There are few things in life more satisfying than a collection of quality tools. Simply put, tools make you the master of your universe. Similarly, for DIY weekend-warriors, there are few things more calming than having the best tool chest. Organizing your tools and knowing they are exactly where they should be can relieve stress every bit as good as an afternoon of yoga. The mastery you feel when you are in control of your tools is far superior than that obtained by a lifetime of meditation. For some anyway.
However, some tool chests are better than others. They have more compartments, are sturdier or they are expandable. If you are considering the path or are already on the path of becoming a mechanic, handyman, or tinkerer, you must consider all the secrets of the tool chest. It is the only true path to enlightenment.
Best Tool Chest Mini Guide
Whether it is made of metal, steel, or some composite material, your tool chest must be sturdy. The joints must rotate without wobbling. The walls should align with the lid or drawers. The handles should be tough, and the ball bearings of the internal drawers should enable everything to move smoothly.
However, it must also resist chipping and rusting. The casing is going to take a lot of bumps and scrapes, as you reach for and plonk down your socket sets, spanners and other hand tools. If it has casters, they should be both sturdy and large. The casters must be sturdy because a chest full of tools will have significant weight. They must be large because larger wheels will give you better clearance.
Finally, the chest must have a solid center of gravity. When you extend the drawers for instance, the center of gravity will shift forward. You do not want to have the chest lean forward every time you open the drawer. Of course, some people fill the bottom drawers with heavy tools to combat this. However, this tactic is a remedying solution. A quality tool chest works properly from the start.
Some tool chests are simply organizing boxes. The true capabilities of others, however, feel something like a mystery. You should feel as if there is no end to what you could do with a tool chest. For instance, some have locks to keep your tools safe. Some have plugins, which allow you to work in close proximity to your other tools. Others have little drawers and nooks and crannies, perfect for tiny saw blades, drill bits, or specialty tools. Others have lights. Finally, others even involve work benches. You should look for the one that best suits your needs, your tools, and your future tools.
This feature is simple. A tool chest that moves easily is superior to one locked in place. That said, the casters must be solid and capable of supporting hundreds of pounds. Finally, the casters should be large enough that a crack in the floor does not pose a problem.
Locks and keys are common accessories, but other convenient features include extending table tops. Extending table tops turn your tool chest into a mini work bench. Finally, others have plugins or extension cords or are fitted with lights and light switches.
Best Tool Chest Reviews
As tough as any tool, the Tankstorm tool chest is constructed of rolled steel. Additionally, the powder-coated paint is electrostatically applied and baked on, making it nearly impervious to scratches and chemical spills.
At over 2 feet wide and 29 inches high, the chest will hold a variety of smaller tools in the drawers. However, the bottom front storage area will also hold larger tools, such as sanders, drills, or reciprocating saws.
On the sides of the chest are hooks, for hanging your tools, and the side compartments are fitted with holes to secure such tools as screwdrivers or center stamps. The center of the table top is layered in a grip-ready rubber to keep your tools from sliding.
The drawer guides are made of steel, and the ball bearings provide a smooth yet firm extension.
The front doors and the drawers all lock, keeping your tools safe and secure.
- attractive blue finish
- only 49 pounds
- multiple drawers
- no shelves or drawers in larger compartment
The Craftsman tool chest is your classic tool chest. It offers four rows of drawers, with the bottom three drawers of increasingly larger volume. The top row consists of three smaller drawers for tools such as screw drivers, hammers, and wrenches. The top lid protects tools such as drill bits and screw drivers, but it is also made for small bags of washers, nuts, and bolts.
The solid-steel construction and heavy-duty ball bearings ensure safe, secure storage and functionality for years to come. Additionally, the chest is equipped with two handles, one on each side, so you can safely and easily lift the chest, as needed, from garage to truck or from truck to work site.
Finally, the single lock in the center of the front side secures the lid and the drawers.
Although the Craftsman tool chest is a full-featured chest, it also is made as a modular unit. As such, it can be added atop other Craftsman tool chests to create a larger, wall unit. Additionally, smaller Craftsman tool chests can be placed on top of this one.
- only requires one key
- no room for larger tools such as large drills or paint sprayers
This rolling tool chest is backed by the name WEN. As such, you know it is sturdy. The solid steel casing is rust resistant, and the drawers slide smoothly in and out with no side play. With three drawers, the chest has enough space for your basic tool set, including small drills, hammers, and screwdriver sets. Finally, it includes magnetic trays that fold, allowing for quick, convenient access to commonly used tools, such as wrenches or screwdrivers.
This particular tool chest doubles as a work seat. For tasks, such as working on tires or electric sockets, that require a stool, you can sit on this tool chest. The casters can support up to 350 pounds, and the top of the chest is fitted with a cushion.
When extended, any of the drawers are within convenient reach, and the side trays allow you to place your tools and accessories in them without fear of losing or misplacing them.
- magnetic trays
- does not accommodate very large tools
Made of 18-gauge steel, the viper is tough. The handles are solidly built and represent a quality that you can feel. Similarly, the drawers extend firmly, quietly, and solidly, exhibiting no play whatsoever. Finally, a tough drawer should keep tough tools safe, and the cylinder lock does just that. As anyone knows, cylinder locks cannot be picked. Once you lock this chest, your tools are safe.
