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11 Different Types of Toolboxes

A collage of different types of toolbox.

At times, some maintenance and repair jobs are so simple and straightforward that you don’t feel the need to call a professional. You can simply get the job done yourself. Whether you like to do small repair jobs at home yourself, or are a fan of do-it-yourself experiments, you probably own a bunch of basic tools.

Anyone who owns tools knows the struggle of not being able to find a particular tool when it’s needed the most. Not only is this situation frustrating, but it also wastes a lot of time that could be better used to complete the task at hand. For this reason, most people prefer keeping a toolbox around to keep all their tools in one place.

A toolbox filled with tools

There are many types of toolboxes that one can choose from. The material used to make the box, the storage capacity, and the design of the toolbox are the three main factors that separate one type of toolbox from the other. If you own just a few tools, your toolbox won’t be as big as one that belongs to an electrician or a carpenter.

If you are planning to buy a new toolbox, we highly recommend that you go through the types of toolboxes listed in the article ahead. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to decide which toolbox is right for you based on the three factors mentioned earlier.

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Types of Toolboxes Based on Material

Toolboxes are not a new concept. In fact, they’ve been around since the 19th century. However, back in those times, toolboxes were usually carved from wood. Today, wooden toolboxes are uncommon, because they are heavy and not very durable.

The materials that are commonly used to make toolboxes nowadays have been listed below:

1. Aluminum ToolboxesA toolbox with a diamond plate pattern

Aluminum is the most common material that is used to make toolboxes because it is lightweight and strong. To make aluminum toolboxes, thick aluminum sheets that have a rugged texture are used. Aluminum sheets with a diamond plate pattern are also used.

The reason for the use of this rugged texture is that smooth aluminum is quite slippery, and you don’t want your toolbox sliding along the floor while you’re working. To avoid the possibility of slippage, aluminum sheets are cut with a ridged, irregular pattern.

The benefits of using aluminum to build toolboxes are:

  • Aluminum is lightweight, which makes it convenient to carry around
  • It is a strong material
  • It is sturdy and durable
  • It does not corrode. Hence, it will stay strong for a longer period of time
  • It protects the tools from rust and moisture

Some aluminum toolboxes come with gas struts that make opening and closing the lid easier and allow easy access to the tools.

2. Steel Toolboxes

After aluminum, steel is the most widely used material to build toolboxes. Steel is harder than aluminum, which makes steel toolboxes suitable for people who work in rugged conditions.

The benefits of using steel toolboxes are:

  • They are heavier and tougher than aluminum toolboxes. This allows you to store heavier tools in the box
  • They are resistant to damage that may occur during shifting, retrieving, storing, or arranging tools.
  • The inner and outer surfaces of steel toolboxes are covered with a special powder that makes them resistant to rusting and corrosion
  • They provide much greater strength as compared to aluminum toolboxes and are very easy to clean and maintain

3. Stainless Steel Toolbox

Stainless steel toolboxes offer the durability and the strength of aluminum toolboxes at a much higher price, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are over-priced. The higher price is completely justified.

The first reason why stainless steel toolboxes are better than aluminum toolboxes is that they are premium toolboxes that are of a higher quality steel alloy that can house your tools. Because of their high quality, stainless steel toolboxes will continue to look as good as new for many years.

The second reason why stainless steel toolboxes are more expensive is that they do not need any special powder coating to prevent the material from rusting and corrosion as in aluminum and steel toolboxes. They are made from a steel alloy that is inherently anti-rust.

The benefits of using stainless steel toolboxes are:

  • They are long-lasting
  • They never rust or corrode
  • They resist damage from chipping, bumping, and denting
  • They are easy to clean
  • They are easy to maintain

4. Plastic Toolboxes

Plastic toolboxes are not very durable. Although they will never rust, they won’t last very long,   either. Plastic toolboxes are available in a variety of sizes. Due to their low cost, they are the preferred choice of many homeowners. A lot of truck owners also carry plastic toolboxes for basic tools to make sure they don’t have to carry any extra weight.

