Truck toolboxes are a reliable, secure means of protecting your tools and other items while on the road. They are beneficial in extremely cold, rainy, or snowy climates to prevent your instruments from rusting, so what are some of the best options on the market?
The best 12-inch wide truck toolbox is the Buyers Products 1703150 Black Steel Underbody. It meets all the criteria for the ideal toolbox, including security, weather resistance, and durability. The toolbox comes in different dimensions and can fit most truck models.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know before purchasing a toolbox for your vehicle. I’ll also discuss our top 3 picks that most truck owners will love.
We’re an affiliate
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!
Table of Contents
What To Look for When Buying a Truck Tool Box
Before heading to the store to buy the toolbox you’ve set your eyes on, research these five features:
Firstly, you’ll need to know what size toolbox will fit your truck. Here’s how to get the correct measurements for your toolbox:
- Measure the inside dimensions of the bulkhead from top to bottom. This will help you determine the depth or width of your toolbox.
- Determine how far away the bulkhead is from the wheel well. Use this measurement to choose the length of the box.
- Check the inside dimensions of the bulkhead from left to right. The resulting number will determine the height of your toolbox.
Every truck model is unique, and you may not find a toolbox that matches your truck’s exact dimensions. In those cases, it’s always best to scale down a few inches.
Knowing what you’ll store inside your toolbox will help you decide how secure it needs to be. Most people will keep their tools together with other valuables like gear, armory, or protective clothing. If you plan on doing this, safety is your primary need for a toolbox.
Choose a box with strong padlocks, heavy-duty lids, and sturdy latches.
If you are not inside a store to test these features, check the customer reviews of a product to confirm that it can meet these standards.
On the other hand, if you only plan on keeping tools inside your box, you can ignore some security features. Above all, always choose a toolbox that can be locked.
Toolboxes for trucks are available in three main styles:
The crossover box (also called a saddle box) has two significant advantages over other styles of toolboxes:
- Extra space at the bottom
- Versatile mounting options
The gap between the bed floor and the toolbox is usually the ideal size for long, slender stems. Therefore you can store wood, pipes, and even mattresses right under your toolbox, so these items don’t have to extend outside the back of your truck.
In addition to this, crossover boxes fit a wide range of trucks. Instead of being placed on the floor, these boxes will sit on the bed rails. So if you’re not entirely sure which style to get for your specific truck, a crossover box is always the best choice.
A side-mount toolbox is smaller than both the crossover and chest style. It fits perfectly on the side of your truck bed.
A side-mount box is exceptionally convenient. In contrast to the crossover container, you can access all your tools and gear immediately after opening your trunk.
Plus, most trucks can store up to two side-mount containers for extra storage.
I recommend these for anyone with bad knees who will find it uncomfortable to walk to the back of their truck each time they need to get a new tool.
The chest style toolbox sits on the truck’s bed. These boxes have the appearance of the usual treasure chest or jewelry box, hence the name.
The greatest asset that chest tool boxes offer is that they can be covered easily for extra protection from the elements. A tonneau cover can fit effortlessly over these containers, so there’s no need to leave your truck bed exposed while driving.
For persons that have to deal with heavy rain or snow, this is the toolbox that would best suit you.
There are special toolbox features you should pay attention to if you live where it snows frequently.
In general, modern toolboxes can keep away the rain. Therefore, this should not be a concern during your decision making.
The durability of your toolbox will depend on its material.
Generally, manufacturers make toolboxes out of:
- Stainless steel
Plastic toolboxes are the least durable but the most affordable. Some plastic tool boxes are weather-proof, but they cannot entirely keep out rain, sand, or snow in most cases.
If you pick a toolbox made from plastic, ensure that it’s ABS plastic. These last the longest and are the most sturdy.
In contrast, containers made from aluminum and stainless steel last a long time. They are fully weather-proof. Although some steel models may rust over time, this is not common. These materials are superior in durability but consider that they are much heavier than a plastic toolbox.
