Klein Tools announced their new ModBox modular tool storage system on social media about last month, and we’re still waiting for the brand to release official details and pricing information.
As you might have heard, Lowe’s announced that they and Klein have formed a new partnership, which essentially breaks the tool brand’s more than decade-long exclusivity arrangement with Home Depot.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, but we found Klein ModBox products on Lowe’s website.
The listing for a ModBox tool bag lacks detail, but suggests that Lowe’s and Klein Tools’ relationship will start in a big way.
Until we learn more, following are some more images that a Klein Tools online retailer posted via social media.
Readers and tool users have been describing the Klein storage system as “orange Packout,” referring to the resemblance between Klein MoxBox and Milwaukee Packout tool boxes. I must say – I definitely see some strong similarities.
The Klein ModBox tool boxes will feature a 4-cleat stacking and connectivity system.
It looks like small, large, and rolling tool boxes will be included in the first wave of products, allowing for a typical 3pc starter combo setup.
What’s interesting is that the cleat recesses are ramped towards the center, suggesting some smaller accessories or add-ons might latch onto the lid in a left-to-right or right-to-left manner, as opposed to just front-to-back.
The tool boxes have a front-located one-handed release lever.
The way the tool boxes latch together, you can access the contents of lower boxes. Other tool box systems have a similar feature, such as Milwaukee Packout and Festool T-Loc Systainers.
From the product photos, the extending handle can be removed from the rolling tool box, allowing for more compact transport.
Klein seems to have designed the ModBox system with electricians in mind, which makes sense given the brand’s focus on electrical tools and accessories.
Here, one of the larger tool boxes has a rod inserted for suspended wire spool storage and transport. This allows users to more easily pull wire with minimal setup.
Side-mounted accessories include magnetic and non-magnetic tool rails, a cup holder attachment, and an enclosed accessory case.
At least 2 tool bags will be available at launch – a backpack and the horizontal tool bag found on Lowe’s website.
All of this brings up a good question – how will Klein’s modular tool box system fit in alongside Lowe’s current offerings?
Lowe’s also sells Craftsman VersaStack, Craftsman TradeStack, Flex Stack Pack, and Kobalt Case Stack tool box systems.
I would say that Klein ModStack might be positioned alongside Flex Stack Pack as Lowe’s more premium pro tool storage systems.
Here are earlier stories about ModBox and Klein’s partnership with Lowe’s:
It looks pretty good, to be fair. I’m probably not going to dump my Toughsystem boxes and jump ship, but it seems like a relatively compelling alternative. Nice that they’re launching with a pretty broad selection of accessories too.
The spool holder seems a bit silly, only because I can’t imagine anyone hauling a large box around to carry three modest-sized spools of wire. Maybe that makes more sense if you’re carrying larger spools or toss some other supplies in the bottom.
It seems very space-inefficient to me as well, but maybe this was a common request from electricians. I think a tote-style tool box with such a feature might be better, where wire can be led out the front even with a tool box or organizer on top.
But for something like this, it seems good to have the option available.
As an electrician i wouldn’t buy it. Seems like an inefficient use of space that’s in no way more convenient than any of the other racks out there.
I can understand that. For me however, I work on fire alarm systems. We mainly use 14-2 and 18-2 for our entire system(98%). So depending on how big this box actually is, if I can fit a 14-2 spool and 18-2 spool on this and ditch the milk crates, this may be a great idea. Use it for big tools (hammer drill, Sawzall, ect.) And take them out at job to use as a spool holder. I’m interested. A bin with multi function is an interesting idea.
Good point, it doesn’t seem like it costs space to include that feature so perhaps it’s best considered a “thoughtful addition” rather than an indication of how the box should be used.
I did just that . 2 – 1/2″ emt fit into my pack-out tote 6 rolls fit perfectly.
I can see the spool rod being useful for certain techs – HVAC, fire alarm, outdoor sprinkler, perhaps even some networking. Hopefully those rod pockets are strong enough but from here they don’t look particularly robust.
I hope the deal works out well for Klein, too. Lowe’s isn’t exactly where a lot of pros go for supplies and tools but I’m sure the selection will be more generalized and trimmed down to suit. My local Home Depot sure seems to have pared back their Klein skus lately and now just like the power tools they have caged them (basically every tool in the store save for plumbing) – can’t even get a good look at a product and the cage doors are spaced so far away there’s no chance of touching anything without waiting an eternity for an employee who hopefully knows the combination to the padlock….seems like a good way to cut into sales.
