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?
It seems to me that like with any tool, the proper storage tool is the one that most perfectly matches the application. For example, my kiddie tool box served mostly as a tool chest, holding my tools much the way roll-aways do now. I rarely carried the box itself around, instead keeping it in the spot Dad cleared off for it and putting my tools back in it when I was done. For my mobile jobs now, I’m pretty much exclusively carrying the bag around. I load it up with whatever it is I need, do the job, then return the tools to their permanent storage locations.
But I’ve noticed that over the last few months some tools tend to stay in the bag(s) more than they do in the cabinets. I’m talking about tools like a couple of basic standard and Phillips screwdrivers, a small tack hammer, a measuring tape, a mid-sized and large adjustable wrench, some wire clippers, and so on — all the stuff I need to hang pictures, plan projects, fix the toilet, and so on. So I’m tempted to load up some of my spares into a full-time kit for just that purpose.
I’m interested in use cases far outside of my own, though. For example, what about guys who carry a fixed kit every day? My HVAC guy comes to mind. I saw him lugging a mid-sized box with a small variety of tools perfect for A/C work. I can’t help but think that maybe he’d be better served by a bag as he could just toss the tools in when he’s done (which he tried to do with the box over and over). Also, the bag is a lot easier to carry. Then again, he may have thought of this and rejected it for reasons I don’t understand.
What do you think?