The Top 5 Tool Chests for 2018

 

(See below for comparison table and reviews.)

If your employment entails working with tools, or if you are an avid DIYer, then a tool chest could be one of the most important purchases you will make. Whether you need a tool chest for your workshop or one your garage, you are more spoiled for choice today than at any other time in history.

Every single year we see a vast range of tool chests become available for the DIY enthusiast and the professional tradesperson. With this many options constantly becoming available, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy and the process could become an unending slog of visiting different websites for reviews and the lowdown.

However, a tool chest is an essential piece of kit for anyone who wants to protect their tools and to keep them organised, so it is vital that due diligence is done before parting with any hard-earned cash. The tool chest goes above and beyond an ordinary toolbox to give you maximum protection and the ability to store practically anything. And you don’t need to be a professional to benefit from that.

So what do you want, and indeed need, from a tool chest?

The first thing you should always look for is storage space. There is little point in buying a tool chest over a toolbox if the chest doesn’t have a large amount of storage space. You should be able to store all your tools as well as other general workshop materials.

Another essential in any good tool chest is its ability to protect both itself and your stored tools from moisture issues and thus prevent against rust. If you happen to store your tools in a damp environment, you will need total protection.

Finally, your chest must come with security options. Anyone who wants to, or already does, own a tool chest is likely attempting to store valuable pieces of equipment, which are natural magnets for thieves. Your tool chest should have a built-in security features to make sure you do not present an easy target.

Attempting to find a tool chest that offers all these features and more at the right price can be frustrating. Nevertheless, we have done the legwork for you.

We have reviewed some of the tool chests currently on the market. And these are the tool chests that we think you should be considering in 2018.

The Top 5 Tool Chests for 2018

A more in-depth review can be found below the comparison table.
 NameProsCons
Stanley 24 Gallon Mobile Chest
 

* Huge amount of storage space
* Rust resistant
* Integrated key lock
* The removable tote tray can be flimsy
Excel Steel Intermediate Chest
 
* Extremely well-constructed
* Can stop corrosive chemicals
* Individual drawers support heavy loads
* One of the most expensive options on the market
* Main locks are a little weak
Craftsman Metal Portable Chest
 
* Each drawer locks closed
* Affordable
* Excellent supplemental toolbox
* No weather protection
* No ball-bearing gliders on drawers
Viper Tool Storage Steel Tool Chest
 
* Solid steel construction
* Includes a secure cam lock
* Limited lifetime warranty
* Drawers do not always stay closed
* Expensive
Excel Steel Top Chest
 
* Drawers can hold a lot of weight
* Powder-coated paint
* Recessed side handles for easy transportation
* Lock sometimes doesn’t open
* The body of the chest is a little weak compared to other options

Stanley 24 Gallon Mobile Chest

 

The Stanley 24 Gallon Mobile Chest is a tool chest for the tradesperson who needs to transport everything from large tools to extra workshop materials. If the average tool chest is too small for you, the Stanley 24 Gallon is your alternative.

As well as a maximum amount of storage space, the metal latches are resistant to rust caused by weather and elevated moisture levels. The same goes for the padlock that comes with it.

Buy the larger 50-gallon version and it comes with an integrated key lock for even more security. We believe that this chest has everything you could want from a heavy-duty tool chest.

Pros 

  • Huge amount of storage space
  • Resistant to rust
  • Comes with an integrated key lock 

Cons 

  • The removable tote tray can be flimsy

 

Excel Steel Intermediate Chest

 

For maximum protection and durability, the Excel Steel Intermediate Chest is definitely right up there with the best of them.

It is constructed from double walled steel and the powder coat finish goes further than scratch and scuff resistance. It also protects it against corrosive chemicals, for when those accidents happen.

The ball-bearing drawer slides can handle up to 55 pounds of weight, which makes it more than capable of supporting most types of tool.

You can secure it using a lock, with two keys provided. The only downside to the Excel Steel Intermediate Chest is some customers report that the locks can be flimsy.

Pros 

  • Extremely well-constructed
  • Can stop corrosive chemicals
  • Individual drawers support heavy loads

Cons 

  • One of the most expensive options on the market
  • Main locks are a little weak

 

Craftsman Metal Portable Chest

 

The Craftsman Metal Portable Chest is an alternative tool chest if you are just looking for a supplement. This is probably not something for the professional, but the hobbyist or DIYer with a limited number of tools will find this to be good value for money.
Each of the three drawers lock closed and it is one of the most affordable options on the market. However, the drawers do not use classic ball-bearing gliders, which can make them a little less durable than other options.

Pros 

  • Each drawer locks closed
  • Affordable market option
  • Excellent supplemental toolbox

Cons 

  • No weather protection
  • Drawers do not use ball-bearing gliders

 

Viper Tool Storage Steel Tool Chest

 

This tool chest takes advantage of solid steel in its construction. Like many of its competitors, it includes a powder coated finish to keep it in good condition and to protect it against chemicals. The manufacturer is so confident that they even offer a limited lifetime warranty.

Each drawer comes with ball-bearing drawer slides with full extension. That allows it to accommodate practically any type of tool from any manufacturer.

There is also a cam lock for added security. However, do bear in mind that this tool chest is quite pricy when compared to other options.

Pros 

  • Constructed using solid steel
  • Includes a secure cam lock
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons 

  • Reports that the drawers do not always stay closed
  • Expensive tool chest

 

Excel Steel Top Chest

 

The Excel Steel Top Chest comes with five sliding drawers, which use the ball-bearing glider system to open and close. Every drawer can hold 50 pounds of weight, allowing you to store large tools and other heavy pieces of hardware.

Moving this tool chest is easy as there are recessed side handles included. And the powder coated paint will ensure that it doesn’t pick up and scratches along the way.

It also comes with a lock and two keys, but some customers report that there can be problems with the lock not opening.

Pros 

  • Drawers can hold a lot of weight
  • Powder coated paint to stop scuffs
  • Recessed side handles for easy transportation

Cons 

  • Lock sometimes doesn’t open
  • The body of the chest is a little weak compared to other options

Conclusion 

These are our top five tool chests options for 2018, options that we think you should consider if you are going to make a purchase in the near future. The most important factor in your choice will most definitely be your budget, which would also depend on whether you are investing in a hobby or your livelihood.

When you determine how much you want to spend, choosing a tool chest is not as difficult as you might think.

Which tool chest do you think offers the most value for money?

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