The Best Portable Tool Box – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

​A portable toolbox is an essential part of any handyman, electrician, plumber, or contractor’s collection, but they provide ease and convenience for at-home usage as well. With a good portable toolbox, hauling all the tools you need from one location to another doesn’t need to be a chore, and you won’t have to spend valuable time rummaging around looking for the wrench or screwdriver you need. Products like the ones listed below can make packing up the tools and bringing them to work more efficient and hassle-free than ever, and they can seriously enhance your organization game.

No matter who you are, what your profession is, or what kind of tools you carry, there is a portable toolkit out there that’s right for you. These products come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, layouts, and prices. Before buying one, consider what your needs are. How many tools do you want to carry with you? There are portable tool boxes that range from just big enough for the basics, to massive 50-gallon containers. What size tools do you need to store? Some of the options have lots of segmented compartments, making them perfect for storing lots of smaller objects. Others have open space, enabling them to house even the largest power tools. Do you need any special features? Here we’ve included waterproof, rolling, and stackable options.

Keter New Masterloader Plastic Portable Rolling Organizer Tool Box Storage Solution

If there’s one portable toolkit that can really do it all, it’s the KeterMasterloader. The interior of this toolbox includes tons of built-in organization, making getting the tools and parts you need a breeze. In the top compartments of the Masterloader, you’ll find segmented storage for smaller items and most used tools with a transparent lid that ensures you know exactly where to find what you need. These top boxes slide apart to reveal a lower compartment that features open space perfect for storing your larger tools, with removable dividers you can add for even more organization potential.

The polypropylene resin construction makes the Masterloader incredibly durable and easy to clean. It can resist damage from both chemical agents and corrosion, and a quick wipe with a damp cloth will clean it in no time. From a brand like Keter, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of plastic tool storage and worksite products, it’s no surprise that the Masterloader is so popular. It’s also versatile–in addition to using it as a toolbox, reviewers also find it to be the perfect camping chuck box.

Facts and features:

  • When Closed: 24.25” L x 16.34” H x 14.88” W
  • When Opened: 24.25” L x 16.34” H x 41.7” W
  • Product weighs 15 pounds
  • Can hold a total of 66.15 pounds (handle and latch capacity)
  • Compartmentalized sections for smaller tools and hardware
  • Extendable handle and large wheels make it very easy to roll
  • Central auto locking mechanism keeps your tools secure
  • Ball bearing slides allow for easy access to all compartments

Waterloo Portable Series Tool Box made with Lightweight Industrial-Strength Plastic, 14″

Coming in at just under $11, the Waterloo Portable Series Tool Box is an excellent option for someone looking for a portable toolbox on a budget. This is definitely a smaller option than others on this list, but it’s perfect for those who don’t need the extra space for at-home tool use, or for professionals who want a travel option for simpler jobs. If you like the Waterloo but need a bigger toolbox, they also offer larger sizes, ranging up to 26″ long for $30.70.

The great thing about this one, in comparison to other budget tool boxes made from metal, is that its high-impact polypropylene construction makes it both lightweight and durable. It won’t rust or dent like comparable steel options. The removable plastic tote tray handily stores smaller parts and tools, or you can remove it for open storage inside. This toolbox, like all Waterloo products, is entirely designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA.

Facts and features:

  • 14 x 7.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Lightweight–only weighs 1 pound
  • Weight capacity of about 10 pounds
  • The comfort-grip handle makes it easy to carry
  • Flat top for convenient stacking and storage
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Lockable for added security

​Stanley50 Gallon Mobile Chest

On the other side of the size spectrum, the Stanley mobile chest is ideal for those who need maximum storage space. This chest is enormous, holding up to 50 gallons. The official recommended weight limit for the chest is 100 pounds, but some reviewers report carrying up to 500 pounds with no issues. The Stanley 50 Gallon Mobile Chest is perfect for anyone who needs to transport multiple large tools, and it’s also a favorite among equestrians and soldiers for its capacity and durability.

The Stanley chest doesn’t have as much built-in organization as some of the others, but it serves as both a high capacity toolbox and as a portable workspace- its lid is sturdy, flat, and includes saw grooves the perfect size for 2 inches by 4-inch plank. Even better, the removable tray inside fits perfectly on the pull-out handle, further increasing the workspace this chest provides. Stanley is one of the most recognizable and reputable brands in the industry, and their 50-gallon mobile tool chest lives up to the expectation.

