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Above you see Klein’s new Tradesman Pro Organizer rolling tool bag, which is, well, a tool bag with wheels. It caught our attention because it incorporates features we’ve seen in luggage for years, but which never quite seem to make their way into tool storage applications: big wheels and a collapsible handle.

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For the same reason bolting big wheels on your 4×4 allows you to climb and clear big rocks and logs, upping the wheel diameter on your rolling storage lets you drag it over larger debris. Klein chose 6″ wheels for this bag, which seems like a good tradeoff between being big enough to let you roll over weird crap and small enough to not be a pain in the ass (or leg) when you pick up the bag to carry it.

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We’re always fascinated by how different folks store their tools. Some people love the purpose-made hard cases which come with a lot of hand tools, though we’ve seen a pretty solid shift toward preferring the soft case (or slightly-structured bag). Each has benefits: the hard cases offer more protection and can Tetris together into squarish storage spaces better, while soft bags pack much tighter internally — but are messy to stack. It looks to us like Bosch is trying to cut the middle with their LBOXX system, which consists of hard cases of fixed width and depth that stack easily and lock together for ease of storage/carrying.

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Shortly after Christmas there comes a point when cleaning up the decorations becomes the monkey on your back. For me it’s a time represented by some cursing and trips to the attic with various boxes and bags to await next year’s rush of holiday spirit. Somewhere between taking down the tree and the last close of the attic door, I must inevitably deal with the lights. It does not go well.

I should get reels or some system of organization, I know this; everyone seems to have a system and most of them work to some degree. I roll them like a vacuum cord around my arm and then toss them in a box until next year. It provides some frustration in the untangling department the next year, but it is a quick solution.

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This just strikes me as a great idea. The short version: They’re good ole’ metal shelves like the cheap (and useful) ones you probably already have, but this company, Space-Trac, has added a little track system on the bottom and some sliding feed so you can stack them two-deep and slide the shelves back and forth for access.

Though the press release doesn’t spec them clearly (probably because it’s just not that important), the shelves themselves look to be made of standard steel with cross-rail shelves with insets (likely MDF or more expensive options for those needing to store heavy items). The rails, however, are made of 6061-T6 aluminum and the slider carriages ride on the rails via a ball-bearing system.

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While the name “Ladder Lift” sounds like an old person sitting in a chair that takes 30 minutes to creep its way up a flight of stairs, it’s actually a way to reclaim valuable wall space by putting any rig up to 150 lbs. on the ceiling instead.

As far as we can tell, it operates much like blinds: link the top rung of a ladder to the hook mounted to a ceiling joist, attach the strap from the line to the bottom rung, then haul away and lock the cord. Even heavy ladders are manageable because you’re not lifting the entire weight of the ladder, and the block-and-tackle provides an 8:1 mechanical advantage.

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TM reader dgdaner asks: “I farm and ranch and keep the tools I use for fencing in a toolbox in the back of my fencing pickup. I’m too cheap to buy a full-size aluminum box that mounts permanently, so I use smaller (usually plastic) toolboxes that I can carry around. They stay out in the ND weather, and many times I go to use them I find the box half full of water. What’s your best suggestion for a replacement?”

He mentions that the best he’s seen (in his price range) was a Craftsman model which “didn’t use rivets to hold the hand on, so the lid is sealed.” We did a quick search (and looked around our local big box) and found a number of Stanley models that seem similar to the Craftsman the reader mentions. But I can think of at least one other possibility.

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When I was a kid, my father put together a great metal toolbox for me, complete with what I now realize was a mix of mechanic’s and household tools — perfect for, say, working on my bike or building small projects. I don’t have a picture of it, but I remember that it was a mid-sized metal box similar to the one pictured above. As an adult, though, I find myself increasingly assembling tool kits on the fly for household or mobile projects, and recently I’ve favored tool bags for that application. That got me to thinking: What do you use to carry your tools, and more importantly, why?

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Yeah, it looks more like one of those kiddy-castles than it does a shed. But still, this might be the only real solution for some folks (like me, sadly) whose overly-zealous homeowner’s association won’t allow any kind of construction of any sort in a backyard — even if it’s not visible from the street. So if building one’s own isn’t an option, do these sheds hold up?

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Since the time humans have been keeping “stuff,” we have enjoyed the happy task of finding someplace to put said stuff. For years, fasteners, bits, and bobs have lived in a draw in my workbench. For the last year of that time it has been increasingly harder and to get closed — until the last time I shut it. Apparently it really had reached that magic capacity where truly nothing else would fit, and in doing so, the final compression of the drawer closing popped a tube of two-part epoxy stored there. The resulting mess meant I was in the market for fastener storage.


For years we kept our household Christmas tree in the box it came in. I dragged that damn box up stairs, down stairs, around the house, through the truck bed, into the storage unit, and all over the damn place. Then I got one of these: a cheap-ass bag that holds up shockingly well for the price. It’s ringing up for $12 right now at Amazon, and it’s worth every penny.

You might be thinking exactly what I did the first time I saw it: It’s gonna fall to pieces the first time it catches on the edge of the attic door. Incredibly, it didn’t, for me at least. What you can’t see in the pictures is the fact that the bag is reinforced with some stringy material embedded within the plastic. It looks almost like strapping tape, and it’s just as durable. I was careful with it last year, but this year I just drug it downstairs and didn’t worry about it. Still, no tears.

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