Best Truck Toolboxes: Keep Your Valuable Items Secure
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 May 27, 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. There’s nothing worse than listening to cargo and tools rolling around during your drive. Not only is it annoying and damaging to your truck, but it can also be dangerous. This is where having a rugged, reliable truck tool box comes in handy.
With a truck tool box, you can organize and safely stow all your smaller pieces of equipment and gear. A truck tool box will also save you time searching for elusive parts by keeping things neat. It will also prolong the life of your tools by protecting them from rain, snow, and other harsh elements, as well as protect your truck bed from dents and scratches caused by loose equipment.
If you’re in the market for a new truck tool box, we have you covered with some top notch recommendations as well as an informative buying guide that will tell you exactly what to look for to ensure you’re getting a top-quality, long-lasting product.
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
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
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 keep small objects so everything is contained.
- 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. Less 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
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 (also known as a crossover toolbox) 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 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 Mount Tool Box
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.
Underbody Tool Box
As the name implies, these types of tool boxes are super heavy-duty, large capacity tool boxes that 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 really helps to maximize storage space and efficiency in the back of your truck. They’re cut with a round shape that fits right 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
As a successful line of truck and van accessories, Weather Guard is an established brand name for trucker owners looking to find a tool box. Owned by WernerCO, Weather Guard's origins started in Crystal Lake, Ill. in 1960 with founder Howard Knaack's original storage tool boxes. Today, the brand offers a variety of traditional truck boxes that come in different sizes and materials to fit personal needs and tastes. Tool boxes like the Black Aluminum Saddle Box offer a lot of value for professionals needing a secure place for their tools.
TruXedo was founded in 2000 as a division of Shur-Co., a South Dakota-based company. They have 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.
Better Built has been providing innovative truck and job site storage solutions since 1989. The Illinois-based company sits under the umbrella of WernerCo and prides itself on thoughtful product designs that are durable and budget-friendly. The Better Built 73010280 70in Saddle Truck Box is one of the company’s top sellers.
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 Tool Box Pricing
- Under $150: Budget tool boxes 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 to $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 up: 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 tool box, besides organization, is protection. Beyond theft prevention, the best protection a tool box can provide is from the weather. Weather-resistant protection comes in the form of quality exterior materials and 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 to deter casual thieves from stealing the inside 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 opening and closing it.
- Materials. Truck tool boxes tend to mimic the design and construction of their garage counterparts. Like regular tool boxes, 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 tool box 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 tool boxes.
- Warranty. Selecting a high-quality truck tool box that’s backed by a solid manufacturer’s warranty is always a good idea. A good warranty will protect your considerable financial investment from unforeseen flaws or issues in the construction and durability of your toolbox. Let’s face it — your tool box is going to be subjected to some serious wear and tear, so it would be nice to have it hold up well and last you a long time, or be easily replaced if an issue does arise.
Best Truck Toolboxes Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- 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 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 have.
Q. What do I need to measure to see if a tool box will fit?
When measuring 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 your 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.