A long time ago, most handymen used a simple wooden tool box to store and tote around their tools. Nowadays, there are a variety of metal tool box options available for every type of handyman. There are cheap metal toolboxes for the occasional home fix-it, and there are large storage systems for mechanics and professionals. Most tool boxes are made out of one of three basic metals. The right box for you depends on the type of metal as well as the style of box.
Types of metal:
Stainless steel boxes are durable and weather-resistant. They are more expensive, but they will last a very long time, since they are highly anti-corrosive and heavy-duty. Stainless boxes are heavier than some other metals, so if you are looking for portable metal tool boxes, you may want to steer clear; the weight of all your tools plus the weight of a stainless box may be more than you wish to carry. However, if you know you will be slinging some heavy tools fairly frequently, you will appreciate the durability stainless boxes provide.
Aluminum boxes are inexpensive and lightweight, so they make great everyday tool boxes for home use. They are usually made from diamond-stamped sheet metal. Tool boxes made from aluminum are great if you need to tote around your tools on a regular basis. It is also a great metal for the handyman who often leaves his tool box outside, because aluminum is non-corrosive. However, aluminum is not as durable as other metals and can be dented as heavy tools slide around in the box.
Steel tool boxes have not been as popular since stainless and aluminum options have become available. However, steel is still an extremely durable metal. Steel is a corrosive metal, but it can be powder coated to help protect it from the elements. Just remember to touch it up on occasion, because if the coat is dinged or dented, the exposed area may corrode. If you are looking for durable indoor tool boxes, metal options such as steel or stainless steel are great because they will last forever. Otherwise, steel is best used for small metal tool boxes that won't break your back.
Style of box:
Most people are as familiar with the traditional tool box design as they are with their favorite comforters. Many people make their first tool caddy in high school shop class and are familiar with the portable design and pull-out tray. While many metal tool boxes fit this design, it is not your only option. For example, some companies now make special carrying cases that fold up like a briefcase for easy portability.
If you transport a large amount of tools on a regular basis, you may want to purchase a portable chest or suitcase-style box. The portable chest has many drawers and rolls around on wheels so that you don't have to break your back or spend a lot of time digging around a box. The drawers neatly organize your tools for easy and quick use. A suitcase-style tool box has an easy grip handle for rolling the box as well, and an extra hard metal case to protect all of your tools. The inside of the box will be laid out differently depending on the particular brand and style of case.