When it comes down to it, a tool chest is just another tool. Yet, it’s a vital one, without a doubt. You see, the right tool chest – right shape, right size, right design – enables you to store everything that you need in one place, secures your tools, makes finding your tools quicker, and reduces the risk of damaging or losing them.
In this article, we’re going to share with you our reviews of the best tool chests that are under $1000! These are the best of the best that you can purchase in 2020, and along with reviewing these tool chests, we’re giving you a buying guide that shows you what to look for in a good tool chest! Let’s get started!
|Waterloo W300||107 lbs||4.8/5|
|Viper Tool Storage V2605PUR|
(Best for the Money)
|International VRB-4211OR||175 lbs||4.3/5|
|Rubbermaid Commercial FG773488BLA||60 lbs||4.1/5|
Our top pick is the WEN 77041. Let’s get this out of the way, this is a BIG tool chest! There are 17,695 cubic inches in this chest, and it is made of 15-gauge steel with lockable drawers, along with casters and a side handle, allowing you to move it around with ease.
When we evaluate a tool chest, there are three things we look at. Security – whether or not your tools will be safe and sound in the chest – the strength of the material used to make the tool chest, and the amount of space that is available. We look at the gauge of steel that comprises the chest, which not only aids the security of the chest, but also the durability and lifespan.
The WEN 77041 is a very secure tool chest. The locks are strong and made of very thick steel, ensuring that no one can break in and steal your tools. Due to the 15-gauge steel, it’s extremely hard to break any of the drawers open.
In terms of the strength of this particular tool chest, it is incredibly strong and very, very rigid. When moving it, nothing wobbles or moves back and forth. While our own tests were somewhat limited, we know people who’ve had this model for many years, and they’ve never complained of a single scratch or dent, even after heavy use. For those reasons, it’s our top pick.
As for space, well, 17,695 cubic inches is quite a bit!
Our runner-up is the Waterloo W300. This is a “Made In The U.S.A.” tool chest that is 41-inches wide and 18-inches deep, consisting of a total of 12,498 cubic-inches of space. Smaller than the WEN 77041, but not by much.
As for the gauge of steel that it was made with, we could not figure that out, due to the absence of this information within the manual and sales page. But we know it’s less than the WEN 77041 as it is less thick than the WEN 77041, which does make it a bit less durable and slightly less secure because the locks are rather flimsy.
Those two reasons are why it isn’t our top-pick. But, we need to emphasize that it is a very affordable, very well-made, tool chest that is overall, quite strong and quite secure, but just not as much as the WEN 77041. This is because of the weaker steel and locks that, when we tested them, felt rather flimsy. But, space isn’t a concern.
For the money, the Viper Tool Storage V2605PUR is the best tool chest you can purchase that is under $1000. It comes with a great internal locking system and a tubular cam lock for extra security. This is where the V2605PUR excels, not only because of this, but also due to the 18-gauge steel it is made out of. Not only that, it has four casters that resist damage from oil, grease, and other chemicals found on floors.
Overall, this is a very good tool chest. Incredibly strong and durable. Built to last and to resist damage. Very secure, due to the strong locks and 18-gauge steel exteriors. As well as being very easy to move because of the strong casters, it has a handle that you can easily access.
Our biggest complaint with the V2605PUR is that it isn’t very big. While it can store a decent amount, if you have bigger tools and bigger objects that you want to store, it’s going to be a little tricky since it has limited space and drawers that are somewhat shallow.
The VRB-4211OR is a 42-inch long tool chest that is made of 14-gauge steel, has four very durable casters, and an, overall, very rugged and durable construction. This is a strong tool chest that is very durable and can withstand quite a bit.
Small tools, that is. This isn’t a good tool chest for holding bigger items or bigger tools, and while there are many drawers, each one is quite shallow, only allowing for smaller tools to be stored.
In terms of security, the one lock that it has is very questionable, and we can’t say that it felt sturdy, secure, or particularly good.
While the VRB-4211OR isn’t a bad tool chest, it isn’t very secure, and it can’t hold many bigger tools. Or much of anything at all. So, it’s good if you have smaller things that you want to store, but we don’t recommend putting any expensive smaller tools and items in here, and we don’t recommend purchasing this so you can store bigger tools, because they won’t fit.
At the bottom of our list, we have the Rubbermaid Commercial FG773488BLA. This is made for mobile use, and it holds up to 250 lbs., which isn’t that much in comparison to other tool chests. It has five-drawers that do hold quite a bit, and a strong locking system. Those are the best qualities of the FG773488BLA. Other than that, it really isn’t that great of a tool chest since it’s made of very weak steel, the drawer slides were incredibly flimsy, and the drawers themselves were fairly weak, even though they can hold quite a bit.
The construction is not very good, and we can’t recommend it for that, or due to the poor quality of the materials used, and the complete lack of strength or durability. This is why it is at the bottom of our list, and we recommend that you stay away from this particular tool chest.
When you buy a tool chest, there are three qualities to look for and to take note of. Each one is very important, and we recommend you look for these.
Security is very important when storing tools because they are essentially big targets for people who might see them and realize that there are many valuable items inside. There are many different types of locks, but we’ve found that tubular cam locks are very good. But if a tool chest doesn’t have one, then look to see if there are multiple locks. Read the reviews and see what people say about the locks, as the lock-type isn’t always advertised.
For durability purposes, the type of steel-gauge is quite important, along with whether the exterior is “double-walled.” Also, take note of how resistant the casters – wheels – are and whether or not they can withstand things like oils and grease, which are common in worksites. These contribute to the wear and tear that the tool chest can withstand, and the lifespan of it.
Space is the final thing to look out for, but it does vary depending on each person’s needs and wants. However, we tend to look for and evaluate tool chests based on the shallowness of their drawers, and the overall space that they offer. This enables flexibility on your part, when it comes to storing tools and having an all-purpose tool chest for keeping all your tools, rather than just a few of them.
We hope that we’ve narrowed it down for you and given you some good information. But more than that, we hope that we’ve given you a good understanding of specific traits, qualities, and factors to consider when purchasing any tool chest, regardless of whether or not you choose the ones on our list.
There are so many choices out there, and so many things to consider, so we sincerely hope that we’ve made this decision a lot easier for you. Whatever choice you make, remember to consider those three factors, and if you do so, you can’t go wrong!
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!