The 9 Best Tool Chests

Updated October 31, 2017 by Sam Kraft

9 Best Tool Chests
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. The more organized you are with your equipment, the more efficiently you’ll be able to complete anything from do-it-yourself projects to professional contractor jobs. Practical and convenient, these tool chests will house everything you need in a logical fashion, allowing you to be prepared and methodical when you take on your next challenge. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tool chest on Amazon.

9. Stanley Mobile Work Center

The Stanley Mobile Work Center is about the size of a roll-aboard suitcase, yet it’s rugged and reliable enough to tote and protect a reasonable amount of your hardware. Its large wheels easily roll over most types of flooring and terrain.
  • spacious bin for larger tools
  • handle collapses when not in use
  • not designed to hold heavy gear
Brand Stanley
Model 018800R
Weight 11.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Wen Silver Combo

Built with four two-inch casters and a removable side handle, the Wen Silver Combo offers both versatility and smooth mobility. If you don’t need the full combination, you can order the bottom cabinet or the top chest individually.
  • constructed with 15-gauge steel
  • drawers include strong liners
  • locking mechanism is weak
Brand WEN
Model 77041
Weight 378 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Keter Organizer

A creative storage system that isn’t limited to tools, the Keter Organizer is built with a deep bottom drawer for housing large gear and heavy pieces of hardware. Its integrated carrying handles make it easy to move throughout your home or office.
  • resistant to rusting and rotting
  • 16 removable bins included
  • wheels are not very durable
Brand Keter
Model 217603
Weight 28.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Excel Blue

If you only dabble in the occasional do-it-yourself project, the Excel Blue may fulfill all your tool storage needs. At 26 inches in length, it can hold up to 50 pounds of easy-to-access hardware in its full-length aluminum drawers.
  • resilient powder-coated finish
  • friction snap-shut function
  • rubber mat in each drawer
Brand Excel
Model TB2105X-Blue
Weight 53.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Keter Masterloader

A highly portable option, the Keter Masterloader is capacious enough for just about every tool you might need during a day on the job, from a set of screwdrivers to a reciprocating saw. The storage area is compartmentalized for convenience.
  • dual removable bins on lid
  • smooth ball-bearing sliders
  • central auto locking mechanism
Brand Keter
Model 197481
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Wen Garage Glider

Designed with vinyl-protected padding, the Wen Garage Glider offers multi-layered security for up to 350 pounds of tools and supplies. Its ball-bearing casters allow for multidirectional movement, while its 16 easy-access slots make grabbing tools quick and painless.
  • magnetic wings for nuts and bolts
  • an extra-absorbent seat cushion
  • very nice value option
Brand WEN
Model 73015
Weight 26.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Thor Kitchen Station

Sleek and modern, the Thor Kitchen Station features a solid rubberwood top that serves as a high-performance work platform. It’s not a lightweight model, but if you want to keep a large collection of heavy items secure and organized, you won’t be disappointed.
  • heavy-duty and sturdy casters
  • side push handles
  • 72 inches side-to-side
Brand Thor Kitchen
Model HTC7215W
Weight 306 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Milwaukee Cabinet

Clearly designed by construction experts, the Milwaukee Cabinet features an upper section with independently locking drawers and a pull-out worktable. Its heavy-duty polypropylene casters will support up to 1,800 pounds of equipment.
  • integrated pegboard wall
  • reinforced iron base
  • power strip on bottom section
Brand Milwaukee
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Viper Tool Cabinet

The Viper Tool Cabinet is a behemoth, capable of meeting specific demands like sorting screws within small drawers or storing and organizing a bevy of large power tools. With a capacity of more than 40,000 cubic inches, this is as professional as it gets.
  • available in 3 options
  • 18 drawers in multiple sizes
  • comes with lifetime warranty
Brand Viper Tool Storage
Model VP7218BL
Weight 982 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

An Arsenal For Getting The Job Done

Anybody who specializes in a particular profession maintains an arsenal of resources to get their job done. This remains true whether we talk about a profession or project requiring the use of physical tools, experience, knowledge, or a combination of all these things. Both professional and home cooks, for example, require a fully-stocked kitchen equipped with storage space for flatware, silverware, drawers for cutting tools, ovens, cooktops, and other appliances. The cook also needs to know where to find these items and how to use them.

