Best toolbox 2021: keep your friends close and your tools closer

Get the job done in style with the best tool boxes for your screws, bolts, wall plugs and, obviously, tools

Best toolbox 2019

Keep your spanners safe, build a home for your hammers and keep tools in tip-top condition with the best toolboxes for tidier and more portable home DIY. 

Any DIY demigod or goddess should own some sort of storage solution for the myriad tools and accessories required to tackle day-to-day jobs. If you don't have a tool box, expect many hours wasted rummaging through the shed for a suitable screwdriver, and a pallet-loads of expletives when the drill bit you require has somehow worked its way into the grass collection bale of the disused lawnmower.

To put it bluntly, a toolbox is the best way to keep fiddly DIY apparatus in check, safe and protected from the rust-inducing elements.

What is the best toolbox?

Stanley pretty much bosses the toolbox market and its range of hardy containers is difficult to beat. I love its 26-inch galvanised metal toolbox for its rugged looks and ability to take an absolute beating without issues.

It's not the largest on offer but its interior can easily swallow the basics (hammer, screwdriver set, spanners and wrenches) and its slim design makes it a great choice for throwing in the back of the car or white van when mobile repairs are required.

How to buy the best tool box

Size, construction and style are really the three main things to consider when investing, as the smaller stuff won't suit those with an impressive tool collection and the flimsy plastic models tend to buckle and break if mistreated.

Finally, there are a variety of different styles to ponder, such as those mobile caddy units with wheels, the larger, stationary garage-friendly chests and the soft tool bags that are designed for easy lugging between jobs.

The choice should be down to requirements, space in the shed and budget.

The best toolboxes, in order

1. Stanley 195620 Galvanised Metal Toolbox 26-inch

Best toolbox for home use

Reasons to buy
+Tough and handy+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Not the biggest of boxes

What this box lacks in volume it more than makes up for in the robustness department, with a rust-resistant galvanised covering on the front and sides protecting it from the odd wayward thwack with a hammer.

The metal latches also add an additional layer of security and there's a removable plastic tray inside, which is ideal for housing smaller tools or balancing the cup of tea on.

Also, the lid features a saw groove for holding pipes and timber for cutting when there is no workbench available and although there's no official word, it can probably double-up as a step-up for the averagely built DIYer.

2. Black & Decker 19in toolbox

Best plastic toolbox

Reasons to buy
+Well organised+Light+Cheap
Reasons to avoid
-Not as hardcore as the Stanley

Although lacking the hardy, full metal jacket of its Stanley rival, this basic beast is still fashioned from some fairly chunky plastic that should withstand most knocks and drops.

Two handy organiser compartments on the lid make it easy to store screws, nails and other worksite accoutrements, while the metallic clasp closings are more robust than their plastic counterparts.

It's cheap, basic but large enough to swallow all manner of tools and fixings.

3. Tactix 51cm Toolbox With Side Organisers

Most 'stylish' toolbox available to humanity

Reasons to buy
+Good looks+Removable compartments
Reasons to avoid
-Not a well-known brand in the UK

It doesn't get much more butch than the angular styling and gigantic block lettering of this hard-as-nails tool protection unit. Although it stops short of being a complete geezer thanks to the two removable organiser section at each end.

But who's to say you can't be tough and orderly at the same time? The aluminium comfort grip handle is another nice touch. 

4. Black and Decker BDST1 Mobile Work Centre

Best trolley-style toolbox

Reasons to buy
+Mobile yet huge+Lots of compartments
Reasons to avoid
-More bulky, clearly

This is not your typical home-use toolbox, but if you're serious about your DIY, it has your back. 

More manoeuvrable than it looks, thanks to its plastic rear wheels, this Mobile Work Centre is positively cavernous compared to the other options here.

The bottom section acts as a giant plastic bucket for the bulkier tools, while a lockable top section features a swivel lid that doubles-up as a handy organisational compartment for screws, drills bits an other easily misplaced parts.

You could also use it as extremely rugged carry-on luggage, and intimidate your fellow passengers.

5. Stanley STST1-75510 Tool Box

Best toolbox for the well organised DIYer

Reasons to buy
+Fold out drawers+Solid metal construction
Reasons to avoid
-Fiddly operation

Set over three distinct layers, this heavyweight metallic toolbox will appeal to those who like to keeps things extremely methodical, as it affords different tool types their own area. The solid metallic construction will ensure longevity, while an oversized carry handle will be able to cope with heavy loads.

The slightly OCD organisation can make it a little fiddly to close and the box has a habit of randomly springing open when lifted if the lid catch isn't secured properly, so be careful…

Leon Poultney
Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. If he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing.