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Old 10-18-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
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Question Looking for a really good toolbox!

For you tool types - who know way more than me about DIY and the best way to store your tools. Would love your input and can't find a thread like this on the forum, so I thought I'd post something in the general repair forum to ask.

This query is not about what tools you bring with you on the road. This query is about what you put them in and what works well for you. What toolbox do you use? What do you like about it? What do you dislike? (One hint, though: if you carry your tools in a bucket and love that solution, this thread is probably not for you.)

See, I have a few decent tools, and I have this truly awful plastic toolbox. The awful toolbox has two plastic trays that set into the box. The trays aren't totally awful, and they have little dividers that help organize tools in those trays. However, next is the bottom of the box which is just a tub...an awful pit of despair where my tools go to get lost, never to be seen again. Oh, and the latches on the box broke years ago, as they were cheap to begin with.

I love the size, design and look of the Pelican 0450, with all those nice drawers, though the price takes my breath away. (Here's a second link, to their brochure PDF.)

However, I don't need custom foam cushions for the tools in each drawer, as my collection of tools will inevitably grow and/or change over time. Still, some tie-down straps, or loops, that won't get floppy and useless as they age (e.g. old elastic bands) would be nice, as that would help hold tools roughly in place within the drawers.

My requirements include: strong, relatively light weight, easy to use, some way to keep the tools cleanly organized and easy to find, something I can put in the truck and take with me if I decide to do do so.

I'm not worried about taking tools on a plane or using them under fire. I'm not worried about whether the toolbox is waterproof, as I have no intention of leaving my tools out in the rain. I am not enamored of cheap toolboxes made of thin metal where lids or other parts are pre-bent and dysfunctional right there in the store, with handles that would pull off the first time you tried to pick up the toolbox after loading it up.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. Honestly, there's no wrong answer here - if your toolbox works for you and you love it, I'd love to hear about it. I'm a desperate person with a desperate pile of tools looking for a neat and tidy home.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
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I use the Stack On 20" 3-Drawer Chest in black for on the road. Fits nicely in the back of the Jeep for easy access without having to remove prior to use. Bought it on sale at wallyworld a couple of years ago. I have a couple of a Stack On 6-drawer rollers in the garage that I have had for at least 30 years. I keep a small soft tool bag in the trailer with a few commonly used tools for quick repairs and PM walk arounds.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:00 PM   #3
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Looking for a really good toolbox!

I think it will be helpful to define:

- Est. total weight of tools

- Where tool box[es] to be carried.

I probably have six. Two for work (one dedicated) and four for truck and trailer. Fairly ordinary Kennedy-brand metal boxes plus Gladstone style fabric zippered bags. All of them go in the truck bed, with exceptions. I use a cabinet for electronics bag and supplies in trailer. Plumbing supplies in snap top boxes under one dinette seat. And heavier plus dirtier stuff in boot in trailer rear as well as truck bed. Chemicals in different places.

- So the third part of requested definitions is where to also store associated supplies.

The usual conundrum is defining what's necessary and what isn't. As in, once this trailer is farther along in renovation, some tools/supplies won't be carried any more. Second is in what limits do I place on tools? As I'm well past two hundred (maybe three hundred) pounds of tools and supplies -- and that there are jobs where hired help would be better and faster -- how do I pare down categorically?

So,

How much weight?
Where to store or carry?
What supplies are reasonable to carry?

I think will define "best" tool carrier[s].

The Kennedy boxes date from the 1970s. And weight balance wise, carrying them while traveling under the dinette makes sense. BUT, they'd possibly tear up the wood. So wrong choice, even if great boxes in themselves, as travel location calls for something else.


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Old 10-18-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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I doubt I'd be able to lift the Pelican 0450 full of tools. What tools are needed to bring on the road? If you are a full timer probably more tools than a weekend warrior.

If I was a full timer, one set of tools I would like to fit in a tool box would be my 250lb torque wrench and a couple of breaker bars and large sockets I use to tighten my Equalizer hardware just in case I need to add or remove a washer to the head while on the road. Along with the usual screw drivers, sockets and handles, wrenches etc it's hard to know what else to bring. I'd like to bring my Dremel tool, soldering iron. I suppose you need to bring enough tools to do light work on the tow vehicle as well as the Airstream. I have an old Craftsman rolling tool box. I like the ability to organize my tools via a drawer; screw drivers in on drawer, sockets in another, wrenches in another drawer and then a large drawer for my bulkier items but it would be heavy. I suppose I could just bring the removable top box and sell the bottom cabinet.

