In order to do their job well, mechanics need to use dozens of different tools. In addition, it is essential to invest in and use the best mechanic tool box so they can organize their equipment and boost their work efficiency. Imagine owning dozens of different wrenches, throwing all of them in a bag, then trying to find one wrench in particular.
Aside from being time-consuming, it is also frustrating. You will need good tools storage solutions for this problem. To have a relatively stress-free work environment, invest in a useful tool box for storing tool collection.
Depending on the number of tools that you regularly use, the best tool boxes for mechanics might be a smaller one that can sit on top of your workbench. You can also choose great rolling tools’ chest, allowing you to bring your devices to your work area if needed. One thing is for sure, though, you need a tool box or other tool holders. There is no denying that fact.
The problem now is how to find the best duty construction. This process is slightly tricky because it is entirely subjective. First of all, consider your particular needs then study on what makes a quality tool box. The good news is that you can learn all of the things about such an essential item in this article.
Table of Contents
- Best Mechanic Tool Box Reviews of 2020
- 1. GEARWRENCH 20-inch Black Steel Tool Box
- 2. Omega 92450 Black Tool Box
- 3. On Shine High Capacity Rolling Tool Chest
- 4. Craftsman 6-drawer Top Tool Chest
- 5. WEN 73015 Glider Rolling Tool Chest
- 6. Husky 5-drawer Tool Chest
- 7. Crescent General Purpose Tool Set
- 8. Montezuma XL450B 36-inch TRIANGLE Tool Box
- 9. Husky Extra Deep 9-drawer Mobile Workbench
- 10. Craftsman Tool Box Cart
- What is a Mechanic Tool Box
- How Does the Mechanic Tool Box Work
- Types of Mechanic Tool Box
- Why Do You Need a Mechanic Tool Box
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Mechanic Tool Box Reviews of 2020
1. GEARWRENCH 20-inch Black Steel Tool Box
If you are thinking of getting a tools box that you can carry around the trunk of your car or need something small for the specialty tools for your hobby, then this product is just the right size. I use mine as a container for the tools I use for model building, and it has just the right amount of storage space for my needs.
The build quality of the mechanics tool box I received was excellent. Made of thick gauge sheet metal, you can expect this box not to dent easily. Also, the entire thing comes finished with a black powder-coat finish that will take a lot of effort to even chip or scratch. I have been using mine for a couple of months, and it still looks brand new.
I especially liked the smooth gliding drawers. This product has ball-bearing drawer slides that allow me to open and close the drawers effortlessly. Even when fully loaded with heavy tools, it does not affect just how smooth the drawer slides operate. I am also happy that the slides have extensions that let me access the entire length of the drawer.
The top cover also opens up to reveal somewhat deeper storage options. These options are where I place my larger tools, like my airbrush, paints, and other accessories. I do not doubt that this is the mechanics tool box for the money as it can also fit larger wrenches and even a couple of power tools. It might be a good fit for plumbers as well as mechanics.
2. Omega 92450 Black Tool Box
Omega 92450 is not just an ordinary tool box for mechanics. It is also a very comfortable work creeper seat. I like that it is just the right height for me. I am using this as my main stool in the workshop. I use it when I am working on my workbench and tinkering with the car.
The robust polypropylene casters make it easy for the stool to roll around on smooth concrete. With swivel casters made of solid plastic, they are also resistant to oil. They also have full bearings, making them roll effortlessly. However, they can also hold still if you do not want them to move.
The thing that I genuinely liked about this combination tool box is that it can carry loads (up to 450 pounds). I find this capacity great because I am a bit on the hefty side. The neat thing is that I am not directly sitting on top of the tool case. There is a steel frame wrapping around the tool box, and this is the part that carries my weight.
Speaking of the professional mechanic tool box, it has three sliding drawers that can fit a surprising amount of tools. Although this is not as many as what can fit in a traditional tool box, it can still fit almost all of the tools that I usually use for the majority of my projects.
3. On Shine High Capacity Rolling Tool Chest
One feature that I genuinely find impressive in this tool chest is its immense amount of storage. It features three small drawers for small tools and items and five full-sized drawers for regular-sized tools. Also, you can access a large cabinet at the bottom for large items like power tools and paint cans, among many others.
I also liked the little details that made this tool chest even more useful – one of which is the perforated side where one can insert hooks for holding commonly used tools. This little feature is great for storing long-handled tools like hammers or rubber mallets that can’t fit into any of the drawers.
The drawers roll on full ball bearing sliders, so they open and close smoothly. You do not need to force the drawers close or open. Also, there is a built-in damper in the sliders that prevent the drawers from accidentally slamming shut. You can also access drawer liners in the package to prevent tools from sliding around inside.
