Best Tool Chests Reviewed & Compared 

By definition, a "toolbox" or a "tool chest" can be any storage container that you use to keep your tools and tool accessories organized and easily accessible. But of course, not all boxes are equally capable of accomplishing this task, especially when it comes to serving the needs of amateur DIYers and professional craftsmen. If you count yourself among these skilled tool users, then you absolutely must find the best tool chest before starting into your next project and losing track of your valuable tools in the process.

Finding the best tool chest on your own can be challenging, though, especially if your local hardware store only carries a limited selection of viable models. Rather than hunting all over the internet to find the best models with the most affordable price tags, use this guide and instantly learn the important specifications that your next tool chest should possess. Herein, you'll also find detailed reviews for 10 top-tier tool chests that will surely make an excellent addition to any amateur or professional workshop.


Why Tool Chests Are Worth Investing In

First and foremost, a high-quality tool chest is a worthwhile investment for much the same reason that it is essential to invest in high-quality tools. While a high-quality tool will remain durable and serve your crafting needs for many years, a well-built tool chest will ensure that your most important tools and accessories are always within reach. Generally speaking, a tool chest also makes it extremely easy to transport your entire tool arsenal without risking the loss of any single piece.

For DIYers and craftsmen who work in teams, a tool chest can make it easier for the entire team to share a single set of tools. So long as everyone understands the tool chest’s organization system, everyone on the team will be able to procure the tools they need without needing to hunt all over the workshop.


Types of Tool Storage

  • Rolling Toolboxes
    As its name implies, a rolling toolbox is any tool storage cabinet that features built-in wheels that allow it to move from place to place over flat ground. These wheels can take on different forms, ranging from small, smooth casters to larger, heavy-duty wheels for use at out-of-shop worksites. Rolling toolboxes are favored in professional workshops, where convenience and positioning are crucial to accomplishing a job efficiently.
  • Trolley-Style Toolbox
    Trolley-style toolboxes are a subset of rolling toolboxes in that they feature bottom-mounted wheels for increased portability. However, these models only include one set of parallel wheels and an extending handle, allowing the user to gain leverage while moving the chest. In this way, trolley-style toolboxes imitate their namesake and will enable an individual to move a greater number of tools (by weight) than they could otherwise accomplish alone.
  • Truck-Mounted Chest
    Truck-mounted tool chests are a favorite of amateurs and professionals alike due to their convenient placement inside the bed of a work truck (often a pickup truck). While some truck-mounted toolboxes rest in the truck's pickup bed, most models are designed to mount to the bed's raised edge, thus allowing the chest to slightly "hover" above the truck bed's floor. Often, these chests are made from a reinforced metal and feature a lock for added security.
  • Stationary Chest 
    A stationary chest can be described as any tool chest or box that is not inherently designed to be moved from place to place, either on wheels or with a handle. While these boxes tend to be less convenient, they also tend to provide the highest overall capacity. As such, the inside of a single stationary chest can be compartmentalized to allow for side-by-side storage of large and small tools.
  • Toolbox/Workbench Hybrids
    Recently, many toolbox manufacturers have been creating innovative toolbox/workbench hybrids that serve the needs of a craftsman with confined work environments. These models maximize the user's workspace by providing a solid work surface on top of a diversified set of storage drawers and cabinets. These hybrids often come with different material options for the countertop, ranging from finished woods to corrosion-resistant metals (like stainless steel).
  • Hand Carry Toolbox
    Finally, hand carry toolboxes are among the most compact options in this class of storage containers. These long, broad chests are sized such that a user can pile in their tools and take the whole collection on the road after locking the top and lifting the unit by its built-in handle. Typically, these models are sized such that an average user can fill the container to capacity and still be able to lift it without straining their arms or shoulders.

Features to Look for in a Tool Chest

Storage Capacity and Drawers

Given the core purpose of a tool chest, your first task while comparing prospective models should involve checking each model's storage capacity. While some models may outright list the square footage of their interior spaces, others may denote their storage capacity by detailing the sizes of tools that can fit into each drawer or cabinet. As you'd expect, you should only pick out a tool chest that is sized to fit (ideally) all of your tools as well as their accessories (such as drill bits).

Along the same lines, any check into a tool chest’s storage capacity should also involve an analysis of the unit’s various drawers. This includes evaluating the drawers’ shape as well as the type of track it uses to extend outward. If you have some tools that need to be better secured than others, you may even determine if any of the unit’s drawers possess locking mechanisms.

