truck toolbox

Is There a ‘Best’ Tool Box for Trucks?

Key Takeaways

1. There is no definitive “best” tool box for trucks as personal preferences and needs vary.
2. Consider the functionality, size, price, and installation process when choosing a toolbox.
3. Factors to consider include storage capacity, lockable compartments, and storage trays.
4. Look for toolboxes with features that cater to specific tools.
5. Portable or slide-in toolboxes are easy to install and remove.
6. Base your decision on your requirements to find the right toolbox for your truck.

You are a truck owner looking for the best toolbox you can find. You have been all over the internet, reading reviews and checking out product descriptions. All you have to show for it is enough confusion to make you question your own sanity. Now you want to know, “is there a best tool box for trucks?”

The capitalist nature of humanity tempts us to say ‘yes’, followed by pointing you to a very expensive toolbox on which we might earn a healthy commission once you purchase it. But that is neither appropriate nor the purpose of our website. So in the interest of being honest and fair, we must tell you that there is no such thing as the ‘best’ in any product category.

So much of what we base purchase decisions on is influenced by personal preferences. The problem is this: your starting point in a particular product category might be solely based on function, whereas someone else would be more attuned to aesthetics. Since you both have different baselines from which to measure, you will both come up with different opinions as to what constitutes the best.

How to Find the Best Tool Box for Your Truck

We may not be able to point you to the best tool box for trucks overall, but we can help you figure out which one is best for you. You need to step back and consider what is most important. Take a serious look at the following:

Capacity

An integral part of choosing the right toolbox is understanding the storage capacity you require. No toolbox will serve its purpose adequately if it doesn’t have the storage capacity to accommodate your tools.

To evaluate the right storage capacity, you need to think about what tools you’re planning to carry. This may range from basic hand tools to larger equipment.

If you’re a hobbyist or someone who requires tools for minor repairs or DIY tasks, you might be looking for a toolbox that can accommodate a basic set of tools. This may include hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, tape measures, utility knives, and perhaps a small drill. A toolbox of modest size should be able to store these items conveniently.

On the other hand, if you’re a professional contractor, mechanic, or truck driver, your storage needs will be significantly greater. You may require space for larger tools and equipment, such as socket sets, power drills, circular saws, or even air compressors. Professional truck drivers, particularly those who haul heavy loads, might also need space for truck-specific items like load chains, binders, truck tarps, and large ratchet straps.

Additionally, for those dealing with hardware and small parts, consider a toolbox with small compartments or drawers to keep your nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and other similar items organized.

Lastly, you may need to consider the storage of safety equipment like gloves, safety glasses, and first-aid kits, as they are critical for any toolbox.

In essence, your storage capacity needs are largely dependent on your role and the tasks you handle. Once you have a clear understanding of what tools and equipment you typically use, you’ll be able to estimate the size of the toolbox you need much more accurately.

Functionality

A toolbox is first and foremost a functional object, and secondarily an aesthetic accessory. It is crucial that your purchase decision be rooted in the functions you require, rather than just the outward appearance of the toolbox.

For instance, you might be satisfied with a toolbox that essentially serves as a large, empty container. This could be sufficient if you primarily need a safe place to store bulky items, such as power tools or large sets of wrenches. A basic box might offer the advantage of flexibility, allowing you to adjust the arrangement of tools as per your needs on any given day.

On the other hand, you may need a toolbox with multiple compartments or drawers. This kind of toolbox could be beneficial if you have a variety of smaller tools that need organization. For example, compartments can be utilized to separate and quickly access different categories of tools—screwdrivers in one compartment, pliers in another, and so on.

A toolbox with a lockable compartment is another important feature to consider if you need to secure high-value tools or items that should be accessed by authorized persons only. This can offer an added layer of protection against theft or misuse, which can be particularly beneficial if your truck is often parked in public or shared spaces.

You might like:  Choosing the Best Tool Bags – Your Ultimate Buying Guide

Storage trays can be a godsend for those dealing with numerous small parts like screws, nails, or drill bits. Trays with individual sections can prevent these parts from getting mixed up, saving you time and frustration during a job.

A toolbox might also have features designed for specific tools. For instance, some toolboxes include designated slots for specific items like hammers, or even extendable work surfaces for jobs that need a steady hand.

Moreover, if you often find yourself working in low-light conditions, consider a toolbox with integrated lighting. This feature can illuminate the interior of the toolbox, making it easier to find what you need.

