Sooner or later the time comes in adult life when it becomes indispensable to have our own toolbox. Ask the hammer every two for three or have a multitool for everything is no longer useful. The time has come to know how to choose a toolbox.
The first thing you should know is what types of boxes exist. From Professional Workshop we offer you this guide so you can decide on the one that best suits your needs.
The world of toolboxes is as wide as the infinite uses that can be given to them. We can find basic boxes for domestic use, specific boxes for different vehicles (motorcycles, cars, bicycles …), boxes for model building and modeling … In addition, each type can be subdivided as complete as the collection of tools , according to the material of the box, according to the quality of the tools and a long etcetera.
In this article we present the aspects to consider to know how to choose a toolbox. To summarize it simply and clearly we recommend that you follow these steps.
- 0.1 Step 1 – Choose the type of box (general, specific …)
- 0.2 Step 2 – Limit your budget
- 0.3 Step 3 – Estimate the number and quality of the tools you will need
- 0.4 Step 4 – Decide the box material
- 0.5 Step 5 – Choose your optimal design
- 1 4 tips for maintaining your tools
Step 1 – Choose the type of box (general, specific …)
As we have already mentioned, the first thing you should be clear about is what you will use your toolbox for . You will not need the same tools to handle small household maintenance tasks to change a bicycle chain or car tire.
In the boxes basic tools for home use tools that can not be missed are screwdrivers, hammer, wrench, pliers, handsaw and / or hacksaw, utility knife, tape measure and level. They can also be complemented with accessories such as screws, nuts, white glue … With a box of this style you should be able to take care of much of the repairs that your home may require.
Another important group are the specific boxes for vehicles. Tool boxes for cars or motorcycles are characterized by having as an indispensable tool a set of tips and cups for ratchet .
You can also find more complete boxes that contain the two types of tools mentioned above. That is, boxes containing both screwdrivers, handsaw, hammers … and a set of tips and cups for ratchet.
There are other types of more specific boxes with exclusive tools for a specific function. These can be the bike boxes with tools such as chainsaw, pedal wrenches or pinion puller; Tool boxes for gardening or boxes for model building and modeling.
Identify for what tasks you will need your toolbox. There are basic toolboxes for the home , toolboxes for motorcycles and cars , combinations of the two previous types and toolboxes for more specific areas.
Step 2 – Limit your budget
A good strategy to choose any product is to limit our budget in order to limit our options. The price of a toolbox can range from 30$ to more than 500$ . It will depend mainly on the aspects that we will deal with in the following steps. That is, number and quality of tools, case material, design and performance.
For a basic toolbox we can already find quite satisfactory options from 50$. If we want to ensure superior quality, a budget of 150$ would be ideal.
For the toolboxes for cars or motorcycles we are also around 150$ if we want a relatively complete and quality kit. There are also smaller games to take on the motorcycle or in the car. These can be found for less than 70$ and offer good results.
The complete toolboxes that combine the two previous ones require a higher budget, around 200$. In some cases you can find offers from 90$ that for an occasional domestic use can be a more than satisfactory option.
To all this, we must take into account that there are promotions and discounts in online sales that can lower these prices considerably without sacrificing quality. Do not hesitate to keep an eye on the offers that we have selected in our articles because you can find products that are worthwhile.
Limit your budget considering that the price of a toolbox can range from 30$ to more than 500$ . For domestic use there are very solid options of any kind for less than 100$ . You don’t have to spend more!
Step 3 – Estimate the number and quality of the tools you will need
When talking about quality we have to be clear about the intended use of our tools. It is not necessary to spend three times more on tools of a higher quality if we want the toolbox to fix possible breakdowns in the home or assemble a piece of furniture every 5 months.
The tools are usually made of aluminum or chrome vanadium steel. The handles are usually made of plastic or wood in the case of some hammers. The quality can influence the finishes of these parts being able to find some burrs in those pieces of lower quality.
Regarding the number of tools, the ideal for the basic boxes would be a minimum of 15 tools including: screwdrivers, hammer, wrench, universal pliers, handsaw and / or cutter, cutter, tape measure, level, being able to complement with accessories such as screws, nuts , white tail, etc.
As for the toolboxes for cars and motorcycles, there are two modes: portable and complete.
The laptops are ideal to carry in the drawer of the motorcycle or in the glove compartment of the car. They are the reduced version of the complete ones, which we would keep in the garage to take care of the maintenance of our vehicle. Specifically, the minimum number of pieces that we recommend for the complete ones would be about 45. These should be around 12 ¼ ”socket wrenches with dimensions between 4 and 13 mm, a ¼” reversible ratchet, a screwdriver for glasses ¼ ”, a ¼” gimbal, some extensions, ¼ ”bit holders, a T-handle, Allen wrenches and several Torx, Allen, Pozidriv, Phillips and flat screwdriver tips.
Laptops can hold up to 35 pieces: the same ones we have named but with less variety of extensions, glasses, tips …
Find a compromise between the quality of the tools and the intention to use to maximize their useful life. The number of tools in each box depends on the type being about 20 the minimum for the basic boxes and between 30 and 50 for the boxes for vehicles.
Step 4 – Decide the box material
You can currently find wooden, metal, plastic, leather and textile tool boxes on the market . Each material has its advantages and disadvantages although the most common boxes are usually made of steel or plastic.
Choosing between one material or another will depend on the use we are going to give it. It is important to take into account the characteristics of resistance, lightness and ergonomics that they offer.
