The 8 Best Portable Tool Boxes to Buy in 2018

Keep your garage staples organized when you're on the go

Excel TB133A-Red 21-Inch Portable Steel
Courtesy of Amazon.

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The convenience of taking your most valuable tools with you is hard to overstate. A good, portable tool box can make the difference between a frustrating time or smooth sailing on a project. These tool boxes allow you to pack up and organize your most used or useful tools so you aren’t bound to the garage or basement. Since portable tool boxes come in all shapes and sizes, it can be difficult to know which one to choose if you are in the market to take your tools on the go.

Some brands like to test the boundaries of portability, so be prepared to see a whole variety of sizes. Some will be the size of old school lunch boxes while others use carts to move around. The size will also determine how many tools and what kind of organization possibilities you can bring along with you. Smaller boxes are usually good for keeping tools portable around the home or yard. If you are a professional, you may consider a larger or stackable type of tool box to bring more tools with you wherever you may go.

Take a look at these top portable tool boxes.


  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Bostitch BTST19802

    It can feel like quite the balancing act to find the right size of a portable tool box. Small boxes are great for mobility, but don’t give you that much room for organizing your tools. Larger boxes provide ample space and organization at the cost of weight. Finding a happy middle road, the Bostitch BTST19802 is the top choice for lots of space and easy maneuvering. As a tool box, it will provide you separate spaces to store and organize tools. The bottom drawer is perfect for larger tools while the top drawers are smaller for things such as ratchets and adapters.

    In total, you can carry around 70 pounds of tools in this box. To support the weight, two seven-inch rubber wheels and a convenient handle make it easy to move the box around while working. The box is stable when at rest, even on uneven work surfaces such as dirt or grass. Keep the tool box near you as you work or store it away for extra convenience when not in use.

  • 02 of 08

    Runner Up, Best Overall: Dewalt Tough System DS 300

    Don’t need all that extra space and just want something for your core set of tools? The Dewalt Tough System DS 300 will have you covered. Similar to the old style of tool boxes that give you a single compartment to work with, this tool box takes it up to the next level by offering extra protection. If you want something that will protect your tools no matter what is happening outside, this is the tool box for you.

    The exterior is made of a durable, four-millimeter thick foam wall. A water seal is sandwiched in between the lid and box to keep out moisture. Additionally, the box is compatible with DeWalt’s Tough System metal carrier. Just latch it onto the carrier and secure it using the central locking mechanism. The Tough System allows you to expand your storage space with modular components to fit your exact needs.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Budget: Excel TB109-Black

    Keeping your tools safe and organized while on a budget means you will need to prioritize which tools are most important to carry with you. The Excel TB109-Black is about as simple as it gets with portable tool boxes. The single metal box will give you 4.5 x 14.2 x 5.9 inches of interior space to store any small tool you want. Despite the low price and simple design, the tool box is still strong enough to survive the abuse of most worksites.

    The metal surface is coated with a powder paint that is scratch- and chemical-resistant. The easy-grip handle will keep the box secure in your hands as you carry it around, while the piano hinge will prevent the lid from flying open. The latch is also strong enough to keep everything together while in motion.

  • 04 of 08

    Runner Up, Best Budget: Waterloo Portable Series

    While metal tool boxes are strong and retro looking, they can be hit or miss depending on the weight and overall build quality. For a good alternative to all metal options, the Waterloo Portable Series offers the same level of protection for a low price without a single piece of metal on anything but the latch and hinges. The box is a single molded piece of polypropylene that is dent- and rust-proof unlike traditional metal tool boxes.

    Inside, the box will give you around 13 x 8 x 6 inches of usable space to work with. Two trays sit above the main compartment to organize smaller things such as adapters, nuts and bolts. The design of the box is small and narrow enough to be stacked on other boxes for convenient storage when not in use.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Steel: Excel TB133A-Red

    A large steel tool box is about as simple as you can get. Despite the risk of denting and rusting, steel is still a reliable choice for most tool boxes, especially if you want the space or convenience of more expensive boxes at a better price. Excel’s TB133A-Red box takes the same type of organization tool chests and drawers have in the garage and makes it portable.

    The box comes with three tool drawers and a top hinge lid for four separate storage spaces. Each drawer can hold space dividers to organize your tools to your liking. The top storage space is big enough for larger hand or power tools. To prevent rust, the powder coat paint finish keeps moisture out without adding extra weight.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Workshop: DeWalt DWST20800

    True road warriors need more than just a basic tool box to get the job done. Whether you are a professional or just need to haul a lot of gear around with you, having a portable workshop by your side will keep you prepared and efficient while working. The DeWalt DWST20800 is like having four separate tool boxes with you at all times. The telescopic design folds out from a single rectangle into a four tier workstation with the push of a single latch.

    Each storage space is easily accessible once everything is unfolded. The different tiers will allow you to organize different tools and parts while keeping everything in immediate reach as you work. When it’s closed up, the tool box is easy to transport and store when not in use. The heavy duty wheels are suitable for most common work terrains.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Stackable: Ridgid Professional Cart

    One way to take a lot of different tools with you at the same time is to stack up on the containers you use. Stackable tool boxes test the waters of what counts as portable, but a rig like the Ridgid Professional Cart will still keep you mobile while providing unparalleled storage and organization. Made up of three separate boxes, each tool box is stackable and lockable so everything moves as one unit while in motion.

    All three boxes are made of the same durable, high impact resin. Heavy duty metal latches and integrated water seals keep moisture and dust out of the interior. Each box is the same 22.2 x 12.2 inches profile and decrease in height (from 18.3 inches to 6.5 inches). Lock everything up to the included cart for easy portability on a variety of terrains.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Chest: Dewalt Contractor Chest

    If you want something to simply dump your tools into and go, a portable tool chest is like a simple tool box on steroids. The Dewalt Contractor Chest offers a massive 88-pound load capacity. Moving this chest around on its large seven inch wheels is like hauling a small trailer behind you. The interior space is large enough for any number of tools, parts and materials. A telescopic, all metal pull handle makes it easy to maneuver and pull the chest around as you move.

    While this option won’t offer the same amount of organization as other options on this list, you do get some basic options like a three-position tray for small parts. The tray even folds out from the main container to give you some extra surface area to store tools as you work. When everything is closed up, the IP43 water-resistant exterior will keep your tools protected from moisture, rain, puddles and other wet dangers.