4x4 Truck & Jeep

The 7 Best Truck Tool Boxes Reviewed For 2018

A truck tool box is a great investment in protecting equipment. Installing a locking toolbox will help prevent your tools from “growing legs” while your parked.

The best truck tool boxes can essentially pay for themselves just by preventing one opportunistic would-be thief.

Choosing the right toolbox will take some research and a couple of those handy tools to get things installed. We have you covered and give you our top rated pickup truck tool boxes.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Truck Winches, Truck Bed Covers, Truck Tents.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Truck Tool Boxes For 2018

  1. TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox
  2. Jobox Fullsize Deep Truck Box
  3. UWS Crossover Truck Tool Box
  4. UnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage Box
  5. Giantex Aluminum Tool Box Storage
  6. Weather Guard Aluminum Saddle Box
  7. Dee Zee Red Label Utility Chest

Here is a feature comparison of our top truck tool boxes, with a buyers guide and comparison table to help you choose below.

Best Truck Bed Tool Boxes

 TruXedo TonneauMate Truck ToolboxUnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage BoxJobox Fullsize Deep Truck Box
editors choice
Dimensions:55" x 23" x 15"16" x 8.5" x 34"71" x 21" x 17"
Mounting:CrossbedSwingcaseCrossbed
Material:ABS PlasticABS PlasticAluminum
Other:Universal fitSide mounted hybrid design4-compartment sliding tray

Truck Bed Tool Boxes Reviewed

 

#1 TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox

TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox

TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 55″ x 23″ x 15″
  • Material: ABS plastic
  • Universal fitment
  • Can be used with a tonneau cover
  • Adjustable mounting

Looking for the best truck tool box that will fit most any truck that can also accept a bed cover? Yeah, this is about as sleek and sexy as it gets while still having room for your tools!

When I say universal fitment, let me just relay the manufacturer’s words, “TruXedo’s TonneauMate is a completely universal toolbox that fits most full-size trucks.” That said, I did notice in the FAQs that the seller noted several trucks it did not fit. So, maybe ask before you buy!

Once you get things installed, this toolbox basically “floats” between the truck bed cover and the bed itself. That leaves room for you to slide a full sheet of drywall into the truck bed and still close the cover.

Keep in mind that in order to open the top of the toolbox your truck bed cover needs to be far enough out of the way. TruXedo says it works great with Lo Pro and Deuce covers

Best for those who want to load up with a bed full of plywood, a toolbox, and a bed cover all at once!


#2 Jobox Fullsize Deep Truck Box

Jobox Fullsize Deep Truck Box at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 71″ x 21″ x 17.25″
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Powder paint finish
  • 4-compartment sliding tray
  • Rigid structural lid helps improve durability

Aluminum means this toolbox is a little lighter than many of the competitors on the market. It also has tons of features to keep things dry, secure, and locked up.

Apparently, Jobox has put a lot of work into the lid of this box. Once it’s installed, the lid is designed to resist crushing and impact with multiple layers of aluminum, rigid members, and foam.

They’ve put a lot of focus on the locking mechanisms here. With closed the dual rotary lock always latches closed. When open, the whole lid is assisted by gas spring lid lifts so you don’t have to heave on it to move the lid.

I personally like the sliding 4-compartment tray and the built-in storage bins on each end. If your looking for the best truck bed tool box for around $500, the Jobox is for you!

Best for those who need a lightweight toolbox with a focus on durability.


#3 UWS Crossover Truck Tool Box

UWS Crossover Truck Tool Box

UWS Crossover Truck Tool Box at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 72″ x 24″ x 17″
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Reinforced aluminum lid
  • Stainless steel lock hardware
  • Micro Seal lid closure

Like the Jobox we just looked at, this UWS toolbox is a reinforced aluminum crossbed box. They’ve also taken strides to keep the box as low and slim as possible while still leaving room for all your equipment!

Made in the USA, these toolboxes are well loved by their users. Everything about the box is meant to be corrosion resistant. Aluminum body and stainless hardware means there is virtually no chance of anything rusting apart on you down the road.

While it may sacrifice some storage space, the lower lid design means you can see out the rear window better than other toolboxes. Of course, if you prefer the higher profile design, you can always order it from their website.

I personally like that the lid is reinforced and filled with solid foam. That keeps everything lightweight, much like the Jobox, while still staying rigid so if you shut the lid the whole thing latches closed. Lids that are poorly designed can bow and flex when closing them which may result in a failure to latch.

Best for a low profile aluminum crossbed pickup truck tool box made from a quality aluminum design.


