Ryobi teased about their new LINK tool and garage storage system a couple of months ago, and recently launched their first wave of products. Ryobi LINK is a very broad system, with tool boxes, wall panels, accessory hooks, bins, and more.
Today, let’s talk a bit about the new Ryobi LINK tool box system.
As with other brands’ modular tool storage systems, you can buy Ryobi LINK tool boxes individually, or as part of a 3pc combo.
To start, Ryobi says that their LINK modular storage system will revolutionize the storage industry, giving you the ability to organize, access, and transport your life.
The LINK tool boxes are ~22″ wide, according to Home Depot’s specs, which makes them similar in size to other brands’ modular tool boxes.
The Ryobi rolling tool box has a telescoping steel handle and 9-inch all-terrain wheels.
All of the LINK tool boxes are said to be waterproof and dust resistant to IP65 standard.
Ryobi LINK Tool Box Load Ratings
- Small Tool Box (STM101): 50 lbs
- Medium Tool Box (STM102): 80 lbs
- Rolling Tool Box (STM201): 200 lbs
The tool box latches appear to have plastic levers and steel wire loops. (If a similar design works well enough for Milwaukee Packout, it should work just fine for Ryobi.)
The boxes can be stacked and locked together, and are released with a “one-touch” button at the bottom.
Ryobi equips the LINK tool boxes with different organizer bins depending on the tool box size, and you can change the loadout if needed. The bins are fully compatible with Ryobi’s wall-mounted LINK system solutions.
What this means is that you can swap out nails, anchors, screws, or other components, and then put them back on the wall for convenient access when working in your garage or shop. This seems especially convenient.
At the least, it’s nice to be able to have different parts cups sizes and styles to choose from.
Each tool box also has built-in screwdriver bit storage. It looks like you’ll have to buy Ryobi screwdriver bits, at least one time for the 1/4″ hex bit holders, if you want to make use of this feature.
The tool boxes are compatible with Ryobi’s LINK wall panels, which support up to 75 lbs per linear foot (presumably when mounted to wall studs).
Ryobi Link Tool Box Pricing
- Small Tool Box: $45
- Medium Tool Box: $55
- Rolling Tool Box: $84
- 3pc Combo: $183
- *Tool Tote: $35
- *4pc Combo: $218
* The tool tote and 4pc combo (3pc + tote) are not yet available.
It looks like you save $1 on the 3pc combo compared to purchasing everything separately.
Ryobi LINK tool boxes are said to be made in the USA with global materials.
This actually isn’t Ryobi’s first foray into the tool storage industry. They released a modular ToolBlox cabinet series overseas a few years ago, and have offered a couple of discrete products in the USA over the years.
I must admit, I am a little hesitant about the LINK series.
Ryobi launched a modular garage door opener system, and it has since been completely discontinued.
Is Ryobi LINK an experimental product system at Home Depot, or do they have a 5-year (or longer) roadmap of new tools and products in the works?
But, it also looks like Ryobi and Home Depot put together a good launch lineup.
I’m surprised and a little impressed with the tool boxes’ load ratings.
Harbor Freight recently launched a new Bauer modular tool box system. The Bauer 3pc-equivalent system, with small, medium, and rolling tool boxes, is priced at $140. The Bauer load ratings are 25lbs, 50lbs, and 60lbs, respectively.
The Ryobi LINK 3pc combo set, with small, medium, and rolling tool boxes, have load ratings of 50lbs, 80lbs, and 200lbs, respectively.
It looks like Ryobi designed their LINK tool boxes for abuse.
Ryobi can do more with this system. Where’s the top organizer? Bottom rolling dolly?
I have NOT seen any Ryobi LINK products in person yet. Their load ratings make me optimistic, but I can’t help but keep in mind that Ryobi is known for value pricing. The brand sometimes compromises on features or quality. Although they often do this in smart ways, a compromise is a compromise. What’s the compromise here?
