Pickup trucks are great for lugging stuff about – you can virtually fit your whole home into some of them, but what happens when you’re looking to keep tools in the back? Or just random stuff that’s worth a few dollars? Unless you have a lockable tonneau cover, those items aren’t secure, that’s why you need a good truck toolbox.
Think about it. You keep a few wrenches, a couple of screwdrivers, and a socket set to help you with the daily maintenance of your truck and before you know it, you’ve amassed a small tool collection that’s worth a couple of hundred bucks that anyone could help themselves to.
And security is only half of it.
Putting aside the security aspect of it, unless these tools are made of plastic or some sort of composite, there’s a good chance that they could suffer from corrosion also. Even with a soft tonneau cover on the back of the truck, it doesn’t keep out the damp.
And that’s before we get to the damage or even just the annoyance of something rolling around in the back of the truck. This is the reason why we’ve put together a list of the best-rated truck toolboxes!
Next, we should understand the different types of pickup toolboxes. Some are great at keeping the weather out. Others are better for keeping out thieves. We’ll tell you why.
As with any toolbox, a truck toolbox can be made from pretty much any material – steel, aluminum, composite, or plastic. Some feature extra layers, either for rigidity or weatherproofing.
Plastic & Composite Tool Boxes
A plastic toolbox will typically be much cheaper to buy. It’s cheaper to manufacture and doesn’t offer the same level of security, but also, they’re usually much lighter.
These are primarily aimed at the occasional user or for someone that doesn’t really carry anything expensive in the truck. It’s better than letting your stuff just roll about in the back, open to the elements and the criminals. They’re also good for someone adding that little bit of extra security alongside a lockable tonneau cover.
A steel toolbox will offer greater security, perhaps better than any other material, but it could also suffer from being open to the elements. Corrosion is your enemy here. Of course, any steel truck toolbox will be coated with paint, or powder coated. However, they lead a hard life. This means that the paint or coating could be chipped off. And when that happens – the steel is unprotected.
Weight is also a factor. A solidly constructed steel box is always going to be heavy. That may not be a huge problem for you, but even something like that could affect your fuel economy.
Aluminum is perhaps the best of both worlds. It’s lighter than steel with no corrosion. Plus, it’s tough and more secure than a composite truck toolbox. Does it have any downsides?
Very few. Aluminum is softer than steel and marks up quite easily. So, scratches, dings, and nicks are commonplace. But, on the other hand, it can be made to look great, especially if it’s raw aluminum. You can even polish it with some aluminum polish to give it a super bright finish.
Top 5 Best Truck Tool Boxes 2019
This is American craftsmanship at its finest. The Aluminium Saddle Box from Weather Guard does everything you need it to and does it well. It uses a gauge material for the main body and lid, but the bottom of the toolbox is considerably thicker – 0.090″. This gives it that extra bit of weight carrying capacity.
We love the two front-mounted tie-down lugs. They are super useful, but that’s just one feature in a number. It has a tamper-resistant, retracting lock lid, an automotive-style latch with one-touch opening. Numerous configurations are available on the inside thanks to the full-length rails.
It comes with all hardware needed to make it secure. Plus, a limited lifetime warranty and the options for easily purchasing extra or spare keys. The approximate size is 71.5″ x 20.25″ x 18.5″ – one of the biggest truck toolboxes.
It is definitely our number one choice for the best truck toolbox for the money.
This particular case is designed for the 2007 – 17 Silverado / Sierra 1500 – 3500, but other models are available. Also, it’s available for either side of the bed.
The SwingCase is unique. It’s the only removable, swinging, portable truck utility case on the market. It’s a great idea with a clever design, if you mount it correctly. If you mount it too high, the top access is limited if you have a tonneau cover in place. If you mount it too low, it can cover the tie-down sections of the bed.
Despite being made of ABS plastic, the Swing Case is robust and can carry a lot of weight – up to 75lbs. per case. Perhaps the only downside is that it’s shaped to go over the wheel well, which means that larger items won’t fit in it like they would a normal toolbox.
The clever design more than makes up for the smaller space. It can swing out nearly 180 degrees at the flick of a latch, giving easy access to the contents. You can also lift the whole box out and take it with you. It’s perfect for a contractor.
It’s completely waterproof and will never rust, the SwingCase is a great alternative truck storage box.
The Red Label Utility Chest has some great features, but it’s aimed at someone that isn’t going to punish it. The material is a Brite-Tread aluminum, which looks great (especially with the gloss black powder coating.) However, it is pretty thin – just 0.056″ thick – around a sixteenth of an inch.
It does come with lockable ‘contractor grade’ stainless steel latches and decent quality side handles for easy maneuvering. However, there’s no facility for fixing it to the truck (without making your own holes).
The lid is fitted with gas dampers and has a double ‘V-Pan’ lid stiffener to try to make it a little more rigid. It’s also worth noting that there is a closed-cell foam gasket to keep the weather out.
The approximate size is 46.5″ x 17.5″ x 15.5″.
The Dee Zee chest toolbox is a cost-efficient solution to tool storage. But, if you’re looking for heavy-duty usage, you’re better off with something else.
- Rating: 3.6 / 5
- Brand: UWS
The UWS truck toolbox is designed to go across the width of a truck but has a low profile so it won’t interrupt the rearward vision. Despite being just a little thicker than the Dee Zee (at 0.063″), the whole box feels more solid and capable of withstanding more weight. It comes down to the added structural foam in the lid (which is patented.)
The approximate size is 70″ at the widest point (between the bed rails), and the 61″ x 20″ x 14.5″.
It features lockable stainless steel latches, has a 3 compartment sliding tray, and two built-in tool trays including screwdriver holders. Gas struts are fixed to the lid which gives a soft-close (just needs a small pull.) On the whole, it feels solid and well constructed. These truck tool boxes are in regular heavy-duty use for years without any issues at all.
Overall, this is the best low profile toolbox for trucks you can buy.
Similar in construction to the Dee Zee chest toolbox – using the Brite-Tread aluminum with the powder-coated gloss black finish, the Dee Zee Crossover has been designed to give just that little extra clearance in the truck bed.
It uses the same design and 0.056″ thick aluminum tread plate, with the same stainless steel lockable latches. In fact, aside from the design, the truck box is pretty much identical, right down to the gas struts for lid support.
Sizes are approximately 60″ x 12″ x 14.25″.
Truck Tool Box Brand We Recommend
Without doubt, the Weather Guard is the best truck toolbox brand here. It’s also the most expensive. But, if you’re a contractor or have a need to constantly carry expensive gear about in your truck, this is the choice for you.
Whatever you choose, think carefully about how it’s mounted or fixed into the truck. Never leave anything of real value in them. They’re lockable and secure, but thieves can access pretty much anything if they really want what’s inside it. Lastly, remember that a few dings and scratches make the toolbox look exactly as it should – like a proper truck accessory!