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Best tool boxes

Car Buyer logo Car Buyer 16/06/2017 Carbuyer

Even the most fairweather DIY mechanic will have some essential tools lying about and regardless of how much home spannering you actually do, keeping those essentials safe and well sorted is great way to stay organised. A good tool box will ensure you never find yourself hunting for that elusive screwdriver or socket, as well as keeping your tools safe and secure.

Folding metal tool boxes are the traditional choice, but we champion the new-fangled plastic variety. These remove the risks of cuts from sharp edges, they certainly don’t rust and they generally tend to be on the lighter side without compromising on durability. And if you like to carry your tools with you in your car, these plastic tool boxes will make less of a racket when bouncing around in the boot!

How we tested them

Practicality and thoughtful design were the main criteria for our tests. Various tools including screwdrivers, spanners and socket wrenches were used to test the upper compartments, while the lower main storage areas were filled with larger essentials like a torque wrench, hammer and some trusty WD-40. Boxes were also judged on weight versus space, and we were sure to test for common tool box foibles like tipping when unbalanced by an open lid and smaller compartments popping open.

1. Curver Large Toolbox 157705

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If you need a good amount of space but want to use it in an organised way, this tool box could well be the answer. Along with a removeable tray in the large main compartment, the box features a pair of removable clear plastic boxes that are perfect for keeping tabs on smaller items like screws and fuses. These slot securely into the lid of the box. All of our test tools fitted within the box, with plenty of scope for organisation.

2. Silverline 196114

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Manufacturers of tool boxes do still use metal in the construction of some examples, but as with this Silverline model, steel is often supplemented by hard-wearing plastic. Sturdy build is nothing without storage space, though, and this tool box doesn’t disappoint; all tools were easily stowed, split between the larger main compartment and internal tote tray.

3. Stanley 19in Essential Toolbox

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Famous for producing all manner of properly sturdy yet reasonably priced products, Stanley has done a fantastic job with this tool box. Loud yellow flashes may not suit everyone, but the good range of storage should. Clever touches like a three-quarter length internal tray meant bigger items like WD-40 could be stored upright, while two organisers in the lid were useful for smaller bits and bobs. It was a bit of a struggle to fit all of our test tools in, but this is a good box for those who don’t need outright space.

Sealey Tool Box AP535

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A decent effort from well-known tool brand Sealey, this tool box was packed with features that helped us fit everything in despite its relatively small 28 litres of space. Organisers with clear lids and padlock-friendly metal locks were nice touches, while everything seemed well put together. It is possible to get more space for your money with some rivals featured here, however.

Draper Expert Toolbox TB580

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Another popular tool brand, another bright red tool box. Two indents in the lid looked good for using as screw trays, but lid organisers were notable by their absence. That said, every test tool fitted inside and the box felt very well made. Nice ergonomic touches included a pleasingly soft carry handle and ta thoughtfully positioned recess on each end for easier carrying of heavy loads. Inside, an internal tray was usefully divided.

Best tool boxes © Carbuyer Best tool boxes
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