Remember, functionality should be the cornerstone of your toolbox choice. By considering the specific functions and features that align with your needs, you can select a toolbox that not only stores your tools but also enhances your efficiency and productivity.

Craftsmanship

Remember that old saying, ‘you get what you pay for’? It applies to toolboxes. If your truck barely leaves the road and your capacity needs are minimal, you probably don’t have to invest in a high-end toolbox boasting impeccable craftsmanship. If you go off-road a lot, you are going to want something that is well built.

Size

Yes, size matters. Let’s say you’re driving a compact pickup truck. It doesn’t make sense to buy a toolbox so big that you use up most of your functional bed space. Keep it small. On the other hand, a large toolbox is a more suitable to full-size pickups and tractor-trailers.

No products found.

Budget

Last but not least is your budget. Whatever you consider to be the best tool box for trucks may be absolutely worthless if you cannot afford the price tag. And know this: no toolbox is worth going into debt to purchase. Buy what you can afford and leave it at that.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a truck toolbox can vary considerably based on factors such as the type, size, material, brand, and the features it includes. Here’s a rough guide to help you set your expectations:

Basic Plastic Toolboxes: Generally the most affordable option, these can range from $50 to $200. They’re lightweight and easy to handle but may not offer the same level of durability or security as metal alternatives.

Aluminum Toolboxes: A step up in terms of durability and security, aluminum toolboxes are also lightweight. These often cost between $200 and $600 depending on size and features.

Steel Toolboxes: Known for their strength and durability, steel toolboxes can handle heavy-duty usage. These typically range from $300 to $800. The higher cost is a trade-off for their longevity and resilience.

High-end Specialty Toolboxes: For toolboxes with advanced features, special sizes, or those from premium brands, you could be looking at prices ranging from $800 to upwards of $1500.

Remember, these prices are approximate, and they can vary based on many factors, including where you’re shopping and the specific model you’re looking at. But this gives you a general idea of what you might expect to spend. As with any purchase, the key is to balance what you need and what you can reasonably afford.

Material Considerations

When it comes to choosing the best tool box for your truck, the material from which it’s made is a significant factor to consider. Different materials come with their unique properties, advantages, and potential downsides, impacting durability, weight, cost, and maintenance requirements.

Steel Toolboxes

Steel toolboxes are perhaps the most traditional choice. Known for their superior durability, they’re tough, resilient, and can stand up to heavy-duty use. However, steel is heavier than other materials, which may affect your truck’s fuel efficiency and payload capacity. Additionally, steel toolboxes need to be properly maintained to avoid rusting, especially in areas with high humidity or road salt.

Aluminum Toolboxes

Aluminum toolboxes are a popular choice among truck owners due to their combination of strength and lightweight. They offer solid protection for your tools, without adding a significant amount of weight to your vehicle. Plus, aluminum is rust-resistant, which means less maintenance compared to steel. However, these toolboxes might be slightly more expensive than their steel counterparts, and they can be prone to dents if not handled with care.

Plastic Toolboxes

If budget and weight are your primary concerns, plastic toolboxes might be the way to go. They are generally lighter and cheaper than metal toolboxes and are resistant to both rust and dents. However, they may not offer the same level of security and durability as metal ones. Plastic can crack or break under extreme conditions or heavy load, and it’s less resistant to theft since it can be relatively easy to break into.

In the end, the best material for your toolbox depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Take into account your budget, the climate you live in, the kind of tools you’ll be storing, and how you’ll be using your toolbox. Considering these factors will guide you towards the most suitable material for your situation.

Installation Process and Considerations

When selecting a toolbox for your truck, it’s crucial to consider not only the functionality, size, and price, but also the installation process. Depending on the type of toolbox you choose, the installation can range from straightforward to quite complex.

Easy to Install: Portable and Slide-In Boxes

If you’re a fan of do-it-yourself projects and want to avoid additional installation costs, portable or slide-in toolboxes may be the best fit for you. These types are generally straightforward to install and remove. They often come with easy-to-use mounting hardware or simply fit snugly in your truck bed without any fasteners. You can slide them in and out as needed or secure them with tie-down straps or clamps. However, bear in mind that these toolboxes might be easier targets for theft due to their portability.

You might like:  How to Find the Best Tool Chest for the Money

Moderate to High Installation Complexity: Side-Mount and Underbody Boxes

For a more permanent solution, you might consider side-mount or underbody toolboxes. These options offer excellent security and more efficient use of space. However, they often require a more involved installation process, sometimes involving drilling holes in your truck. You’ll need some basic mechanical skills, the right tools, and probably a helping hand due to the size and weight of these boxes. Alternatively, you can have these types of toolboxes installed by a professional, which, while more costly, ensures proper installation and potentially saves time and effort.

