Best Truck Tool Box – Buyer’s Guide
A truck tool box is a great addition on your truck. Tools left on the back seat can damage your truck’s interior, making it a challenge when you need to transport a family member or any other person. You also cannot leave the tools on the bed of your truck as they are exposed to elements that might cause rusting and water damage. They are also susceptible to theft when left at the bed of the truck.
A truck tool box is a worthy investment especially when you consider replacing stolen tools. If you choose a toolbox well, it might last a lifetime, saving you the challenges of storing and organizing your tools. Toolbox material, size, and price are just some of the few factors to help you discern the best toolbox among the many choices on the market. Below is a simple buyer’s guide and some of the top truck toolboxes to help you out during shopping.
Best Truck Tool Boxes of 2018
|SPG International TB-30D Utility Box (Editor's Choice)||45"x15"x15"||Type - Chest;|
Material - Steel;
All steel diamond plate design;
Reinforced top lid;
Metal, welded side handles;
Welded, metal locking hasp;
Protected bottom pads
|Lund 79760PB Side-Mount Box||61.5"x13.5"x14.5"||Type - Side Mount;|
Material - Aluminum;
Diamond plated black finish;
Limited lifetime warranty
|Better Built 67011386 ATV Toolbox||23.3"x15.8"x13"||Type - Chest;|
Material - Aluminum;
Lockable paddle handles
|Lund 5748 Storage Box||48.2"x13.1"x12.8"||Type - Side Mount;|
Material - Aluminum;
Lockable paddle handles;
Twin commercial gas struts;
No drilling into the truck bed
|UWS DS22 Drawer Slide Box||23"x19"x8.5"||Type - Drawer Slide Box;|
Material - Aluminum;
Zinc-plated metal sliders;
3 removable bottom drawers;
1. SPG International TB-30D Utility Box – Best All-Steel Truck Tool Box
This is an all steel truck tool box with a shiny black finish. This finish protects it from rust and corrosion, and has been designed strong to resist scratching. It sports a diamond plate design, which enhances its appearance on your rig. It is a crossover box to be mounted just behind the truck’s back window on the bed rails. Each unit has a reinforced top lid with welded metal locking hasp to keep your tools safe. It also features metal welded side handles to allow transportation.
Each unit features protected bottom pads that keep the box safe and secure. It sports the ruggedness and durability of steel boxes and has been protected from rust thanks to powder coat and the polishing. The box is 45 inches long. The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty to cover workmanship and design defects. It is recommended for users who want a durable and secure tool box.
- Sturdy and highly durable
- Designed with handles for ease of transportation
- High quality locking hasps for added security
- Not compartmentalized
2. Lund 79760PB Side-Mount Box – Best Side Mount Tool Box
The Lund 79760PB is a 60-inch truck tool box designed as a side mount design, but with an L-shape. This gives you more space beneath the box on the truck bed to carry other items. Its long size lets you store long tools. The push button design of the box offers great convenience while giving a great storage solution. It sports a sturdy aluminum build with a silver finish. Being 60 inches long, the box is designed to fit on most trucks. It sports a diamond tread finish to last through beatings and look great on your rig. The finish enhances a scratchless look and keeps the unit safe from water and rust. To keep the box safe from abrasion and scratching, it is equipped with an electrostatically placed finish with Ethofoam mounting strips.
The boxes are designed to allow easy access. First off, they are side-mount boxes fitted with strong paddle handles. This is made even better by its push-button design and heavy-duty gas shocks that offer a smooth operation every time. Lund is a popular provider for automotive accessories with more than thirty years in the industry. The Lund 79760PB is offered with a limited lifetime warranty. It is recommended thanks to its high quality and strong construction and easy to use design.
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Designed with an easy access
- Scratch and abrasion resistant
- Relatively pricey
3. Better Built 67011386 ATV Toolbox – Best All-Aluminum Truck Tool Box
The Better Built 67011386 is a small tool box, originally designed for ATV, but still comes in handy for trucks when you do not have lots of tools. It sports an all-aluminum construction, giving it strength and durability while reducing its weight significantly. Its diamond plate construction enhances its appearance while making it non-slip.
This is a small version of a crossover design with a single lid that opens towards the back window of your truck. It is equipped with side handles, making it easy to transport, and high quality locking hasps to keep it secure. Each unit measures 20 inches long and 12 inches wide. This allows you to keep a number of short tools for everyday use.
This tool box is recommended for all those who need a small unit to use in their trucks, RVs, and other automobiles.
- Easy to mount and lightweight
- Can be used on trucks and other automobiles
- Comes with side handles for ease of use
- Small in size
4. Lund 5748 Storage Box – Best Push Button Truck Tool Box
This is a budget friendly professional grade truck tool box designed to keep tools safe and secure. It sports a Deflecta-Shield aluminum build for strength and durability. It is available in diamond plated, black, and polished finishes. There are different sizes and styles to choose from, making it an ideal choice for all.
