Best Tool Organizer Systems. Which Is Best For You?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
26 min read

Many tools aren’t required before discovering that storage is necessary. What type are we talking about here? A tool chest for a home workshop is a common purchase for auto enthusiasts. Electrical and plumbing contractors may carry a toolbox. While many DIYers and many professionals prefer a wheeled or toteable toolbox, for the majority of people, a portable toolbox is the most handy and cost-effective solution.

There are a wide variety of toolboxes on the market nowadays. Budget toolboxes may intrigue you at first, but a more expensive option may be more versatile and durable. This buying guide will teach you what to look for and which portable tool boxes are the best for various uses.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Portable Tool Box

As with any other piece of equipment, it is important to consider the task at hand before making a purchase. Some people prefer a small, lightweight garage model, while others want a large, heavy-duty mobile unit. When comparing portable tool boxes, it’s important to consider a variety of elements and characteristics.


Generally speaking, there are two sorts of portable tool boxes: hand-carryable and wheeled.

Handle attachments on a carry box must be strong enough so that it can bear the weight of the box when full. The thin handles on traditional steel tool boxes, which can be uncomfortable, are a common design feature. It’s important to make sure that the handle is large enough to fit a gloved hand before purchasing. Other goods can be stacked on top of the bag thanks to the foldable handles.

Top 10 Best Tool Storage Systems for Organizing Your Workshop

Because of their higher capacity, the wheels on rolling tool boxes are an essential element. They must, of course, be strong enough to withstand the toolbox’s weight when fully loaded. Wheels made of solid plastic might be brittle and unreliable when used on uneven terrain. While nylon tires are more flexible, rubber tires are more durable and roll easily.

Material and Construction

Steel and plastic are the most common materials used in portable toolboxes, which can withstand the rigors of both home and work environments.

Steel is a very durable metal that can take a lot of punishment. Broken items are extremely rare. Steel has the disadvantage of being heavy and prone to rusting if the finish (usually a powder coat) is compromised.

Portable tool boxes made of inexpensive plastic might be dangerously flimsy. In terms of strength and durability, polypropylene and structural foam (an injection-molded plastic) are superior to steel. Metal reinforcing can be found on a few of these models as well.

A thorough examination should be performed on all seams, joints, and hinges because they represent possible points of failure. Look for a waterproof or water-resistant toolbox if the toolbox is going to be outside in all weather conditions. An IP or IPX rating signifies that the toolbox has been tested to international standards and is safe for use.

Size and Storage Options

Consider the physical dimensions of the space, including its outward measurements, as well as its internal dimensions and organization.

For both storage and transportation, the toolbox’s external dimensions can have an impact. Avoid buying a box that’s too large for the room it’s going to fill.

There are a wide range of alternatives when it comes to arranging things. Transparency is enhanced with lift-out trays and containers, however they are not always included in the original price. In addition to making sure your current tools will fit, you should also check to see if the toolbox has adequate room for any future purchases.

While the manufacturer’s weight capacity may not always be included in the product, it is an important consideration. Handles that have been overstretched and become brittle can snap. At full load, consider how heavy and difficult it is to lift a portable tool box like this! Consider a rolling toolbox in order to avoid unpleasant back ailments.


Having multiple little tool boxes on hand can be more convenient than relying on a single large one in some situations. Depending on the user’s needs, they may require a compact model for DIY necessities and a wheeled model for garage and yard items. It may be more handy in different work conditions and styles to have a hand tool box and a power tool box apart from each other.

Portable toolbox manufacturers also produce modular systems, which may be tailored to the needs of the particular user. A wheeled toolbox, for example, may include an extendable handle and smaller sections that stack on top of each other for increased storage capacity.


Although securing a toolbox with a bolt violates the purpose of a portable toolbox, others do not. A criminal might easily walk away with a smaller toolbox if it was left unattended. A padlock or cable lock can be inserted between the handles or latches of some variants.

A steel tool box is more secure than a plastic one if the contents are priceless, as they usually are. Consider locking the toolbox and attaching it to a stationary item as well. It is possible to expand the reach of a cable lock by combining them with others. Small trackers and alarms for toolboxes are readily accessible.