The key is to match the toolbox type with your level of expertise, your truck’s configuration, and your willingness to either DIY or hire a professional. Keep these considerations in mind when selecting your toolbox, and you’ll find the process to be smoother and less stressful.

Maintenance and Longevity

A toolbox is like a reliable companion, ready to aid in times of need, but it too requires a little bit of care and attention. Proper maintenance of your toolbox can significantly prolong its lifespan, making it a worthy long-term investment.

Cleaning Your Toolbox

Regular cleaning is an essential part of toolbox maintenance. Dust, grime, and other contaminants can wear down the material of the toolbox over time. Furthermore, a clean toolbox is more pleasant and efficient to use. For basic cleaning, a damp cloth usually does the job for most exterior surfaces. For stubborn grime or oily stains, consider using a mild detergent or a specialized cleaning product suitable for the material of your toolbox. Don’t forget to clean the interior, including all compartments and drawers, to keep your tools in a clean and organized environment.

Dealing with Rust

If your toolbox is made of metal, rust can be a major concern. Rust not only spoils the aesthetics of the toolbox but also compromises its structural integrity. To prevent rusting, ensure the toolbox is dry before closing it, especially if you’re storing it in a damp environment. If rust does appear, don’t panic. A wire brush and some rust-removing solution can bring your toolbox back to its prime condition.

Regular Check-Ups

Regular check-ups on the toolbox’s hinges, locks, handles, and other moving parts can help spot potential issues early on. Apply lubricating oil to these parts occasionally to keep them working smoothly and prevent them from seizing up.

When it comes to longevity, the lifespan of your toolbox will largely depend on the material, the quality of the craftsmanship, and, of course, the level of care it receives. A well-built and properly maintained toolbox can serve you for many years, even decades. However, plastic toolboxes, though often more resistant to rust and dents, might not endure heavy usage as long as their metal counterparts. Meanwhile, a high-quality metal toolbox, while requiring more maintenance to prevent rust, can withstand the rigors of daily use for a very long time.

No products found.

Types of Truck Toolboxes

There are numerous ways to add a toolbox to your truck, with each design offering its own set of unique benefits. The three main types are cross-bed boxes, side mount boxes, and underbody boxes. Understanding their differences and advantages will help you make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs.

Cross-Bed Boxes

Often the most recognizable, cross-bed boxes are designed to sit across the bed of your truck, right behind the cab. They’re accessible from both sides of the truck, making it easy to reach your tools without having to climb into the bed. They typically offer generous storage capacity, making them ideal for those who need to store a larger assortment of tools. However, keep in mind that they do take up a significant portion of your bed space and can obstruct your rear view.

Side Mount Boxes

Side mount boxes are attached to the sides of the truck bed, providing easy access without sacrificing much bed space. They’re a great choice if you’re looking to retain the maximum usable space in your truck bed. While they might not offer as much storage as cross-bed boxes, their long, narrow design is perfect for accommodating items like levels, rulers, and other longer tools. They can also be used in conjunction with a cross-bed box for additional storage.

Underbody Boxes

For those seeking to preserve all their bed space while still having a secure storage solution, underbody boxes might be the best fit. Mounted underneath the truck, they’re out of the way and offer a discreet storage solution. They can be a bit harder to access than their counterparts, and their capacity might be limited by the truck’s clearance. But they are ideal if you need your truck bed free for hauling larger items.

Remember, the right toolbox is the one that best suits your storage needs, fits your budget, and complements your truck’s design and functionality. Carefully consider your daily requirements and the toolbox types before making a decision.


Popular Brands and Models

Weather Guard

When it comes to truck toolboxes, few brands have built the reputation that Weather Guard enjoys. This brand offers a wide range of options, with their saddle boxes being a fan favorite. The Weather Guard 127502 is a high-capacity toolbox made from durable aluminum and renowned for its theft-resistant locking mechanism. Its in-built compartments are perfect for organizing smaller tools, and the smooth operation of its lid ensures seamless access to your items.

You might like:  This Ultimate Guide To Tool Storage Systems is Epic

No products found.