Home Depot and Ryobi have priced the LINK tool boxes quite a bit higher than I would have expected.
However, I thought the same about their 18V HP brushless cordless power tools, and was recently pleased and impressed with how aggressive Home Depot has been with their holiday 2021 pricing.
I expect to see the Ryobi LINK system soften in price a bit 6 months from now when Home Depot rolls out their Father’s Day promos.
It will also be interesting to see how Ryobi LINK tool boxes fit in with other modular tool storage systems at Home Depot.
Here’s their current competition within Home Depot:
- Husky Connect
- Ridgid Pro Tool Storage
- Dewalt ToughSystem
- Dewalt ToughSystem 2.0
- Milwaukee Packout
Looking at the big picture, this will surely prompt increased competition from Ryobi and Home Depot competitors. What do you think that Craftsman and Lowe’s will do, to avoid giving up any market share?
What’s your take on the Ryobi LINK tool boxes? What about the broader Ryobi LINK system?
Those hanging cordless tool holders look neat.
For me, it will depend on how robust the box construction is. Load ratings are promising.
I would prefer they did without the lime green tops, but thats just nit picking.
I’ve commented on a few posts previously, but I’m still less interested in a system that doesn’t feature a chest of drawers. I’m actually quite surprised that there wasn’t a 2 or single drawer box launched with LINK considering the breadth of options available.
It seems like the drawings from other offerings (Milwaukee, HART, SBD) are a hot commodity right now and would have certainly added to the demand for LINK.
If they release something like this in the future, I’d be more interested in switching from the Tradestack/Versastack/Tstak system I’m currently invested in.
Agreed. I honestly can’t understand what we have 2 basically crap options when it comes to these module toolboxes and drawers. We have DeWalt and Milwaukee. They both have serious shortcomings IMO and are not ready for prime time. Is it so much to ask for a stack of drawers that are sealed to the elements? Something I do have to lift boxes off of each other to get to the stuff on the bottom? I hate having to play musical boxes and stacks just to get to the tools I need in their lower boxes.
I just recently learned that Milwaukee and DeWalt both have a racking system that lets you remove individual boxes from anywhere in the stack without unstacking everything. Awesome feature, you would think they would advertise it.
I’m honestly more bothered by playing “musical boxes” more than I expected. I imagine a lot of others are in the same boat – after buying one of these rolling towers, I’m surprised at how inconvenient it is to get to my bigger tools in the bottom box. Hindsight is 2020.
My application requires quite a bit of storage for tools and parts – maintaining a race car at the track. So I’ve started a second stack next to my original Tradestack with Versa/Tstak additions. Christmas produced a Tstak trolley that I’ve put the deep single drawer box on first, and will then stack more drawers on top. (I need to seek out a 3d printer to help with a Tstak bottom/Tradestack on top adapter, as the included adapter only allows for Versa/Tstak to be added on top of Tradestack.)
I’d love to skip all the craftiness above and just purchase a large roller than might include something like a deep drawer beneath two shallow drawers or something similar. This would be a great addition to the Tradestak lineup and would probably help drive the sale of more mid size and briefcase boxes.
100% Agree. I invested in the DeWalt Tough System and cannot express how irritating it is to shuffle boxes around just to get the tool you want. Why can they not make a decent drawer box?
it doesn’t exist to me until it has drawers
I just bought both the three drawer and two drawer pack outs… sold them two days later – too damn large. Decided I’m just going to stay with the three box basic kit and maybe a few small organizers.
Luckily with the Acme BF deal, I made $45 after the drawer boxes and the free gift were sold off.
This is the first time I’ve seen someone not rave about the packout drawers and would be really curious to hear more about why you didn’t like them beyond sizing.
You might save me some cash!
Blame Chamberlain, or Ryobi lawyers for not doing enough research on patents. Ryobi can’t start making garage door openers until 2023. I don’t think they would have discontinued the line otherwise, as all the reviews & feedback I read on them were positive.