Our Top Picks

It’s time to put your newfound knowledge to use and pick the best portable tool box for your needs. The following toolboxes have been selected for their adaptability, durability, and value, and they’ve been categorized to assist you find the ideal portable toolbox for your unique situation.

Keter Masterloader Resin Rolling Tool Box

The Keter wins the top rank because of its overall adaptability. It’s great for the garage, workshop, yard, or job site because of its versatility. Power tools and batteries are stored in a huge bin at the bottom. You’ll see two compartments above it—one with removable bins for tiny accessories and fasteners, and another partitioned for hand tools.

A maximum load rating of 66 pounds is provided by the tool box, which is constructed from weather-resistant, sturdy, and molded polypropylene. Rubber wheels and a locking mechanism keep it firmly in place.


ToughSystem is a line of modular tool boxes and cases from DEWALT, and this huge tool box is a part of it. Structureal foam, an injection-molded plastic honeycomb skin, is the material of choice. It features a typical toolbox layout with a spacious storage compartment and a lift-out tray. A water seal rated IP65 helps keep the contents safe from the weather, while strong steel clasps secure the lid. It is capable of supporting a weight of 110 pounds.

The DEWALT large toolbox is stackable and can be interconnected with other pieces of the system. Compatibility is not limited to only a wall rack and a rolling cart.

BLACK+DECKER beyond Tool Box Bundle

Count on the quality and affordability of this BLACK+DECKER tool set, which is backed by a well-known company. It comes with a 12-inch and a 19-inch plastic toolbox, which can be used for everything from screwdrivers to pliers to a small hammer.

Best Tool Box Reviews for 2021 - Pro Tool Reviews

It features a lift-out tray and removable upper storage with a glass lid for easy access to the contents. If required, a lock can be attached to the rim using the padlock eye.

BIG RED Torin 19″ Portable Steel Tool Box

Simple is nice, and that’s why the BIG RED Torin has been around for so long: it works. A powder-coated finish protects the steel casing from corrosion. Both robust and effective, full-length piano hinges are the best option.

The BIG RED, while commonly associated with mechanics, can hold a wide variety of hand tools thanks to its 19-inch length. The ease and organization provided by a lift-out tray cannot be overstated. It has a padlock loop built into the metal latch to prevent it from being opened by accident. The BIG RED’s handle makes the toolbox portable, despite the fact that the manufacturer does not provide a weight capacity.

WORKPRO 17-inch Plastic Tool Box

You can keep your regular hand tools, hardware, and fasteners neatly arranged in this WORKPRO toolbox. The lowest layer of the tool box, which is made of polypropylene, has six compartments, while the upper layer has 12. These may contain a wide variety of goods, but each can be removed so that they can be tailored to the user’s specific needs. It is possible to arrange the compartments in a way that is most efficient for a given task.

The toolbox includes a broad handle and metal latches to keep the contents from falling out. The WORKPRO isn’t big enough to hold a full set of tools, but it’s a good option for home users and professionals who need extra storage space.

Stalwart Rolling Tool Box

Rolling tool boxes like the Stalwart rolling tool box are great for anyone who frequently need to move a number of tools around.

Store most of your items in its sturdy polypropylene interlocking bins, which have metal reinforcing. Hard-wearing wheels are used on the lower box. 24 clear lids make it easy to see what’s within each compartment of the top box that has its own handle so it may be used independently. To travel, just attach the top handle to the tray’s lift-out handles. On the outside, there are hooks for power lines or extension cords.

GEARWRENCH 20inch 3 Drawer Steel Tool Box

One of the leading tool chest brands for amateur and professional mechanics, GEARWRENCH built high-quality features into this 20-inch portable model. It’s built of steel and has a wipe-clean, rust-resistant powder-coating.

Ball-bearing guides move three drawers containing sockets, wrenches, and the like. Metal latches open a covered upper section that can hold slightly larger tools (maximum depth is 2.5 inches) and a central lock secures all four spaces. It’s a bit heavy at 20 pounds empty, and particular type just has one handle in the middle.

GANCHUN 17-Inch Three-Layer Plastic Storage Box

GANCHUN’s cantilever toolbox is light and multifunctional. However light this box may be, it’s composed of polypropylene, which resists splitting and cracking; ribbed underside provides additional strength and prevents it from warping when full.

