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I need a tolbox but have got no experience with one. Can you suggest what things to consider before I choose one? Some examples will be very helpful.

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Some clarification may be useful: 1) What type of projects are you planning to do? 2) Will this work require you to be traveling to different site locations? 3) Is security a concern? –  Mike B Oct 5 '10 at 20:50
    
Mike... this is just a normal toolbox for daily use around the house, so travelling and security is not a concern. Regarding projects, mostly it will only small assembly projects or at most a little modification projects. –  nanda Oct 6 '10 at 4:59
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Some aspects you should consider would be:

Size:

  • If you're just starting out with your tool collection, you may want to look into a tool set/tool box combo. The one from the link has several drawers with a bigger top compartment. You can also get an expanding tool box which lets you see where all your tools are without having to go through all your drawers.
  • If you just want somewhere to store a limited amount of tools because you don't use them often, I'd suggest a simple plastic toolbox like this one. My first toolbox was a similar design with a lift-out tray and small hardware storage compartments in the lid. It is a bit of a hassle to go digging around in the one main compartment though.
  • Do you have a garage full of tools? A rolling tool chest has a high storage capacity with lots of drawers for easy organization. The one here has a big drawer for larger items and several drawers for organization of smaller tools. An easily portable tool bag would be a great addition if you go this route, since a large chest isn't portable.

Portability:

  • Are you going to be working at other locations than where you store your tools? A truck toolbox might be useful if you're always working at different locations. (I just realized I made the assumption that everyone owns a truck - whoops!) However, if you're mostly doing home improvement jobs at your own house, you probably don't need one of these.

Work Environment:

  • If you're doing most of your work on your own house, you probably don't need a lockable tool box. However, if you're planning on working in environments where more than close friends have access too, you definitely want to protect your tools from theft.
  • Are you going to be carrying it around, banging it up? Then you probably want a metal toolbox. Otherwise, if it's just going to sit in the garage, a plastic one might be okay.

Accessibility:

  • A tool bag or tool bucket organizer is the easiest way to keep tools nearby when you're working (other than a tool belt). I recently purchased a bag with a large center compartment and lots of pockets on the outside. I can see where all my tools are without digging through a toolbox. For home improvement projects, I'd recommend this style. You do have to consider that you can't lock it though.
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Make sure it's not too big for you to be able to move.

Even if you're planning on just using it for storage, you will need to move it from time to time. So you'll need to make sure you can still lift it when it's full. Even if it has wheels there will be times you'll need to move it upstairs for example.

If you're moving it a lot then choose one that's just big enough to hold the tools you need. That way you won't be tempted to overfill it. You'll also need to ensure that it will fit in your vehicle.

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