How to Choose a Box
Select the Style
Answer the Security Question First
Check for Weather Resistance
Any box can hold your tools. But it's the ease of opening and closing that makes you love it or hate it. We're lumping all the operational factors like opening, closing and lock and latch performance into the (subjective) convenience category. Here's how we rated convenience:
- A quality lock should operate smoothly. If we had to exert extra force to operate the lock, or saw the need for periodic adjustment, we lowered the convenience rating.
- Gas lifts should open the lid quickly. If they needed help or felt weak, we lowered the rating.
- Closing force: If we had to push hard to latch the lid, we lowered the rating.
Select the Material
A Chest Might be Best
Cross boxes are popular. But if your truck has a tonneau cover or you're considering adding one, a chest box is the only style that'll fit under the cover. And since a chest box sits at or near the height of the bed rail, it doesn't obscure your vision through the cab's rear window. This style box bolts to the bed floor, so you won't be able to slide sheet goods or lumber under it. On the plus side, a chest box generally holds more tools than a cross box.
Weather Guard No. 117-0-02 Extra-Wide Aluminum Saddle Box
This is a great box in every way. We loved the solid feel of the lid and latching hardware. The push-button has a smooth 'machined' feel and depresses easily. The lid seals with a triple-ribbed formed rubber gasket. The gas lifts are heavy duty and protected by aluminum shields. The anchor rings on the front of the box are a great feature. The mounting brackets are much easier to use than standard J-hooks.
Delta Champion No. 351-002 Black Aluminum Cross Box
This is a basic toolbox with a three-layer, foam-filled rigid lid and reinforced body sidewalls. So it's a bit sturdier than other consumer-priced boxes. However, you sacrifice capacity to get the added strength. The latches and gas lifts work smoothly and the top closes with a solid feel.
Kobalt Deep Hawkbill Truck Box
A consumer-grade box with pull-lever latches and an adjustable strike. This medium-security box is well built and includes a lifetime warranty—which is a real plus. However, it doesn't come with mounting hardware, so pick up some J-hooks, nuts and washers (about $2) before you leave the store. If you don't need a high-security box, this one offers reasonable storage capacity for a reasonable price.
Husky Full-Size Deepwell Cross-Bed Truck Box, No. HSKALF591BK
A consumer-grade box with paddle latches and an adjustable strike. Sure, the aluminum is thin, making it a low-security box. But if you need lots of space, this box provides the most capacity of any box in this price range.
Delta 203000 DI Structural Foam
This all-plastic box is equipped with gull-wing doors for side access. The push-button locks and spring-loaded lid are consumer grade. The plastic latch doesn't give us much confidence against break-ins. But if you're looking for a lightweight box to store nonvaluables like jumper cables and tie-downs, this one fits the bill.