When it comes to hauling gear, tools, and other items around, it really doesn’t get more convenient than a truck bed. But, when it comes to security, weatherproofing, and organization, bare truck beds fail terribly. Luckily, adding a tool box to the bed is a simple and cost-effective option for keeping tools safe, secure, and out of the elements. And, it prevents dragging heavy tool boxes in and out of the truck every day.
Choosing one of the best truck tool boxes will ensure those tools stay put and out of the elements, but a lot goes into this decision. This guide will help shoppers choose the best truck tool box for their needs, and it even includes some of the top options for bed storage.
- BEST OVERALL: Dee Zee Red Label Crossover Tool Box – Black
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Tractor Supply 71″ Full Size Slim Truck Box, Black
- UPGRADE PICK: Decked Truck Tool Box
- BEST CROSSOVER: Tractor Supply 70″ Crossover Single-Lid Tool Box
- BEST DUAL-LID: Tractor Supply 69″ Truck Box, Textured Matte Black
- BEST SWING: UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Accessory
- BEST SIDE-RAIL: Crescent Jobox 58½” Aluminum Innerside Truck Box
- BEST WITH TONNEAU COVERS: TruXedo TL – TonneauMate Tool Box
While the concept of a truck tool box is simple, there is actually quite a bit to know about them. The following includes some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a truck tool box. Some points may be more important to certain shoppers than others, but it’s important to understand them all before purchasing a truck tool box.
There are several types of truck-bed tool boxes, including crossover, saddle, side rail, swing, and dual lid. There are even models that fit under tonneau covers.
- Crossover tool boxes stretch from one side rail to the other. They typically sit near the back of the truck cab, and they’re the most common truck tool box variety. They carry a lot of stuff, but they can also take up quite a bit of space in the truck bed.
- Saddle tool boxes are similar to crossover tool boxes except that they take up less of the truck bed’s corners, allowing for a bit more storage inside of the bed.
- Side-rail tool boxes sit on the side rails of the truck. These are most often used by contractors, and they can provide quite a bit of extra storage, depending on the size.
- Swing tool boxes attach to the side of the truck bed near the tailgate. These boxes are hinged and swing out from the bed of the truck. They don’t offer a ton of storage but they do fold out of the way easily.
- Dual-lid tool boxes are great for folks who don’t want to climb into the bed of their truck to get something or run side to side to close the box. These boxes have winged lids that open from the side of the box to provide access to the items inside.
- Tonneau-compatible tool boxes sit under the height of the bed rail. This allows the tonneau cover to lay over the top of the box for extra security and weather protection.
Note: Folks who’d prefer not to mount a tool box to their truck bed do have other options. Portable tool boxes and rolling tool boxes are easy to transport to and from the vehicle, though they can be heavy to lift.
Choosing a tool box that is large enough for the user’s needs is important. To start, the user should consider which tools or gear they’re most likely to keep in the truck. This may include some hand tools, some power tools, and some longer items like levels or sledgehammers. Storage capacities may range from around 6.5 cubic feet to over 9 cubic feet, so choosing a box that meets the user’s needs shouldn’t be difficult.
Understand that there are tool boxes for full-size and midsize trucks. Full-size truck boxes range from around 69 to 72 inches. Midsize boxes are often around 60 to 63 inches wide. This will have a significant impact on the capacity, but it can also prevent a tool box from being compatible with the truck.
Whether it’s the money invested in them or that they hold sentimental value, most folks would prefer to keep their tools safe and secure. While no truck-bed tool box is 100 percent secure, there are points to consider.
First, look for tool boxes made from heavy-duty metal or advanced polymers for ultimate security. These materials won’t bend or snap, and if they do, it will take so much effort that the would-be thief will likely move on beforehand. Also, look for tool boxes with locks and heavy-duty handles if security is an important factor.
Material and Finish
The most common materials for truck tool boxes are steel, aluminum, and plastic. Advanced polymers also exist now, and each of these materials has its pros and cons.
- Steel tool boxes are strong and secure. They’re also very heavy and prone to rust.
- Aluminum boxes are lightweight and won’t rust, but they’re more likely to dent than steel.
- Plastic tool boxes are inexpensive, but they’re not the best quality. They can become brittle in cold temperatures and sag in hot temperatures. However, they don’t rust.
- Advanced polymers, such as those used for football helmets, are extremely durable, weather-resistant, and secure. They tend to be expensive, and they can expand and contract like plastic tool boxes, but they’re less likely to become brittle.
Also, consider the finish. Steel tool boxes require a durable weather-resistant finish, and these boxes are typically available in white or black colors. Aluminum tool boxes are naturally weather-resistant, so they’re often available in “brite” (bare metal appearance) or black. Plastic tool boxes and those made from polymers are often black as well.
Other materials can also increase a tool box’s weather resistance. Rubber or silicone weatherstripping can prevent wind-driven rain from entering the box, even at highway speeds.
Installing a truck tool box is typically straightforward. The installer usually lays the tool box across the bed rails, drops a few bolts through adjustable slats on the inside of the box, and attaches hooks to the bottom of the bolts. Once tightened, the hooks catch the underside of the bed rail.
