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How to Pick a Truck Bed Tool Box

What are the most important things to look for when selecting a tool box for your truck? In this article we’ll run down the most important things to look for when selecting a tool box for your truck.

From determining its composition to keeping your tools organized, we’ll help you figure out the truck bed tool box that’s right for you. Or if you’re still not convinced, we’ll even help you make your own!

1.  Storage Capacity

truck bed tool box storage

First and foremost that you should consider in buying your truck bed tool box is its storage capacity. This depends on how many tools or other important items you’ll be carrying. If you’re a repairman, who never leaves home without pliers, nails, cables or other smaller valuables, a truck bed tool box with a small storage capacity will suffice. If you’re in the towing or construction business, wherein carrying more than a winch and goggles is necessary, you need a truck bed tool box with a big storage area.

To give you an idea, storage capacities are measured in cubic feet. There are those which can be about 9 cubic feet but others can go for 13 cubic feet and above. Determining your truck bed tool box’s storage capacity also helps you properly put your valuables in place to avoid either overloading it or letting your tools unnecessarily rattle inside it. And when it comes to organization, you may also want to choose from those which have side pockets, sockets, or trays to put your valuables, based on color, size, etc.

2.  Material

truck bed tool box material 2

As mentioned in a previous article, truck bed tool boxes are usually made from three different materials; plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel. While plastic is the most widely used and known to be the lightest, it lacks the durability that’s present in its other counterparts. Then, there’s aluminum with the diamond-plate pattern. Not only is it famous for its attractiveness but also for its non-rusting component. But if you’re after the extreme kind of protection for your valuables, you’ll never go wrong with a truck bed tool box that’s made from stainless steel. Although the problem with it is it can be very expensive because it’s rarely used for tool box production.

However, bear in mind that there are other important components present in a truck bed tool box. These include hinges and struts. Hinges help you conveniently open and close a truck bed tool box because they serve as connectors between the cover and the main body. On the contrary, struts serve as blocks that prevent truck bed tool boxes from completely closing shut that may render you unable of opening them. Take note, only heavy-duty truck bed tool boxes have a special, continuous hinge design and a set of integrated guards on struts for easy lifting and impact protection.

3.  Type

truck bed tool box type 2

The type of truck bed tool box is also worth considering. If you’re having second thoughts as to how you’ll figure which one’s right for you, identify how you need to install your truck bed tool box. This is because the type of truck bed tool box relies on its mounting style. For example, when you’re fully aware that your truck bed is almost always filled with all sorts of stuff but you still have to find a special place for your valuables, a side tool box should be just fine. This is because you can put it on either side of your truck without consuming too much space. In fact, it even gives a room for another one of its kind.

If you hate the idea of leaving a huge pile of valuables moving on your truck bed during a ride, you can choose the traditional crossover tool box. It plainly fits at the back of your cab with a generous storage capacity, yet still gives a reasonable amount of ground clearance. It isn’t very tall too, which means it won’t get in the way of your driver’s view, and that you won’t risk exposing yourself to road accidents.     

4.  Security Features

truck bed tool box security

The valuables that you put in your truck bed tool box may not necessarily be money but are still a result of long-term investment. Tools aren’t cheap, can take years of getting used to and can be costly as a collection. Because of this, you have to make sure you won’t accidentally lose your tools or give thieves a chance to steal them by getting a truck bed tool box with a special locking feature. It usually come in a variety of designs ranging from simple tap-to-lock to quick-release variants.

Some notable ones include the Weather Guard 127-0-02 Aluminum Saddle Box with its retracting lock that prevents it from opening in the event of a sudden impact, and the BakBox Tool Box that automatically locks just by closing its tonneau cover. Remember though that tools or work-related items aren’t the only ones you can store in a truck bed tool box but also other stuff like food, clothes, etc., which require an extra amount of protection.

5.  Price

Of course, you don’t want to spend something that’s beyond your means unless you have lots of spare cash to splurge on a very expensive and durable truck bed tool box. But unlike the kind of truck bed tool box that depends on its mounting position, the price depends on the materials used for production.

The price range of a truck bed tool box can be as low as a hundred dollars but can be as a high as a thousand. It’s because the more durable the tool box is (as in the case of one that’s made from stainless steel), the more expensive it is. Additionally, a tool box which also contains elaborate designs like automatic locks or trays also influence its price.     

6.  Truck Bed Size

truck bed sizes

The truth is, truck bed sizes (at least widths) are generally around the same for most trucks. This is why many boxes are semi-custom fit. However, there are some trucks which are significantly narrower than others. Here’s a reference on truck bed sizes. The moral of the story is: make sure your selected tool box will fit your truck bed.

The General Truck Bed Sizes

truck bed sizes 2

Fits Down-Size type for truck bed tool boxes means they’re suitable for smaller pickup trucks such as; Tacomas, Frontiers, and Rangers.

truck bed sizes 3

Fits Full-Size type for truck bed tool boxes means they’re suitable for large pickup trucks such as; Tundras, F-150s, and Rams.

D.I.Y. Truck Bed Tool Box    

If you have no intention of buying a truck bed tool box and are welcome to other alternatives on how to have one, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own truck bed tool box. For the detailed guide, click here.

diy truck bed tool box


These are the things you must remember in picking a truck bed tool box. However, it still boils down to what you need and how you’ll use it. If you’re still hesitant in buying a new truck bed tool box, you always have the option of making your own. Share us what you think by commenting below.



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