Larger tools can be stored in the base. A large, easy-to-access lid and two trays hold a wide variety of tools. Screws, screwdriver bits, and other small parts can be stored in the top compartments, which have clear lids. It’s secured with metal clasps.

RIDGID Professional Tool Storage Cart And Organizer

The heavy-duty RIDGID tool box system’s capacity and strength come in handy for moving big amounts of equipment. Thick polypropylene is used to make the boxes, which are water and dust resistant thanks to a rubber seal on the lid. All-terrain wheels and an extendable handle make the bottom box easy to move. For added security, the remaining two boxes are secured with heavy-duty steel clips that keep them from falling to the floor. For added security, padlocks can be attached.

The RIDGID system provides versatility in addition to security and portability. Power tools and batteries could be stored in the base unit, the middle piece has a lift-out tray, and the top section has small compartments for hardware and fixings. Capacity for each item ranges from 60 to 50 pounds.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Rolling Tool Box

When moving heavy equipment, such as a circular saw, you may enjoy the convenience of a rolling toolbox like this. This 22-inch tool box has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and is constructed to last.

It has a telescopic handle that is “industrial-strength” and 9-inch all-terrain rubber-and-nylon casters. The corners of the plastic are reinforced with metal, and the lid’s weather seals keep the contents safe from the elements. For those who need more storage, the manufacturer offers a variety of interconnecting toolboxes in various sizes, as well as a lift-out tray.

10 Unique Tool Organizing Ideas

There isn’t a magic formula for how to organize tools. On the contrary, organizing tools can be a very individual thing. In many cases, placement depends on function. Are you a weekend warrior, a craftsman, or a home improvement enthusiast? Each skill set has its own unique set of considerations and tools. For instance, a woodworker might need more small tool storage whereas a home renovator might need an easily accessible place to organize their power tools. While most households will need to store a few basic equipment, there are a number of creative methods to do so.

Create Zones for Different Tools

In order to organize tools, there is no magic method. To the contrary, deciding how to arrange your equipment is a highly personal decision. The function of a piece of furniture determines its final resting place in various situations. In your spare time, what kind of hobby do you have? The tools and considerations for each skill set are unique. While a woodworker would need a lot of small tool storage, an experienced home remodeler might want to keep their power equipment in a more accessible location. While most households will need to store a few basic equipment, there are a number of creative ways to do this task.

For example, here’s a do-it-yourself table saw storage cabinet. Ideally, this cabinet would be hung near the table saw while designing a workshop layout. This kind of attention to detail may appear inconsequential at first, but it has the potential to improve the space’s use.

Build a Tool Cabinet With Pegboard Backing

It’s the ideal approach to keep tools in order to customise storage items to fit the room. You can save money and time by creating your own workbench, rather than purchasing a pre-made one.

Making a tool cabinet is an excellent method to make the most of any available vertical space. Make use of pegboard on the cabinet doors and as a backer to maximize the amount of wall space available for storing tools.

Customize a Wall Panel With Containers and Baskets

Open-concept storage in the workshop is popular with many people. A growing number of households are electing to store their most frequently used tools and supplies out in the open rather than in cupboards.

Install a retail-style slat wall system on a blank wall if you want to make it look more like a home. Tools can be hung from hooks. Bins and clear plastic containers are great for keeping similar goods. With this method, you may maximize the amount of space you have in each square foot.

Hang Miscellaneous Tools Off Wall Strips

Vertical storage is once again an excellent method for keeping the workspace free of clutter. It is easy to lose track of tools that are stashed away in toolboxes and cabinets. It’s best if you can see as much of the walls as possible.

Tools can be hung on a wall in a variety of methods, including using pegboards and slat boards. Vertical strips and anchor hooks on the strip are another common solution. Consider using a magnetic strip for tiny instruments.

Organize Commonly Used Tools in a Mobile Workbench

Power tool organization is a common problem for many people, especially when they are working on a large project. If you’re renovating a house and having trouble keeping track of all your tools, a mobile workbench might be just what you need.

In addition to power tool storage, the plans for this workstation contain capacity for heavier tools, such as air compressors. If you can, build in as much storage as possible to keep the top clear for working.

