The 6 Best Value Tool Chests – Cheap Tool Box Reviews 2018

Anyone who uses tools regularly knows the value of a good tool box Once you get to know where each of your tools “lives” you'll come to know and love your tool box like a member of the family.

While tool boxes are great if you have a small number of tools and need to carry them to jobs, the more experience you have of making and fixing things at home, the more you will find you actually need a tool chest.

If you think you need to make the step up but are worried about the cost, you needn't be. Here is our guide to the best value tool chests on the market.

1. Stanley STST19410 One-Latch Toolbox, 19-Inch

To start with, here's a great tool box which is basically a small version of a tool chest from Stanley, one of the most trusted tool making brands around. Capable of carrying all the tools you can't do without, this tough, compact tool box has some great features.

There is a removable shelf which means you can alter the box to take the bigger, more heavy duty long handled tools you might need. In this mode, the box is 17.25 x 9 x 7.5 inches.

Stanley STST19410 One-Latch Toolbox, 19-Inch

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

The lid has two handy compartments for small parts and tools; and the handle can be opened with one hand.

2. BCP ortable Top Chest Rolling Tool Storage Box Cabinet Sliding Drawers

This brilliantly designed tool chest from Best Choice Products is extremely versatile and has room enough for every tool you're ever likely to buy.

The lockable top box opens to reveal a spacious bottom drawer and three trays for smaller tools.

The huge bottom section of the chest has a very roomy cabinet for power tools, cables and attachments. Above this are two large tool trays.

ortable Top Chest Rolling Tool Storage Box Cabinet Sliding Drawers

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

The top section lifts off to be used as a tool box in its own right. The bottom section is on all direction casters, and the whole thing is made of finished steel. Every tray and drawer is lined to absorb oil and dirt.

3. Excel TB2105X-Blue 26-Inch Steel Top Chest, Blue

From Excel comes a tough, good looking tool chest which is also excellent value for money.

At 26” long, you can carry your long handled torque wrenches and hand cutters. As well as the top shelf under the lid for access to the tools you use most often.

The portable chest has five pull out drawers, the bottom one slightly roomier for big handled grips. All the drawers run on ball bearings.

Excel TB2105X-Blue 26-Inch Steel Top Chest, Blue

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

The chest is made of steel with a smart blue powder finish to keep it as rust free as possible. The chest is lockable and can carry up to 50 pounds in weight of tools.

4. Akro-Mils 10144 D 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch Hardware and Craft Cabinet, Black

This amazing value cabinet from Akro-Mils should mean you never lose anything ever again. Keep this at workbench height in your garage or workshop and you will have everything at your fingertips, whatever job you decide to take on. It has mounts, so you can have it on your wall.

There are 12 big bottom drawers at over four inches wide by two tall, and 24 smaller top drawers at just under two inches tall.

Akro-Mils 10144 D 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch Hardware and Craft Cabinet, Black

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

This cabinet will never rust, as it is made from tough polystyrene, with translucent polypropylene drawer compartments. These drawers themselves come with dividers and will not pull all the way out and spill their contents everywhere.

5. Stanley STST18613 3-in-1 Rolling WorkShop

For bigger and tougher jobs and tools, Stanley have made this mobile tool shop on wheels. Surprisingly inexpensive, this versatile piece of kit will be much appreciated by professional constructors and mechanics.

It is a two compartment case made to be pulled on large, useful wheels and with the use of a telescopic carrying handle.

Stanley STST18613 3-in-1 Rolling WorkShop

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

The very spacious lower compartment is made to carry power tools, flashlights and accessories. The top compartment is a tool box chest in its own right. When assembled, the two parts lock together with strong, latched side connectors designed for use with our without the top box.

6. Excel TB220XAB-Red 24-Inch Steel Chest Roller Combination

From Excel comes this two piece, multi purpose tool chest with seven drawer and tray compartments, as well as a very large bottom compartment for power tools, batteries and accessories.

