- Things To Consider Before Buying A Tool Chest
- Best Toolbox Models Reviewed
- Editor’s Choice: BLACK+DECKER Stackable Storage System
- Runner-up: Keter Masterloader Resin Rolling Tool Box
- Alternative 1: Stalwart 3-in-1 Rolling Tool Box with Wheels
- Alternative 2: BIG RED Portable 3 Drawer Steel Tool Box
- Alternative 3: APOLLO TOOLS Pink Metal Tool Box
- Alternative 4: BIG RED Torin Garage Workshop Organizer
- Alternative 5: Grizzly Industrial 3-Drawer Middle Chest
- Alternative 6: Garage Glider Rolling Tool Chest Seat
- Alternative 7: Kennedy Manufacturing 520B 7-Drawer Machinist’s Chest
- Tool Chest Under $500 FAQ
A tool chest is a storage unit for tools meant for DIYers and professionals.
It’s essential as it’s a way to organize both your larger tools and smaller tools, and it can store different types of tools. You can even find a rolling tool chest to take with you to your workspace.
Another set of good news is that tool chests don’t have to be expensive. In fact, in this buying guide, we give you a selection of the 10 best tool chests under $500 you can find out there.
So if you’re looking for an affordable yet high-quality tool chest, you’re in the right place!
This buying guide is a selection of the 10 best tool chests you can find under $500 right now. You don’t need to spend a lot to get the best tool chest, and the section below can prove this.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Tool Chest
Before you buy a tool chest, there are a few things you need to consider. These include the size of the tool chest, its compartments, its use, and its appearance.
The first thing you need to consider before you buy a tool chest is what size you need. Consider which tools you want to store and how you want to organize them to figure out which size of tool chest works best for you.
Tool chests are large. Some can be up to five feet in width. Of course, you can find some that are under two feet. You need to pick a tool chest that fits your workspace. Think about how much space you have, but also how many tools you have, and how many more you will likely purchase.
As you can see, a tool chest can take some space. It’s not just a small toolbox. So it’s important to think about what size you need, so it can fit your workspace.
Therefore, we recommend you measure your space and your tools carefully before you buy a tool chest. You can then choose if you want a tall but narrow tool chest or a small and wide tool chest. The wider your tool chest is, the more tools you can store in it.
Storage capacity is an essential aspect of the size of the tool chest you want. This might seem pretty straightforward, but not everybody checks this first.
Think about how much storage space you need and what you’re going to put in it. Is it power tools? If so, you will need a bigger tool chest with a bigger storage capacity. If it’s hand tools like hammers or saws, you won’t need a big tool chest.
Remember to pick a toolbox that not only fits your tools but that also will fit future tools you’re likely to buy, with a good storage capacity and storage space.
Compartments are the next thing you need to think about before you buy a tool chest. You need to check how many compartments you need, consider if you want adjustable drawers if you want a combo and a locking system.
Here are the two compartments you need to consider before buying a tool chest:
Pretty much any large tool chests have casters, so you can quickly move your tool chest. They need to be sturdy. Otherwise, they won’t be able to carry the weight of your tool chest or the heavy tools in it.
Casters should also have a good locking mechanism, so they doesn’t drift or move when you open a drawer. Generally, to keep the tool chest in its position, most tool chests have a side handle.
Drawers are another important aspect you need to consider before you invest in a tool chest. Think about what you need and if you have the space for large drawers, as it’s better for tool storage.
If you choose a smaller tool chest, you will usually have three to four drawers. If you select a bigger tool chest, you can have up to 16 drawers. It’s up to you how many drawers you want and need, depending on what type of tools you have and how many you have.
So pick how many drawers you need, but also what size of drawer you want. You can choose between deep drawers and shallow drawers. Deeper drawers are suited for larger power tools, while shallower drawers are more suited for smaller tools, such as hand tools.
Weight is also another essential factor, especially for the drawer weight capacity. Larger tool chests can carry heavy tools, while smaller ones can only carry small tools.
Indoor or outdoor use
Next, you need to decide if you’re only keeping your tool chest inside or if you are going to use it outdoors, in which case it’s best to invest in a portable tool chest.
Also, if you work outside, your tool chest needs to be resistant to external conditions such as the weather, rust, and dust. In which case, it’s best to invest in a steel tool chest, which is sturdy, more resistant, and lasts longer.
Last but not least, it’s good to think about appearance before you buy a tool chest. A tool chest can take a lot of space, and you will be looking at it pretty often, so it’s better to pick something you really like.
There are other nice added extra features you can choose, like, for example, a power strip.
And no, you don’t have to spend more than $500 to get a high-quality tool chest, as you can see in our amazon selection below.
