Rolling tool bags can take the stress off your back and shoulders, making them a great choice for people in many different fields of work. However, shopping online can put a lot of that stress back on your shoulders, since it’s not always clear what makes for a good bag, and since some models are described solely with marketing fluff online.
If you don’t only want to find a great model, but also one that’s right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve assembled these reviews of the top rolling tool bags of 2019 so that you can learn about each model. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide so that you can learn everything you need to know about rolling tool bags before you buy.
|Klein Tools 55452RTB|
|Milwaukee 48-22-8220||27 lbs||4.65/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Husky GP-43196N13 18"||14 lbs||4.2/5|
|CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear||9 lbs||3.95/5|
The Klein Tools 554552RTB is our top choice among rolling tool bags. It’s one of the strongest models you can find on the market, supporting 100 pounds internally, and 100 pounds on top, meaning that you can move up to 200 pounds of equipment at once. It comes with an excellent molded metal kickplate that protects it from the bumps and other debris that you’re likely to encounter on the jobsite, as well as add durability to the rest of the bag. It also comes with an internal metal frame, which beats the plastic frames found on other models and gives this model both the strength and durability you’ll need for tough jobs.
The six-inch wheels on this model make crossing debris-strewn work areas easy, and they reduce a lot of the bumps along the way, which keep your tools safe inside the bag. Our one complaint is that the outer pocket is on the small side. While it should, in theory, be useful for storing a lot of small- and medium-sized tools, it’s not quite big enough to store either. However, this is still one of the best tool bags on the market, for casual and professional users alike.
The Milwaukee 48-22-8220 easily secures the second place on our list. It comes with a hardtop lid, which makes it great for stacking things on top of this case for easy access while you’re working, or for stacking while transporting. It can support up to 250 pounds, making it one of the strongest tool bags on our list, and giving you the capacity you need to move large, heavy objects around with ease. The handle on this model is extra-wide, which makes it easy to move this bag around, and to add a second hand when needed for pulling a full, heavy bag around.
While this may not be something that everyone has use for, this model comes with a nifty internal tablet sleeve, which provides protection for your jobsite tablet. While this is a better bag in some areas relative to our top choice, it falls short in one key area. It lacks a kickplate, which means that the axle and handle supports are exposed and vulnerable near the ground, meaning that they’re going to be subject to wear and tear you wouldn’t get on our top model. If it were more durable, it would take first place.
The XtremepowerUS 90700-XP is our choice for best for the money. It comes with a long handle that measures 41 inches from the ground when fully extended, giving you more than three-and-a-half feet of handle, which is more than you get on other models. And, this tool bag comes with a ton of small pockets both inside and outside the bag, making it an especially good choice for users who are going to be carrying around a lot of small tools or small parts. But, the overall best thing about this case is its price. You can get it for less than half the price of the two top models on our list, giving you similar capabilities for a much lower cost.
However, it’s not a perfect bag. The seams aren’t as strong as they are on other tool bags and they’re a common point of failure. It’s also only 18-inches wide, as opposed to the 24” models on our list which have a higher capacity. Given the price, it’s still a good deal overall, but users who appreciate its price more than its potential longevity will get the best experience out of this bag.
The Husky GP-43196N13 18″ is a good choice for someone who knows they don’t need the biggest bag on the market. Indeed, one of the best things about this rolling tool bag is that it isn’t huge, which means that if you don’t need to carry too many tools and parts around, but want a rolling bag to make everything easier, this could be a good choice for you. It’s also water-resistant, making a good choice for people who live in wet or humid climates or often end up on flooded jobsites.
However, this tool bag does have some significant downsides. It’s only 18 inches wide, which is a problem if you’re looking for top of the line capacity, as is the fact that it’s shallow compared to other bags available for a similar price. Though, as we said before, it could be that you’re looking for a smaller bag, in which case those problems don’t matter. It also has small wheels, which means can be hard to move. Overall, this won’t be the right bag for most people, but if you need something compact, this bag holds up well to abuse, so it could be the bag for you.
The CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear is an interesting model with some innovative features, but it also has a number of significant problems. It comes with a cool LED light on the handle, which can either illuminate the interior of the tool bag or turn to brighten the path in front of the bag. It’s not quite bright enough to work by, however, so it’s more of a neat gimmick than a truly useful feature. It also comes with a lot of interior and exterior pockets, though the interior ones are only good for holding screwdrivers.
However, it’s not a very durable model, and that leads to problems down the line. Nearly everything is prone to breaking, whether it’s a pocket seam or the wheel axles. There’s little you can do to fix these problems either, so you’d be better off buying a new case. The handle also has a flimsy feeling to it, and while it doesn’t always break, it always feels like it might break, which isn’t something you want to happen. Despite the cool LED light, this rolling tool bag has too many problems to rise above last on our list.
