What It Is: Milwaukee’s first-ever rolling tool chest is a well-built box packed with smart innovation tucked inside.
Why We Like It: For DIYers working out of the garage, the market is rife with shiny red tool chests, but none match Milwaukee’s durability, capacity, and ingenuity. The system is made up of two stacking pieces. The upper tool chest has eight drawers, each of which can hold up to 100 pounds. The flip-up lid reveals a wide shelf that can easily accommodate drills/drivers thanks to its 10.5-inch clearance. Built into the right side is a six-port power strip to plug in tool chargers or a smartphone. The back wall is lined with a metal pegboard that can be fitted to hold everything from screwdrivers to shorter levels. Below the lid, the lower left-hand drawer has a metal top that becomes a work surface at standing height, helpful if you’re tweaking your bike as you follow along to a how-to video streaming to your laptop or tablet. The lid flips up so you can store your paperwork, electronics, or tools below.
This 380-pound kit can hold up to 1,800 pounds worth of gear. Milwaukee’s engineers reinforced the base with ¼-inch thick angle iron where the competition uses thin sheet metal. The side features a grab bar, a second power strip, and screws below that designed to hang battery chargers. One of the lower drawers has an organization system built in, designed to keep four drills/drivers and a variety of batteries organized and ready.
But besides the brawn, the convenience of built-in power, and drawers designed with organization in mind, this chest is a pleasure to use. Each drawer comes with pre-cut mats, and not the cheap ones with giant perforations you’ve seen in some kitchens that leave a sticky film on everything. Each of the drawers has self-closing slides so they seal up softly, preventing your tools from rattling around. (Our kitchen doesn’t even have soft-close drawers.) Fully loaded, this chest breezes around the garage floor thanks to beefy five-inch-diameter casters, two of which swivel and lock using a robust and easy-to-use mechanism.
Nitpick: You’ll need help getting this home and putting it together: The boxes are wide and heavy. If you’re not paying attention, you could mount the spinning caster wheels on the opposite side of the grab bar, which would make guiding this around harder. The matte finish looks great, but is prone to smudges. A glossy finish would be easier to keep clean.