Hi, so here’s the thing, I drive a truck, and sometimes a rig, and one of my biggest issues has been compartmentalizing my tools and other accessories. I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to my tools and stuff, so I did a lot of research and decided that there was no one perfect solution for every item. There are many solutions for many items.
Let me explain, imagine your toolset, you can either put them all in one big box, and they get all jumbled up together and then it takes you hours of searching through that jumble of iron until you find the right one or you can place them in a compartmentalized unit that provides proper tool storage.
As you can see, storage is all about providing the right facility for the correct items. This isn’t rocket science, you don’t need to understand how they build these boxes, because, honestly, it’s a no-brainer. They are all made from various reinforced metal sheets, either aluminum (standard and lightweight) or steel at various levels of strength.
The biggest issues with buying a truck toolbox are the following:
Fit: How big is your space, and what can you place in it, the fit is key before you go out and buy a truck tool box. I suggest you measure the area you want to use for storage and then consider the following options. Do you want your toolbox to be free or do you want it fixed? If you want it fixed, do you want it permanently fixed, or perhaps with the ability to unlatch it from it holding clips? These are important questions to consider because each one will define what else you need to buy to assure you can fix your new truck toolbox in place.
Size: You have the dimensions of the space your toolbox is going to fit into, now its time to buy a truck toolbox. The only issue here is that you are limited to manufacturer dimensions. So you need to make sure your new truck toolbox will fit into the space you drew. Only buy a box that is smaller than the dimensions, (duh, no-brainer here).
Shape: This is also a major concern, not all spaces are rectangular, and not all boxes are identical. Some need to be adjusted to the area you want the box to fit into, and others need to conform to your boxes contents. So, make sure you are not thinking in 2 dimensions. Plan the entire space according to the fit in 3 dimensions and the content of the box as well as the internal compartments required.
Functionality: There are three functions to all the best truck toolboxes, these are strength, compartmentalization, and durability. Strength requires different materials, such as a stainless-steel truck toolbox for securing standard tools en-masse. Or perhaps aluminum for storing bits and pieces and spare parts. Compartments can be one big space or many specialized holding sections for specific tools. Durability is how long will your box last before you beat the crap out of it. This also relates to how strong is to from tampering or thieving hands. Does it have a good lock? How strong are the hinges?
As you can read from my review, a truck toolbox is not just a box of metal to lug into your van or truck. It’s a professional storage item that has a specific task to perform. This is why truck toolboxes needed a review and why I am presenting you with my pick of the best truck chest tool boxes for 2018.
As I started out when writing this review, there is not much to really go into detail around standard truck toolboxes so I will make all the reviews in a standard format, making the comparison easier for you to read. All reviews will provide the following details:
- Enjoy my top 10 best truck toolboxes:
- 1. Giantex: Aluminum Truck Pickup ATV Tool Box
- 2. Montezuma: Portable Tool Box
- 3. Brait: BR302B Aluminum Tool Box for ATV Storage Truck Pickup RV
- 4. UWS: EC20422 34″ Trailer Tongue Box with Low Profile
- 5. Hi-Standard Outfitters: Polaris XP 900 Ranger Lockable Aluminum Storage/Tool Box
- 6. UnderCover: SC100D Silverado/Sierra 1500-3500 Drivers Side Toolbox
- 7. Ironton: 5-Drawer 21-inch Black Steel Truck Tool Box
- 8. Buyers Products: Black Steel Underbody Truck Box
- 9. Dee Zee: 4.3114G M207 Specialty Series Utility Box
- 10. Auto Dynasty: 42″x18″x16″ Aluminum Pickup Truck Bed Trailer Key Lock
Enjoy my top 10 best truck toolboxes:
Giantex is an American company that ships out their products all over the world. They have a great standard approach to this industry. It’s a no-frills box for general storage.
Dimensions: 49″Long x 15″ Wide x 15″ high.
This is just a long box with a key lock and is shiny and nice. It will look good in any truck or SUV. It has only one large compartment, and as such is good for storing just about anything. The lock comes with two keys, so make sure you don’t lose them.
Montezuma specializes in small storage solutions, and they are not your average company. They take care in developing each product, and you can see that in the detail and precision of their work.
