The right tool storage can improve productivity immeasurably. For home crafters, woodworkers or casual DIY-ers, a nicely organised wall-storage system for tools is perfect – for the professional, though, there are more factors than accessibility to take into account.
Professional tools are typically very expensive and can be a prime target for thieves – so you need security. You also need to be able to take your tools around the site with you as different tasks demand your attention. Lastly, you need to be able to organise and easily find the tools you want, when you want them – rummaging through an untidy toolbox is a waste of time and can be incredibly frustrating.
The solution? Mobile roller-cabinets. Here’s our guide to what to look out for in your roller tool cabinet.
It can be tempting to get the largest tool cabinet your budget can stretch to – after all, it’s not like you will have to replace it every year, so an investment now should be good for several years (or decades if you get a high-quality model and look after it). However, you need to consider the space you have in your workshop or garage. An oversized cabinet will take up too much of your floorspace and be cumbersome to move around. Instead, get the tool cabinet that best meets your environment’s requirements, as well as the types of tools that you actually use. You don’t need room for 30+ different spanners or sockets if you only ever deal with woodwork or electronics, for example.
Try to be conscious about future-proofing your purchase though – if you plan to expand or change your work in the future, make sure you have the storage space for your expected tools as well as the ones you have now.
For more compact spaces, you can make good use of otherwise dormant space by using an under cabinet or under workbench model. When in place, these operate just like drawers integrated into the workbench, but they can be easily rolled out and manoeuvred around as and when you need to.
Your accumulated tool collection probably weighs quite a bit – and most tool cabinets will be designed with this in mind. Check the weight capacity of your new tool cabinet – both overall and individual drawers and compartments, especially if your tools are particularly weighty. Don’t forget to make sure that the castors or wheels on your cabinet are also up to the task – a super-strong steel cabinet on poor quality wheels and fittings will not be able to stand up to the strains you put on it.
The way your cabinet is configured is informed primarily by what kinds of tools you need to store. If you typically only use smaller profile hand tools, then a selection of shallow drawers might be perfect for you – if you have a bunch of power tools, you’ll need bigger compartments. Make sure that your tools will actually comfortably fit into your cabinet before you buy it.
Particularly relevant for shorter and under-desk roller cabinets, the top surface can be an important factor in your decision. Need a smooth surface that you can use as a mobile mini-workbench? Prefer a tray-style top that you can keep tools and fittings in while you work? Choose the cabinet that best meets those requirements.