I’ve used Sortimo-made Bosch L-Boxxes for years, but have always wanted to try Sortimo’s pricier but more versatile T-Boxx parts organizers.
The sole Sortimo distributor in the USA had been impossible to get ahold of, but this past August I had the idea to buy a bunch from the UK.
I had ordered my Sortimo T-Boxxes from Amazon UK, along with some other stuff, and things turned out well. The organizers were perfectly intact.
Soon after that, or perhaps shortly before, Sortimo US launched a website and news started spreading that Sortimo products were becoming much easier to buy in the USA.
I saved a bunch of money ordering from Amazon UK, but the price difference is not huge. If there’s a reliable USA source, I’d rather buy from there. That way, if there’s a product issue, I don’t have to start thinking about how to get a return back across the Atlantic.
Requesting a quote from the Sortimo by Knapheide site sucked. And I meant that in the most polite way possible. I guess they sent my inquiry to a local or regional distributor, but that distributor was just not good.
I remember waiting days for a simple quote on one part, and then when I had a question I received an unsatisfactory answer. They had given me a price quote on one component, a 2-level T-Boxx 322, then said they didn’t have access to it. I said they already gave me a quote, and he then asked me what a T-Boxx 322 is.
It just seemed slow, clunky, and not at all reassuring to work with this vendor.
So… yea… the “request a quote” process from Knapheide was not very warm and fuzzy.
BUT, there was another source. Well, 2 more sources. You could order directly from the Sortimo US site, but they didn’t have other things I wanted, such as T-Boxx and L-Boxx mounting rails.
In the comments of the post where I discuss my Amazon UK Sortimo purchase, a reader mentioned Inlad, a Milwaukee-based distributor. Dan Shelhamer, a VP at Inlad, found the post and left a comment with his email address.
I don’t normally allow distributors, sellers, brands, or other parties to leave self-promoting comments, but Dan’s seemed to have fallen into a grey area. I felt like his posts were more helpful to readers – and myself – than not, so I left them alone.
I emailed Dan, looking to buy the same Sortimo stuff – T-Boxxes and accessories – that I had tried going through Knapheide for.
Now, I’m a “click and buy” type of guy that would rather place an order through the web than over the phone. It’s how I’ve made nearly all of my adult-life purchases that wasn’t done at a brick and mortar store.
Ordering by phone tends to be slow and generally clunky.
However, the reason for this post is to tell you that I have had FANTASTIC EXPERIENCES with Dan and Inlad.
Back in late August, I placed an order through Dan after a couple of back and forth emails. Dan helped me identify T-Boxx (and L-Boxx) mounting rails, which I couldn’t dig up anywhere. The model number is SS4, and these are blue plastic rails that are mounted within a cabinet cavity to hold Sortimo T-Boxxes and L-Boxxes.
If he didn’t know the answer to a question, he connected with Sortimo, and quite quickly.
I sent an email at 9:15pm one day, and he replied at 9:46am that he doesn’t know the answer but would check with Sortimo, and by 10:14am he had detailed answers.
Unlike the other distributor rep that reached out to me, I felt like Dan actually understood what he was talking about. I asked some tough questions, and he got back to me with detailed, competent, and helpful answers. That’s important, because Sortimo products aren’t cheap, and I needed help determining what would be best for my needs.
That order arrived in great condition, although my 2-level T-boxxes weren’t wrapped in the same shrink wrap as the normal 1-level boxes. Nothing a quick wipe-down couldn’t fix.
I recently contacted Dan at Inlad about placing another order. I wanted more 2-level T-Boxxes, and he told me they would have a few in-stock in mid-January.
He drew up a quote, I gave the thumbs-up, and he called me yesterday to supply a credit card number for the invoice payment.
But there’s a hiccup. Sortimo US doesn’t have the blue boxes for the bottom levels of the 2-level T-boxxes. (Ah, so they do build them here – that’s why they came unwrapped last time. But when I asked about a custom configuration I saw in a European catalog I was told that Sortimo only carried the 2-level T-Boxxes in a different now-standard configuration.)
But, instead of waiting for a shipment of blue boxes (2×2 size), they could instead popular the bottom levels with 1×1 and 1×2 boxes, same as the top levels.
With my first purchase I had ordered a case of 1×1 (red) boxes for my 2-level T-Boxxes, and had actually wanted 1×1 and 1×2 boxes instead of those 2×2 blue ones.
So… yay! The change sounded favorable to me, and wouldn’t take any additional time since they had the red and yellow bins in stock.
Keeping in mind that I generally strongly prefer to order tools and supplies over the web, I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to work with Dan and Inlad.
My orders weren’t small, but they weren’t large, or at least not anywhere as large as someone who was outfitting a van. Both were for a couple of T-Boxxes and some mounting accessories.
I’m crossing my fingers that my current order is delivered without a hitch, but am fairly confident.
I can’t tell you where you should buy your Sortimo gear, but I can tell you that I’ve had a great experience with Dan and Inlad. Here’s his contact info:
I ordered stuff that wasn’t on the Inlad website, or Sortimo US’s. You can order [almost?] anything you can find in a Sortimo catalog (PDF), although it might take time for it to arrive from Europe.
There was one thing I wanted but wasn’t available when I placed my order in August – the tray insert that splits a T-Boxx into 2 levels for use with shallower bins, part 51018024. Dan was told by Sortimo US that they don’t sell it separately, or the STB 320 empty T-Boxx case. You can find the empty T-Boxx case on the Sortimo US website, in black, but not white.
They had the 2-level cases in stock, and red 1×1 boxes for me to customize them to my liking, so I went that way.
So don’t take the “you can order anything you can find in a Sortimo catalog” part as an absolute. Maybe if I pressed I could have gotten the inserts separately, but I wasn’t up for being a nuisance.
Sortimo organizers are pricey, but so far I’m liking them a lot more than any of the small parts and bin organizers I’ve used in the past. It’ll take me more time to get everything nice and neat, but once I’m halfway there I’ll take some photos to share with you.
Last note: There have been some requests for a review of the Workmo storage boxes and accessory system, but I’ve yet to pull the trigger. I’ll reconsider again if there are more requests.
If you order through Dan at Inlad – also known as U.S. Upfitters of Wisconsin – please share your experience!