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Best Toolboxes

Updated August 2023
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Best of the Best
Ridgid Pro Tool Box
Pro Tool Box
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Bottom Line

Our home improvement expert recommends this heavy-duty toolbox for those hoping to use it on a regular basis.


Constructed with a tough resin shell that withstands hard impacts and long-term wear. Lockable, so users can safely store their tools away. Supports a hefty amount of equipment, yet remains lightweight enough for transportation. Built-in metal stopper keeps lid up when required.


Handle can be difficult to hold and operate.

Best Bang for the Buck
DeWalt Tool Box with Wheels
Tool Box with Wheels
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Simple Yet Solid
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A contractor-standard box that provides wheels for portable use, which earns it our expert's approval.


Relatively lightweight with great durability. Useful organizer included for small items. A telescoping handle and large, durable wheels make it very portable. Stackable design can be combined with other TSTAK units.


Care must be taken not to overload this unit because doing so may cause some warping.

GearWrench Steel Tool Box
Steel Tool Box
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Durable Build
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This steel toolbox has a number of user-friendly features, and our expert likes that it's durable.


The locking design of this model provides added security for your tools. The 3 drawers operate smoothly thanks to the ball bearings, while the top compartment is handy for quick access. The black, powder-coat exterior makes this unit easy to clean.


While a few individuals experienced issues with the locking mechanism on this model, most had no complaints.

WORKPRO Wide Mouth Tool Bag
Wide Mouth Tool Bag
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Soft Case
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This is a durable carrying case that has a wide-mouth opening; earns our expert's approval.


Manufactured using heavy-duty polyester with a sturdy bottom plate for support. Double-pull zipper for convenience. Padded handle for comfort. The 5 inner and 3 outer pockets have reinforced stitching for added durability. The large front pocket snaps shut.


As this is a bag, it doesn’t offer much in the way of organization.

BLACK+DECKER Tool Box Bundle
Tool Box Bundle
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Customer Favorite
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A handy toolbox duo that consists of one 19-inch box and one 12-inch box.


These 2 toolboxes are designed so that every bit of interior space is utilized. Each has 2 removable top compartments for storing small parts, a removable inner tray for organization, and a small hole in the lid so the unit can be secured with a padlock.


These toolboxes are not the most durable option.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best toolboxes

“Which is the best toolbox?” is one of those impossible questions, like “How long is a piece of string?”

The right toolbox for an electrician is different from the one an auto mechanic would choose, or a carpenter or DIY enthusiast. Each individual has to make their own decision.

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Some of the major power toolmakers supply toolboxes designed specifically for their products. It’s a good idea if you buy lots of tools from the same brand, but the boxes may lack flexibility if you don’t.

Key considerations


Where you use your toolbox has as much of an impact on your choice as the kinds of tools you need to carry. Is your toolbox for use at home? in the garage? in a factory? on a jobsite? Some materials are more suitable than others for particular environments. There’s also the question of how much protection the contents need. Rigid toolboxes are usually made of steel or blow-molded plastic, though some are wooden. Tool bags are made of various types of polyester/PVC fabric, sometimes reinforced with leather.

Expert TIp
Add a piece of rubber mat to the bottom of each level to prevent rattling and keep tools from sliding around.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Plastic: These toolboxes are often the cheapest option because they’re easier to manufacture. They come in a vast range of configurations. If a mold can be designed for it, it can be made. Plastic toolboxes are lighter than steel alternatives, and they don’t rust. It’s also easy to add compartments with clear lids, so you can identify the contents quickly.

On the downside, while some plastic toolboxes can carry substantial weight, they might also distort under load. The hinges and closures are frequently made of metal, and the way they attach to the plastic can be a weak point. Plastic can melt if exposed to heat (when you’re welding, for example), and they can split under impact.

Steel: These toolboxes can be tremendously durable and are highly resistant to damage. They are also largely unaffected by heat.

On the downside, steel is difficult to form into complex shapes, therefore providing less flexible storage. Steel is heavy compared to other materials. Even powder-coated and galvanized models will rust if the surface is damaged. Stainless steel toolboxes do not rust but are very expensive.

Wood: This material is ideal for carrying tools like chisels, whose cutting edges need protection, and for measuring instruments. Wood toolboxes can also be very attractive pieces of furniture.

On the downside, the toolbox probably needs as much care as the tools inside it!

Fabric: Tool bags are light and easy to carry, either using a handle or worn as a backpack. Many offer very flexible storage options, and they keep most tools upright for easy identification and access.