What I like about Montezuma is that they take every consideration into account before releasing a product on top the market. This also goes to show you that they respect the client and would only give you something that they would use themselves.
Shape: Triangular, High.
Dimensions: Varied by the box you want, they come in 22.5” to 36” and are all similar in detail. The 36” box has the following dimensions: Width 36.85 in, Height 21.5 in, Depth 18.07 in.
Material: Steel and is covered in a matt black powder coating, or in polished steel.
Their 36” toolbox is 16-gallon strong steel construction with waterproofed seams and a lock cylinder. When closed the box is secure from rain or dust. All the seams are fully welded, and the overall finish is excellent.
I have two of their boxes, a 36” and a 25”, and believe you me this is a must toolbox for the organized individual. The photo I add here for reference is to show off how well organized this toolbox can be in the right ownership. Since it is so well compartmentalized, I do supplement this box with a standard long rectangular box for my heavy duty tools such as hammers and large ratchets and stuff.
Brait is an American company that provides a number of solutions for car and home. They have a nice approach to their design and provide replacement parts of their products based on what part usually goes wrong first.
Dimensions: 30″ Long x 13″ Wide x 13″ high.
Material: Aluminum (Tread Plate)
This toolbox comes in either shiny Aluminum or black. It has a pull out inner box, so you actually get two compartments in one space. This is a standard rectangular box that is useful for storing spare parts and tools. It comes with a rubber seal, so your box is weatherproof.
This item comes with a double lock, not your standard single lock, which I find leads to a stronger sealing solution, especially when using my 4 x 4 on rough construction sites. If unsecured, the box gets chucked around, a double lock is always better than a single one, that if opens, ends up throwing all your contents around the back of the truck.
UWS is an American company that specializes in aluminum trailer tongue boxes. A trailer tongue toolbox is a trapezoid, which means that the back of the rectangle is longer than the front, making this box specific for mounting on a straight-tongue trailer.
Dimensions: 32.88″ Long Base, 19.88” Long Front, x 15.88″ Wide x 12″ high.
Material: Aluminum (Tread Plate)
This unique item is welded solid so that it is totally weatherproof. It has a stainless-steel locking mechanism for added strength. It is designed to be placed outside, so they added a foam core into their roof, which is a sandwiched foam between two aluminum plates.
The lid opens all the way, so you get full access to the contents. This is a single compartment tub, so I don’t recommend it for storing all your delicate tools, it’s great spare parts and standard toolbox, and is great if you have a trailer.
Hi-Standard Outfitters specializes in fitting toolboxes for Polaris S&S utility vehicles. This niche requires some special talent since the toolboxes have to conform to specific dimensions and be capable of taking a lot of punishment.
Dimensions: Depends on the Polaris model
Material: Aluminum (Diamond Plate)
Custom Made Aluminum Storage Consoles are all made from 1/8″ thick, diamond plate aluminum. The company secures the box to the floor and makes sure it’s totally rattle free. The boxes come with 2 cam and key locks. The lid and box lining is sealed with foam to assure all weatherproofing.
This is a classic example of how a low-profile truck toolbox should be made to fit into a defined space. So, if you are a Polaris or other service vehicle owner, call up Hi Power Outfitters and arrange for them to fit you in their toolbox.
Undercover is an American company specializing in toolboxes and accessories for trucks. This is their special toolbox for Silverado trucks and is designed to be stored securely, easy to access and durable.
Dimensions: Specific to your car model
This specific toolbox is well designed for comfort and quick access. It is easy to install and use and is a really good accessory for your Silverado or Sierra truck. The toolbox is bracket mounted and is designed to hold up to 75 lbs in weight. You swing out the unit when using and lock it back into place when finished. This is the most secure truck tool box I have found.
Ironton is a brand of high-quality products including well designed and crafted storage management solutions. Ironton is a brand of Northerntool.com.
Dimensions: 21” Length x 10 11/32” Width x 22 3/5” High
Material: Steel, Black powder coated
The formidable and highly useful Ironton® 5-Drawer Black Truck Tool was designed to mount an 8-foot truck bed. They are positioned on either side of the wheel well and include a quick release base for efficient usage.