Other boxes are easy to install as well. Side-rail tool boxes often have feet that rest against the truck bed. Installation is similar, but the feet provide more stability. Swing boxes have hinges that mount to the truck bed. The tool box then attaches to the hinge, but it can be removed easily when necessary. Tonneau cover-compatible boxes have hardware that suspends them from the bed rail in some cases.
Our Top Picks
With all of that information about the best truck tool boxes, choosing the right model should be a bit easier. To help make it even more straightforward, we put together the following list of some of the top models on the market. Be sure to keep the top considerations in mind when comparing these models.
Note: All of the models listed below are for full-size pickups. However, most are available in midsize models as well.
Folks looking for a well-equipped tool box that will keep their tools safe from thieves and weather should give Dee Zee Red Label Crossover Tool Box a look. This box is made from powder-coated heavy-duty aluminum, providing long-term durability and corrosion resistance. It offers 8.4 cubic feet of storage and has stainless steel paddle handles, one of which locks for security.
This tool box has a lot of extra features worth noting. For one, it sports a closed-cell foam gasket around the lid for better protection against the elements. Also, it has dampened gas shocks that hold the lid open but still allow the user to close the lid easily. It even has a removable plastic tool tray to help organize small tools and parts, if necessary. There aren’t any other dividers in the box, so it may become disorganized.
- Type: Crossover
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: 8.4 cubic feet
- Aluminum with powder-coat finish
- Steel paddle handles with lock
- Features dampened gas struts and closed-cell foam gasket
- No dividers inside the box to keep larger items organized.
Get the Dee Zee truck tool box on Amazon.
Folks looking to add a tool box to their truck without breaking the bank might consider the Slim Truck Box from Tractor Supply Co. This affordable tool box features aluminum construction, keeping it lightweight but corrosion-resistant. It also has a black powder-coat finish for greater durability.
This crossover tool box features a slim and low-profile design, allowing it to hold tools securely without detracting much from the look of the truck. The stainless steel pull handles make opening the box easier than standard paddles. Both handles feature a key lock, allowing the user to unlock the lid from either side. The auto-lift shocks help lift the lid, though closing it might require a little slam or walking to the other side.
- Type: Crossover
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: 6.5 cubic feet
- Affordable price point
- Slim, low-profile design
- Lockable pull-style latches
- Lid may require a slam to shut without walking around to the other side
Get the Tractor Supply Co. 71-inch truck tool box at Tractor Supply Co.
DIYers, contractors, and homeowners who don’t mind spending a bit extra to get as much security and durability as possible should consider the Decked Truck Tool Box. This tool box’s construction consists of heavy-duty polymers like those found in football helmets, making it extremely durable in all weather conditions. It offers a massive 9.82 cubic feet of storage, and the lid and locks are also steel reinforced for improved security. It’s also available in 72.54-inch and 76-inch widths to accommodate different truck models.
This tool box is all about customization. It’s compatible with Decked’s T-box system for smaller storage and includes a snack tray that sits safely to the side of the box. It’s also compatible with the brand’s telescoping ladder, allowing users to climb up the ladder for access to the tool box or truck bed. The main complaint (and it’s from experience) is that the polymer does get slightly more flexible in the heat and can make latching the lid a bit difficult.
- Type: Crossover
- Material: Polymer
- Capacity: 9.82 cubic feet
- Durable polymer construction
- Steel reinforced lid and lock
- Customizable storage options
- Compatible with the brand’s telescoping ladder attachments
- Polymer flexes in heat and lid can be tough to shut
Get the Decked truck tool box on Amazon (76-inch with ladder) or at The Home Depot (72.54-inch).
When the situation calls for storage on the inside and out, check out Tractor Supply’s Crossover Single-Lid truck box. This tool box features aluminum construction for durability purposes as well as stainless steel pull handles that lock for security. With a capacity of 8.5 cubic feet, this model measures 70 inches long by 20 inches wide and 13 inches tall, for reference.
This crossover tool box offers a unique feature: storage on the inside and out. While the interior of the box offers plenty of room and a plastic tray for storage, the top of the lid has cargo tie-downs, offering more room for securing gear, tools, or even a cargo net. The lid also has auto-lift shocks and full-seal weather stripping. Just keep in mind that the cargo tie-down may limit how far the lid can open, so be sure to position it correctly in the bed, leaving space where needed.
- Type: Crossover
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: 8.5 cubic feet
- Long-lasting aluminum construction
- Stainless steel pull handles
- Interior storage tray
- Lid-top cargo tie-downs
- Tie-downs on lid may require adjusting the box’s depth during installation
Get the Tractor Supply Co. 70-inch truck tool box at Tractor Supply Co.
Anyone who’s experienced a single-lid tool box that refused to close completely from one side will appreciate this model. The dual-lid Truck Box from Tractor Supply Co. features two lids that operate independently of each other, allowing users to gain access and secure the tool box from one side—no need to run from side to side.
This tool box features aluminum construction with a powder-coated finish. The lockable pull handles are accessible from the side of the box, eliminating the need for reaching into the truck bed to open the door. It also has a 7.5-cubic-foot capacity, and the entire lid has a weather-stripped seal to prevent moisture from making its way into the box. One issue that users might run into is that it’s more difficult to place longer objects inside this box than it is with single-lid models.
