Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stanley 16-inch Series 2000 Tool Box Review

When something only costs as much as a pretty crappy lunch from a cafeteria and a cup of coffee, it becomes really easy to splurge on it. Honestly, having blown so much money on Amazon lately, I believe I've become acquainted with their standard shipping box sizes. Part of the reason I got both this Stanley tool box and the Stack-On tool box at the same time has a bit to do with wanting to fill up the shipping box. A few months ago, I ordered a tripod and it got shipped in a 3/4 empty box and I felt bad -- think it was necessary because of the tripod's length.

Overview if the Tool Box

Regardless, here we are, another tool box: Stanley Series 2000 16-Inch Tool Box. For about $15 (US$ 12.89 at time of writing on, this box comes with a plastic interior tray, two small compartments on the top with snap lids, a metal latch closure, and a hole to put a lock through. You can see the hole in the top-down photo of the interior of the box below; it's to the right of the latch. The top handle is plastic and it folds down onto the lid. According to Amazon, this box weighs in at 2.5 lb, and its dimensions are 15.9" x 8.1" x 7.1. I found a "5" label on the lid with "PP" under it, so the lid is likely made of polypropylene at least. The reviews are mostly positive on the website.
Stanley 16" Tool Box Front View
Stanley 16" Tool Box Back View
The inside of the main storage compartment is mostly clear for putting things into. Other than a narrow rim around the upper edge of the box, I haven't noticed any obstructions that may get in the way. I believe that lip is what the removable plastic tray sits on. Note that the tray has an indent on one side at the center. That is a key for orienting the tray "properly" (i.e. it won't fit in backwards because that gap lines up with the area around the latch at the front of the tool box.
Stanley 16" Tool Box Interior
And like I mentioned earlier, there are two snap-shut lids on the top of the box's lid. These are probably for screws and other smaller items. Both trays are divided across the middle. I've managed to pack a few small packages of screws into them so far, which is nice.
Stanley 16" Tool Box Top View
I haven't used this box much aside from moving it around a room a few times and packing it with tools for the first time. The most "abuse" I put into it so far was opening and closing the lid a few times. On that front, it performed well with a properly aligned latch and non-squeaky lid.

Overall, there's just something about this cheap and simple plastic box that I really liked. Price was a huge factor at only CAD$ 15, but the extra compartments on the lid and plastic material were things that I was looking for too.  At about 2.5 lb, this is about half the weight of the Stack-On 16-inch box when empty. That probably wouldn't matter as much when it starts getting packed full of steel tools though.

Plastic isn't the most scratch resistant material out there from what I understand, but plastic doesn't rust and this box isn't painted. That's probably the reason why I threw all of my bear tools in the Stanley and put the plastic Ikea FIXA toolkit into the Stack-On box.

Stanley 16" Tool Box Partially Filled
The box feels pretty sturdy from what I've done so far (not much) and I've packed half of my tools into it -- I even used the upper tray. A lot of room is still available in case you can't see depth very well in the photo. And I packed the exterior snap-shut lids with screws.

Because it's plastic, I'm not super confident in its ability to withstand extremely heavy loads, which means that I'll probably baby it a bit. However, I can't be confident without ever having done so. My only real minor complaint is that I caught a whiff of a plastic off-gassing smell after closing packing the box with tools and opening it the next day. I'm not sure if it's the plastic on the tools or the interior of the box.

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