City apartments continue to shrink, which means that the self-effacing, efficiently-spaced toolbox warrants more attention. It represents security, organization, creative potential and an “I-can-fix-that” attitude that’ll save you cash on a house call. As we rapidly approach the season of weekend projects and broken ACs, these six toolboxes are the perfect gear tows for the would-be apartment handyman, DIYer and home mechanic to get whatever “it” is done.
Excel 19.5-Inch Cantilever
Simple, sturdy and affordable. Excel’s cold-rolled steel toolbox weighs in at 13 pounds and opens up to five trays of storage, while it’s powder-coated red or black finishes provide a less scratch-prone surface. If you’re in for a toolbox to shove under the sink and forget about until you need it, this is your choice.
Trusco Two-Level 13.5-Inch
This Japanese-made stamped-steel toolbox is pretty enough to hang out in plain view, but not so pretty it can’t get its handles dirty. The Trusco’s main selling point is its surprisingly functional blue enamel coating. It prevents dings, scratches, eliminates rust issues while smoothing otherwise sharp edges and corners. It also weighs in under six pounds, so even loaded up with all manner of hammers and wrenches, it shouldn’t require both hands to carry.
Best Made Co. 15-Inch
Best Made Co.’s toolbox is exactly what you’d expect it would be, and that’s fantastic. Made entirely by hand in America with American materials, this 22-gauge powder-coated steel toolbox is a simple 15-inch mini storage spot for heavier tools. Other than the box, the only trimmings are the spot-welded handle and single-latch lock, the classic Best Made stamp and a tiny American flag. And because it’s Best Made, it’s guaranteed for life.
Puebco Steel Toolbox
If obscure Japanese brands are your thing, Puebco, and its dialed-down, Americana aesthetic, may be worth looking into. Its all-steel toolbox is decidedly not easy to find, but its lunch pale size combined with old-school workman vibes make it worth digging around the internet. At less than 12 inches, it’s a bit less lengthy than the other toolboxes on this list, so if you’re rocking larger tools you may want to look elsewhere. But if you want a badass toolchest that fits in at art school as well as it does as a part of your living room decor, the shipping cost is well worth it.
Homak 18-Inch Industrial Cantilever
If you’ve ever wanted the classic Kennedy Manufacturing toolbox but didn’t want to pull the trigger on a toolbox that runs into the hundreds, this Homak is for you. The Pennsylvania-based company has been making boxes to put your stuff in for almost 60 years, so they’re not you’re run-of-the-mill Amazon knock-off artist. This thing is not for the frail of arm, though, as the “Industrial” in its name isn’t a marketing ploy — the thing is 20-pounds of powder-coated steel when empty. Finishing touches include three steel clasps for secure closure and a comfortable vinyl handle to carry the load. It probably won’t fit under your sink and may not be pretty enough to occupy space in your media center, but it’ll slide into a closet just fine.
Metalplus Toolboxes are not easy to find in the States. Created by a single family in a small town outside of Parma, Italy, they don’t exactly subscribe to American mass-availability schemes. They come in a range of bright colors, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find a healty selection. Each toolbox’s exterior is coated with a tough powder-coated epoxy that deflects potential scratches and damage.