Retrieving your tools quickly can be more efficient with a quality slide out toolbox that safely stores your essentials and is fitted perfectly for the bed of your truck. Whether they’re your tools for everyday work or the occasional repair job, nothing beats having reliable access to your tools while out on the road.
The best slide out toolboxes for truck beds are size-appropriate to your bed space and can be swiftly reached without damaging your truck’s interior or the tools. The most durable option is the Undercover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box SC205P, known for its key-lock function and low cost.
To locate the ideal slide out toolbox that accommodates your truck’s bed size and tool-storage needs and find out our top picks for the products that offer maximum compatibility and durability for your truck, read on.
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Table of Contents
Not all truck toolboxes are designed the same, and many are made from different materials that offer varying levels of strength, protection, and support. The experts at Home Stratosphere have identified 12 different types of truck tool boxes. Still, we’re going to focus primarily on the wheel well design and, more specifically, the L-shaped design, as it offers the sliding mechanism needed for rapid tool access.
Another practical design includes the narrower, free-standing storage chests placed loosely on the truck’s insides but can be mounted to reduce rolling and swaying, offering more storage if you wish to combine them with L-shaped wheel wells or prefer their style.
Why Design Matters
The design of your anticipated toolbox is ultimately what makes it more convenient and efficient for your intended use. When truck toolboxes require climbing into the bed to retrieve tools, they can sometimes become a hassle if you’re always reaching for the items you use most or spending extra time rummaging to find what you need.
We appreciate the L-shaped design for toolboxes because they’re situated over the truck’s back wheels and securely fitted into place to achieve the sliding out mechanism. Most wheel well toolboxes come with the hardware to mount them into the wheel’s arch, allowing you to open them abruptly from standing on the side of the truck or swing them out speedily to unlock them from the back-end of the truck’s bed.
The more ways to open your truck’s toolbox means more convenience and accessibility when you’re commencing or in the middle of a project. Unlike other toolbox designs, the wheel well L-shaped design offers the desired movability needed to slide out the toolbox from the truck bed.
Once you’ve decided on your desired toolbox’s design and shape, you’ll then need to consider the materials they’re made from and whether or not they fulfill your durability needs. Most truck toolboxes are composed of hard plastics, aluminum, or stainless steel.
While these materials can withstand moisture, heat, and freezing temperatures, it’s crucial to map out how often your toolbox will be exposed to such conditions so you can invest wisely and for long-term results.
How frequently you use your tools and the weight of the tools you’re storing also play a role in choosing the right toolbox material since plastic can eventually crack with heavy impact. Aluminum and stainless steel can hold more weight and resist most elements but eventually succumb to discoloration over time.
If you plan on using your toolbox regularly for work-related projects or your construction hobbies, metal toolboxes will likely offer more reliable support when compared to plastic ones. The occasional use of tools, but carried for convenience, is more suited for plastic toolboxes.
When shopping around for your next slide out truck toolbox, you may also need to think about what price point you’re comfortable with since most toolboxes can bear hefty price tags due to their size, composite material, and durability.
You’ll find that plastic toolboxes are more budget-friendly, while the metals have higher costs to balance out their longevity. This isn’t to say that you wouldn’t get reliable and long-term use out of a plastic toolbox, but you may find that the tools’ weight and usage frequency are more compatible with metal toolboxes.
Before purchasing a new toolbox, consider setting a budget and planning how much storage you will need.
Benefits of Slide out Toolboxes
While you’re still deciphering which type of toolbox you require, you might also be wondering why the slide out mechanism is the most desirable for quick jobs, fast workers, and offers the most accessibility to your tools.
Regardless of which material, design, or brand you choose, the ability to reach for your needed tools with minimal effort saves you time, energy, and helps get the job done more efficiently.
Some of the other benefits of slide out toolboxes include:
- Protecting tools and valuable items relative to your work or hobby
- Preparedness while out on a job site or the road
- Fits securely into your truck bed and doesn’t take up too much space
- Easy to access from various angles
- Wider overhead clearance
- Can move effortlessly without scratching the truck bed
- Compiles all tools in a secure location
- Can prevent tool theft, damages, and misplaced tools
By keeping your tools in a truck toolbox, and a slide out one at that, you can make any job you take on easier to tackle and more efficient, without struggling to get your hands on the items you use most or require often.
