If you're a contractor or handyperson, or own a large property that requires a good deal of maintenance, then chances are that you also own a pickup truck. If so, a truck tool box is the most convenient way to keep a set of tools with you on the road, right at hand when you need them. These tool boxes are designed to install right into the bed of your pickup, and there are several different configurations to choose from.
Deane Biermeier, a licensed carpenter and contractor, as well as a member of The Spruce's Home Improvement Review Board, notes, "Truck tool boxes come in myriad shapes and sizes. Determining what you’ll use it for will tell you what kind you need. Don't assume you need the largest box possible. Remember that these tool boxes do take up a fair amount of space, so pick a box that's big enough for your needs, but not so large that you can't stow anything else in the truck bed."
We evaluated truck tool boxes based on their sturdiness, capacity, ease of use, versatility, and overall value.
DECKED HDP Full-Size Crossover Truck Tool Box
Good storage capacity
Can be used with optional ladder
A handful of complaints about optional accessories not fitting properly inside the box
Made of heavy-duty polymer with galvanized steel and aluminum reinforcements, this crossover tool box from DECKED is practically indestructible. It's completely waterproof, so there's no need to worry about rain or snow leaking onto your tools, and the sturdy lock secures your valuables against theft. Nor can the lid be pried open, thanks to the seal and lock design. Torsion springs make the box easy to open and close without worrying about your fingers getting smashed from a hard-dropping lid. You don't even need to take off your work gloves to fetch your tools from the box, thanks to the oversize handle and latches.
Sized to fit just about any full-size pickup truck, the box's outer dimensions are 76.1 inches long, 22.3 inches wide, and 20.6 inches high, which means it stands around 6 inches higher than the bed rails on most trucks. For most truck models, the box will barely reduce visibility out of the back window. It has a storage capacity of 9.82 cubic feet or 73.4 gallons. That's a lot of storage space. The box includes two organizer trays, one with a handle for convenient grab-and-go of smaller tools. If you prefer not having to reach in from the side of your truck or crawl into the bed to get to your tools, DECKED also sells an optional low-profile ladder that makes it a breeze to access the contents of your tool box, and telescopes down to fit right inside the box when not in use.
The box easily installs without need of drilling, but as the box itself weighs a little over 100 pounds, you'll definitely want an assistant or two to maneuver it into position.
Price at time of publish: $900
Type: Crossover | Material: Polymer and steel | Dimensions: 20.53 x 72.54 x 72.54 inches | Capacity: 9.82 cubic feet
Craftsman Full-Size Aluminum Crossover Truck Tool Box
Good storage capacity
A few complaints about sturdiness of construction
Truck tool boxes can be undeniably expensive. If budget is a concern, however, Craftsman makes a sturdy crossover tool box that fits most popular full-size pickups, including the Ford F series as well as pickups from Chevy, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan. The Craftsman box is made from fully welded aluminum, and it has a matte black powder-coat finish to provide further protection from the elements. A weather-block seal helps keep out rain and snow, so your tools will stay dry. And there's a lock on the driver's side of the tool box for extra security.
The Craftsman crossover tool box opens smoothly with gas-shock springs and closes gently to spare your fingers from getting pinched. The box's outer dimensions are 71.36 inches in length, 19.57 inches in width, and 16.58 inches in height, so it won't block the back window on most trucks. There's around 9 cubic feet of storage capacity inside the box, so you can tote a fairly large collection of tools with you to your jobsite. The box is easy to install, as well, requiring no drilling. All in all, while not the most heavy-duty box available, this is a very good truck tool box at a reasonable price.
Price at time of publish: $358
Type: Crossover | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 71.36 x 19.57 x 16.58 inches | Capacity: 9 cubic feet
UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box
Swing-out design provides easy access
Can install on both sides of truck bed
This ingenious box doesn't hold as much as a crossover-style tool box, but it also doesn't take up a lot of room in your truck bed. Made of heavy-duty ABS plastic with a moisture-resistant seal, this box tucks along the inner side of your truck bed when not in use, but with a simple pull of the release lever, it swings out so you can easily access your tools from the back of your truck; no uncomfortable bending or stretching required. You can also easily lift the tool box off your truck, if desired, to take it with you; it even stands upright on its own. The box has a lock, so you can secure your tools when leaving your truck unattended.
