Craftsman Tool Box Plastic or Metal– The Good, the Bad, and the Ug

Craftsman Tool Box Plastic or Metal– The Good, the Bad, and the Ug!

Plastic comes in all forms—some of it is good, bad, or even ugly because not all plastic is created equal. Some of it is an industrial grade, made in the U.S., while others are cheap and nasty and don't do the humble tool box any justice. So, today, we're examining just where and how the Craftsman tool box plastic fits into these categories, if at all.

You may discover that you love the Craftsman plastic tool box because it is a huge favorite in the country. After all, you or your neighbor may have a Craftsman rolling tool box plastic storage solution, or you may see one of the familiar Craftsman rolling tool box plastic at a local hardware store or mechanics business.

Whatever the case, this brand is popular and recognizable. Few people who use a tool box have not heard of Craftsman products. Learn what Craftsman has on offer for those who have not or who want a new storage system. Then, choose between the high-end, high-value, affordable DECKED Tool Box and Drawer System because you won't find better quality elsewhere.

Image of the closed DECKED Tool Box on the bed of a pickup truck.

Craftsman 3 Drawer Plastic Tool Box

As you can see, the Craftsman 3-Drawer Plastic/Metal Portable Chest - Red/Black is attractive and elegant with its combination of distinctive red and black. Some would say it's pretty sexy looking, but most would confirm that the DECKED Tool Box is far sexier. In fact, the DECKED Tool Box is so sexy it makes your pickup truck look like it's ready for a night on the town.

But enough of waxing lyrical about the physical looks of this Craftsman plastic tool box with drawers because its benefits are more critical. This specific product combines plastic and metal and is lightweight (15.6 pounds) yet durable. In addition, it is portable, provides enough space to contain your growing tool collection in an area of 1,788 cubic inches.  

This product probably falls in the "good" category as the hard plastic shell is impact-resistant and is not susceptible to ugly scratches and marks. But, there's more--it has a comfortable handle grip, allowing easy transportation between job sites at work or home.

You will also find that this plastic Craftsman tool box has two draw-bolt latches made for heavy-duty work and security. Purchase a padlock separately, and you secure the contents in this tool box, but there's no guarantee that someone won't steal the entire box.

Image of the Craftsman 3-Drawer Plastic/Metal Portable Chest - Red/Black.

Modular storage is also possible because of the three x 17-7/8-inch drawers and a separate large compartment for bigger items. Also, each drawer features standard steel slides for easy opening and closing. Importantly, this company will replace their products without quibbling provided it meets their limited lifetime warranty terms and conditions.

Craftsman VERSASTACK System 17-In Red Plastic Tool Box

Another goodie is this  VERSASTACK™ System Deep Toolbox model CMST17825 from Craftsman. This storage system features the convenient stackability of this tool box model to customize your tool organization. Just stack one tool box on top of another to increase your modular storage space in this durable Craftsman portable tool box plastic model with easy carrying and lifting to carry your tools to the worksite.

Store higher tools in one box and smaller ones in the removable tray to protect them from water and dust with its IP54 plastic rating. What this rating means is that your stuff is protected from dust and water at any angle, which is pretty good. This product additionally features heavy-duty closing latches that are resistant to rust and ensure safe storage of your gear.

Image of Craftsman's VERSASTACK™ System Deep Toolbox model CMST17825.

However, one thing that seems lacking here is the ability to lock this storage unit. This lack is not something you'll find in the DECKED Tool Box, which takes security to the next level. The absence of this feature prompts us to downgrade the rating of this model to the not-so-good. Instead, we suggest that if you need a Craftsman plastic tool box replacement, you look at investing in the DECKED Tool Box.

Craftsman VERSASTACK System 21 in Plastic Wheeled Tool Box

This black plastic wheeled lockable tool box Craftsman VERSASTACK System 21-in-drawer system is a handy Craftsman plastic tool box with wheels. It is conveniently portable to drag around the home or workshop, features three stackable drawers of different sizes, and is ideal for storing large and small items.

Each storage unit connects to the other with side latches to make it easy to move the tower without the boxes falling off. To make life easier, the boxes in this tower have a push-button design for quick opening. These plastic units also have an IP54 rating, making them water and rust-resistant, with the sturdy latches also being resistant to weathering.

You can store 66 pounds of gear in this tower and replace units with other compatible VERSASTACK components as the need arises. Additionally, using the telescopic handle, this Craftsman plastic rolling toolbox is easy to maneuver at a backward angle.

Image of the Craftsman VERSASTACK System 21-in-drawer tower storage system.

It is nearly impossible to find fault with this product as a creative tower design that is also stackable, provided you use it for medium to light-duty work. But if you want something that is infinitely more durable, flexible, and attracts the envy of your peers in terms of storage capacity and great looks, then the DECKED Tool Box should be first on your wishlist.

Craftsman Pro 26 in Red Plastic Lockable Tool Box

This 26-inch Pro product, model CMST26320L, is just one of many in the Craftsman plastic truck tool box range. As the tool box goes, this is a fairly basic model except for the cantilever sliding tray for optimum tool accessibility with cups.

The lid has transparent windows to see where you've stored certain items without having to lift the top to search for stuff. An exciting feature is the removable cups (four large and two small ones) suitable for storing small items. You also have the convenience of screwdriver bit holders to improve storage up to 77 pounds.

With an IP54 rating, your gear is safe from water and dust. Hardware like the metal latches has also been treated and will remain rust-free for a long time.

You might want to add this unit to your DECKED Tool Box simply because of the removable cups that enhance small-item storage. Otherwise, the D-Box and Snack Tray have more than enough space to pack in larger tools and smaller items, leaving sufficient room below the D-Box for much larger items.

