The Sortimo and Bosch L-Boxx Mini came out a year ago, but it’s still not available in the USA. I recently ordered a Knipex tool from Amazon Germany, and added (4) of these L-Boxx Mini tool boxes to my order.
They’re smallish tool boxes that click together (weakly) and have removable dividers.
These boxes are 6.99 Euros each, around $7.75 USD, and are “add-on” items. Since I was already paying international shipping, I figured I’d give these mini toolboxes a shot.
I have many – very many – Mini Systainers ($27 via Amazon). I bought some from Lee Valley when they had good pricing on the Tanos version, I bought some from Woodcraft when they had a holiday sale, and I bought a bunch from Amazon, some with credit card reward gift cards.
I have 4 of the older style and an unmentionable number of the newer T-Loc style. If you really want to know how many I have, I’ll take a picture one day. For now, let’s just say more than 20 and less than 60.
The Festool Systainers are fantastic products, but very pricey.
In comparison to the Mini Systainers, the L-Boxx Mini boxes seem much more simply designed. But, the L-Boxx Mini has built-in dividers. For Mini Systainers organizer inserts cost extra.
Because of my experiences with a large number of Mini Systainer that connect and separate extremely easily, I am already frustrated by how slow and somewhat insecure-feeling the L-Boxx Minis click together.
However, the construction feels plenty solid. My toddler son tossed around the new L-Boxx Minis all weekend, and they seem to be plenty sturdy. I also like that they’re made of food-safe plastic. Maybe I’ll buy a few extra for use as a snack box.
I truly wish that the L-Boxx Minis were more available in the USA.
The overseas street pricing seems to be a lot higher; 6.99 Euros is definitely on the low side of things. Some vendors are selling them in quantity packs, which helps with the pricing.
And don’t let the red color or Fischer branding throw you off. These are still Sortimo-made L-Boxx Minis. They’re a little different from the Bosch blue ones, and the other solid-color Sortimo ones, but the L-Boxx Mini branding is definitely on the handle. These aren’t knock-offs.
While I don’t care for the red color, I was after the lowest pricing, and that’s what I got.
For around $7.75 each, ignoring for a moment the cost of shipping, I think I got a great deal, especially compared to the $27 for (1) Mini Systainer pricing. Lee Valley has Tanos Systainers for $24.50. That’s still more than 3 L-Boxx Minis for the price of a single Mini Systainer.
I should also mention that the price of the Knipex crimper I ordered, plus the 4 L-Boxx Minis, plus expedited international shipping, cost less than just the crimpers would have been from any USA retailer. I haven’t tried them yet, but they look like they arrived intact.
Buy Now(via Amazon DE)
See More(via Amazon DE)
See More(via Amazon UK)
Also interesting to hear about what Knipex stuff costs on Amazon.de
My strategy with buying Knipex stuff for the business was to check out sources like Chads and KC Tool – and to a lesser extent Crawford Tool.
If I could discern who had stock (and sometimes that was an issue when you wanted 10 or more of a single pliers) on what we needed – then I’d buy from one of these sources.
I’d also look at Zoro for Knipex – especially when they were having one of their 25 or even 30% off sales
As usual Fred nails it. That’s also what I do. I wish some of these foreign companies had easier ways to access their products. Like lets say you wanted a bunch of Tanos Systainers in yellow… good luck with that. You might be able to figure out a way to do it but it’s going to break your bank account even more than normal Systainer purchases would.
I also took advantage of the lower prices at Amazon.de. Once I figured out how to change the language to English under my account preferences, things got much easier. Aside from shipping speed, it was as easy as ordering from domestic Amazon, but much cheaper. If I was buying any high price Knipex items or sets, it’s a no-brainer.
You seem to be really interested in products that aren’t made in the US. Where are you from?
Well, everyone has heard of the Roswell UFO incident from the 1940’s, right?
I was made in America.
Nothing to fear, Stuart is a human from Oyith. Whether or not he is “really interested” in US made products is not a topic I am qualified to address with any authority but I can attest to this: he includes the idea of preferring US made items(of similar or better quality and/or value-vs. foreign) when available on a recurring basis. It seems-to me at least-that I’ve read that sentiment at least half a dozen times in his posts over the last year or two. At least that frequently, probably more so.
Of course, my opinion is far less valuable than the “USA-Made” titled link Stuart has at the top right of the Toolguyd page, if that sort of thing(USA made products) is a priority.
I’d point out one last thing: Toolguyd is a tool oriented blog primarily, so naturally power tools comprise a large chunk of the content. Generally speaking, power tools are higher priced than hand tools and seem to be treated to more prominent marketing as well as more rapid innovation (compared to their hand tool cousins).