On the downside, fabric is less durable than plastic or steel. Look for a material thickness of at least 1,000 denier (D). A tool bag provides little protection against water and even less against heat, and zippers can be a weakness.


The size, shape, and variety of tools you use go a long way toward determining the configuration of the toolbox you need. Plastic toolboxes usually offer a great variety of storage options. Cantilever models are the classic general-purpose solution. Mechanics often have tool chests with numerous drawers for keeping wrenches and sockets, perhaps with a larger storage section underneath. The variety on offer is almost endless, so you need to spend some time thinking about the tools you have now and whether your collection is likely to grow over time.


Mobility is another important factor, and it means different things to different people. For some, it’s being able to throw a tool bag over their shoulder (these are often popular with electricians and cable installers). For many, it’s just having a toolbox of a modest weight with a comfortable handle to lift it. Wheeled carts allow for greater capacity while still being reasonably easy to move around. Even very large and heavy tool chests might have sturdy casters. They aren’t designed to be moved often, but they can be if necessary.

You’ll also want to think about how you’re going to carry your tools from place to place. Is your toolbox going into the trunk of your car or will it get thrown in the back of a work truck? With that in mind, is a fixed truck toolbox what you need?

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Expert Tip
Store heavier tools at the bottom of the bag or box for carrying ease.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert



Hinges: Any part of the toolbox that hinges: lid, closure, or handle, for example, is a potential weakness, so look for substantial components and durable fixings.

Drawers: If the toolbox has metal drawers, they’ll run more smoothly on ball bearing slides.

Weight: Don’t just think about the weight of the toolbox when it’s empty; think about how much it needs to carry when full. Does the box have the structural strength to carry everything you need it to? Can you lift it, or do you need a toolbox with wheels?


Think about security. How will you prevent unauthorized access to your toolbox? Does it lock? Do you need to be able to secure it to a vehicle?


If the tools you need to take with you vary quite often, is it worth buying two small toolboxes rather than one large one? Would stackable toolboxes suit you better (some can lock together for transportation)?

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Expert Tip
Label cubbies so you or a helper can put things back where they go.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert


Tool box liner: B&C Home Goods Professional Liner
This 16-foot roll of tough, nonslip, textured liner reduces noise and helps stop tools from banging into each other and causing damage. This liner cuts easily to size with household scissors.

Mini GPS tracker: Tractive GPS Dog Tracker
No, we’re not going crazy. A large toolbox might easily hold over a thousand dollars’ worth of tools and is a prime target for thieves, particularly if it’s portable. Slipping a small tracking unit inside gives you at least some chance of recovering it if you discover the theft soon enough. Bluetooth devices are cheaper but have limited range.

Toolbox prices

Inexpensive: You can buy a cheap toolbox to hold a few DIY items for around $15. If you live in a small apartment, it might be all you need. Low-cost steel toolboxes start at around $25.

Mid-range: Many keen amateurs and quite a few professionals will find the toolboxes they need for between $30 and $100. The choice is vast. Larger tool chests, those frequently used by auto engineers and mechanics, can run from $200 to $400.

Expensive: Top prices go to large steel cabinets designed for professional shops. Depending on the configuration, these can be anywhere from $800 to over $10,000.

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Expert Tip
Go crazy and get super organized by making custom foam storage trays. This protects your tools and keeps them from shifting around in your box.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert
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Always buy a high-quality lock for your toolbox. It’s false economy to fill it with tools worth hundreds of dollars and then trust security to something that costs a couple of bucks.


Q. When a toolbox is described as 20-inch (for example), what does that mean?

A. It’s the overall length. Not all manufacturers use it. You’ll usually find it on descriptions of cantilever types and tool chests. It’s a useful place to start, but you need to be careful. Two toolboxes of the same length might have vastly different heights and depths, as well as different interior layouts, so it’s important to check all dimensions.

Q. What is powder coating, and why is it used so often on steel toolboxes?

A. Powder coating is a spray-on plastic or polymer that’s cured by heating. It provides a tough, protective layer that prevents rust. Its popularity is due to its superior performance when compared to paint, ease of application compared to galvanizing, and cost saving compared to stainless steel.

Q. Is there a difference between a toolbox and a tool chest?

A. At the risk of being called picky, we would say that “toolbox” covers the whole range of different containers, and “tool chest” is a type within that category. Tool chests have pull-out drawers and often an upper, lidded section for larger items. A few have a roller or slide-out cover that conceals the drawers and offers additional security.