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The best tool boxes you can buy

The best tool box overall

The best tool boxes you can buy

The best budget tool box

The best budget tool box
The Stanley 12.5 in. Essential Tool Box has everything you need in a basic tool kit, and nothing you don't. This affordable option is great for people on a tight budget, or anyone who doesn't need the bells and whistles of more expensive options.

If all you need is a place to keep a few basic hand tools and some assorted hardware, there's no reason to spend $40 on a tool box when this little guy has everything you need for $7.

Honestly, I love this thing. It's rugged, has a pair of handy built-in storage compartments, an interior tray insert, and is built with a level of quality that you really don't expect to find at this price. That said, durability-wise, you're not going to be loading this thing up with monkey wrenches and tossing it in the back of your truck every day, but for light general use, you can't go wrong.

At 12.5-inches long, this tool box will fit pretty much anywhere, making it perfect for storing in the trunk of your car to use as a roadside emergency kit, or as a first aid kit in your boat or camper.

Bob Vila described this tool box as "a fine choice for any average homeowner on the hunt for a budget-friendly toolbox that sacrifices precious little durability or practicality".

If money is tight, do yourself a favor: Spend $7 on this box and use the extra $20 you saved to pick up a quality screwdriver set or pair of vice grips.

Pros: Extremely low price, durable construction, practical design.

Cons: Small size is unable to accommodate cordless drills

The best oversized tool box

The best oversized tool box
The size of the Milwaukee 26 in. Jobsite Work Box makes it ideal for the type of person who insists on being prepared for any situation that may arise, no matter how many tools they need to bring with them.

This beast of a tool box definitely comes close to crossing over into "too big" territory, but I think it stops just short.

Don't get me wrong, the Milwaukee 26 in. Jobsite Work Box is big, but unlike most other tool boxes that tend to lose functionality the bigger they get, this one has a couple of surprisingly useful features that keep it from just being a "big box".

The handiest of these features is the integrated storage pockets in each corner of the box. These built-in cups can be used as holsters for your drills and impact drivers, preventing them from banging around inside the box and getting damaged. They can also be utilized to vertically store your smaller hand tools, making them much easier to locate and grab.

Another feature is a channel cutout that runs along the length of the lid. This is used for holding sections of PVC pipe or dowels in place for cutting, using your foot to clamp them in place with the handle in the center of the lid. This channel can also be useful for balancing drywall sheets, or anything that you want to keep dry, clean, or off the floor.

The most exciting element of this tool box is the series of screw bosses located on the underside of the lid. These give you the ability to use your own screws and mount any kind of hardware you'd like. The majority of the mounting examples shown online are simply Milwaukee battery chargers, but there are countless other ways you could use these to customize your box.

I worked with an electrician once that actually mounted a piece of plywood to the lid, and on that, he had his own system of mounted tools and drill bit holders, as well as some alligator clips for holding up blueprints and floor-plans for easy reference. Keep in mind though, anything you mount to the lid when it's open, it will also be taking up space inside the box when you close it; you can't get too crazy with it. Also, I wouldn't do too much screwing and unscrewing in those bosses, as the holes can crack with too much use.

Pros: Water and ust resistant, able to hold up to 200 pounds of equipment, large enough to fit large power tools like a reciprocating saw

Cons: Large size may pose storage issues, more expensive than comparable options

The best tool box for organizing

The best tool box for organizing
The versatile Stanley Click'n'Connect is jam-packed with a variety of different-sized storage compartments, making it a great option for anyone prioritizing organization over bulk space.

The Stanley Click'n'Connect is actually a set of two tool boxes that clip together to create a single unit. A robust 20 by 12-inch tool box attaches on top of a slim, 12-compartment organizer, letting you keep everything together and well-sorted.

This tool box would be ideal for an apartment dweller or anyone who's tight on space, who could use it as more of a comprehensive storage solution. With the ability to store medium and small-sized tools in the large box, and smaller bits and pieces like drywall anchors, spare Ikea hardware, and assorted fasteners inside the organizer, you could conveniently keep everything in one place.

Since it doesn't have the rugged construction of the other options here, and wouldn't survive long-term banging around a construction job site, this tool box could be ideal for an electrician or other specialized tradesmen, with the need for organizing a lot of small components like wire connectors.

Pros: Large amount of customizable storage compartments, the two boxes can be detached if preferred

Cons: Not especially durable, the larger box is relatively shallow

The best job-site tool box

The best job-site tool box
The vertical design of the bucket-style Milwaukee 13 in. Jobsite Work Toolbox allows for easy access to your tools, and at 16 inches, is the perfect height for taking a seat on your lunch break.

I'll admit, I was skeptical about this tool box when I first saw it. It has weird storage trays inside, a giant goofy handle, and looks like a Lego bucket. But the more I saw them around, the more I realized how cool they were, and I finally got my own. Its vertical storage system ensures that your tool organization is always tidy and easy to grab when you need them.

The most surprising thing is how comfortable it is to carry, compared to bulky rectangular tool boxes. With its small 13-inch footprint and extra-large handle, it's a breeze to haul around, even when it's loaded with heavy stuff.

Like a few other Milwaukee tool boxes, the lid features a cutout channel for securing PVC pipe for cutting, though the short 11-inch lid limits the usefulness a bit.

The Wirecutter had three carpenters put this box to the test, declaring it to be their top choice. It said, "What puts the Milwaukee head and shoulders above the rest is its emphasis on organization."

Pros: Smaller footprint makes for easier storage, vertical design allows easy access to tools

Cons: Relatively small, cannot fit tools over 15-inches, no storage compartments

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