It’s quite a challenge to blog about new USA made power tools. In terms of where to find them at least. Maybe a fresh blog is needed, discussing WHEN new power tools, of the ‘made in the USA’ variety, are available.
(psst…it’s in the past)
I do prefer USA-made tools and products, when there’s a features or quality benefit, and the cost is reachable.
Koko the Talking Ape
All true. I would add that the particular tools Stuart bought, the Knipex crimpers and the L-Boxx storage units, have no US-made alternative.
You don’t come around here much, do you?
Do these fit inside an L-Boxx? It looks like they take up exactly half of an L-Boxx 1. It would be nice to be able to put one in an L-boxx with fasteners, and have a drill/driver in the other half.
Yes, they fit inside the smallest L-Boxx size.
I saw 2 kinds of images – one showing (2) L-Boxx Mini units oriented horizontally in an L-Boxx, with grey organizers on the left and right sides. These look like the same grey side area inserts that are found in the L-Boxx 1A organizer.
Example (Amazon UK)
I also saw another image with an L-Boxx Mini oriented long ways front-to-back, with a 12V Max tool tray to thee left, and a drill holster squished between the Mini and the back edge of the case.
Yes, you can fit up to 2 in a small L-Boxx. If you have a tool insert on one side, you can fit an L-Boxx Mini on the other, although there will be spacing on the sides.
Example (Amazon DE)
There might be other examples of how to fit a Mini inside a full-sized L-Boxx, but these are the only two I came across.
I for one, do indeed want to see pictures of your shop/work area. Give us a walkthrough!
Eventually! I’m still [!!] unpacking and setting things up. Plus, I’m not happy with the lighting or lack of power outlets situation. Certain areas will be works in progress for some time.
I don’t know if I’ll do a walkthrough anytime soon, but I’m working on clearing up some areas for video, and because I need more space for a few projects I can’t delay any further. They won’t be fully set up just yet, but you should see progression over time.
Here’s what the problem has always been: I have X amount of cubic feet of available storage space, but 1.5X cubic feet of stuff I want to fit there.
These L-Boxx Minis were more of a “I wonder how they are, and boy that’s a great price, I can definitely put them to use” purchase.
My recent Sortimo T-Boxx purchase (https://toolguyd.com/sortimo-t-boxxes-from-the-uk/) – that’s a “I need something better than what’s in place” solution.
I’ve got L-Boxxes, Systainers, Sortainers, and Mini Systainers.
I might have to repurpose my Sortainers. They’re great, but can be awkward to place. You can’t stack them because the weight deforms lower units, making them harder to pull drawers out from. What I will try for is a mobile tool cart with Sortainers in 2 levels under the worktop, holding precision tools and high-use items such as utility knives, pens, deburring tools, and common parts I reach for most.
But I think I will definitely repurpose my Mini Systainers. I bought them to compartmentalize component groupings, and I think the T-Boxxes can do the same thing but with greater space efficiency.
The Mini Systainers are great for going back and forth with a group of boxes, but they’re not that great for workshop storage when you have too many of them. Even if I build a wall shelf for them, they only have handles on top.
Maybe I’ll post about this soon, but I tend to have a higher budget for tool and parts storage than most DIYers and Pros. Because of that, if I’m going to focus time and energy on parts storage, I should really instead talk about the more affordable Akro Mils, Flambeau, Stanley, Durham, Stack-On, and Plano products I’ve tried out.
I always hated it when I’d open a magazine and they would focus an article around $4,000 mountain bikes, $850 shoes, $350 pants, $400 shirts, and $65,000 cars.
I will keep in mind that there have been many “Show and Tell” requests in the past. I can’t do it yet, but I’d like to do it soon once I have things ready for use.
Here’s the test for whether my spaces will be ready: when I can spend more time on my projects than looking for a tool that I haven’t unpacked yet, or digging out a tool I unpacked but buried when looking for a different one.
I think everyone would like to see the transformation of your workspace as it happens. Show where you’re at and talk about what does and doesn’t work for you before showing the progress as you get to where you want to be.
It seems the majority of your small parts storage is for a fixed workshop location rather than taking the parts in a mobile setting, have you considered high density storage drawer systems from Lista or Vidmar?
That would be ideal for a garage or basement workshop, but I don’t have the space. I have space for my dream Lista setup, or tool boxes to test out, but not both.
We had Satnley Vidmar stuff in one shop and Lista in another – Rotabins in both. None of it in my home shop – just based on my being too cheap.
