tools.
We notice most of the portable tool boxes offer minimum implements to hook up a padlock or two. While other models offer built-in locking mechanisms. It would be good to keep your tools safe and locked, even though not sharing the work with other people in the worksite.
If budget is your main concern over security, then choose a low-priced model. In case, if security is of utmost concern for you, then check out the models having a locking mechanism built into the lid for perfect protection of your tools. So, a toolbox with this security feature mostly has metal construction, which makes it tough to break into unless you unlock the box properly.
One has to consider the wheels while planning to get a rolling portable toolbox model. If looking to use the toolbox for only indoor usage, then check out the models with small wheels. For outdoor usage then pick the tool box with larger wheels of at least 4-inch diameter for easy movement in all kinds of terrain, including rugged ground.
This means the bigger the wheels of a tool box, the more rocky or uneven grounds it can handle easily. So, it becomes the best option when working in an active construction site where you have to carry the toolbox on dirt and uneven surface with loose stones.
Rolling type portable toolboxes offer a flat surface on their top to make it useful for holding small pieces or tools to make your work easy and comfortable. A few models even offer hardwood inserts to deter your sharper tools from getting dull over time.
Though these tool boxes are not good to load in and out or transport the tools to a worksite, this added work surface will be an extra advantage over other boxes. So, to grab the best of both benefits, choose a small portable toolbox to transport tools and a roller box with a work surface.
9. Sturdy Latches:
While talking about tool box’s reliability, it is essential to have a robust latching mechanism. In most cases, we observe flimsy latches fail frequently and result in the box spilling open during its transportation. Since the latch location is vital to determine whether or not, the box is stackable and save a lot of space in its storage. So, the sturdy, side-mounted latches are most desirable for the reliability of the toolbox.
10. Carry Handle Size:
It is always better to have a good handle on the toolbox to move it easily after it is loaded with equipment. The portable toolbox with a small plastic handle will work fine to carry it around. Look for a wider and sturdy handle to push the toolbox with its capacity, yet check out the handle size to know whether your hand fit properly or not after wearing a glove.
Compatibility is the main thing to consider while shopping for a portable tool box. These boxes are designed to stack on top of one another to save a lot of storage space. While a few other models are fitted to select carriers and won’t be perfect for compatibility. You have to check this issue if purchasing a single box at a time.
Though these are portable toolboxes, you have to consider rolling bases, soft-grip handles, and lockable latches to make safer, comfortable tool transportation. Thus, it will save your energy to carry these boxes by hand. So, avoid choosing a toolbox that inhibits your movement or organizing. Also, remember that bulky tool boxes will limit your access to constricted areas, which means your toolbox should have a space-saving design.
In general, the toolboxes are made with either plastic or steel, in which steel boxes are considered durable and last longer than a plastic toolbox. The plastic toolboxes are lightweight, more affordable, and aids in easy transportation. Composite is the material used to construct newer toolboxes, which is a blend of 2 or more materials to make the toolboxes more durable than steel metal.
Ingress Protection Code of a toolbox is another durability feature to consider, as this code will determine how well the mechanical casings will protect the toolbox against the elements like snow, hail, and rain. Here the first digit represents the box’s protection from solids and the second digit represents protection from liquids.
For instance, a toolbox that comes with a rating of IP 65, IP66, IP67, or IP68. These codes refer to a toolbox having ultimate solid protection (6) and some degree of liquid protection (5 – 8). This will enhance the product’s durability.
Based on the construction material and size, the price range of the toolbox will be from $15 – $100. Looking for a lightweight and affordable toolbox, then opt for a plastic one, while for a heavy-duty and durable toolbox made with steel or composite, you have to spend a bit more.
Price Under $50 – Almost all small toolboxes come under this price range. A basic design with a single handle at the top, multiple removable containers, or a removable tray can be expected within this price.
Price with $50 or Above – While paying this much, you mostly expect a professional model with perfect storage compartments. Also, includes extendable trays, extra drawers, or multiple removable containers in the box. Due to these features, they become heavy that makes it come with built-in wheels to transport easily.
If you want to store a lot of tools in a single box (or) want to use a portable toolbox set for storing large and heavy-duty tools, then it is a must to check the dimensions before buying them. It let you know about the storage space present inside this toolbox.
It is measured in inches and most options include are 12 X 15 X 18 inches (or) 14 X 14 X 8 inches. This dimension rating varies from one model to another, as per the toolbox set you purchase. If you want to store multiple tools, a higher dimensions rating is considered the better option.
A portable toolbox offering a limited lifetime warranty is the best option to select. Most brands offer 1, 2, 3, or 5 years of warranty on their product.
In some cases, the built-in locking system fails suddenly and won’t lock properly. In this unfortunate situation, the company’s customer service should respond quickly and react to fix the problem either by repairing or replacing it with a new one. This means one has to check the warranty offered by the company along with their better customer service before buying the product/toolbox.
Benefits of Portable Tool Boxes:
Here is the list of benefits you have to know before shopping for portable toolboxes. Take a look at them.
It is a quite useful while performing your tasks in remote areas, in which you have to haul your tools along with you. So, a portable toolbox will make it perfectly suitable and prevent wasting time to make to and fro trips.
While working outdoors, you have to keep your tools safe from the external environment. For example, you have to close the lid of the toolbox and head for cover when raining suddenly on your worksite. So, a waterproof toolbox will keep your tools dry and let you stay safe. Also, it protects you from any danger happening while running around the worksite with a heavy bag of tools.
Secure your Tools & Belongings
One has to stow their tools and other belongings secured with a lock and key while working on a site. This will restrict others not to use them unknowingly. Most portable toolboxes come with padlocks to secure your tools and prevent them from theft.
