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So You Need A Plastic Tool Box For Your Truck…

So you Need a Plastic Tool Box for your Truck…

DECKED drawer system, truck bed tool box with 2 drawers containing motorcycling gear

That’s great! We make those. But a serious plastic tool box should be an investment. After all, a good one can last for decades (ours do). So we’ve picked a few of the best-selling options on the market in the US today, and compared their strengths and their weaknesses.

That isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, however. There is no one "best plastic truck tool box," though we aren’t so humble as to say the DECKED truck tool box doesn’t come close. Each of these plastic tool boxes excels in one way or another, and none are an objectively bad choice. Take a look at what sets them apart from each other, and then go ahead and buy one of the many DECKED options.

Construction worker removing large drill from DECKED Tool Box, truck bed tool box

To be clear, this isn’t the guide you need if you want to buy a small plastic tool box to keep a socket set and a few screwdrivers in. If that’s all you need, any Home Depot plastic tool box will serve, and you might be able to pick a decent one up for $10 or $15. However, if you need a large, sturdy, and secure tool box to sit in your truck bed, read on!

Craftsman Tool Box, Plastic

There are a wide range of plastic Craftsman tool boxes available, so we’ve chosen one that represents the brand fairly accurately. The Craftsman line became famous many years ago as SEARS’s own top of the line bespoke tool system. It has lost a lot of ground in terms of its “elite” status in recent years, but it is still a well-respected brand, and for good reason.

If you’re looking for a sturdy, lockable plastic tool box with drawers, the Craftsman 26-inch Red Plastic Lockable Tool Box is a solid choice. This piece is made in America, though most of its materials are imported. It is reasonably solid, being made of a combination of 20-gauge and 18-gauge double walled plastic.

It is essentially a large, hand-portable plastic tool box, and if that’s all you need it should do the job nicely. You’ll only run into problems if you want the Craftsman plastic tool box to be part of a larger system, or to combine with other pieces in an organized fashion.

Features:

  • Full-extension cantilevered drawer which can support 100 pounds of tools or accessories
  • An integrated AC power and USB charging strip – though you still need to plug it all in somewhere
  • Gas-based struts to support the drawer while open, allowing easy access to the charging station beneath
  • Branded matting which protects the inner and top surfaces from light abrasion
  • Integrated keyed lock
  • Windows integrated into the lid allow you to see inside without opening the case

Drawbacks:

  • The integrated charging area takes up a great deal of storage space
  • Though billed as a "26-inch" plastic toolbox, this unit is actually only 24 ½ inches high
  • Cannot be easily stacked or organized within a tool organization system.

DECKED Alternative 1: DECKED D-Box Desert Tan

The DECKED D-Box plastic tool box is the superior equivalent to the Craftsman plastic tool box above. It is stringer, being made of our own brand of high-impact resin, and it is designed to work with the DECKED Drawer system, fitting conveniently into any of our full-size and midsized drawer units or the DECKED Tool Box.

DECKED D-Box Desert Tan, open plastic tool box with removable dividers

Features:

  • Heavy construction of high impact resin
  • Fully integrated EPDM seal to keep water and moisture away from your most sensitive tools and equipment
  • 1821 cubic inches of storage space
  • Movable internal dividers
  • Strong grip handles at top and side

DECKED Alternative 2: DECKED Crossbox Desert Tan

Does the DECKED Crossbox plastic tool box do everything the Craftsman alternative does? Yes, in a smaller package. This is a modular high impact plastic toolbox designed to work with our other truck tool storage systems. It fits snugly and securely into any DECKED Drawer system, fitting lengthwise in our narrower drawers and crosswise in the full-size and midsize drawer systems.

