The Best Truck Tool Boxes of 2024

Add locking storage to your truck bed to get the most out of your pickup
The Decked truck tool box installed on a pickup

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More

I’ve been a truck guy for as long as I can remember. I love everything about them — well, almost everything. Having to choose between filling the cab with dirty gear or putting everything in the bed where it will immediately get stolen isn’t great. Fortunately, adding lockable storage to your truck bed is easy and I rounded up the best truck tool boxes for the job.

Truck tool boxes are effective; you can install one as a quick DIY job, and they generally don’t require modifications to your truck. If you need more bed space for a particular job, you can pull your tool box out of the bed, then return it when you’re done.

All that said, there are some important factors that will determine if a particular truck bed is right for you. We have all the information you need to make a smart decision and start getting the most out of your truck.

How I Chose The Best Truck Tool Boxes

Testing the best truck tool boxes
The author tested the Decked Tool Box. Scott Murdock

I’ve driven trucks my entire life, ranging from sporty midsize trucks to heavy-duty farm trucks with a DewEze and a row of round bales in tow. Enough of these have had tool boxes that I’ve developed a good eye for what works, what doesn’t, and how hard you can work various materials.

Since we all have different needs, I made sure to include a variety of tool boxes. They’re all good at what they do, but they each have specific strengths. 

Best Truck Tool Boxes: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Decked Tool Box

See It

Key Features

  • Steel-reinforced lid
  • 500-pound payload
  • Made in the U.S. and backed by a lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Rust-proof, dent-proof
  • Stronger than aluminum, lighter than steel
  • Fantastic customer support and resources

Cons

  • Not available for all makes and models
  • Expensive
The decked tool box installed on the author’s truck. Scott Murdock

Decked is shaking up the market with a polyurethane tool box that’s stronger than aluminum, lighter than steel, and totally waterproof. If you have any doubts about using polymer instead of metal, take them up with the people at Glock.

Since this tool box isn’t metal, it will never dent or rust. It seals up tight and offers unbeatable weather protection. The steel-reinforced lid and recessed locking mechanisms increase security to the point where you can stop worrying about break-ins. 

I was curious to see one for myself, and it absolutely holds up to the hype. I installed it in about 10 minutes. It withstood the slushy springtime thaw without missing a beat. This feels like a quality item and I believe Decked when they say this is the last tool box you’ll ever need to buy.

The decked tool box compartment
The Decked tool box’s internal organization. Scott Murdock

The list of cons for this tool box is short. It’s expensive, and if you drive a midsize truck you’re going to have to look elsewhere. 

The Decked Tool Box is worth the upcharge over an aluminum box and I’d put it toe-to-toe with a steel one. If you want a rock-solid truck tool box that can hold up to use, abuse, and harsh weather for decades, this is the one to have. 

Best Budget: Craftsman Crossover Truck Tool Box

See It

Key Features

  • Diamond-plate aluminum
  • Lid includes gas shocks and weather-stripping
  • Powder-coated for extra protection

Pros

  • Balances strength and value
  • Low profile improves rearward visibility
  • Leaves space underneath for long items

Cons

  • Susceptible to dents
  • Locks and latches aren’t the strongest

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seems to be the approach Craftsman took to this truck tool box, and it works just as well today as it has for decades. 

This checks all the boxes for most truck owners. It’s built from classic diamond-plate aluminum, protected by powder coating, sealed from the elements with weather stripping, and sits low to keep your view out the rear window clear. 

For most of us, this is all we need — with a few caveats. Using aluminum instead of steel keeps weight and costs down, but it’s not nearly as strong as steel or polymer. This box isn’t as secure against weather or thieves when compared to a premium alternative from Decked or Weather Guard. 

This truck tool box strikes a great balance of cost, weight, and durability. It’s a quality option that will take care of your tools and leave some money in your pocket. Be mindful of how harshly you treat it and what you trust it to secure, and you’ll be in good hands.

Best for Short Beds: Dee Zee Specialty Series Narrow Crossover Tool Box

See It

Key Features

  • 15 inches front-to-back
  • Foam gaskets to improve weather resistance
  • Weight: 25 pounds

Pros

  • Maximizes available bed space
  • Powder-coated for extra protection
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Susceptible to dents and scratches
  • Limited storage capacity

Truck beds seem to shrink with every model refresh. Full-size trucks with four doors now come with 5.5-foot beds, and midsize truck beds are even shorter. If you add a standard tool box, you could be left with as little as three feet of bed space. This narrow bed from Dee Zee will give you a few extra inches of cargo space.

