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Rockin’ Tool Boxes: Why All The Hype?

Rockin’ Tool Boxes: Why All The Hype?

The people down at Rockin’ Toolboxes are making quite a name for themselves. So we thought we’d take a look and see what they have to offer. Along the way we’ll do some Rockin’ Tool Box reviews, ask some “Where are Rockin’ Tool Boxes made?” questions, and explore other issues like the Rockin’ Tool Boxes promo code we’ve heard so much about. 

Is Rockin’ Tool Boxes A Brand?

Large Green 6-wheel tool chest

No, not really. Rockin’ Tool Boxes is a website (Rockintoolboxes.com). They sell hand tool boxes, roller cabinets, combination box sets, and tool carts, as well as a few accessories. Now, while it is true that a few of these tool chests are listed as “exclusive” to Rockin’ Tool Boxes, they are all made by outside manufacturers.

The main brands sold at Rockin’ Tool Boxes are Extreme Tools and Gearwrench, but they may occasionally include others.

What Do We Know About Rockin’ Tool Boxes’ Extreme Tools Brand?

Extreme Tools combination cart

Well, it seems like Extreme Tools was established as a company in 1999. They are headquartered in Naperville, Illinois, and supply all of their domestic customers from this manufacturing facility.

Note that they don’t claim that their US customers are served exclusively by their onshore production facility. In fact, they announced that they have partnered with a range of overseas factories to produce both existing Extreme Tools products and to develop new product lines. This seems like a clear indication that Extreme Tools is transitioning to becoming the US face of a large overseas tool chest manufacturer.

At the moment, Extreme Tools tool boxes are considered very high quality, and a worthy competitor to big names like Snap-On in every way. Will they last 30, 40, or even 5 years like a Snap-On tool chest? We’ll have to wait at least 10 years to find out. Will this quality persist when the toolboxes are all made overseas? We might find that out quite a bit sooner. 

What Do We Know About Rockin’ Tool Boxes’ Gearwrench Brand?

Gearwrench tool chests

Gearwrench was founded in Taiwan in 1996. It is currently part of the Apex Tool group. Most of its production comes from Apex factories in China and Taiwan, but there are currently more than two factories making Gearwrench products scattered throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Gearwrench is considered a quality brand in general, though it is more famous for its tools than for its tool chests. They are not a direct competitor of “big” brands like Snap-On. Instead, they aim to provide competitive levels of quality at a lower price point. This strategy of mid-market pricing and near-top-market quality has made Gearwrench a beloved brand all over the world.

If Gearwrench products have any consistent drawbacks, these are mostly in terms of build quality and quality control. They seem to let more damaged or not-quite-right products be delivered. However, their reputation for repairing or replacing imperfect tools is very good, as is their reputation for customer service.

What Types Of Tool Boxes Are Available, From Rockin’ Tool Boxes Or Elsewhere?

There are more tool storage solutions on the market today than most people suspect. Here, we’ve divided them into categories. Except for the truck-mounted options, you can buy almost all of these from Rockin’ Tool Boxes.

Hand-carried tool boxes

DECKED Crossbox and tray

This is what most people think about if you say, “tool box.” It is small and easily carried, even when full of heavy tools. It might be made of plastic, steel, aluminum, or a combination of the three. You can even still buy old-fashioned wooden tool boxes. They are also the least expensive type on this list. Rockin’ Tool Boxes does have handheld toolboxes on their website, but they seem to be “out of stock” whenever we check. 

Cantilever tool boxes

A cantilever tool box opens up to reveal a stack of small trays which spread apart in cantilevered arms when the lid is opened. These are particularly well suited to organizing small parts, and are often seconded as tackle boxes.

This is basically a subtype of the hand-carried tool box, though you will sometimes see cantilevered trays in the top hatches of top boxes or single piece tool hutches.

Combination tool chests and tool cabinets

A combination tool chest or “combination box” is a set of one or more tool chests mounted on a wheeled base. Typically, this base is itself a tool chest (see “bottom box” below). They typically have a large capacity and limited mobility. The caster style wheels are usually limited to smooth, strong, hard flooring like concrete. Combination tool chests are used in workshops and mechanics’ bays all over the world to store and organize heavy tools, and to lock them up securely when not in use. Rockin’ Tool Boxes has many combination box components for sale.

Bottom Box

A bottom box or “roller cabinet” is a tool cabinet on four or more caster style wheels. It may have drawers or hatches on its front surface, but its top will be flat. This provides either a work surface or a platform for one or more additional tool chests.

Top Box

A top box sits at the top of a stack of tool cabinets, or directly on a bottom box. It typically has drawers, but will generally also have a large opening at the top. Many top boxes are small enough to be lifted away as a hand-carried tool box, but many more weigh far too much for this to be practical.

Intermediate Box

A middle cabinet or intermediate box usually sits on top of a bottom box and below a top box. However, many combination box sets can be rearranged like Lego bricks, so many different arrangements are possible.

Side Cabinets

Side cabinets mount to the sides of a bottom box, and sometimes stretch all the way up to attach to the top box as well. Some rely on the bottom box’s wheels, but others have two to four wheels of their own, to help bear the weight of the entire combination box and its cargo.

Tool carts

Tool carts are similar to bottom boxes, though they typically have much larger wheels and are intended to occasionally leave the garage. For this reason, they are sometimes called “road boxes.” They rarely mount top or intermediate boxes, as the danger of falling over on any but the smoothest terrain would be too great. Rockin’ Tool Boxes generally stock both tool carts and road boxes. 