I think it was Ryobi that infringed chamberlain’s battery backup patent.
That’s correct. Nothing to blame really blame Chamberlain on. I just liked the system, and disappointed its unavailable. I don’t believe a patent should be held for adding a battery to something.
The crazy part is California has a law as of 2019 that states all garage door openers installed must have a battery backup. If we are going to make a law that requires something, multiple companies should be allowed to compete for that business. Sounds like a patent lawyer paid some politicians to pass a law that would require their product.
IIRC, Sawstop attempted to do something like this some years ago after they were awarded their patent.
A friend of mine has the Ryobi opener, works great. Really good idea and easy to spot in a dark room.
None of you guys must have one personally, I have two. I picked them up for $99/ea on clearance when my house was being built. Couldn’t beat the price for a full featured garage door opener I thought. Maybe I’ll add the fans I thought. Oh do I hate them. They are a gigantic PITA to assemble. Needed a PhD in the things to get them working right. You have to drill out the wall mount remote wireless receiver and extend the antenna wire just to get the wall buttons to work consistently. Had to trick them into connecting to my wifi. The wall mount buttons are horrible, sometimes you have to press the button multiple times to get it to work. Oh, but don’t push the button too hard or you pop the lower battery out. They lost on the wired wall mount buttons patents too so they were forced to go wireless. God help you if it’s unplugged or reset, you have to pair all the remotes again. Super fun procedure, especially for the cars. Oh, and the door safety lasers are super sensitive to sunlight, sometimes I have to stand to shadow them blocking the sun if it’s at just the right angle to get the door to close. But other than that they’re grrrrreat. I will never trust Ryobi to make a garage door opener again.
Nothing positive about the POS Openers they put out. I have one and wish I would never would have wasted money. They got terrible real world reviews trust me.
Yep, same here. Was good at first but issues started popping up after a few months. Belt finally shredded itself about 3 months ago. My dad had one and had issues as well.
Wouldn’t it be great if these Ryobi boxes “click” together nicely with Milwaukee Packout and/or Hart Stack boxes?! All they are made by the TTI companies, after all.
Can we talk about the fact that they designed these things to look like LEGO? Because I feel like we need to talk about the fact that Ryobi designed their link boxes to look like LEGO.
True. 😄 That was the first thing I noticed too.
Is it a bad thing, in your opinion? Lego’s pretty popular around the world, between (I guess) *all* age groups.
I don’t know that I’d call it BAD per se. Functionally, LEGO have one job, and that is to stack, and they do that VERY well. I’d have to imagine a design that imitates this will also be good at stacking. Aesthetically, however, I’d worry I’d be laughed off the job site if I showed up with these, specifically because the general population tends to consider LEGO to be childrens’ toys.
It would be pretty bad. I stand on my boxes all the time, I’m not falling for that trap.
Came to make sure I wasn’t the only one lol
I’m glad someone else stated the obvious LEGO look.
My kids would start building stuff with dad’s new “giant LEGOs” if I got this.
And here I thought I was the only one who thought of this at first glance…
This system really looks great for anyone that needs to move a lot of tools frequently. The wall mounts really look cool. I have some that buckle together. Husky? I don’t recall. Anyway these might be easier to separate but not worth swapping out for it. I rarely use the stuff I put in there.
Interesting that they aren’t being made by Keter in Israel like TTI’s other offerings from Milwaukee and Ridgid. Using a cheaper plastic formulation perhaps?
Craftsman has has a system for a year or two. VersaStak. It’s also interchangeable with DeWalt’s T-stak. I own several of each. Love them. Less expensive than the listed prices of Ryobi.
Ryobi is aiming to compete with larger box systems, I believe. If I’d be starting now, would take a serious look at the Ryobi offering – I see their color less offending than Craftsman / Milwaukee reds 🙂
DeWalt TSTAK / Craftsman Versastack systems are great, but their rolling boxes are really weak. I look forward to using Tough System rolling boxes with TSTAK adapters, but I’m already invested in this smaller platform (have several dozen of the TSTAK/Versastack boxes of all kinds).
