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10 Best Auto Mechanic Tool Boxes

Mechanic toolboxes are not just for professional auto mechanics. A sturdy toolbox helps DIYers keep their prized tool collection handy and safe.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Craftsman Tool ChestVia Lowes.com

Auto mechanic tool boxes protect, organize and keep your tools secured in one convenient place. Depending on your budget, the size of your tool collection, the types of tools you own and the kind of car repair work you’re doing, there are plenty of toolboxes to choose from:

  • Rolling mechanic tool boxes: Available in many sizes and drawer configurations, these substantial tool boxes (AKA rolling tool cabinets) are large and heavy, making heavy-duty swivel casters critical to safety and maneuverability.
  • Tool chests: With a swing open-top, tool chests offer lots of storage and are a great add-on to a rolling tool box.
  • Portable tool boxes: With sliding drawers and a swing open lid, these are large enough to hold plenty of tools.
  • Rolling tool carts: Like a kitchen cart, rolling tool carts are smaller and lighter than a rolling tool box. They come with drawers and often a big bottom storage area for larger tools. These are great for easily moving lots of hand and heavy power tools to where you need them.
  • Rolling tool stools: With a padded seat and tool storage, these makes working on your vehicle more comfortable.
  • Rolling tool box/trolley: Usually made from a composite plastic and primarily used on jobsites, rolling tool boxes come in lots of styles and sizes.

When shopping for a mechanic tool box, take into consideration the number of drawers, their size, capacity and configuration. Look for features such as:

  • 100 lbs. rated, full-extension, soft-close, ball-bearing drawer slides;
  • Heavy-duty locking casters;
  • 120-volt power outlets;
  • USB power ports;
  • Security drawers for expensive specialty tools;
  • Inserts to protect the drawer bottoms;
  • Wrench and socket organizers;
  • Keyed locking drawers and lid.

Note: Professional auto mechanics can spend $10,000 or more on a tool box, then fill it with $50,000 to $60,000 worth of tools. There’s no reason for a DIYer to spend that much. But the price of mechanic tool boxes for DIYers is still steep, so don’t be surprised if you experience sticker shock while shopping.

Whether you’re a professional mechanic, a DIY weekend warrior, a committed gearhead or just organizing your large tool collection, there’s a tool box to suit your needs.

Safety first

Tools are heavy. To keep your tool box from tipping over, place heavier tools in bottom drawers, never open more than one drawer at a time, and always close and lock all drawers before moving it around.

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Craftsman Rolling Tool ChestVia Lowes.com

Best Mechanic Rolling Tool Box for Beginners

If you’re starting out and just looking for a reasonably priced tool box with decent storage, the 26-inch wide Craftsman CMST98264RB is a good choice.

This sturdy five-drawer steel tool chest has soft-close ball-bearing drawer slides and plenty of room for tools. Two spacious bottom drawers hold large power tools. Three upper drawers are great for hand tools like wrenches, sockets, pliers, hammers and screwdrivers.

Large casters and a side handle make it easy to move and maneuver. There’s an integrated power and USB outlet strip. And it comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

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Milwaukee Tool ChestVia Homedepot.com

Best Mechanic Tool Box for Committed Gearheads

The Milwaukee 48-22-8542 is a top choice for serious DIYers. Built with six-gauge reinforced steel, this 10-drawer tool box offers gigantic storage capacity.

Two extra-deep drawers for power tools feature 200-lb. rated, soft-close ball-bearing slides. Large industrial-grade locking casters and a knurled finish side handle make it easy to move around on a smooth concrete garage floor.

It’s loaded with lots of handy accessories including a 120-volt power strip, USB ports, long tool holder, folding storage shelf, stainless steel bottle opener, pre-cut PVC drawer liners. And it comes with a three-year limited warranty.

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Husky Tool ChestVia Homedepot.com

Best Value Mechanic Tool Box

Reasonably priced with extras like a solid hardwood worktop, the Husky H46MWC9V2-C tool box is a great value. Although not as heavy-duty as the Craftsman or Milwaukee tool boxes, its all-welded steel construction can support up to 1,200 lbs.

Its nine extra-deep 21-in. drawers feature ball-bearing slides, and two large drawers hold up to 200 lbs. of your biggest power tools. Large casters (two fixed/two swivel with toe breaks) and secure locking system ensure drawers stay closed, making moving this tool box safe and easy.

It’s also nicely outfitted with pre-cut drawer liners, 120-volt power strip with six outlets, an on/off switch and two USB ports. Husky backs it with a five-year limited warranty.

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Milwaukee And Craftsman Benchtop Tool ChestsVia Amazon.com, Via Homedepot.com

Best Benchtop Mechanic Tool Box

If you want to start out with a benchtop tool box and plan to expand your tool storage, the Craftsman CMST98214RB (companion to the Craftsman CMST98264RB) or the Milwaukee Eight-Drawer Tool Chest 48-22-8541 (companion to the Milwaukee 48-22-8542) offer excellent jumping-off points.

Constructed with a steel double wall frame, the Craftsman comes with full-extension, soft-close ball-bearing drawer slides, protective drawer liners and a locking key system. Sturdy gas strut lid supports are a good safety feature when you need to move your tools, as are the recessed side handles.

