Best Truck Toolboxes
Some of the best truck toolboxes to keep your tools/small items safe
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Truck beds are extremely versatile when it comes to hauling large and small objects around. Still, a little bit of organization always helps to protect items and preserve your sanity. Small tools, for example, benefit from a proper toolbox you can access anytime you need the random odd and end. Truck toolboxes are perfect for professional going to the job site or for daily use, even if you don't have any tools to haul around. To spice up your truck bed organization, check out our guide for the best toolbox options.
- Best OverallWeather Guard 117502SummarySummaryThe best heavy-duty, large truck toolbox that sports a traditional design and plenty of interior space for small tools and other items.ProsProsOffers about 101 cubic feet of usable interior space. Comes with high-quality latches and joints. Easy mounting with the supplied J-hooks.ConsConsAluminum skin can be dented with a good knock or impact. Quality of the weather sealing is hit or miss. Potentially too large or bulky for some smaller trucks.
- Best ValueUnderCover SwingCaseSummarySummaryThe toolbox to choose when you want to spend less money on a unique solution that works most truck beds and tonneau covers.ProsProsUnique design that opens up the full space of the truck bed between the wheels. Comes as a pack of two boxes; each one can swing out over the tailgate for easy access.ConsConsSmaller than most traditional truck toolboxes. The curved and narrow design of the box limits the usable interior space for larger tools and awkward objects.
- Honorable MentionTruXedo TonneauMateSummarySummaryA unique toolbox that sports a tonneau-friendly design. Offers access to the inside even when the bed is covered.ProsProsLarge interior space. Installation is quick and flexible. Can be mounted in different areas of the bed (front, middle, or rear). Plays well with TruXedo's tonneau covers.ConsConsLimited compatibility with other tonneau cover makes and models. The lid can only be unlocked from the driver's side.
Why Buy a Truck Toolbox
- Organize and haul small items. Since a truck bed is just one large rectangle, storing small items can be difficult when you don't want loose items floating around as you drive. A tool or storage box provides simple and convenient storage space to keep small objects so everything is contained.
- Protect valuables. While most truck toolboxes aren't bank vaults, the basic locks and latches they provide are good for general tool storage and protection. The average toolbox is secure enough to deter all but the most motivated would-be thieves.
- Free up the pickup truck bed. Less small items in the truck bed mean more usable space for larger things. Some toolboxes sit above the floor of the bed, so it's easier to haul longer or more awkward items while still taking advantage of the space above.
Types of Truck Toolboxes
This is arguably the most traditional form of a truck toolbox. Spanning from one side of the bed to the other, this design straddles the bed so it floats above the floor. Many saddle boxes (also known as a crossover toolbox) offer more flexible mounting options and preserve the space underneath for longer items.
If you were to take a typical garage toolbox and place it in a pickup bed, you'd have the basic ingredients of a low-profile chest-style truck box. Chest boxes usually sit on the floor of the bed and can offer more space for tools at the expense of space in the bed itself accessible via a single lid. These also tend to be simpler in design and installation.
Side-mounted truck boxes often run the length of the truck bed while preserving the center. This type plays well with camper shells and tonneau covers, especially if the box sits below the bed rail line. Most side-mounted setups use two boxes for each side of the bed.
Top Brands of Truck Toolboxes
As a successful line of truck and van accessories, Weather Guard is an established brand name for trucker owners looking to find a toolbox. Owned by WernerCO, Weather Guard's origins started in Crystal Lake, Ill. in 1960 with founder Howard Knaack's original storage toolboxes. Today, the brand offers a variety of traditional truck boxes that come in different sizes and materials to fit personal needs and tastes. Toolboxes like the Black Aluminum Saddle Box offer a lot of value for professionals needing a secure place for their tools.
Since 1977, Dee Zee has been a company focused on making truck accessories for a wide variety of customers. The company's lineup has a healthy mix of general-use accessories and tools more inline for professional use. For a toolbox, the DZ8370 Gull Wing Toolbox is a good option to start with if you want a basic, no-frills box that's easy to install.
Originally a one-piece truck cover manufacturer, UnderCover has quickly expanded its line of tonneau covers and accessories since its founding in 1999. In addition to different types of tonneau covers, the company introduced its line of SwingCase Toolboxes to offer more value and utility to its customers.
Best Truck Toolbox Pricing
- $150 and under: Budget toolboxes often take a no-frills approach in design. Essentially, most box options you'll find in this range will be basic, small boxes that typically lack locks and internal organization.
- $150-$500: Midrange boxes tend to introduce more convenience and organization features in their design. Most professional-use boxes also start in this range.
- $500 and above: Higher-end toolboxes are typically meant for professional use where the abuse of tossing tools around can destroy lesser options. Boxes around the $750 mark tend to offer the most space and internal organization.
The main purpose of a toolbox, besides organization, is protection. Beyond theft prevention, the best protection a toolbox can provide is from the weather. Weather-resistant protection comes in the form of quality exterior materials and a proper weather seal around the seams of the box. The best options can keep out the rain and survive a few knocks from hail or rust from water. Look at stainless steel boxes and heavy-duty aluminum toolboxes with a good powder coat for the best corrosion-resistant protection.
Theft prevention is an important component to truck beds in general since they lack the inherent security of enclosed cargo spaces like trunks. A toolbox with a high-quality, smooth-running lock makes it more difficult to open the lid to deter casual thieves from stealing the inside contents.
