Lowe’s Kobalt tool brand is coming out with their own modular tool box system, called CaseStack.
So far, Lowe’s has created product pages for 3 sizes of Kobalt CaseStack tool boxes – small and medium tool boxes, and a rolling tool box.
Kobalt’s product descriptions describe the tool boxes as being part of a full line of Kobalt modular storage boxes and accessories, suggesting that many more CaseStack products and add-ons are on the way.
The Kobalt CaseStack tool boxes feature metal wire latches, side latches for locking multiple tool boxes together in a stack, and IP65-rated resistance against dust and water.
Kobalt says that quick connect sliding locks expand modular storage, and that there are multiple accessory connection points for full customization.
The tool boxes are said to have a 21.25-inch “assembled width,” and 21.5-inches for the rolling tool box, which is close to the dimensions of professional power tool brands’ modular tool box systems. This suggests that Kobalt is seeking to compete with Ridgid, Dewalt ToughSystem, and Milwaukee Packout storage systems, as opposed to Tanos and Festool Systainers, or Bosch and Sortimo Sortainers.
Kobalt CaseStack Medium Tool Box
The medium tool box is said to measure 21.25″ wide x 14″ deep x 11″ tall, and has an 88 pound gear capacity.
Looking at the mid-section of the tool box, there are small projections at each corner, and these features appear to be the multiple accessory connection points that Lowe’s references.
Kobalt CaseStack Small Tool Box
The small Kobalt CaseStack tool box measures 21.25″ wide x 14″ deep x 7″ tall, and can hold up to 50 pounds of gear.
This “suitcase” style tool box has a front handle (but no top handle), and also looks to have multiple accessory connection points.
Kobalt CaseStack Rolling Tool Box
The Kobalt CaseStack rolling tool box measures 21.5″ wide x 17.2″ deep x 26.7″ tall (presumably including the collapsed handle length), and can hold up to 110 pounds of tools.
It features folding side handles, 8-inch all-terrain rubber-traded wheels, and a removable telescoping handle. There is also an easy-start slip-resistant foot pedal to help users tilt the box to start rolling.
Kobalt CaseStack 3pc Tool Box Combo
There is also a 3pc set that can hold up to 248 pounds of gear.
Around 10 years ago, I reviewed a new breed of one-touch single-latch tool boxes for a magazine. One of those Pro-brand tool boxes had docking ports at both ends, but there weren’t any accessories or add-ons that could connect to it. Months later, I spotted a nearly identical tool box at an outlet store under the same company’s DIY brand, and it had removable parts boxes attached to it.
Going back 20-24 years, I bought my first-ever tool box, and it had removable small parts organizes that docked to the lid.
Some modern day tool boxes also offer some way of organizing small parts and accessories.
Accessibility is important, and external mounting solutions can also free up valuable tool box space. There are more modular tool box systems today, as well as accessory cases and organizers, but there’s no singular all-encompassing solution.
We don’t know a lot about Kobalt’s CaseStack tool box system – yet, but its accessory attachment system looks to be a standout feature.
A jaded thought crossed my mind – do we need another modular tool box system? However, there is huge potential here. If Lowe’s and Kobalt extends CaseStack modularity to power tool accessories and maybe even small hand tool kits – and it sounds like they have exactly this in mind – that would give this system a distinct competitive advantage.
Might Kobalt start bundling their premium or pricier cordless power tool combo kits with CaseStack tool boxes? That would be a good way to promote it and facilitate adoption.
No other brand has a good way of combining a modular tool box system with small connectable tool and power tool accessory cases. Craftsman and Dewalt come close with Versastack/T-Stak and ToughCase, but only if you have a large accessory case as a bridge between systems.
Milwaukee Tool has done interesting things with their Packout system organizers and special accessory bundles, but there’s still no built-in compatibility between their tool box system and accessory cases.
Will Kobalt’s CaseStack tool boxes be better? That’s impossible to know right now. But, from how Lowe’s describes the tool boxes, and from the mounting features we can see in the product images, it definitely at least looks different, and in a good way.
Home Depot recently launched a new Ryobi Link system of modular tool boxes and wall-mounted garage storage products. As you probably know, Home Depot is Lowe’s top competitor, and Ryobi is essentially Kobalt’s parallel in multiple product categories. In the modular tool box arena, quality, breadth, and features are all important.
Walmart has a Hart modular tool box system, and Harbor Freight recently launched their Bauer tool box system.
The competition is heating up, and it looks like Lowe’s and Kobalt are bringing something new and different to the field.
After 4 years they might be on clearance for something else and no longer available.
** 8 months
Kind of like all those knipex tools that Lowes was carrying. In my area all but 9 knipex products on the site are available.