Loading Capacity Weight

As with many weight-bearing installments in a workshop, most toolboxes come with a listed loading capacity. This weight-based specification should communicate precisely how many tools you can insert into that unit before you risk damaging its structural integrity. These specifications should always be attended to with care, as failure to do so can void a unit’s warranty or lead to a user’s injury.

Durability

Durability is also another key consideration when it comes to tool chests, particularly if you want your tool chest to provide a long productive lifespan. Durability for tool chests is usually based on the material the unit is made from, ranging from thin aluminum (which is lightweight and portable) to thick stainless steel (which is resilient and corrosion-resistant). Often, user reviews of a given tool chest can provide you with insight into whether or not a unit’s advertised durability meets expectations in the field.

Portability

If you foresee a need to move your tools around as a unit, then finding a portable tool chest should be at the top of your list. While basic models are "static" or otherwise built to remain in place, many modern tool chests possess built-in wheels that allow the unit to move from place to place. Portability can also come in the form of an integrated handle, which allows a user to move the toolbox around on their own physical power.

Casters or Wheels

Once you've found a portable tool chest that is to your liking, you should check into its primary method of locomotion. Specifically, you should check if the unit uses caster wheels, which are smaller and able to be locked in place, or standard wheels, which tend to be larger and more rugged. While neither option is inherently better here, caster wheels tend to be more common overall due to their fairly cheap construction.

Aesthetics

While it need not be a significant factor, aesthetics may also play a part in your tool chest choice. For example, if you're trying to keep your workshop's storage cabinets understated, you may opt for an "unfinished" unit with a brushed steel exterior. On the other hand, if you're looking for something a little flashier, many static and portable tool chests come in a classic red hue.

Price & Warranty

Naturally, you’ll want to get a good deal when you decide to invest in a tool chest. As such, you should always take the time to compare models with similar features and specifications to ensure that their respective price tags are well-justified. These comparisons should take into account any and all warranties, which usually act as a value-added proposition on the final price.


10 Best Tool Chests Reviewed

1. Husky Extra Deep

Best Tool Chest-Mobile Workbench Hybrid

Dimensions

50.5 x 28.8 x 34.3

Storage Size

19,600 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

1,200 lbs.

Number of Drawers

9

Construction Material

Wood, 21. Gauge steel

Warranty

Yes, 3-year

Let's start off by looking at the Husky Extra Deep model, which is one of the best tool chest/mobile workbench hybrids you'll find on today's market. This model was built with flexible use in mind, starting with its hardwood worktop and working down through its integrated power outlets and USB ports. Several drawers on this model even make use of a keyed lock system, thus allowing you to secure your most valuable tools with confidence.

Also, the Husky Extra Deep model has gained a fair amount of popularity based upon its extra-durable construction alone. This starts with this model's use of 21 gauge steel throughout its frame, which itself is covered in a rust-resistant, powder-coated black paint finish that is both resilient and aesthetically-pleasing. Even this model's drawers can stand up to pressure using their ball-bearing slides – 100 lbs per drawer, as a matter of fact.

Pros

  • Integrated power strip on the Unit’s side provides 4 outlets and 2 USB ports
  • Each drawer can hold 100 lbs. on ball-bearing drawer slides
  • Durable construction, including rust-resistant, powder-coated black paint finish
  • Internal key system comes with two key copies

Cons

  • Hinges require routine lubrication
  • Wood worktop lacks edges

2. Viper Tool V218MCBL

Best Small Stationary Tool Storage Chest

Dimensions

11.6 x 18 x 12.2 inches

Storage Size

~1,000 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

150 lbs.

Number of Drawers

3

Construction Material

18 gauge steel

Warranty

Yes, “limited lifetime”

Though only a few shoppers may be looking for the best small stationary tool storage chest, you’ll find it right here in the Viper Tool Storage V218MCBL. To start off with, this model’s durability puts other units in its class to shame. That’s because the Viper V218MCBL is made up of mostly 18 gauge steel covered in a powder-coated finish that prevents rapid deterioration. Even this model’s steel handles aren’t prone to bending or breaking when this unit is fully loaded up.

Did I mention that every drawer on the Viper V218MCBL locks? Because it does, thus allowing an intelligent user to keep their tools safe in a congested workshop environment. This model also makes use of a unique locking bar and tubular cam lock system that ensure the upper lid stays secure, even as this unit bounces around in the bed of your truck as you head to the off-road worksite.

Pros

  • All drawers include a lock
  • Powder-coated finish adds durability to the 18-gauge steel frame
  • Steel pull handles on both sides make for easy lifting
  • Internal locking bar and tubular cam lock system ensure the lid remains shut

Cons

  • Smaller-than-average capacity
  • The warranty period is unclear

3. Thor Kitchen

Best Rolling Tool Chest With Workstation

Dimensions

18 x 72 x 37.5 inches

Storage Size

~48,600 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

2,000 lbs.

