Whether you’re a professional tradesman or a hobbyist who likes to throw themselves into projects left right and center, you need the best tool chest to keep everything organized, within easy reach, and secure. Larger than a standard tool box, a tool chest gives you the chance to store everything from tiny essentials like your drill bits and hex keys to large power tools such as jigsaws or ratchet screwdrivers so you’re always ready regardless of the project.
A great tool chest is an essential addition to your small home workshop and will be welcomed with greasy open arms should you drop it off at work topped with a big gift ribbon. Modern tool chests are more stable, more sturdy, and more secure than ever before, and they can handle weights that mean you don’t need to waste time dragging heavy duty tools back and forth from the back of your van, too.
The Best Tool Chest
First up, our number one pick for the best tool chest around is the aptly named Best Choice Products Portable Top Chest Rolling Tool Storage. It comes with 12 drawers of varying sizes for versatile storage, all of which being safe and secure, and the top of the unit includes lock and key for increased security. The foam lined drawers are absorbent and are ideal for absorbing oils and any other spilled liquids that will inevitably occur during your projects. The total weight capacity is nearly 300 pounds, and the multifunctional style means you can use the cabinet and chest either together or independently of one another, which is useful if you’re struggling for space.
However, the metal isn’t as sturdy compared to more expensive options, and for some of you (especially those needing a substantial tool chest for the company workshop), this could be quite a problem. Despite this, we still think it’s acceptable for home use and personal storage options, which we’re sure is what most of you are looking for. For more great tool storage options for your workshop, check out our guide to the best rolling tool boxes.
Multiple storage drawers
Safe and secure
Total weight capacity 295 pounds
- BrandBest Choice Products
- Weight57.5 pounds
Superb value for money
Foam lined absorbent drawers
Lock and keys for top unit
Metal is not as sturdy as some may want it to be
Those in the market for a wheeled tool chest that’s also excellent value for money will find a lot to love about the Keter 5 Drawer Modular Garage & Tool Organizer. While not as large as our previous pick, it’s still an excellent option and offers versatile storage options both casually and professionally. The 5 drawer design provides multiple options for different-sized tools, bits, and accessories, from air hammers to utility knives, and you’ll get 16 removable compact bins for easy organization, which is superb for those who need a controlled and tidy workspace. As for security, the central locking system gives you peace of mind, and the drawer remains secure before, during, and after you’re done using it.
Its wheels make it easy to transport from A to B and back again, which also makes it better than a standard toolbox, while the increased capacity (including a large bottom drawer) is excellent for tools, crafts, or general household object depending on your needs. However, the design isn’t waterproof, so keep it out of the way of rain or any potential burst pipes to ensure safety and protection.
Versatile storage options
Central locking system
16 removable bins
Deep bottom drawer
- Weight23.6 pounds
Suitable for tools, crafts, or general household items
Better than standard tool box
Design means it is not waterproof
With a tough, rust-resistant finish and 9 drawers to provide nearly 20,000 cubic inches of storage space, the Husky Extra Deep 46 in. 9-Drawer Mobile Workbench is well worth spending over $500 on. The jet black design is stylish and sophisticated but also won’t stand out in even the most Boy’s Club workshops across the world. The internal key locking system ensures safety while the top work bench offers an extra work surface to complete projects or place additional shelves for increased storage. The total capacity hits the stratospheric heights 1200 pounds, meaning there’s space to pack away your most heavy duty tools with ease. Another great feature is the integrated power strip, dual outlets and 2 USB ports, which give your chest a 21st century flair you don’t find every day.
It’s perhaps not large enough to be your primary shop box, but it still offers enough storage space for an extra storage option, and it’s more than reliable enough to ensure stability, while the drawers are also easily accessible, which is always a bonus. Our guide to the best tool bags features some amazing portable options for tool storage, so take a moment to check them out.
19,650 cubic inches of storage
Internal keyed locking
Extension drawers support up to 100 pounds
- Weight208 pounds
Tubular side handles
Total weight capacity of 1200 pounds
Integrated power strip, outlets, and 2 USB ports
Not recommended as primary shop box but good for additional tool storage
Our favorite feature of the Craftsman 6 Drawer Heavy Duty Top Tool Chest is that you can attach it to any (yes, any) other Craftsman bottom chest to increase storage space for those times when your workshop is getting far too cluttered for your liking. It’s more than just a cool gimmick, though, and heavy-duty construction is reliable, while the key lock ensures security overnight. It also boasts ball bearing slides through the differing drawer sizes, ensuring easy access without jamming or potential breakage, and each drawer can handle 75 pounds of weight, so feel free to store anything from framing nailers to wrench sets.
The useful side handle make it easy to move, but there are no wheels, so if you work alone, you might have some trouble transporting it. Still, if you’ve already set up a spot for it in your workshop, you’ll get a durable, reliable tool chest at fantastic value that might just be the envy of all the dads in the neighborhood.
Heavy duty construction
Key locking system
Ball bearing drawer slides
Varied drawer sizes
75 pound weight capacity per drawer
- Weight45.2 pounds
Connect to any Craftsman chest for increased space
Durable and sturdy design
No wheels may make it challenging to move when full
Pros who have come to us today searching for the number one best tool chest that money can buy regardless of budget or space should look no further than the marvelous Milwaukee Heavy Duty 8-Drawer Rolling Steel Storage Cabinet which is easy to use, simple to organize, and absolutely massive, perfect for busy workshops where everything needs its special place.