The tool box is designed with dome style lids that are reinforced for more security. These lids are also lined on the interior for superior strength and utmost ruggedness. Each unit is made of high grade polished, 0.063-inch thick diamond plate aluminum. Each unit sports a three-piece box construction with fully welded seams to strengthen the safety and security of the box. For security, the box is offered with quick-release, stainless steel lockable handles. These lids are easy to operate and highly secure for your tool box.
The box is fitted with twin commercial grade gas struts lift lid, for easy, one-hand use. It comes with J-mounting hardware, which requires no drilling to install the box into the truck bed. The box is recommended for users who need a high-quality truck tool box for use in all situations.
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Fitted with strong and secure locks
- Different sizes and finishes available
- Relatively expensive
5. UWS DS22 Drawer Slide Box – Best Compartmentalized Truck Tool Box
The UWS DS22 is designed for storage of tools and other items. Its multi-purpose usage with easy configurations make it an ideal choice for many users. Each box is made from heavy gauge aluminum, giving it a long life without adding unnecessary weight. It is equipped with microseal stripping to lock out weather elements and dust. This keeps your tools dry and rust and grime free. The box is designed with zinc plated metal sliders on which are attached steel ball bearings. On these sliders are five precision-injected high-quality plastic drawers. The drawers slide smoothly on the steel ball bearings.
The unit features a diamond plate design with a shiny zinc color to enhance its appearance. It is fitted with handle locks with weather tight seals to keep your tools secure. The box is 23 inches long and 19 inches high. This allows it to house five large drawers to store away a high number of tools with great ease.
This box is recommended to those with a wide variety of tools that need to be well arranged for ease of access.
- Offered with drawers for organization
- Drawers slide smoothly on the steel ball bearings
- Large box with easy configurations
- Drawers are made of plastic, which is relatively less durable
Why Do You Need a Truck Toolbox?
Not many trucks are engineered with a canopy or a box where you can store your tools securely. If you are a part-time handyman, or you work fulltime, your tools are valuable possessions. By using a truck tool box, you keep the tools safe when you lock them in it. This will discourage the thieves from trying to break in. Another great advantage is that truck tool boxes are designed with a rubber weather seal that keeps dust and moisture away. This ensures your tools are dry and free of rust and dirt, and grime.
Seeing that most tool boxes are designed with internal shelving, they help you organize your tools. The shelves also allow you to keep other items in your box such as camping stove and tent. You can also carry jumper cables, emergency supplies and groceries.
The truck tool box you buy needs to have good safety features to ensure that it keeps your tools safe. Stolen tools will cost you money, time, and effort in replacing them. Plus, you may be out of job for a few days as you try to replace your tools. A good tool box should be sturdy with thick walls and metal safes. They should not be easy to open with a crowbar, and their weight discourages a thief from trying to dismount them and run with them.
A variety of the boxes are mounted to the floor of your truck and are only accessible through unlocking. These boxes are fitted with rotary latch mechanisms. This means that as long as you keep your tool box locked, and the lid stays flush with the box’s body, a crowbar will not fit to break into the box. Besides a cutting torch or an experienced lock picker, your box keeps you safe from theft. These two techniques will also cause noise and might take a lot of time, and, therefore, many thieves will not bother.
Different Materials to Choose From
Aluminum – This is the most common tool box material. Most of the boxes will have a bent sheet aluminum in a diamond plate pattern. Aluminum is tough and affordable and it looks great on the bed of your truck. Truck boxes made of aluminum are lightweight – in fact, aluminum has a higher strength-weight ratio than steel. This makes aluminum tough and secure without unnecessarily adding weight. Again, aluminum stays free of rust for a long time.
Steel – Steel is less common, but a great option too. It is relatively heavy, which has a couple of advantages and disadvantages. Though you will be transporting more weight at the back of your truck, steel boxes offer you more ruggedness and last longer than aluminum. To keep them from rusting, steel boxes sport a powder coated finish. This coating will not be compromised by a scratch, which leaves the box prone to rust and corrosion.
Stainless Steel – This is another less common material compared to aluminum, but more common than steel. A stainless-steel box offers the toughness of steel with the corrosion and rust resistance properties of aluminum. This makes the boxes expensive, secure, and long lasting. These boxes are not powder coated and they stay corrosion resistant for long. However, they can still be susceptible in jobsites with lots of chemicals.
Powder coated boxes will either be white or black. You can choose whichever color you feel will look great on your rig. A semi-glossy black box will look sleek especially when your truck has other black parts such as black tire rims or black plasti-dip. A smooth white tool box will also look great on any truck. The choice is aesthetic.
Aluminum boxes sport a diamond plate finish with no need for a powder coat. A manufacturer buffs the tool box, giving it a shiny finish. Stainless steel boxes are also buffed to give them a shiny finish, seeing that they also do not need a powder coat.
Truck Tool Box Styles
After you have chosen a good material for your tool box, you need to pick a style that resonates with your tastes and is easy to mount on your truck. Styles determine how a box sits on the bed of your truck and its accessibility. To choose a good style, consider where and how you will be using your box.
