Toolbox Frequently Asked Questions
Why does buying a toolbox have to be so difficult?
Boxes are by definition, one type of closable container to hold stuff in, but boxes are diverse by nature (including a toolbox). The contents and the location in which the boxes are placed vary. Additionally when you take the final appearance and durability into account the type of material and the method of construction impact on the final product.
This infinite choice needs to be whittled a bit to arrive at the box you need, and this process is why buying a box is sometimes so difficult.
Steel rusts, even when painted, paint chips and steel rusts. Zinc plated steel boxes will generally leak water. Wooden boxes are heavy if strong and break easily when they aren’t. They can also be difficult to keep dry. Aluminium boxes when fully welded will seal against the weather and they don’t rust.
What type of aluminium alloy is designed for toolbox manufacture?
Many boxes are made from aluminium alloy because this material does not need to be painted and will not rust. A number of aluminium alloy types are available, some are better suited for aerospace, some for construction, some for boats and road tankers, and some for gutters. The thickness or gauge of the material as well as the alloy type contributes to the material strength. A surface texture may provide a non slip surface or assist in hiding many of the scratches and dings that prematurely age a box.
No alloy is specially made for any one type of box, it is one of the other alloy types that is re-purposed for this application.
A box manufacturer selects the alloy type on the basis of customer needs, price, strength and workability. As most customers don’t seem to know or care about the different alloys, it means most tool box manufacturers select an alloy based on workability and price. The easiest to work and cheapest alloy is the type designed for gutters.
When a customer places a premium on their toolbox possessing strength and durability, then a box manufacturer is more inclined to use the alloy type used for boats or road tankers.
Why do some companies charge more or less than others for similar sized toolboxes?
The two extremes are mostly summed up by the intent for which the box is made.
Custom manufacturing starts with the premise that from the one set of basic dimensions, a box can be made an infinite number of ways. The goal is to make the best possible box. Meeting the customers specific requirement is paramount, price is less important.
A stock box manufacturer, has a limited number of products that are made in a very small number of ways. The goal is to make the lowest cost box, fitness for purpose, is secondary.
Is the toolbox made for the customer or is it made for the manufacturer. Iff it better suits the manufacturer then the box is cheaper. If it better suits the customer then the box is more expensive. Toolbox manufacturers are companies run by people, some of those people are driven by pride and some by greed. Most have combinations of the two with a couple of other factors thrown in. ( Some are just better at what they do, they have more ability. That ability can be designing, sourcing, making or selling the toolbox to you, even selling the wrong toolbox to you.)