#4 UnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage Box

UnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage Box

UnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage Box at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 16″ x 8.5″ x 34″
  • Material: ABS plastic
  • Easy to access design
  • Side mounted hybrid design
  • Lockable storage

Of all the truck toolboxes on our list today this one is actually my standout favorite because it’s creative and solves a few problems at once.

To show you why this toolbox is inventive, let me describe my favorite features. First, you just mount the toolbox to the wall of the bedrail on either the left or right side, near the tailgate.

Once mounted, the toolbox is short enough that you can still use a bed cover. It also doesn’t get in the way of the tailgate.

To use the box, drop the tailgate and swing the box outward so it’s easy to access and reach. There’s no need to climb up into the bed (like most boxes require).

Overall this box has a 75-pound capacity and a lock for security.

Note: Fits ‘07 – ‘18 Silverado and Sierra trucks.

Best for an organized truck bed storage unit that stays out of the way while still remaining accessible.


#5 Giantex Aluminum Truck Tool Box Storage

Giantex Aluminum Tool Box Storage at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 49″ x 15″ x 15″
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Lockable
  • 4 different sizes available

A lot of us don’t want a toolbox in the bed of the truck. It takes up space and they’re often hard to get to. For that reason, you could instead use this toolbox to mount onto the tongue of your trailer!

A couple things to keep in mind – first, make sure you order the size that will fit across your trailer tongue (or wherever else you want to mount it). Secondly, since the toolbox comes with built-in handles, you may want to find a way to mount the box so it’s removable to carry to the jobsite.

That said, however, you mount it, the lockable case makes it harder for people to get into the box. It comes with two keys so you don’t lock your keys inside, too!

Because this truck storage box is relatively simple an straightforward, it’s one of the cheapest boxes on our list so it’s a solid choice if you’re looking to keep the costs low.

Best for trailer or custom mounted operations where you’re willing to DIY.


#6 Weather Guard Black Aluminum Saddle Box

Weather Guard Aluminum Saddle Box

Weather Guard Aluminum Saddle Box at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 72″ x 20″ x 18″
  • Material: Aluminum
  • 12V power pass through
  • One-touch opening
  • Extreme protection locking system

If you’re ready to put your money where your mouth is, this is the upgrade version of the crossbed toolbox.

You can tell they paid attention to the little things when building this toolbox. On the back are two large, sturdy D-ring attachment points for tying down loads in the bed. This solves the issue that many toolboxes present by obstructing access to truck tie-downs.

Inside, there’s plenty of space and some organization with an adjustable tray, level holder, and parts bin. These tools are then protected by a full weather seal around the lid which keeps dirt, water, and debris out of the box.

One high-end feature you won’t find elsewhere is the 12V power pass-through. This allows you to put charging stands inside for your power tools and recharge those expensive batteries where they can’t be stolen or rained on!

If you don’t mid paying a little more for a toolbox that has high-end working features, this might be the best tool box for trucks!


#7 Dee Zee 46″ Red Label Utility Chest

Dee Zee Red Label Utility Chest

Dee Zee Red Label Utility Chest at a Glance:

  • Toolbox Dimensions: 48″ x 21″ x 19″
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Aluminum construction
  • Lid stiffener for rigidity
  • 3-piece body adds strength

Can’t find a toolbox that fits your needs anywhere else? How about finding a way to take a utility chest and using it to bring all your tools into one place? We know you’ve got the DIY know-how to pull it off.

Like the trailer tongue toolbox we looked at earlier, this box is going to need a home somewhere on your truck. Many of you will want to mount this to a trailer, but there’s no reason you can’t build it into a custom truck bed. Its square shape makes the box easy to build around.

To keep the box from getting crushed on the jobsite, internal bends and 3-piece body construction adds a ton of beef to the box. Of course, the lid is also reinforced to prevent warping when closing and the gas-damped lid lifters make everything smooth.

Don’t worry you can lock everything up with a single key security system.

Best for job site utility, trailer additions, or building a custom framework.


Truck Toolbox Comparison Table

Tool Box DimensionsMaterialMountingRating
TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox55" x 23" x 15"ABS PlasticCrossbed4.6 / 5.0
Jobox Fullsize Deep Truck Box71" x 21" x 17"AluminumCrossbed4.2 / 5.0
UWS Crossover Truck Tool Box72" x 24" x 17"AluminumCrossbed4.1 / 5.0
UnderCover SwingCase Truck Storage Box16" x 8.5" x 34"ABS PlasticSwing Case4.2 / 5.0
Giantex Aluminum Truck Tool Box Storage49" x 15" x 15"AluminumCrossbed4.3 / 5.0
Weather Guard Black Aluminum Saddle Box72" x 20" x 18"AluminumCrossbed4.2 / 5.0
Dee Zee Red Label Utility Chest48" x 21" x 19"AluminumCrossbed4.1 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Truck Tool Box – Buyers Guide

best truck bed tool box
TruXedo TonneauMate Truck Toolbox

For many of you who make your living out on the job site a pickup tool box is necessity. Let’s now cover how choose the right one for your truck.

