June 2010: Toolbox


Now that you’ve collected some must-have D.I.Y. home improvement tools from all the good advice you’ve garnered from Toolbox, you need somewhere to put them: a toolbox, of course! As per usual, the hardware store is filled with more options than are necessary. The old standby is the classic wooden tool caddy. With its small, open design and easy grip, the simple caddy is a good choice if your arsenal consists of some screwdrivers, a hammer and a few other basics. 


If you’ve collected a larger assortment of tools, including various types of nails, screws and fasteners, you’ll probably want a larger tackle box-type design. You can find these in various sizes and made either of metal or heavy plastic. Accordion-style versions with numerous decks and compartments will allow you to organize and separate lots of home improvement bits and bobbles. This type of tote can be closed and locked to protect your tools from the elements as well as neighbors covetous of your new Snap-on socket wrench.  

Personally, as many of my tool sets came with their own organizing cases, I opted for a third type of tool organizer: the bucket-belt combo. Here, a fabric organizer similar to a tool belt is made to fit around a five-gallon bucket (typically purchased separately). Loose tools are visible and accessible in the pockets around the bucket, and the bucket’s interior can be used to hold larger tools, tool cases or other project implements, such as rags and cleaning supplies or sandpaper and drop cloths. The downside of the bucket is that because it holds so much, it can get quite heavy and hard to move around. I’m often emptying some contents before carrying the bucket off to the room where I’m working.—Katherine Ludwig