Made of finished steel, the chest is lockable and comes on omni directional casters so you can easily push or pull it around your work room or garage. The drawers are mounted on eight ball bearings each for easy, smooth use; and the handles are flush with the full width of the drawers.

Excel TB220XAB-Red 24-Inch Steel Chest Roller Combination

Check More Photos & Price at: amazon.com

This model is very expensive and, it has to be said, compares unfavorably to other similar products in terms of value and features. Put simply, there are better, cheaper versions of this chest available.

How to Choose the Best Tool Chest

If you've decided to make the move from tool box to tool chest, you're obviously at a stage where you're ready to take on just about every challenge your garage or other work space can handle. Don't forget, a lot of tool chests can be separated so that part of them is still a tool box like you've been used to; but they provide space for backup when the need arises.

That said, to get the real benefit from a tool chest, you need to make sure you have thought it through. There are quite a few considerations to make buying a tool chest a worthwhile option.

Here are a few things to think about:

Space

This is important in a lot of ways. Tool chests can be quite a bit more expensive than tool boxes, and yet tool boxes have enough space in them to carry a lot of tools. The extra space provided by a tool chest gives you literally hundreds of options if you think about the number of compartments multiplied by the number of tools in each of them.

If you're not careful, this can be off putting. If you can't find the tool you want in your tool box, you will certainly struggle to find it in a tool chest. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to buy a chest just in case one day you run out of room in your box.

Tool chests themselves also take up quite a bit of space. As garages come in any number of shapes and sizes, you need to be sure exactly where you would be able to fit a tool chest.

Think about not just where you can physically fit it, but how easy it will be to access, whether that area is well enough lit, or whether it will cause problems with other garage users (assuming you let anyone else in there).

Practicality

There are, as we have seen with our reviews, different designs as well as sizes of tool chest. Some are designed to hold essential small parts in an organised way, others have the capacity to carry everything from impact drills to hydraulic jacks.

The larger chests with the cavernous bottom cabinets will be moveable. This doesn't mean you can move them around whatever else happens to be in the room at the time; the chest must still have its own floor area no matter what.

Chests designed for smaller parts will often be designed with the option to be mounted on a wall. Other, reasonably compact tool chests will be light enough to move around work benches if required.

All of these considerations will depend on what types of job you will be doing. If you have to leave your work bench, turn around and search for tools, your tool chest will be a waste of time. You might find that, even in a small garage, being able to pull or push your moveable chest with you is the easiest and most practical option.

Maintenance

  • Although it sounds contrary, the best way to look after your tool box or chest is to look after your tools. Although that is exactly what tool chests are designed to help with, they themselves should be seen as tools.
  • Although it is much easier said than done, tool storage and maintenance should be an ongoing job. Basically, clean, oil or otherwise maintain your tools every time you are finished using them. That is the first step of a discipline which will help you keep a good tool set for life.
  • If your tools are clean, it helps you think about how and where you want to store them. Although tool chests often come with absorbent linings for drawers and trays, these are designed to soak up drips rather than torrents.
  • Tool boxes especially should be wiped out regularly. Even if you keep your tools well, every time you open the lid, dust or other materials will find their way in and gather in corners and all over every sticky surface.
  • Do not force tools into spaces too small for them to fit. This will damage both your tools and the box.
  • Keep rust away as best you can with rust collector or silica gel products.

Final Note

Tool storage helps good practice by encouraging good organization. Certain tools, like gardening equipment, are always better hung up and out of the way; not least because they are often sharp. Other tools will be quite specialist, and ones you will not use that often.

For those you use a lot, a good tool box will help you organize yourself and how you work. Tool chests can be seen as the best of both worlds; they can safely store rarely used tools, as well as keeping handy the ones you need at your fingertips most days.

We hope our guide to the best value tool chests in 2018 has given you food for thought.

Last updated on February 24th, 2018 at 07:55 am

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