Lid and Gas Lift
If you plan on using your toolbox a lot, a high-quality lid is a must. In addition to weather and theft resistance, the lid should open and close smoothly. Good gas lifts to support the lid help with the smooth operation since they can take the weight of the lid and control the movement while opening and closing it.
- Material: Truck toolboxes tend to mimic the design and construction of their garage counterparts. Like regular toolboxes, common materials for truck boxes include aluminum, steel, and plastic. The right material depends on your preferences for security and portability. Plastic and aluminum are lightweight materials, but steel is the best for theft and weather resistance.
- Size: The right size of a truck toolbox is a matter of offering enough space for tools and fitting inside the truck bed itself. Most boxes are limited in width to fit between the bed rails of different truck models, but you will find some variety when it comes to length and depth. Most full-size pickups are more universal for truck bed toolboxes.
Best Truck Toolboxes Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Truck Toolbox Overall: Weather Guard 117502
Weather Guard's 117502 is a traditional truck toolbox that is designed to offer easy access within the truck bed, good protection for tools while driving, and better thief prevention than budget toolboxes. For the most part, this box delivers on most of these accounts, especially if you are looking for a durable toolbox that has a lot of room to use in most truck beds.
At 101 cubic feet (18.5 x 27 x 71.5 inches), this saddle box is on the larger side of toolboxes. The size helps to maximize the amount of storage space you have for tools as long as you aren't too concerned about giving up extra space in the bed of the truck. The saddle design, however, does preserve some space underneath the box for smaller items you may want to set in the bed itself.
Compared to most truck toolboxes, this one is on the higher-end side. For the most part, its construction reflects the higher quality, especially the latches and joints. Unfortunately, the aluminum construction is prone to denting if it gets knocked hard enough. The size of the box is also too bulky in some truck beds that may lack the required width on the top and sides of the bed rails.
Best Truck Toolbox Value: UnderCover SwingCase
Throwing out the book on traditional truck toolbox design, UnderCover created the SwingCase to appease truck owners who want to keep their beds covered and usable at the same time. As a result, this box fits below the bedrail, staying clear of a tonneau cover and opening up the main usable bed space between the wheels. In addition to a good value, the toolbox also offers a lot of utility for professionals and daily drivers alike.
Each case comes in a paired set so you can install one toolbox on each side of the truck. A curved cutout on the bottom of the box allows it to fit over the wheel, flush with the bed's side. The best part of the box's design is the hinge that allows it to swing out over the tailgate. The hinge makes it easy to access the box without having to dive into the tailgate with the cover closed.
The SwingCase is designed with portability in mind, which is both a benefit and drawback. Since you can slide the toolbox out of the hinge to take it with you, the main body is light and small. With a 75-pound weight limit, the storage capacity of the SwingCase is more limited than traditional toolboxes.
Best Truck Toolbox Honorable Mention: TruXedo TonneauMate
While more expensive than some basic boxes, TruXedo's unique take on a traditional toolbox strikes a good balance between price and utility. Designed to work in conjunction with the company's line of truck bed covers, this box preserves access to the inside so you can keep your bed secured while still being able to reach for things inside the box.
As a toolbox, the TonneauMate toolbox sports a basic design with a central top lid that self-locks when closed. The size will fit most full-size trucks and hold as much as other traditional boxes in the interior. The real highlight with the toolbox is the flexible mounting and placement in the design. The box can be mounted in front, middle, or rear of the bed and sits above the bed so some space remains usable underneath.
Compatibility with different tonneau covers is somewhat finicky. While TruXedo's line of covers tends to work well with the box, other manufacturer's offerings will only work with the right dimensions and (possibly) some customization to the cover mounting. As a result, this isn't the box to choose unless you have or want to buy a TruXedo cover or don't want to mess with the bed coverage altogether.
- Buy a toolbox with some internal dividers or compartments to add more tool organization to your setup.
- Tool chests are a good type of toolbox to consider if you want something that can work with tonneau covers. Not all chest designs are short enough to work, but many sit right below the bed rail line.
- Almost all toolboxes will work with camper shells unless they interfere with the shell's placement on the bed rails. Measure the box's overhang to see if it may present a problem.
- Some toolboxes will require drilling into the side of the truck bed for installation. This is where professional installation may be preferable if you aren't comfortable modifying the truck yourself.
- Add some style to your truck with a color-matched powder coating. You can also choose a black powder coat or a plane diamond-plate steel surface if you want something that goes well with different colors and styles.
Q. What style of the toolbox is the best?
A. This all depends on how much you want to store and how much access you need to the box. Saddle boxes are typically easy to access from the top of the bed, but chest boxes tend to offer the most truck bed storage.
Q. What do I need to measure to see if a toolbox will fit?
A. The width is the most important thing to measure in the truck bed. The toolbox needs to be as wide or shorter than the bed itself. Height and depth are less important unless you want to preserve as much bed space as possible.
Q. What can I store in a toolbox?
A. Any small thing you want. Tools are common for working truck owners, but toolboxes can hold everyday items that you don't want to leave exposed in the truck bed.
For a toolbox that offers a lot of space and convenient mounting options, check out our top pick, the Weather Guard 117502.
For the budget-conscious, you don't have to spend a lot. A good budget alternative that is compatible with most truck beds and covers is the UnderCover SwingCase.
If you have experience with truck toolboxes and have your own preferences, sound off in the comment section below.
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