Number of Drawers

15

Construction Material

430 anti-fingerprint stainless steel

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

If you’re on the hunt for the best rolling tool chest with a workstation, you might just find it here with the Thor Kitchen 72”. This model’s most attractive feature – the rubberwood worktop – can be seen at first glance, allowing you to gain an immediate appreciation for the surface that will long outlast its cheap competition. Also, after laying a single hand on this unit, you may even notice that its 430 stainless steel surfaces are coated in an anti-fingerprint material that preserves its aesthetic beauty for the long-term and makes it easy to clean.

Internally, this model provides around ~48,600 cu. in. of storage space across its 15 drawers and the aforementioned rubberwood worktop. That much space holds up to 2,000 lbs. of tools, thus allowing you to load up on large and small tools within the same tool chest. Finally, the Thor Kitchen 72”’s castor wheels perform above expectations, with their locks remaining stable even when the unit is loaded down with tools.

Pros

  • Stainless steel body is coated in a unique anti-fingerprint coating
  • Rubberwood worktop
  • 15 drawers, each using a ball-bearing system that holds 100 lbs
  • Four built-in caster wheels, two of which lock

Cons

  • Expensive option
  • Assembly may be difficult for a novice

4. Homak Industrial BW00210220

Best Portable Tool Chest

Dimensions

22.2 x 10 x 12.7 inches

Storage Size

~2,800 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

25 lbs.

Number of Drawers

5

Construction Material

Powder-coated stainless steel (brown wrinkle)

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

While the competition is fierce, the Homak Industrial BW00210220 is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of the "best portable tool chest" prize. That's because this model makes use of a 0.8 mm powder-coated stainless steel body that can withstand the wear and tear of most any job site or workshop. Moreover, you’ll never lose track of this toolbox while you are out and about because it makes use of an iconic brown wrinkled surface.

Many other toolboxes in the Homak Industrial BW00210220’s class are plagued by unreliable clasps. Not so with this model, as its triple-clasp lock system ensures that the lid always remains shut while you are commuting by truck or on foot. Speaking of moving this unit, you won’t need to worry about straining yourself while you hold it due to the shape of this model’s ergonomic handle.

Pros

  • 0.8 mm powder-coated stainless steel body includes iconic brown wrinkled surface
  • Triple-clasp lock system secures unit while in motion
  • The ergonomic handle doesn't dig into user's hand
  • Available in 18-inch and 22-inch options

Cons

  • Pricy for a handheld toolbox
  • Internal dividers cannot be removed

5. Montezuma SE250B

Best Truck-Mounted Tool Chest

Dimensions

26 x 17.9 x 18.1 inches

Storage Size

~8,800 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

500 lbs.

Number of Drawers

0 (Uses a peg system)

Construction Material

Welded steel

Warranty

Yes, 5-year

If we're handing out accolades, then the Montezuma SE250B is certainly worthy of the honor of "best truck-mounted tool chest." And indeed, mounting this unit into your pickup truck is a no-brainer thanks to its unique shape and orientation. To be specific, this tool chest is triangle or pyramid-shaped, allowing it to remain stable during transport without becoming top-heavy and tipping over.

Though its internal chamber theoretically contains ~8,800 cu. in. of storage space, much of it is formatted for special use due to a differentiated peg system. When used to its maximum capacity, these pegs can hold 141 SAE tools or 500 lbs. of common tools, all without damaging this model's welded steel frame. Also, should you accidentally leave this unit out in the rain, you can still feel confident that your tools will be protected by the weather-resistant seal that covers this unit's entire lid.

Pros

  • Unique peg system can hold up to 141 SAE tools
  • Can be easily mountain into most trucks
  • Weather-resistant seal on the lid protects tools from the elements
  • Triangular architecture prevents unit from tipping on bumpy roads

Cons

  • Heavy, even when empty, at around 66 lbs.
  • Lock may give up easily

6. Keter 240762

Best Value Option

Dimensions

22.1 x 11.4 x 19.8 inches

Storage Size

~5,000 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

154 lbs.

Number of Drawers

5

Construction Material

Polypropylene resin

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

So far as the best value rolling tool chest for a home garage is concerned, the Keter 240762 is the model to beat. That’s because it makes use of a polypropylene resin body that manages to be lightweight while holding up to 154 lbs. of tools across its approximately 5,000 cu. in. of storage space. This space can be easily customized to fit your needs, also, due to the inclusion of 16 removable bins and dividers.

