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Modular Toolboxes

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Do you use modular toolboxes such as the Packout, Versastak, or ToughSystem?  If so, what is "your" brand, and how do you prefer to use them (setup, etc.)?  This post from ToolGuyd inspired me to write this: https://toolguyd.com/craftsman-versastak-organizer-lower-profile-better-space-utilization/.

 

I'll admit, my boxes see little use at the moment, but whenever I spot a deal or a new box at the right price, I pick it up.  As such, I have a few Craftsman Versastak boxes (but only one rolling box); three ToughSystem setups with additional boxes; a Packout setup; and two Ridgid stacks with organizers and crate-style boxes.  Of these, the Ridgid and ToughSystem setups have seen far more use than the other brands.  Even so, I've found my optimal storage solution to be a large, medium, and small box, with an organizer on top for hardware.  Power tools and other larger things go in the bottom, hand tools in the medium, and batteries in the small box.  Additionally, I have boxes set up for different types of work such as drywall, plumbing, or electrical.

 

I've seen the pictures of van and garage setups, and I'd like to experiment with both eventually.  Until then, though, I'll just peruse these forums gaining ideas.

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I have a Packout (bought with a tool) but I don’t use it. It’s so bulky and doesn’t hold much. All my stuff is in Toughsystem boxes. I looked at T-Stak which is cheaper but it just looks chintzy.

At the time when I was buying a lot Packout wasn’t very available, I like their bolt bin box but nothing else in the line. My bigger bolt bin is a Toughsystem as are my bigger lugs.

All my small lugs, wire nuts, and self tapping screws are in the half width clear Dewalt stacking boxes that don’t have a name and don’t stack with anything except themselves. They fit inside the Toughsystem rolling box nicely.

The big thing for me is organization and capacity. Second is I drive a truck so weather is a concern, I have my major tools and parts bins kitted out, I can set the rolling bin with my “general construction” tools in it down. Then stack whatever specialty tools and boxes on top. Then stack an open tote on top and load it with parts then throw my tool bag on top. Clip a work light on the handle and then I can wheel everything right to the job site in one load. If it’s a big fabrication job might take two trips max. This is way better than a half dozen trips to the truck. The boxes also double as a bench seat, stool, or table. And I lose a lot less tools now I can easily put them all back, and find a tool on the truck in seconds instead of hunting for 15 minutes.


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Tstak roller for everyday tools.- circ saw, recip, oscillating tool, drill, impact, etc. 20v cordless.

Tstak organizers for fasteners stay in the van.

Small Tstaks for each cordless nail gun and its bullets.

A few Tstak drawers for hand tools, occasional use cordless tools.

4 Tstak totes for “junk drawers” and for bringing in items to a customers house.

All Tstaks, except the roller, are housed in wooden shelves in the back of a 12’ box van.

Nailguns or sds drill get stacked on top of the roller and rolled to whatever part of the house I am working on.


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On 10/4/2019 at 3:16 PM, ChrisK said:

Primarily ToughSystem and Systainers in my shop.

Same.

 

I got 3 tough system wall racks installed and a 4th in storage for if I decide I need another and can find room. I have organizers, drawer units, the tote, the cooler, and an assortment of 130's, 300's, and 400's. I like aspects to Packout better but at the time of me getting into modular systems, Packout was not out yet, and one of the biggest selling points of Tough System for me is the wall racks.

 

I started getting Systainers when I bought my first Festool tools and while they might not be as tough, they are thought out quite well. The fact each box can organize the tool and many of the accessories that go with in one box without having to have the items get disorganized is nice. Many times you can find various foam inserts for non Festool/TTS tools to fit into Systainers which I have done to fit some higher end accessories I have purchased.

 

I do own one Tstak because a tool came with one, but one of my biggest reasons for not going with Tstak/Versastak at the time is because there was no wall rack solution. I could have made a Tstak version of a Sys Port but the Tough System wall rack was so convenient. I have considered integrating a Sys port into a dedicated miter station since I now have Systainers and they currently do not have a good spot to be stored right now but that will probably be a ways off.