You can also remove the top cabinet and use it separately from the bottom. The top will serve as an excellent tabletop tool box. I placed mine directly on the workbench, so I have easy access to my tools and other materials. I use the base part as a mobile workbench when I am working on my car. I just put a rubber liner on top to give it a bit of grip.
4. Craftsman 6-drawer Top Tool Chest
Craftsman has always been consistent when it comes to the quality of their product’s setup, and this top mechanic tool chest is not an exception. It can rival the best of any brand, including the Snap-On tool box. You can see this tool box being made mostly of thick sheet metal and powder coated for a sturdy and durable finish.
Such a construction makes it useful for heavy-duty use. The drawers also sit on heavy-duty full-bearing sliders, which means that even if they are full of tools, they will open and close smoothly. There is a total of six drawers on this mechanics tool box. The top drawers are three small ones that you can use for small tools or other spare parts that you usually use.
The rest of the drawers is full-length, making it ideal for regular-sized tools like wrenches, pliers, chisels, and other hand tools. The bottom drawer is the deepest of the bunch. I like how deep it is because it is perfect for holding dozens of jars of model paint that I use for my model-building hobby.
Another feature that I liked is that this tool box is modular, and you can stack it on top of other Craftsman tool chests. This top tool chest was the first one that I bought, but now that I have too many tools, I need to buy another top tool box to place on top of this one. I also like the modular design of this tool box.
5. WEN 73015 Glider Rolling Tool Chest
This rolling tool chest has just the right height for mechanics who usually work on motorcycles or car body repair and paint. It could be any task that requires the person to crouch. I use mine as the main stool when I am working on my tool bench, but on occasion, I also use it like a creeper at the garage.
Even though this stool/tool box looks small, it can hold a surprising amount of tools. There is a total of three drawers that can hold a surprising amount of tools and other items. Also, there are 16 storage slots at the side for long tools like screwdrivers and hammers. All of my primary tools are already under my seat, ready and waiting, saving me so much time and effort.
You can also find two choices for the magnetic pull-down tool tray on two sides of the stool. These tool trays are great because they help a lot in keeping my screws, bolts, and nuts from rolling about on the floor and subsequently getting lost.
The great thing about them is that they fold up when not in need, so you do not stub your toe on them when you are using the box as a stool. Probably the best feature, in my opinion, is the considerable weight carrying capacity of this little tool box.
Including the tools, this tool box can carry up to 350 pounds of weight, so even if you are on the heavier end of the scale, you have an assurance that it will work for you.
6. Husky 5-drawer Tool Chest
The very first thing that I noticed about this tool box that I loved is the finish. It is painted using the same kind of substance used to line the beds of pickup trucks. This material is very tough and almost impossible to develop scratches. The texture is impressive, too.
I also like the craftsmanship that went into making this tool chest. Unlike other tool boxes, this one is wholly welded and not just held together using rivets. Just looking at this tool box, you can tell that this is one solid tool storage cabinet.
The drawers are also amazing. They sit on full-bearing sliders, so they open and shut smoothly. The top compartment opens up to provide three-inch deep storage space for larger tools or jars of paint and the like. The top lid also has a neat feature: hydraulic lifters that hold the lid up while you work.
With that, I can take my time selecting the tools I need to take out without worrying about the heavy lid slamming down on my fingers. When it comes to storage boxes, this tool box comes with a total of five drawers. The top drawers are half the width of the bottom, and you can use it for storing small tools and items.
7. Crescent General Purpose Tool Set
If I were to buy my very first toolset all over again, I would choose the Crescent stainless steel toolset rather than the one I have decided to use. It is mainly because this has more useful components. There are more than a hundred pieces, including a variety of screwdriver bits and hex keys. Plus, the carrying case that this comes in is very neat.
The thing about this box that is my absolute favorite is the fact that it has both metric and US standard measurements. With that, I do not have to rummage through my other stuff to find the right-sized wrench for the job. They are all in this set and neatly organized as well.
Another incredible fact that I like is that there are several different sized ratchets in these toolsets. In the past, I had to make do with the one ratchet that I had, and it usually would not allow me to work in tight spaces. Other times, it is not long enough to give sufficient leverage. I do not find it a problem with this set.
The carrying case that comes with the kit is also great. It is injection-molded polypropylene resin plastic, which is impact-resistant and extremely durable. It has well-organized slots for the tools. Every piece is labeled, which made it easy for me to return the tools I used.
