Should You Get A Hart Tool Box? If Not, What Should You Get?
Generally speaking, Hart makes a solid product. They are known as very durable and well made for what is essentially a budget brand on the verge of becoming a midrange one. I would argue that they have already made that transition, and their few remaining “cheap” products will be phased out as newer, better designed, and better built tool storage solutions are phased in.
Hart makes a variety of different tool storage solutions, most notably a few types of Hart rolling tool box, a few Hart tool box sets, and a few examples of the Hart portable tool box. What they don’t make is any kind of truck-mounted, weatherproof, and secure tool storage solution. If that is what you need, skip to the end of this article. We list a few excellent options from DECKED.
Next time you’re in Walmart, Hart tool boxes will probably be on display. Take a look for yourself. They are a huge leap forward from Hyper Tough, Walmart’s tool and tool storage brand!
Hart tool storage products come in 3 categories:
Soft fabric bags and totes
A nylon tote or a backpack might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to tool boxes, but they are an excellent alternative to hard hand-portable tool boxes in many ways. First and foremost, they are literally flexible. An empty hard tool box takes up just as much space as a full one, and can be awkward to pack away in smaller vehicles or spaces. A tool tote gives you plenty of options. I’d also never consider strapping a tool box to my back, except in some sort of zombie movie scenario – and even then, a tote would look cooler.
Hard plastic tool boxes and organizers
These are the quintessential tool box in most people’s minds today. Durable and strong, some of these Hart tool boxes – such as the Hart stackable tool box set – can even be combined. They all provide a level of protection for the tools inside that a tote never can. It is also a great deal easier to make a hard plastic tool box weathertight. They also excel as tool and small part organization solutions, compared to totes. Several examples of the “Hart tool box on wheels” or pit box can be found in this category.
Steel tool chests and wheeled cabinets
The steel tool chest is the reliable go-to for master craftspeople, mechanics, and anyone who operates a mechanical or tool shop professional or in an amateur capacity. They have the largest capacity of anything that could reasonably be called a “Hart tool box”, and generally offer the user with many different drawers and containers. This lets you spread your tools out in an organized, easy to find pattern. It also prevents damage as the tools won’t be knocking around against each other. On the down-side, even a wheeled steel tool chest isn’t very mobile.
Should You Buy A Hart Tool Box?
Unless you are specifically looking for something truck-mounted and mobile, you could do a lot worse than a Hart tool box, tool chest, or tote. They are not a particularly pricy brand, but they have a reputation for quality of materials and build that would probably justify a higher price if they wanted to market themselves that way.
However, if you want something mobile, you should consider a tool storage solution like the DECKED Drawer System or the DECKED Tool Box. And if you go that way, you should consider buying fully compatible DECKED plastic tool box options like the DECKED D-Box and DECKED Crossbox. These (and a few others) are designed specifically to fit into DECKED tool storage solutions safely and securely, with an absolute minimum of wasted space.
Does A Hart Tool Box Have What It Takes To Survive On The Worksite?
Generally, yes. They aren’t the strongest or toughest thing on the market, but they perform quite well, and shouldn’t embarrass you by failing the first time things get tough.
What About A Hart Tool Box For Trucks?
Hart doesn’t make anything of the kind, and I see no sign that they ever intend to do so. That said, much of what they do make would fit in a truck-mounted tool box or underbed storage system easily. The DECKED Drawer system, for example, accepts most common sizes of plastic toolbox easily. The DECKED Tool Box (a crossbed type) is a particularly good choice for keeping tool boxes and totes dry, organized, and undamaged when you drive them to the worksite. Both systems also excel at keeping your tools and other gear safe from thieves or unauthorized access if you store tools in your truck overnight or unattended.
Why You Might Like A Hart Tool Box
For what they do, Hart tool boxes, totes, and organizers do an excellent job. In general, you can expect safe and accessible tool and gear storage, high-capacity drawers, rugged construction, and thoughtful design from a Hart tool box. It isn’t a “top shelf” name, but they don’t charge top shelf prices either. No working professional should be embarrassed to turn up on the job with a Hart tool box or tote, and the large, wheeled tool chests and top boxes look great in the garage or the shop.
A Detailed Look At A Few Hart Tool Box Products
Hart STACK Modular Storage System
This is the stackable Hart tool box set you may have heard of. It consists of the STACK System cart – the wheeled base of the pit box set, the STACK System Tool Box, and the STACK System Small Parts Organizer. All of these pieces are available separately, so you can mix and match quite a bit to end up with the perfect pit box. They are made of sturdy plastic with plastic and metal latches for the most part.
The only real criticism here is that you can only access the top box in the stack as they all open exclusively from the top. But that is so common it can be considered a trait of the type rather than a flaw.