While a cook doesn't always take these tools with them wherever they go, they remain a part of the cook's professional arsenal for crafting edible masterpieces. The same can be said for the machinist, plumber, mechanic, contractor, or any person who needs to keep various tools around and organized for quick access in a tool chest. While the concept of a tool chest is pretty simple (keeping tools organized and easy to find), there is more versatility into the application of this resource. A tool chest is more than just a metal box with a couple trays and a handle for transporting to job sites.

A tool chest (or toolbox) can refer to a compact storage unit designed for transporting specific tools (i.e. hammers, drills, screwdrivers) to various locations on the job. Depending on the type of work that needs to be done, the chest can be built with multiple internal shelves and compartments that are cut to specific sizes for accommodating both specialized and standard items. A tool chest can range in size from a small, portable box to a large, multi-drawer storage unit set on caster wheels for easy mobility. The smallest toolboxes have a single handle on their tops with a hinged lid. Some toolboxes feature removable tote trays or cantilever trays that are anchored at one end from inside the toolbox, which offer the user simultaneous access to small and large items on multiple levels.

Toolboxes are typically constructed from either plastic or metal (steel). While plastic toolboxes may not offer the same weight capacity for storing heavy-duty objects, metal also has a tendency to rust, particularly if a tool chest is constantly used outdoors. However, both materials offer their own advantages depending on the situation.

Not all tool chests have to be small and portable. For example, an automobile mechanic with an elaborate garage setup may leverage the use of a large tool chest on wheels so that he can move the chest easily while always knowing where his items are stored and from which pull-out drawers he can access them. Reliable tool chests offer significant drawer space and can also double as portable workbenches with flat surfaces. This comes in handy when needing to use tools in different locations from within a workshop. For professions that require the use of trucks and tool portability, these vehicles can be equipped with mounted toolboxes so that items can be easily accessed when parking at a job site.

A Brief History Of Tool Chests

The initial heyday for tool chests began in the 1900s with companies such as H. Gerstner & Sons, founded by Harry Gerstner in honor of his father Herman. Harry Gerstner made his first machinist tool chest while working as a pattern maker and woodworking apprentice. In 1906, Gerstner used a bonus of one hundred dollars to start his own tool chest company and began selling his invention door to door. Gerstner's tool chests were designed to accommodate the majority of precision tools required by the average industrial worker (or journeyman) of the time. The chests were also known for their superior durability and many are still in use today.

Other early tool chests were made primarily from heavy woods for the purpose of preventing the rusting of the tools stored inside. Their design intended for the safe and secure storage of various measuring instruments, drills and other objects. The majority of most machinist tool chests were made from combinations of oak, mahogany, and walnut. Some of these early chests also had shallow drawers lined with felt for cushioning more delicate items.

Although Gerstner's company was not the only one to manufacture tool chests in the early 1900s, it remained one of the most successful through decades of competition and still manufactures quality tool chests today.

Go With Your Instinct

There is no established definition of the best tool chest, as this differs from one professional to another. However, one must consider their needs and intended use. For the professional mechanic working out of a garage, a large and mobile tool chest with multiple drawers and a flat top will be beneficial. Caster wheels will allow for easy movement to different cars in the shop while a flat top will offer an additional working surface in one place.

A good tool chest should also have a variety of drawer sizes to accommodate differently-sized tools, regardless of whether you consider yourself a veteran mechanic or an inexperienced worker. Small drawers near the top of the chest can store wrenches, screwdrivers, and ratchets, while larger drawers below would store those heavy and bulky power tools.

Finding a tool chest with an exterior powder-coated finish can add to its durability if you work with a lot of chemicals, sparks, and other industrial equipment that could otherwise scratch or damage the chest. Additionally, if you're concerned about your tools getting damaged, some of the most reliable tool chests include shelf liners that prevent objects from sliding around. Other tool chests even have socket and wrench organizers to keep the tools from moving out of place, which proves useful if you work with several different sizes of the same tool.

Finally, one must ensure that the tool chest chosen has a reliable locking system for keeping tools secure and away from children.

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Last updated on October 31, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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