Our Top Picks for 12 Inch Wide Truck Toolboxes
Our top picks are all crossover boxes because they can satisfy the needs of any truck owner:
- Best Budget Option: ARKSEN 20″ Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box
- Best Overall Option: Buyers Products 1703150 Black Steel Underbody Truck Box w/ Paddle Latch
- Best in Durability: Buyers Products Diamond Tread Aluminum Underbody Truck Box w/T-Handle Compression Latch
Best Budget Option: ARKSEN 20″ Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box
The Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box from Arksen will keep tools and valuables safe without sacrificing floor space.
The aluminum material promises stability and endurance. The durability is reinforced by the diamond thread pattern guaranteeing at least one year or more of use from this toolbox.
Regarding security, this toolbox has a sturdy built-in lock made of stainless steel.
Additionally, this toolbox is easy to open and does not require you to struggle to access your tools. The quick-release lid pops up immediately after you unlock it.
Bottom line: I highly recommend the Arksen toolbox for truck owners looking for a convenient, affordable toolbox. It is incredibly secure and will protect your valuables from thieves and harsh weather.
- Rust-resistant. The aluminum door and hinges prevent rusting and corrosion.
- Full access to the whole box. The foldable door allows you to access the entire container so you can utilize the full width.
- All-purpose. This toolbox is ideal for trucks but can be kept in your home with no problem.
- Heavy. The toolbox is challenging to transport.
The Buyers Products Steel Underbody Truck Box is a professional grade toolbox made of 14 gauge (2.0 mm) steel. This incredibly thick design is built for endurance and will stay strong even in the harshest weather conditions.
The diamond-cut steel adds to its weather resistance, making the box perfect for various weather changes.
It has aircraft-grade cables that are strong enough to resist popping after years of use.
For extra security, the manufacturers included a compression latch system that will only open at your command.
These units are structurally capable of lasting for a lifetime and will benefit you the most in the long run.
Bottom line: If you’re only going to purchase a toolbox once, this should be the one. It is the most secure and sturdy box on the list. I recommend it because it will stay strong in extreme snow or rain while keeping your gear and instruments safe.
- Watertight. Rain will never seep into this type of container, so your tools are safe from the elements.
- Expert-grade. For truck owners who need a sturdy toolbox in the field and on their trucks, this is the ideal option.
- Extremely heavy. The durability features come with a cost, and this toolbox is tough for a single person to lift when it’s full.
Best in Durability: Buyers Products Diamond Tread Aluminum Underbody Truck Box w/T-Handle Compression Latch
The Buyers Product Diamond Tread Underbody Truck Box is tough with a locking, die-cast latch system to keep thieves at bay.
Also, the .100 inch (2.54 mm) thick aluminum design makes it one of the thickest toolboxes you can find. With this thickness, you can expect this box to hold up in extreme snowstorms, heavy rain showers, and sand storms.
Plus, you can travel anywhere with this toolbox, including the beach. The aluminum material makes it rust-resistant to the corrosive effects of saltwater and beach air.
Bottom line: When it comes to durability, this container is the absolute best. I recommend it for persons living in harsh weather conditions looking for a toolbox that can stay strong regardless of location.
- Dependable. You will never have to worry about your container deteriorating due to climate change.
- Recessed door drop. When closed, the unit seals fully to keep out almost anything.
- Difficult to transport. The heavy-weight design is made for trucks only, so this is not ideal if you need a toolbox to carry around on construction sites.
After taking safety, durability, weather resistance, and style into consideration, I recommend the Buyer’s Products Steel Underbody Truck Box for most truck owners. You will get years of use out of its durable design.
For anyone looking for a more affordable option who does not want to sacrifice security, the Aluminum Diamond Plate Tool Box from Arksen is the most budget-friendly option.
However, neither can outperform the weather resistance of the Buyer’s Products Diamond Tread Underbody Truck Box. Therefore, these are best for people in usually snowy or rainy areas.
- Arksen: Home Page
- Asking Lot: What Is A Bulkhead In A Truck?
- Car Bibles: The Best Truck Tool Box (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020
- Family Handyman: Best Tool Boxes For Trucks: How To Decide Which To Buy
- Go Share: The Best Truck Toolboxes For Your Pickup Truck
- The Engine Block: Helpful Tips For Selecting The Right Toolbox For Your Truck
- Wikipedia: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
- Wikipedia: Die Casting
- Wikipedia: Padlock