Certain Home Depot stores have had at least the higher value Klein tools under padlocked cage for a while.
I haven’t noticed inventory reduction yet, but will continue to keep an eye on it.
There’s no confirmation yet that Klein tool boxes and storage accessories will be sold at Lowe’s stores; the existence of inactive and removed listings suggests they will be available on their website at the least.
But since Lowe’s and Klein are likely to want to start their partnership with lots of hype and interest, they could – or perhaps should – feature the system in an introductory promo display.
An interesting thing I noticed in the past week or two…several different HDs in my area (upstate and Albany area, NY) have not removed Klein tools from displays, but actually ADDED to them. The electrical tool section planogram was redone, in turn adding many new SKUs, and they also moved the Klein testers to the “low voltage” section, where they also seemingly added more Klein testers, low voltage/data tools, testers and other specialty Klein tools.
I found it particularly strangely timed considering the pending Lowe’s Klein deal.
And to another point above, I really am curious to see how hard Lowe’s goes at it with the Klein launch….how many SKUs? What gets replaced? I have a feeling it will be mostly basics and online only with a few more things. Will see.
If the spools fed out so that you don’t need to open the box then it could be a decent solution for the unstacking everything to get to the bottom box issue that is my pet peeve.
… except I’m not an electrician so it wouldn’t really help me.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see some people drilling a hole or cutting a notch in the lip to allow exactly that.
Yep, and maybe adding clips or something to keep the free ends from slipping back into the box.
All true. Though if you’re willing to go to that trouble, you could add this feature to any rolling box.
I was tempted to jump ship from toughsystem also but they have been adding just enough new options to keep me in their system and expand them.
Those spools appear to be 500’ each of #12, which is used very often for commercial branch circuits.
I agree that a hole in the front would be a good idea, then at least you have options when it comes to pulling the wire out of the box.
I’m sure it’s all the high quality we expect from Klein, but why do none of these companies listen to the consumer, when it comes to these stackable containers?? Make them with front accessing doors! Nobody wants to have to unstack 40 lbs of boxes, to get to the one tool you need at the bottom.
Dewalt has it
Seems like a good place for cracking failures/integrity issues under weight. Plus the mold tooling and extra work for something like that would get kinda ridiculous in cost/time.
I would think a smaller box (half size) that held 3 or a full size that held 6 in 2 racks. I built wooden one and stuck packout feet on it to sit on my packout stack.
The eye catcher for me is the pivoting travel mug holder.
Good that they get more presence at Lowes.
Lowes is going to have 5 different systems now. I hope that doesn’t endanger one. Flex, Kobalt, craftsman pro and tstak and now Klein.
I also noticed that. Clever design. Although I’m guessing it might show up in other brand’s lines or as an aftermarket product made by the maker community
Peter L Hoh
Just riffing on the headline and imagining that the designers at Klein had come up with a box based on the topological concept of the Klein bottle.
Anyway, I like the idea that every brand is getting in on the modular rolling tote idea. Hoping that Carhartt is next because I really like their color scheme.
Carhartt canvas tote bags. That’s the ticket.
Carhartt is apparently owned by Klein.
Why would you think this?
Too weak for Electricians, but here you go:
I’m not deep into any other system so this will be very, very tempting. Looks like some thoughtful designs and not gonna lie, I dig the orange/black. If this was just another “me too” offering I wouldn’t give it a second look but I have some loyalty to Klein and I’m anxious to see the build quality in person (and, of course, the price point). My Ridgid boxes could easily be repurposed to make these my primary.
With it being so close in design to Packout I was hoping that they would could connect to each other. You know, sort of like Dewalt, Stanley, and Craftsmen boxes do (wink wink).
I would love to be able to attach a Klein bag to my Milwaukee stack. I’m just judging from past experience but I feel Klein makes a better electrician’s backpack than Milwaukee. But I have no plans to get rid of all my Packout to be able to use a couple cool features. I’ll just wait until Milwaukee or aftermarket modders release their takes.
As an example, there has been an aftermarket spool mod available for the Milwaukee crates for a while. For people with a lot of spools who already bought into Packout.
Until another system has racking and mounting solutions like Packout does, there will be no real competition.
I could see Lowes dropping the TradeStack. It’s just not selling much.
I wonder if Keter is Klein’s OEM partner for manufacturing the boxes?
I like them! I’m not a pro, but I like orange for emergency tools for car, boat, etc.
These are my criteria for modular and mobile work storage
#1 useful purpose of packout is the latch,for decoupling easily from the front.