8. Montezuma XL450B 36-inch TRIANGLE Tool Box
This product is a tool box meant for professionals. It is a portable mechanic tool box that just screams durability the moment that I saw it. It is constructed from thick-gauge sheet metal with all the seams being TIG-welded, not just spot welded or riveted together.
I like its overall design as it lets the owner immediately see all his tools, eliminating the need for rummaging through piles of various items. I am happy with its arrangement as it is in such a way that it looks like a tool display at a store.
Also included among its most exceptional features are the gas springs attached to the lid. Because of its design, the lid is pretty large and heavy. Thankfully, there are gas struts that make it easy to open up the lid and keep it open at full extension. I no longer have that lingering feeling that this large piece of metal will come slamming down onto my fingers.
Unlike most of the other tool boxes on this list, this one is weatherproof. Even when exposed to sun and rain, the contents will remain safe and damage-free. With that, many contractors mount this tool box on the side of their trucks. They do it to bring their tools anywhere.
9. Husky Extra Deep 9-drawer Mobile Workbench
This product is not just a tool box but also a workbench on wheels. I like this product because I use this rather than my actual workbench when I am working on small projects. The top of this tool box is made of solid wood, which is the perfect surface for working.
This large tool box has an impressive amount of storage space, a total of 19,650 cubic inches of storage, to be exact. This product has a total of nine shelves. The top shelf is as wide as the entire table and can fit all sorts of tools, even the longer hand tools that you cannot keep in regular-sized shelves.
The two bottom shelves are more than 9 inches deep, making them ideal for holding taller items like spray paint cans, resin containers, and even power tools. I use the bottom shelves for holding bottles of epoxy resins, and they fit perfectly.
There is also an internal locking system that closes all nine drawers at the same time using just one key. When appropriately sealed and the latches are aligned perfectly with each other, just turning the key on one keyhole will lock all of the drawers at the same time.
10. Craftsman Tool Box Cart
This product is yet another combo mechanic’s tool box. It serves as a combination of tool box and work cart. It is excellent when you need to move heavy tools or parts around your shop. I use this a lot because my knees and lower back are no longer what they used to be. I find having a cart truly helpful.
I am glad that the top compartment of this cart serves two purposes. Pull open the lid, and you will have a rather deep compartment for large hand tools or power tools like drills and grinders. When the lid is closed, I can use the top as a small workbench. The surface is textured, and the edges raised a bit, so I do not have to worry about screws or bolts rolling off.
When it comes to storage, there are two more tool drawers and a shelf at the bottom that you can use for holding your tools and other miscellaneous items. The two drawers are sitting on full bearing and smooth gliding sliders, so opening and closing them is effortless. Moreover, the sliders extend quite a bit to give you access to the full depth of the drawer.
The lower shelf has raised edges so that whatever you place inside, it will not fall off. The shelf has enough space for rather large auto parts if you need to haul anything from your car to your workbench. It is also an ideal carriage for paint cans or bottles of cleaning substances and equipment.
What is a Mechanic Tool Box
A mechanic’s tool box is often a metal container that has different compartments for holding and organizing all of the tools that the profession needs. It is a necessity if you are a professional mechanic because you will be using a ton of tools. You can use this to fit all your tools inside a regular work bag.
How Does the Mechanic Tool Box Work
The primary purpose of a mechanic’s tool box is to provide storage space for your tools. It is a bad practice to leave tools just lying out in the open. Not only will you be more likely to misplace them, but it will also take you forever to find the tools that you need when they do not have a proper place.
Tool boxes are not just storage spaces for your equipment, but you can also use them for organizing the said tools. They often have compartments that allow you to separate or group tools according to their size or type.
They also serve as lockboxes to keep your expensive tools safe. Many of these tool boxes come with a central locking mechanism that completely locks all openings to keep slippery fingers out. You can also find those that have padlock eyes where you can attach padlocks to keep the contents safe and sound.
Types of Mechanic Tool Box
So what are your options for mechanic tool boxes? The following are the most commonly used types of tool boxes by mechanics:
Hand-carry tool box – This refers to the traditional toolkit that almost everyone has in their homes. It is usually constructed from plastic, but there are also instances when it has full metal, deep boxes with handles. These are typically used for carrying and storing small hand tools.
The fancier tool boxes have cantilever lids. Also, these have lots of individual storage spaces for more effortless organization. Then there are also plastic tubs. These are the ones that usually have just the deep main compartment and a removable plastic tray for holding small items and tools.
Rolling tool chest – This refers to tool chests that you will only usually see in professional garages. It often consists of drawer upon drawer of storage space. It also usually boasts of massive metal cabinets that are either waist or shoulder height.
