In this article we review, what we think to be the best tool chest and cabinets, that are currently available in the UK market. There are many different types to choose from. Typically they cost anything between £40-120.
If you are stuck for time just go straight to Dirty Pro Tools™ LARGE TOOL CHEST as we found this to be the best all round value, otherwise please enjoy our review.
The main reason for the price difference, is that there are three main types to consider. These are:
- The tool chest - used mainly by builders and contractors
- A tool bench cabinet - used mainly by carpenters, joiners and garages
- The full blown rolling cabinet with drawers - used mainly by garages, mechanics and engineers
The main purpose of all of these, is to keep your tools secure. It also means that you can look after your tools, and it really helps a great deal, with keeping all of your tools really well organised.
This article however is about the top 10 tool chests and cabinets, that are currently available in the UK.
The brands Stanley, Dirty Pro, Sealey and Hilka dominate the UK market, for these types of tool chests and cabinets.
Top 10 Rated Tool Chests & Cabinets
Just below you will find an easy to read top 10 tool chest and cabinet table, that should make your choices, easier to understand. There we have placed these products in a specific order. The order we have used is the highest buyer rated first. In other words we have placed the chests and cabinets in order of what buyers judged their quality to be.
We have also included average UK prices, but be aware that these are always subject to change. Always check on the exact date and time when you are making any purchase. The ratings we update on a regular weekly basis.
You can click on each image to see a larger version. Underneath the table, we have done a more specific and detailed review on each chest or cabinet.
So as you can see from our top 10 table, there is certainly plenty of choice. Certain brands like Sealey and Stanley have clearly captured this market, and they do make high quality chests and cabinets. Above we have shown you the ten best, that get the highest buyer ratings.
Best Tool Chest & Cabinet Summary Reviews
Underneath, we have completed short and concise reviews, on these top 10 products. That way you can see at a glance, which one is the best choice for you.
No 1 Choice - Dirty Pro Tools™ Large Tool Chest Review
- Measures Width 610 x Depth 330 x Height 1080 mm with castors on (1000 mm height without castors)
- Weighs 30 Kg
- There are two items, a large roll cabinet and an 8 drawer tool chest - the cabinet is an empty space = no shelving
- All the drawers slide on ball bearings for a smooth effortless movement and all of the drawers have anti-slip mats in them
- The cabinet sits on heavy duty roller castors for easy movement
- Made from high power steel coated steel frame with a glossy paint finish, and available in a variety of colours
- Side tray for screwdrivers and other tools
A typical buyer comment was "Just the job for tidying up the garage and pulling all your tools together. I'm not a mechanic or anything but there is plenty of space for the average DIY user"
You can see that these essentially divide into either a portable tool chest style, or to the drawer style, that may also have a cabinet attached. They are typically used by different types of trades. These are also useful for people who like to store their tools neatly and safely.
Tool Chest Buying Guide
The Stanley brand pretty much dominate the UK market, for this type of product. Some of the things that you need to consider when buying one of these, we have highlighted below.
Capacity - This is simply how much they can hold. These are used a lot by tradesmen who have to carry around a lot of the heavier tools. Normally they have a number of electrical power tools, such as a drill, circular saw, batteries, and other heavy equipment.
The Wheels - Any tool chest worth its salt will need heavy duty wheels. They need to support the weight inside the chest, being bumped across a variety of ground conditions. This could be inside a home to outside on concrete, and even on building style conditions. They should be large and have a good grip.
Waterproof - For me this is one of the most important considerations. Keeping your tools dry is important. Ideally they should be sealed, so as rain, moisture and dampness can not get inside and damage the expensive tools.
Telescopic Handle - This is the handle that is used to drag the tool chest around. It should be wide enough to easily grip, even with gloves and it should also push in and be out of the way when not in use.
Trays and Pouches - Most of these will come with a tote tray, or small plastic trays on the top of the chest. These are handy for all the various bits and pieces that you need to get the jobs done.
Tool Cabinet Buying Guide
Tool cabinets are a different beast to the tool chest. These style of cabinets are mainly used by mechanics and engineers, but also by tattoo artists, and anyone who needs to keep specialised equipment, organised and safe.
You can buy these as a cabinet with drawers, or as a set of drawers only. With the drawers only option, these will normally sit on a bench. They are available with different numbers of drawers, depending on how many tools you need to store.
The cabinet with drawers will always have a set of castor wheels so as the cabinet and drawer unit can be easily moved around a garage. You can of course take these wheels off and use it as a fixed or stationary location.
Some of these are also full drawer units, but the most popular have an open cabinet underneath, with a set of drawers on top.
Drawers and ball bearings - This is where you can keep a variety of tools such as spanners, screwdrivers and wrenches. They need to be deep enough to hold what you plan on storing in them. Any good quality tool cabinet will have roller bearings for the drawers to glide on.
That is because the weight of tools would prevent a normal drawer from opening easily. With ball bearings the weight sits on those, and makes opening and closing the drawer a fairly simple and effortless task.
Drawer Mats - Some manufacturers include what are called anti-slip mats inside their drawers. The purpose of these is that when you line up your tools in the drawer, then they will stay in place when the drawer is opened and closed.
Lockable - We think it is important that you should be able to lock the drawers, and ideally the cabinet as well. That at least offers you peace of mind knowing your expensive tools are under lock and key.
Quality of Build - This is probably the most important element of any cabinet. Logic would tell you that these are going to hold heavy tools, and will be used regularly. They should therefore be made from high quality steel, that has been powder coated to stop any risk of rust.
As always, i would recommend that you go for the best quality that you can afford. Tools tend to be quite heavy and you will find that the cheaper tool chest just wont last. Its better to spend the extra money and get something that will do the job properly.