The Husky Tool Box: Finally Offering Value For Money?
The Husky tool box – Home Depot’s line – has been around for some time. The brand is perhaps better known for truck accessories, mud flaps, and bed liners. However, they have made tool boxes for some time, ranging from the well-received Husky 230381 22 in Connect Rolling System tool box (essentially a stackable pit box) to a set of large, wheeled tool chests and combo systems.
Husky tool boxes come in 3 broad lines:
Hand-portable tool boxes
Husky offers a wide range of relatively light and inexpensive hand-portable tool boxes. In this category are also a small number of wheeled tool boxes and pit boxes. Examples like the Husky 26 inch tool box and Husky 22 inch tool box are generally made of plastic, and suitable for holding a small collection of relatively light hand tools. However, the Husky 37 inch rolling tool box is of respectable size and capacity.
Tool cabinets and combination tool chests
Rolling tool cabinets and combination cabinets are what most people think of as “mechanic’s tool chests.” They are large, generally constructed of heavy steel, and can be moved along flat, regular surfaces via small wheels. These have a much larger capacity than handheld tool boxes, and excel at keeping a big collection of tools and their attachments organized.
Truck bed tool boxes
As you might imagine, truck bed or “saddle” style tool box mount in the bed of a pickup or work truck, typically just behind the cab. This leaves as much of the bed as possible room for cargo, and offers a waterproof, lockable tool storage and organization solution that can follow you to the worksite.
Are “Normal People” Priced Out Of Buying Husky Tool Boxes?
Definitely not! Husky has long been a kind of budget brand, competing with names like Craftsman and Snap-On by offering a similar product at a lower price. Until fairly recently, Husky tool boxes were fairly universally seen as a lower quality option, but perceptions are beginning to change in this regard. Their light plastic handheld tool boxes are never going to be seen as professional gear, but their rolling tool cabinets, truck tool boxes, and even some of their pit boxes are beginning to earn a reputation for decent quality at an affordable price.
Should You Buy A Husky Tool Box?
That depends on how you intend to use it. If you want a cheap handheld tool box to store hammers and screwdrivers in the closet, a Husky tool box will work fine. If you want an off-brand saddle tool box that will keep the rain off your tools and be at least difficult to break into, the truck tool box Husky offers can do the job cheaply. If you want a large mechanic’s tool chest or a combination system which looks good and performs reasonably well, but aren’t after a lifetime warranty, you could do worse than a Husky 9 drawer tool box.
A Husky tool box won’t be the best quality you can find – even at Home Depot, you can get better brands if you’re willing to pay more – but they do legitimately offer value for money.
What About A Husky Tool Box For Trucks?
Husky offers both crossover “saddle” style truck tool boxes and a side-mounted tool box. Both mount at different points in the bed, and have different uses.
Husky’s crossover toolbox offerings are typically in the 70-72 inch range (matching typical truck bed widths), and fit any full sized truck. Their rail-mounted tool box is 48 inches long. It fits some mid-sized pickups and SUVs, as well as virtually all larger trucks. This style of truck tool box is designed to make use of the space above and behind the wheel wells, space that is typically hard to fill with cargo.
Why You Might Like The Husky Tool Box
Husky has been improving their quality game of late, without massively increasing their prices. In terms of their tool cabinets, what they are producing today is essentially a midrange tool chest, not a “budget.” Their prices have gone up, but they can compete on both price and quality in most markets.
The casters on their rolling tool cabinets are of very good quality these days, for example. Many units come with conveniences like built-in power strips and USB charging stations. The build quality of their drawers has improved dramatically, and most users will have few complaints.
In terms of their truck tool boxes, Husky has more catching up to do. Nevertheless, they have made a very creditable showing. These are essentially aluminum tool boxes, despite their pretension to steel by adopting a rugged diamond plate styling.
The crossbed tool chest comes in black powder coat, while the side rail unit comes in black or metallic aluminum. Overall, these are good pieces of gear. They make good use of space, are large enough to be useful, and they really don’t look bad.
Why A Husky Tool Box Might Not Be For You
Husky tool box products will appeal to many customers, but many others will notice the slight compromises to quality made to keep prices down.
- Their large steel tool chests are well-designed and sturdy, but they don’t come with the same kind of guarantee you’d get from Craftsman or even Snap-On
- They shouldn’t be considered a lifetime investment like the big brands
- Their hand tool boxes are solidly in the “budget” category, and it shows. They feel a bit flimsy, and the user gets the sense that if they dropped a Husky tool box that was full of tools or similarly heavy gear, it would shatter. You don’t drop your tool box often, but it should be survivable.
- Their truck-mounted tool chests lack security. An aluminum truck tool box is a bad idea in terms of security from the get-go. A determined thief with a pry-bar will get at whatever is inside.
…but that having been said, these are in no way the worst examples on the market today in any of these categories.