Knowing the Types of Truck Tool Boxes

Keep in mind that some of these terms can change from one manufacturer to the next. Unfortunately, there isn’t really an industry standard naming system that everyone sticks to. However, discussing these types of truck bed storage boxes will help you understand what’s out there so you can get started.

Top Mounted Truck Bed Tool Boxes

These are the compartments you see on welding trucks, plumbing trucks, and utility service trucks. They’re mounted up above the bed rails and have “cabinet” style doors for storing tools.

These are great if your truck is used full time for work and you absolutely must have a maximum amount of storage space.

Crossbed Mounted Truck Bed Tool Boxes

These are what I would consider the “standard” aftermarket truck bed tool box. They sit across the bed right behind the cab. Practically any truck can have one of these installed and they’re super widely-available.

Crossbed toolboxes may be the easiest to find, size, and buy at an inexpensive price.

Side Mounted Truck Bed Tool Boxes

Instead of running across the bed behind the cab, these tool boxes run along the bed rails. That makes them generally easier to access than crossbed toolboxes.

Unlike top mounted tool boxes, these sit flat and the tools lay flat inside them. They’re probably comparably affordable and easy to buy as a crossbed toolbox.

truck bed storage
Crossbed vs Swingcase style truck storage

Measuring Your Truck Bed

To make sure that the toolbox you’re ordering will actually fit your truck bed, you need to measure. I always measure for stuff like this, even if the website says it’ll fit. Measure twice, order once – right?

Here are some of the measurements you’ll need to have for crossbed boxes:

  • Bed rail – outside to outside
  • Bed rail – inside to inside
  • Back of cab to the front of rear wheel well
  • The depth of the bed to the top of the bed rail

Measurements for top mounted tool boxes are more complicated and proper installation should probably be done by a professional. Because of their high center of gravity and precarious positioning, I’d hate to see you spill all your tools down the highway if you measured wrong!

When you’re measuring for a side mounted toolbox keep in mind that the box will extend out into the bed. This can take up precious real estate in the truck bed, especially if you have two toolboxes mounted up.

For side mounted toolboxes double check:

  • The depth of the bed to the top of the bed rail
  • How far the toolbox will stick out into the bed itself
  • Wheelwell clearances
  • The length of the toolbox along the bed rail

Understanding Toolbox Construction

Like everything we buy these days, materials are getting lighters, stronger, and easier for manufacturers to make. Sometimes, however, we see manufacturers cut corners where it matters. Truck bed tool boxes are not the place to skimp out on good quality construction in my opinion!

Welded Boxes

Welding is my preferred method for toolbox construction. Welded seams on toolboxes are usually spot welded and poor spot welds can come apart pretty easily over time or with rust. Look for good penetration on spot welds and make sure the metal has properly bonded.

Riveted Boxes

Rivets are really just as good as welding when things are all said and done. While it may be hard or impossible to tell, one thing to check for is that your pickup truck tool box is made with the right rivets.

Rivets must always be as hard, or harder than, the material they hold together. So, aluminum rivets holding together a steel box will eventually fail and fall apart. Steel rivets must be used with steel boxes.

Email the manufacturer if you’re not certain what kind of fasteners have been used on your toolbox.

Steel Boxes

Steel is a great material because it’s strong and affordable. Unfortunately, it also rusts like crazy.

Steel boxes must be coated in some way. Paint or bed liner covering the toolbox will help stave off the rust but it only buys you time. Plain mild steel will eventually rust when left outside for years – it’s just the way of things.

Stainless Steel Boxes

Stainless steel is, of course, the answer to preventing rust when toolboxes are likely to get wet or left outdoors. It’s more expensive than mild steel but stainless steel will last many dozens (or hundreds) of years longer than mild steel in rough elements.

Stainless steel would be my material of choice for strength and durability.

Aluminum

Lightweight like plastic yet even more rustproof than stainless steel, aluminum is basically a win-win. In most cases, the biggest drawback with aluminum is that it can cost more than other materials.

Aluminum can vary from weak to nearly as durable as steel depending on its construction, alloy, and thickness. Overall, however, it’s a really solid choice for truck bed tool boxes.

Plastic

Because you’re going to be storing tools (heavy tools, metal tools, etc) in your truck I would honestly just outright avoid plastic toolboxes.