I suspect that I’m like many others – hoarders or pack-rats when it comes to throwing out small parts. As an example, I have a big batch of staples and caps for house wrap leftover from an old job and probably no project where I’m ever likely to use them again – but I hold onto them on speculation. I probably have hundreds of other examples of nuts, bolts, washers, screws, nails, flooring cleats, staples, biscuits, dowels, dominoes etc. that may never get used in my lifetime and take up room on shelves in a 16 foot long floor to ceiling set of closets in my home shop. If I were rational about it – I would have better estimated what was needed for the various projects over the last 50 or so years and thrown out the excess – rather than building storage solutions to hang onto it all. But my neighbors and friends know who to ask when they need an oddball fastener.
I know that they are inexpensive, but I wish they did not have that style of latch. I have broken so many of that style latch in my life.
“For now, let’s just say more than 20 and less than 60…”
I officially have tool box envy! I also need to remember to couch my descriptions in ranges.
One word of warning, customs will tack on a duty at some point if you keep importing product. I don’t know exactly what their criteria is for targeting shipments but I was surprised by this many years ago. These days I will limit to no more than a few hundred a year, consistent with what they allow when you’re passing through the airports. No surprises since then.
Thanks, that’s a good reminder.
I was reading Amazon’s help pages, and it says something about how they estimate custom fees when they estimate international shipping, or at least the express shipping.
Hah, Amazon surprises me again! You’re right, with Global Expedited Shipping they include those fees, what’s more, if they collected more than the actual cost, they will automatically refund the difference and if they collected less, they will eat the difference!
Thanks (I think) Stuart, now I have one less reason not to buy from overseas! Unfortunately there is a laundry list of stuff we don’t get here, so this kernel of knowledge might cost me dearly.
If you want solid plastic boxes that can stack one on top of another without crushing the lower boxes, the “Really Useful Boxes” in 17 liter and 32 liter sizes work very well. I think that you could stack these 8 feet tall if wanted. They are built to hold CDs and paper files, but I’m sure they could hold a decent amount of weight in tools. The weight is designed to transfer through the sides of the box, not the center, and this is the main reason they stack so well. The 17 L and 32 L have the same lid and stack on top of each other without issue. The only problem is that you have to remove the upper boxes to get to something on the bottom, and they are a little pricey. I prefer the clear versions, but they do come in other colors. Our kids use them for LEGOs so there is no issue with weight, but a 17 L box filled with CDs can be heavy, and a 32 L box full of paper is even heavier. Either way, these handle the weight without issue. The best pricing usually is from OfficeDepot/Max or Staples with enough items ordered for free shipping.
17 Liter ($13-$14)
32 Liter ($26) (has a lip for hanging files)
I know this is an older post and may not get new responses but I had to comment on the organisers. If there is one thing that drives me crazy with small parts, electronic components, electrical terminations, and fasteners, it is the complete lack of customisable bins in the States.
You either use stuff like the Plano Stowaways, Stanley, or some other cheap and flimsy generic plastic containers that will either split or come open with the lightest banging around and live with it and curse at the lack of options or….you use bins like the Milwaukee or Dewalt Deep Pro.
I use the latter a lot for two reasons. First, like the Sortimos the lid has indents to keep the bins in place. Second, and the most important, the lid has metal hinges and bails to secure it. This is the single best feature about the Deep Pros. They don’t break and they stay secured.
Like the Milwaukee though, the bins are huge and deep which limits their usefulness for small parts. I keep two on the truck. One is a lighting kit. It has several sizes of wire nuts, several sizes of Ideal or Wago multi-port push in connectors, luminaire quick disconnects(code required for fixtures with ballasts) in 2 & 3 port configurations, a handful of ballast mounting hardware, and a couple of small Workhorse brand electronic retrofit ballasts. For this use the configuration is ideal. The second has commercial range parts in it. Again, perfect.
It is when you get to the small hardware and parts that it doesn’t work. Then a bin which could hold 250ml/10 oz. or so of volume is about ten times too big to hold 100 6-32 x 1/2 inch screws. You waste a lot ofspace. Now try to find a box like that with bins a forth that size with the same construction. You quickly find it does not exist.
The metal versions you see stacked in 4 or 6 bin cabinets on slide out shelves are the closest but work best in a stationary setting. I have two on the truck and the paint is worn off causing rust and I double dare you to carry them satchel like by the side handle and NOT have it spill open from the cheap metal lid clasp failing. Those clasps are made to keep them closed laying flat in their cabinets.
This leaves us with things like the Sortimos. The very fact they have the smaller size bins(both height and volume) which work in all the boxes is pretty neat. I am unsure of their latches and durability but the locked in bins and clear polycarbonate lids make them a great choice. With the way we sort, categorise, label, record, and document rings to death in the States, you would think we’d lead the way on this.