If you have been doing home improvement projects you may have amassed quite a collection of tools. All these tools need organization, but you may have outgrown a basic hardware store toolbox. You may be thinking of getting one of the large metal tool chests you’ve seen in the garages and workspaces of serious craftsmen.
Tool chests vary wildly in price. This is due to the materials they are made out of, the size of the drawers, and other features. A large toolbox can set you back a pretty penny. Especially if you have your eye on one of the high-end models used by professionals.
Before spending a large amount of money on a mechanics toolbox evaluate what your needs actually are. You don’t want to spend thousands on a toolbox that will stay mostly empty. You also don’t want to spend hundreds on a toolbox that is too small. Things to consider when shopping for a toolbox are:
- What kind of tools do you need to store?
- How many tools do you have?
- Do you need a worktop?
- Do you need to be able to move your toolbox?
- Does it need to be portable?
- How big is the area you plan to put it in?
- Do you need rollers or casters?
- Do you need a place to store power tools?
Once you have decided on the type of toolbox you need, it’s time to determine a budget. New toolboxes can sell for $5,000 or more. If you have your heart set on a large toolbox that will make all the neighbors green with envy. You may want to think about looking for a used toolbox. Buying used will save you money, and potentially keep the toolbox out of a landfill.
Not sure where to look for a used toolbox? The best place to start is online. There are individual sellers, as well as retailers who specialize in used tools and toolboxes. We’ve put together a list of websites where you might be able to find a used toolbox online.
Where To Buy a Used Toolbox Online
When shopping for used items online don’t be afraid to contact the seller for more details. They should be willing to discuss the condition of the item and any problems it might have due to age and wear and tear.
If the seller does not seem forthcoming, trust your instincts and move on. There will always be another deal, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
OfferUp is an e-marketplace website where people can list items for sale. You can find toolboxes here in varying conditions and for a range of prices. Some listings have a picture of the item from a website posted, instead of the actual item. Look for posts that have the actual toolbox posted so you can get an idea of the condition.
You can find used toolboxes on eBay. Many of the postings on eBay are open to the best price or can be bought outright for the listed price.
IronPlanet is a marketplace for the buying and selling of tools and equipment. You can find toolboxes listed for sale or auction.
You can find toolboxes among the listings on Facebook Marketplace. Listings will vary from day to day so you will need to act quickly if you see a toolbox you think might be perfect.
This well known online classified page can be a good source for finding used toolboxes. Make arrangements with the seller to examine the toolbox before it changes hands since most Craigslist postings require in-person pick-up.
Other Sources For Used Toolboxes
The majority of online sources for toolboxes are through online marketplaces. This means at any given time the listings may be slim pickings. You may also not be able to find exactly what you want. There’s no need to give up the search. There are also offline options and you may be able to find a fantastic deal.
Like a garage sale on a larger scale, estate sales are a great place to find deals on used tools and toolboxes. Professionally managed estate sales will sometimes post large items ahead of the sale to attract more people to it, keep an eye open, and you could walk away with the perfect toolbox.
Mixed in with the used books, and “gently” used toys you can find some gems. You may be fortunate enough to stumble into a sale where the homeowner is upgrading to a new toolbox, or downsizing their tool collection.
Pawn shops are often an overlooked resource when looking for used items. You may be able to find the perfect large toolbox for your needs.
Before purchasing your toolbox make sure it is actually what you need, and not an impulse purchase.
- Take measurements. Is it the right size or is it larger than will neatly fit into your workspace?
- Check the depth of the drawers. You need to be able to neatly fit all your tools while still being able to close them. Some toolboxes may have drawers that are too shallow for your storage needs.
- Is it priced well? Some sellers overestimate the price they can ask for a used toolbox. Dent’s, scrapes, and other cosmetic damage should be factored into the price. The drawers should slide open easily, and if the box is on casters or rollers, they should be in fairly good condition.
- Make sure the frame that holds the toolbox on the casters is in good condition since it supports the weight.
- Check to make sure there are no spots that are rusted through. If there are light spots of rust but the rest of the toolbox is in good shape otherwise, there is no reason to pass it up, provided the price is right.
- Don’t pass up a toolbox just because it looks “old”. Metal toolboxes can be restored. Provided it is not overly dented, and everything is in good working order, you can restore that old metal toolbox. Use a wire brush, or heavy sandpaper to remove the rust, and smooth the surface. You can leave the metal visible for a worn look. If you want a toolbox that looks shiny, follow up with a coat of paint. There is paint made specifically for toolboxes.
Your toolbox can be utilitarian, or the showpiece of your garage or workshop. It’s all about what you prefer. Whatever your preferences, a second-hand toolbox should have plenty of life left in it, and keep your tools organized and accessible for years.
Now that you have the toolbox, have you noticed there are some tools missing from your collection? You can read about types of tools here!