The Best Rolling Tool Boxes for the Workshop
Tools can become heavy and cumbersome if you lug them around for long periods of time. A rolling tool box helps you transport the tools you need without weighing you down.
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Whether you’re using several small tools for automotive work or need to move larger power tools from one spot to another on a job site, having somewhere to stash and transport them makes a big difference in your productivity. Rolling tool boxes come with drawers and bins that allow you to stow your tools in an organized manner and keep them within reach.
The best rolling tool box for you will depend on the kinds of tools you use and whether you plan to push the tool box out to the driveway to work on a car, or load it in the back of your truck and take it to the job site.
- BEST OVERALL:8-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest from On Shine
- RUNNER UP:Stalwart Oversized Portable Tool Chest
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Stalwart Heavy Duty Rolling Toolbox
- BEST FOR LOCKING:Keter Masterloader Resin Rolling Tool Box
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT:Milwaukee Electric Tool Packout 22” Rolling Tool Box
- BEST TOOL CHEST:Keter Rolling Tool Chest with Storage Drawers
- BEST TOOL BOX STOOL:OEMTOOLS Rolling Mechanics Creeper Seat with Storage
- BEST WITH WORKBENCH:Husky 36 in. 3-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart with Wood Top
Types of Rolling Tool Boxes
Rolling tool boxes come in designs that vary based on the kinds of tools stored inside them and the kinds of projects for which they are used. The following types of rolling tool boxes all store tools and can be moved with ease but offer different features that will suit some projects better than others.
Rolling Tool Cart/Trolley
Much like a rolling kitchen cart, a rolling tool cart or “trolley” has a tabletop work surface that can hold small items, such as nuts, bolts, and spark plugs, and also additional storage below the work surface. The storage space below may be configured with multiple pull-out drawers or a combination of drawers and bins. It may also include shelving. You can move a trolley-type cart to a designated spot for tool storage, or you can load it up with the tools you’ll need for a specific project—say, detailing a car—and then pull it out to the driveway to keep all your items within reach.
Rolling Tool Chest
A rolling tool chest is essentially a large upright box with multiple drawers that resembles a chest of drawers you would find in a bedroom. This type of portable tool storage is often found in mechanics’ garages and typically features shallow drawers just deep enough to hold sockets and wrenches. In an automotive garage, you might find multiple rolling tool chests lining the walls, each chock full of the small precision tools a mechanic needs to work on various vehicles. This type of tool storage can also come in handy in a woodworker’s workshop. Its shallow drawers are ideal for storing fasteners, bits, and other small supplies that can be difficult to find if they’re dumped in a box or bag.
Rolling Tool Box Stool
A rolling tool box with a stool is just the ticket for working on projects that require you to bend down regularly, such as performing detail work on the exterior of a car or bathing the family dog outdoors. The stool’s storage can be as simple as a single shelf above the wheelbase, where you can keep a couple of hand tools, or a series of drawers and bins for storing more items. Having a stool that you can both sit on and stash your tools beneath is just as convenient as wearing a tool belt and even more comfortable on your back.
Rolling Tool Box With Workbench
Similar to a rolling tool box trolley or cart, a tool box with a workbench provides the user an additional work surface. The surface can be used to hold cans of paint, brushes, or other tools and accessories. It is usually made of a durable material, such as wood, that will withstand scratches and gouges.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Rolling Tool Box
To determine which rolling tool box is best for your needs, consider the number of tools you’ll need to store and the weight of the tools. You’ll also want to take into account the size of the tools, whether you’ll need built-in electrical outlets, and whether you want a box that locks. Be sure to weigh these important factors as you shop for a rolling tool box:
To protect tools from dust, water, or the elements, many rolling tool boxes are made from heavy-gauge steel with a coating designed to prevent rusting and corrosion. However, while steel tool boxes are moisture resistant, they’re not waterproof, so they should be stored inside a garage or workshop when not in use. Another popular material for rolling tool boxes is heavy molded resin, which withstands being caught in an occasional shower. Remember if the tool box does not say it’s waterproof, rain or water from a lawn sprinkler could seep into drawers or cabinet doors and rust the tools inside.
Size and Shape
A square or oblong box shape is the most common design for rolling tool boxes. You can find a few round ones, but these are typically tool boxes with built-in stools. A tool box with straight sides offers the most efficient use of storage space because it can be pushed against a garage wall. Rolling tool boxes are usually between 2 and 8 feet wide and can be just as narrow or tall. Most tool boxes are relatively shallow in depth so as not to take up too much room along the garage wall.
