Securing tools is a top priority among those who use their trucks to make a living. As more buyers turn to trucks as daily family haulers, storage capacity and even style matter nearly as much as the security of a truck bed toolbox. Thanks to pickups’ booming popularity, toolbox manufacturers now provide a wide range of solutions to fit every storage need and bed size. One new style maximizes the unused space between the tailgate and the rear wheel wells, for instance; another trending design fits slim and deep just behind the cab to preserve space in shorter beds. The classic 71-inch cross-bed toolbox remains the top seller among full-size pickup owners because it fits and looks just right.
Five toolboxes stand out for their innovative features. We surveyed real-world reviews and owner experiences to discover which truck toolboxes impressed buyers with ease of installation, build quality, sturdy security and clever storage solutions. Each is available in a custom width to accommodate various truck bed sizes, but we have linked to the most popular 71-inch models for convenience.
Best Truck Toolbox for Wet Storage: Camlocker S71RLMB Crossover Box
Why We Picked It:
Insulated, weather-sealed and upholstered with a removable mold-resistant carpeted floor, Camlocker’s Crossover Box offers added security thanks to a heavy-duty locking mechanism. Top-mounted rails offer storage for wet items outside of the toolbox altogether, cleverly maximizing space when needed and enhancing rearward visibility when unladen. Matte or gloss black aluminum finishes are available; standard and deep sizes are available as well.
- Heavy-duty lock system provides extra security
- Top-mounted rail looks rugged and adds functionality, especially for wet storage
- Available in a range of widths and depths to fit specific trucks and storage needs
- Heavy-duty lock system commands a higher price
- Side carpet is not removable
- Lighting options would be nice at this price point
Best Dual-Lid Truck Toolbox: Lund Economy Line Aluminum Gullwing Cross Bed Box, $340
Why We Picked It:
Certain jobs demand frequent bedside access to tools but don’t necessarily require access to the entire box. Those who don’t mind giving up a few inches of space and prefer a dual-lid design would do well to check out Lund’s gullwing, constructed of rust-resistant aluminum and finished in a slick black electroplate. Each lid self-raises with a gas strut upon flipping the lockable paddle latch. More expensive competitors deliver similar levels of quality and space, often without the weight-saving benefit of aluminum construction.
- Rust-resistant aluminum construction should withstand a lifetime of bashing
- Gullwing lid allows fast bedside access and protects the rear windshield
- Slick black finish with an understated logo presents a cool custom look
- Basic lock design offers entry-level security
- Bare interior doesn’t really secure cargo stored inside
- Gullwing lid design takes up more interior box space than a traditional lid
Best Truck Wheel Wheel Toolbox: Undercover SwingCase Truck Bed Storage Box
Why We Picked It:
Smart storage is all about maximizing every nook and cranny. Waste no space with the Undercover SwingCase, custom-molded to fit the unused space between a truck’s rear wheel well and tailgate. Buyers cite ease of installation as the top-selling point for this lockable and removable box; buyers wish it had a drain plug and sturdier materials to hold up to heavy-duty use. Discreet and well-hidden, the SwingCase has a factory look that easily hides underneath a tonneau cover for extra security. Each box is sold as a single unit; driver side models include a “D” at the end of the model number, while passenger side models are indicated with a “P” at the end.
- 75-pound capacity holds enough daily carry gear to clear out backseat clutter
- Custom shape better utilizes space than one-size-fits-all boxes
- Removable for big jobs that require the use of the entire bed
- Must be removed to accommodate 48-inch sheets of plywood or drywall
- Some buyers report damage during shipment due to packaging and handling
- Buyers must supply their own lock to secure the toolbox to the bed
Best Show Truck Toolbox: TruXedo TonneauMate Toolbox
Why We Picked It:
Nothing transforms a workhorse into a sport truck faster than a tonneau cover, but most large truck toolboxes can’t fit beneath them. The low-slung TruXedo TonneauMate toolbox provides five cubic feet of lockable storage space and can be hidden out of sight underneath a tonneau cover. Slick and secure, the TonneauMate earns our recommendation for those who need gear storage but don’t want to lose the clean look of a fully-covered truck bed or who want to keep the contents in their truck bed away from prying eyes.