Best Toolbox Models Reviewed
Here are the best USA toolbox models reviewed, which you can all find on amazon.
Editor’s Choice: BLACK+DECKER Stackable Storage System
This Decker tool chest is our top pick, as it’s so high-quality. It’s basically a stackable tool chest made out of several toolboxes you can choose to stack however you want. It has three parts: a small toolbox, a deep toolbox, and a rolling tote.
This is a study stackable storage system with auto-lock latches. This means you can easily stack these different compartments and be sure that it’s safe and that it won’t damage your tools.
The lid closes securely, and the toggle latches lock the toolboxes, so it’s very easy. It’s also easy to assemble and disassemble while being secure. So you don’t need to worry about that.
Not only, that but it’s also a portable tool chest. And it won’t be as heavy as other tool chests that resemble cabinets because it’s stackable toolboxes.
However, there is no top carrying handle so you have to be careful when you open your toolbox, as otherwise your tools can fall and get disorganized.
- Stackable toolboxes
- Sturdy with auto-lock latches
- Portable tool chest
- No top carrying handle
Runner-up: Keter Masterloader Resin Rolling Tool Box
The Keter master loader resin rolling toolbox is our runner-up in this amazon list. It’s made from polypropylene resin, which can resist all types of weather, which is ideal if you work outdoors. The box can hold up to 66 pounds and resists rusting, peeling, and denting.
Just like the last model, this one is also portable, as it has little wheels, but it can be a bit heavier than the previous one if you store a lot of tools there and carry the toolbox with you, especially if you do it every day. So we would recommend it if you’re a DIYer.
This Keter toolbox also has accessories that come with it, which is an added bonus. It comes with six removable bins in two different sizes to organize and store your small tools and parts in. Plus, the bottom cabinet has deep and large storage space for your larger tools, like your hammer or power drill.
- Good for both small tools and large tools
- More suitable for a DIYer, unless you don’t transport it
Best Value for Money: GEARWRENCH 3 Drawer Steel Tool Box
This is our third choice because it’s the best value for money. This is a portable steel tool chest, so it won’t take much space.
It’s sturdy and can resist a lot of external conditions, as it’s steel construction. There’s even a black powder coat which is really easy to clean and resists corrosion and rust.
This box has ball-bearing drawer slides, with a central locking system to keep your tools safe and organized.
However, there is no cantilever top drawer, unlike what the picture shows, and is a bit small.
- Best value for money
- Central locking system
- No top drawer
Alternative 1: Stalwart 3-in-1 Rolling Tool Box with Wheels
There are a few alternatives if the first three don’t fit your needs. The Stalwart 3-in-1 rolling toolbox with wheels is a great one, for example.
This is a portable toolbox with a handle you can fold with a comfort grip. You can stack the three compartments together and pull them away very easily, which is great if you need to take a tool chest with you on your job site.
This is made from stainless steel, so it’s very durable. Each of the compartments is lockable, so your tools are safe.
However, this toolbox is more for small jobs. So it’s great for lighter jobs and if you need to go to your job site quickly.
- Portable toolbox
- Three stackable compartments
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- More suited for small jobs
Alternative 2: BIG RED Portable 3 Drawer Steel Tool Box
This red drawer steel toolbox is our second alternative. It’s not only great to look at, but it’s also practical and easy to clean.
This heavy-duty box is made from stainless steel, so it’s durable and resists corrosion and rust. It has three drawers, which you can find all kinds of tools in, no matter how much they weigh. It’s perfect for a handyman.
Each of these drawers is equipped with smooth ball-bearing slides, which means it’s really smooth to open them. There are also two steel latches so you can lock your toolbox. It also has a comfortable handle, so it’s easy to carry the box around, with or without tools.
However, it’s not very big, and it will only be practical for smaller jobs.
- Nice design
- Heavy-duty steel box
- Ball-bearing slides
- Steel latches
- More suited for smaller jobs
Alternative 3: APOLLO TOOLS Pink Metal Tool Box
This is the most aesthetically pleasing toolbox on our list. There are three colors you can choose from: pink, black or green.
It’s a very convenient toolbox. It’s made from stainless steel, so it’s durable. It’s a very stylish way to organize, store and transport your tools!
This Appolo tools metal toolbox with a ball-bearing mechanism, so they’re smooth to open. There’s also a deep top storage compartment. The metal box has a center latch with a comfortable handle so you can safely carry around the box wherever you want to.
A great added bonus is that if you purchase this tool chest, a part of that money is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Unfortunately, for the price, it can be smaller than expected.
Alternative 4: BIG RED Torin Garage Workshop Organizer
This is a portable trolley toolbox that works great as a tool organizer in your garage. It’s a rolling trolley so you can also transport it with you if you want.
