Tool Box Roundup: How to Find the Right One for You

By: CableOrganizer®

When it comes to storing tools and supplies, the options are almost endless. Everyone — from beginning DIY enthusiasts to professional contractors — is faced with a dizzying number of choices. Toolboxes, bags, totes, carts, rolling tool chests and more. How are you supposed to narrow down your options?

CableOrganizer® is here to clear up the confusion with a basic rundown of the tool storage options you're most likely to come across, as well as their benefits and best uses.


For traditionalists, this is a timeless classic: a shiny, oblong tool case with a hinged handle on top. Portable toolboxes are typically lightweight; and they're usually made of either powder-coated metal or plastic. True to the handyman images they often conjure up, portable boxes are a great choice for fix-it types who are always on the go. They're also the perfect tool storage solution for individuals who keep only basic tools on hand or just don't have the space for a large tool chest. Thanks to their compact dimensions, when you take portable toolboxes on the road, they can easily be stashed in your vehicle's trunk, bed or even behind the back seat. At home, just tuck one into a closet or store it on a utility shelf.



The name may sound basic, but tool totes can run the gamut from structured bags to heavy-duty nylon inserts that repurpose 5-gallon buckets into functional tool caddies. Tool totes are made from rugged materials like canvas, ballistic nylon and leather. They are generally well equipped with pockets that allow you to keep hand tools organized and visible — a feature that eliminates the need to rummage through all your hand tools to find just one. Tool totes are ideal for contractors who need constant access to tools while roaming around a jobsite. Just sling the strap over your shoulder and you're ready to move on. One of our tool tote favorites is the Klein® 17-Pocket Tool Tote™ Bag. We also like the Black Box® Large Gatemouth Tool Bag, which combines features of a toolbox, tool belt and mason’s bag in one. It can be carried with a hand or shoulder strap. IDEAL® has a sturdy, large-mouth bag that can accommodate a range of hand tools.



This can mean something general, but we have something specific for your smaller tools, hardware and spare parts. Klein Tools® has small canvas zipper bags that can help further organize small pieces within a larger tool tote or box, like any mentioned so far. These bags can also stand on their own to sit on a vehicle seat or stored in a workshop, to keep important paperwork free of debris. Klein® also makes a durable leather zipper bag and one of Cordura® Ballistic Nylon, which is made to be tear and abrasion resistant.




From auto mechanics and machinists to die hard do-it-yourselfers and home craftsmen, rolling tool chests are the storage solution of choice for those with extensive tool collections; and some floor space to spare. They may take up more room than a simple portable box, but with their high capacities and a myriad of drawers, rolling tool chests offer the ultimate in organization. Tool chests are built from either powder-coated or stainless steel; and the best ones feature smooth-rolling ball bearing drawer slides. This breed of tool chest is “rolling” thanks to casters. Always remember that the bigger the casters are, the more smoothly the chest will roll (4-5" is ideal).



Tool carts don't conceal hand tools and parts quite the way tool chests do, but what they lack in camouflaging power they make up for in accessibility. While chests store tools between jobs, carts keep them at the ready while you're working. They also roll wherever you need them. Like rolling tool chests, tool carts rely on casters for mobility and the same rule applies — bigger casters equal smoother movement and less chance of the cart catching on mats and other floor obstructions. We recommend the Rock N' Roller Multi Cart®, which has an expandable shelf kit for even more versatility and storage options.





Do you have tools or safety equipment that need to be carefully stowed away? CableOrganizer® has cabinets that can store tools or flammable items, pesticides and other chemicals in a galvanized steel case. The Eagle Manufacturing® Pesticide Safety Enclosure is one option. The Eagle Manufacturing® HAZ-MAT Safety Cabinet can store cans of flammable liquids and drums up to 110 gallons.




Shop at CableOrganizer® for a full selection of tool storage organization products and industrial safety cabinets.

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