Most truck toolboxes are packaged with security locks and organizers inside of the toolboxes that enable you to close them up, open them promptly, and arrange your tools in a way that makes it simple to find what you need and when you need them.
When you combine the security locks with the durable material that the toolbox is made from, you’ll feel great about storing your supply of tools in the toolbox and knowing they’re kept safely intact. They have preventative measures to deter others from stealing or using your tools without your consent.
Many of the slide out toolboxes are also compatible with a wide range of truck makes and models, giving you the flexibility to choose the one you like and knowing it’ll accommodate your truck’s size.
Optimizing Your Truck’s Toolbox
By considering your truck’s use, you can narrow down your options further and select the best toolbox that enhances the general use of your tools and how you’ll store them in your vehicle. For some, using a full set of tools is needed regularly to complete work projects. In contrast, others may take comfort in carrying their favorite tools in case of emergency or when the opportunity arises to use them.
Not only is a truck toolbox installed for efficiency purposes, but it saves space from storing your tools elsewhere and reduces damages that can be caused by traditional toolboxes moving or shifting around in the back of the truck.
If you use your truck for heavy-duty building or maintenance work, you’ll want a toolbox that allows you to access your most essential tools in an instant. You’ll also need one that can be accessed while standing at the edge or side of your truck, so you don’t find yourself climbing into the truck repeatedly to retrieve your tools.
Perhaps your truck is shared by a team of your coworkers, and you all utilize your truck’s bed to access a range of tools at different times and to complete various projects. If this is the case, you’ll want to consider toolboxes that are affixed to both sides of your wheel wells and can hold more storage. They allow you and your colleagues to simultaneously access the tools without taking out the toolboxes or waiting for one person to finish first.
Slide out toolboxes are also especially helpful if your work or business truck has trailer hatches or attachments that prevent front-facing access to the toolbox, and you instead need to open it from the sides.
If you use your truck for recreational activities, such as around the garden or to accompany your outdoor hobbies, you’ll probably want a truck toolbox that’s big enough to hold your favorite tools. Recreationally-used tools may not always require the same standard of heavy-duty protection that work tools do, but protecting your recreational tools has never been easier, especially with the slide out toolboxes that offer top-level protection.
Types of Tools
Think about the types of tools you plan on carrying in the back of your truck. How large are your tools, and can they be stored in the new toolbox without moving around, shifting, or damaging other tools? Do any of your tools have sharp edges that need to be covered?
These are all questions to ask yourself when searching for the perfect slide out toolbox for your truck bed, as they’ll help you limit which toolboxes are practical for the types of tools you plan to carry.
Slide out toolboxes are typically well-suited for many handheld tools such as hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers. If you wish to store more extensive tools, such as axes, ladders, or sledgehammers, you’ll want to opt for an increased toolbox size.
It should also be noted that truck toolboxes are not just meant for one type of tool, as you can securely fit other smaller tools into them as well, such as gardening tools, car tools, and different kinds of household repair tools.
Finding the Right Measurements
Before venturing out to choose just any toolbox that looks like it’ll fit, you’ll instead need to search for a toolbox that is suitable for your truck’s bed size. To determine the right size, you’ll need to measure your truck’s bed and its wheel arch if you’re set on a wheel well toolbox. This includes the height and width of the arch and the distance between the arch and the end of the truck bed.
Every trucks’ beds and wheel arches have different sizes, and even trucks made by the same manufacturer can have varying styles as they progress in models.
Measuring your truck’s bed will enable you to buy efficiently and help you plan around how much space your toolbox will take up, if it’ll securely fit over the wheel’s arch, and if it can adequately store the tools you’ve purchased it for.
The primary purpose of purchasing a truck bed toolbox is to keep your frequently-used tools nearby when you need them most. This also means keeping them safe and secure and from shifting around in the back of your truck.