Image of the Pro series of tool boxes from Craftsman, with this one being the 26-inch Pro product, model CMST26320L.

Compared with the DECKED Tool Box, this product is pretty mediocre, similar to the Craftsman 15.2-in plastic one. The difference is that the Craftsman 15.2-in plastic tool box has two wheels and a telescopic handle, whereas this larger 26-inch box does not have wheels or a telescopic handle.

Craftsman 4-Drawer Metal Tool Box

Instead of a tool box on wheels or a smaller plastic unit, you may want something a little bigger. If that is the case, this S2000 26 in. 4-Drawer Tool Chest. Although not a Craftsman 4 drawer plastic tool box or a combination of plastic and metal, this product’s I-Frame is made from 18-20 galvanized steel together with the top bumpers.

Despite this unit not being a typical Craftsman 4 drawer tool box plastic product, it still has ample space to store your equipment. It works well in a home garage or workshop for mechanical, electrical, or other DIY work, and the drawers have a non-slamming function.

Image of the S2000 26 in. 4-Drawer Tool Chest from Craftsman.

This non-slamming feature also applies to the DECKED Tool Box lid that benefits from stainless steel and aluminum reinforcements. With the DECKED Tool Box, you also have the benefit of an optional integrated ladder that makes reaching for tools in the tub on your truck bed so much more convenient.

Back to the metal Craftsman 4-drawer tool box, it has an integrated feature that allows you to keep your batteries and electronic equipment charged through the dual USB ports. It has six outlets and a power strip that you can access in the charging area when you lift the tool chest lid on its gas struts.

Similarly, the DECKED tub features torsion springs, making it easy to lift and shut the lid—and it will stay in the open position to save damaging your hands and fingers.

This storage unit provides room for up to 100 pounds of gear, unlike the DECKED tub, which offers storage space for 500 pounds. And although the Craftsman unit has four drawers, the DECKED tub is available with a Snack Tray (open) and a D-Box, which is portable. So, if you get the DECKED Tool Box, you have a secure tub on your truck bed and the added portability of being able to carry the D-Box close to your work area.

Image of the fully-loaded DECKED Tool Box with Snack Tray, D-Box, and integrated ladder, also showing the easy opening lightweight lid of the tub.

Because the DECKED tub is a no-drill, customized fit, and installation (for select makes and models of pickup trucks), it doesn’t need the drawer liners that come with this Craftsman product. Neither will you need the customizable peg holes to mount the DECKED tub as with this Craftsman product because you carry it with you.

Also, the DECKED Tool Box is built like Fort Knox—impossible to get in or out without attracting the right attention. Finally, the security of the internal locking system of this Craftsman unit and its over-mold key function simply do not compare with DECKED.

Does this security benefit make the Craftsman tool box ugly? No, it does not, but it does make the DECKED Tool Box far more appealing. And you don't need a telescopic handle to transport the DECKED Tool Box. However, the integrated ladder does have a telescoping mechanism to lower out the tub to the ground for convenient tool access.

1000 Series 27-In. Wide 4 Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet - Black

Craftsman makes a significant range of products from plastic, metal, and a combination of these materials. It also creates multiple designs to suit any hobby, DIY enthusiast, or a serious business owner.

One example of these products is the Craftsman 4-drawer tool box plastic unit, and another is the metal four-drawer rolling tool cabinet. Unlike the S2000 41 in. 7-Drawer Workstation, which is a metal wheels lockable tool box, this one’s wheels do not lock. Neither do many of the wheels on the other Craftsman plastic tool box options lock.

Image of the 1000 Series 27-in. Wide 4 Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet in black, by Craftsman.

Instead of being plastic, this specific model CMST22741BK rolling cabinet has a sturdy 20 to 24 galvanized steel frame, full extension drawers with soft sliding, and in which you can store 50 pounds of equipment each.

The entire unit has a load rating of 500 pounds (like the DECKED Tool Box but less portable), two lock and swivel casters measuring 4” x 2”, and an internal keyed locking mechanism. Another benefit is that Craftsman sells this product with a non-slip mat to protect the surface of this rolling cabinet.

In contrast, the DECKED tub rolls on the wheels of your pickup truck and has a security and weatherproofing system that is second to none. Once you install this tub, no thieves can make off with it when the lid is shut.

Also, the armor locking system requires one key that you insert on the driver’s side, keeping your gear safe. Finally, a clever rain gutter on the lid closes neatly over the tub, preventing access with a crowbar that is sure to confound any attempts at affirmative shopping.

With the DECKED Tool Box you also never have to stress about water or weather damage. The industrial quality high impact, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material structure is made using injection molding.

This manufacturing method makes the DECKED tub seamless and invulnerable to water, dust, or rust. And because HDPE is so robust, the DECKED Tool Box will probably outlast any metal counterparts.

The Outcome and the Solution

The only outcome and solution to a storage system is to choose the DECKED Drawer System and DECKED Tool Box, with the integrated ladder.

As far as the Craftsman tool box range being good, bad, or ugly goes, neither of these adjectives applies. Instead, Craftsman produces an excellent range of storage units with unique features.

However, no storage unit can compare with the DECKED Tool Box in terms of durability, robustness, modular storage, security, and price. So when you buy DECKED, you're purchasing quality at a fair price because as much as we love our brand, we are not going to capitalize on our name at the expense of our customers.

So, buy the DECKED tub with or without the integrated ladder, and enjoy a mobile Tool Box that will outlast you and is as sexy as your pickup truck.