- Wood : It was the material of the first toolboxes that appeared more than 150 years ago. Currently they are the most disused but for decorative purposes are a nice option. They offer great resistance but often do not have a lid.
- Metal: The steel and aluminum are metals commonly used for toolboxes. It is the strongest and strongest option (especially steel ones) although they can rust. If they do not have wheels they are more advisable for a stationary use since their transport can be heavy. The market offers a great diversity of sizes and models.
- Plastic: In the late 60s, boxes of this material began to emerge. They offer a great advantage in transport since they are much lighter than the previous ones. On the other hand, they may be less resistant and can withstand less weight. There is also a wide variety of sizes and models.
- Leather and textiles: These materials are the most common for tool cases or backpacks. They are the best choice for jobs that do not require a large number of tools but that have to be transported from one place to another conveniently and quickly.
You can choose between wood, metal, plastic or fabric . Metal and plastic offer greater strength and resistance to the lightness of the fabric.
Step 5 – Choose your optimal design
In this section we will see different designs of boxes offered by the market. We will separate them according to their portability and internal organization.
5.1 – Portability
The vast majority of toolboxes are designed with some kind of help that allows us to transport them from one place to another. This help may be greater (wheeled boxes) or less ( handles, handles ). However, there is also the option of the trunk type toolboxes . Although they also have handles, they are intended for completely stationary use . Its size is usually quite large, favoring the storage of a large number of tools of all types of sizes. They are usually used in large garages, gardens or workshops.
The portable toolboxes are smaller than the trunks. They are usually the most common . Its size is just enough to house the most necessary tools for any type of home repair and even professional repairs. Of this type we will highlight three styles:
- Classic style : They have an opening with longitudinal bar . They are usually made of metal.
- Hinges style : They are provided with a hinged closing lid and handle. The most common material of these boxes is plastic.
- Briefcase style : This would be the briefcase style. We can find metal or plastic briefcases interchangeably.
There is another model of boxes for a more professional sector that are the tool boxes for vehicles . For those whose work involves long journeys that require your vehicle (usually vans or vans) a good alternative is to screw a tool chest to safely store a large number of tools . These trunks are usually designed for specific models of vans so it is best to inform the manufacturer.
5.2 – Internal organization
The internal organization of a toolbox is an important point to improve c omodidad and efficiency when working. The market offers us in this case a large number of options.
Here we are going to highlight three features that can be very useful for the toolbox you are looking for.
- With removable tray: This feature is very useful for organizing some tools and accessories and separating them from the rest. When removing the tray we still have a large space to store larger tools.
- Cantilever Type: Another alternative to organize tools or small accessories (nails, nuts …) in an orderly manner . The compartments are not removable but do not impede access to any corner of the rest of the box. This mechanism is known as ” cantilever “.
- Modular car: This is a slightly more professional style and is usually a size much larger than previous styles. The organization of the tools in this case is carried out by means of superimposed trays that can be accessed independently. They are used to being portable and it is an alternative widely used in workshops, factories or garages to transport tools near the workplace (vehicle, machine …). Some have a workbench at the top and are usually made of high strength metal or plastic. There are also smaller versions without wheels for stationary use.
To improve efficiency, a good organization of the tools inside the box is important as well as a convenient way to transport it. Know the different features offered by the market ( removable trays, wheels, modular designs … ) and choose the one that best suits your needs.
And here is the guide on how to choose a toolbox ! We hope you have served and have more information to choose the one you need. Remember that here you can find many more articles with tips on the world of toolboxes and recommendations of the best boxes on the market.
4 tips for maintaining your tools
It is essential to keep the tools in good condition, so in this article we present some tips for the maintenance of your tools. By implementing these simple recommendations you will be able to extend the life of your tools.
- Use the right transportation:Whenever it is necessary to transport your tools make sure you use the right method. A simple toolbox will be enough to carry few tools. For more professional cases you can use a briefcase. If you must carry heavy tools use a box with wheels. In case of working in a workshop you can use a tool car that will allow you to transport them easily and keep them tidy. Whatever your case, it is recommended that your tool container be divided into compartments to avoid rubbing and crashes between tools as this could damage them.
- Storage in a low humidity place: Rust is one of the great enemies of tools. This may appear on the tools if the right humidity conditions occur. For this reason it is important that you avoid storing your tools in a place with high humidity. Some of the appropriate places to store your tools can be the garage, basement or some shed provided the humidity is low.Professional advice: To prevent the oxidation of your tools, keep them together with a chalk package. Chalk is a great moisture absorber and will prevent the development of rust.
- Clean the tools after use: Take a couple of minutes to clean the tools after use as this simple process can significantly extend its life. In general it will be enough to use a simple cloth. This process can be more entertaining depending on the task carried out and sometimes it will be necessary to use professional products to obtain a total cleaning. If you need to use a damp cloth to clean a tool make sure you dry it completely before storing it.In the case of sharp and sharp tools it is important to sharpen them from time to time and keep them with some kind of protection to avoid damage during transport.
- Use each tool for its function:Each tool is designed for a specific function. Using them for other purposes can easily result in breakage of the tool. Remember that if you do not have a suitable tool for a task, the most economical option in the long term will always be to buy the tool that you need. In this case, avoid buying low quality tools. Although their price can be attractive you can often find them to be single-use tools.
Hopefully these simple tips will help you and allow you to keep your tools for much longer!