20 Amazing Storage Products from Harbor Freight
The retail outlet Harbor Freight is a goldmine of affordable equipment for the DIY enthusiast. With a business model of selling low-cost tools and materials, the shelves of Harbor Freight feature staggeringly deep discounts on goods that range from high-quality to essentially disposable. And one of Harbor Freight's strongest areas is storage solutions. Here are 20 items that can help you organize your work space, store tools and materials, and make sure you've got what you need at hand during projects.
Classic Tool Chest
The classic Harbor Freight tool box purchase is a rock-solid tool chest. They're well-known for carrying solidly built, affordable tool chests that can hold up to standard shop use, but won't break the bank when it comes time to replace or upgrade.
There's a reason that this Harbor Freight tool box is one of the 20 Things DIYers should always Buy at Harbor Freight. But to really make the most of the storage provided by a tool chest, there are a couple accessories you'll want to grab. To see them, keep clicking.
Step one in making the most of your tool chest is to lay in these affordable and practical liners. Without a liner, the motion of opening and closing drawers and (if you have a chest mounted on casters) rolling around your shop will inevitably slide whatever part you need into the back of the drawer, where you'll have to fumble awkwardly for it.
Installation is as simple as measuring and cutting, just like installing a kitchen cabinet drawer liner. You'll be protecting the finish of your drawer and your tools.
Chest Drawer Compartment Organizers
After you drop in liners for the open drawers of a Harbor Freight tool box, you'll want to kick up the effectiveness of the rest of the chest by installing these drawer organizers. Don't waste time searching for just the right saw blade or your favorite calipers. Create the right place for your tools, and they'll always be close at hand.
By adding this storage upgrade, you'll vastly increase the usable portion of the tool chest, and spend more time actually working, instead of searching for tools.
It's no secret that at The Family Handyman want to make sure that your DIY projects run safely and smoothly. A key element of that is the proper use of safety equipment, from safety glasses to sunscreen. But even the best safety equipment is useless if it's sitting on a shelf, untouched.
Put your protective gloves within easy reach with this wall-mounted dispenser. Or if you prefer, drop in a box of tissues, or whatever else you might need from a dispensary box.
Magnetic Tool Holder
Sometimes you don't want to hide away your most frequently used tools, but you do want to get them clear of your work space. You can have the best of both worlds by installing magnetic holder strips next to your work area. Need a tool? Just reach out and grab it!
And for a simple hack to make these strips do double duty, check out this Family Handyman article that shows how to use large washers, clear plastic containers and magnetic strips for small parts storage in your workshop.
Magnetic Wrist Band
And why limit your magnetic strips to tool storage solutions? If you've ever worked on a ladder, chances are you know the sinking sensation of watching a nut or screw fall from your fingers and disappear far below.
Avoid the headache of climbing down and searching for a lost piece by picking up one of these wonderful magnetic wrist bands from Harbor Freight, and never lose track of small parts again.
Utility Blade Dispenser
When we talk about safety, we often focus on the items that protect us from impact or sharp items. But it's equally important to avoid working with dull tools that require too much force to cut, setting up DIYers for serious injury in case of a slip or overcut. To avoid this, make sure you sharpen your knife blades regularly and replace disposable blades as soon as they dull. And the best way to make sure you're changing your blades is to keep them stored in a convenient spot.
Store all your utility blades in this dispenser, keeping them sharp, safe, and ready to swap out at a moment's notice. The dispenser easily tucks into a tool bag or attaches to a magnetic strip near your work bench.
Sometimes you need a dedicated set of tools over and over. Store those items bundled together and close at hand with this mini-tool holder. Attach it to your belt or tuck it inside a larger storage container, and it's like a tiny tool bag on the go.
Its main limitation is that it's designed for smaller tools. But it's that same trait that allows it to be so compact, making it perfect for use as an emergency kit or for work in tight or precarious spaces.
If you have too many grouped tools to pack into the mini-holder, consider this Harbor Freight tool roll-up. Perfect for thin tools of a short-enough length, the roll-up is a fantastic way to store many tools in a small space, without sacrificing order or ease of extraction.
Because the roll-up constricts air flow when drawn tight, you may consider dedicating a single pocket to a silicone desiccant, either snatched from factory packaging of a new tool, or homemade with kitty litter.