Pro tip: If you place a non-mobile tool chest on top of a tool box on wheels, consider bolting the boxes to each other. Here’s how:

Place a piece of finished plywood on top of the tool box so there’s no space between it and the tool chest. Remove a few top drawers from the tool box and a few bottom drawers from the tool chest. Drill four 5/16-in. holes from the bottom box through the top chest, staying away from any locking mechanisms. Secure them together with 1/4-in. nuts, bolts and flat washers.

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Gear Wrench Tool ChestVia Amazon.com

Best Portable Mechanic Tool Box

The Gearwrench 83151 portable tool box combines the features of a benchtop tool chest and tool box. This spacious alloy steel tool box comes with a removable cantilever tray, giving users options to store and organize tools.

The top is deep and roomy enough to hold sockets on socket rails, hand tools or small parts. A large single handle makes it easy to carry. Two additional metal lockable latches provide maximum security and protection when moving it around.

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Kobalt Tool ChestVia Lowes.com

Best Rolling Cart Mechanic Tool Box

A rolling tool cart with drawers offers a good compromise between a tool box and tool chest. The steel Kobalt 59725 Toolchest comes with three ball-bearing slide drawers — one for small hand tools, and two larger ones for medium and large tools.

The locking lift top lid, supported by two smooth operating gas struts, provides lots of storage for hand and automotive tools. The open bottom storage area is excellent for storing or transporting large power tools.

Additional features include a convenient side tray for holding screwdrivers and protective drawer liners. The side handle and five-inch locking swivel casters allow you to move the cart smoothly to where you’re working.

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Mychanic Tool ChestVia Amazon.com

Best Rolling Tool Box Stool

Working on your motorcycle, or car while on safety jack stands, can be a backbreaking experience. A rolling tool box stool with plenty of storage makes these repairs less awkward.

With a sturdy steel frame ‎that can support up to 500 lbs., the adjustable height Mychanic ‎53072 rolling tool box stool fits the bill. It offers lots of space and several options to store and neatly organized your tools — things like a single deep and large ball-bearing slide drawer, removable tool caddy, two side trays and power tool holder.

Swivel casters make moving around your shop or garage easy and quick. A large seat cushion allows you to work longer without getting sore.

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Safstar Tool ChestVia Amazon.com

Best Adaptable Mechanic Tool Box

The Safstar B08G4QFQSD Six-Drawer Rolling Stackable Tool Chest and Tool Box combination with large removable center tool organizer offers great flexibility. The tool box and chest can be used together with or without the center unit removed, or separately.

You can slide the top tool chest into the bottom tool box for easy transportation on its four swivel (two locking) casters. The tool chest comes with a hinged swing up top that delivers ample storage, two side handles for portability and four drawers — three for hand tools or other smaller items and one full size drawer.

The bottom tool box features two big drawers and a large cabinet for bigger tools, or to slip in the top tool chest. The bottom tool box and removable center section each have a large door that lifts and slides out of the way when working, making this combo set perfect for everyday tool storage.

Other handy features include the side handle that makes it easy to move around the garage or workshop, and anti-slip drawer liners.

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Big Red Tool ChestVia Amazon.com

Best Portable Rolling Tool Box/Trolley

The ‎Torin Big Red TRJF-C305ABD rolling upright trolley tool box is a stackable hybrid with three sections. Depending on your needs, each spacious steel alloy and composite plastic section can be separated or connected via a clever latching system.

The top section comes with a removable plastic tray that provides easy access to large power tools below. Its aluminum carrying handle folds neatly out of the way and two metal latches secure the top. The middle section has two generously sized ball-bearing slide drawers for holding various hand and automotive tools.

The base section offers an extra-large tilt-down drawer storage cabinet for larger tools, parts or other awkward items. An ergonomic telescopic handle and built-in wheels makes transporting the trolley on concrete smooth and easy. If you’re constantly moving tools from one side of your garage to the other, this tool box may be right for you.

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Craftsman Tool ChestVia Lowes.com

Best All-Around Mechanic Tool Box

If you’re a dedicated weekend warrior with lots of automotive hand and power tools to organize, consider the heavy-duty, 52-in.-wide Craftsman CMST98273RB with CMST98272RB matching rolling tool box and tool chest.

Made in the U.S. from heavy 18-gauge steel, it offers 18 full-extension ball-bearing, soft-close drawers. Both units come with embossed drawer liners and an internal locking system, plus Craftsman’s 10-year limited warranty.

For increased durability and productivity, the tool chest comes with protective bumpers and a conveniently-placed, six-outlet 120-volt power strip with dual USB ports. A peg board on the back wall keeps your most used tools handy, and two gas struts safely support the swing open lid that covers spacious open tool storage. Reinforced casters with toe-locking brakes add stability.

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Bob Lacivita
Bob Lacivita is an award-winning ASE and General Motors auto technician, educator and freelance writer who has written about DYI car repairs and vehicle maintenance topics. His work has been featured in The Family Handyman, a Reader's Digest book and Classic Bike Rider magazine. He has been a career and technical educator for 25 years teaching automotive technology, as well as writing state, federal and organizational foundation grants. He also helped design a unique curriculum delivery model that integrates rigorous, relevant academic standards seamlessly into career and technical education.