Facts and features:

  • Internal dimensions are approximately 35-½” x 21″ x 21″
  • 100-pound capacity
  • 15-inch steel handle with soft grip for comfort and easy maneuverability
  • Lockable for added security, lock and keys included
  • Wide work surface on the lid that includes 2 inch by 4 inches saw grooves
  • Rubber coated wheels are heavy duty and wide
  • Large latches are nickel plated for performance and durability

Stanley 028001L 28-Inch Structural Foam Toolbox

Another great product from Stanley is their 28-Inch Structural Foam Toolbox. If you’re looking for a completely waterproof toolbox, look no further–this product includes an air-tight water seal that keeps your belongings dry. Additionally, all the metal latches and padlock eyes are rust-proof for extra water resistance. It’s made of structural foam that’s strengthened by thermoplastic resin and flake mica for extended durability.

The size and layout of this toolbox making it ideal for carrying medium sized power-tools and hand tools. The removable tote tray inside can keep smaller pieces organized. Like the previous tool chest, the lid of this one has a V-groove track that can keep lumber or other materials in place for easy cutting.

Facts and features:

  • 28 x 12.6 x 11.6 inches
  • Interior 23.75 x 9.12 x 10 inches
  • Weight capacity 66 pounds
  • Portable tote tray inside
  • All round water seal for complete protection
  • Large metal rust proof latches
  • Lockable for added security
  • Ergonomic recesses molded into the body for easy carrying
  • Integrated v-grooves on top lid suitable for pipes and lumber

​Trademark Tools 75-4650 Oversized Portable Tool Chest, Three Tool boxes in One

Though the priciest in this buying guide, the Trademark Tools Portable Tool Chest has a lot to offer.This strong and easily portable tool chest simplifies any project at home or on the go with its three-tiered organization system.

The Trademark Tools chest is made up of 3 individual boxes which can be wheeled together or detach for convenient transport. It also features sturdy steel construction, reinforced injection molded polymer, and locking mechanisms for each of the three boxes.

Facts and features:

  • Total dimensions 21 x 30 x 13 inches
  • Individual boxes measure: 19.5 x 9 x 7, 19.5 x 9 x 13 and 19 x 9 x 9 inches
  • Item weight: 33.4 pounds
  • Three toolboxes in 1
  • Boxes easily detach for quick transport
  • Adjustable carrying handle in back
  • Easy glide wheels

​Waterloo 23″ Specialty Series Tool Box with 3-Drawers

For those who have lots of small tools they want to keep exceptionally well organized, the Waterloo 23″ Specialty Series Tool Box with 3-Drawers could be the perfect fit. This toolbox is different than the others we’ve included so far because it doesn’t have any open storage for larger items. Instead, it has three full-extension sliding drawers that can easily keep hand tools, small items, and accessories organized. At the top, it includes a slightly larger compartment the perfect size to hold a smaller drill, battery, and accompanying accessories.

Like the other Waterloo toolbox we’ve mentioned, this one is made from high-impact polypropylene that is durable, easy to clean, and lightweight. This toolbox is also designed and manufactured entirely in the USA and Waterloo only uses cold roll mill steel from American steel mills.

Facts and features:

  • 10.5 x 23 x 13.5 inches
  • Item weight: 16 pounds
  • Each drawer can support 25 pounds
  • Drawers are 18 inches wide, 7.5 inches deep and 1.75 inches tall
  • Flat top for easy stacking and storage
  • Comfort-grip top handle to carry with one hand
  • Rugged shell constructed from high-impact polypropylene
  • The 1-year limited warranty protects against defects

Wrap Up

With so many different sizes and options, the right toolbox for you really depends on what kind of space and features you need. Before buying one, evaluate what tools in your arsenal you want to be able to transport and where you might be taking them. Don’t forget to take not only size but also shape into account–even some of the larger options may not fit your larger tools if they are compartmentalized. Another important thing to consider is your climate. If you live somewhere with heavy rain and plan on keeping your tools outside, a toolbox with a water seal is definitely worth investing in.

That said, the KeterMasterloader is a great all-around choice for its versatility, durability, and organizational capacity. If you’re interested in buying it, or any of the other great portable tool boxes we’ve reviewed, check out the links above.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I've made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

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