Consider the number and type of tools you need to store when choosing a rolling tool box. If you have hefty power tools to stow, such as cordless drills, routers, and jigsaws, you’ll want a tool box that has either large bins or shelves sturdy enough to hold them. If you’re going to be working on cars, a tool box with small upper drawers for sockets and a couple of deeper drawers at the bottom for larger tools might be the best option.
Tools are expensive, and keeping them safe from thieves (or children) may require locking the tool box. Some models feature individual locking doors, while others come with a bar-type lock that extends through all the doors. When security is an issue, it’s also a good idea to use a cable to secure the box to a permanent object, such as a lag bolt inserted into the concrete floor of a garage or workshop. But remember locking tool boxes are not safes; they are designed to reduce the risk of theft, not be impenetrable.
Metal mechanic tool boxes often come with small casters that enable the user to push the tool box over paved concrete. If you need to move the box over different terrains, such as across the yard to a patio, look for larger wheels that will roll over turf or gravel without bogging down. Some job site rolling tool boxes have two large wheels, along with a handle, enabling the user to tip the whole unit, as you would a hand truck, and pull it across uneven ground.
Most rolling tool boxes are pretty straightforward, but a few have useful bells and whistles.
Electrical outlets: Look for these on workbench- or trolley-type rolling tool boxes. They allow the user to plug in electrical tools right at the cabinet. You’ll need to plug a heavy-duty, 12- or 14-gauge extension cord into the back of the cabinet and run it to an electrical outlet.
USB charging port: This feature usually comes as an added option on tool boxes with electrical outlets, allowing the user to charge a cellphone while working.
In-drawer compartments: These are handy for keeping small items, such as different sizes of fasteners, separate and organized.
Portable rolling tool boxes are actually sets of two or three tool boxes that fit together, one on top of another, and roll across the ground. They’re called “portable” because the boxes can be separated, carried, and loaded into a truck. These boxes weigh less than 25 pounds when empty and often come with collapsible handles. Though some portable rolling tool boxes are made of metal, more often they’re crafted of lightweight molded resin. Keep in mind that your tool box’s true portability factor will depend on the weight of the tools inside.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a rolling tool box should have enough space to hold your tools, be easy to move from one location to another, and be durable and long lasting. The following list has tool boxes for a variety of different applications. At least one is likely to be a terrific asset to your workshop or job site.
8-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest from On Shine
Made from high-quality steel and outfitted with eight drawers and a lower cabinet to store larger tools, the On Shine 8-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest takes top honors. This two-piece chest boasts an upper section that may either be stacked on top or slid inside the cabinet portion of the lower section, making it double as a trolley-type cart. The chest features powder-coated steel to resist rust and corrosion as well as swivel caster wheels that make it easy to push around in the garage or workshop. The chest’s drawers are on ball-bearing slides, so they glide without sticking. And the lower tool-cabinet portion can be locked for security. Assembled dimensions are 24.4 inches long by 42.9 inches high by 13 inches wide.
Stalwart Oversized Portable Tool Chest
The Stalwart Oversized Portable Tool Chest features three stackable tool boxes on a gliding wheelbase for easy relocation. Each box is crafted from heavy steel and reinforced, injection-molded polymer to protect your valuable tools while they’re in transit. Both the top and center boxes come with side handles for easy carrying. In addition, the top box comes with a locking lid, the center box features a pull-out drawer, and the rolling base tool box contains a tip-out bin. You can access the contents of all three boxes without unstacking them. When assembled, the Stalwart rolling tool box measures 30 inches long by 21 inches high by 13 inches wide.
Best Bang For The Buck
Stalwart Heavy Duty Rolling Toolbox
Don’t let your budget keep you from buying a rolling tool box. The Stalwart rolling tool box features two stackable boxes made from metal and rugged polypropylene. The top box has a comfort-grip, fold-down handle, and comes with two top-access trays with interior compartments for storing small items. The front of the top box features more compartments in a flip-down tray. Stow larger tools and objects inside the bottom of the top box or in the base box. The back of the unit comes with cable hooks to hold extension cords or tape rolls. The rolling base box has 4.2-inch wheels for easy pulling. And all of this comes at an affordable price point. Assembled, its dimensions are 17.5 inches long by 24.5 inches high by 10 inches wide.
Best for Locking
Keter Masterloader Resin Rolling Tool Box
The utilitarian-looking Keter Rolling Tool Chest with Locking System features two slide-out top trays that can be configured with six molded plastic bins in a custom configuration to fit your storage needs. Below the trays is a large storage compartment designed to hold bigger tools, such as drills or circular saws. For security and peace of mind, the whole thing can be locked up tight with a padlock (not included). The Keter rolling tool box features a pull-out steel handle and tips up on two wheels for pulling. The unit is made from all-weather resin and measures 16.34 inches high by 24.25 inches wide by 14.88 inches deep.
