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Having a truck is a fantastic way of transporting tools around. Unfortunately, especially with open-top trucks, there are usually no inbuilt boxes that are suitable to store your equipment.
Truck tool boxes are useful for a few reasons. The first, which is perhaps the most straightforward, is that you can keep all your tools neatly organized and out of reach of the elements.
There is nothing worse than rooting through a messy toolbox trying to find that one specific wrench you’re after. They also keep your tools away from thieving eyes. There are too many stories of people having their tools stolen from their trucks, even when doing day-to-day things like filling up with gas.
The Best Truck Toolbox
Let’s look at some of the better toolboxes available.
1. Best Overall
Weather Guard Low Profile Saddle Box
First on the list is a saddle box from Weather Guard. Saddle boxes are a prevalent storage option for truck owners due to their easy installation and incredible durability.
This Weather Guard saddle box has a fantastic bed clearance and is made from sturdy aluminum, with a top cover that can be opened to 90 degrees, making it really easy to access your tools. The diamond plate pattern, black finish on the outside of the box has been covered with ARMOR-TUF powder coating, to improve durability.
The lock is fully tamper-resistant and is retracting, making this toolbox next to impossible to break into, especially if it’s just someone trying to tamper with a screwdriver. All outer seals are fully weather resistant, meaning that this box should be able to take a beating from the elements without showing any noticeable weathering or leaking.
The storage capacity of this box is 8.8 cubic feet. It has a height of 15”, a depth of 20-1/4“ and a width of 71-1/2″.
Weather Guard is so confident in this product that they are offering a lifetime guarantee. With this sort of backing, it makes purchasing this toolbox a no-brainer. You either get a perfect toolbox that lasts you a lifetime or if it fails, you get a new one for free.
- Pros: Powder coat finish. Lifetime guarantee. Made from aluminum.
- Cons: Thin, may be prone to dents. Low profile and may not be ideal for some tools.
2. Best Value
UWS Black Series Truck Box
UWS offers a rigid toolbox that’s been crafted with extra-thick aluminum and equipped with stainless steel lock handles. The lid has been filled with the patented ‘RigidCore’ foam, and has been designed so that it will not warp or bend.
This feature will help the longevity of this box for those who may be prone to stacking heavy items on your tool boxes, either on purpose or by accident. It also helps to keep the lid to open and close smoothly.
The aluminum is 0.058-inch thick and is diamond plated to improve its strength. All welding is done as one piece, to ensure that there are zero gaps and to improve overall durability. Any discrepancies would be exploited by mother nature and would ultimately end up with your tools being damaged. The overall dimensions are 62 x 21 x 20 inches, but it’s worth noting that the sides are angled.
What’s really nice about this toolbox is that it comes equipped with inbuilt tool holders in the form of screwdriver holders and sliding trays. This allows you to keep your tools neatly organized, reduces clutter, and helps to prevent your tools from flying all over the place when you’re driving.
- Pros: Inbuilt tool organizers. Well constructed lid. Diamond plated aluminum.
- Cons: Angled sides may not be useful for everyone.
3. Best in Chrome
Best Choice Products Camper Tool Box
A little bit different from the toolboxes we have looked at above, this aluminum box from Best Choice Products is for those who need a small amount of safe storage, but don’t require anything as large or as robust as a full-length truck box.
Although the dimensions are only 30 x 13.75 x 9.75 inches, and as it has no in-built trays, this toolbox can still hold the majority of a standard tool kit with ease. It’s also useful for those who don’t intend or need it to be used as a toolkit all of the time and is perfect for storing absolutely anything. Its size makes it semi-portable too, perfect for camping weekends.
The aluminum metal has a lovely chrome finish, and it includes two keys for its lock. The metal is a little thin though, and there is no way of securing it properly to your truck, so if there is any chance of it being battered every week, I’d choose something else. However, if you’re going to chuck a few small tools in there and don’t want to break the bank, this toolbox is perfect.
- Pros: A decent budget option. Attractive chrome finish. Two keys for the lock.
- Cons: Thin metal. No way to fasten the toolbox.
4. Best for Wheel Arch
UnderCover Swingcase Storage Box
SwingCase truck storage box from UnderCover is perfect for those who wish to make use of all the space that they can in the back of their truck. This box has been designed to sit halfway over the wheel arch. To access your tools, all you need to do is pull the outer level, eliminating the need to climb into your truck bed.
