Best Truck Tool Boxes: Protect And Store All Your Important Gear
Just because your tools are in the truck bed doesn't mean they have to be left unprotected.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
If you use a pickup truck for work, you know how hard it can be to keep gear and tools organized and secure in your truck bed. Tools and gear need to be stored securely to protect them from damage or theft and to keep you from being constantly annoyed by stuff rolling around in the back of your truck bed every time you turn a corner. Enter the truck tool box. These boxes are specifically designed to fit snugly in the bed of your truck so you can keep all your top tools and equipment organized and safe.
If you’re in the market for a new truck tool box, we’ve got you covered. With our list of the best top-of-the-line tool boxes on the market and our handy buying guide, we’ll have you organized and ready to roll in no time.
This is a traditionally styled 60-inch truck tool box constructed from 100-inch thick diamond tread aluminum that’s built to withstand extreme weather conditions.
- Can be used as a top-mount or under-mounted tool box
- Heavy-duty replaceable gasket seal keeps items dry
- Reinforced, recessed, drop-door provides added security for your tools
- Not compatible with all trucks
- Some issues with quality control on welds and screws
The toolbox to choose when you want to spend less money on a unique solution that works most truck beds and tonneau covers.
- Unique 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
- Smaller than most traditional truck toolboxes
- Curved and narrow design of the box limits the usable interior space for larger tools and awkward objects
A unique toolbox that sports a tonneau-friendly design. Offers access to the inside even when the bed is covered.
- Large 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
- Limited compatibility with other tonneau cover makes and models
- Lid can only be unlocked from the driver's side
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best Truck Tool Boxes Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected The Products
Our goal with this guide was to select a well-rounded and versatile group of top-quality truck tool boxes that are suitable for a variety of different situations. Not all trucks are created the same and not all truck owners have the same needs, so keeping that in mind, we sifted through dozens of potential options to produce a well-rounded group of selections. We only considered truck tool boxes made by reputable and long-standing manufacturers. We sifted through hundreds of online user evaluations and real customer feedback to come up with the truck tool boxes that get lots of love from satisfied purchasers.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing yet on all of these products, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
Why Buy a Truck Tool Box
- 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 a simple and convenient storage space to contain small objects so everything stays in place.
- Protect valuables. While most truck tool boxes aren't bank vaults, the basic locks and latches they provide are good for general tool storage and protection. The average tool box is secure enough to deter all but the most motivated would-be thieves.
- Free up the pickup truck bed. Fewer small items in the truck bed mean more usable space for larger things. Some tool boxes 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 Tool Boxes for Trucks
Saddle Tool Box
Also known as a crossover toolbox, this is arguably the most traditional form of a truck tool box. Spanning from one side of the bed to the other, this design straddles the bed so it floats above the floor. Many saddle boxes offer more flexible mounting options and preserve the space underneath for longer items.
Chest Tool Box
If you were to take a typical garage tool box 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 provide more space for tools at the expense of space in the bed. They are accessible via a single lid and tend to be simpler in design and installation.
Side Mount Tool Box
Side-mounted truck boxes often run the length of the truck bed while preserving the center. This type of tool box 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.
Underbody Tool Box
As the name implies, these super heavy-duty, large-capacity tool boxes mount on the underside of your vehicle’s frame. They’re usually reserved for use in larger commercial vehicles, such as tow trucks and tractor trailers. They provide easy access from the side of the truck and come in a wide variety of sizes.
Wheel Well Tool Box
Wheel Well tool boxes are a fairly ingenious design that maximize storage space and efficiency in the back of your truck. They’re cut with a round shape that fits over the wheel well and may or may not be mounted on swinging hinges near the tailgate so that you can swing them toward the back of the truck to access your gear. They’re slimmer and smaller in capacity than other types of tool boxes, but they’re an excellent option for storing smaller tools and other gear.
Top Brands of Truck Tool Boxes
Buyers Products was founded in 1946 and is an Ohio-based company. A leader in the truck equipment industry, Buyers Products is proud that all of its engineering, manufacturing, and assembly takes place in the United States. Check out the Buyers Products Black Diamond Tread Aluminum Gull Wing Truck Box and the Buyers Products Heavy Duty Diamond Tread Aluminum Step Box for some innovative storage solutions.
TruXedo was founded in 2000 as a division of Shur-Co., a South Dakota-based company. It has grown into the largest manufacturer of soft roll-up tonneau covers, like the TruXedo TruXport. The company was purchased by a private equity firm in 2007 as part of a larger umbrella of truck products and accessories.
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.
The main purpose of a tool box, besides organization, is protection. Beyond theft prevention, the best protection a tool box can provide is weather protection. 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 tool boxes 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 tool box with a high-quality, smooth-running lock makes it more difficult to open the lid, which deters casual thieves from stealing the contents.
Lid and Gas Lift
If you plan on using your tool box 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 smooth operation since they can take the weight of the lid and control the movement while you're opening and closing it.
- Buy a tool box 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 tool boxes 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 tool boxes 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 tool box is the best?
While there is no one style of truck tool box that can definitively be called the best, we prefer the versatility of a tool box that can be mounted either in the truck bed or under the truck for easy access, depending on the type of truck you own.
Q. What do I need to measure to see if a tool box will fit?
When measuring the space for your truck tool box, the most important number to get right is the length of the box. The outside length of the tool box must measure slightly less than the inside width of your truck bed, or the undermounting space that you plan to use. If you use larger tools, be sure to measure the inside length and width of the tool box to ensure that it will be able to accommodate larger tools.
Q. What can I store in a tool box?
The possibilities are endless. Smaller items, like hardware, wrenches, saws, etc. are perfect for storing in your truck tool box. However, you can also store hunting gear, emergency supplies, sporting goods, beach gear, and anything else you don’t want to get wet or damaged from rolling around in the back of your truck.
Now that you know what to look for in a top-quality truck tool box, it’s easy to see why the Buyers Products 1705115 Diamond Tread Aluminum Underbody Truck Box is our top pick. It’s constructed from .100-inch thick diamond tread aluminum that’s built to withstand extreme weather conditions. It’s corrosion- and dent-resistant, and will hold up well against some serious wear and tear. This toolbox comes equipped with a locking, die cast compression latch system that not only protects your tools and gear from weather, but from theft as well.
Our budget-friendly pick, the UnderCover SwingCase, is also an excellent choice that won’t break the bank and will keep your gear safe and organized.
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Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.