If you’re like the average do-it-yourselfer, it’s probably safe to say that your tools hold a special place in your heart. But do they have a special place in your home?
A good tool chest will keep your cherished gear safe and ensure that you have streamlined access to everything you need, the very moment you need it.
Tool chests can be a little bit pricey, yet the benefit of having one is undeniable. But which to get? After all, this is your tool’s new home that we’re talking about here. It should be a good one.
If you find yourself struggling with this buying decision, we hope that you’ll allow us to assist you. Read on to find a high-quality, affordable tool chest that will take care of the items you treasure.
|Goplus 6-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest|
|Viper Tool Storage V218MCBL||2 drawers||4.6/5|
|Keter 197481 Masterloader Rolling Organizer|
(Best for the Money)
|Stanley 028001L 28-Inch||4.3/5|
|Giantex 2pc Mini Tool Chest||3 drawers||4.0/5|
Up first, the Goplus 6-drawer rolling tool chest. This behemoth unit features the classically large design that typically comes to mind when you think of a tool chest. With six drawers, you’re going to have more than enough storage to accommodate your tool and hardware needs.
We also really appreciate the material. Built of solid rolled steel, the exterior is coated with a glossy red, anti-rust paint that will help ensure that the chest can withstand your workshop’s environment.
Because of the anti-corrosive coating, and the handy wheels that make the unit easy to move around, you can use this tool chest both indoors and outdoors as needed.
Last but not least, this unit’s unique design gives users the option to split the chest into two smaller storage compartments. The ability to detach the top half of the box from the bottom also enables you to transport it more easily.
Granted, this chest isn’t perfect. For one thing, it’s one of the most expensive options on our list.
The drawers are also a little bit shallower than we like to see. Of course, the fact that there are six of them somewhat makes up for this deficit.
Next, we have a more modest, but also more affordable chest—the Viper tool storage system. While the first unit that we looked at featured a larger design that can stand upright on its own, this one is more compact. As such, it’s better suited for placement on a workbench top.
But though this chest is small, it’s also mighty. The drawers are weighted to withstand 50 pounds’ worth of gear, allowing you to safely store all of your stuff.
This system is pretty simple. You get two sliding drawers and one deeper storage container on top for additional gear.
It’s also built with resilient stainless steel to stand the test of time. As a final note, we also like that there are several different color options to choose from.
One issue that we do have with this option is that it doesn’t sit perfectly on a flat service. One of the corners tilts slightly upward, which some users may find irritating.
Huge deal? No. But it is something to keep in mind. And of course, it’s also worth reiterating that this option is less than half the size of the previous one on this list. It does cost less, but there’s still something of a value concern. By spending a little bit extra, you can get tons more storage with the Goplus.
Third, and in our bargain slot, we have the Keter Masterloader. While all of the options that we’re focusing on here have been selected for their value, this option really maximizes your savings while still providing a quality performance.
The setup here is simple but efficient. This rolling plastic chest features one large storage basin, as well as two smaller areas that are broken up with dividers so that you can separate your hardware.
It also comes with storage bins that fit into the smaller compartments, so that your nails, screws, etc. stay separate.
It’s transportable, affordable, and efficient. So why didn’t it land in our top two?
Unfortunately, there are some durability concerns. The unit’s plastic frame will be vulnerable to the wear and tear that comes with use and transportation. Furthermore, the latching and locking mechanisms all feel very flimsy and susceptible to breaks—breaks that could effectively lead to the whole chest being rendered unusable.
The durability issue is a concern, but for the money, some buyers may be willing to make the compromise.
The Stanley 28-inch tool chest takes our penultimate spot on the list. This is actually more of a toolbox than a tool chest but, regardless, it does have some reliable features.
The plastic frame features a secure locking mechanism, and the box itself is fairly sturdy.
If you’re looking for a designated traveling storage container, this will be a good option to think about.
One thing we take issue with, however, is the storage compartments themselves. It’s kind of the Wild West in there; the lack of dividers makes it hard to keep your gear organized.
There are also some durability concerns with the lid. The plastic in this section is surprisingly thin and very vulnerable to shock damage.
Buyers who choose this unit will need to be mindful of how they transport it. Still, the price and other features compensate for its defects.
Last on our list, we’ll be looking at the Giantex 2pc mini tool chest. At first glance, this set has quite a bit going for it. It’s relatively cheap, and despite the designation of being “mini,” it actually provides quite a bit of storage with several drawers and cabinets providing ample space.
The problem, to put it bluntly, is that the unit just wasn’t built very well. It’s a little bit wobbly, the metal is very thin (which may be a problem in a shop setting), and even the drawer handles feel like they might fall off at any moment.
You get what you pay for. If you want an upright storage chest at the lowest price you can get, this may be the one for you. Otherwise, it would probably be in your best interest to pay a little more and go with something better suited to stand the test of time.
Now that you’ve seen our top five favorite affordable tool chests, you’re probably going to want to start thinking about which one to add to your setup.