- Easy to install
- Discreet low-profile hides neatly underneath a truck bed cover
- Mounts above the floor of the truck bed to preserve access to the full length of the truck bed floor
- Certain truck models require additional mounting hardware sold separately
- Smallish storage capacity without lighting or hydraulic lift supports
- Black plastic material is not particularly eye-catching
Best Basic Truck Toolbox: Lund 71-inch Push Button Aluminum Cross Bed Toolbox
Why We Picked It:
Lund gave some additional thought to usability for their entry-level toolbox with this updated design, which features push-button locking for easy access from the bedside. As with Lund’s gullwing design, the cross bed features aluminum construction and an electrostatic black finish, but with a little less customized functionality. Lund’s push-button box comes in at a lower price than their previous entry-level model, undercutting many name-brand competitors by up to 50% with no loss in quality.
- Entry-level price beats several steel boxes
- Rust-resistant aluminum construction
- Easily accessible from the bedside
- Lack of padding inside leads to noisy cargo jostling
- Basic lock mechanism could be more secure
- No struts to keep the lid raised
For our list of the best truck toolboxes for 2021, we specifically chose highly-rated and readily available toolboxes that were well adapted to different users’ needs and readily accessible to consumers residing throughout the U.S.
Forbes Wheels selected five top-rated impact toolboxes by considering a broad range of end-user ratings and professional evaluations. Each product was rated on overall quality, functionality, and cost. Priority was given to boxes that preserve truck bed space or functionality and to models constructed of lighter weight or more durable materials. Truck toolboxes are designed to be used hard, last a long time on the job, and remain secure. The appearance of the individual boxes was also taken into account, as was how well they might blend in with other truck accessories such as tonneau covers or bedliners.
What is the most secure truck toolbox?
Truck toolbox security comes down to two factors: the lock mechanism and the visibility of the box itself. Any lock can be broken with enough time and determination, though simple push-button locks are more susceptible to drilling than paddle latches or sophisticated cam locks. While a bright steel box might look like a shiny target to thieves, today’s crop of black toolboxes offer a more discreet look, and many can be mounted below the windshield or beneath a tonneau cover for added stealth boxes that fit beneath tonneau covers also offer a second layer of physical protection, as hard tonneau covers can themselves be locked.
What is a low-profile toolbox?
Low-profile toolboxes have lids that only barely rise above the rear windshield line of sight, preserving rearward visibility. The drawback to this design is that it is necessary to reach deeper into the toolbox to access tools. Low-profile toolboxes are sleeker and complement the truck’s factory look, especially when finished in black and paired with a tinted rear windshield.
Are truck toolboxes weatherproof?
Almost every truck toolbox comes with a weather-resistant rubber gasket between the lid and the box to protect its contents from the elements. It’s important to consider the quality of construction since a loose rubber gasket will allow water to drip into the box, and steel boxes may corrode over time. Regularly inspect the rubber gasket for cracks or tears. Many manufacturers will cover the gasket for the length of the warranty as long as the damage hasn’t resulted from abuse.
How do you measure for a truck toolbox?
To measure for a crossover toolbox, measure the distance from the outside of the left rail to the outside of the right rail to find the needed overall toolbox length. Then, measure from the top of the bed wall to the bottom of the bed to find the maximum toolbox length. Finally, measure the distance between the bed wall to the front of the wheel well to find the maximum toolbox depth that can be accommodated.
How do you install a toolbox in a truck bed, and can you do it without drilling?
Newer trucks come with pre-drilled holes capped off by plugs that allow for easy installation of a truck toolbox without drilling. If your truck is not equipped with a factory bedliner, pad any surfaces between the toolbox and the truck bed with appropriate foam rubber padding. Each toolbox manufacturer should provide installation instructions or even videos for individual truck models, but in general, the bottom of the toolbox should align with the bed’s pre-drilled holes. Use J-hooks or heavy-duty stainless steel nuts and bolts to secure the box to the bed. At least four secure mounting points should be found; otherwise, it is necessary to drill additional mounting points. All hardware should be tightened securely, but not over-tightened to prevent damage.