Craftsman has their new TradeStack line which looks more robust and to which VersaStack can be adapted. Much less red, also. Haven’t used it myself—VersaStack/T-Stak has been sufficient for my needs.
This Handyman Can
You should try the Dewalt TStak Cart. I have it and have been lugging all over my job sites for 6 years. I have no complaints. It’s made very sturdy. With a telescoping handle. And locking front casters.
First of all, who is ever going to put one of those boxes vertically on the wall??? Most things inside would get tossed around, you can’t open it in any practical manner, and it is a terrible waste of wall space.
I’m not convinced this is going to be around permanently or not. In the store I’ve seen the whole LINK display out in the main promo area replacing holiday promo items. Sure it’s next to the Husky tool boxes, so maybe that’s a permanent home, but the boxes don’t have spots on the shelves by the Ridgid/Dewalt/Husky/Milwaukee boxes and the slats and organizers and such aren’t in the storage and organization aisle with the Husky and Rubbermaid stuff. My money is on them testing LINK to see how it sells before fully committing.
I’ve seen all the pricing, it’s a little high, but they might promo later on. Kind an inefficient use of wall space compared to others if you ask me. Best thing I can think to do is run one slat on the wall just to hold one of those power tool organizers if there’s no other way to mount those easily, if you like those.
I’ll pass on the whole thing myself.
To answer your first question: DeWALT TSTAK II toolbox has two handles, one on the top and another on the side. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B6K4V80/
With some tools / loads it’s much better to keep it flat, and carry by the top handle. In some other cases it’s quite appropriate, and even better overall, to turn it 90 degrees, and carry by the side handle. If that’s the case – you can put the box on the wall too, without changing its orientation.
These new Ryobi boxes don’t even have top handles, only ones on their sides. Why not put them on the wall then, content permitting?! It might be not the most optimal use of the wall space, but it might be more convenient in some situations. No? And not everyone tries to optimize all the available storage space, all of the time.
What I mean is nobody is going to open them while on the wall vertically, contents will likely fall out, when you carry it vertically you typically set it down to open it. Other storage systems offer horizontal wall mounting which is more practical for accessing the contents and a more efficient use of wall space.
For active duty military or a diy’r on a budget, the latter, as I understand has been heavily targeted by Ryobi; cubic feet of floor space is often at a premium. Personally I often have few home options when I move, so functionality takes priority over personal taste. At the last two places my tools take up ALL of my shed or garage space where I can’t mount to a peg board. Looking forward to future user feedback before I dive in full send.
They’ve already committed. The tooling on the molds for the wall track and boxes is probably a significant portion of the entire project cost. If they went with an extrusion like the Craftsman Versatrack, it would have been much cheaper up front. They may wait to see if they sell well before adding to the box lineup, but I doubt they’ll be discontinuing the wall system.
The prices are comparable to packout, ie way too much for what isnt the parent company.
60$ for the medium box is insane
The wall sets.for.the garage aren’t too awful but as a whole 15-20% overpriced imo
Off topic organizers: Home Depot has the Dewalt tough system 2.0 6 compartment small parts organizer on sale. Regular price $24.97, Sale price $19.97(20% off).
Also CPO has the Milwaukee Packout XL toolbox on sale. Regular price $109.00, Sale price $99.99(8% off). Free shipping over $99.
CPO has a large sale going on. Lots of Packout items on sale among other items!
They don’t now. Search for Packout on their site, you get “Please note: We are not carrying Milwaukee products at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Yes looks like CPO no longer sells Milwaukee. Could that be true?
sorry I can’t get over how this isn’t remotely compatible with the other tTI family products. I mean to a degree neither is the any other Ryobi tool although sometimes the lineage is pretty direct.
