While most people build their tool collections over time by acquiring tools to complete particular projects, such a pace won’t meet the demands of a true tool enthusiast nor does it keep one from running to the store to refresh their stock of wood glue, fasteners, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Fortunately, there are tool subscription boxes for professionals and DIYers who want to stay flush with the essentials while feeding their addiction to tools.
For a monthly fee, a tool subscription service will send the subscriber a box of half a dozen or so tools and workshop supplies each month. These tools include everything from wrenches and screwdrivers to safety glasses and drill bits. This guide will examine what these services have to offer while reviewing some of the best tool subscription boxes on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: TOOL CRATE
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GANGBOXED
- BEST FOR DIYers: Cratejoy by The Tool Chest
- BEST VARIETY: The Handy Box
Our Top Picks
The list below includes some of the best deals on tool boxes that one can subscribe to. They offer useful content with reputable brand-name tools that both professionals and DIYers will recognize.
A tool subscription service is only worth the cost if it delivers useful items that are of high quality. Tool Crate delivers on both fronts, making it one of the best tool subscriptions services on the Web. The company works with brands most DIYers have heard of, such as Klein, Leatherman, DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee along with some lesser-known quality boutique manufacturers. The company doesn’t use no-name brands.
Each crate comes with four to eight items curated by the company that includes a mix of tools, PPE, apparel, and other items. A box includes tools such as quick squares, multi-tools, locking pliers, saw blades, drill bits with respirators, safety glasses, and other PPE along with swag in the form of T-shirts and ball caps. This Canadian company makes quarterly shipments every January, April, July, and October to the U.S., U.K., and Australia. For U.S. customers, the cost is $201.49 per quarter plus $10 in shipping costs.
- Cost: $201.49
- Deliveries: Quarterly
- Size: 4 to 8 pieces
- Includes premium brand names
- Bigger ticket items than other services offered
- A diverse range of supplies and tools
- Expensive, and shipping is extra
Whereas other subscription services target weekend warriors, GANGBOXED puts its focus squarely on professionals, which is obvious in the contents of its shipments. Unlike some other services that have quarterly deliveries, GANGBOXED delivers every month. And, while the company delivers similar offerings as other services, it always includes those important consumable items such as gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, and other essential PPE that are often forgotten until one runs out of them.
GANGBOXED’s partners are companies well known in the construction field, including Stanley and Cat. The company ships on the first of each month and includes between four and seven items, none of which are ever repeated. GANGBOXED subscriptions are $29.99 per month, $84.99 per quarter, or $329.99 for a year’s subscriptions plus an $8.99 fee for each shipment.
- Cost: $29.99 per month
- Deliveries: Monthly
- Size: 4 to 7 pieces
- PPE included in each shipment
- Name-brand tools
- Different subscription options
- Monthly shipments
Cratejoy may be a little pricier than other subscription services, but it’s hard to argue with the quality of the diverse supplies it offers. Unlike other providers, which limit their crates to tools, PPE, and swag items like hats and T-shirts, Cratejoy delivers supplies a DIYer uses (and runs out of) regularly, including stain, wood glue, and sandpaper.
Like other companies, Cratejoy boasts an impressive list of name-brand tools, including DeWalt, Husky, Titebond, 3M, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Ryobi. Its ability to draw bigger names is in part due to the company’s size. Cratejoy is a discount retailer in the subscription box market with subscription boxes for everything from lingerie to baby toys. Cratejoy’s tool subscription box is diverse with items such as hand saws, clamps, hammers, sandpaper, gloves, varnish, and fasteners. The brand names and pricier supplies do result in this subscription service having a higher fee than most at $59.95 per month.
- Cost: $59.95 per month
- Deliveries: Monthly
- Size: 4 to 7 pieces
- Well-known tool brands
- Includes stains, glues, sandpaper, and other consumables
- Larger hand tools than other services
Whereas other tool subscription boxes focus on mainly workshop items, The Handy Box goes broader by also including household items. A typical box might include a hammer and a screwdriver and nails, while another might have a microfiber cleaner for a smartphone screen.
The Handy Box curates its boxes to include unique items not found in a standard workshop, such as small screwdrivers for electronics and eyeglasses, wire strippers, a tape dispenser for packaging boxes, an emergency hammer for breaking auto glass, and a power strip that’s bendable to support cords connected to it from all different directions. The Handy Box also includes bigger ticket items, such as a full cordless rotary tool kit. The Handy Box is shipped monthly and is sold in 3-, 6-, and 12-month subscriptions, with the 12-month option being the most economical.
- Cost: $109.95 (3 months)
- Deliveries: Monthly
- Size: 4 to 7 pieces
- Includes tools one most likely doesn’t already have
- Diverse collection of tools
- Three subscription options
For the brand and tool selection this service delivers, TOOL CRATE is the best tool delivery service for meeting the needs of the DIYer or professional.
Also, keep an eye out for available subscriptions from Tool Heads Crate. While the company has paused its operations for now because of supply issues, its mission is to deliver meat with no fluff, so expect its kits to be loaded with tools such as socket sets, screwdriver bits, pliers, wrench sets, and other essentials. You won’t find any hats, T-shirts, or PPE in the box. This tools-only focus makes it one of the best tool boxes for mechanics. Tool Heads offers its packages in three size options—basic, standard, and premium, which cost $29.99, $54.99, and $74.99 per month, respectively. While the company doesn’t list the number of pieces each kit comes with, it does guarantee the retail value of its crates at $50 for its basic, $100 for its standard, and $150 for its premium.
In selecting the tool subscription companies for this list, we considered several criteria. For a subscription service to be worth the money, it must deliver useful tools, so we only included well-curated boxes of tools, PPE, and supplies with minimal inclusion of useless extras. Quality is also important, so we limited our picks mainly to subscription boxes that included recognizable name brands. Finally, we considered subscription boxes that offer the best bang for the buck without lofty additional shipping fees.
When sifting through the best tool boxes that offer subscriptions, it’s vital to consider what’s inside. Though none of these services will tell you exactly what you’ll be getting, most focus on specific items. One service may provide strictly hand tools while others may include PPE, consumable supplies like wood glue and varnish, and swag, such as T-shirts and hats. Choose the subscription box that best meets your needs. When it comes to tools, brand is paramount, so look closely at the manufacturers included in the kit. Household names such as Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Bosch indicate higher quality than boxes that include no-name brands. Frequency is also important. In addition to looking at the price of the kit, consider how often the kit is delivered as well as any delivery fees that are tacked on.
- Look at the types of tools and supplies included in the box.
- Choose subscription boxes that feature reputable tool manufacturers.
- Consider shipping fees as well as subscription prices.
If you’re wondering how much tool subscription boxes cost or how much of a commitment you have to make to this type of service, then read on for answers.
Q. How do tool subscription boxes work?
The user pays a monthly, a quarterly, or an annual subscription fee, then receives a box of typically four to seven tools on a monthly or a quarterly basis. The service includes useful tools and supplies in the box that they curate.
Q. How much do tool subscription boxes cost?
Tool subscription boxes vary in price from around $30 a month to $70 a month depending on the type and number of items included in the subscription box and the service.
Q. What if I want to cancel my tool subscription box?
Most tool subscription box services allow you to cancel at any time if you are paying a monthly subscription. If you pay for a quarterly or an annual subscription, you are locked into that time period.
Q. Can I pick the tools for my tool subscription box?
No. These tool subscription boxes curate their own items to go into each box.
Q. Do I get new tools in a tool subscription box?
Yes. All tools in the tool subscription box are new, and the box does not overlap with the same type of tools from month to month.