Just What Is The Best Tool Box ? We Scrutinise The Top Rated Small, Wheeled Tool Chests, And Best Under £1000

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best tool box

Ok so you’re on the hunt out for the best tool box and it has to meet your needs.  Tool boxes can be all kinds of sizes, but for this write up we will try to address what we believe to be the best in each of 3 categories we have chosen.  We’ve chosen categories that make the most sense for most people.

Our category choices are:

  • * Regular sized tool boxes you would typically carry with you
  • * Affordable tool chests that can be moved on wheels and finally
  • * Premium quality “best you can buy” for the money under £1000
ImageLinkProductBrandLowest New Price
Stanley FatMax 1-93-935 Waterproof Toolbox 28inchSTANLEY£31.35
Makita 821551-8 MakPac Type 3 Connector CaseMakita£21.14
Stanley STA194858 Metal Latch Toolbox, 20 inch - BlackSTANLEY£13.24
Dirty Pro Tools™ X LARGE TOOL CHEST TOP CABINET TOP BOX AND ROLLCAB BOX WITH DRAWER DIVIDER mechanics tool chestDirty Pro Tools£154.99
Hardcastle 9 Drawer Red Lockable Topchest Tool BoxHardcastle£59.99
Popamazing Metal Tool Chest Cabinet with Lockable Drawers and Handle on Castors Wheels RedPopamazing£159.99
DJM Direct Pro Heavy Duty Tool Box Storage Stack System - 9D Top Chest + 7D Rollcab + 3D Middle Add-OnDJM Direct£329.85
Motamec PRO94 Large Roller Cabinet + Top Tool Chest- RollCab Box Stack RedMotamec£845.00
US PRO TOOLS HEAVY DUTY TOOL CHEST, PROFESSIONAL TOOL BOXESus pro tools£765.00

Category 1: “best small tool box”

What makes a good small sized tool box then?

It needs to be one you can carry most of your tools in for a start but also:

  • * Strong
  • * Portable
  • * Easy to use

How we chose

We reviewed the current overall market and picked out 3 contenders for this category.

We have already discounted many that weren’t at the top of their games, so any of these 3 would be great

It’s a personal taste decision ultimately.

Price wise, most of these kinds of portable tool boxes are typically under the £50 mark.

Our top 3 small sized portable tool boxes are as follows:


best tool box
The Stanley Fatmax – a waterproof toolbox that has one of the sexiest names on the planet.
  • Strong
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Holds most common tools
  • Measures 71 x 30.8 x 28.5 cm

Makita 821551
The Makita 821551 – handy to know, it is part of a small family of storage boxes that can all be latched together when stored.
  • Strong
  • Collapsible handles
  • Stackable
  • Buy as many of these as you want and you can stack and lock them together(look)
  • Measures 39.6 x 29.6 x 21 cm

 


Stanley STA194858
The Stanley STA194858 – a tough toolbox with metal locking clamps. It also has top sections suitable for small items like screws etc.
  • Very strong
  • Features padlock eye for additional security
  • Removable tray
  • Metal locking clamps
  • Measures 25.5 x 24 x 50.5 cm

 

Our winner for best small tool box is a joint effort, and not surprisingly it’s both of the Stanley toolboxes.

The two Stanley tool boxes get top recommendations in this category because:

Best small toolbox winners:
Stanley fatmax small tool box

The Stanley Fatmax is perfect for all your larger tools.  Pop the bigger tools and and you’re good to go.

  • * The half sized tote tray inside is good for a few small bits.
  • * This tool box is not ideal for storing lots of smaller tools as it will get messy.

The Stanley STA194858
The Stanley STA194858 then fills the gap for the perfect tool box for your smaller items.

  • * It’s a more compact size, yet tough, with metal latches and has waterproof capabilities.

 


Category 2: “best tool chest on wheels”

Our thoughts we had when choosing which ones stood out

We wanted to look at and identify possible leaders in this area. Obviously on wheels, and must be easy to pull, move and offer good solid drawer action as well when fully loaded.  Lockable drawers is also a must have feature.

Price wise, we found that most of these kinds of tool chest are typically under £300, some even under £100.  For this money you get what you expect.  A tool chest on wheels that does what it’s supposed to and does it fine.  (If you really need the best you’ll have to look at the next category for the premium tool chests under £1000 as they are the “no holds barred” models).