The SwingCase is available in various configurations for different makes and models of trucks, so size and capacity can vary, but as an example, the box for the Ford F-150 made between 2015 and 2020 measures 34 inches long by 9 inches wide by 16 inches tall. The box itself weighs a mere 16 pounds and can hold up to 75 pounds in weight, or around 2 cubic feet capacity. There are both driver-side and passenger-side options; go with one, or install both. Installation is easy and quick. While this isn't the best choice if you have a very large set of heavy tools you need to tote to jobsites, it's a great option for those who only need to carry a small set of tools or even for use on camping trips.
Price at time of publish: $214
Type: Swing-Case | Material: ABS plastic | Dimensions: 34 x 34 x 16 inches | Capacity: 2 cubic feet
UWS Heavy-Wall Low-Profile Aluminum Truck Tool Box
Includes two storage trays
A few complaints of receiving a dented tool box
The most popular style of truck tool box for the average handyperson or DIYer is the crossover, so named because the box "crosses over" the width of the truck bed. This matte black tool box is made of extra-thick welded aluminum, with even more strength in the box's lid, thanks to the patented RigidCore foam filling between the two sheets of aluminum. That wards off any potential bending or warping of the lid, and also helps the box open and close easily, as do the gas-spring struts. A tightly fitting gasket around the inner edge of the lid keeps out moisture, dust, bugs, and other grime you don't want on your tools. And a keyed lock provides extra security.
This box has a storage capacity of 8.4 cubic feet. It measures 69 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and 14.75 inches in height, making it low-profile enough to not block your view out the cab's rear window. It will fit most popular full-size pickup trucks. Inside the box, there's a built-in screwdriver holder as well as a 3-compartment tool tray for smaller items. With pre-drilled holes, installation is fairly simple. The box weighs 48 pounds, so you might be able to install it yourself, although a buddy helps make it easier.
Price at time of publish: $655
Type: Crossover | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 69 x 20 x 14.75 inches | Capacity: 8.4 cubic feet
UWS Side-Mount Truck Box
Side design leaves truck bed floor open for storage
Works well with a crossover box
Doesn't come with mounting hardware
This side-mount tool box installs along the upper inner edge of the bed rails, leaving the floor of your truck bed fully available for storage. The UWS side-mount tool box is made of extra-thick, welded aluminum with stainless steel handles and a micro-seal gasket to keep out moisture, dust, and insects. The lid is further reinforced to prevent warping or denting. It opens and closes easily and has aircraft-grade cables that hold the box open securely while in use, and then swing it smoothly shut. A lock provides security when your truck is unattended.
You can install the box on either side of your truck bed. Note that while installation is not difficult, the box only includes the support legs, not the installation hardware, and you will have to drill a few holes. The tool box measures 36.75 inches long at the top of the lid, 14.4 inches at the widest part of the lid, and 11.75 inches deep. It has a 2.1 cubic foot storage capacity and weighs 20 pounds when empty. You can purchase two of these boxes to mount one on each side of your truck. It also works very well with the UWS crossover box. The company also sells side boxes in other sizes if you need something larger.
Price at time of publish: $389
Type: Side-mount | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 36.75 x 14.4 x 11.75 inches | Capacity: 2.1 cubic feet
Best Tonneau Compatible
TruXedo TonneauMate Tool Box
Works with most tonneau covers
Holds a good amount of tools
Some complaints of difficulty with installation
A tonneau cover is a hard or soft cover that stretches over the bed of a pickup truck, thus protecting your gear from the elements, theft, and shifting while driving. However, many truck tool boxes don't fit underneath a tonneau cover. That's not the case with the TonneauMate Tool Box from TruXedo, however, which is specifically designed for use with a cover. The box itself is a crossover design that can be mounted in the front, middle, or back of the pickup bed. It's made from a heavy-duty ABS plastic, so it is sturdy, but not as rugged as boxes made from metal. The box doesn't stretch down to the bottom of the truck bed, so you'll still have storage room beneath it.
This is a fairly universal box for full-size pickups, but it does have some options that are specific to particular makes and models of truck. The box measures 55 inches in length, 23 inches in width, and 15 inches in height. It holds up to 200 pounds of cargo, which is a good-size tool collection, or even camping gear. The box clamps to the truck's side rails, but a few models of truck do require a separate clamping system. The box itself weighs 50 pounds. It locks for extra security. Once in place, you should have no problem pulling your tonneau cover right over it.