Plastic can hold up and it’s rust-proof which is a big win over steel. However, your tools are likely to scratch and gouge the box. Plus, if you toss things in and out of the bed (or load something heavy) the chances of damaging a plastic toolbox are greater than a sturdy steel box.

One big advantage of plastic is that it tends to be significantly lighter than steel so if keeping weight down is a priority, plastic may make a case.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do any hot work like welding, plastic tool boxes are susceptible to melting or burning.

Locking Up Your Tools

There are two reasons to get a truck bed tool box – organization and security.

To make sure your tools don’t walk off while you’re shopping for lunch you need two things.

  1. Your pickup toolbox needs to be secured to the truck itself (or it needs to be crazy heavy)
  2. Your pickup toolbox needs to have a solid and reliable lock

For me, mounting my toolbox straight to the truck itself would seem like a no-brainer. You don’t want it sliding around when you take off or brake hard. Plus hitting a pothole or going offroad can jostle things around so screwing, clamping, or otherwise securing the toolbox jus has to happen.

Locking mechanisms on toolboxes have a tendency to foul up real quick. Look for locks that have covers or internal sliding covers to keep dirt, ice, water, and junk out of the tumblers inside. You can alway spray some penetrating lubricant into the lock every once in a while as well to help keep it free and clear.

pickup truck tool boxes
Secure double locking on the Dee Zee Red Label Utility Chest

FAQs For Truck Bed Tool Boxes

Q: Do I have to get into the truck bed to access tools?

A: For most crossbed truck tool boxes you will have to get up into the truck bed to get to your tools. This can really be a pain in the butt, and for many people with health problems or mobility issues, it’s just not possible to climb up every time you want a tool.

The SwingCase series of toolboxes on our list is perfect for easy access. Side mounted boxes are also much easier to get to than crossbed boxes.

If that won’t work, try using a trailer tongue mounted toolbox – they’re probably the easiest to get to but you’ll have to take your trailer everywhere!

Q: Can stainless steel or aluminum rust over time?

A: Aluminum cannot rust in the same way that steel can. Aluminum, technically, forms an oxide layer so rapidly in atmospheric conditions that every piece of aluminum you’ve ever seen has already “rusted”.

Stainless steel is extremely rust resistant thanks to its high chromium content. That doesn’t mean you’re free to leave it forever without maintenance. Stainless steel, especially cheap alloys, can indeed still rust over time it just takes much longer than mild steel.

Q: How do I mount the toolbox to my truck bed?

A: Most toolboxes have a mounting kit that comes with them. Some hardware, a couple nuts, and bolts, that sort of thing.

Occasionally a toolbox will require custom mounting meaning drilling, tapping, etc. When this is the case you’re probably best off taking it to a truck accessories shop and letting them do the install correctly.

We tried to avoid toolboxes on our list that would require any custom mounting procedures.

Q: Can I still fit a full sheet of plywood in my truck with a toolbox?

A: If you have an extended bed truck and you’re used to fitting a 4×8 sheet of anything in there, a toolbox will most likely mess this up. Usually, truck bed toolboxes sit all the way down to the floor and will partially obstruct the bed.

On our list, there are several toolboxes that stop just short of the bed. That means you can still use the full size of the bed for sliding in the sheeting. We also have a toolbox that sits on the side at the same depth as the wheel well so it won’t get in the way of the main part of the truck bed.

Shop around and you’ll find a toolbox that doesn’t compromise bed space.

Q: What’s the most secure type of locking system?

A: There are so many types out there that I shudder to recommend a single one. What I will say, though, is that you need a lock that engages the lid in more than one place.

Cheap locks simply hold down the lid on one side or in a single place.

Good locks slide a solid bar or multiple points of contact onto the lid. That way anyone trying to pry the lid open will have a harder time. The force of pressure applied to the lid should be spread out among at least two distinct points.

Look for locks with a two-lock system or a bar type system that reinforce the locking mechanism.

Final Thoughts

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of truck styles on the market today. Combine that with the fact that each person has different needs and each toolbox has a different design style and you’ve got a lot of research to do!

Hopefully, we’ve taken some of the stress out of that research for you. If you’ve fallen in love with one of the truck toolboxes we’ve reviewed here but it doesn’t match your truck, just check the manufacturer’s website. There’s probably a version of that model which will fit your truck!

At the end of the day, there isn’t a single toolbox brand, model, or style that’s the “best one”. It all depends on who you are, what you do, and what you prefer!

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Casey Fiedler

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I’m a huge fan of punk rock. I have launched several start-ups. (or business ventures) When exploring the backcountry, I usually carry less than 10 pounds of gear. Years of experience have taught me to pack light. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing.

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