Across the 8 drawers, there’s a weight capacity of 100 pounds per drawer, while the whole cabinet can withstand even more, totaling 1800 pounds in all, ensuring you can store all your heavy duty tools with total ease and without risking it collapsing in the middle of a large project. The built in wheels and handles ensure easy maneuverability, while the 20-gauge steel construction is tough, robust, and ready for whatever.
Ball bearing slides
100 pound capacity per drawer
20-gauge steel construction
Total roller cabinet capacity of 1800 pounds
Wheels and handles
Plenty of storage space
Fixed and swivel casters
Barrel key internal locking
Too big for smaller personal workshops
Easy to move for immediate access around the workshop no matter how big, small, empty, or crowded, the Goplus 6-Drawer Rolling Tool Chest comes with a compact design to minimize clutter while still maintaining the superb organization features needed in a tool chest.
Besides this, it’s construction using durable cold rolled steel – which even if you’re not sure what that means sound badass, like something out of Kill Bill – while the drawers are right there at your fingertips and are easily accessible. The wheels and handles also allow for easy portability, especially if you’re working late by yourself, while the lockable drawers ensure safety (and peace of mind). The frame feels just slightly too flimsy for us, though, which makes us concerned about keeping heavier tools like hammer drills inside. However, it still looks great and comes at an excellent price, so we’re willing to take a punt on it, so maybe you should, too.
Durable cold rolled steel construction
Easily accessible drawers
Wheels and handles
Easy to move swivel casters with brakes
Easy organization and drawer access
Frame feels a little too flimsy for heavier tools
The Ultra Heavy Duty Seville Classics Rolling Storage Cabinet is a two-in-one choice for those who need some extra work space alongside additional storage space. This cabinet comes with a 0.75” thick worktop with a 560 inch-squared surface area for an easy tool layout or to add the finishing touches to more intricate projects. The stainless steel door keeps everything looking professional, and the key lock security system ensures safety when left overnight. The 5-inch wheels and locking casters keep it in place on uneven surfaces and also provide stability should you need to do any work. Also, heavy duty ball bearings in the drawers give you a smooth sliding feel, and the adjustable cabinet shelf gives you the opportunity for extra space should you need it.
Wirth a 300 pound weight capacity, it can handle plenty of heavier tools (as long as they fit), but unlike other options, you’ll need to put everything together yourself. If you’re reading this, though, we’ll assume you’re good with your hands, so that won’t be a problem, we’re sure. If you have to carry your tools out of your workshop, but still want to have them organized, be sure to pick your favorite tool backpack from our list.
Adjustable cabinet shelf
Stainless steel door
Key lock security
0.75” thick hardwood work surface
300 pound loading capacity
- BrandUltra Heavy Duty
- Weight94.6 pounds
Two locking casters
Heavy duty ball bearings
Powder steel coating
Requires assembly upon arrival
The final tool cabinet in our selection is the Craftsman 26-Inch 4-Drawer Rolling Cabinet which boasts an all-steel construction to ensure peace of mind and reliability in addition to the ball-bearing drawer slides for seamless, straightforward access that doesn’t block or lock for your convenience. The key lock keeps everything secure from screwdrivers to heat guns, and the whole unit can support an impressive 650 pounds, which is not what you might expect at first glance, and while there aren’t as many drawers as the other tool chests we’ve selected, you’re still privy to excellent and hassle-free organization, the stylish design and simple maneuverability is just a bonus.
However, for all its attractiveness and functionality, we still think the plus-$400 price tag is a little much, especially when you can get more storage space for cheaper with other products. Maybe, though, you just love Craftsman products more than your own children, and in that case, we’ll let this one slide.
All steel construction
Ball bearing drawer slides
Supports up to 650 pounds
- Weight1 pounds
Easy to move around
Tubular side handle
Expensive considering size compared to other products
Tool Chest Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Tool Chest
Before you decide which mechanic tool chest is the right tool chest to bring triumphantly into your workshop, check out these important key features to think about to ensure you’re making the correct decision.
Size - A tool chest is not a toolbox, you cannot just throw it in the back of the van or keep it under your desk when you’re not using it. Consider where it will fit in your workshop, heck, consider if it will fit in your workshop. You don’t want the excitement of a brand new tool chest to be extinguished if you can’t get it through the door, do you?
Storage - This point seems obvious, but that excitement can lead to you making rash, impulsive decisions that end up with your wholly, bitterly disappointed. Think about how many tools and accessories you have and whether they will fit into your selected chest. It may also be useful to think about how many more tools you’ll buy, and if there will be enough space for those, too.
Drawers - Drawers are a stable of tool chests and you’re likely to get a chest boasting 4 to 10 drawers depending on your selection. It’s not just about the number of drawers, though, so think about the size of drawers and whether than can handle long screwdrivers, spirit levels, and other longer tools and accessories.
Security - You likely already understand how expensive tools are, which is why construction and tradesmen vans and workshops make great targets for thieves. A tool chest with internal central locking systems will give you better peace of mind and confidence your tools will stay safe overnight.
However, determined thieves won’t give up too easily, but at least tool chests are large enough to deter opportunistic thieves, so you should be okay.
Wheels - Chest with wheels will make it easier to maneuver and transport around the workshop if needed, and if possible, invest in a tool chest with locks on the casters to keep your chest stable, especially if you need to do some work on it. Handles are also useful for portability, but you’ll usually find those on any tool chest as a standard feature.
- How To Stop Tool Theft and Recover Stolen Tools - Garage Tool Advisor
- How to Choose the Perfect Toolbox for Your DIY Needs - Lifehacker