UWS

UWS is another highly respected name, known for its robust and secure storage solutions. Its TBS-63-A-LP-BLK toolbox is a standout model, constructed from thick aluminum and featuring a patented foam-filled lid for improved strength. The dual-handle latch mechanism ensures that your tools stay secure, and the in-built tool trays are ideal for keeping your tools sorted.

No products found.

Dee Zee

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly yet reliable toolbox, Dee Zee might be the brand for you. The Dee Zee DZ8546B is a commendable option, offering ample storage, a sturdy steel construction, and a lockable lid. Despite being light on the pocket, this model doesn’t compromise on quality, ensuring you get a reliable, durable toolbox at a lower cost.

No products found.

Better Built

Better Built offers a great balance between quality and cost. A model to consider is the Better Built 73210285, which features a patented integral end and a self-adjusting striker. This full-size truck bed toolbox comes with auto-lift shocks for easy one-handed entry and is well-regarded for its ample storage and durability.

No products found.

Remember, the ‘best’ toolbox depends on your unique needs and preferences. These brands are popular for a reason—they have proven reliable and durable over time—but always consider your specific requirements and budget before making a purchase.

The Best Tool Box for Trucks Is Yours

The bottom line of this post is as follows: the best tool box for trucks is yours. In other words, whatever you decide on based on the criteria listed above is the right choice for you. Do not worry about what anyone else says or thinks. And certainly don’t buy a specific model of toolbox just because you think everyone else is buying it.

Base your decision on the above criteria and you’ll wind up with something that’s right for you and your truck. And who knows? Everyone else in your circle of friends might ask you for advice before they go out and buy something.

FAQs

Q: What types of truck toolboxes are available? A: There are several types of truck toolboxes, including cross-bed boxes, side mount boxes, underbody boxes, and chest boxes. The type you choose depends on your specific needs and the space available on your truck.
Q: How does the size of the toolbox impact its use? A: The size of the toolbox will determine how much you can store inside and how much space it will take up in your truck bed. You should consider the size of your truck, the items you plan to store, and how much truck bed space you are willing to sacrifice.
Q: What materials are used to make truck toolboxes? A: Common materials include steel, aluminum, and plastic. Steel and aluminum are more durable and resistant to weather, but plastic may be lighter and more cost-effective.
Q: Is the installation process difficult? A: The complexity of the installation process depends on the type of toolbox. Some may require drilling into the truck bed, while others simply sit on the bed and can be secured with straps or clamps.
Q: How important is the craftsmanship of a toolbox? A: Craftsmanship is crucial. High-quality craftsmanship ensures that your toolbox will withstand the test of time and protect your tools from weather and theft.
Q: How does the capacity of a toolbox affect its usefulness? A: Capacity determines how much you can store in your toolbox. If you only have a few tools, a smaller capacity box will suffice. If you have a large number of tools, or larger tools, you’ll need a toolbox with a higher capacity.
Q: What should I consider when deciding on a budget for a toolbox? A: You should consider the quality of the materials, the brand’s reputation, and the features you need. Remember, it’s not worth going into debt for a toolbox, but a high-quality toolbox can be a long-term investment.
Q: Are there specific brands known for making the best truck toolboxes? A: Several brands are known for their quality truck toolboxes, such as UWS, Better Built, and Weather Guard. However, the ‘best’ brand depends on your individual needs and preferences.
Q: Are truck toolboxes weatherproof? A: Many truck toolboxes are designed to be weather-resistant to protect your tools from moisture and extreme temperatures. However, the level of protection can vary based on the quality and design of the box.
Q: Can I secure my tools in the toolbox? A: Yes, most truck toolboxes come with locking mechanisms to secure your tools. This is especially important if you regularly park your truck in public places or if you carry expensive tools.
Q: How do I maintain my toolbox? A: Regular cleaning, checking for any damage or wear, and lubricating the hinges and locks can help maintain your toolbox. If your toolbox is made of metal, you may need to occasionally treat it to prevent rust.
Q: How much can I expect to spend on a truck toolbox? A: Prices can vary significantly depending on the type, size, material, and brand. Basic plastic toolboxes can start from $50, while high-end specialty toolboxes can cost over $1500.
Q: How long can a truck toolbox last? A: With proper care and maintenance, a high-quality truck toolbox can last for several years or even decades. The longevity also depends on the material of the toolbox and how heavily it’s used.
Q: Should I choose function over aesthetics when selecting a toolbox? A: While aesthetics are important, function should be your primary concern. You want a toolbox that will securely store and protect your tools, withstand weather conditions, and fit properly in your truck.
Scroll to Top