Truck-mounted tool boxes

Rockin’ Tool Boxes does not sell any truck-mounted tool storage products. This category includes any tool chests mounted to the rails of a pick-up or working truck, like the DECKED Tool Box, as well as underbed storage options like the DECKED Drawer System. Truck mounted tool storage systems like these are secure and watertight, allowing you to leave your tools in your vehicle unattended. They also make life much easier to get your tools onto a remote worksite. 

Workman unloads shovel from DECKED Drawer System

Does It Matter If A Tool Box Is Steel, Aluminum, Or Plastic?

It certainly can matter. You should always be using a tool box which is right for the job. But that said, you can generally find a tool box made of any of those three materials to suit most purposes. The exception would be large garage- or workshop-bound tool cabinets. These should really always be steel. Making one of plastic or aluminum that could stand up to the weight would be very tricky indeed.

Each material has its strengths and weaknesses. You should consider these when selecting a tool box. For example:

DECKED D-Box plastic tool box

 

Plastic Tool Boxes

A plastic tool box can be an excellent choice, if it is made of the right kind of plastic. A strong, durable polyresin like that used in the DECKED D-Box and DECKED Crossbox is durable, shatter resistant, and very light. A high-density plastic like this is perfect for small and medium hand portable tool boxes, but it should be reinforced with steel and/or aluminum for larger tool boxes like the DECKED Tool Box. 

Aluminum Tool Boxes

Many people like aluminum for a tool box material because it is visually attractive and can be quite strong, but it is much lighter than steel. It certainly looks rugged as well, but in fact aluminum is a softer metal than steel. It scratches and bends easily. You should avoid aluminum as a material if you will be using the tool box heavily, if it has to carry and protect heavy tools, or if you intend to rely on it to protect the contents from thieves. Most thieves know that you don’t have to defeat an aluminum tool box’s lock, you just need to pry open its lid.  

Steel Tool Boxes

Steel tool boxes are strong, durable, and extremely heavy. There are several examples of handheld steel tool boxes, but the weight of the material makes these most practical at smaller sizes. However, it is at the smaller end of the size spectrum where the strength and durability of steel is least needed. In the end, steel tool boxes are seen at the larger end of that spectrum. Tool chests and tool lockers are almost always steel, and secure truck-mounted tool boxes will either be made completely of steel or be steel reinforced.

A Detailed Look At A Few Rockin’ Tool Boxes Products

Extreme Tools Roller, Hutch & 2 Side Lockers Combo

Rockin’ Tool Boxes 72-inch Roller, Hutch & Side Lockers Combo

This large combination box from Rockin’ Tool Boxes consists of a 72-inch 6-wheel bottom box, a tool hutch for a top box, and a total of 19 drawers, in addition to two independently locking side lockers. It is available in six different color schemes, from solid matte black and black with either blue or red trim, to a blue, green, or orange main color with black trim.

Each side locker has three drawers and three shelves in addition to those on the bottom box and hutch, and a power strip is included in the main body. The smaller drawers are rated at 150 pounds and the larger have double slides, ramping their capacity up to 300 pounds each. The entire unit weighs just over 1,000 pounds. The Extreme Tools roller box, hitch, and side lockers can be purchased separately, but all are said to be exclusive to the Rockin’ Tools website. 

Extreme Tools 41-inch Portable Workstation

Extreme Tools 41-inch, 3-drawer portable workstation

Available in matte black or all red (no separate trim options), this 213-pound beast is at the very limits of portability, even unloaded. With an additional 500 pounds of tools or gear, it should really be considered an immobile top box. Features include 16 gauge welded steel, side-opening drawers rated for 100 pounds of cargo, an integrated tool rack and power strip, a wrench rack, and a 29-piece drill bit holder. It even has a shelf for a laptop of up to 17 inches.

This can also be purchased as a combination box with a matching roller cabinet. It is covered by a 5-year limited warranty.

 

Gearwrench 72-inch 32-drawer combination cabinet

 

 

Gearwrench 72-inch 32-drawer combination cabinet

This combination box is made up of Gearwrench’s 20-drawer roller cabinet and their 12-drawer top chest. Single-slider drawers are rated at 150 pounds of gear each, and the double-slider drawers can hold 300 pounds each. The basic construction is of 12-gauge steel, and the lock systems are quite sturdy.

It is available through Rockin’ Tool Boxes only in black, but you can choose between red or chrome trim. The combination box can be expanded by adding a pair of side lockers or 8-drawer side boxes, or one of each. Both are available through the Rockin’ Tool Boxes website.

If You Want A Truck-Mounted Tool Storage System, Though, You’ll Need The DECKED Tool Box Or The DECKED Drawer System

The DECKED Drawer System gives you a similar total gear storage capacity to that of a static tool chest or tool cart (up to 2,000 pounds). The difference is that your tools will be able to travel with you wherever your truck can go. All this storage sits under a durable bed protector that actually increases the usable area of your truck bed.

DECKED Drawer System locks

 

The DECKED Drawer System is made of steel and aluminum reinforced high-impact plastic resin, and can take just as much punishment as the bed it protects.

DECKED drawer system, mounted 

The slightly smaller DECKED Tool Box mounts atop the bed of pick-up and work trucks, and can be used alongside the DECKED Drawer System on most models. It is also constructed of metal-reinforced plastic resin, and features a heavily armored lock.

DECKED Tool Box, open

Now that you know a little more about Rockin’ Tool boxes and their products, you should be able to make a more informed choice about what you buy. Just remember, for mobile tool storage and protection, DECKED is the clear choice.