If you still aren’t quite sure which tool chest is going to be right for your gear, we can help you out some more by covering a few basic buying considerations that every do-it-yourselfer should keep in mind when making this purchase.
Read on for a handy tool chest buying guide!
The purpose of today’s article is to find the “best for the money” tool chests. In other words, products that give you plenty of bang for your buck.
But even in the budget tool chest market, there’s a wide range of prices that you’ll have to contend with.
At the highest end of the budget spectrum, tool chests can still run pricey. Not everyone has a few hundred dollars to spend on what essentially equates to a fancy container.
If you’re in the position of wanting something truly affordable, there are options out there for you. Some good tool chests out there cost less than $50.
Know that when you go this route, however, you aren’t going to get all of the bells and whistles. A lower price tag usually means less storage, a little less ruggedness, and perhaps a less diverse range of storage options.
No matter what tool chest you look at, however, the principal function should remain intact: to keep your gear safe.
The good news is that most options will be able to accommodate this feat.
Remember that you can save yourself some money by getting a smaller option. Take an inventory of what gear you have that will actually be going into the box. Knowing ahead of time what kind of storage needs you have can help you pick something that is appropriately sized to accommodate your situation.
Ultimately, the less space you need, the more money you’ll be able to save.
If you aren’t on an extremely tight budget, there’s also value in looking for the most storage you can get.
Why? Well, if you’re like most do-it-yourselfers, you probably often find yourself in the position of needing to add another tool to your collection.
If you buy a storage container that’s only big enough for the stuff you currently have, chances are you’ll grow out of it quickly.
If possible, consider getting a storage container that you can grow into.
Also, keep in mind that tool storage chests do have weight limits. Not every chest will necessarily be suited for handling the weight requirements of your gear.
Some of the units in this list advertise their weight capacity; weight capacity generally pertains to the drawers. A decent weight rating is going to be 50 lbs or more. After all, tools can get pretty hefty.
The higher weight rating that you can get, the better. Once the weight of your tools starts coming close to the maximum capacity of the unit, you may run into problems, both with the integrity of the chest itself and its ability to safely accommodate your gear.
Bottom line? Make sure that the chest you buy is fit to hold your gear before loading your stuff into it.
Some buyers might find it more worthwhile to go for something with lots of shallow drawers, rather than a couple of deep ones. Having plenty of drawers gives you the opportunity to spread your gear out a little bit and ensure that you don’t load up too much weight in one spot.
Many of the units mentioned here feature some sort of corrosive resistant coating. If you’re looking for a metal-based tool storage test, some sort of rust resistance is basically mandatory.
The reason for this is pretty simple. The do-it-yourself scene can be rough. Whether you’re taking your tool chest indoors or out, chances are it will be exposed to something that might be capable of corroding the material.
Even if you only keep the chest in your garage, it’s still exposed to humidity and other sources of moisture that can wreak havoc on metal.
Without a decent coating, your new tool chest isn’t going to stay looking nice and pretty for very long.
Some tool chests are destined to stay in the same place forever once they’re set up. However, if your do-it-yourself efforts require you to have a little bit more mobility, you may be pleased to know that many tool chests can comfortably accommodate those needs.
In fact, we’ve seen several tool chests that were built with easy transportation in mind.
Many larger options feature wheels so that you can easily maneuver your chest anywhere that you need to take it.
Rather than wheels, smaller units might feature handles to promote easy hauling.
Not every user will need their tool chest to be mobile. Still, it is a handy feature to have in the event that you find yourself unexpectedly needing to transport a lot of tools at once.
Plastic versus metal tool chests—is one better than the other? Not necessarily. Each material has its own set of pros and cons. Plastic will be cheaper and completely resistant to rust.
However, it won’t stand up as well to the other types of physical wear and tear that can come up in a workshop.
Metal, on the other hand, is pricier and more vulnerable to rust, but it’s also tough enough to take a beating.
There are good tool chests out there made of either material. You’ll just have to weigh your needs and decide for yourself which option is a better fit.
Last but not least, there’s also the matter of color to consider. While the color of a tool chest isn’t going to impact the actual performance of the unit, it does still matter. After all, for many people, their shop is their sanctuary. Don’t you want yours to be fitted with equipment that’s exactly to your liking?
If you’re trying to maintain a specific visual aesthetic in your home workshop, there are plenty of different options available to make sure you are successful.
Now that our reviews for the best tool chests of 2019 are out of the way, it’s time to make a decision. Which chest is going to serve as a home for your tools this year?
If you haven’t made up your mind yet, you may want to consider a couple of standout options from this list.
Its spacious, high-quality build makes the Goplus our top choice
However, if saving money is your biggest concern, you may find that our bargain pick, the Keter, features a value/quality combination that none of the other options in this list are able to match.
The good news, however, is that all of the options featured here are good in their own way. And now that you’ve read our buyer’s guide, we hope that you feel well-versed in the world of tool chests so that you can make your own informed decision.