Different Versions And Products In The Husky Tool Box Line
Husky 27-inch 8-drawer tool chest
This is a decent quality combination tool chest, and a good place to start with a semi-professional tool storage and organizations system. The bottom box features three deep and wide drawers and a smaller, locking drawer in the top slot The top box offers four more drawers, as well as a sturdy top hatch. However, this isn’t the “Husky stackable tool box” you’ve probably heard about. That is their pit box offering, which we’ll discuss as well.
Husky 72-inch 18-drawer tool chest
This is the “Husky wood top tool box” that has been getting such glowing reviews. It offers 18 drawers of various sizes – one of which is quite wide – and a few really useful additions. These include the wooden workbench top and an integrated power strip located up away from the floor near the worktop.
It even has a pair of USB charging points, which come in incredibly handy these days when a phone has likely replaced the traditional shop radio. Possibly the best feature of this tool chest is that the height of the wooden worktop can be adjusted from 38 inches to 51 inches. This is amazingly handy.
Husky 22-inch Connect Rolling System tool box
This is a decent little pit box set. If you’ve heard about the “Husky stackable tool box”, this is it. It’s about time we saw a Husky tool box organizer, and what they have produced is well-made, well-designed, and roomy. One could note that all the boxes are top-opening, so you have to disassemble the stack to access anything that isn’t in the top box, but that really isn’t a chore.
Most of us don’t buy a pit box to be able to change a tire in 3 seconds, after all. The transparent lid on the topmost box is a nice feature, as well. The bottom box is wide, deep, and a good place to hold power tools.
Husky 37-inch rolling tool box
This Husky Job Box begins pushing the border between a pit box and a large tool storage chest. It is technically a plastic tool box, but Husky has done well here. The build quality is better than we might have expected, and the internal space is really useful. The hinges on the lid are the first things to go on this kind of a tool chest, but the ones on the Husky Job Box are quite sturdy and well-designed.
However, the clasps are flimsy, and the padlock lug is easily bent. The small tray that comes with it isn’t very good at keeping small accessories organized. They generally end up at the bottom of the chest. Despite the lock and mounts for 2 padlocks, the softness of the plastic means your tools won’t be very secure.
Husky Low Profile Crossover Box
This is one of two Husky truck tool boxes we’ll be looking at. It has a standard width and should fit any full-sized truck. Though technically “low profile” it will still prevent the use of a tonneau cover or canopy. However, it does provide a dry and somewhat secure place to store your tools and equipment without a bed cover.
Despite a relatively soft aluminum construction, it should be harder to break into than a tonneau cover anyway. It is also roomy for a “low profile” saddle style truck box. This is an inexpensive crossover tool box option, and is competitive on quality with anything else in that price range.
Husky TB-303B 3 drawer tool box
This is a 3-drawer hand-portable tool box that matches the styling of Husky’s larger tool chests. Each of its 3 pull-out trays measures 17.8 inches by 7.2 inches, and is 2 inches deep. In addition, there is a top tray secured by 2 latches, which is 20 inches by 8.5 inches, and is 2.2 inches deep.
Generally, it is a good choice for light tool storage. The drawers operate smoothly even when fully loaded. However, they tend to open by themselves when the unit is being carried, and cannot be locked closed securely. Only the top hatch has a hasp for a padlock.
Husky 48-inch siderail tool box
This 48-inch-long husky tool box for the truck mounts over the side rail, just on top of the wheel well. It fits all full-sized pickups and work trucks, but only some mid-sized vehicles.
While this siderail mounted husky tool box prevents the use of a tonneau cover, it might also make one unnecessary. It is solidly built and lockable, as well as reasonably weathertight. If the box provides space for your tools, that might be all you need. Like Husky’s crossover tool boxes, their siderail tool box is a solid step up from the “budget” range of truck bed tool boxes, but nothing to write home about.
The DECKED Drawer System – An Under-Bed Alternative To Crossover Tool Boxes
If you want the ease and extra storage capacity of a truck tool box, but don’t want to give up even an inch of valuable truck-bed real estate, then the DECKED Drawer System is a better choice than anything Husky offers and yes you can call it a truck bed tool box. Not only does it make sure that your tools or other equipment are all accessible right at truck-bed height, its ultra-durable high-impact poly resin surface can take anything your original truck bed could, including piling literally tons of cargo on top of it.
The DECKED Tool Box – Better Than Any Husky Toolbox For Trucks
The DECKED Tool Box mounts across the bed of almost any pick-up truck. It is made of steel- and aluminum-reinforced high-impact plastic resin, and features an armored lock. It offers waterproof tool storage and even ease of access, with an optional folding ladder.
So, now you should have a better idea about whether a Husky tool box is actually a good purchase. Perhaps more importantly, you know the kinds of improved alternatives you can get from DECKED.