DECKED D-Box Desert Tan, open plastic tool box with camping supplies and equipment arrayed around it

 

Features:

  • Heavy construction of high impact resin
  • Fully integrated EPDM seal to keep water and moisture away from your most sensitive tools and equipment

The Verdict:

Unless you have a very narrow set of needs, you’re best going with something that can be expanded and used as part of an integrated truck bed tool box system, not just an isolated plastic tool box. The Craftsman 26-inch Red Plastic Lockable Tool Box is not bad at what it does, and the integrated AC and USB power block is a wonderful feature, but its lack of versatility is its ultimate downfall.

Yeoh Husky Tool Box Plastic

A solid Home Depot "Husky" offering in this range is the Husky 25-inch Cantilever Tool Box. This is a portable rolling tool box with 18 internal compartments, 2 large, cantilevered drawers integrated into the lid and large wheels which are not confined to the workshop floor. The wheels are a nice touch, giving this plastic tool box a great deal of versatility. However, they actually make it less secure in a truck bed, making it a less than ideal choice for storing and transporting your tools or equipment to wherever you work or play.

Note that Home Depot does not manufacture their own products, and like most of its HUSKY line, this particular plastic tool box is made by Yeoh.

Features:

  • 8-inch all-terrain wheels
  • Extendable tubular handle
  • Accepts a pad lock
  • Comes with a pair of Yeoh work gloves

Drawbacks:

  • Wheel construction seems fragile, especially when filled with heavy tools
  • Prone to sliding around in a truck bed
  • No integrated lock 

The Verdict:

Unlike the Craftsman 26-inch Red Plastic Lockable Tool Box we looked at above, the Husky 25-inch Cantilever Plastic Tool Box is designed as a way to organize your smaller plastic tool boxes. It isn’t as versatile in this fashion as the DECKED Truck Tool Box (see below), but it does outperform the Craftsman option above.

The lack of an integrated locking system is particularly disappointing, as your tools (or other equipment) can easily be the most valuable portable things in or on your vehicle. They are well-known to be a target for thieves, and some kind of theft deterrent system – beyond a place to fit a padlock – would much improve this plastic tool box. 

DECKED Alternative 1: DECKED Truck Tool Box – everything you ever wanted in a plastic tool box

DECKED Tool Box, open plastic tool box suitable for mounting behind cab of pick-up truck

The DECKED Tool Box is a much more effective way to store your tools and organize your small plastic tool boxes. As an added bonus, it is sized exactly for some of the most popular trucks on the road today – make sure to specify your vehicle’s make and model when ordering.

Man accessing DECKED Tool Box, open plastic tool box with ladder, mounted behind cab of pick-up truck

The DECKED Tool Box is more than "merely" a plastic tool box. It is made of the finest high impact resin, and reinforced with both aluminum and galvanized steel. Even its plastic components are stand-out. The high impact resin used is one of the longest and hardest wearing plastics made today.

Automated milling equipment shaping the bed of a DECKED Drawer System

Better still, it bears UV protection throughout its structure, not just on the surface. Even when it gets scuffed and scratched, it will remain strong for years and years. For the ecologically minded, it is also made up of a significant percent of recycled plastics, both from our own manufacturing facility and post-consumer waste. It may be black, but it is also pretty green.

Man in hard hat accessing DECKED Tool Box, open plastic tool box with ladder, DECKED Drawer System

You can even combine the DECKED Tool Box with the DECKED Drawer System below.

Features:

  • Steel and aluminum-reinforced construction
  • Integrated driver’s side lock
  • Armored locking mechanism to make forced entry nearly impossible
  • Watertight EPDM gasket seal
  • Optional integrated access ladder – perfect for vehicles with high beds
  • Torsion springs for easy opening and quiet closing
  • DECKED D-Box (see above) and DECKED Snack Tray included
  • 9.82 cubic foot / 73.4 gallon storage capacity
  • 500 pound payload capacity

 Man in white cap accessing DECKED Tool Box, open plastic tool box with ladder, mounted behind cab of pick-up truck 

Stanley Plastic Tool Box

Stanley’s offering in this range is the Stanley Line Contractor Chest. This plastic tool box answers many of the same issues as Husky plastic tool box and DECKED tool box above, but in a different way. It features a large vertical internal storage space which is designed to hold both hand and power tools securely.