Something we noticed as soon as we saw the Keter 240762 in its completed form was its inclusion of a top-mounted work surface with a raised edge. Though it's a small detail, it goes a long way towards preventing your tools and accessories from rolling away while you're trying to move the unit to a new location. Should you want this unit to remain stationary, though, you can assemble it without its wheels.

Pros

  • Polypropylene resin construction is surprisingly durable
  • All 16 bins are removable, as are all dividers
  • Worktop surface is raised to prevent items from rolling off
  • Can be assembled with or without wheels

Cons

  • Sporadic availability online
  • May not get the color you want if you buy online

7. DeWalt DWST17820 TSTAK

Best Portable Trolley-Style Tool Chest

Dimensions

20.2 x 39 x 17 inches

Storage Size

~14,000 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

N/A

Number of Drawers

0

Construction Material

Reinforced plastic

Warranty

Yes, “limited lifetime”

Though it surprised us at first, there’s no doubt now that the DeWalt DWST17820 TSTAK is the best portable trolley-style tool chest on the market today. This can clearly be seen as soon as you get a grip on this model’s telescoping handle, which remains stable even while traveling over an uneven surface. Speaking of uneven surfaces, this model isn’t prone to jostling about much at all due to its use of broad, tactile wheels.

You’ll likely be opening the DeWalt DWST17820 TSTAK time and again, so it’s a major plus that this model’s clasps are made from a corrosion-resistant metal that won’t degrade due to repeated contact. Many current users also applaud this model’s customizable external nameplate because it allows for quick and efficient identification of this ~14,000 cu. in. unit’s internal contents.

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Anti-rust metal latches hold up to repeated use
  • External nameplate can be customized for quick identification of contents
  • Telescoping handle locks into place and remains stable over bumpy roads

Cons

  • Lacks shelves or drawers
  • Lacks a certified weight capacity

8. DeWalt TSTAK DWST17814

Best Cheap Toolbox

Dimensions

17.2 x 12.6 x 13.2 inches

Storage Size

2,860 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

66 lbs.

Number of Drawers

0 (Interlocking containers)

Construction Material

Reinforced plastic

Warranty

Yes, “lifetime limited”

The best cheap toolbox might be hard to find on the shelves of your local retail hardware store. But online, the DeWalt TSTAK DWST17814 is readily available and ready to provide you with nearly 2,860 cu. in. of storage space for a low price of around $30. In return, you'll be able to carry approximately 66 lbs. of tools in a single, convenient location. Organizing all of those tools and accessories isn't a chore with this model either as it comes standard with an assortment of internal cups and dividers.

Unlike some portable toolboxes, the DeWalt TSTAK DWST17814 won’t put much added strain on your hands when you lift it due to its use of a bi-material handle. Also, due to this model’s super affordable price, some current users actually own two or three units. Fortunately, they’ll be able to keep these separate units secured together because the DeWalt TSTAK DWST17814’s shape allows it to interlock with other models in the same product line.

Pros

  • Bargain
  • All internal cups and containers are removable
  • Bi-material handle is comfortable to hold for extended periods
  • Stacks with other units of the same type

Cons

  • Hinges are a bit weak
  • Does not hold up to repeated drop impacts

9. Stanley 037025H

Best Tool Chest for the Money

Dimensions

18.9 x 20.5 x 34.2 inches

Storage Size

50 gallons

Weight Capacity

110 lbs.

Number of Drawers

0

Construction Material

Plastic

Warranty

None Listed

There's no question about it – the Stanley 037025H is undoubtedly the best tool chest for the money among these productive options. That's because, for only about $60, this model provides you with 50 gallons of uninterrupted space. As such, you can add boxes, loose tools, smaller toolboxes, and (according to one current user) even a horse saddle. This model can hold up to 110 lbs. of weight also, which is no small feat for an affordably-priced unit such as this.

Traditionally, dolly-style tool chests require you to hunch over uncomfortably to drag them about. The Stanley 037025H 15 inch telescoping handle put that painful practice to rest, thus allowing you to walk fully upright while you tow a heavy load of tools. Securing the Stanley 037025H is relatively simple as well due to its use of broad metal latches and its inclusion of padlock eyes.

Pros

  • Telescoping handle extends a full 15 inches
  • Metal latches stay secure, especially when locked through padlock eyes
  • Affordably priced for 50-gallon capacity

Cons

  • Lacks a listed warranty
  • Wheels come off a little too easily

10. VonHaus Utility

Best Organizer Tool Chest

Dimensions

7.7 x 11.5 x 11.6 inches

Storage Size

690 cu. in.

