The 5 Best Metal Tool Boxes

Find the latest reviews for the best metal tool box below – updated for 2019! Choosing the right tool box or the highest ranked one, with all of the options out there, can be difficult. There are different types and brands of tool boxes – often that look the same until you pick them up and inspect them.

A tool box is such a simple thing, and yet, who would have thought it would be so difficult to choose a toolbox? Fortunately, our metal toolbox reviews and buying guide are here to assist and help you. We also have a tool box buying guide to assist you. The table below is summarizes the top 5 best tool boxes.

The 5 Top Metal Tool Boxes

Below are our reviews of the 5 best metal tool boxes & tool chest reviews. Note that when reading the reviews, always check the size, the material it is made from, handles and if it’s a metal tool box with drawers. And always think safety! The below rankings & reviews are for the best portable tool box made from metal.

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating *
Best Choice Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box, 19-Inch ♥♥♥♥♥
Premium Pick Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox ♥♥♥♥♥
Best Value Excel TB140-Black 20-Inch Portable Steel Tool Box ♥♥♥♡♡
Most Durable Homak BW00200240 24Inch Industrial Steel Toolbox ♥♥♥♥♡
Most Lightweight Excel TB137 Red 1-Tray Steel Tool Box ♥♥♥♡♡

*Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

Best Choice: Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box, 19-Inch

★ Best Choice
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Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box, 19-Inch

The Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box is unique among our top metal tool box picks. It features a unique storage system and is designed to handle heavier loads than your average metal tool box.

The Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box stands out because of its unique storage system among comparable metal tool boxes. The top drawer is the main draw of this tool box: The drawer slides towards the back in order to get into the lower storage compartment. The drawer also moves on ball bearing slides, as opposed to a simple metal on metal slider.

When you’re on the go, this tool box has an automatic locking mechanism that keeps the drawer closed when the toolbox is being picked up and moved. The handle on top is somewhat larger than most, as the manufacturer states it is easier to balance a heavier toolbox with a wider and longer handle. This product is designed from the ground-up to ensure smooth and easy transportation, no matter how heavy your tools are.

Because of the ball-bearing drawer, the unique construction and the slightly larger size of the toolbox, we give the Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box, 19-Inch toolbox our highest five star rating.

Item Key Features:

  • Long handle for weight distribution and balance for heavy tools
  • Ball-bearing drawer sliders
  • Large drawers for efficient tool storage
  • Backwards-opening top drawer

Premium Pick: Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox

♛ Premium Pick
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Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox

With a rugged design and heavy weight construction, this Red Craftsman Tool Box will be handed down from generation to generation. For its size and durability, this toolbox has won our “Premium Pick” placement as an excellent choice in metal toolboxes.

Compared to other toolboxes, the Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Portable Chest Toolbox is a step above the rest, in that it is an advanced toolbox that can meet anyone’s storage and durability needs. This Craftsman tool box has three drawers, whereas many of its competitors either have fewer or no drawers at all. When you’re on the go, your tools will remain safe: the drawers will not open unless the lid is open to prevent the drawers from opening when they should not.

The pros of the Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Toolbox include its heavy-gauge construction, a latching lid, three drawers and larger size. The cons of the Craftsman 3 Drawer Toolbox are that it is moderately expensive, has smaller drawer sizes, and its bright red in color. Ultimately, we think this is the best tool box for home, because with its size and weight, it may be less portable than another top tool box. We give the Craftsman 3-Drawer Metal Toolbox our highest ranking of Five Stars.

Item Key Features:

  • Thick metal frame for durability
  • Three-drawer storage system
  • Latching lid for secure transportation
  • Larger size compared to other tool boxes

Best Value: Excel TB140-Black 20-Inch Portable Steel Tool Box

$ Best Value
5 Best Metal Tool Boxes 55 Best Metal Tool Boxes 6

Best Value: Excel TB140-Black 20-Inch Portable Steel Tool Box

The Excel TB140 20-Inch Black Portable Steel Tool Box is a classic and straightforward tool box for the crafty toolsmith who doesn’t need bells and whistles in their metal tool box. With its simple design and lower price point, this toolbox has won our “Best Value” pick in metal tool boxes.

An all-around good tool box, the Excel TB140 20 Inch Black Portable Steel Tool Box is a classic and durable product when you don’t need specialized equipment for the job. This tool box features a full length piano hinge which holds to the main metal box for increased durability over other tool boxes that traditionally have two or three individual hinges.

The steel tool box is painted black using an industrial power coat finish method. It has one removable metal tray with a carry handle attached. This is a good all-around toolbox, though because it doesn’t have drawers or many extras, and the metal walls are somewhat thin, we give the Excel TB140 20 Inch Black Portable Steel toolbox our three star rating.