Price at time of publish: $549
Type: Tonneau compatible | Material: ABS plastic | Dimensions: 55 x 23 x 15 inches | Capacity: 200 pounds
Best Double Lid
DEE ZEE Red Label Gull Wing Tool Box
Can access the box from either side of truck bed
Easy to install
A few complaints of receiving a tool box with dents
A double lid or gull-wing truck box is basically a crossover box with two lids that can be opened from the sides, rather than one lid that opens from the center. Note that the inside of the box is one open compartment; it is not divided into two separate compartments. This box fits most full-size pickups and is made from heavy aluminum with a powdered finish for protection against corrosion. Gas shocks keep the lid opening and closing easily and smoothly, and there's a gasket around the inner edge to keep out moisture and dust. Each lid has a lock for extra security, as well.
The outer dimensions of the box are 69.75 inches long across the top, 20 inches wide across the top, and 13.2 inches tall. The storage capacity of the box is 8.4 cubic feet, and the box itself weighs 73 pounds. It has pre-drilled installation holes and includes the installation hardware. You also get a small storage tray for inside the box. While not the heaviest-duty tool box available, this one is more than sufficient for most DIYers, handypeople, and contractors.
Price at time of publish: $625
Type: Double-lid | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 69.75 x 20 x 13.2 inches | Capacity: 8.4 cubic feet
Best Low Profile
Tractor Supply Single-Lid Crossover Low-Profile Tool Box
Low-profile to not block view
Tie-down rail can make it awkward to open the box lid
Some crossover tool boxes can block your view through the cab's rear window. Low-profile boxes solve that problem, and we especially like this one from Tractor Supply. Fitting the majority of full-size pickups, the box measures 70 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and 13 inches in height at the outside dimensions. Made of heavy-duty welded aluminum with full weather-stripping to keep out the elements, the box has auto-seal, self-rising shocks to make it easy to open the lid with just one hand, and a self-adjusting stryker to make sure the box closes securely. Plus, there's a lock for additional security.
Unlike many other crossover boxes, this one has rails on the top for cargo tie-downs, adding to the tool box's versatility. Inside, there's a storage tray for smaller items, and an 8.5 cubic feet storage capacity. The box itself weighs 52 pounds and is fairly easy to install.
Price at time of publish: $480
Type: Crossover | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 70 x 20 x 13 inches | Capacity: 8.5 cubic feet
Best Drawer System
DECKED Bed-Length Pickup Truck Storage System
Drawers slide out for easy access at the back of the truck
Doesn't take up space in the truck bed
Good weight capacity
Somewhat complicated to install
This ingenious storage system from DECKED consists of two full-length drawers that run the entire length of your truck bed, plus a platform above them, thus doubling your storage options. The system is available for most popular makes and models of pickup trucks, so be sure to choose the right one for your vehicle. Made of steel and high-density polyethylene plastic, the system is perfect not only for carrying tools, but also for toting fishing or camping gear. The drawers are not entirely weatherproof, but they do keep out most moisture and dust. Nor do the drawers lock, but to access them, the back of your pickup truck must be opened. Once accessed, you can easily slide the drawers out to reach their contents, without any need for stretching or awkward bending.
Installation of the system takes a couple of hours and works best with an assistant. Once installed, the deck has a weight capacity of 2,000 pounds and each drawer's weight capacity is 200 pounds. While there can be some slight variation between the systems designed for various truck models, the system for the Ford F-150 has drawers that are 72.1 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 8.5 inches tall. The deck is 75.25 inches long, but there are shorter options as well. DECKED also sells a wide range of accessories for the system, including various organizer boxes, drain plugs, and locks.
Price at time of publish: $1,450
Type: Drawer system | Material: Polymer and steel | Dimensions: per drawer 72.1 x 18 x 8.5 inches | Capacity: 200 pounds per drawer
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty crossover truck tool box that’s nearly indestructible, holds almost 10 cubic feet of gear, is fairly easy to install, and can be updated with a variety of optional accessories, then the DECKED HDP Full-Size Crossover Tool Box is our recommendation. But if you are looking for something less expensive, although not quite so heavy-duty or large, then you’ll find that the aluminum crossover tool box from Craftsman is a fine choice as well.
What to Look for in a Truck Tool Box
There are several types of truck tool boxes, mostly differentiated by their position within the truck bed. These are the most common types.
