Anyone who has a collection of tools You will have to procure, when the time comes, some element to store them. The plastic cases in which many sets of tools, such as keyholes, pliers or drill bits, for example, are acceptable, but what happens when we acquire tools individual? In that case, we should think of something more general, like a box. Some time ago we published an extensive article about the various types of toolboxes available on the market and what criteria we should follow to choose them. Also, on how to choose the right one for the job.
Many models of cases that we present in this article are perfectly adapted for amateur users who own a few tools. However, if our collection has already exceeded the capacity of the box, or if we work in a workshop and find that the mere fact of locating a certain tool on work tables, cabinets, cabinets, boxes, tool holders or bags takes time that we could well invest in greater productivity, then it is time to consider another of the models that we reviewed in the aforementioned article: a tool cart.
And what is a tool cart?
A tool cart it is basically a frame that houses a series of drawers, or trays, or a combination of drawers, trays and/or side doors, optionally a top or worktop, two, four or more wheels arranged in the lower part of the frame, and frequently A side handle for easy portability. In other words, a true rolling cabinet.
The tools car is the most popular option chosen by professionals to store their tools in a centralized way. But not only that: it also serves to organize them, protect them from dust, rust and humidity, and easily transport them to the place we want. In fact, the DIYer who owns only a few basic tools, you will also find a practical solution in a model of plain car and according to your budget.
That is why in this article we are going to learn, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, the different types of tool carts that we can find in the market, as well as its characteristics and the type of user that can benefit from each one. It should be clarified that, attentive to the definition of car provided by the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, we will only consider structures with wheels, not the stationary trunks that we briefly address on another occasion and that may be the subject of a future article.
It is important to know that the tool carts or cabinets They can be made of various materials, whose durability is conditioned by the use and the amount of tools to save. The construction materials are the following:
- Steel: the steel cars they are the most durable. They provide exceptional strength and longevity, and are easy to maintain.
- Aluminum: the aluminum cars They are popular because they are lightweight, relatively durable, and have good corrosion resistance.
- Plastic: the plastic carts reinforced or composite material are useful for their non-corrosive characteristics, light weight and lower cost. They may be less durable than metal, but they are heat resistant and have the advantage of being transparent and easy to clean with just soap and water. They are ideal for recreational use.
- Stainless steel: the stainless steel alloy trolleys they are lighter and more resistant to corrosion than standard quality steel, although more expensive than these. They are used in garages, commercial premises, in the “pits” of race tracks and other applications. Due to their wear resistant properties they can be used in clean and non-corrosive environments to store stainless steel tools.
- Wood: the wooden cars they are not very common, but in a clean, dry environment, for example, a carpentry shop, they can be useful.
Types of tool carts
two wheel carts
Although all tool carts can be transported, those with two wheels are lighter and offer more freedom of movement than those with more wheels. They can be easily moved from one site to another and loaded into a vehicle, making them a favorite with contractors such as plumbers, electricians, or HVAC installers, for example, but they are also used in workshops, factories, commercial businesses that They offer product repair and even in a home garage.
They are mostly made of plastic or a combination of steel and plastic, they can be both horizontally and vertically designed (in the latter case, the drawers can be stacked) and come in various sizes and with different numbers of drawers or compartments, depending on the need. . Generally, the largest drawers are located at the bottom and are used to store tools larger, while the upper part houses the smaller drawers to store items such as various types of keys and screwdrivers. In the figure we see some typical examples, although there are many others.
Carts with four or more wheels
More robust and capable of storing a large amount of tools -and therefore, support a considerable weight- the four wheel cars they are the right choice for those who do not need to travel long distances, but rather carry out their work in a specific place, such as workshops, factories, commercial or exhibition halls, garages, etc. They vary widely in dimensions and the largest have more than four wheels as reinforcement. Carts can be found constructed of steel, stainless steel, aluminum, high-performance plastic, or plywood, and many have locks.
The great advantage of cars with four or more wheels is that many have a table top that serves as a practical workbench.
The basic design of the cars or tool cabinets with four or more wheels can be of three types.
a) Trolleys with trays
Those who frequently use tools medium to large sized e.g. hammers, Stillson wrenches, axes, shovels, tongs, handsaws, hacksaws, etc. will find a cart with trays, which have enough space to store and organize them. The most common include two or three trays separated from each other by a certain distance, being greater when it comes to trolleys with only two trays. Many models have shelves with high rims, suitable for storing cans and items that could roll off when the cart moves from one place to another.
If in addition to tools larger ones we also use other smaller ones, such as screwdrivers or keys, we can opt for carts with trays that incorporate one or more drawers in the upper part. Generally, models of this type of cars they offer a small workbench on top, or a cantilevered surface with interior space to store smaller items.
The following figure shows some examples.
Other models have sides with folding tables and/or metal bars with holes to hang screwdrivers, tweezers, pliers, etc., as we can see in the figure below. Depending on the design, these side accessories can be built into the trolley, or purchased separately, as we will see below.
b) Trolleys with drawers
If in general we should keep tools medium to small that we need to organize properly and place immediately, our goal will then be a trolley with drawers instead of trays. For those interested in the how is it done, this video presents the different stages that make up the manufacture of a cart with drawers.
This type of car is the preferred choice in garages and the industry automotive in general, as well as the industry naval and aeronautical, since in addition to enabling the storage of a multitude of tools offers, in many cases, a workbench on top.
There are several models with a wide selection of colors that include between 5 and 12 drawers of similar or variable height and width. Practically all incorporate centralized locks, so that we can keep our tools in a safe way.
In this video we present some models and their features.
c) Trolleys with drawers and side cabinet
In cases where, in addition to tools of small and medium size we must keep tools large or even power tools, a trolley with drawers and side cabinet with or without a door and with or without height-adjustable shelves is the right solution. The figure below shows one of these designs, with the detail of the shelves on the side door.
Accessories for tool carts
Depending on the manufacturer, many of the features that we have just seen in the tool carts, if they are not included, they can be purchased separately as accessories.
Some of those accessories are as follows.
- Tabletops or countertops: If our cart does not have the functionality of a workbench and we want to add it, we can look for a countertop that adapts to the dimensions of the cart to place it on top of it. These countertops can be smooth or also have a series of cavities of various shapes on one side to store small objects such as nails, screws, nuts, etc., as shown in the following figure. The allowances They can be made of plastic material (like the one in the figure), stainless steel, wood or rubber, where the latter are especially suitable for carts with trays.
- Smooth Drawer Pads: These accessories prevent slippage of tools small, keeping them in the place where they were originally placed. They also protect the drawers from scratches and bumps. They are marketed in various materials, such as rubber, cork or composite materials.
- Drawer Organizer Pads: They are similar to the previous ones, with the difference that they have slots to house each tool, facilitating its location and use. The following video clearly shows the usefulness they provide.
- Side tables and organizers: there is a great variety, for example (all shown in the figure below with their respective number):
- Folding tables
- Metal bars with holes to hang screwdrivers
- Perforated panels to house tweezers, pliers and other tools
- Boxes to arrange cans, jars, tools, etc.
- Boxes to dispose of manuals and informative material
Given the great diversity of tool carts that we can find in the market, it is very possible that we will be disoriented when choosing one that meets our purposes and demands. For example, issues such as the type and size of the trolley, the material with which it is constructed, the depth of the trays, the type of drawer slide, the size and quality of the wheels, safety considerations, etc., are factors that come into play. at the time of making a decision.
We will address these concepts in a future article, which will undoubtedly give us a clear idea of what to take into account when we go to acquire our tools car.