Head to your pick of home renovation store and inevitably you will be greeted with a symphony of capable, competent tool boxes from a hall of fame lineup of manufacturers. You'll find the flexible nylon totes big and small, as well as lightweight, hardshell polymer jobbies – even a few classic steel cases. Yet, until now, we've never found a portable that could adequately answer the timeless DIY dilemma: How to reach that one wrench/ratchet/widget buried beneath the tray in the bottom of a box when you have just one free hand. The answer, as the proprietors of Best Made Company have discovered, is to add a hinged, drop-front face.
Best Made Co's Front-Loading Toolbox, a powder-coated, cherry-red 20-inch beauty, is a self-conscious throwback, a spot-welded steel box that should handily outlive its owner. Like similar-sized boxes from Craftsman, Proto, Westward and so-on, its top seals tightly with two heavy duty fasteners, but we appreciate the unique addition of two side-handles (which helps lugging it around should one decide to push the upper end of its 50-pound capacity). Unclasp the top and beneath is a traditional lift-out two-bay tray, as you'd expect, but then the miracle: The face folds down, granting unhindered access to the tangled mass of needful things that forever evade our grasp, or simply cause us to empty and then repack our box time after time in search of that one item. It would seem an obvious feature, and yet we've never seen its equal – and that it's made in the U.S.A. makes it all the better. [$90; bestmadeco.com]