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I use Packout, TStak and Ridgid.

Hands down, ridgid is the best overall.
Tstack is very light-duty.
Packout is well built, but oversized for what it can actually hold.
The best part about Packout is the storage containers!


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I use Packout, TStak and Ridgid.

Hands down, ridgid is the best overall.
Tstack is very light-duty.
Packout is well built, but oversized for what it can actually hold.
The best part about Packout is the storage containers!


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Agreed on the container box. The Toughsystem has a clear box but the reviews aren’t good. Never seen one. The not clear top bolt bin box is as good as Packout but no clear lid a a nd more expensive but you get the little racks in the lid. I keep 5/8 to 3/8 nuts, washers, bolts in the bins and 1/4 and 5/16 in the little bins in one. #8 to 500 MCM lugs in another.


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Agreed on the container box. The Toughsystem has a clear box but the reviews aren’t good. Never seen one. The not clear top bolt bin box is as good as Packout but no clear lid a a nd more expensive but you get the little racks in the lid. I keep 5/8 to 3/8 nuts, washers, bolts in the bins and 1/4 and 5/16 in the little bins in one. #8 to 500 MCM lugs in another.


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Exactly!

I have a separate packout parts containers for my wire nuts, mc/bx connectors and anti-shorts, splice parts, low voltage, machine screws, fasteners, and tap cons.

I wish Milwaukee would have streamlined the cases a little, make the foot print a little smaller and lose the wasted space from the pointless corner aluminum.




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I keep splicing materials in a bag. I do a lot of large motors (motor shop) where it might take 6 rolls of tape or more for one motor. Along with silicone grease and liquid electrical tape. I tried to keep wire ties too but that’s just too much. They get their own bag.

I tried organizing the splicing material but it seems to be best just to keep it all in a zipper bag with shears. That bag goes in the roll around base box which goes on all jobs outside of troubleshooting and controls. I break out the boxes of lugs and wire nuts because I don’t need to lug around 500 MCM lugs on a 25 HP motor but might need #14 lugs for thermal switches on a 2500 HP motor. The little Dewalt half width clear parts boxes fit the wire nuts. I need tape for marking and splicing on all of them but I don’t need tape on control jobs where I still need a knife and wire strippers so those stay in the main tool bag. I keep just one roll of 33+ or 88 there for troubleshooting. It seems like this stuff is scattered a bit but it is task specific.

Another item is screws. The cheaper “small” Toughsystem tool box has 4 bins and an open center main compartment. There are two small bins in the top of the lid with a bunch of dividers. So I keep concrete anchors and drills in one bottom bin, another two dedicated to hole saws, step bits, and other special bits. The top bins have assortments of drywall, wood, and self tapping screws. The center compartment holds the drill, drill index, and extension handle. So everything “drill” related is in one box.

I rarely use the side clips. I did at first but realized on the cart it’s not going anywhere. At best it’s somewhat anti-theft. Everything stays put normally as long as you engage the feet. I just stack the bins neatly on the bottom one and wheel it in. But this week was an exception. One day I was working in a vault. I got there early. So just closed the clips and lowered all the tools for the job into the vault with a rope by myself. Saved a lot of trips that way. Second I was driving at highway speeds and I had an empty tote loosely on top in the bed of the truck that I had emptied of parts. It was gusty that day. You can guess where this is going. It flew out just past an exit ramp where the detour to retrieve it was about 6 miles. I’ll think twice next time. As a +1 for Toughsystem a big black and yellow box flying out the back catches your eye in the mirrors easily and a second +1 not a scratch on it I could see! Ive dropped them, stood on them, had stuff drive on them, and now launched them and they keep holding up.

Only problem I’ve had is when I put a new one in service and forgot to close the air valve on top, the parts inside were standing in an inch of water where a week of monsoon weather got into the box. But as a further +1 I live in coastal North Carolina. My tools in my unheated garage rust from constant high humidity and condensation. It’s a huge problem. But as long as I don’t close up the boxes with water inside or when it is raining, I’ve had almost no rust issues.

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