- Type: Dual lid
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: 7.5 cubic feet
- 2 independent gull-wing doors
- Side-mounted locking handles
- Fully weather-stripped lid
- Storing longer objects can be difficult
Get the Tractor Supply Co. 69-inch truck tool box at Tractor Supply Co.
Making the most of that space in a truck bed gets a bit easier with products like SwingCase from UnderCover. This tool box features ABS plastic construction, preventing the weather or corrosion from affecting its durability. The SwingCase also features a lockable lid for improved security.
The SwingCase truck tool box has a 75-pound capacity, but the capacity varies by truck model. This makes it perfect for storing lots of items like tow straps, tools, and sports equipment. A simple tug on the lever releases the SwingCase out for easy access. It also has a perimeter moisture seal and a plastic tray organizer inside. This box comes in a range of sizes for a variety of trucks, including some midsize pickups. Keep in mind that installing this model does require some drilling, which could be a deterrent for some folks.
- Type: Swing
- Material: ABS plastic
- Capacity: Varies
- Convenient swing-away storage
- Up to 75 pounds of capacity
- Lockable lid for security
Get the UnderCover truck tool box on Amazon.
Folks who’d prefer a wide-open storage option that doesn’t require climbing in the bed of a truck might take a look at Jobox’s Aluminum Inner Side Box. This model features a unique 3.2-cubic-foot design that allows the bulk of the storage inside the box to be lower in the bed rather than just on top of the rails, providing plenty of stability though maybe a bit less access.
This aluminum tool box features a “brite” finish for traditional good looks. It also has a gear-lock locking system that resists up to 1,000 pounds of prying force. There is a small area for storing small items like parts or snacks as well. The aluminum lid features a push-button lockable latch for security.
- Type: Side rail
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet
- Unique design allows for lower storage.
- Resists up to 1,000 pounds of force
- Small organization tray inside
- Might provide a bit less access than a traditional tool box
Get the Crescent Jobox truck tool box on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Until recently, truck owners had to choose between a tool box or a tonneau cover, as standard boxes got in the way. But with the TruXedo TL TonneauMate, that’s no longer an issue. This tonneau-cover-compatible tool box fits underneath the tonneau cover and keeps tools, sports equipment, and other gear organized.
This ABS plastic tool box is able to mount anywhere along the bed rails, allowing users to position it wherever is most convenient for their particular tonneau cover style. It has a built-in lock for additional security, and its elevated design leaves room under the box for additional storage (though it doesn’t have as much space inside as other tool boxes). These boxes are built specifically for particular truck models, so the capacity will depend on the vehicle.
- Type: Tonneau compatible
- Material: ABS plastic
- Capacity: Depends on truck model
- Sits below the tonneau cover
- Can hang from the side rails in any position
- Elevated design for storage space underneath
- Built-in lock for additional security under the tonneau cover
- Less volume than some other models due to design
Get the TruXedo truck tool box on Amazon.
Truck owners looking for plenty of storage, a durable design, and long-term resistance against the elements might consider the Dee Zee truck tool box. However, those who don’t mind an upgraded price tag will appreciate the massive volume and customization that the Decked truck tool box has to offer.
We’ve owned trucks for years, and we’ve been through our share of truck tool boxes. We wanted to use all of our experience, including the positives and negatives, to assemble a list of the best truck tool boxes on the market.
First, we thought about all the features we knew would be important to a truck owner, such as security and materials. Next, we considered other features like design, capacity, and weatherproofing. We then performed extensive product research to come up with a list we thought might meet our requirements. Those that failed were tossed aside, and we gave awards to the ones that passed our standards.
That might be a lot of information about the best truck tool boxes, but there could still be some questions lingering. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about truck tool boxes. Be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.
Q. Should I buy a tool box for my truck?
If you’re someone who carries tools around in their truck frequently, it may be a good idea. Tools stored in a good tool box will be safe from the elements and less likely to get stolen from the bed of a truck.
Q. What can I store in a truck tool box?
Most folks use their truck tool boxes for tools, but sports equipment, outdoor gear like fishing and camping equipment, or even an emergency road safety kit and supplies will fit inside a tool box.
Q. Are truck tool boxes safe?
No truck tool box is 100 percent secure. With enough time, someone can break into any of them and remove the items from inside. However, a high-quality truck tool box will be harder to break into, and most would-be thieves will move on to an easier target.
Q. What size tool box does my truck need?
Truck tool boxes come in a range of sizes, but they generally fall into two categories: full-size and midsize. Most full-size boxes will fit full-size trucks, and midsize boxes fit most midsize trucks. Rams, Silverados, Tundras, Titans, and F-Series trucks will typically use full-size boxes, while Tacomas, Frontiers, Rangers, and Colorados will require midsize.
Q. What is a low-profile tool box?
Low-profile tool boxes have lower-sitting lids that stick up from the bed less than standard beds. This prevents the tool box from detracting from the look as much as a big, bulky box, but it can sacrifice storage space.