If you're a bit of an amateur mechanic and try and fettle your car from time to time, you're sure to start collecting a lot of tools. From a general socket set and screwdrivers down to more niche tools like a glow plug remover, you need somewhere to keep these tools.
Even if you only own a hammer and a tape measure it's best to keep them organised for when you'll inevitably need them. This is where a tool chest comes in as an essential garage organiser.
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A good tool chest has to balance durability and storage space against price and versatility. We've examined a whole range of different tool chests, from smaller tabletop units suitable for a typical tool kit right up to those gigantic wheeled units that offer enough tool space to swallow a branch of Wickes.
So read on to find the best tool chests that are sure to be a welcome addition to your garage.
The best tool chests
Best wheeled tool chest
The ideal size for a budding home mechanic, this seven drawer tool chest from Sealey offers plenty
Best of all however is the security offered by this tool chest. Aside from the quality cylinder lock, this tool chest comes with rare locking bars to keep the drawers secure. Previous products we've tested from Sealey have been of excellent quality and this is no different.
|Dimensions||64.5 x 80.5 x 36.5 cm|
|Features||Seven drawers, wheels, cylinder lock, locking bars|
Best value wheeled tool chest
Larger than the Sealey unit above (38.35 x 71.12 x 67.31 cm) this tool chest is actually cheaper
We've previously tested a Draper toolbox and found it to be excellent, which gives us high hopes for this tool cabinet. The reason this unit misses out on the top spot is that there are fewer security measures in place.
Only the top drawers feature a lock with no provisions for the lower chest. If you're ok with this fact then it's a great product, but it may put off more security-minded individuals.
|Dimensions||38.35 x 71.12 x 67.31 cm|
|Features||Five drawer chest, two drawer cabinet, wheels, lock|
The best beginners kit we could find, this lime green tool chest may be comparatively smaller than
If you already own some tools you'll probably own the majority of the tools supplied in this kit but it is a handy option for a first time home or car owner. It's the perfect car tool kit. The lime green finish is also very nice.
|Dimensions||51 x 22.5 x 30 cm|
|Features||Three drawer chest, opening top, 93 piece tool kit|
Best packaged tool chest
A very clever idea that incorporates three toolboxes into one modular tool chest complete with
We like how clever this unit is, even if it's not the most obvious brand. Other tool chests will offer better storage space but few will be as portable as this unit. In short, if you need to move your tool about a lot, this is a clever solution.
|Material||Steel and plastic|
|Dimensions||52 x 31 x 72 cm|
|Features||Four drawers, configurable design, wheels, handle|
The biggest cabinet by far is the gigantic (and aptly named) American Pro by Sealey offers a
Unlike the other tool chests here, this model is made with a double skin for extra strength. It also is designed to be resistant to scratches, oil, dirt and even some solvents. It's the ideal option if you have a load of tools but don't want to splash out for a fitted unit.
|Dimensions||68 x 33 x 163 cm|
|Features||16 drawers, Extra strength construction, wheels (two of which lock), handle, lock|
Best portable tool chest
The polar opposite to the above unit, this chest only offers two drawers (with ball bearing
It's similar to the other table-top unit from Sealey but doesn't come with the tools and features only two drawers. It also lacks that nice green finish but that isn't the end of the world.
|Dimensions||25 x 37.5 x 24.5 cm|
|Features||Two drawers, handle|
Tool chest FAQ:
Wheeled or stationary?
This is almost entirely down to your needs. In a larger garage (or professional setting) wheels will make tasks easier but they are in no way essential. Stationary units are equally good if you don't mind getting those steps in walking to and from the tool chest.
What about a toolbox or tool roll?
Both of these are more portable but with the trade-off that they store less and won't be as secure. Some of the smaller examples here bridge being both tool chests and toolboxes and so are a possible middle ground. If they aren't to taste we recommend a simple tool roll for portable tool carrying.
Think about your needs
There are two deciding factors here, how big is your garage and how many tools will you realistically be owning. A large garage can easily swallow a massive 16-drawer unit with ease whereas a smaller (or full of junk) garage may struggle with anything larger than a table-top unit.
A nut-and-bolt restoration of a vintage Bentley will require more tools than an oil change of a Fiesta van. And while we believe there is no such thing as too many tools, a giant 16-drawer unit may be a bit overkill if you only own a claw hammer.