Tool Portability and Organization

Let’s say you want to do some home improvement somewhere besides your, e.g. at one of your rental properties. You may be tempted to just bring a few tools related to the job you’re going to work on. What often happens, though, is you end up realizing you need another tool that you didn’t expect to need. Once you do that a few times, you then realize you need a way to just bring ALL your tools so you don’t waste time going back and forth. But how can you bring all your tools? Below is how I bring most tools to a remote worksite. I find this setup works very well.

Heavy Duty Stackable Tool Boxes with Wheels

There are many toolboxes on the market but some are overpriced. I went with the Ridgid ones below.

In the photo above, I have stacked four boxes. The problem, though, is the handle is below the top-most box and it tends to hit your hand which is painful. So, I just stack 3 boxes and the small parts box is lightweight enough to carry by hand.

Following is a description of each box.

Small Parts Box

Unlike other small parts boxes, this one has a robust locking mechanism so when you carry it around, the latch doesn’t accidentally open and spill all your parts everywhere.

I only put the parts I use the most like

  • screws in various lengths (T-25 star head in lengths 1-1/4″, 1-5/8″, 2″, 2-1/2″, 3″)
  • drywall screws
  • various metal screws shorter than 1-1/4″
  • zip ties
  • metal washers
  • Wago wire connectors (better than wire nuts)
  • plastic wire clamps in 3 different sizes
  • plastic ribbed drywall anchors
  • rubber bands
  • etc

For small or few items, I put them in 4 mil 4″ x 6″ clear zip lock bags.

Using a label maker, I label the screws by length.

For the plastic basket, I use this for long items like the 2′ long level and for items specific to a particular task, e.g. if I’m building a new fence, I put string, plumb level tool, knee pads, etc.

In the toolbox below, I put various small tools grouped by category in 12″ x 12″ 6 Mil Zip Lock clear bags. These are relatively thick plastic bags so they don’t puncture easily. In the tray, I put things that don’t fit into the other categories, e.g. because they are too long. The categories of items are

  • electrical (wire stripper, multimeter, outlet tester, voltage sensor, voltage tester, small pliers)
  • reciprocating saw blades
  • writing (pencils, markers, pencil sharpener, eraser, pen)
  • cutting (scissors, tin snips, utility knife, pvc pipe cutter)
  • gloves
  • various sizes of flathead screwdrivers
  • various sizes of philips screwdrivers
  • socket set and socket adapters
  • various sizes of chisels
  • various sizes of hex keys
  • measuring tools (hard tape measure, laser distance measure, angle measuring tool, soft tape measure)
  • various drill / driver specialty bits
  • various angle grinder blades and attachments
  • various mini circular saw blades
  • stud finders (magnetic, electrical)
  • various oscillating tool attachments
  • various wrenches

The bottom-most box that has the wheels is used for power tools and a few other tools.

  • hammer
  • sledge hammer
  • rubber mallet
  • paint stirrer
  • drill
  • driver
  • reciprocating saw
  • oscillating tool
  • angle grinder
  • orbital sander
  • mini circular saw
  • jig saw
  • clamps