I have met very few power tool cases that I’ve liked. Some are flimsy and fragile, others are terribly inefficient in their use of space. Ever since I first laid eyes on Dewalt’s new ToughSystem tool cases, I knew they were different.
This review will focus on the small Tough System case (DS150/DWST08201) ($50 via Amazon). If you’re interested in the large case, check out my review over at Make. There’s also an extra-large case that is taller and wider than the large case, and comes with a vertical hand tool organizer accessory.
Dewalt Tough System cases are built from 4mm-thick structural foam, and are rated to IP65 standards. So not only are they super-sturdy and crazy-durable, they’re dust-tight and essentially waterproof.
This size Tough System case is 21″ long x 12″ wide x 6″ tall, and it has a weight capacity of 66 lbs.
Okay, so the small Tough System tool box has no less than FOUR handles. There’s a full-size handle centered on top of the lid, and then another at the front of the case. This means that you can carry the tool case horizontally or vertically with equal comfort. And yes, the back of the case is shaped to allow you to rest the case on its edge.
On both sides of the case are spring-loaded handles that snap down when unused. These handles make it much easier to transport heavier loads solo or with a partner. At opposite ends of the lid are yellow latches that mate with and lock onto small tabs on the bottom of a second case.
Of course, you don’t need to lock two or more cases together. Multiple cases stack together beautifully and only need to be latched together if you want to carry several lighter cases at once.
The small, large, and extra-large cases all share the same latch design. These oversized latches are quick and easy to open, even when wearing work gloves. They’re also relatively quick to close, but don’t expect it to be effortless – these latches are strong and so they require some persuasion. That said, they close with a very satisfying *click*.
The small Tough System tool box comes with several plastic bins – two large and six medium. These bins can only be oriented in the directions shown, but you can move them around to your liking. An internal baffle ensures that hardware and parts don’t rearrange themselves during transport.
A well designed water seal helps keeps your tools dry. In fact, the seal works so well that a pressure relief valve is built into the lid should a pressure differential make it difficult to open the case.
If you gently pull the yellow tab at the top of the inner panel, the whole thing folds down to reveal two accessory compartments. Both compartments feature flip-up lids that help keep accessories contained and well behaved. This is where you could keep drill bits, saw blades, and other accessories in the absence of a separate case. (What, you don’t have a magnetic ToughCase yet?)
Hmm, removable plastic bins, where have we seen that before? Ah – Stanley’s 25-compartment organizers.
A nice thing about these plastic bins is that they can be nested together, either to help carry them to and from the case, or to save space on a storage shelf while you figure out what to do with them.
You can fit quite a few hand tools, power tools, and supplies into these cases. As you can see, this particular case houses several Dremel rotary tools and accessories. The other case is destined as a home for my oscillating multi-tools.
At the rear of the case you can see the robust hinge, stabilizer ribs that allow the case to rest on-edge, and a locking bracket that mates with Dewalt’s DSCarrier cart.
Dewalt did a great job designing these ToughSystem tool cases. The small version is great for power tools and accessories, the large case is well suited for a mixed kit, and the extra-large model fits a 4-tool cordless combo kit and then some.
I found the small cases to be more spacious than I had originally anticipated. You can opt to fill them with a mix of tools and included plastic bins, or use them purely for parts or tool storage. You can always change your mind later and reconfigure the tool box accordingly.
So how tough are these so-called Tough tool boxes? They’re tougher than an under-cooked brisket. Tougher than nails. Tougher than finding a table at an upscale restaurant at 7pm on Valentine’s Day. These boxes are built from structural foam, akin to what Pelican uses in their cases, and so they are resilient to any kind of impact damage.
I very highly recommend Dewalt’s Tough System tool cases – they are strong, sturdy, and rugged, and they offer a phenomenally high level of protection. And if that wasn’t enough, these tool boxes are very affordable as well.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
More Info (via Dewalt)
Country of Origin: Israel