Crossover: The most common type of truck tool box, these stretch across the truck bed from one side to the other. Most often, they are positioned at the top of the bed right behind the cab. These can hold a lot of items, but they take up a fair amount of your truck bed and most require you to climb into the bed to access the tool box or reach into it from the side of the truck. Most have a single lid, but some have a split lid that lets you open just one side of the box at a time.
Saddle: Basically, this is a crossover that’s a bit more shallow, thus leaving some exposed truck bed underneath the tool box. It is another very popular choice.
Side-Rail: The most popular choice of professional contractors, this type of box mounts to the truck’s side rails, thus leaving most of the bed open and available. Plus, you can easily access the box while standing on the ground next to the truck.
Swing-Case: These boxes mount on the bottom of the bed near the tail. They tuck vertically against the side of the truck-bed walls when not in use, but they easily swing out into a horizontal position with a gentle tug, thus allowing you easy access from the back of the truck.
Tonneau Compatible: A tonneau cover stretches across the bed of a pickup truck, protecting the bed and its contents from the elements and theft, as well as helping to keep things in place. A tonneau-compatible tool box is designed to fit underneath a tonneau cover.
Most truck tool boxes are made of steel or aluminum, although there are some less-expensive plastic options as well. Another, less common option, is high-impact polymer resin, which is similar to the material used to make football helmets.
Steel has the advantage of superior strength, but is heavy and prone to rusting. If you choose a steel tool box, it should be finished with a rust-resistant coating. Aluminum is not quite as strong as steel, but it holds up better to the elements and isn’t as heavy. Neither metal is necessarily superior; the best choice depends on how you’ll use the box and the weather conditions where you live. Boxes made from high-impact polymers are weather-resistant, not as heavy as steel, and generally very durable.
You’ll need to know the measurements of your truck’s bed before choosing a tool box. As a rough guideline, midsize truck tool boxes are generally around 60 to 63 inches across. Full-size truck tool boxes can be between 70 and 72 inches across. You’ll also want to consider the box’s capacity. Smaller boxes generally have around 5 cubic feet of storage capacity, while large boxes can have 10 cubic feet of storage capacity. Don’t automatically assume that bigger is better, however. Remember that the larger the storage capacity, the more space the box will take up in your truck bed. It’s generally best to consider the type and amount of tools you regularly tote with you, and choose a box that is large enough to fit all of your gear, but not a whole lot larger than that.
Many truck tool boxes have locks to secure your belongings. If this is an important feature for you, be sure your top choice has a sturdy lock. Heavy steel boxes also provide better security, as they are harder to remove and carry away from the truck.
Are truck tool boxes worth it?
If you just need to tote a small collection of hand tools with you on occasion, then a portable tool box, not a truck tool box, is your best option. But if your job, hobby, or lifestyle requires you to take a sizable collection of tools with you to a jobsite, and your vehicle of choice is a pickup truck, then a truck tool box is definitely a worthwhile investment. These sturdy boxes let you transport a wide variety of hand tools and power tools, make it easier to keep them organized and prevent them from slipping and sliding around your truck bed while you’re driving.
How do I know what size toolbox to get for my truck?
Before purchasing any truck tool box, you need to know the measurements of your particular vehicle’s bed. Be sure that the box you are considering will fit; many manufacturers list the truck models that work with their tool boxes in the product information. You also want to consider the storage capacity of the tool box; ideally, you want a box that is large enough to store your needed tools easily, but not so big that you lose more room than you can spare within your truck bed. Remember that the larger the tool box, the more room it will take up in your truck bed.
What can I store in a truck tool box?
Think of your truck tool box as your workshop on wheels. You’ll want to have a collection of basic hand tools, such as a hammer, wrench set, screwdrivers, pliers, and a socket set with ratchet. Duct tape, lubricant spray, extension cords, batteries, flashlights, paper towels, and heavy-duty hand cleaner are also useful additions. Don’t forget a first aid kit, emergency flares, and jumper cables—you never know when they might come in handy. Beyond that, it depends on the sort of projects you handle. Various power tools, larger hand tools, an axe, bolt cutters, and rolls of electrical wiring are all possibilities. Think about the tools you use in a typical week, and pack accordingly.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Michelle Ullman is the home improvement/tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs around the house and yard.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of truck tool boxes, evaluating each for durability, capacity, versatility, ease of installation, and overall value. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative. Deane Biermeier, a licensed carpenter and contractor, as well as member of The Spruce’s Home Review Board, provided further input.