Item Key Features:

  • Piano hinge for increased durability
  • Industrial powder coat to protect from scratches and dents
  • Lightweight frame for ease of transport
  • Classic design for everyday use

Most Durable: Homak BW00200240 24Inch Industrial Steel Toolbox

♥ Top Pick
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Top Pick: Homak BW00200240 24Inch Industrial Steel Toolbox

This tool box is perfect for the crafter who works hard with their tools—durability and size is the name of the game with this one. This tool box is made of thicker metal and has a larger size compared to many of the other options without sacrificing affordability.

The Homak 24 Inch Industrial Steel Tool Box is one of the sturdiest choices for someone who does heavy-duty work with their tools. The tool box has three front latches, with one having a hole to secure a padlock. Though most other toolboxes only have one or two, this ensure that this tool box is much more durable than its competitors. And with metal walls that measure in a 0.8mm thickness, it’s also thicker and sturdier than the other options on this page. For a handyman who knows they’ll be beating up their tool box, the Homak 24 Inch Industrial Steel Tool Box is one of the sturdiest tool boxes for its price.

Instead of a power-type glossy and shiny paint covering, it is covered with a brown wrinkle powder paint covering. Included in the tool box is a removable tray. This tray measures 31 1/2″ long X 4 3/4″ deep X 1 1/2″ deep and is divided into two equal sections. The tray can be slide backwards, forwards or be removed altogether. Because of the thicker steel construction and the removable tray, we give the Homak 24 Inch Industrial Steel toolbox our four star rating.

Item Key Features:

  • Triple latch for increased support security
  • Thicker metal walls for durability
  • Removable inside tray for on-the-go work
  • Large size compared to other options

Lightweight Pick: Excel TB137 Red 1-Tray Steel Tool Box Review

♥ Top Pick
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Top Pick: Excel TB137 Red 1-Tray Steel Tool Box Review

The Excel TB137-Red Steel Tray Tool Box is the perfect tool box for a hobbyist. Smaller and lighter than many of the other options, this tool box works best for someone who doesn’t yet have a wide array of tools or need something more durable.

The Excel TB137-Red Steel Tray Tool Box has one metal tray and is painted red with an industrial powder coat paint finish. The overall dimensions are 16.9 inches long, with a 7 inch depth. It is 7.2 inches high.

The lid hinge is a piano-type spanning the entire lid length. There is only one metal latch to lock the lid onto the toolbox. The tray has no unique features but is removable, to add more versatility to the box. This is a great light-use tool box for hobby use. Because of the somewhat thinner construction metal and the lack of a larger hole to place a lock in the latch, we give the Excel TB137-Red 1-Tray Steel toolbox a three star rating.

Item Key Features:

  • Piano hinge for increased durability
  • Industrial powder coat to protect from scratches and dents
  • Lightweight frame for ease of transport
  • Classic design for everyday use

Who Should Buy a Metal Tool Box?

A good metal tool box can be a significant investment, so it’s important to evaluate if a metal tool box is the right choice for you and your storage needs. Metal tool boxes are extremely durable and can last a lifetime (or several), but they’re heavy and can be unwieldy for anyone who has to carry their tool box everywhere.

Do you do a lot of heavy-duty work with tools? If your tool box is going to see long-term use or be battered and banged around, a metal tool box will provide a greater value to you than less durable tool boxes that might wear out quickly. However, if you’re gentle with your tool boxes, a plastic tool box or a soft carry tool bag may be a better investment.

Another important factor is how often you travel with your tool box. Metal tool boxes are notorious for being heavy and difficult to haul around, especially if there are a lot of tools inside of them. A metal tool box may make travel difficult and be a poor choice for anyone who has to walk around a lot carrying their tools. However, if your tools don’t need to be moved often, a metal tool box is a great value for its durability.

Important Features to Consider

When buying a metal tool box, it’s important to know before buying what features are available and what features will meet your needs as a crafter. Here are a few popular features often found in metal tool boxes:

  • Removable interior tray for quick access to tools
  • Drawers to provide internal organization for the tool box
  • Subdivided trays for organization of small parts like nails, screwdriver heads, and drill bits
  • Latch hole to enable locking of tool box with a padlock when tools are not in use
  • Heavy-duty or light frames to ensure extra durability or to offset the weight of the metal container
  • Powder coating to protect the metal against rust, scratches, and dings
  • Ball-bearing drawer slides to allow drawers to slide in and out more smoothly

Not all of these features are necessary in a tool box, so it’s important to evaluate which features are the most important for your needs. For our favorite tool box that meets a majority of these specifications, check out the Stanley STST19501 Auto Slide Drawer Metal Tool Box, 19 Inch. This tool box features a ball-bearing supported drawer, heavy-duty metal frame, locking hole for a padlock, a protective powder coat, and an extended bar handle to support the weight of the tool box.

Conclusion

Though there are many other metal toolboxes on the market, the five toolbox choices above include light use and heavy use. Some are cheaper than others, and with some having more advantage than others. When choosing a metal toolbox, know if you will be using it outside, inside, and if you will need a heavy-duty toolbox or a light weight one. If a metal toolbox doesn’t fit your needs, then try a good tool belt that you put around your waist.