I’m just a bit surprised here. I don’t like the wall mount either – while it might save floor space it defeats the stack size layout. again odd. Yet another version of cordless tool holder so I guess their metal one is no longer made.
Cost wise I think I’d buy versastack over this and at least it’s compatible with another SBD product family.
OH how does this cost wise with the Ridgid things – as I’d look to that too I guess.
Milwaukee now owns Ryobi.
Milwaukee does NOT own Ryobi.
Have you gone to Home Depot and looked at the Milwaukee stuff, then checked out HART stuff at Walmart?
Just because they’re All MADE, by TTI, does NOT mean they are built to the Same Standards.
Milwaukee may by Expensive, and not worth to most people, but HART, for the money, is not worth it to ANYBODY.
I was DAMN disappointed with how Cheap it felt, like a Temporary use, Throw away junker. It REALLY didn’t feel like it was worth a much as they wanted for That.
I received some of my Link stuff, most notably the suitcases. I’m not planning to use this on the wall, it’s to move tools around. I’ll post my thoughts last after a quick comparo of what I use now.
I use a lot of different storage systems, but I my use case is mostly served by Tstak/Versastack, because they are light and inexpensive, sized to hold most tools, the organizers hold most of my parts, and despite being light, they are tough enough for me. It also plays nice with the Toughsystem+ small cases for drills, bits, etc. I use a lot of the Craftsman large cases which attach to the top or bottom of the Tstaks. I got them last year when the Craftsman impact bits were the same as the Dewalt Flextorq (which look as if they’re made in a Wiha factory).
L-Boxx seems to be made from ABS that’s brittle, so I have a lot of broken ones. They seem like a good idea, just not very impact resistant.
Toughsystem is very tough, but bigger than I usually need, and pretty heavy. I still use it though for tools that are too large for Tstak. I also use the wall and vehicle racks, they make it nice so items don’t need to be stacked/latched when put away, and can be removed from the middle of a stack. The Toughsystem also has sealed drawer units. Some posters here don’t seem to realize that.
I bought a Tradestack tower and a few extra suitcases, but I don’t care for the latching. The boxes aren’t held securely, and the Tstak adapter is also not secure. They can get knocked off easily. I still use what I have but it’s a separate incompatible set. The organizer bins are the same as those used in the Toughsystem boxes and all the Tstak/Versastack organizers. I like those because when they’re in Tstak/Versastack, parts can’t get mixed up. When they’re in Tradestack/Toughsystem, the hinged lids keep things separate.
I also use Packout just for accessories, like hole saws. So I mostly have the medium and small sizes. Since I don’t really use rolling towers, the Packout is overkill and the extra
I have a lot of Pelican cases of many types, but the Hardigg type stacks in significant quantity are probably outside of the budget of most forum goers.
So my first thoughts on the Link suitcases, which I am not getting the wall mounts for (yet). The way the suitcase latch works seems overly complex, and will probably fail if this were used in a construction enviroment. The suitcase also latches to things (like the wall) with the handle DOWN. This seems extremely … lame. Also, the organizer bins don’t lock/stay in place inside the suitcase at all. It seems like they’re just thrown in to use with the wall mount, not really with the suitcase. They will however fit to the top of the suitcase… except when you pick it up with the handle, again the top of the bin is face down… and everything would fall out. The plastic also seems to be polypropylene (commodity plastic). I tend to prefer cases made with ABS or similar formulas. The gasket at the top is nice and soft and appears to seal well. The bit holder in the top doesn’t actually have the parts that hold the bits, which I presume come with some of their sets. I am particular about bit quality and carrying the ones I need most often and would have liked a way to load my own bits, but because of this I will probably just remove the holder, and the loose bins.
Also, the case size is too square for me, I prefer a longer, narrower case. This seems to be similar to the Packout footprint. I think I’d prefer a top handle as well. I tend to use TS suitcases lower in a stack so that I can use a small/medium toolbox with a handle on top to lift the case in the same orientation that it is placed when opening/loading.