Hart Deep Bin Organizer
This is an excellent small parts organizer, and the kind of easy-to-use tool box Hart is famous for producing. The case itself is made of durable plastic, and offers 3 small compartments as well as one that takes up most of the case. This larger compartment comes filled with 8 rectangular cups or trays which can each hold something different. They sit flush to the lid, so if the case is turned upside down, everything stays just where you put it.
If there is any criticism to be made, it is that the clear plastic lid can crack under hard use or if dropped, and that could make the whole case useless. The deep bin organizer seems to be compatible with the STACK Modular Storage System, but we haven’t tested that.
Hart 36-inch, 6-drawer rolling tool box
This is an inexpensive yet well-made bottom box that could easily become a part of a do-it-yourself combination tool chest. It is a full three feet wide by 24.5 inches deep, and stands 38.5 inches tall, including the wheels. The casters are rated at a total load of 1,200 pounds, and each of the drawers is rated at 100 pounds of tools or other equipment. That leaves a further 600 pounds for intermediate and top boxes, even if you fully load the top box’s drawers. They do, indeed, sell a matching top box – the 36-inch 4-drawer tool chest we’ll look at next.
I will note that the steel is thinner than you would find in a higher-end unit by craftsman or Husky. Some users have also complained of difficulty with the drawer locking mechanism. In general, though, reviews are positive, and with good reason.
Hart 36-inch 4-drawer tool chest
A good match to the 36-inch 6-drawer bottom box we just looked at, this solidly built steel top box is actually 35.8 inches wide and 24.2 inches deep, in order to actually fit inside the rim of that bottom box. Each of the slides are rated at 100 pounds of tools or equipment, and it looks like the air-spring loaded top compartment could handle at least double that. The integrated power strip is a nice feature that you don’t typically find in lower-end units, or even ones available at the price you’ll pay for the Hart version.
However, many product descriptions for this piece list a “magnetic back wall” to the top compartment. It is not magnetic. It is steel, and magnets will happily hold to it, but you can’t just use the back surface as another worktop to hold screws and wrenches vertically, as many users hoped. Also, like the bottom box of the same type, the steel is a little too thin. Still, it’s a good value at its price point.
Hart cantilever tool box
Hart sells this 18 inch cantilever tool box as an “organizer,” and they aren’t wrong. It lacks the large under-box most cantilevered tool boxes have, and really is just the cantilevered small parts organizer pieces of a full cantilevered tool box. That said, all of the organizing compartments are removable cups, so it could easily be used as a small cantilever tool box with two wide compartments. I’d leave the small cups in the top part, and only free up the bottom in this way for use as a light tool box, but its flexibility is its real virtue. Many people report using it as a fishing tackle box, and seem quite happy with it.
The only real downsides are that the organizer cups are very thin and can be fragile. They are quite strong enough to hold screws, nits, bolts, and other tiny supplies, but if you were to remove some of them in order to store a hammer, you’d be in danger of that hammer smashing the remaining cups apart. Still, use it as advertised, and it should work fine.
Hart Master Loader wheeled plastic tool box
Hart’s Master loader is a good piece of equipment in an unusual but useful configuration. The entire top panel (when the unit is sitting on its side) splits apart on solidly built rails. This lets you access the main compartment easily while leaving the top panels as convenient working surfaces. Those top panels are both small parts organizers or small compartment tool boxes in their own right, depending on how you want to use them. It is one of the least expensive wheeled tool boxes on the market today, which adds to its appeal.
That said, the plastic used is not of the highest quality, and the units are prone to cracking. Other customers report problems with the handle falling off, which is a major flaw in and of itself!
The DECKED D-Box – Phenomenally Better Quality And Fully Compatible With DECKED Toolbox Organization Systems
DECKED Tool Boxes are designed to fit perfectly in both the DECKED Tool Box and DECKED Drawer System truck mounted tool chests and tool box organization systems. Like all DECKED products, they are made of the highest quality plastic resin for a long and rugged service life. Inside the box you’ll find a single large space and 2 removable dividers, providing up to three compartments in total. With the lid closed, the D-Box is resistant to moisture and grit. It costs a bit more than the Hart equivalent, but it is money well spent!
DECKED D-Bag with Uncharted's Seventy2 Pro survival kit – Everything you Could Need In An Emergency, All In A Single DECKED D-Bag tote
This kit is everything we love about the DECKED D-Bag (durability, portability, and full compatibility with DECKED’s tool box organizers). In addition, though, it comes fully pre-packed with a 72-hour emergency kit as well as a Zeus power Station to jumpstart your car or truck, and possibly avoid roughing it for 72 hours in the first place.
So, now you should have a better idea of the performance and design options you’ll get if you shop with Hart for your tool storage and organization needs. If you want something a little more solidly built and mobile, though, DECKED is the better choice.