This box is only 15 inches from front to back, making it about 5 inches slimmer than a standard truck tool box. It’s full-size in width, though, so you’ll still get plenty of space for tools and equipment. Since the bottom doesn’t reach all the way to the bed, you’ll be able to lay some cargo flat underneath.

As with any aluminum truck tool box, this one dents easier than steel and you’ll have to be careful with heavy tools. While it does lock, I advise against storing anything valuable in an aluminum box, especially when the material is this thin.

This lightweight option is perfect for people with a modern short bed who need a little extra storage room. It’s a great place to keep odds and ends that you don’t want to rattle around in your cab (think dirty hunting boots and work clothes) and it comes at a great price. 

Best Heavy-Duty: Weather Guard Crossover Tool Box

See It

Key Features

  • All-steel construction
  • Lid includes gas shocks and weather-stripping
  • Lights and remote locks are available separately

Pros

  • Built for commercial use
  • Fleet owners can key multiple boxes to one key 
  • Made in the U.S. and backed by a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Very heavy (158 pounds for a full-size box)
  • Expensive

If you take a look around a construction site, odds are good that you’ll spot a few Weather Guard truck tool boxes. This commercial-grade brand has earned the trust of professionals who can’t afford to trust anything but the strongest truck tool boxes.

Nothing is theft-proof, but this heavy-duty, all-steel tool box comes pretty close. You can add lights and remote locks separately. Weather Guard caters to commercial customers, so fleet managers have the option to key multiple boxes to the same key. It’s made in the U.S. and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The downsides to this tool box are cost and weight. You’ll have to shell out about $1,000 to get one, but that’s a smart investment if you’re going to use your box to secure thousands of dollars worth of tools that your job depends on. It’s also very heavy at nearly 160 pounds. 

This Weather Guard tool box is overkill for most people but if your line of work requires one, it’s worth every penny. You’ll sleep well knowing your equipment is safe every time you park your truck. 

Best Chest Tool Box: Dee Zee Utility Chest

See It

Key Features

  • Fits between the bedrails, not over them
  • Gas shocks hold the lid open
  • Sits flush with the front of the bed

Pros

  • Can be used with a tonneau cover or truck topper
  • Keeps a low profile
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Susceptible to dents
  • The most secure installation will require drilling

What’s the difference between a truck tool box and a tool chest? This truck tool chest sits inside the bed, rather than mounting to the top of the bedrails. That means you can still use it with a tonneau cover or truck topper.

Some people want the extra storage space that a tool box offers, but they don’t want a crossover toolbox perched on top of their bedrails. This one is light enough to move in and out of the bed by yourself, slides under a bed cover, and doesn’t break the bank. 

Because of its size, you’ll naturally sacrifice some space with this tool chest. It also uses thin aluminum, so it’s not as secure as a steel or polymer box (especially if you don’t bolt it to your bed). For the most secure installation, you will have to drill into your bed to bolt this box in place. 

This is the perfect truck tool box for people who want to keep their bed cover or truck topper in place. It’s also small enough to secure with tie-downs if you only need a tool box every now and then. Just don’t treat this like a bank vault, because it isn’t one.

Best New Tech: Decked Drawer System

See It

Key Features

  • Doubles the storage capacity of your bed
  • 2,000-pound payload (1,000 pounds on midsize trucks)
  • Trick it out with Decked accessories

Pros

  • Locking storage that doesn’t reduce bed length
  • Weatherproof
  • Four types of drawer systems are available

Cons

  • Significantly reduces bed depth
  • Not available for all truck beds

One of the most exciting innovations I’ve seen in truck accessories is the Decked drawer system. This premium storage option adds a huge amount of lockable cargo room without taking away one square inch of your bed’s surface area. 

The newest drawer system from Decked is weatherproof, can hold 200 pounds in each drawer, and has a 2,000-pound payload. That means you can still carry cargo, dirt bikes, or critters you’ve hunted on top of the drawers worry-free. There are even tie-downs on the deck. You can use the full length of the drawers or add cubbies and MOLLE-compatible dividers to keep everything organized.  