The Dewalt TS2 latching system is simple and lightweight. I like it. Even the TS/Tstak system is simple and light, even though it’s more involved. I’m sure a lot of the gadget people on the net will like the Link system and what it lets you do, but a lot of people who do work beyond their homes and in rougher, dirtier environments, the Link system may not work well for them. I’ll be using my cases to hold some of the Ryobi tools I have, I’ll be able to tell which box has them from across the warehouse. For me, Ryobi tools mostly serve the purpose that Harbor Freight is for others–something that is only used rarely or once, or they have a solution that others do not. For mainstream tools I’ve found I demand too much of them and they don’t hold up. But for the ones I do have, at least they’ll now have a suitable storage place.
Thank you for the great comment, JSxLV.
On the official Ryobi picture, the tool crate is shown in a normal (“put-stuff-in-here”) position, on the LINK wall. Would it be possible to mount the Medium tool box in the same position (not flat on the wall, like its Standard brethren)?
Answering my own question: no, no tool box can be mounted on the wall the same way as the tool crate :-/
Also, with TSTAK / Versastack totes one can attach one on top of another.
(the latter one is also sold by Amazon.com, at last!)
Do you think it will be possible to stack several of the LINK Tool Crates together in a similar fashion?
I was hoping to see Ryobi go for something more unique like a rolling tool box with a built in battery charger.
Agree w/ all the folks who want drawers, and am flat out mystified that the base wheeled unit isn’t made up of a drawer stack so that its contents can be accessed w/o restacking.
I bought into Husky Rolling Connect, and while I was pleased that they finally added a drawer unit:
I still haven’t worked out what to store in the bottom unit which makes sense — right now it’s deep storage for sharpening supplies, but that’s a real buzz-kill when I need to sharpen in the middle of a project.
If Ryobi commits to them and their are appropriate sales these have potential. They can’t be sustained priced equivalent to Dewalts Toughsystem or Milwaukee Packouts but they can go head to head with Craftsman and Dewalts Tstack.
I like the different garage options as well. They seem to be targeting Gladiator in that area and Gladiator is pricey and not marketed or stocked adequately.
Well, now that these are out and I have had a chance to look at, touch, feel and throw around a bit at Home Depot, I can say that these would be a decent addition to most HOME Owner’s Garages. Would I choose this as a Pro level, jobsite ready/everyday use and abuse? Only if it is a new guy on a budget.
Compared to the top dog on the market, Milwaukee Packout, or even the second place DeWalt Stacks, the plastic is a lot thinner. Also, the bottom locking mechanism is a 2 piece, motion action system. I can see it breaking under heavy use. But more important than that, I can see it getting placed on the ground and having dirt, small rocks or worse, mud stuck in the small opening and then that sliding mechanism not working properly. If there i debris in there, it could stop the slide lock from moving all the way and locking the boxes together. And since it is all one piece that moves, there isn’t any sort of back up/secondary latching. All other locking/stacking systems on the market don’t have this problem/possibility. Those products have either side locks or a simple cleat system.
The lids are thinner than most everything else on the market, and are flimsy under pressure. I wonder how they’ll hold up to the elements over time, especially the Sun beating down on them in the backs of trucks, or the cold making the plastic brittle.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that if these are used around the house or by professionals that aren’t going to be dragging them to a rough environment like a new build or a remodel that is having a lot of work done inside and out, these might just be OK. So someone that does finish carpentry or hangs blinds or window treatments etc. I could also see a hobby cart, like someone into RC cars or maybe even someone going to the range.
I also like the idea and ability to hang various items on a dedicated wall system and pick out which ones I need for a specific job and then stack them on my rolling cart.
But as we’ve seen Packout is going to be releasing something like that in a few months.
Another plus that this has over the other, lower and mid priced rolling stacks is that it is a bit wider and deeper by comparison. This not only gives you more space to fill with tools, it also makes this stack a lot more sturdy and stable.