Moreover, since it is quite heavy, it features heavy-duty caster underneath so you can push it around the workspace whenever needed.
Tabletop tool chest – It is the smaller version of the rolling tool chest. It usually consists of several drawers – some shallow while the others are deep. You can often place this tool box on workbenches as a storage area for tools, materials, accessories, and others.
Working stool – These are a combination of tool box and workshop stool. People who usually work crouched down, like motorcycle mechanics, often use this. Using a stool is easy on the knees and joints while being less taxing.
With that, you can work for hours at a time without needing to stand up and stretch. Working stools are small tool boxes with two or three drawers for tools and caster wheels.
Tool cart – A tool cart is a combination of a tool box and a workshop cart. You can use this to move heavy items around the workshop, like when you need to take your car’s radiator assembly from the vehicle to your workbench.
The tool box also has a couple of drawers enough for the essential tools. You can also use the tops of these carts as a small workbench. For instance, if you need to work on a car part real quick and reinstall it back into the car.
Why Do You Need a Mechanic Tool Box
To motivate you to invest in a mechanic tool box, here are some valuable reasons why some mechanics decided to start using it.
To store tools – The main reason why you need tool boxes is so you can have a container for your tools. Tools are not cheap, so why would you just let them outside to get wet and rusty? You need to use a tool box so that you have a place where you can keep your tools. It will let you put them in just one place, not strewn about all over your shop.
To keep tools organized – Aside from storing your tools, tool boxes also allow you to keep them properly organized. It is not enough that you just throw all your tools inside a tool box. You need to put them inside correctly in such a way that you can see all of them with only one glance.
Having your tool box well-organized will make your tasks a lot easier because you will already know where a particular tool is located. With that, you can prevent wasting money digging through piles of tools without finding that one you needed. When you have a tool box, you know exactly where every piece is, so you will not waste valuable time looking for a tool.
To protect the tools from damage – Tool boxes also help protect your tools from all kinds of damage. For instance, when you are carrying your high portability tool box. It is because the pieces are all in their rightful places and separated from each other by a divider. In other words, the tools will not be hitting against each other.
Also, many tool boxes are dustproof and weatherproof. With that, you can work outside and bring your tool box. When it begins to rain, you can just leave your heavy tool box outside, and the tools inside will remain perfectly dry.
To protect against theft – As mentioned earlier, tools are expensive, and when thieves see them just lying around, they will have a hard time keeping their hands to themselves. When you have a proper tool box, especially one that has a lock, you will have a good line of defense against theft.
Not only will the locked lid deter would-be thieves, but the sheer product weight is enough to make them think twice about stealing your valuable tools. Most toolkits have tabs for inserting padlocks. Others, on the other hand, have a centralized lock system. With that system, you only need one key to lock and unlock multiple drawers.
To make tools portable – Tool boxes, aside from being storage compartments for your valuable tools, also make it possible for you to bring your tools wherever you need to work. For instance, if you work on your car, you can just roll your massive tool box next to it rather than walking back and forth across the room whenever you have to get a specific tool.
You can also find tool boxes that you can mount on the flatbed of your pickup truck. It is useful if you work as a contractor or if you are a mechanic who does house calls.
Tool boxes are kind of expensive, so think hard about your purchase to prevent yourself from getting burned. Here are some of the things that you need to look out for when you are shopping for a new one:
Build Quality – Choose a tool box made out of durable materials. You can always tell if the sheet metal used for creating the tool box is too thin just by tapping on the side. Also, check how the seams are connected. Find out if they are spot welded, TIG welded, riveted together, and others.
You can tell just by looking at a steel construction tool box if the maker took shortcuts when assembling it and if he took the time to make it right. Even if a toolkit commands a high price, you can buy with confidence if it is constructed well and made out of high-quality materials.
Storage Space – Of course, you also need to check out how much storage space the tool box has. First of all, consider how many pieces of tools you will be putting inside. Also, estimate how many tools you think you will be buying in the future.
It is better to have excess storage space than not having enough at all. However, do not go too overboard with the size of the tool box you get. Never get one that is too big for your purposes. If you are only using it for holding a couple of precision tools, get a tabletop tool box instead of a rolling tool chest.
Ease of Use – The tool box should not be extremely complicated that you need to read the instructions thoroughly just to get the drawers open. A good one should be straightforward, can be easily understood, and immediately used straight out of the box.
Ideally, the tool box you buy should be wholly assembled or at least will require some simple assembly only. In most cases, the only thing that the end-owner needs to do is attach the casters at the bottom.