Utilize Blank Space on the End of Cabinets

For additional tool storage, the end of a cabinet or workstation is suitable. Before you buy wood for this project, check to see if you have any scraps that could be used instead.

Keeping common equipment, such as screwdrivers, close to your work area makes this placement excellent. You may want to consider keeping something different in that position if the cabinet is on the other side of the workshop.

Store Awkwardly Sized Tools in Totes With Labels

On a pegboard wall, there are some tools that don’t make sense, or perhaps they just don’t fit in the available area. Use clear plastic containers to store odd-shaped materials like paint rollers and chalk tubes. And make use of an open shelving unit to keep the crates.

Even though the totes are clear, marking each container is a worthwhile investment of time. By taking this step, you’ll increase the likelihood that you and your family members will return the tools to their proper locations.

Keep Nuts and Bolts in Clear Mason Jars

Every spare screw is a personal preference for some workers, while others don’t. If you fall into the first category, you’ll want to have a plan in place for sorting through all of the clutter.

For small parts, clear mason jars are a great option, but you’ll need a place to store them that doesn’t take up too much counter space. Open shelves for them to sit on could be a good idea. Alternatively, you can hang the jars from their lids by screwing their lids to the underside of a shelf.

Set up a Battery Recharging Station

It’s great to have cordless power tools, but only if you can keep track of the batteries and charges you use. The best way to keep your most often used power tools charged is to create a personalized charging station.

For a small collection of power tools, this wall unit is ideal. But if you have a lot of cordless equipment, you may need something a little more substantial.

Hang Tools Inside a Cabinet

Some people prefer to keep their tools hidden from view. When valuable tools are visible from the outside of a garage or shed, there is a risk of theft. Use lockable cabinetry to house any necessary tools.

However, you shouldn’t just put your tools away and forget about them. Hang them on the cabinet’s walls to keep them neatly organized. Pegboard can be used to line the interior walls of a cabinet to complete this project.

FAQs About Portable Tool Boxes

There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the best portable toolbox for your needs, and the information in the preceding sections will help you make an informed decision. See the answers to these frequently asked questions for further information.

Top 10 Best Tool Storage Systems for Organizing Your Workshop

How do you clean tools and tool boxes?

Throw everything out of your toolbox onto a clean piece of fabric or tarp. The outside of the box should be cleaned with a mild household detergent. Use a cloth dipped in paint thinner to wipe down the interior of the box. Use a rag soaked in paint thinner to remove all the grease and dirt from your tools.

What can I clean my tool chest with?

If your toolbox’s interior is covered in tenacious stains, white vinegar is your best bet. The toolbox can be cleaned with a mixture of fairy liquid and warm water applied to a clean towel. Simply wipe down the toolbox with a clean, dry cloth, and you’re good to go!

How do you clean and restore an old tool box?

Using mineral spirits or Castrol Super Clean on an unclean surface will help prevent paint from adhering to the surface. Wipe the box down with a moist cloth and dry it off. After that, use a drill and a sanding disc with a grit of 60 to 80 to remove any rust.

How much do portable tool boxes weigh?

Obviously, there are many different types and sizes of portable tool boxes to choose from. As far as weight goes, the heaviest can reach up to 20 pounds. Consider the contents of the toolbox as well, as this could affect the overall weight of the toolbox when in use.

How do I organize a portable tool box?

The bottom of the container is usually reserved for large and bulky objects because it provides the most room. Store them here for added stability in taller portable tool cases. Consider having your most often used tools and accessories close to hand. Convenient trays and compartments for smaller goods are built into many portable tool cases, or they can be purchased separately. They also have a variety of socket and wrench storage options.

How do I clean a portable tool box?

A cloth wet with a tiny bit of dish soap and water, as well as a little white vinegar, can be used to wipe out the majority of models. The surface might be scratched by abrasive cream cleansers.

Final Thoughts

Having a toolbox that you can transport or roll about the shop or to the truck is a convenient and cost-effective solution for many DIYers and professionals. Many various types of tool boxes are available today, and while you may be tempted to go with the more affordable one, you may be missing out on a more versatile and durable tool box. As with any other piece of equipment, it is important to consider the task at hand before making a purchase.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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