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ray jones 130/06/2020 22:53:53
51 forum posts
28 photos


I am wondering what make of tool boxes you all use.

I have Britool multi drawer boxes which are excellent and also a number Wolf multi drawer Boxes. The Wolf ones are very close to the Britool quality... Short of paying SNAP on prices, which make of boxes do you all use. For several months I have tried in vain to buy more WOLF boxes, but they have totally disappeared .!!! Appreciatte your thoughts on various makes and their quality of construction. thank you

Alan Waddington 230/06/2020 23:02:19
503 forum posts
87 photos

Snap on, buy secondhand, they’re good quality and always be worth good money if you sell them on.

Costco used to do a decent stainless range at reasonable money.

IanT30/06/2020 23:35:52
1551 forum posts
144 photos

I'm not going to be much help I'm afraid Ray

I keep much of my 'tooling' in the small plastic boxes they came in or rolled up in sealable kitchen bags. These are then grouped together in old biscuit and chocolate boxes (the large 'family-sized' plastic ones that are left over after Christmas) - you can stack them up and (big plus in my Shed) they keep things dry...

If something is used often, then it's just kept within reach on a shelf and wiped after use (this is where an oily rag comes in handy) - but otherwise I get out what I need for the job and put it back in the right box afterwards (they are labeled with 'clues' as to their probable content). I have seen the rolling tool boxes car mechanics use but I probably don't work in the same way as them nor have I got the room (and did I mention the damp? ).

I would like one of those wooden toolmakers boxes though (the ones with four or five thin drawers and a mirror in the lid) - but the nearest thing I could manage (e.g. was willing to afford) was a rather nice ex-cutlery box that I've polished up and "repurposed". I still can't quite decide what to put in it (perhaps my larger reamers?). I feel it deserves something rather special to house but I haven't made anything that grand yet - only the sort of thing you put in a plastic biscuit box..


Ady101/07/2020 00:41:33
3741 forum posts
519 photos

Those Bisley drawers are brill but you must get the old versions

Speedy Builder501/07/2020 06:36:46
2032 forum posts
144 photos

+1 for Bisley drawers also OLD Kardex file drawers, only 5/8" deep but ideal for marking out tools, taps, dies,reamers,specialdrills,silversolder rods etc etc

Perko701/07/2020 07:14:24
338 forum posts
24 photos

I use a variety of old kitchen cabinets and chests of drawers. Some of the drawers are fitted with internal dividers for holding small containers (used plastic pill bottles) of BA screws etc, other drawers have separate containers in them made from cut down plastic milk containers (square or rectangular) for miscellaneous bits and pieces. I can fit about 8 or 10 such containers in each drawer.

Lathe cutting tools are in assorted cardboard or tin boxes, as well as the boxes they came in, stored in an old china cabinet under the lathe bench. Drills likewise. Other hand tools are kept in assorted plastic containers (Tupperware style) or recycled kitchen baking trays etc stacked on shelves or in drawers.

Hopefully the imminent move to a new house (with a new empty shed) will allow some better accommodation to be provided for such things.

David George 101/07/2020 07:24:47
1263 forum posts
438 photos

I bought one from Halfords on special offer reasonable prices and the draw runners are sturdy.


Mike Poole01/07/2020 07:29:28
2621 forum posts
63 photos

Most roller cabinet’s seem to be made in China, even the basic SnapOn I believe. I have a couple of base and top chests from Clas Ohlson, they occasionally discount them quite heavily and is a good time to buy. I have no complaints about them but neither am I under the illusion that they are SnapOn. If I kept the tools of my trade in them and earned my living with them I would aspire to something better. Although ball slides are a common fitmant they are not universal so it’s probably worth viewing some cabinets in the flesh to see how they feel and how they are finished. It’s scary how heavy they get when you load engineering tooling into them. Stuff like angle plates and vee blocks are very heavy and will soon reach the limits of a cabinet of any flavour, probably best not to home stuff like that in a roller cabinet. Items like vices, chucks, rotary tables and angle plates need a special place that can take heavy objects.


Bob Stevenson01/07/2020 08:41:23
411 forum posts
6 photos

For my main clockmaking tools I have been using the 'DeWalt T-Stak' system for the last few years and it works like this;

....I use a two drawer unit and a single draw unit, with a matching carrying case........The draw units 'live' on the rack under my small lathe and can be opened while using the lathe to select the tools. When I go to the workshop at Epping Forest Horology Club, I extract the units from the rack and lock the drawer units together to make one tool box, then carry out to the car....the carry case is in my other hand and has the current clock build along with materials such as brass sheet, rod in brass and steel etc.

Once at the workshop I remove the units from car and stack them up on one end of the bench with carry case on top...thus giving access to all tools and the workpiece with minimum footprint. When the session is over I simply reverse the process until everything is back under the lathe ready for use. I can vary the items carried to a degree by a system of boxes that fit inside the T-Stak system and can be varied according to task such as my ';wheel cutting box' or my 'brass finishing box' etc

This combined system works very well when you need to regularly transport tools to a club or workshop and the T-Stak units are not massively expensive if you search around on the web.

Derek Lane01/07/2020 09:18:11
334 forum posts
75 photos

I brought one from Chronos when they were selling some as seconds when I got it could not find anything wrong with it except a couple of small scratches, I also have a Bissel type draw unit with the draws for a4 size paper not the deep drawer type.