Milwaukee Electric Tool Packout 22″ Rolling Tool Box
From the same manufacturer as the Milwaulee electric tool line comes the Milwaukee Packout Rolling Tool Box, which has an industrial-grade extending handle for pulling and an open storage interior. When empty, it weighs less than 24 pounds. This rolling tool box can be stacked with other matching Milwaukee Packout tool boxes, such as this one and this one. This durable unit features metal-reinforced corners, heavy-duty latches, and corner bars to make lifting it easy. Its oversized, 9-inch wheels can easily navigate rough terrain. The Packout rolling tool box measures 22.1 inches high by 25.6 inches wide by 18.9 inches deep. Interior trays are sold separately.
Best Tool Chest
Keter Rolling Tool Chest with Storage Drawers
Keep those ratchets and sockets where you can reach them with the Keter Rolling Tool Chest with 16 Bins. This chest-type tool box comes with five pull-out drawers and 16 storage bins that can be configured to fit your individual needs, as well as a tray on top where you can lay your tools while you’re working. The chest features a central locking system (not a security locking system) that keeps individual drawers from opening until you depress the thumb lever at the side of each drawer. For additional portability, drawers can easily be removed. The Keter chest rolls smoothly on four swivel casters and is made from a durable polypropylene resin designed to protect tools from moisture. It would be just as at home in a craft room or gardening shed as in a mechanic’s garage. Measures 23.5 inches high by 22.1 inches wide by 11.3 inches deep.
Best Tool Box Stool
OEMTOOLS Rolling Mechanics Creeper Seat with Storage
Give your back a break with the OEMTOOLS Rolling Mechanics Creeper with Seat and Tool Storage. Whether you’re changing a tire or assembling a cabinet on the floor, you can get one heck of a backache from kneeling on concrete or constantly bending over. Instead, complete your projects comfortably on this rolling work seat that features pull-out, under-seat trays to hold your tools as you work. The OEMTOOLS’s tool drawers are rated to hold up to 30 pounds each and its swivel casters can be guided by simply pushing with your feet. The seat is padded with 2 inches of vinyl foam that will keep your rear comfy for hours. The rolling work stool measures 16.0 inches high and 14.9 inches in both length and width.
Best With Workbench
Husky 36 in. 3-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart with Wood Top
Use the surface of the Husky 36-Inch Rolling Tool Cart with Wood Top as a workbench for holding tools, paint, cans, brushes, or whatever you need to complete your projects. This mobile work center features three pull-out drawers, each with a 50-pound weight rating and ball-bearing slides to keep the drawers from sticking. A reinforced-steel open tool tray on the bottom of the cart easily corrals larger items. The Husky rolling cart is made from high quality, powder-coated steel that is rust and corrosion resistant, and comes with heavy-duty, swivel caster wheels for easy rolling. The unit measures 39 inches high by 40.6 inches wide by 17.33 inches deep.
The Advantages of Owning a Rolling Tool Box
Keeping the tools you need within reach makes any project go quicker. Rather than having to maneuver repeatedly between a tool chest and a project you’re working on, a rolling tool box allows you to bring the tools right to where you’re working.
- With a rolling tool box you can organize the types of tools you’ll need, such as sockets and wrenches for automotive work, and keep them within arm’s reach.
- When you want to rearrange your work space, you can move a rolling tool box anywhere you want in the garage.
- Some rolling tool boxes are also portable, which means you can stuff them full of tools, and then transport everything to a different job site.
FAQs About Your New Rolling Tool Box
If this is your first time shopping for a rolling tool box, you likely have some questions.
Q. What can you store in a rolling tool box?
Any tools that will fit in the drawers, bins, or cubbies. While some rolling toolboxes will hold large power tools, many have shallow drawers that work well for organizing small tools and supplies, such as sockets and fasteners.
Q. Does a rolling tool box have a lock?
Some do, but not all. When security is an issue, look for a tool box that allows you to lock it with a padlock.
Q. How do you clean a tool box?
You can usually use a spray-on, all-purpose cleaner and a rag to wipe off grease and gunk. For the best results, you’ll also want to clean your tools and keep them maintained to keep from getting the inside of the tool box dirty.
Store and relocate your tool collection easily using the best rolling tool box. This guide offers shopping tips and top recommendations for DIYers and pros.
Rolling work box
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