Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stack-On 16-inch Steel Tool Box Review

At some point, an old cardboard shipping box doesn't cut it as a tool box anymore -- even if it's huge and costs virtually nothing.

Without wanting to carry a giant box home or driver, my choices were somewhat limited thanks to the smaller number of stores. At the stores we do have, there is usually limited online availability of certain products and tool boxes are no exception.

Having already bought a 5' ladder and had it successfully delivered promptly I just went back to Amazon and took a brief look at Home Depot's offerings. My demands were pretty low without a large number of tools and having never had a proper, traditional tool box. The only real requirements I had were good reviews on and a price below about $30. Lo and behold, I found just enough options that appeared to be of good quality. One of them was a plastic 16" Stanley 16-inch tool box for about $15 and the other was a Stack-On steel box, which is featured here.

Overview of the Tool Box

What kind of attracted me to the Stack-On was the traditional red metal tool box look. What I really wanted, though, was a metal tool box that could probably take a beating, would be repairable, and would be able to hold heavier items. Obviously, a plastic box may have trouble with some of those qualities, but I bought one anyways (the Stanley) to try it out.
Stack-On 16" Tool Box Front View
The Stack-On 16-Inch Steel Tool Box is a steel tool box that measures in at 16" x 7" x 7.5" with a weight of 5.6 lb according to Amazon. On the American site, the price is US$ 16.88 at the time of writing -- I paid CAD$ 28. It comes with a plastic tray inside, a top handle, and a curved, roof-life lid that closes using a single latch. A Stack-On label is also located on the front left side of the box. On the Amazon website, there are a few dozen pretty positive reviews.
Stack-On 16" Tool Box Back View
As previously noted, there is a plastic tray that comes with and fits into the box. In the picture below, you can see two steel lips on the sides that provides supports for the tray to sit on. Otherwise, I did not notice any curvature or protrusions inside the box. The rest of the space should be free for packing stuff into.
Stack-On 16" Tool Box Interior
This box just got delivered yesterday, so aside from throwing a few items into it, I can't really say much. No long walks or abuse yet. The latch works nicely, red paint and finish looks great and feels smooth, and the tray fits fine. So far, I've thrown an Ikea FIXA toolkit into the box, some duct tape, and some screw heads. All together, they probably weigh less than 5 lbs. The toolkit just barely fit at an angle and I would probably just get rid of it eventually to make things more accessible. Depth doesn't really show up very well, so if you can't tell, there's still a lot of room in there.
Stack-On 16" Tool Box Partially Filled
I'm happy with the size and shape of the handle. It's round, which should mean that it won't cut into my hand when I start loading it up more. The latch also looks and feels pretty nice. I haven't had any trouble closing or aligning it yet. Overall, the box feels well built and sturdy. We'll see how it holds up over time.

The only concern I have is the paint inside the metal tool box. I can't help but feel that if I threw metal tools in there, the paint will chip or scratched, and then it will start rusting. That's probably why I threw all my bare tools in the plastic Stanley box I got. Can't keep it like new forever. Or I can just put a liner in there in the form of a cloth or a few paper towels -- maybe finish that roll of duct tape.

Oh well, I'm satisfied so far.


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