Hopefully, our reviews already have you thinking about which model might be the right one for you. If you still have no idea, don’t worry. We’ve created this buyer’s guide to teach people about rolling tool bags. If you want to make sure that you get the best value for your money, you’ll want to be as informed as you can be and reading this buyer’s guide is a great place to start and to get up to speed with new developments in the market.
While it might not seem like the most important feature at first glance, getting a rolling tool bag that doesn’t roll well is a big-time waste of your money. The first thing you need to pay attention to is the wheels. Many cheaper models use two-inch wheels. Two-inch wheels are functional, but they won’t make it easy to get over lumber or other debris spread around a work site, and they’ll get bogged down in mud.
Four-inch wheels are better in both regards, but if you can, you’ll want to invest in a model that has six-inch wheels, because wheels of that size can roll over just about anything without missing a beat. Six-inch wheels are also the best performers in muddy situations.
You’ll also want to research the axles on which the wheels are mounted. The best rolling tool bags use a single axle that runs from wheel-to-wheel and is made of metal. Cheaper models use individual axles for each wheel, which are cheaper, and sometimes made from plastic, which greatly reduces their durability. In many cases, you can’t change out the wheels on models that use independent axles for each wheel, which means that if they break, you can’t fix the problem and have to buy an entirely new bag.
Storage capacity is another important thing to consider when you’re shopping for a rolling tool bag. The biggest models are 24 inches across, which gives you a lot of internal space in which to store things like tools and parts. Keep in mind that some models have permanent cloth subdividers inside these large compartments, which could mean that the largest available space is only as large as the largest subdivision. So, your largest tools and parts may not easily fit in certain models.
However, these subdividers are great for keeping different kinds of tools separate and make it easy to find the ones you’re looking for without having to dig around, so they do have some value. Most models also feature a number of pockets on the inside and outside of the bag.
On cheaper models, the seams in these pockets are a common point of failure, and if you’re really looking to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to outer pockets, you’ll want to invest in something that is better-made, which probably means it’s more expensive.
These outer pockets are great for storing nuts and bolts or other small fasteners, especially if the pockets come with Velcro lids. They’re also a good place to store tools you need at hand while you work.
There are a few other features that vary greatly from model-to-model but can make a big difference in your experience.
For instance, models that come with a kickplate last far longer than those that leave the axles and handle exposed at the base. The kickplate also makes the case more durable in common-use situations, like when you drag the case up the stairs. Finally, a kickplate adds sturdiness to both the box and the handle, meaning that you’ll feel less flex while you drag the tool bag behind you, which gives you a nice sense of security.
Some manufacturers have started to include LED lights on their rolling tool bags. In most situations, you’re not going to find them all that useful. For instance, for most people, it’s rare that they work in the dark, so there aren’t going to be that many situations where an LED light comes in handy, though if you’re often traveling to or from worksites in the dark, it might be a nice way to illuminate your path.
Hardtop lids are another feature that adds a lot of value to a rolling tool bag. You can stack more things on a hardtop lid than you can on a soft one, which means you can move more per trip. Hardtop lids also tend to come with cutouts that allow you to store tools or drinks while you work. They’re certainly not a necessary feature, but if you can get them inexpensively, they’re one of those things that you’ll be glad you got.
You still may not be sure which rolling tool bag is the right one for you. That’s okay. We’ll walk you through some of the most important things to consider before you buy. First, you should have a budget in mind, but more importantly than that, you should know what kind of experience you’re looking to get out of your rolling tool bag.
Think about the features that we covered in previous sections. Which ones appealed to you? Make a list of those features and eliminate the models that don’t have all or most of the features that you’re looking for.
You should be in pretty good shape now. If you want to get the best value or the most bang for your buck, then you’re safe to go with the cheapest model on your reduced list. It has all the features that you’re looking for, and you can get it for the lowest price, which means you’re getting the best value out of it.
The Klein Tools 554552RTB is our top pick due to its molded kickplate, metal frame, and six-inch wheels, making it an overall durable, strong, and high-capacity tool bag. The Milwaukee 48-22-8220 comes in second place and features a hardtop lid, wide, convenient handle, and massive 250-pound capacity. The XtremepowerUS 90700-XP comes with a long handle, and tons of great small pockets, and since you can get it for a great price, it earns the title of “best value.” The Husky GP-43196N13 18″ is water resistant, making it good for working in wet conditions, and isn’t the biggest bag on the market, making it a good choice for someone who needs a small bag. The CLC Custom Leathercraft L258 TechGear features a nifty light on the handle, but it has significant durability problems which drop it to the bottom of our list.
We hope that our reviews and our buyer’s guide have helped you learn about rolling tool bags. You should now be able to use that information to find the model that’s right for you.