For your tools, the Viper offers nine drawers of varying sizes. The primary ones are perfect for narrow or common, hand-held tools. The larger ones are for thicker tools, such as hammers, hand sledges, or hand-held electric tools. However, this chest also has a drawer capable of storing large drills or routers.
- excellent ball bearings
- multiple shelves of multiple depths and widths
- dial lock cannot be picked
- riveted handles not inset into the chest
Milwaukee Heavy Duty Red & Black 46 in. 8-Drawer Rolling Steel Storage Cabinet | Contemporary Hardware Chest
This rolling tool chest has so many features, it is unclear if this is a tool chest or a compact work station. For instance, it has eight drawers of various sizes. The top, narrow drawers are for the standard assortment of manual, hand tools, and the bottom, more voluminous drawers can store larger tools, such as routers, sanders, or circular saws.
However, it stands high enough that it can serve as an impromptu work bench, providing serviceable space for light, manual work. Additionally, the chest can support up to 1,800 pounds, so unless you plan on somehow parking your car on it, it will endure any load you choose to put on it.
The casters lock in place, ensuring it stays put while you work. Additionally, the internal storage compartments are fashioned in such a way that you do not have to simply dump your larger tools into the drawers. Instead, tools and accessories, such as drills and batteries, can be hung and organized in their appropriate places.
Finally, the tool chest is fitted with electric sockets, so you can extend your reach to just about anywhere in your garage or work site.
- extremely versatile
- capable of truly organizing your tools
- electric sockets
- supports almost 1 ton of weight
- casters lock in place
- handles for easy maneuvering
- central lock on top drawer
- might be too short for some taller people
This portable work chest offers three large compartments capable of accommodating large tools. It has a small top tray that will hold common, manual tools, and the larger, bottom drawers open at an incline, allowing easy access to larger tools.
The large wheels will not get caught in cracks, and the top, pull-out handle allows you to move it like a rolling suitcase. At only 33 pounds, it is light enough for easy portability, but it is sturdy enough to handle the abuse it might encounter on the work site.
Each box is detachable, allowing you to move only the tools you need. Additionally, it allows multiple workers their own tool chest while allowing all the chests to quickly be reassembled into a portable chest at the end of the day.
- holds large tools
- no organizing method for smaller tools
The Goplus rolling tool chest offers all the drawer space of a traditional tool chest, but it also offers a huge, lower compartment for one or two large tools, such as a circular saw or hand sander. As such, it provides a central storage space for all your small tools and your most commonly used larger ones.
At 42 inches tall, it is as tall as a standard counter top, ensuring you do not have to bend or crouch while retrieving your tools. Additionally, the upper storage detaches. This functionality allows you to store tools separately in your garage where they are most needed while consolidating the chest if you need to move it to a work site.
In terms of build, the anti-rust paint will keep the chest and your tools protected in humid garages or climates, and the cold-rolled steel construction will provide sturdy storage for years. Finally, the ball-bearing sliders are solid and smooth.
The sides are fitted with peg holes, which can be equipped with the included hooks, providing a ready-made place for hanging wrenches or pliers.
- tall enough for larger people
- casters lock into place
- no foldable shelf in the larger compartment.
The Thor tool chest is aptly named as it might very well be the god of all tool chests. For instance, it is equipped with 20 narrow drawers and four deep bins. The drawers allow you to easily assort and arrange all your smaller tools, both manual and power. The deep bins allow you to securely store up to eight larger tools.
For portability, the chest is equipped with a handle on either side of the unit, and the casters provide easy mobility. Once you get the chest into position, the casters can be locked into place.
This tool chest is fitted with a hardwood top, which transforms the chest into a workbench. The table top will provide a sturdy work area for any type of work you are doing. Of course, it can also be used to organize tools, equipment, and accessories that do not need to be in a drawer.
However, the top overhangs the drawer, so you can attach clamps to the top, allowing you to securely saw, sand, or drill.
- accommodates any tool
- overhanging table top for clamps
- might be more than the entry-level worker needs
When it comes to organizing smaller tools and accessories, this 23-drawer tool chest out performs just about chest on the market. It can accommodate a wide array of smaller wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers. However, it is also perfect for compartmentalizing washers, bolts, and screws.
In terms of larger tools, two larger bins will hold drills, circular saws, or paint sprayers, and the top bin will also store mid-size tools such as sanders, routers, or saws.
Because of its size, it has six heavy-duty casters, of which the outer four lock into place. Additionally, standing 56 inches in height makes it perfect for average or taller people.
- not equipped with electric outlets
This tool chest by Frontier represents a near-perfect balance between different types of storage and organization. For instance, it offers eight drawers of varying depths, with the uppermost drawer providing extra-wide storage capabilities. This extra-wide storage ensures you do not have to keep opening and closing drawers as you look for your most common tools.
However, it also offers two large bins, perfect for saws, sanders, or sprayers.
Of course, the highlight is the included pegboard system that attaches vertically to the back of the chest. With this pegboard option, you have the ability to organize and easily access a variety of small and mid-size hand tools. However, you can also attach containers for shelves, cups, or small bins.
Additionally, the side containers allow for the storage of items, such as solvents and glues. Finally, the side holsters are perfect for screwdrivers.
- most versatile system on the market
- pegboard backing
- two large bins
- multiple drawers
- extra-wide drawer
- securely locks
- lockable casters
- table top does not overhang for clamps