How we chose:

  • * We were on the look out for as many features as possible, but all while retaining solid build quaility.
  • * We then identified these 3 and made our purchase.
  • * We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
  • * We then looked at their overall appearance and the wheels.
Dirty pro tools tool chest on wheels
Dirty Pro Tools extra large tool chest with roll cabA strong tool chest with 14 drawers helped by US ball bearings that won’t stick when loaded.  We have featured Dirty pro tools before (on our cement mixer page) and they are doing good things with tools.
  • 14 strong lockable drawers
  • US bearings on the drawers
  • Heavy duty castors with a locking wheel
  • Anti slip mat inside the drawers
  • Measures Width: 616 mm x Depth: 330 mm x Height: 1146 mm

NOTES: It has two castor wheels that freely spin and two that are fixed.  In an ideal world all 4 castors would freely spin but this isn’t a deal breaker to be honest.

Good for a domestic use for most of your tools, but if you are hoping to use this professionally don’t expect to get a full set of pneumatic tools in it.

hardcastle 5 drawer tool chest

Hardcastle 5 Drawer Gloss Red Lockable Tool Chest Roller Cabinet

Features 5 deep powder coated drawers with a smooth ball bearing movement that won’t stick when fully loaded (here is their 7 drawer model instead).  Each drawer has an anti slip foam layer inside and can be locked.

  • A thick bar helps you to easily move the tool chest around your garage or home workshop.
  • A good solid tool chest at a low price
  • Ultra smooth drawer runners with smoothmove ball bearing technology
  • Comes with two keys for locking when not in use
  • Measures 68.5cm x 33cm x 79cm
  • Each drawer measures 51cm x 29cm x 9.5cm

NOTES: The overall dimensions do NOT include the handles.  Handles and castors will need asembling when you receive your tool chest.  You coould leave the handles off if you were putting these drawers under a worktop for example.

popamazing tool chest with 5 deep drawers and 2 smaller drawers

Popamazing Metal Tool Chest Cabinet with Lockable Drawers and Handle on Castors Wheels

Here is a tough tool chest that features 7 drawers (5 large and 2 small), that are lockable, and there are two lockable wheels to help it stay fixed when at your side.

  • Very strong tool chest
  • It comes with 2 keys to lock it when not used
  • Anti slip EVA mats in the drawers help stop slipping and help mop up any oil spills
  • Metal locking clamps
  • Measures 79 x 68 x 33 cm overall
  • Case Size: 62×33×66 cm (LxWxH)
  • Small Drawer: 51 x 28 x 3.5 cm (LxWxH)
  • Large Drawer: 51 x 28 x 8 cm (LxWxH)
  • Handle Length: 33 cm
  • Wheel Diameter: 10.2 cm

NOTES: In terms of a rolling tool chest this pretty much is the one to go for.  It’s taller than the 5 drawer one above and has 2 locking wheels.  It’s also the accepted “Red” colour.

Our winner for best tool chest on wheels is the Popamazing 7 drawer tool chest.

The Popamazing tool chest gets our top rated recommendation for this category because.

The Popamazing brand have consistently good real life consumer reviews across all their Amazon departments.

The build quality is very good.

Best tool chest on wheels winner:
popamazing tool chest with 5 deep drawers and 2 smaller drawers

The Popamazing 7 drawer tool chest is perfect for your workshop storage needs.

  • Good sized drawers
  • Easy to move and lock
  • BRILLIANT value for money

 


Category 3: “best tool chest under 1000”

 

Here we have looked carefully at professional tool chests under £1000

(if money is no object you can review higher priced tool chests here).

In this category the tool chests have to be far superior.