The Torin organizer has three separate parts, with lots of storage compartment drawers. The top section is a basic toolbox with a handle and a removable storage tray, where you can store your tools. It even has a metal latch for more safety.
The middle part of this workshop organizer has two slide-out drawers with a ball-bearing system, so they’re smooth to open.
The last section has a drawer cabinet with two wheels, so you can carry the whole structure with you if you need to.
You can connect all these parts together however you want to, which is very practical. However, it’s not a heavy-duty toolbox, and the handle is very fragile. So be careful to only put hand tools.
- Lots of storage space
- Not heavy-duty
- Handle is fragile
Alternative 5: Grizzly Industrial 3-Drawer Middle Chest
If you simply need one box that can carry and organize your tools, we recommend this Grizzly Industrial drawer. It simply has three drawers and does the job.
It’s a very sturdy box, and it has a great design, with its beautiful green color. It’s great for small tools.
However, the design makes it more pricey. So it’s up to you to decide if you prefer a cheaper tool chest which doesn’t look as nice, or if you want to invest in something nice.
- Nice design
- A bit pricey for what it is
Alternative 6: Garage Glider Rolling Tool Chest Seat
Next, we have the garage glider rolling tool chest seat, which is very versatile.
Firstly, it’s a portable tool chest, which is great and convenient. There are two drawers, as well as another storage area just under the seat.
There’s a lot of storage capacity, and the seat is hinged and flips up.
However, it’s a bit pricey, so you can check the price.
- Lots of storage
- Could be less expensive
Alternative 7: Kennedy Manufacturing 520B 7-Drawer Machinist’s Chest
This Kennedy Manufacturing tool chest is our last alternative on this list. It has seven drawers, which are perfect for storing your small tools. The box is made out of metal, which means it’s really sturdy.
It has a lot of nice extras as well. For example, it has friction drawer slides, a pegboard, a wool liner to protect your precision tools, and a front drop panel that protects your tools from your work environment.
However, it’s a bit expensive, and it’s not the best quality for the price.
- Ideal for storing smaller tools
- Not great quality
Tool Chest Under $500 FAQ
Here is a quick FAQ so you can learn more about tool chests and so you can decide which would be the best tool chest under $500 for you.
What Makes A Good Tool Chest?
A good tool chest is one that has ball-bearing drawer slides, a locking system, a good storage unit, and, in general, enough storage options. A power strip is also useful, as they allow you to charge your phone or other devices while you work.
You might wonder what the difference is between a toolbox, a tool chest, and a tool cart. Their names are actually really helpful to help you understand the differences between them.
What is a tool chest?
A tool chest looks like a chest that organizes and carries all of your tools. It’s much larger than a toolbox, which, as the name suggests, is a box to store and carry all of your tools. You can store so many more tools in a tool chest as they’re so much larger.
You can keep a tool chest in your professional workspace or at home if you like to do DIY projects. So usually it’s hard to move a tool chest, but you can also find a rolling tool chest. However, we don’t recommend you take it with you too often, as it’s usually big and heavy, as it can carry so many tools.
What is a toolbox?
A toolbox can help you to organize, carry your tools, and also protect them. It’s easy to transport, and they’re ideal for someone who moves around a lot.
What is a tool cart?
A tool cart is a lightweight way to carry around your tools when you’re on the go. It’s even more light than a toolbox, and it’s often used for automotive jobs.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Tool Chest?
Now you know what makes a good tool chest and what the difference is between all these tool storing and carrying items. You might wonder what the benefits are of having a tool chest. Well, there are many.
First of all, a tool chest is ideal for tool storage as it’s essentially a big storage unit, which is ideal for your workshop or your garage. You can also carry it around with you sometimes if you find a rolling tool chest. However, this item is usually heavy and wide, so you can’t transport it around too often.
Then, a tool chest ensures the safety of your tools, no matter how many you own. There is usually a lot of storage space, so you can store and organize your tools as you wish.
A tool chest usually has a good locking system to ensure your tools don’t get damaged.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a high-quality tool chest, as our amazon selection proves.
Hopefully, you were able to find the best tool organizer for you, whether you need it for your smaller tools or your larger tools. You can then keep it in your workspace or take it with you if it has wheels, which a lot of them do.
Tool chests are very handy, and you can simply create your own by stacking multiple toolboxes on top of each other. So it’s your chance to explore your creative side and build something that works for you.
Otherwise, there are plenty of prebuilt models that do the job. So pick the one that best suits you, your lifestyle, and your tools. Don’t forget to take into consideration things like size, appearance, storage capacity, and indoor vs outdoor use.
On here, you’re sure to find the perfect tool chest for you.