We usually separate specific tools into specific boxes to organize them and save your storage space. Most of these tools can permanently reside in portable toolboxes and thereby takes less space in others areas for their storage.
Organize your things
With portable tool boxes, you can keep your tools well-organized in one place. Since one box is dedicated to hand tools, while others used for electrical tools, measurement instruments, etc. This way of organizing will let you work quickly and thereby enhance an efficient work experience.
Act as Emergency Tool Kits in Vehicle
An emergency tool kit is essential to have in every vehicle, even used only to store road flares, jumper cables, and other emergency essentials. Then, in this case, a portable toolbox will save the storage space of the kit in the trunk of the car.
Drop-Resistant up to Certain Height
A perfect toolbox should sustain falling from a certain height (a couple of feet) without getting much damage. For instance, if it falls accidentally from the bed of a truck while moving, then the tools won’t be scattered all over the road and thereby pose a significant risk to other vehicle drivers.
Care and Maintenance Tips:
Here are some tips to be followed for proper maintenance of the toolbox and to extend its lifespan.
Store Toolbox in a Dry Place – Though if the box is made of plastic and has waterproof nature, you should never expose it to moisture. If done, moisture may seep into the box over time and corrode the inside tools. So, stow the toolbox in a dry area (off the floor) to deter it from getting damage.
Clean it Every Alternate Week – Empty the toolbox and vacuum all those loose dirt and dust on the box. Wipe up all its surfaces by using a damp rag and let it dry fully before placing your tools back into the toolbox.
Use Soapy Water to Clean – One has to give a good washing every month or two to maintain their plastic toolbox look like a new one. For this, you have to use some soapy water and a soft sponge or brush to clear/scrub away all those oil residues and dirt inside the box. After that, rinse off with clean water and let it dry thoroughly.
Regularly Oil to the Wheels, Hinges, and Clasps – If you find the hinges squeak, clasps seizing, or wheels not rolling freely, then you have to add a few drops of oil on them. Also, wipe the joints with a paper towel before you oil them.
Clean the Tools – It is quite useless to clean the toolbox until you stop filling it with dirty tools. After cleaning the box, wipe out as much oil and dirt from your tools with a soft rag. For tools cleaning, fill a bucket with warm water and pour some general cleanser like Lestoil or Pine-Sol. Place your tools and soak them in the bucket for at least 30 minutes. Wear rubber gloves and use a wire brush to scrub away the tools and then rinse it off. Dry the tools before placing them back into the toolbox.
Practicing all these tips will make your old toolbox appears and works like a new one and thereby continues to serve you better.
Frequently Asked Questions
We notice most toolboxes are colored red, why because this makes it easy to see while working on a construction site. If not, there is a chance of workers who carry plywood or lumber might trip over this heavy box, if they don’t see it. So, a red color will look brighter and alerts you.
Due to increasing demand for these portable toolboxes, various toolbox brands are emerging continuously. Thus, makes it a bit confusion on the selection of these tool carrier. If searching for a reliable and popular brand to purchase the toolbox, then check out brands like DEWALT, Milwaukee, Stalwart, Stanley, Ridgid, etc.
Use a degreaser or dishwashing detergent to clean the toolbox thoroughly. But ensure that your box is completely dry before restoring the tools in the box.
We know that these portable tool boxes have trays with different-sized compartments, which let you organize your tools properly in the box, like store hand/small tools in one compartment, other tools in another tray.
So, it let you work efficiently without wasting your time searching for the tools. It provides an easy to access – reach the tool with your hands and take out what you need. Also, always organize/place the tools back in the same place in the box after using them.
It depends completely on your profession or trade. For instance, a construction worker needs a hammer and a couple of power tools and a mechanic prioritize screwdrivers, pry bar, wrenches, etc. as essential tools. So, it is quite important to know what are your most required tools to use in your daily workplace. Then purchase a toolbox with sufficient space to stow these tools safe and well-organized.
Storing your household items and personal tools will require a certain framework for basic safety features. In the same way, this toolbox is equipped with a modern security system to protect your tools & belongings from intruders. The locks on the box are of high quality that won’t be breakable and thus provides security and safety to your tools in this box.
Also, a few higher-end models come with a new generation of biometric locks, which gets locked and opened only with the fingerprint of the owner/user. Digital locks are another latest technology used widely to provide individual access only to the user.
Herewith the use of high-quality materials at the base of mechanisms will guarantee minimal risk/effect of aggressive chemical reaction or corrosion. Most people prefer to store their personal belongings in these models of toolbox due to their unique level of protection offered.
Traveling with all of your tools in a bag can be quite cumbersome, especially if you are carrying small tools and accessories. And apart from allowing to travel with such tools, portable tool boxes can also be used in your garage or workshop for storing tools. Hence, we have mentioned some of the best portable tool boxes in this article, along with their major features and options.
And if that is not enough to differentiate between them, you can even find a detailed buying guide with all of the information regarding these portable tool boxes. And based on all of this info, we are here with some of our favorite recommendations out of the multiple options mentioned above:
If you are on a budget, then you can go with the Stanley portable tool box. Even though it is the cheapest option in this article, it comes with a lifetime warranty for its 3-inch compartment design that comes with wheels on the side for easy travel while using this tool box.
You should consider the Milwaukee portable tool box if you want a highly reliable one. Apart from offering a lifetime warranty like other options, it comes with a high weight capacity, metal-reinforced corners, and weather-sealed lids for protecting your tools and accessories properly.
Although, if you want a lot of storage space without spending a lot of money, then the Ridgid portable box can be a great pick. Its 3 separate compartment design allows it to be quite flexible while offering large dimension ratings for every box so that you can store everything properly.
Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!