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Old 10-18-2016, 07:58 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys. This thread is more about recommending the toolbox than about the tools.

That said, I just got another suggestion from someone: Tool rollups such as those made by LeatherCraft. Just get a bunch of rollups, fill them with tools, and then put all the rollups into a LeatherCraft bag. No rattles, and relatively lightweight.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:52 PM   #6
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At home, tools are stored in Kennedy and Waterloo roll arounds and drawer chests as well as in cabinets and on peg boards. On the road, I carry my ratcheting wrenches in roll ups (one for SAE & one for metric). The roll ups and assorted screw drivers, pliers, meters, hammers etc are all in an 18" AWP bag with lots of pockets inside and out for the little stuff like sockets and Allen wrenches as well as organizing the various pliers and drivers. Breaker bar and extension are kept in a large tote I use to store my hitch in with my grease gun and various lubes. I keep my torque wrench under the rear seat of the truck. A torpedo level is in the trailer. As I am still new to Airstreams and my trailer was bought new this past spring, my tool list is still evolving and, no doubt, will require an adjustment to how I carry them, but I really don't plan on dragging a drawer chest around. I will probably start to carry a cordless drill driver and bits in the original blow molded poly case. I hope this gives you some ideas.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #7
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Cheap, but sturdy plastic toolbox for the main repair tools. Trailer setup and tear down stuff tossed in a milk crate style folding box in the TV.

Not much OCD on organization here


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Old 10-19-2016, 04:58 AM   #8
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You can't beat Kennedy.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Thanks, guys. This thread is more about recommending the toolbox than about the tools.

That said, I just got another suggestion from someone: Tool rollups such as those made by LeatherCraft. Just get a bunch of rollups, fill them with tools, and then put all the rollups into a LeatherCraft bag. No rattles, and relatively lightweight.
I used to carry tools that way. Fine up to a point but at some point it got hard to find what I was looking for. That is why I went to a box with drawers for the trailer/TV tools. Still keep a roll up of tools for quick TV repairs when not towing and carrying the box.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:19 PM   #10
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If you can find an older Kenedy, they are great, the new ones appear to be much thinner and may be made in china. If cost is no object then Gerstner USA
http://www.gerstnerusa.com/?gclid=CN...FYU2aQod6RoPEQ
Grizzly sells a Chinese copy that isn't all bad.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/26-O...campaign=zPage
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:25 PM   #11
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Over the years I have had a house in town, a lake cabin, a widowed mom and old maid aunt, mother-in-law and various folks who needed small things done by our church program for shut-ins, etc which required a variety of tools to take care of. Over the years there have been sales of cheap plastic one compartment tool boxes with one tray in top. I bought 6 or 7 of them for about $5 ea and labeled them on each end with a black magic marker "Plumbing", "Carpenter", "drill motors", "small saws" etc. I keep them side by side on a shelf under my workbench so that I can read the label on the ends and grab the ones I need when going across town or where ever to one of my jobs. They are a standard size but not so big that if full I can't pick up one in each hand and throw them in the back of my truck or car. There is also one with multiple compartments labeled "towing" with all the little things like spare carter keys, clips, grease, tire pressure guage etc.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:13 PM   #12
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I hate to sound like a commercial but I've always had good luck with Dewalt - your local Lowes and/or Home Depot carries them; they are reasonably priced and come in about 3 levels of quality, depending on your preference.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:29 PM   #13
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Thanks, for the input, folks. Research, influenced by your ideas, continues on my end.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:42 PM   #14
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I get everything I might reasonably need in a DeWalt Gladstone-style open top tool bag (source: Walmart). Then I put all my tire-related tools in a cloth/canvas mechanics bag (source: Harbor Freight). My philosophy is that if I need a more esoteric tool, I can go buy it or borrow it, but these two seem to carry virtually all the tools most suggest be along for a trip.

Rivet tools, electrical connectors, fuses, etc. I keep in a plastic bin stored in one of the outside lockers. Ditto for grease gun.

I like the soft-side bags because they store easily in the trailer.
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