Therefore, choosing a toolbox for your truck means closely examining the locks, sealing ability, and security that the toolbox can offer to your tools’ protection. You wouldn’t want strangers to be able to access your essential tools while your vehicle is unattended, so make sure your truck’s toolbox has security precautions in place.
Most toolboxes come with their fasteners and locks built-in to the toolbox. The locks can range from traditional turn locks to key locks. By themselves, these are usually secure enough to offer protection from others and prevent your tools from moving around while driving.
If you wish to add further reinforcements, consider padlocks that require a coded or key entry that only you have access to. This prevents others from being able to pry at the lock and freely access your tools.
Having double locks on your toolbox can sometimes be more time-consuming when you’re in a hurry, but it is a safer way to prevent others from trying to open your toolbox. The slide out mechanism also provides that extra layer of convenience, even if you have double lock features.
When choosing your truck bed’s toolbox, think about investing in a material that can combat the various weather conditions it will likely be exposed to, including rain and snow. You’ll want strong material that doesn’t succumb to damages easily and is simple to maintain for the duration of its use. As we mentioned before, plastic is relatively durable but lacks longevity and strength compared to its metal counterparts.
Aluminum and stainless steel, however, can resist corrosion and are easy to clean by using specialty cleansers or a soft cloth and warm water to remove residue.
The main downfall is that enough exposure to fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions can eventually cause your aluminum or stainless steel toolbox to change in color, which can be problematic if you’re adamant about the aesthetics of your toolbox as well.
With these considerations in mind, we suggest looking at aluminum toolboxes with powder coatings for optimal results because of the metal’s ability to combat corrosion and rust, and the extra layer of protection in the coating. They’re able to offer you long-term service and without failing due to weather damages.
High-quality toolboxes are meant to give you years of support and durability. Whether it’s a toolbox for your preferred tools or ones needed for your job, a toolbox that can’t provide durability won’t protect your tools to an adequate standard.
Opening up your toolbox and grabbing tools that are dry, comfortable to the touch, and still in prime condition will make completing your job more efficient and comfortable. A solid toolbox can prolong your tools’ condition and prevent rusting, moisture build-up from the rain, and overheating or freezing as a result of improper coverage.
Durable toolboxes with security features also hinder internal toolbox shifting while driving and hold the tools in place to prevent damages to other tools or the truck bed. The hardware used to mount your toolbox enables you to navigate any weather conditions, go at speed, and trail over large bumps and into deep potholes, all without the toolbox coming loose or opening up to expose your valuables.
Any time you’re considering a large investment, like a truck bed toolbox, you’ll ideally want one that’s exceptionally durable and is simple to install. Some toolboxes require drilling and purchasing extra tools to make them compatible with your truck, but the slide out toolboxes usually include the hardware needed to install them correctly in your truck.
Although you could leave the toolbox unattached in your truck’s bed, it likely won’t offer the same level of security as it would when mounted. For this reason, we’ve selected the top toolboxes that deliver the slide out the mechanism you need, the convenience you deserve, and the simplicity you expect when purchasing a new toolbox for your truck bed.
Most Convenient: Undercover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box SC205P
Rated as one of the top choices for wheel well toolboxes, the Undercover SwingCase is the original wheel-mounted toolbox that offers long-lasting protection to your tools and is accessible from the side or back of your truck. With an opening at the top and an interlocking mechanism, you can trust your tools won’t shift or move while in this toolbox, no matter where your adventure takes you.
It also provides adequate clearance and won’t disrupt your visibility when out on the road. Since it locks into your wheel well, it’ll blend in perfectly with your truck bed and give you the extra space needed to store other items in your truck bed. It’s designed with a key-lock function, so keeping your tools safe is quick and straightforward.
The toolbox ensures all-around protection, especially for those just beginning to take their tools along with them for the ride. It’s practical and doesn’t cost too much, making it a no-brainer for your tool storage needs.
Most Affordable: Nilight Truck Bed Storage Box, Lockable Wheel Well Truck Toolbox for 2015-2019 F150
With a similar wheel well locking design, the Nilight truck bed toolbox is ideal for those on a budget that want equal amounts of durability and value without compromise. The toolbox opens from the top with access to tools and contains an extra storage compartment on the sides for your smaller tools, such as nuts and bolts.