Looks like a Hart toolbox copycat
Each appears to have a clear place to label the boxes. Something I wish my Packout boxes had.
I agree with Dean above, the labeling aspect is important… Craftsman Tradestack is missing this (I realized this after the separate boxes became available). Ryobi Link also chose to put a huge brand logo where a label could be placed, so I could slap on an adhesive label there but won’t need to since I won’t be getting any more Link products. The adhesive label isn’t really an option on the Craftsman Tradestack… there’s not enough flat surface on the handle side.
I tried ordering the Lowe’s Casestack when it showed up on the site in November (it was briefly discussed on reddit around then). But then, as now, it’s not available for ordering. I do like the possibility of adding accessories, although the Kobalt accessories tend to be… not suitable for professional use. I do find I use that feature quite often with Tstak, and would like it expanded beyond just Toughcase+ accessories. If you get the Craftsman Versastack mechanics tool set (the big one), it has mounting for smaller Toughcase+ cases without using the larger case, but I generally have a full Toughcase+ drill/bit set attached all the time.
At least the Casestack suitcase will stand on it’s hinged side by itself. This is another thing Ryobi Link completely failed on–two attached together can sit on the hinged side, but not one alone, which is the natural way it sits when using the only handle.
And I have to disagree with Stuart’s observation that Kobalt is Lowe’s parallel of Ryobi. There’s not really a direct tête-a-tête line up for Lowe’s to HD. IME the Kobalt power tools are far, far superior to HD Ryobi when it comes to power, durability, reliability and resistance to abuse. This lines up more with Ridgid power tools. But the Kobalt hand tool accessories are kind of junky, like Ryobi’s HD lines. So there’s some overlap.
I realized the quality of the Kobalt line when I reluctantly purchased a 24V right-angle drill (I didn’t need another battery platform). But it turns out, in 2019-2020 Kobalt was pretty much the only manufacturer with a solid offering in that space.
The Ryobi comparison works for the line as a house brand with cheaper accessories. Kobalt is kind of interesting in that the quality varies widely between OEMS. I agree that cordless tools are a step above Ryobi. I have the hammer drill, high volume inflator, and angle grinder and have been happy with them. The whole line is almost entirely brushless too. I think the core tools would be more analogous to Ridgid cordless. There are a few tools like the high volume inflator that are probably on par with Ryobi. Ryobi’s newer brushless line is much better than previous offerings and they improved their chucks which was a weak point. I would still pick my Kobalt hammer drill over Ryobi’s current selection though.
Agree 100 percent!!! From the moment I picked up kobalt power tool I knew it was far superior! Can’t even compare Ryobi, Hart or even Skill! Kobalt seems to be in between or maybe even closer to professional jobsite brands then any other store brand or consumer line power tool! Milwaukee, Bosch, Makita, Metabo and Kobalt pretty much in this order! I’m totally disgusted with rigid and how they scammed me selling me a brushless kit when the only brushless part of the tools were the charger and junk use one time batteries! Now to downsize to possible two brands instead of 6 I have! Milwaukee and Kobalt is all I need! We’ll see how Kobalt tools and their cases hold up over next year. I have packout and now Kobalt . Needed to give it at least a chance especially at less then half the price of packout!
Doug in PF
The plastic toolbox to toolbox latch seem very similar to some other toolbox brands. The plastic latch seems pretty flimsy from the pictures on this and definitely flimsy in person on the competition’s latches. Part of the benefit to these getups is being able to stow the whole stack in the rig. But if I were need to run a strap for each toolbox cause potholes and flimsy latches it sort of defeats the purpose no?
You’re not jaded Stuart, this is a way-too-crowded segment already. Two or 3 of them will be gone in a year. Especially considering there are only 2 OEMs making this stuff.
I agree. And my money’s on whichever ones Lowe’s is offering as their flavor of the week to go belly-up.
It does seem interesting that there are so many options though. Sure, that might make your prediction that one or a few will flop, but it also suggests sales must be strong.
I can’t decide if user demand is pushing all the different brands to offer these or are they just insanely profitable?
Did a patent recently expire or so
They’re mostly plastic, all of them, even PackOut. I’m guessing insane profitability.
Also guessing these are very profitable. I do think SBD is doing the right thing trying to integrate their different systems to work together (TStak-Fatmax-Tradestack-Tough system)
Id like to see one or more companies get creative with these and make like a charger box you can plug in onsite without disconnecting the stack. Even though cordless everything Maybe add a high amp power distribution center. How about a molded spot or attachment outside a box to hold spare batteries for easy access. Making easier access to frequent items is one of the anti- features i see in these.
Integrating with tech (like a router/hotspot) is another possibility.
