Tool storage solutions for professionals
Tool storage solutions are as varied as the contractors who use the tools. Whether you’re doing electrical, mechanical, plumbing, carpentry or home remodeling work, there’s a tool storage solution that’s right for you.
Hard tool storage
Tool boxes and chests are typically aluminum or steel, but advances in materials, such as polymers and structural foam, have made it possible to create larger tool boxes that are both light and sturdy.
When your job requires large tool boxes, fill them with smaller boxes and bags to keep the tools and the job orderly.
“We prefer big tool boxes with smaller cases or boxes inside so workers only take what they need from the truck to the jobsite,” says Ramón Fernández, general assistant with Chicagoland Developers Group. “The most important thing is to keep your tools separated by job type. Keep woodworking tools separate from drywalling and electrical tools, etc. That way you can grab what you need fast.”
Mobile workstations are another portable hard storage option. The Stanley FatMax Mobile Work Station, for example, is a “shop on wheels.” Its multi-level design provides easy access to four storage areas: a toolbox, bins for smaller parts, a portable tray and an oversized bin for larger items.
The FatMax also features heavy-duty construction, sturdy wheels and a telescoping handle for easy transport.
Truck boxes, which mount to pickups, trucks and trailers, are a great tool storage solutions and a way to ensure you always have the tools you need at the job. Typically, they’re made of hardened plastic, aluminum or steel, and they feature drawers and compartments similar to those found in your shop.
While some truck boxes are designed to use free space on the underbody or wheel well of a vehicle, others use space along rails and inside truck beds. In addition to providing safe, dry storage for tools, some truck boxes extend beyond the vehicle’s dimensions to provide additional storage or work space.
For example, the aluminum Tradesman TALG581 has a dual-lid gull-wing cross-bed box for full-size truck beds and a sturdy, one-piece no-sag base. The cross-bed design allows ample storage below the box for full use of the truck bed.
Whatever method you choose, storing your tools properly will not only make them easier to find and use, it will prolong their life and protect your investment.
Tips for organizing tools
- Store frequently used tools in the most accessible location.
- Put tools away in their proper locations when you aren’t using them.
- Don’t try to fit too many tools in one tool belt, bag or box.
- Use more than one storage device to divide tools into specific tasks.
- Label storage boxes so you can easily identify the contents without opening them.
- In a tool belt, keep frequently used items, such as hammers, pencils and wrenches on the same side as your dominant hand. Put helper tools and fasteners, such as chisels and nails, on the opposite side.
Sample tool storage of a remodeler
Look in a remodeler’s tool bag, and you’re likely to find the following essentials:
- Tape measure
- Nails, screws and other fasteners
- Pencil and chalk line
- Utility knife
- Safety glasses
- Work gloves
- Power drill and bits