Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Today we are going to talk all about tool boxes. Most people only remember it when something breaks, sticks or stops working, but can you imagine having to buy a new tool with every repair? And to store everything?

With the tool box, you and your house are prepared for everything, besides having an easy access to the tools, outside the correct storage, thus extending the useful life of your kit. Going down this guide, you'll find the best sets, the essential items and which tool box fits with your activities and your home. We will talk about the advantages, prices, where to buy and all the criteria you should evaluate in a tool box.




Summary

  • Know how to first identify how often you will use your tool box and the types of repairs and projects you want to do. Your level of expertise with the parts also counts.
  • Knowing the types of tools in the set is essential. Basic items, precision parts, and the variety of types and sizes will dictate whether the set in question fits you.

The Best Tool Box: Our Picks

Tool Box: Shopping Guide

A tool box can come in different types. What dictates in the versatility of the product is the amount of tools that comes in it. And you have seen throughout the ranking that we present models from 65 to 130 pieces. Want to know which is the ideal tool box for your needs? Just stay with us and we will bring you all the details throughout this Shopping Guide.

Parte do corpo de um homem segurando uma caixa de ferramentas com parede de tijolinho nos fundos.

The tool box is an indispensable utensil for those who work in the electrical and civil areas. (Source: olegdudko / 123RF)

What is the tool box and what are its advantages?

The maintenance of a house is no easy task. There are many areas to take care of and several are the problems that can happen. In the same way, there are different types of care that require different tools: fundamental structures, such as flooring and wiring; hydraulic, bathroom and kitchen maintenance; furniture and appliances; and finishing touches such as sockets, doors and windows.

In this scenario, the toolbox fulfills the mission of offering, in a single set, ways for a person to make repairs in all these areas of attention mentioned above. Over time, many kits have gone deeper into some specific segment, but thought to professionals, such as for hydraulics or machinery, or hobbies, such as carpentry or modelling.

Imagem mostra fileiras de soquetes de tamanhos diferentes, identificados por pequenos totens com o números no topo.

Greater variety of bit and socket sizes means greater precision. (Source: vinayr16 / Pixabay)

Still, the basic premise is to keep the owner/tenant of a property ready for "whatever comes and goes". In this case, the evolution of models focused on the durability and strength of the tools. Many are made of steel and have light and ergonomic handles.

There is also the question of efficiency and precision, offering an infinite number of bit and socket sizes and key sizes. This, on the other hand, has prevented a greater standardisation of tool boxes. They differ too much in the variety of sizes and even the basics, with kits that have allen keys but no hammer, for example.

In the same way, the greater portability has left some sets leaner, both in the number of pieces and the size of the cases. There is still the issue of specific fitting cases, which create a drawback of kits that need more pieces, but cannot be transported.

Advantages
  • Portability
  • Variety of parts
  • Precision
Disadvantages
  • Fewer tools
  • Lack of standardisation
  • Fewer basic items

Tool box variables: Do I choose basic or advanced?

In the same way that there are several areas of home maintenance - requiring different care and tools - there are several types and frequency of use of kits. There are those, as we reminded you at the beginning of this guide, who only remember their tool box when a repair is needed.

But there are also those who take their kit with them wherever they go, like repair technicians, or those who always have their boxes at hand, like bikers or weekend woodworkers. Each of these, as you might imagine, need different kits, ranging from basic to advanced. But apart from specific sets, such as those for screwdrivers or cars, few have a clear indication of use.

Imagem mostra uma parte de uma caixa de ferramentas, com uma gaveta superior e um compartimento inferior, ambos repletos de de ferramentas.

The most basic kits are indicated for small "emergencies". (Source: cagperl / Pexels)

This differentiation is then up to the tools available. The greater the number of basic tool types, such as keys, hammers and pliers, the more generalist is the kit, and, therefore, more basic. In this type, the indication is for less frequent, domestic uses, and for occasional repairs. However, if there is a greater variety of sizes within a single type of tool, such as various sizes of combination wrenches or sockets, for example, the kit is more advanced.

