Over in my review of Milwaukee’s 13″ tool box, which I’ve been using as a baby gear organizer and tote, firefly asked for recommendation for “a small edc tool box for the car.” I didn’t have to give this much thought, as Craftsman’s mini plastic truck tool boxes seem to fit the bill.
There are 2 sizes of these small tool boxes, a 17″ size, and a 22″ size. There is, or was, also a third size, which is even smaller, maybe 12″ or 14″ in length, with one latch and the absence of a handle, but I couldn’t find it in Sears’ website. Update: Found it – it’s listed as a 12″ utility case.
I’ve owned the smallest 12″ utility case and the 17″ truck tool box for a long time now, since 2007 or 2008 or so. Although originally purchased for auto use, they never made it into my car, because they’ve been quite useful for storing certain tools and supplies in my workspace. One is loaded with misc. supplies, and the other with spare Craftsman screwdrivers and pliers.
Craftsman calls these truck boxes, and they’re small tool boxes compact enough to fit under a seat or in the nooks and crannies of a cargo compartment or trunk. They’re made from Permanex plastic, a high strength, corrosion-proof, and if I recall correctly, automotive fluid-resistant material.
No, they’re not the most elegant tool boxes in the world, but I have yet to find anything else like them. These Craftsman boxes have unusually long and narrow but compact shapes, which make them pretty unique. I have yet to come across any other tool box that could fit in the spaces these could.
When I bought these boxes years ago, they were made in the USA. I’m not sure where they’re made now, whether it’s the USA or elsewhere.
Pricing: $8 for the 12″ size, $9 for the 17″ size, $11 for the 22″ size.
Can you think of another small tool storage product that might be suitable for portable auto use?
To further answer firefly’s question, the next best solution for a very small portable tool kit would be zippered tool bags, such as Klein’s. Tool bags or zippered tool pouches are a very distant alternative, though. Craftsman’s mini plastic truck tool boxes offer more in the way of protection, not to mention stowability. I’m assuming it’ll be easier to fish one of these boxes from out under a seat than a zippered pouch.
I’m thinking that the Dewalt mini parts organizer might be another alternative to consider. Remove the bins, or at least some of them, and you get a compact but deep tool storage compartment with a clear lid and carrying handle. At $15 it won’t break the bank.