I've seen journeymen use three different style of toolboxes, and as I'm still relatively new to the trade, I'm trying to work out which style would be best for me over the next 30 years. I've come up with a list of advantages and disadvantages of each style, and would appreciate your input.
This is the "Traditional" electrician's tool box that was on my tool list, and therefore is the type I'm currently using. These come in two styles; the flat top, and the hip roof top. I contend that the hip roof top style offers greater overall strength, and am not aware of any advantages of the flat top. I prefer these with a steel handle, plastic handles tend to break.
-Reasonably waterproof when used in wet locations
-Tend to last a long time
-Great surface for adhering stickers
-Tools stay secured during transport
-Tools lay horizontally, have to "Dig" for tools
-Difficult to keep tools and parts organized
I've seen more sparkies bring their "Rubbermaid" boxes to the job site. In spite of the disparaging "Rubbermaid" remarks, they swear by them. Here are the pros and cons as I've observed:
-Okay surface for adhering stickers
-Tools stay secure during transport
-Bins and clever design keeps tools and materials better organized
-Hinges don't last very long
-Doesn't last as long as other tool boxes
-Not as secure as a steel box
-Tools are horizontal, still have to "Dig" for tools
Nylon open tote tool bag:
I'm surprised by the increasing popularity of the nylon tote. When I first saw one, I figured the journeyman was eccentric; but I've been seeing them increase in popularity. They are starting to grow on me.
-Some come with shoulder strap to facilitate carrying
-Tools stored vertically, easier to access without digging, saves time
-Immediate access to tools, saves time
-Small storage pockets facilitate organizing tools and materials
-Greater flexibility in holding awkward or bulky tools
-Can last a very long time
-Cannot lock to secure tools
-Greater care must be taken that tools don't fall out during transport
-Won't keep tools dry when used in wet locations
-Not good for stickers
I've been using the steel box for nearly two years, but am considering going for a nylon tote. Having tools stand vertically and not needing to dig for things seems like a great advantage, and the lack of security doesn't seem to bother the journeymen who use them. What do you think?