Weight Capacity

N/A

Number of Drawers

5

Construction Material

Plastic

Warranty

None Listed

Finally, those looking for an option on the minuscule end of the spectrum might try out the VonHaus Very Small Utility Chest, which stands at the best small organizer tool chest overall. This model’s compact form factor manages to provide up to 690 cu. in. of storage space, which itself is divided among four shelves. Each of these shelves is removable as well, thus allowing you to access your small tool accessories with ease.

On the downside, this model lacks a listed weight capacity, making it unclear how much can be loaded into it before its plastic frame begins to bend. But even so, for around $20, the VonHaus Very Small Utility Chest provides a great deal of value that's worth trying out for your small tool components.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable at just over $20
  • 4 drawers are all removable and latch independently
  • Ideal for holding small accessories, such as nuts, bolts, and drill bits

Cons

  • Plastic latches are prone to break in time
  • Lacks a listed weight capacity

Mechanics' vs. Machinists' Tool Chest

Often, mechanics' tool chests and machinists' tool chests appear side-by-side in online listings. In some cases, these terms are even used interchangeably even though they possess different characteristics. A mechanics' tool chest, for example, a typically the size of a small cabinet and are attached to wheels to allow for effortless portability.

Machinists' tool chests, on the other hand, are often differentiated by their tall form factor and inclusion of a smaller, felt-lined case at their peak. Machinists' tool chests also include a handle, allowing for hand-powered portability.


Rolling Chest vs. Portable Chest

The confusion between these two terms comes down to the fact that all rolling tool chests are portable, but not all portable tool chests roll on built-in wheels. For example, a tool chest would still be considered portable if it included a handle with which the user may lift the entire unit. Even so, rolling chests are still the favorite of professionals and amateurs alike due to their ability to minimize the work needed to transport tools around and away from the workshop.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I replace my locks?

If your tool chest came with a lock that has broken down or becomes ineffective over time, you'd likely need to contact the unit's manufacturer to procure a replacement. If your unit is still within its warranty, you should definitely apply to receive the part for no added charge. Otherwise, you can contact a local locksmith to see if they have alternative options that match your tool chest's parameters.

How do I make my tool chest last as long as possible?

Though your tool chest will likely be housed in the rough and tumble environment of your workshop, you should always treat it with the same care as your most valuable tools. This includes never placing more weight inside of it than the manufacturer recommends and never using the unit to bear weight for a heavy appliance. Also, you should keep corrosive liquids away from all of the chest's surfaces to prevent a spill from causing premature corrosion.

What does the maximum product weight mean?

A tool chest’s maximum product weight describes how much weight it can hold internally without compromising its structural integrity, voiding the warranty, or both. This specification should be heeded in all situations because failure to do so may cause the unit to degrade unexpectedly, thus leading to collateral injuries.

Do I need a stainless steel model?

While you don't "need" a stainless steel tool chest, many amateurs and professionals opt for a stainless steel unit in order to ensure their tool storage method's long-term viability. This is because stainless steel, by its nature, is ultra-resilient and able to resist dents. At the same time, stainless steel surfaces are resistant to corrosion, meaning that rust isn't likely to take hold in workshops where corrosive liquids are routinely handled.

Is a 52-tool or 72-tool chest ideal for a normal home garage?

When you get down to it, either a 52-tool chest or 72-tool chest could meet the needs of your garage-based workshop, depending primarily on the types of tools you use. If you often engage in woodworking, a 52-tool model may be best suited to organizing your various hand tools and blades. Meanwhile, folks who engage in auto-mechanic work in their home workshop may find a 72-tool model to their liking due to their inclusion of smaller drawers that conveniently store their multi-sized drill bits and other accessories.

Is a toolbox or tool chest better for a home garage?

Generally speaking, a standard toolbox is best suited for storing common tools that one might use around the house, including pliers and a hammer. Meanwhile, a tool chest will better suit your garage-based workspace due to its ability to secure and organize larger tools that are typically used outdoors. Tool chests often possess a greater amount of capacity as well, while toolboxes excel in compact sizing.


Conclusion

So, are you ready to purchase a new tool chest yet? Yes, there's a lot to know about what makes a given tool chest model high quality, but this guide will help you determine the best model to meet your needs all the same. If you're still unsure of which model to buy, we always wholeheartedly recommend the Homak Industrial BW00210220. That model's 0.8 mm powder-coated stainless steel body can take a beating without complaint, and its triple-clasp lock system is among the most secure in its class.

Last Updated on