The benefits of using plastic toolboxes are:

  • They are lightweight
  • They are transparent, which makes it easy to see what tools are in the box
  • They are easy to clean. Since they don’t rust, they can be cleaned with water and detergent
  • They are convenient to carry around for recreational purposes

5. Wooden Toolboxes

Wooden toolboxes are not meant for use in a rough environment. They are mostly used as ornamentals. Wooden toolboxes are not very common either because they are heavy, expensive, and prone to damage. Even though they are made from high-quality hardwood, their cost is so high that people prefer to use them as ornamentals instead.

Types of Toolboxes Based on Characteristics

There are different types of toolboxes based on their characteristics and design. The most common types of toolboxes are listed below:

1. Hand-Carry ToolboxesA plastic hand-carry toolbox

Hand-carry toolboxes are made from durable plastic. They are the most common type of portable toolboxes that are owned by professionals and laymen. Because of their lightweight, they are extremely convenient to carry around. Secondly, the durable plastic that they are made from makes them a reliable choice to store small tools.

In addition to this, hand-carry toolboxes come in both small and commercial sizes, which makes their storage under the workbench or in the garage easy. Plastic toolboxes usually have compartments for a better arrangement of tools.

2. Portable Rolling Toolboxes

Portable rolling toolboxes are the most convenient option for homeowners, carpenters, or plumbers. They are made from high-density plastic, which makes them durable. The best thing about portable rolling tool boxes is that they have wheels; sometimes two and sometimes four, and this feature makes it super easy for owners to move these toolboxes around the job site.

They come with compartments and drawers that allow the user to not only arrange tools in a proper manner but also retrieve them easily, without having to dig around in an unorganized mess.

3. Stationary Toolboxes with DrawersA toolbox with wheels and drawers

Stationary toolboxes are meant to store heavy tools and are not intended to be moved around. These large toolboxes are what you would expect to see in workshops or garages. They are made of stainless steel, which means that you won’t have to worry about these toolboxes rusting.

The best feature of these toolboxes is that they have multiple storage drawers that increase the available storage space. The user can keep their tools perfectly organized. They can simply label each drawer with the tools they house, making tool retrieval quick and convenient!

Although stationary toolboxes with drawers are not meant to be moved around, sometimes wheels are installed so that if the user ever wishes to move their toolbox to another place, they do so with ease.

4. Roll-Around Toolbox

Roll-around toolboxes are similar to stationary toolboxes. The difference is that wheels on a stationary toolbox aren’t usually part of the design, whereas they are an integral part of roll-around toolboxes. The drawers on the upper side are designed to hold handy tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc. whereas the drawers on the lower side are much larger and size and are meant for the storage of large tools such as drill machines and the like.

One of the best features of a roll-around toolbox is that it has a lid-style compartment that can be used as a small workbench. A roll-around toolbox is an ideal option for mechanics who have to move around with tools constantly.

5. Roll-Around Toolboxes with Workbench

Roll-around toolboxes with a workbench are almost identical to regular roll-around toolboxes. The only difference is that the workbench variety has a proper workbench on the top instead of a closed compartment. The workbench is usually made of a composite material or wood. Most commonly, these toolboxes are made of aluminum or steel. Some varieties of these toolboxes come with a height adjustment feature that allows you to adjust the height of the workbench.

6. Truck-Mounted ToolboxesA truck bed toolbox

As the name indicates, truck-mounted toolboxes are meant to be mounted on trucks. Since tools can be extremely heavy, you cannot carry around a toolbox with you when you have to travel. If you often have to carry heavy tools with you, a truck-mounted toolbox is what you should consider getting.

They are made of plastic or steel and are designed to be mounted on your pickup truck so that carrying tools with you while you are on the go is less of a hassle. They are available in many sizes. Before buying one, don’t forget to take measurements of the available space on your truck bed.

Toolboxes are an essential item. They allow you to keep your tools organized and safe. They also make traveling with tools easier, and working on sites away from the workshop is a breeze if you’ve chosen the right toolbox. The best thing is that they are available in a number of varieties and prices, so you can always find something that is well within your budget.

If you’re someone who likes to engage in simple DIY projects, or maybe you prefer to make repairs around the house by yourself, a good, sturdy, portable toolbox is essential. If you are professional, the importance of having a good toolbox cannot be overstated. Now that you about all the types of toolboxes that are available to you, you can choose one that suits your situation the best!

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