Rather than metal, this toolbox has been crafted from ABS plastic. Nevertheless, it is still a very tough and weather resistant. In some scenarios, ABS plastic can actually be more desirable than metal, especially if it’s thin.
This toolbox has a weight capacity of 75 lbs and its dimensions are 16 x 8.5 x 34 inches. Not ideal for tradespeople, but perfect for those who want to keep a few emergency tools in the back of their truck without having to sacrifice a lot of space.
- Pros: Space saving as it fits above the wheel arch. Strong ABS plastic. Quick release level.
- Cons: Plastic is arguably easier to break into.
5. Best in Capacity
Giantex Tool Box Tote
Giantex’s aluminum toolbox is on the smaller side, with dimensions of 6 x 29 x 18 inches. It has a lovely chrome finish, which really adds to the aesthetics of it. What’s nice about this toolbox is the hydraulic piston that’s connected to the lid, which allows it to be kept open when fully extended; ideal for situations where you don’t want to keep opening and closing your toolbox every few minutes.
While the metal sheeting isn’t the thickest, the welding is very high-quality. The lock is fastened with rivets, so while it is lockable, it would be advisable to not keep costly tools inside.
There are no mounting holes pre-drilled, so you will have to sort out your own fixings. However, due to its size, it’s unlikely you’d want to permanently fasten this toolbox.
For those who don’t need anything too big and who are on a budget, this is an ideal storage container. However, if you need something with higher integrity and security, one of the tool boxes we have listed above would be more appropriate.
- Pros: A nice chrome finish. Hydraulic piston keeps the lid open. Made from aluminum.
- Cons: In terms of security, there are better options.
What to Look for in a Truck Tool Box
There are so many makes, models, and specifications for tool boxes that it can be a little bit difficult to identify what it is you need. Someone who works as a builder will have completely different requirements to a fisherman, for example.
There are a few different specifications that you should be considering when purchasing a toolbox for your truck, regardless of why you want one.
What material you select for your toolbox should be determined by what you need to use it for, as well as what you use your truck for.
Plastic boxes are sometimes cheaper, lighter, and obviously won’t rust. However, if you keep stuff in the back of your truck that may knock into the plastic, you run the risk of creating a crack. Cracks in plastic tool boxes are difficult to repair, compared to a metal box. Metal tool boxes can easily be fixed by welding, if necessary. Plastic boxes are also more useful in coastal areas, as they will be resistant to the salty sea air.
For metal, there are two prominent options available: steel and aluminum. Steel boxes will be the most sturdy but are more prone to rusting. Even with anti-rust coatings, all it takes is a few deep scratches to start the oxidation process. Aluminum is more preferred due to its lighter weight and it’s anti-rust properties, although it can still corrode.
You may think that weight shouldn’t be an issue, but you have to remember that if you have a cumbersome toolbox, it will reduce your fuel economy.
For some, this won’t be a factor, but for people who intend to constantly be in and out of their toolbox, having one that is easily accessible is a must.
Look out for tool boxes that have tool tray that you can remove or ones where their lid will stay up as this will massively reduce the repetitive fatigue that could be caused by opening your toolbox daily.
Certain toolboxes, like the UnderCover SwingCase can actually be completely removed from its bracket.
Types of Truck Tool Boxes
There are a few different toolbox types available on the market, but we will briefly cover some of the most common.
If you need easy access to your tools, but you don’t have too many, a side-mounted toolbox could be the way to go. These fit snugly on the side of your flatbed, sometimes over the wheel arch, and fit a large number of truck models.
Crossover toolboxes are the most commonly purchased. These are mounted adjacent to the back of your truck’s cab and are usually fixed to the bed rails. They come in many different sizes, but we recommend that you get one that stretches the width of your bed, to utilize all of the available space. If you’re worried about it obscuring the rear window, aim for one that’s listed as being low profile.
These toolboxes don’t fit in a specific category but will be designed to fit in certain locations. The Giantex Aluminum Trailer Truck Tool Box, for instance, is designed to fit at the end of a trailer. Some toolboxes can also fit underneath your truck
Choosing a decent truck tool box is a necessity that most truck owners will have to overcome at some point, but choosing one that not only fits your truck, but fits your own needs too, is important.
- Footer image credit Kyle Van Horn: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kvh/8479728553/
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