Whether you’re a professional handyman or you just do the occasional bit of handy work here and there, it’s always useful to have a secure way to store and transport tools. Installing one of the best truck tool boxes in your vehicle gives you an enclosed place in which to keep tools organized and protected from both the elements and unwanted interest.
The best truck tool boxes are versatile enough to be installed onto or under a truck’s bed — or even in trailers, ATVs and your garage. However, there are also tool boxes designed specifically for certain truck beds. These often come with pre-drilled holes for easy mounting and provide a more tailored and user-friendly experience.
How to Install Truck Tool Boxes
While the exact steps for installing an individual tool box may vary, the overall process remains the same. Here’s an overview of the key steps for installing a truck tool box, along with what to look out for to avoid incorrect fitting.
1. Find a Compatible Tool Box
Begin by measuring your available space and researching which tool box style is compatible. Examples include crossbed boxes that span across the whole truck bed and underbody boxes that sit underneath vehicles. Important elements to consider include size, style, color and price.
2. Install a Protective Barrier
Because the majority of truck tool boxes are made from metal, installing one without a protective barrier can lead to unsightly damage or unpleasant metal-on-metal sounds when you’re in transit. While some tool boxes may be supplied with what you need, this is not always the case. Luckily, suitable foam or rubber is widely available. To install it, simply measure the base of your box or every place where metal and metal will meet. Cut out each piece and put it in place when you fit the tool box.
3. Install the Truck Tool Box
How you install your truck box will likely depend on one key factor: whether you want to drill into your truck bed or not. Some options allow for both methods. Remember to check what installation hardware is included with your truck tool box before committing to your installation process. Here’s a quick overview of each option:
- Without Drilling: A lot of newer trucks come with pre-drilled holes to make the installation process easier. If this is the case, simply remove the plugs from the holes and line everything up. Once in place, use nuts and bolts or J-hooks to secure your tool box. Ensure you sufficiently tighten your fixtures without over-tightening, as this may cause damage to your rails. Or consider using a set of no-drill mounts, which clip around your truck rails to provide a solid anchor point.
- Drilling: You’ll need a powerful drill and correctly sized metal drill bit. Measure the holes required and mark them up on your truck rails or bed. One handy tip is to use the truck tool box to mark where to drill each hole to help prevent incorrect marking. Once ready, drill the holes, place the tool box over the holes and secure it in place using nuts and bolts or J-hooks.
4. Test Your Tool Box
After installing your protective barrier and tightening the relative fixtures, it’s time to check that the tool box is sitting correctly and capable of doing everything it should be able to. Begin by checking that the box is securely attached to your truck bed. Then open and close the lid to ensure its opens fully and there are no hidden obstructions. Once complete, you can fill the box with your tools and other belongings.
Below, find SPY’s top 10 picks for the best truck tool boxes. We’ve included a wide range of options to ensure there’s something to suit every kind of truck bed and a range of other vehicle types, too.
1. Husky Diamond Plate Crossbed Truck Tool Box
This Husky Diamond Plate Crossbed Truck Tool Box provides 7.3 cubic feet of storage space inside its fully welded aluminum construction. The low-profile, crossbed-style tool box includes a range of handy features, including a keyed entry, rubber seals to protect from the elements and dual gas struts for easy opening. It’s also compatible with most full-size trucks and comes with all the necessary installation hardware and a no-drill mounting kit. Plus, you can choose between black or silver.
2. Plano Storage Trunk
This Plano Storage Trunk is a great option for anyone needing a place to store easy-to-transport tools. The box comes in a range of different sizes and features a reinforced removable lid. The design also includes locking handles, grooves for easy stacking and, in the case of the largest available trunk, built-in wheels. Additionally, the high-impact plastic construction provides impressive durability.
3. ARKSEN Heavy Duty Aluminum Tool Box
The ARKSEN Heavy Duty Tool Box is great for trucks, trailers and RVs, and is truly built to last. It’s constructed from aluminum with a diamond tread pattern for greater durability and aesthetic appeal. The top-opening box also features a stainless steel security lock as well as stainless steel handles that make carrying the box more comfortable. The high-quality construction and tight seals ensure moisture and water stay away from your tools. Plus, users can choose from black or silver and a 20- or 30-inch size.
4. UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box
Thanks to its swinging design, this UnderCover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box is one of the most user-friendly options on our list. Rather than having to scale your truck bed or reach over the top, this box’s smart swinging action lets you rotate it to gain full access from the tailgate. The box also sports a key-lockable lid, includes a gridded tray for easier organizing and features a moisture seal to ensure the box’s contents are protected from the weather. In addition, the large storage space and convenient design make this an appealing option to multiple groups, including handymen, fishermen and hunters.
5. ARKSEN Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box
With its durable construction, stainless steel security lock and wide range of sizes, this ARKSEN Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box is built for a lifetime of use and offers plenty of mounting versatility. The underbody addition can be used on trucks, RVs, ATVs, trailers, pickups and several other in-vehicle locations. The design also includes a chain-linked door to prevent excessive opening and comes in your choice of black or silver.
6. Brait BR302 Aluminum Tool Box
The Brait BR302 Aluminum Tool Box is another versatile option that can be mounted on a range of different vehicles, including trucks, pickups, trailers and RVs. The box measures 30 by 13 inches to provide plenty of storage space for your everyday tools. It’s also available in black or silver and comes with or without side handles. For better protection from the elements, this aluminum tread plate box features a weather seal and T-bar lock to keep out sand, dirt and unwanted hands.
7. Lund Diamond Plate Crossbed Truck Tool Box
If you’re looking for a crossbed-style box for storing your tools, consider this Lund Diamond Plate Crossbed Truck Tool Box. It’s impressively durable, thanks to its thick, diamond-plate aluminum construction and hand-welded seams. It also comes in either mid-size or full and features an abrasion- and corrosion-resistant finish to further add to its durability. The offset lid provides a full, 90-degree opening, while the weatherproof gasket and adjustable strikers help keep the elements at bay.
8. Better Built Crown Series 2-Lid Crossover Truck Tool Box
BEST DUAL LID
If you like the idea of being able to organize your tools into different sections of your tool box, this Better Built Crown Series 2-Lid Crossover Truck Tool Box could work for you. This “gull-wing” box features two lids and easy access to tools from either side of your vehicle. It’s made from a durable diamond tread plate aluminum that’s resistant to rust. You’ll also find a handy five-pocket organizational tray to further organize your belongings. Auto-lift, self-rising shocks make opening the lids simple while locks on either end prevent unwelcome intrusion.
9. Buyers Products Steel Underbody Truck Box
BEST SIZE RANGE
We’re confident there’s a Buyers Products Steel Underbody Truck Box to fit in almost any space you can find on your truck, RV or pickup. Boxes range from 14 to 24 inches across and are made from durable, powder-coated steel. The full-face, drop-down door provides easy access to all of your tools while aircraft-grade door cables prevent over opening. You’ll also find a T-handle locking latch and a gasket seal to provide extra security and protection.