Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Toolbox

A quality portable toolbox can help you keep all the tools you need on hand wherever you need them.

Guy working in a garage
Whether it’s one large compartment, or a mix of drawers and trays, a portable toolbox is a must for any DIY handyman.Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

A good portable toolbox is a necessity for many people whose job or hobbies require they haul a number of tools with them whenever they leave home. For those who enjoy such things, shopping for a toolbox can be nearly as much fun as actually buying the tools to put in it. For others, however, shopping for such an item can be considered drudgery rather than entertainment. Consider these three factors when shopping for a portable toolbox.

DEWALT Tstak Tool Box, Deep
This sturdy model can carry a total weight of up to 44 pounds.DeWalt

The size of the toolbox you need will depend not only on the weight of the tools you need to have with you, but also length and width. If you have lots of very heavy smaller tools, a small box with a fairly high weight capacity should serve your purposes fine. If you have larger tools like power tools that you need to haul with you, you’re going to have to look closely at interior dimensions before making a purchase decision. Sales material for most boxes will tell you what the weight capacity is and what the interior dimensions are. Note that the bigger the toolbox, the heavier it’s going to get. It doesn’t take long to put so many tools in a really big box that you can’t even pick it up without injuring yourself. That’s where the next factor—how you’ll transport it—comes into play.

dbest products Quik Cart Pockets Bundle Caddy Organizer Teacher Tote Rolling Crate
Easy-to-transport model with a fabric cover, sturdy wheels and a retractable telescopic handle.dbest products

Many toolboxes are of the simple kind that you just grab the handle, pick them up and go on your way. That’s fine if your toolbox is fairly small and lightweight. But if it is bigger and heavier, carrying it by a handle can be not only unwieldy, but dangerous if the handle isn’t constructed quite sturdily. If you are going to carry heavy tools or a big toolbox, consider getting a toolbox with wheels. Make sure the wheels are sturdy, or they’ll fail quickly, leaving you without a good option for moving your toolbox. Many toolboxes have retractable telescopic handles, much like those used on luggage, that make taking a heavy or bulky toolbox along an easier task. Like wheels, though, poorly constructed handles will only lead to frustration. Make sure you check the quality of these moving parts before purchasing.

Stanley Portable Toolbox Rolling Cabinet Storage Tool Chest Mechanic
This high-quality unit has four levels for organization and convenience.Stanley

Those who have opened their portable toolbox only to see a jumble of tools of every variety in a huge mish-mash know how important organization can be. Fortunately, many of today’s top-tier toolboxes are rife with built-in organizational features. From drawers, to doors, to cut-out foam in areas that will store electronics and other fragile equipment, if you’re looking for a specific organizational feature, you’ll probably be able to find what you want if you shop around. Some of the best boxes open with a single latch on front, then give the user access to tools at multiple levels or in multiple compartments. For those who already have a portable toolbox that doesn’t have much in the way of organizational features, some manufacturers offer toolbox organizers that can be used to organize tools nearly as well as built-in features do.

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