Matt the Hoople
This was gonna be my suggestion. An exterior attachable battery holder. Possibly even a charger and extension cord storage.
The marketing folks must have been working overtime to come up with the name.
Also… when are the drawers coming out?
Check out stv_racking and kcitools in IG – they may have the battery solutions you are seeking. I know they are mostly Packout but some stuff can adapt.
Just a secret. 🙂 There will be battery mounting function integrated in this new Kobalt line, plus some accessories. The only problem is Lowes is too slow to launch it.
I’d like to see more plastic options for in shop storage. One I have been watching is the Suncast single drawer cabinet. Some of these steel cabinets can get quite heavy(but in turn have much higher weight capacities). No rusting is one benefit of plastic cabinets in damp garages, sheds, basements. The powder coated steel cabinets sure look appealing though.
That could be interesting. Some degree of air-tightness would undoubtedly benefit my tools.
Maybe that type of system could be modular so you can rearrange it, take a piece out to go work elsewhere, etc? Complex undertaking perhaps and no doubt expensive – but it would be neat.
I wish there was just some cross integration. e.g. Milwaukee has steel tool chests. Maybe they could make a version where the drawers have the same dimensions as packout boxes and are lined with removable trays. That way you could take a whole drawer of tools out and stash them in a portable box.
You can use the dewalt tough system 2.0 inserts like this. You could for instance keep all of your sockets in the insert. Then when you have to take the sockets to the job throw them in the tough system with your favorite impact and go to town. I think you would have to shadow foam everything to keep it from moving around in transit tho.
The only other type of integration that I know of is the DeWalt tough system plastic boxes, if you flip out the carry handles, will rest on the top of Dewalt job boxes. Makes a nice spot to put smaller or most used items so they don’t fall into the endless pit that is a job box lol. I believe you can still close and lock the job box lid with the tough system box still resting on top but secured inside the job box.
Not sure if the Dewalt job box was sized specifically or if other job boxes just happen to fit the tough system as well?
I’m sure a guy could rig up some plywood bracing for pack out or rigid or whatever flavor plastic boxes you have.
Sorry I meant to post a link to them.
I have all my 1/2″ impact sockets in a 2.0 medium like this, trays with cut foam. Hex’s in one, sae deeps, mm deep, both shallows in one, with a couple extensions and wobble in each tray to use the negative space/convenience.
Aren’t all of these “systems” made in Israel by Keter?
No. Keter is the OEM for some brands (e.g. Ridgid). Tanos and Sortimo make smaller tool boxes. To my knowledge, Stanley Black & Decker does their own manufacturing.
There are other tool box makers as well. Keter is popular and well-experienced in this area, but they’re not the only OEM/manufacturing partner option.
There’s no indication as to which company might be Lowe’s/Kobalt’s partner here.
IIRC, SBD bought out an Israeli plastic molding company (a Keter competitor), but some of the SBD tool boxes are made in USA.
SBD acquired ZAG Industries in 1998.
The ToughSystem and Tstak products were introduced to us by their Israel-based product team.
Some ToughSystem products are now made here, but I believe many if not post are still made in Israel.
A lot of people see the Israel COO and assume that Keter is the OEM, but they’re not – at least not in any way that I know of. Earlier Stanley products and organizers were specifically labeled with ZAG branding, or I never would have known the name. This was after their acquisition, as I purchased my first Stanley organizers and storage accessories in the early 2000’s.
Stuart can confirm, but from the latches and top handle on the Lowes roller, this looks like an ODM Keter design.
That being said, I hope Lowes positions their system to be optionally bundled NATIVELY with their power tools and not like the half-hearted Milwaukee attempts where Hole Hog bits are offered on promotion in a Packout case (49-22-5605), only to really be stored in a small injection molded case, placed INSIDE the Packout.
I have a decent amount of Packout storage now and yet I have to kludge together solutions for storing Milwaukee tools in them. Example:
I have their 15-piece mechanics wrench set (48-22-9515) that I can’t fit in the Packout drawers (48-22-8443) while in their OEM trays and instead had to buy Tekton wrench rolls). I’m about to purchase their new 3 laser M12 level and it is only available in a blow molded case. I can get everything to fit in a small Packout box, but it’s either an investment in Kaizen foam or some other arrangement for things to fit securely. Ideally, Milwaukee would charge an extra 50.00 and offer the tool in a Packout box with high density molded foam pockets for everything.
Competition breeds innovation. I hope this Lowes introduction succeeds and brings positive change.
It’s impossible to tell. The COO is usually the biggest clue – if a plastic or structural polymer tool box is made in Israel and is not a Stanley Black & Decker product (they have their own facilities there), then it’s usually (if not always) made by Keter.
Waiting for Hobby Lobby and Michael’s to have modular cases as well.
