I've been investing quite a lot of money in power tools trying to up my game in the world of carpentry construction and feel that's it's just a matter of time before I lose the lot to thieves unless I take preventative measures. There are several types of tool vault with different approaches to how the vault is secured. I know from experience that exposed padlocks are a waste of time and disc locks like on the yellow "Van vaults" can be easily drilled out. This leaves me with 2 options that I can think of - vaults with "chubb" style locks or vaults with recessed pockets like on the RIGID(brand) type. The rigid vaults recessed pockets leaves the key hole exposed (could these be drilled out? and there are another type of recessed pocket where your hand goes into the recess and the padlock hooks up. Does anyone know which type of box is most secure form being openend?

  • @Ed Beal Thanks . Interesting locks designed to break drill bits. I've never been into insurance unless you couldn't possibly cover the cost of the loss - such as your house burning down or 3rd party on a car etc. I paint my tools too. Still would like to hear from someone re. 2 types of recessed pockets OR "chubb" style locks. Oct 8, 2018 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


I agree with @ Aloysius defenestrate. Video your tools, but next get drill prof locks they do exist or ones that cannot be drilled by normal hss, or titanium nitride coated bits , there are even locks that are resistant to cobalt bits designed to cause the bit to break but any tool vault can be opened, never trust anything that sits on the bed rails of a truck that is aliluminum or even light gauge steel a torch can open most any steel box in a few seconds and aluminum is a joke , not easy to cut through but a rose bud tip on a small torch will turn the aluminum into Jello in 10-15 seconds , I know this as my family business lost several tool boxes full of tools in the 70's in the north bay area of California. Today there are wireless low power systems than can detect intrusion and provide a GPS location using a simple 12v battery and about 1500$ system but that was a few years back maybe much cheaper today. Insurance and documentation of your tools including your initials and last 4 of your ssan engraved on each tool is the best way to identify your tools, after a lifetime of having boxes on work sites unless there is live security your tools can be taken it has happened to my family business growing up and when I was in other states. To tell the truth I found engraving tools and all my tools painted in the same ugly color(think ugly Flouresents) has been my best way in small towns, but insurance or on site security was the only way in larger cities , Several of my friends that have trailers have told me about the mobile GPS systems but they were expensive.


Not an expert on this, but have grappled with the same sorts of issues. While I know this site discourages opinions, here are mine:

Buy insurance. (Probably inland marine, if tools are on a jobsite. Talk to your agent.) Document the heck out of your stuff. Photos (backed up somewhere other than your primary residence), videos, receipts, manuals... keep everything. By now, you've figured out that it's not so much the actual tools that are hard to keep track of, but the accessories, like drill bits, blades, screws, etc.

Beyond that, any lock can be picked/drilled/cut/etc. I think the strategy would be to make your particular lock less attractive (ie, more work) than the alternatives. Site security (lighting, cameras), if possible, can deter thieves.

I haven't researched, but there are also security systems that can alert you and/or sound an alarm.

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