In Chris Schwarz Blog, Woodworking Blogs

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I have worked out of an 18th-century-style tool chest since 1997 or so, but I still love a good metal toolbox. They are great for moving tools to a jobsite or storing a dedicated set of wrenches or a socket set.

The plastic or sheet-metal toolboxes at home centers do nothing for me. The plastic breaks and the sheet metal is thin and bends when you look at it too hard. This year I discovered the Japanese-made Trusco toolboxes, and I am in heaven.

I have a ST-350-B that I use for storing the machinist tools I need for working on my machines at my shop in my basement. It’s a jewel. The translucent blue finish is durable and beautiful. Everything opens and shuts like something made with care 100 years ago.

And yet the ST-350 is less than $50. If the price had been $200, I’d say: Yup, that price is about right.

Trusco makes a large line of boxes, from the massive ST-3500 down to the cute T-150s for your car’s trunk. They used to be difficult to find in the U.S. market, but they are now becoming more common. Grab some before everyone else finds out.

— Christopher Schwarz

Read Day 1 of the gift guide here: Clauss Scissors.
Day two on a Boot Tray for Sharpening.
Day three on humidity monitors.
Day four on a MWTCA membership is here.
Day five on the Arno burnisher.
Day six on WoodOwl auger bits.
Day seven on the Veritas spokeshave.
If you’d like to read gift guides from past years, check this link.


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Showing 9 comments
  • mlindey@yahoo.com

    This design is reminiscent of what used to be called a tube caddy. Way back when there were TV repair men who came to your house (and doctors made house calls back then too). These guys needed to carry a variety of vacuum tubes to fix television sets. The tube caddy opened up much like this tool box.
    I believe some of them even had 2 levels on each fold out section.

    Those tube caddys was a good design for the task, though nowhere near as strong as this tool box.

  • handtoolfool

    Just looking at those handles sends sharp pains into the palms of my hands. The trip from your vehicle to the job had better be a short one. Kennedy boxes would be so much better to recommend.

    Also, didn’t you write recently that you were no longer endorsing products?

  • Neitsdelf

    I didn’t know the Estruscans had steel toolboxes. I thought they were bronze age.

  • thekiltedwoodworker

    Ah ha! I’m ahead of the ball here for once! Picking up an old Kennedy Tool Box tomorrow that opens like this. Saw it the other day and it reminded me of the old fishing tackle box we have on the farm somewhere (or at my little brother’s house, more likely…) so I decided to start using one for my household toolbox. I, too, like the idea of something that isn’t plastic or cheap.

  • DDThetford

    Hi, I don’t get the word “Anarchist’s.” What is the significance of that? I’ve seen it a time or two in other contexts here, and am curious what application that has to us as woodworkers. Thanks.

  • WilliamP

    Now you’ve done it – the price has gone up to $66 overnight. I won’t tell that to my wife when I send her the item listing on the ol’ wishlist, though.

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