The fact that it has a reconfigurable internal capacity is a nice touch, and it allows you to customize the plastic tool box to hold a wide variety of tools and other equipment. However, it lacks the ability to contain other plastic tool boxes efficiently. An ability to serve as part of an organized tool storage system like the DECKED Tool Box or the DECKED Drawer System – or even the Husky 25-inch Cantilever Tool Box we looked at above.

Like the Craftsman plastic tool box, this one features all-terrain wheels. While these are not as much of a detriment in a truck bed as caster-style wheels would be, they do tend to allow the Stanley plastic tool box to move around more than most people would really be comfortable with. That said, the ability to get the tool box itself to a place that is inaccessible to your truck is not to be sneezed at.

Features:

  • Removable vertical storage dividers
  • 7 inch all terrain wheels
  • 13-gallon internal capacity
  • V-shaped groove in the lid to make it easier to cut wood and other materials

Drawbacks:

  • Lack of metallic reinforcement
  • Not fitted to the truck bed in any way

The Verdict:

We should underline the lack of any serious metal reinforcement in this essentially purely plastic tool box. The carry-handle is metal, but this isn’t really a structural element of the box itself. It does a fine job of containing and even transporting light tools, but it falls short on protection.

DECKED Alternative: The DECKED Full-Bed Length Drawer System

DECKED drawer system, mounted in back of truck, displaying 2 drawers full of gear

The DECKED Drawer System offers fully segmented tool and supply organization without making your truck bed inaccessible. In fact, it acts as a sturdy protective layer, protecting your actual truck bed as you use it.  

Because it is made of the same incredibly high impact resin (and the same steel reinforcements and mounting equipment) as the DECKED Plastic Tool Box we looked at above, it can probably take more of a beating than your actual truck bed. It will definitely look better after doing so. Once again, allow me to sing the praises of the plastic material used in its construction. It is UV-resistant, weatherproof, and even contains a high percentage of recycled material without losing an inch on strength or durability.

Man preparing burgers on portable grill, 2 women sitting on truck bed next to DECKED Drawer System with one open drawer

As you can see, cargo goes right on top, and your tools or other equipment stay safe, secure, and organized underneath.

13 large logs loaded atop DECKED Drawer System, mounted in bed of of pick-up truck 

When it’s time to work, the twin drawers slide out at easy access level, so there are no more delays (or strained backs).

man accessing DECKED drawer system, mounted in back of truck, filled with camping gear 

Features:

  • Heavy-duty resin construction, reinforced with steel and aluminum
  • Secure locking system
  • Weather-resistant drawer and "ammo can" seals
  • Massive 2000-pound payload – even with drawers fully extended
  • Made domestically in Ohio
  • Custom designed for your exact make and model of vehicle for a perfect fit be sure to specify vehicle make and model when ordering!
  • Shipped with everything you need to use the system right away

 Set of accessories for DECKED drawer system: Drawerganizer, D-Box, Set of Drawer Dividers, and Crossbox  

Did We Stack the Deck on This Comparison?

Not really. It may be immodest to say it, but the DECKED plastic tool box options really are better than just about anything else out there at the moment. This is not just a matter of manufacturing, but of design philosophy. We didn’t want to make “just another plastic tool box." We knew we had the talent, the experience, and the skill necessary to make DECKED’s tool transportation and storage options real game changers, and that’s exactly what we did.

man accessing DECKED drawer system, mounted in back of truck, filled with riding gear and fence manding equipment

No matter what you do with your DECKED Drawer System or Plastic Tool Box, we know you’ll get years of trouble-free service!

 

DECKED drawer system loaded with accessories: Drawerganizer, D-Box, Set of Drawer Dividers, and Crossbox

Our entire line of products stand out because “good enough" was never going to be good enough. No matter which DECKED tool storage solution you end up trying, we know you’ll be more than satisfied. In fact, we believe you’ll never use anything else.