Wheels – A good mechanic’s tool box should have wheels so you can quickly push it around the shop. Tool chests usually weigh hundreds of pounds, depending on the number of tools that they contain, so it should have tool box wheels that can carry all that weight but still capable of rolling smoothly.
A useful tool box should not take that much effort to push and pull along regardless of how heavy it is. Also, the wheels should still be soft enough that they will not damage the flooring they are rolling on.
Security Features – Security means whether the tool box has a lock or not. Most toolkits have center-punched tabs where you can slip a padlock into to keep them closed. It is the bare minimum that you need to find in a tool box. It is better if it already comes with a central locking system.
In other words, all the drawers and cabinets can be locked using just one turn of a key. Also, check if the lid of the tool box you are getting closes flush to the main body. Find out if there are no gaps where a potential thief can insert a crowbar to pry it open or pick things through.
Price – Tool boxes can run from a hundred dollars to almost a thousand dollars depending on the size and amount of storage compartments. Ideally, you should only buy a tool box that is well below your budget but still has all of the features and benefits that you are expecting.
It would be helpful to get the best tool box that your budget will allow. Also, do not forget to consider how many tools you will be using carefully.
Care and Maintenance
Tool boxes rarely need care and maintenance when they are first used, but there are certain things you have to do to ensure the longevity of your gear. First, wipe the tool box clean every chance you get. You do not need anything fancy. What you need is just a damp and clean rag to lift away any dust or dirt on the surface.
Secondly, spray a bit of silicone spray lube on the sliders every other week or so or when you feel it start to bind. It will help prevent rust from building up too much. Also, every other month or so, you should empty the compartments and give the tool box a good vacuuming.
There might be a lot of dust and dirt accumulated inside the drawers that you do not see. It is best to clean them up before you start noticing them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most popular brands of the mechanic tool box?
There are many different brands of mechanic’s tool boxes available in the market today, but not all of them are worth your time and money. I have tested a lot of these products over the years, and I discovered that some of the most reliable brands include GEARWRENCH, Omega, On Shine, Craftsman, WEN, Husky, Crescent, and Montezuma.
How to use a mechanic tool box?
Just because these are called mechanic’s tool boxes, it does not instantly mean they are exclusively for mechanics. Regardless of your profession or hobby, you can use it in whatever way you want.
For instance, I like to use my tool box to hold the supplies and tools I use for my scale model building hobby. I use the deeper drawers for keeping the hobby paint bottles and the airbrushes. On the other hand, I find the shallower versions ideal for my various pliers, hobby knives, and other small tools.
Other people use their tool boxes in different ways. For instance, woodworkers can use their toolkit for holding their various chisels and other precision woodworking tools. This kind is also famous among tattoo artists as it is an excellent way to store all of their needles, pigments, gloves, and tattoo machines.
What is the warranty?
Most tool boxes come with a one-year warranty against factory defects. With that, you need to use the tool box as much as you can in that 1-year period so you can find any defects that might be the fault of the factory. Keep in mind that any damage due to human error, like dents and dings caused by accidentally hitting the tool box, are not covered.
However, some brands come with a fantastic lifetime satisfaction guarantee. It merely means that if you are no longer satisfied with it, you are eligible for a complete refund of your purchase as long as it is within means. It is a good indicator of the brand’s dedication to quality, proving their pride on their products that they are willing to give a great warranty.
Where to buy a mechanic tool box?
There are many different tool box selections in many brick-and-mortar retail stores like Walmart and Lowe’s. These tool boxes are quite popular, so these stores are likely to carry more than a couple of brands and models where you can make your choice.
The advantage of buying from brick and mortar stores is that you can get to touch and test out the product before deciding to buy them. Online shopping does not give you such a luxury. You will only have pictures and the testimonies of previous buyers and consumers as guidelines.
Another advantage is that you get to take home the tool box immediately after buying it. On the other hand, when you go online shopping for tool boxes, you get to choose from hundreds of different brands and models. It is especially true if you visit reputable online marketplaces like Amazon.
You might even get to discover brands that you have not heard of before that turns out to be on par with the more popular tool box makers and sells for a fraction of the price.
Mechanic’s tool boxes are essential pieces of equipment that all garages should have at least one of them. Mechanics are not the only professionals who can benefit from having these tool boxes. It can also help a wide range of tradespeople. It is because all tradesmen from carpenters to tattoo artists can use them.
However, the best mechanic tool box can be quite expensive, so make sure to formulate the correct decision before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Fortunately, by now, you have learned about all the qualities that make for a good mechanic’s tool box and the different types that you can choose. With that, you can go shopping for one with confidence.