In this case, they are better for more frequent repairs and for those who already own a basic set of tools. There is also the question of the case itself. Naturally, metal cases are stronger and more durable than plastic ones, and therefore more suitable for more advanced users. However, the biggest difference is in the size and type of "packaging". Boxes and trunks are less portable than suitcases and bags, but allow you to expand your kit. The criterion is, again, the type and frequency of use.

Basic tool box Advanced tool box
Type of repair Spot repairs Frequent repairs
Diversity More tool types More sizes and sizes
Type of case Cases and bags Cases and chests

How much does a tool box cost?

The combination between the variables of tool box and tool box kits types results in quite different prices. It is possible to find kits from £ 50 to £ 100. Plastic cases with a more modest number of items are cheaper, while metal cases and more complete sets increase the prices. The same goes for the types of tools: the more specific and precise they are, the higher the price. The material also counts, with stainless steel pieces being the most expensive.

Imagem mostra um homem usando óculos trabalhando num projeto. Ele carrega um maçarico na mão esquerda e uma pinça na mão direita. Em segundo plano, mais ferramentas, desfocadas.

How often and how specialised you use your tools is essential to know which box is best. (Source: özgür özkan / Pexels)

Buying criteria: Factors to compare tool box models

With the number of different toolboxes - distinct in models, sets and purposes - it's easy to get lost. We list exactly what you need to pay attention to when choosing yours. Before you finalize your purchase, think about:

  • Frequency of use and level of expertise
  • Types of tools
  • Types of case
  • Materials

Check out, below, each item detailed so you can make the best choice when buying your toolbox:

Frequency of use and level of speciality

Before choosing your toolbox, you should first identify how often you will use it and how much you understand the repairs you intend to do. There is no point in having a super complete toolbox if your use is occasional or only of a few pieces.

If you want a box for emergencies or for small adjustments, like hanging a painting, installing a shelf or assembling a piece of furniture, more basic sets are a more certain fit. On the other hand, if you intend to engage with longer-lasting projects, such as setting up a workshop in the garage, setting yourself up as a house-husband or servicing appliances or machinery, advanced kits are more suitable.

Types of tools

What will dictate whether your tool box is basic or advanced are the parts. More general sets with more common items are more basic. Sets with instruments of greater precision, specificity and variety of sizes and measurements are, naturally, advanced.

To be more specific, a basic kit should contain at least one of each of these: hammer, pliers, screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, set wrench. A stylus, tape measure, leveller and torch are differentials. Although common to home use, they are not so easily found in basic kits.

More advanced sets should have at least an adjustable wrench, bit fitting handle, as well as a variety of bit sizes, sockets and allen keys. Variety of basic items, especially pliers and wrenches, are plus points.

Imagem mostra em primeiro plano um alicate ao lado de um martelo, repousando sobre uma madeira gasta. Ao fundo, outras ferramentas desfocadas descansam na mesma madeira.

A basic tool set should contain at least the most common tools. (Source: Pixabay / Pexels)

Types of case

Once you've chosen the set that best fits you, the next step is to pay attention to the type of case, the toolbox itself. There are accordion cases, chests, suitcases, bags, which relate to the frequency of use of the tools and the size of your kit.

Suitcases, for example, are great for transport and for the organization of the items, but they are inefficient for those who want to increase the kit. Bags solve this problem, but they lose in organization and durability. In this case, accordion boxes and boxes with drawers allow expanding and well arranged games, but they are less portable.

Chests, on the other hand, allow flexible kits and can be transported more easily, if small, but leave something to be desired in the disposal of tools. Knowing this, think about which type of case is ideal for your reality.

Materials

Another criterion that can make the difference at the time of purchase is the materials, both of the tools and the cases. The more resistant they are, the longer the useful life of your case is.

For tools, stainless steel and non-slip rubber handles are always an advantage. For the case, the same applies: prefer metal to plastic. Be aware, however, that the better the material, the more expensive your toolbox will be.

(Source of the highlighted image: energepic.com / Pexels)

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