Vacuum Storage Bags
If you have soft goods to store, then chances are you've run into the frustration of shoving fluffy pillows, blankets, tarps or drop cloths onto a shelf. They take up an enormous amount of space, and are prone to collecting dust and catching on stray nails or splinters.
Luckily, vacuum storage bags can be used to compress these soft goods, while also wrapping them in a protective covering. All you need is a wet/dry vac or vacuum cleaner with hose attachment, and you'll be able to store soft goods in as small of a space as possible, and stack them high and dry.
Portable Parts Case
If you need a collection of nuts, bolts or other small parts on the go, then you need to check out this portable parts case. With bins big enough to store most common fasteners, and a lid that seals tight enough to ensure that the parts won't slip and slide while you're on the road.
This is a must-have for DIYers who work at multiple locations, work alone, or who frequently don't know what pieces and parts they'll need in advance. But what if you only work from a single location? Well, click though to the next slide and you'll see that Harbor Freight has you covered as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you're the kind of DIYer who has a definite home base, then your parts bin can be permanently set in place. As always, there's the option to build your own parts bin, but if you want to buy a plug-and-play solution, you can't go wrong with this standing parts bin from Harbor Freight.
One word of advice for large parts bins, whether homemade or store-bought: Be sure to think through the weight of the parts. Always keep the center of gravity low to the ground, and consider securing the bin to the floor or the wall in order to be sure it won't tip over.
One of the best way to store materials is to simply get them up off the floor. Building storage shelves is great, but that solution still eats up floor space. Instead, make use of all that wall and ceiling area in your workshop by installing these storage hooks and suspending anything from shovels, rakes, bikes and even scrap lumber.
4-Tier Shelf Rack
This shelf rack can hold up to 176 lb. worth of items to save space in your workshop or garage. The tough polypropylene construction on this shelving won’t dent or rust and the compact shape fits in any corner of your work area. Get this shelf for only $18.99!
If you like the idea of revolving storage, one of the concept's best uses is in corner storage. For more info, check out this Family Handyman article that includes step by step instructions for building rotating corner shelves.
This entry on our list isn't a storage item in itself, but rather an item designed to help clear away small items into their proper storage bins. When you complete a project there are often leftover parts. A key step in the clean up process should be collecting miscellaneous bits and pieces and putting them in the proper storage bin. The problem is, all that collecting and organization is time-consuming, which makes it tempting to skip. By using small tricks and tools like this funnel tray, you can make clean up so easy that it's almost a pleasure to put everything away.
Locking Tool Cabinet
Security is a part of shop organization that is critical for some DIYers, and secondary for others. But everyone has a few tools and materials that are either too valuable or too fragile to leave lying around.
This wall-mounted locking tool cabinet from Harbor Freight will keep essential items locked up and out of the hands of unauthorized users.
Wood Tool Chest
Store your tools or small parts in this chest, and it will be a pleasure pulling them out. Notice that it comes pre-lined, so you don't need to supply your own liner.
Canvas Riggers Bag
If you're working indoors, you want to be focused on your project, not worrying about damaging the carpet or hardwood floors. Dropcloths do offer protection, but if you want to completely eliminate the chances of your steel toolbox scratching the work surface, consider switching to a canvas tool bag. The open-top design allows for easy access, and the fabric construction is lighter to carry around than a classic steel framed box.
So pick up a Harbor Freight canvas bag, and stop worrying about having to touch up a wood floor or repair a scratched countertop because you didn't look where you set your tool box.
If your favorite tools are too large for the Riggers Bag, or if you simply need more pockets for small items, consider picking up a canvas bucket insert organizer. One of the more ingenious uses for those plastic five gallon buckets that seem to accumulate in the homes of DIYers the world over, this insert provides a way to store, organize, access and transport your go-to tools.
Classic Tool Belt
Rounding out the list is another classic accessory. A rugged tool belt allows DIYers to take a small toolbox anywhere on the job site, while still keeping their hands free. While some pockets may be emptied out at the end of the job, other items will likely find a permanent home in the belt. This turns it into a kind of portable storage, one that—if organized correctly—allows you to get to work faster, safer, and with less fuss than you would by toting around a full box of tools.