Container store has a “system” already too
Lowes product 3802869 looks a lot like the large toughcase that interfaces with tstack…
How much Craftsman shelf spacecwill this displace? And so the brief passionate Lowes and Craftsman love affair is flaming out. Little surprise when your partner is constantly on the prowl.
“Might Kobalt start bundling their premium or pricier cordless power tool combo kits with CaseStack tool boxes?”
I think this is a spot where they run afoul of the white label house brand issue. If the cases are made by a different OEM than the tools is lowes really going to go to the effort to make them play nice? I don’t know if we can trust the kobalt product guy to also repack tools into new cases when all he knows how to do is paint things blue.
Or maybe they hired a new product team and this is a new leaf?
Not be too picky but why would any serious “tool storage” buyer trust Lowes to offer this latest line for even a couple years?
As it is they can barely “lifetime” warranty Kobalt or Craftsman socket wrenches let alone something as specific as these modular containers.
I know their most expensive Kobalt branded SS mechanics chests have no service let alone warranty whatsoever. It’s “sold out”? AKA what warranty?
Tough. You’re in your own.
Why is the base unit not a stack of drawers/compartments other things can be slid into?
For my part, I’m about to give in and buy a Tanos MW 1000 Mobile Workshop and a suitable arrangement of Systainers, w/ a drawer unit for the lowest one — restacking these things is getting old.
This. There must be some really compelling reason why they don’t do drawer boxes in the base units on any system, because I want it so much and nobody makes it
@Aaron, I agree. Drawers are so much better for organizing and accessing tools easily without taking apart the whole system. I will be stocking up on the Tstak drawer units once I can find them back in stock.
Probably the problem is that drawers in the base unit push the entry price up, and make for a heavier product which is more expensive to ship, which also increases the price.
I’m currently using the base of my Husky Rolling Connect for deep storage of sharpening gear which works out pretty well, save that it’s a real buzzkill to have to undo the stack to sharpen a tool in the middle of a project.
Tactix is the only mfg I’ve seen with that setup – drawers on the bottom.
The Container Store sells these here.
If only they had the foresight to expand upon the rolling cart the Kobalt XTR bundle comes in… Hate seeing these large chests being completely independent and eventually useless and just taking up valuable storage space. Same issue with the Dewalt Tough Chest (DWST38000)
I guess I’ll keep patiently waiting for an all-black system without any brand color flourishes 🙁
Maybe Flex will save me?
Flex is red and black Sortimo.
….wait..nevermind..there’s two Flex’s now… um..
Husky. I would be all in on Husky’s system if they didn’t botch the connectability aspect. I think they were trying to cover too many bases with the same product line- rolling cart, independent toolboxes, and *some* of the organizers will stack. It’s too bad because I really like the cantilever toolbox/organizers but they don’t lock. But a separate organizer would lock to the top of one. Bleh.
Just checking tonight and see that Lowes now still showed these boxes but are noted that are no longer sold on the website
I have been using the Craftsman/Dewat cases since they came out and now have over 35 cases. Prior to this I invested in the Milwaukee cases and was very uncomfortable with them
I have notes a very limited cupola of Versastack at Lowes and over the last two-three months a very substantial price increase. It appears the Loews is dropping the Verstack line and going with the somewhat Toughcase lookalike. And then it could be another line completely. Just hope the mate up with the Versastack/Tstack
Maybe a new line for Lowes. It was announced a few months ago that Tekton tools were coming. Sounds like another ‘screwdriver of the month” will be competing with the “Irganizer of the Month”
I’m having trouble finding Tstak anywhere these days. Anyone have a suggestion on where I should look?
Amazon.com comes to mind.
Try Acme Tool. Good service and discounts quite often
I order mine from my local independent hardware store. They’re 4 dollars more than Amazon, but I’d rather support the place that has the last-minute thingo I need.
Currently, prices on the Acme Tools site look very much like regular prices on Amazon.com (when in stock), but you’ll get a 10% discount Stuart posted about this morning.
awesome thank you!
Over the past couple months I have found them on sale at Acme and Home Depot (online not in store) cheaper then Amazon. I have also sometimes seen the Versatack at a decent price at Ace hardware.
A lot of people dumping on these but as an enthusiast it looks pretty good to me(guessing Im probably the target market for it anyway).
Looks a lot like this Black & Decker
Am I the only one who thinks kobalt can’t make up its mind on where they’re going with brands? It seems like they keep changing what brand to push in different tool segments every other month, along with adding stuff that competes with what they already have.
Jan 15 2022. Lowes website says no longer sold. WTH? Are they a future product?
Yes. Lowes and other retailers often publish new product listings prior to the tools becoming available.