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Best Toolbox For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Toolbox at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Stack-On PR-23 23-Inch Professional Multi-PurposeStack-On PR-19 19-Inch ProStanley 019151M 19-inch Series 2000DeWalt DWST24082 24-Inch One Touch BoxStanley STST19410 19-Inch
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($14)
Cheap ($9)
Cheap ($10)
Cheap ($20)
Cheap ($18)
Frugal5 Score
Features Needed
At Least 19 Inches Long
- 23 Inches
- 19 Inches
- 19 Inches
- 24 inches
- 19 inches
Locking Mechanism
- Twin nickel plated, steel draw bolts
- Twin nickel plated, steel draw bolts
- Twin nickel plated latches
- Central lid latch
- Central lid latch
Made Out Of Plastic Or Resin
- Plastic
- Plastic
- Plastic
- Resin
- Plastic
Small Item Storage
- Lift out tote tay
- Lift out tote tray
- Twin bins on lid, Lift out tote tray
- 1/2 tray
- Twin bins on lid
Features Not Needed
Comfort Grip
- Rubber
- Soft grip
Padlock Eye
Water Tight Seal
- Integrated
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

A solid portable toolbox is something that every DIYer or amateur handyman should have. In fact, it’s probably one of the first things you should consider buying when you begin to build up your tool collection. However, there are a lot of different kinds of toolboxes out there and not all of them are cheap. If you don’t have a lot of money, but need a strong, long lasting toolbox, what kind should you buy and what features should you keep in mind?     


If you’re on a budget, plastic or resin are the best bet in terms of what the toolbox should be made out of. Plastic and resin are both strong, sturdy, and best of all, cheap. Metal toolboxes are great, but they’re a lot more expensive than their plastic and resin counterparts. Additionally, a plastic or resin toolbox will be able to hold more than enough weight, so you shouldn’t be too weary of going down this path if you have a lot of tools.


A decent portable toolbox should be at least 19 inches long. This ensures that you’re able to hold longer tools in the box like hammers and hacksaws. Anything below that size and you may have trouble fitting some tools inside of it.

Small Item Storage

In the average tool collection, you’re bound to come across smaller items like bits, zip ties, fasteners, etc. It’s very important to have a place to store these items in your toolbox, either via an on the lid storage bin or some kind of tote tray. If you don’t have this, then your loose items will just have to be intermixed with the rest of your larger tools. This is highly inconvenient, and it’s unsafe.  

Locking Mechanism

You also want to pick a toolbox that has some sort of locking mechanism that keeps the lid in place so that when you pick it up to carry it somewhere, the box doesn’t fly apart and your tools spill everywhere (which could cause serious foot injury). Locking mechanisms on toolboxes usually come in the form of twin metal hinge pins or a single central latch.  

The following features are things that are nice bonuses, but are ultimately extras that you shouldn’t pay more money for.  

Pad Lock Eye

Some toolboxes offer a spot somewhere on the lid to lock it in place with a padlock. I think this is a great feature if you’re a professional that plans on taking your toolbox to and from a job. However, if you just need a toolbox for around the home, a pad lock eye is unnecessary.  

Comfort Grip

A comfort grip is a very nice thing to have. It helps to cut back on hand fatigue and is great if you plan on holding your toolbox for long periods of time. Ultimately though, you don’t need one. A regular plastic handle will serve you just fine.  

Water Tight Seal

Some toolboxes offer a water tight seal that helps to keep water or dust out or your box and away from your tools. This seems nice, however, unless you live, or plan on using your box, somewhere where you think that water getting on your toolbox is a serious danger, you don’t need to worry about having a water tight seal. As long as you store your box somewhere safe when not in use, such as a closet or in your garage, you’ll be fine. 

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for budget tool boxes is to avoid boxes that come with a pack of tools as a set. The included tools are almost always bad quality and will fall apart on you during use. They just throw them in there to try and sway you with the "value." It's not worth it, I promise. 

Stanley, Stack-On, DeWalt, and even Craftsman all make cheap, high quality handheld toolboxes. Plano, Bostitch, and Montezuma all make great toolboxes, but they tend to be a bit higher in price. 

A decent portable toolbox doesn’t have to cost you a lot. It is possible to get a sturdy, long lasting portable toolbox on a budget. Just go into your purchase with some research on your side, and you’ll be fine. 

Features You Need
At Least 19 Inches Long, Locking Mechanism, Made Out Of Plastic Or Resin, Small Item Storage
Features You Don't Need
Comfort Grip, Padlock Eye, Water Tight Seal
What You Should Pay
Between $8.99 - $19.97
Top Of The Line Price
Over $100.00