I have found these toolboxes to be great, I mean really great. They are sturdy, reliable and compartmentalized. Each unit has a Lockable drop-down front door and houses five drawers that sit on ball bearing sliders that provide both smooth opening and closing as well as a sturdy support for heavy contents.
The drawer dimensions are:
3 drawers x 5 7/16” Width x 18 ¼” Depth x 3 11/16” Height.,
Buyers products company is an American company that specializes in a lot of products especially in various toolboxes for trucks. They have a vast catalog of various toolboxes and can be easily searched using different search parameters.
Dimensions: 24” Wide x 24 Height x 36” Depth
Material: Carbon Steel (14 Gauge)
This is a strong and durable steel toolbox that comes with a 3-point locking system. It can be mounted on the surface or under-bed of any truck. However, it is a one compartment unit, so it is great for storing your work gloves and heavy equipment, maybe some spare parts.
The unit part number is 1734305 24x24x36 Inch Black Steel Underbody Truck Box With 3-Point Latch and you will need to consider buying these additional parts for installation:
1701015 24×24 Inch Welded Black Structural Steel Mounting Brackets
Dee Zee is an American toolbox manufacturer that has solutions for many storage locations. Amongst one these are their ATV toolbox that comes in two sizes.
Dimensions: 2 cu. ft.: 35″ x 12″ x 9”, or 3 cu. ft.35″ x 12″ x 12.5″
Material: Aluminum Tread Plate with Black Powder Coating
This is a very good and useful toolbox that comes with all the installation components. It is a sturdy box, a single compartment style and has been designed specifically for ATV’s which means it comes with dampened gas shock absorbers and a closed cell foam gasket.
Auto Dynasty has developed a range of toolboxes that are sturdy and reliable. They have a range of heavy duty single compartment solutions.
Dimensions: 42″ Length x 18″ Width x 17″ High
This is another standard single compartment box with a sturdy design, a double locking mechanism, and a fully opening top. I chose this black truck toolbox because it is well fabricated, clear and clean welding lines and a very good paint job.
Best truck tool box tips
While I did give some tips at the start of this review, I will conclude with these bonus tips and advice from over 40 years of hauling:
You will find that most contractors and freelance engineers will never be apart from their toolboxes. Most of them have more than one and each box is chosen for a specific task. It doesn’t matter where you live, all self-conscious and proud contractors will make sure their boxes are sturdy, weatherproof, ergonomically designed and durable. They will also pair a box to a specific content type.
So, the first thing you have to do is select your style of box. There are only two styles to choose from:
Cross, or saddle boxes and chests. Cross-boxes are the easiest to work with, they are also the largest and are designed to sit across the truck bed and provide access from the side as well as the top.
If you intend to store expensive equipment, and honestly, all equipment is expensive. In fact, you will find every contractor has a personal relationship with their tools…kinky. But honestly, most contractors will make sure all their tools are clean after use and positioned properly. They will store every type of tool, from a common screwdriver to an expensive brand drill.
This is why it is imperative that your toolbox is weatherproof, and not just from rain, but from dust too. You also want a toolbox that will be durable during the seasons and not suffer from extreme cold or heat. Make sure the connections are sturdy and oiled and that the box lid linings have a rubber or polymer connection lining to assure waterproofing.
Access to the box is critical, you can spend a lot of money on a box that makes access hard, so it’s no good. You want to be able to reach your tools quickly and easily and not have to fumble around in the dark.
You should have a double locking mechanism if possible since double locks are harder to crack open over rough terrain, they are also more secure against thieves.
You might want to consider a gas lift or hydraulic lift for the heavier toolbox lids. Make sure that the opening and closing mechanism is free from constraints and that you don’t need to apply any pressure to either action.
For material, I strongly suggest steel, it beats aluminum hands down in any contest. For a permanently fixed box, the difference in weight is negligible for a sturdy truck, and good stainless or carbon steel is much harder to penetrate, which is good for security. However, if you are using a mobile box, one that will require you take with you, then only choose aluminum, since the difference in weight is extreme when you have to lift it and not the truck.