The best tool racks: garages and workshops

Best tool racks to keep your garage tidy

by Chris Williams |

What's the only thing worse than a pristine, uncluttered and stain-free garage? A downright messy one. While junkyard-style garages have a certain freewheeling appeal, they are a nightmare when it comes to getting any work done.

To keep your garage or workshop free from project-ruining clutter and mess, it's best that you invest in some excellent tool storage options. One such option is the humble tool rack.

The term tool rack is a broad one, used to cover a range of items, such as shelving and wall-mounted peg boards. In this guide, we’re covering a range of tool storage options that could fall under the tool rack category and suggesting the best products along with them.

Naturally, such storage systems are aimed at the serious DIYer that spends a lot of time in the garage tinkering and owns a decent arsenal of tools. If you’re the casual DIYer who possesses a socket set, a drill and a couple of other items, you’re not really going to need anything beyond the case your tools came in.

Jump to:

Tool rack shelves

Heavy tools and equipment are best kept on boltless, flatpack shelving. Those with metal frames and MDF shelves come in a wide array of length, width, and height combinations, are very easy to put together and can carry hundreds of kilograms.

Though many garage shelving units look almost identical, we recommend those from G-Rack. Based in Durham, G-Rack specialises in solid, affordable racking, shelving, and workbenches.

Dimensions (HxWxD): 150x75x30cm 
Weight limit (per shelf): 175kg 
Features: Rust-resistant metal coating, moisture-resistant MDF shelves, adjustable layout

Dimensions (HxWxD): 180x90x30cm 
Features: Rust-resistant metal coating, moisture-resistant MDF shelves, adjustable shelf height

Related: Best car tool kits | The best tool chests

Tool rack peg boards

Loose tools are only best kept in a toolbox for portability. At home in the garage, a pegboard with hooks is a tidier and more practical way to store them. A pegboard is also great for fasteners because you can attach small storage bins. Pegboards are a simple, affordable way of lifting the clutter off your workbench.

The popular British tool brand Draper has an excellent option for domestic garages and workshops. It’s a reasonable size and comes with plenty of attachments.

Dimensions (HxW): 48.3x54cm  
Features: Spanner, screwdriver, and bit holders, 10 hooks, four bins

Certain circumstances mean we can’t screw shelves and racks into garage walls. It could be something as simple as being a renter and not being able to do such things. That doesn’t mean you can’t have wall hooks, because 3M’s Command hooks save the day.

Most are quite small and meant for light items such as a dustpan and brush. But there is a Jumbo Utility Hook, which is capable of holding up to 3.4 kilograms. These are certainly a welcome, no-holes-in-the-wall alternative to screws.

Dimensions (HxW): 10.8×5.1cm 
Space between hook and back: 3.5cm 
Features: Suitable for painted walls, tiles, metal, and wood

Related: Draper Barn Toolbox review: Is steel still king?

Magnetic tool racks

Along similar wall storage lines as a pegboard are magnetic tool racks. These are much more compact than a shelf and provided you attach tools within the weight limit, just as effective.

Our pick of the bunch is a three-pack that comes from Silverline Tools. Fitted with magnets that are enthusiastic about their job, these tool racks can each hold up to 2.5 kilograms each and are attached to a wall via screws and wall plugs (supplied).

Rack sizes: 20, 30, and 46cm 
Weight limit: 2.5kg per rack 
Features: Carbon steel, wall fixings supplied

Tool rack cabinets

Back on the floor, wheeled cabinets are an effective and aesthetically satisfying way of keeping your tools accounted for. Generous with space and lockable for security, wheeled tool cabinets are useful beyond the adverts in hardware catalogues.

Though quite large, our top recommendation is the XL Mobile Storage Unit from the Australian brand Pinnacle Hardware. For the space you get, it’s fantastic value and still comes with an anti-slip surface on top, drawer liners, powder-coated finish, and heavy-duty castor wheels. It can also be coupled specifically with Pinnacle’s steel and timber workbench which has a 750-kilogram capacity.

Dimensions (HxWxD): 81x150x50cm 
Features: Matte powder coating, key lockable, drawer liners

In providing a cabinet system somewhat more comprehensive, Draper has brought out a new range of modular tool storage systems called BUNKER. Immediately, that captures your attention because everyone wants a BUNKER in their garage. But crucially, these cabinets are genuinely useful.

They negate the need for all the above because they have drawers, shelving, and pegboards covered. Therefore, it is an investment, but one the serious DIYer or home mechanic will heavily appreciate and get great use out of, just like a mechanic’s seat. There are several sizes available and we think the best is the smallest, relatively speaking.

Dimensions (HxWxD): 200x196x46.3cm 
Storage: Full-height cabinet, two overhead cabinets, five-drawer cabinet, two-door floor cabinet, two pegboards  
Features: Soft-close drawers with foam liners, hardwood or steel benchtop, adjustable feet

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