These are also called cross-bed boxes. They are the most common truck tool boxes. They get their name from their ‘cross-over’ design where they are installed across the bed of your truck’s bed from one side to the other, sitting on the bed’s rails. These boxes have a single lid that open towards the back window. Some boxes will have a double-lid design. These two lids open and lock separately, and divide your box into two separate halves. Some have two lids opening towards the center of the box. These boxes are loved for their convenience as you can reach them from the side without having to unnecessarily get into the bed of your truck. Low-profile crossover boxes are designed with a slim lid, ensuring they do not block you from seeing the back of your truck through your back window. Crossover boxes mount on the bed rails of your truck without necessarily touching the bed of your truck. This gives you space to carry other things such as lumber.
Side-Mount Tool Boxes
Side mounted tool boxes offer great accessibility. You do not need to get into the bed of your truck to access your tools. They can also be used together with crossover boxes to add more space. Side mount tool boxes are installed on either side of the truck’s bed rails facing outwards. Most of these boxes are long, spanning the length of your bed. This makes them handy when you need to carry long tools. If you need to access your tools often, these style is the best as you do not need to get into the bed of your truck to access the tools. You can easily access your tools from the sides of your truck. These boxes are also referred to as innerside truck tool boxes.
Tool chests sits on the bed of your truck rather than attaching to the sides. These chests are highly versatile and have a relatively large capacity compared to crossover boxes. Seeing that they do not mount on the bed rails of your truck, they look unattractive when used with truck canopies and tonneau covers, which are mounted on the rails. These boxes sit directly on the bed of your truck and this reduces the length of the truck’s bed. This reduces your ability to transport other supplies and goods.
Other Tool Box Styles
Some truck tool boxes do not fall in either of the categories above. Wheel well tool boxes are L-shaped, designed to fit perfectly on the space between the tail gate and the wheel well of your truck. These boxes are relatively small, which makes them ideal when you need to save space. Fifth wheel boxes sport a design that allows them to be used when you have a fifth wheel hitch on your truck’s bed. There are also underbed tool boxes, which are ideal for users with flatbed trucks. They mount under the flat bed reducing clearance and giving you enough space to carry other items.
Choosing a Good Size
Size is one of the most important factors when you are choosing a truck tool box. Generally, tool boxes are either labeled fits-full-size or fits-down-size. Down-size trucks are small pickups such as Frontiers, Tacomas, Canyon, Rangers or Colorado. Full size trucks are large and include Titans, Tundras, Sierras and Silverados among others. When shopping, you will need to consider different measurements including the length, width, and depth. Some boxes are asymmetrical, meaning you have to consider different other measurements. You want to pick a box that matches the measurements of your truck bed. You can also shop for boxes that are tailor made for different truck makes and models.
Measuring Your Truck’s Bed
There are different measurements to make when shopping for a truck tool box. To start, measure the distance from the inside of one bed rail to the inside of the other bed rail. The shorter measurement of the tool box should correspond to this measurement. Then, take the measurements between the outside of the bed rails to correspond with the largest measurements of the tool box you are considering. Note that a truck tool box wider than the truck’s bed will stick out and not sit perfectly on the bed.
Other measurements to consider include height of the truck and the distance between wheel wells and bulkhead. The height of the bed should be taken from the highest point of bed’s floor to the topmost part of the bed rail. Larger tool boxes may not fit properly on shallow truck beds. This height should correspond to height of the box you are buying. Measure the distance between the bulkhead and the wheel wells, this is the part of the truck’s bed just underneath the truck’s back window. This measurement is shown as depth on truck box. A larger box picked a short truck bed will span a long distance to hit the well wheels and end up not sitting properly. Owners of stepside or flairside trucks will need narrow boxes.
Installing a truck tool box is easy and straightforward. By the fact that you need a tool box, it means you are handy enough to figure out how to install one. Boxes are offered with all installation hardware and mounting instructions. You must be having the tools needed to install. While each model will have a different installation method, a typical and crossover box is the easiest to install as all you need is a J-bolt, a nut, and a washer. A J-bolt is long and hooks through the bottom of the box underneath the bed rail. You will only need a few turns and the tool box will be securely fixed. Some tool boxes might need you to drill the red rails for secure fastening.
Value for Money
As much as other factors matter, price determines which box your finally buy. Fortunately, truck tool boxes are offered at a wide range of prices to suit different budgets. You can pick a box based on how and when you will be using it. For some people, a bare minimum box will do. If this is what you need, choose an aluminum, single strut box with single lid. For other people, the tools they need to store require great organization, and as such, only a higher quality box will do. These users will need a high quality stainless steel box for protection against theft and weather elements. There are some high-end aluminum boxes too.
You need to consider the tools you will be storing inside the tool box. Ensure that the price of the box is not more than the tools you will be storing inside. Whichever tool box you choose, ensure that you get value for money.
There are so many truck tool box options on the market. You need to choose one that will meet your needs. First off, think of how much cargo you need to carry. If you are always on the road carrying large power tools, you will need a large tool box. Factor in the length and the width of your tools. For small tools, choose a shallow box.
Accessibility should also matter when you are choosing a tool box. If you are always using your truck bed, a crossover tool box will leave you enough space to carry other items. A side mount tool box comes in handy when you need to access your tools with ease from the sides. To be on the safe side, you can choose a tool box designed for the specific model of the truck you own.