What to look for in a new toolbox

UK Home Improvement

What To Look For In A New Toolbox

At the side of every good handyman or handywoman is a good toolbox. Like a farmer without a tractor or an Olympic athlete without their spikes, plumbers, mechanics electricians and DIY enthusiasts are unable to work without their trusty box of tools, plenty of biscuits and a hot cup of tea.

This is why choosing a toolbox can be a pretty daunting task when stripped to its bare bones. The aim is to buy a product capable of lasting the test of time and plenty of nights in the garage. Sure, as the worker becomes more proficient in their chosen field, the number of tools owned will increase and the need for a new box will grow.

However, a toolbox can only get so big. A good purchase will take a good beating for five or so years before it starts to show signs of ageing. This is most definitely a long-term purchase and one which must be planned with great care.

If you’re looking to invest in a new toolbox for yourself, here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.



You should only feel the need to replace your toolbox for two reasons. One being if it’s too small for the tools you need to carry, in which case you buy a much larger box and account for needing to fill it even more in the coming months. The second reason is because it’s taken too much of a beating (the third reason is if you’ve lost your old one, but we won’t go into that).

Every good box should last a good couple of years. Anything above the £20 mark should be able to go for longer, even if scratches and dents are par for the course. An aluminium case with strengthened edges and corners fits the bill perfectly, especially if you’re looking for it to stand out under the garage clutter.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – or ABS – is another good, hard-wearing material if you want to go down a different route – although tool cases with this lining tend to cost a little more.


Take a good look at some of the cases on your shortlist and asses where your tools will go. The retailer should be able to show you some pictures even if you’re shopping online.

If the product has lots of spaces for your nuts, bolts and wires, great! If not, don’t worry. If you like the case enough you can always remove certain compartments and put in some of your own, giving you that custom feel. Get compartment dimensions, see where your biggest tools will fit and start building a layout in your head.


Lastly, the case might be able to take a few drops and bashes on the outside, but how will your tools fare on the inside? Now, padding isn’t necessarily lots of foam or rubber on the top of the case. Cushioning can be achieved by compactness, too.

If the tools are locked tightly into a compartment then they’re unlikely to spill out or get damaged. You’ve every right to fill the case you’re looking at with a few tools and see how much they rattle about – providing you’ve asked the shop assistant, of course!


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