#2 are drawers and the “cabinet”, ( best tracksaw storage) for removing tools without decoupling.
#3 mounting brackets,rolling castor bases,and hand trucks to store and carry them.
#4 toughness to be moved around without breaking.
#5 different sized containers, the more the better.
Color ,efficient storage,brands and colors are irrelevant to me…obviously within reason.
If they bring front opening drawers and large single drawers/cabinet only, they would be viable for me if I had to start over.
Simply buy a handtruck and mount drawers to the bottom, I would skip the rolling cart .
The original packout rolling box was an absolute major pain,since it was best used with majority of weight at the bottom.
This required unstacking constantly .
I switched from two 3 ft high stacks on rolling carts,down to a single cabinet and 2 drawer stacks that carry the same amount of tools.
Oh I really like these, for one specific reason. The color should match the rest of the kit I am putting in my Overland truck!
Ben, are you building or have built an Overland truck?
I’m building one.
Finished the dismantling and restoration part, now trying to put it all back together. I’m posting on IG as @dusty.eva.
Ben, it looks really nice and well thought out. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
Received an email about the 2023 wera advent calendar, and it looks nice
1 vario type handle with 5 double sided vario bits,
1 mini vario with 6 mini bits.
A screw gripper
9 metrix hex keys with a nice looking stand, that can also be hanged on the wall. The stand has color coded size markings.
A bottle opener
A textile pouch
Tradestack and the kobalt I never see anywhere. I have seen the tradestack for sale on cl but it’s never used or barely used. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the kobalt in store. So really it’s the versastack and flex. One of the cheap and decent the other gets the high end tough market.
I think Klein could really hit the market if they actually went after electricians or similar and made GOOD small and medium parts organizers. Drawers and removable drawers like what Hart and Bosch/sortimo sell. I have the Hart and they work but they have cheap plastic hinges, and the Bosch are just stupidly overpriced. Having to stack and restack boxes to get fuses or batteries is dumb. I like the wire racks but not how it’s implemented.
The only way in which these are similiar to Packout is the ineffeciency of the cube though thesecseem a bit better. The aluminum verticals on the larger packout options are important/helpful additions.
Lowrs doesn’t even friggin sell klein anymore. Now the want to sell this? Maybe they should’ve kept milwaukee tools and they could be selling the packout system right now.
Stuart recent posted about the new relationship between Klein and Lowes:
and that may have resulted in speculation about Klein offerings going forward at Home Depot.
But for Milwaukee – Home Depot seems to have cut a deal with TTI. HD carries Ryobi licensed brand tools made by TTI and Ridgid-licensed-brand small power tools also made by TTI – and these 2 lines of tools are almost exclusively sold at HD. HD is also a big seller of Milwaukee Tools (a TTI owned company) That combined would seem to give HD a special relationship with TTI – pushing Lowes out of the frame.
What is up with that conduit bender? In the top photo it looks as though it might slip down the left side in some way (handle visible behind the wire spools). Or perhaps it slips down the back of the boxes? I also detect some conduit alongside it. This might be a trade-specific feature but pretty nice way to haul around your bender.
In the past, was there any tool that grew as fast as the current MTB? How did that ended?
I have yet to see the Flex products when I go to Lowes. Now they should be adding these too? Maybe they have to reset and make their small toolbox aisle bigger …
My store had Flex tool box combos near the Pro checkout area during the winter holiday shopping season.
There’s some definite pros to this system (eyes on that articulating cup holder), but it’ll probably never catch on and be destined to be a niche product. They’re just too late to the party. Competition is just too far ahead. Not saying it won’t be a respectable product; just highly doubtful it’ll do well enough for them to justify expanding on it.
The removable or completely collapsable handle on the rolling box is a huge feature; the Milwaukee is annoying af because of that handle (I know you can aftermarket modify it to remove, but still).
The perfect base box hasn’t been made yet, either have it have the front opening or have drawers.
Seems great. One thing all stackable systems need is the ability to padlock all the boxes together. Rigid generation 1 almost had it, they didn’t bore the hole on the top stacks for it to work though. With these systems you can padlock each box closed but a thief can take a box or two and cut the lock at home. The stacks need to be able to be padlocked into one unit so a thief would struggle to take the whole thing, not just walk off with one in each hand like its theirs.
Where are these made?
They haven’t answered that question yet.
I wonder if this was in-house or a licensed tool made by a plastics specialist like Keter or Suncast.