So, we found the ones with high end components and top notch build quality and below are our findings:

How we chose:

  • * They had to be heavy duty
  • * We then identified the ones with quality components
  • * We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
  • * We then made an overall decision to find the best 3.
DJM direct heavy duty tool chest
DJM Direct multi drawer combination unitsHere we have the brilliantly affordable totally versatile setup from DJM Direct. You can choose a number of different combinations of units.  This combination is the 9 drawer small top section, plus the 3 drawer bigger mid section and the 7 drawer larger lower section.  Put them all together for a great set up!  You can mix and match different configurations too.
  • Smoother stronger ball bearings
  • Tough barrel locks for safer storage when not in use
  • Rear locking bars for extra security
  • Top Chest Overall Size (W x D x H): 600 x 260 x 380mm
  • Middle Add-On Overall Size (W x D x H): 604 x 262 x 252mm
  • Rollcab Overall Size (W x D x H): 618 x 330 x 830mm
  • Anti slip mat inside the drawers
  • Tough metal construction with hi-gloss triple baked enamel finish.

NOTES: There are no drawer liners with these tool boxes however you can buy your own liners and cut them to size.  This is also not 100% “professional” as it is made using thin metal, but we included it because it is very low cost and offers great value for money for a lightweight unit.

Motamec Pro94 large roller chest

Motamec Pro94 large sized heavy duty tool chest

Through and through this is a very high quality tool chest as used by race teams and professional garages.

  • Premium grade thick welded steel construction (solvent and rust resistant)
  • The two parts can be split if desired.
  • The drawers feature a “soft” shut lock mechanism so no trapped fingers.
  • Heavy duty castors and side bars
  • Gas struts make opening of the lid a nice and easy affair
  • Lock all drawers with a single turn of the key.
  • Comes supplied with two keys
  • Every drawer comes with anti slip matting liners

Rollcab Model No: MT6911RC-RD
Specification (W x D x H):
Overall Size with wheels: 1067 x 472 x 1007mm
Top Drawer (x1): 937 x 410 x 122mm
Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 410 x 75mm
Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 410 x 75mm
Large L/H Drawer (x2): 570 x 410 x 153mm
Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 410 x 153mm
Net Weight: 99kg

Top Chest Model No: MT6908TC-RD
Specification (W x D x H):
Overall Size: 1051 x 412 x 553mm
Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 370 x 74mm
Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 370 x 74mm
Large L/H Drawer (x1): 570 x 370 x 153mm
Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 370 x 153mm
Net Weight: 56kg

NOTES: The heavy nature of this product means it will be delivered on a pallet.  You will need to be able to move it yourself into position and will need to be available to accept delivery.

US Pro tools heavy duty tool chest

US Pro Tools heavy duty large tool chest in Red

21 drawers and a top section allow you to organize all your tools very efficiently.

  • Very strong tool chest
  • Heavy duty side handles. Tool drawer labeling.
  • Internal security key locking system for extra security.
  • 10 year warranty.
  • Ball bearing sliding locking drawers
  • 2mm drawer liners included
  • Overall dimensions (with castor wheels) 1067mm x 458mm x 1007mm

 

Our winner for best tool chest under £1000 is the Motamec Pro94 heavy duty tool chest.

The Motamec tool chest gets our top rated recommendation for this category because.

The build quality is exceptionallly good.  You can see this will last a very long time.

Best tool chest on wheels winner:

Motamec Pro94 large roller chest

The Motamec Pro94 tool chest is our highest rated tool chest under £1000.

  • Rock solid construction
  • Easy to move and lock
  • Designed to last many long years

 

Tool box buyers guide

 

First up, ask yourself “will it fit”?

Look at your biggest tool you want to put in the tool box or chest and look at the  tool box size.  See if it will fit.

Do you need to move it around?

If so then be sure to get wheels.  Locking wheels are a useful addition.

Are locks a MUST HAVE ?

For many businesses the ability to lock tools is a requirement of an insurance policy

Heavy duty or lightweight?

For spanners and sockets a lightweight model will be easier to move around.  For anything heavier then a heavy duty chest will be needed.

Prioritise your “most used” tools. 

There’s little point putting a tool in the box that only gets used once a year.

The best tool box for you might not be the same for others.

You need to look at your own personal needs and what tools will be used the most.

 

Summary

The majority of boxes and chests on this write up are actually inexpensive.  Even the high end premium units can be classed as affordable (especially when you look further afield at units that cost £4000 and upwards).

Each unit on this page was very carefully selected for it’s strengths over competing products.

Questions?  Please comment below.

 

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Shaun Baird

By: Shaun Baird

If you ever wanted someone to help you, Shaun would be your man.He has spent most of his life helping others, often without realising, and used this passion to drive the 10 Warriors brand forward.

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