I am thinking of another wooden one once I can go to the timber yard and get some decent sized wood to make it with

Edited By Derek Lane on 01/07/2020 09:18:31

john halfpenny01/07/2020 09:37:52
38 forum posts
9 photos

I bought a black Halfords double roll cab, on offer, about 10 years ago. A bit flimsy, but no issues in use

Dave Halford01/07/2020 09:45:14
806 forum posts
8 photos

Halfords cheap range (non ball slide) top box I use for milling cutters.

I have 2 blue aussie wheeled tool cabinets from when Bunning were busy wrecking Homebase, my Centec 2A sits on one with the tooling below, tother gets used as metal storage, drill bits etc. Loading was 45kg per drawer if I remember correctly. Homebase still does a Draper one remarkably similar but 100 quid dearer surprise

I have a Clarke ball raced top box which is much better for proper car tools.

It's best to check out the trolley wheels, some are obviously pathetic.

Howard Lewis01/07/2020 10:23:27
3394 forum posts
2 photos

The good quality and specialist Automotive tools are stored in Cromwell Tools (Kennedy ) Roller Cabinet, Step up box, and Top Box.

The less valuable spanners and tools live in a battered five tier cantilever tool box on the floor, near the lathe.

The toolbox that came with the lathe, containing spare changewheels, is by the lathe and also contains small sets of Allen keys.

Most of my measuring equipment is stored in a three +1 drawer Kennedy steel cabinet, (now almost too heavy to lift ) and the rest are kept in their boxes on a shelf.

Good kit is worth protecting from dust or damage.


Circlip01/07/2020 11:16:52
1134 forum posts

Two different depth "Chinese" take away containers. Curried King Prawns is a bit deeper than Sweet and sour sauce, After devouring the contents. Nice snap tops and take felt tip text. They stack well too.

Nicely replaced "Old Holborn" but have a few of those too.

Regards Ian.

George Jervis01/07/2020 11:23:09
76 forum posts
42 photos

I use three bisley 15 draw files (a4 type) bolted together with a metal frame at the base on wheels, it's ideal for my small workshop.


Henry Brown01/07/2020 11:35:15
238 forum posts
74 photos

I think I bought my "spanner, screwdriver and hammer" tool chest from B&Q many moons ago, its ok for what I need - a wheeled base and a 6 draw top box.

I also have a pair of Bisley A4 draws, one has legs and supports the other - I keep my metric screws, washers nuts and bolts and tie wraps etc in those. These were 50p each when the local council offices went paperless and came with 3 large steel cupboards where I keep rarely used stuff like the troley jack rip saw etc, soldering irons, pop rivet guns hole bores etc and a stock of consumeables. They were a £1 each...

I have made a small draw to go under the lathe for centres, drill chuck and tips etc.

My steel bench has a draw under that I keep emery cloth and battery drills in, it also has a cupboard with my paperwork, some miscellaneous screws and self tappers, nitrile gloves and safety goggles.

Milling cutters are kept in their plastic tubes in a honeycomb type tray, bigger ones are in the cupboard under the mill.

Keith Wyles01/07/2020 15:30:44
33 forum posts

A cantalever toolbox bought in my early teens, had a few repairs in those 50 odd years. A metal toolbox with a tray, bought when I bought my first car, had to repair one hinge at some stage. A couple of A4 file drawer towers, obtained both free when they were surplus to requirements. Had to braze the body on one of them. plus many drawers and racks. All a bit haphazard, but works for me.

not done it yet01/07/2020 17:24:43
4748 forum posts
16 photos

Thing that struck me, when I read the thread title, was whether it was for ‘expert engineers‘ or ‘tool box experts’. Most seem to have mixed up ‘box’ with ‘cabinet‘, in my book.🙂

Clive Farrar01/07/2020 17:30:35
96 forum posts
35 photos

i have a right mixture but it suits me. 3 sets of the small plastic draw sets 12 -30 in a set and Old Holborn in size.

Alibert 350 x 2580 x 110 stackable plastic totes for the very heavy stuff plus the 2 draws of the Halfords metal bench that has the lathe on.

Bisley 15 draw a4 units

But the best and most used on a slide out shelf below the milling machine is like a tool chest.

It is in fact a repurposed large presentation box for pencils. One of the rejects from my previous employment .

Lift up lid reveals 2 trays with 8 mm fluted pencil trays . there is a further 8 mm pencil tray depth slide out draw beneath that and finally a 45 mm deep draw that took the special items.

For my needs it is brilliant and every bit a custom made tool makers chest.


Regards clive

Edited By Clive Farrar on 01/07/2020 17:31:31

Bazyle01/07/2020 17:30:37
5296 forum posts
201 photos

My tools are all over the place. I often use the kit from the car boot just 'cos I know where it is. Never seen the point of big chests on wheels if you don't have an aircraft hanger sized shed with open floor - I wish.
When I started work we all got one of those metal toolboxes with tray and a standard kit including 2lb hammer and bastard file regardless of job. You'd see one under the desk of managers and administrators unopend for a decade. Too big to sneak off site so they accumulated as people left. However smaller items..... I still have and use my small plers after 40 years.

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