Made from thick plastic and with an industrial design, this toolbox offers the best of both worlds – generous support and without having to break the bank for quality. It’s easy to open and store your treasured tools, so you can mindlessly drop them in after a project and retrieve them later, knowing they’ve still been protected.
Although it may look a little bulky, it is light-weight and durable enough to store some of your most prized tools. Its deep side ridges can also deter impact if you’ve thrown other items in your truck bed that are prone to shifting while driving.
Appreciated for its sleek design and slim build, this UWS aluminum toolbox offers refined beauty and sturdy metal layers that you can count on. Built with solid aluminum, this toolbox allows you to take your truck out on the road, in any weather conditions, and without posing a threat to the integrity of your tools.
Since aluminum is rust-resistant, it’s a fantastic material that gets you years of service with minimal worry or maintenance. It can also prevent water damages and UV rays from penetrating your cherished tools and altering their structural strength.
It has an easy-to-lift handle that unbuckles quickly and locks back into place when the lid is closed. Its minimalist design is flexible to match with if you plan to purchase more toolboxes fitted throughout your truck bed’s entire interiors.
Best Value: Speedmotor Lockable Truck Bed Storage Swing Cases for Ford F250, F350 Super Duty 2017-2020
For an affordable price, you can get a set of handy and durable truck toolboxes that are fitted to each side of your truck’s bed and mounted over the wheels. This duo of toolboxes offers the same generous support you would expect from one toolbox, but gives you double the storage space and convenience, allowing you to store more tools for less.
These toolboxes are quick to install and don’t require any extra hardware to do so, making them perfect for those in a hurry and with a large selection of tools to store. They provide adequate clearance allowing you to see out the back of your mirrors without the toolboxes blocking the view. The mounting mechanism lets you lock them in place to avoid tumbling or tilting while driving.
Having double the space to store your tools means you don’t have to pick and choose which tools are your favorite; with these duo toolboxes, you’ll have room for them all!
The DU-HA portable storage toolbox provides a unique design that differs significantly from the other toolboxes mentioned. It’s not mounted at all and can easily slide underneath seats and into the back of your truck bed. The toolbox has the best sliding capacity, as it comes on wheels and can be maneuvered around your truck quickly.
This toolbox is built with thick and robust plastic and comes with interior storage compartments that allow you to organize and separate your tools accordingly. You can also stack and place them to fit more in and maximize your storage space. With handlebars on the side of the toolbox, it’s easy to grab it from the backside and slide it out, as well as push it back into place.
The narrow design means the toolbox won’t take up too much space underneath truck seats or in your truck bed, giving you more room for other storage.
Furthermore, the toolbox comes with hardware that allows you to brace them into the back of your truck bed to avoid rolling while driving. The thin design encourages storage for tools with longer handles.
Best Overall: DeeZee DZ95B Gloss Black Wheel Well Tool Box
We saved the best for last because the DeeZee Gloss Black Wheel Well performs impeccably and comprises all of the necessary features you need when looking for a slide out truck bed toolbox. With a refined design, it’s aesthetically-pleasing and blends in naturally with your truck bed’s interiors.
Consisting of heavy-duty aluminum, with lots of storage, at a medium-range price, you can trust that this toolbox will deliver high-quality results and protection to your tools for many years to come. It’s efficient and offers the sliding accessibility you’re looking for in a premium toolbox to save you time and energy.
It’s designed to be mounted over the right side of your truck bed and can be accessed from the side of the truck or by opening up the truck bed’s hatch and swinging it from the edge.
Like other toolboxes, it comes with a locking mechanism on top of the lid that allows for closing and opening as needed. You have the option to store tools horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference and the tools you’re holding.
Finding the best slide out toolbox for your truck bed doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially when you’ve got other projects to tackle and places to be. Our recommendations of slide out toolboxes for your truck bed have taken into account the necessary features required for a toolbox to adequately add more convenience and comfort to your truck, all while simultaneously protecting your tools.
Now that you’re aware of the top contenders, you can choose the slide out toolbox that works for you and makes accessing your tools a breeze.