Since this system is vehicle-specific, you’ll have to order one that’s built for your truck. Unless you have an older model, they should have you covered. Installation is more involved than bolting in a tool box and you should expect to pay about $1,600 for a Decked drawer system. 

Since it’s weatherproof and durable, this is the best option out there for overlanders, hunters, ranchers, or farmers who want secure storage but can’t sacrifice bed space.

Read Next: The Best Snow Tires for Trucks

How To Choose The Best Truck Tool Box

Opening a truck tool box
The right tool box for you depends on your needs and your truck. Scott Murdock

As with anything, set a budget to help you decide which truck tool boxes you can afford. Then, dive into specific features and selling points to narrow down your list.

Steel truck tool boxes are among the strongest options. They’re also heavy, and can become susceptible to rust if the paint or powder coating gets damaged.

Aluminum truck tool boxes are light and won’t rust, but they dent easily and a thief with a crowbar can mangle one in no time.

High-density polyurethane is a relatively new alternative. It’s light like aluminum, strong like steel, and never rusts or dents. Don’t confuse HDPE with plastic — these are premium tool boxes and the price will reflect that. 

Make Sure Your Tool Box Fits In Your Truck

Before you click “buy now,” verify that the tool box you’re looking at is compatible with your specific vehicle.

Truck bed widths are broadly standardized, but you should still check. If you have a full-size truck (like a Chevy Silverado) or midsize truck (like a Toyota Tacoma) you won’t have much trouble finding a compatible truck tool box. If you have something with an unconventional bed size (Like a Ford Maverick), you might be out of luck.

Make Sure Your Truck Tool Box Is Big Enough

Before you sink a bunch of money into a truck tool box, take some measurements to make sure it will hold whatever you plan on keeping inside. 

Hand tools, power tools, and batteries are no sweat. If you want to store something larger like fishing rods, long guns, or skis, check out the Decked Drawer System that takes advantage of the full length of your bed.

Use Bed Space Wisely

Adding a tool box to your truck will increase the amount of locking cargo space you have available, but it will take away about 2 feet of bed space. Take that into consideration if you frequently haul things like riding lawnmowers or dirtbikes. Many (but not all) boxes don’t extend all the way to the bed itself, so you can still slip things like lumber, pipe, and sheets of plywood underneath.

Installing Your Truck Tool Box

Mounting a tool box in the bed of your truck is a simple job that shouldn’t require any drilling or cutting. Basic hand tools will do the trick. Truck tool boxes are cumbersome to move and can  weigh more than 100 pounds, though, so enlist the help of a buddy before you get started (one cold beer is fair compensation for this project).

FAQs

Q: Are truck tool boxes secure?

Most truck tool boxes are fairly secure. Some, like the Decked tool box I tested, offer better protection against crowbars than others. Locks can be a weak point if a thief is willing to make a lot of noise drilling them out, but I’m willing to guess that most tool boxes get broken into after their owners forget to lock them.

Q: Are truck tool boxes waterproof?

Most truck tool boxes do a good job of keeping rain and snow from leaking inside, even if they aren’t technically waterproof. 
One of the best ways to keep water out of your tool box is to avoid using it to store wet gear. If you throw a pair of soaked coveralls in your tool box and latch it shut, that box is going to turn it into a humidifier as soon as the sun comes out. Then it, along with all your tools, is going to rust from the inside out.

Q: How are truck tool boxes attached to the bed?

Most truck tool boxes mount to the truck bed using J-hooks that grip the underside of your bed rails (here’s what that looks like). In this case, there’s no drilling required. If your truck doesn’t have plastic bedrail covers, you can protect your paint with pieces of rubber stripping. Your toolbox may even come with these. I installed the Decked Tool Box with nothing more than a ratchet and a 3/8-inch socket.

Final Thoughts

I reviewed the best truck tool boxes to determine the best fit for your lifestyle. If you’re just looking for a little extra storage for gloves, tie-down straps, and work clothes, go ahead and get a lightweight aluminum box from Craftsman or Dee Zee. But if you work on a jobsite and need a secure place to keep expensive power tools, put your money in a commercial-grade tool box like the ones from Weather Guard. If you want something adventure-ready that offers the best of both worlds, check out the latest and greatest from Decked.

Share

WHY YOU CAN TRUST OUTDOOR LIFE