Author Topic: What systainer to replace tool box?  (Read 9430 times)

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Offline PattyO

  • Posts: 8
What systainer to replace tool box?
« on: April 25, 2014, 10:37 PM »
Hello Fog folks,

I am new but have been stalking this site for a while. I have been impressed at the caliber of the folks here, as well as the kind and helpful responses new folks get to questions. So I am going to go ahead and jump in with my first question. First the back round info...I am a fairly new handyman/carpenter after loosing my job in the downturn. I have a couple of objectives...1. Get better at the work I am doing now... 2. Be more organized.... 3. Learn more woodcraft, so I don't have to do plumbing EVER AGAIN. That being said. Here is my dilemma. I have several of these POS Husky tool boxes and need/want to replace them with systainers/sortainers.  The following pics are of my plumbing toolbox and Im hoping for input on my best sys option....My current thinking is a sys 1with a tanos insert(on top for fittings/small parts. I think tanks has an insert that has adjustable spacers)  and a sys 2 on the bottom for tools. 104860-0104862-1104864-2

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Offline h.gil

  • Posts: 111
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 10:58 PM »
Hey Bud,
I too used to carry a couple of those Husky boxes. A couple of months ago I received a FREE Sys-Toolbox2 from FestoolUSA/FOG as a result of participating in a video contest early this year. Having that toolbox, I decided to invest in a Sys-Storagebox to complement each other. I find it easy to carry and very convenient as I can mix-and-match what goes in the dividers or which systainer I couple it with.

Here is a video a put up on youtube to illustrate what I fit in my SYS-toolstorage


Offline sonicfedora

  • Posts: 24
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 10:53 PM »
Made this video awhile ago but I'm just getting around to publishing it now.

If you're looking for hand tools and you really want to organize I really think you should take a look at the Dewalt TStak system.

I LOVE my T-Lock systainers and I'm getting more and more but I think they're better for organizing individual tools.  For my hand tools the Tstaks are great!  Still modular and tough as can be.

Ben Strano

Offline festfooltoo

  • Posts: 5
Re: What systainer to replace tool box? TSTAKS!!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 12:44 AM »
Hey there - I am just finishing up my answer to the question you posed.   I am a weekend mechanic, carpenter, plumber, etc, etc.  I had/have tools all over the place and can't find anything when I need it.  A few years ago I bought a big, shiny, red 46" rolling mechanic's tool cabinet - 11 drawers.  The plan was to move all my mechanic tools, drill bits, drill jigs, measuring tools, hand tools and some power tools to this cabinet so I could actually be organized and find my stuff! have a rolling work surface.   

Well, 3 years later and the cabinet was no more stocked than when I bought it.  As soon as I would put something away, I would need it for a project, grab the tool, and it would usually end up in a portable tool box, in the truck box or in any number of "catch all" tubs that seem to accompany each project.   The problem was I was never actually working near the tool chest. 

I had a few attempts at some portable options - the best one was a Keter roller chest/tub with two sliding compartments that made the top and a tub underneath.  It came with a tackle box - style cantilever tray box with a couple dozen small parts bins.  This worked good for planned 'pack and go's', but what I packed never seemed to make it back to it's home.

I have a few Festool tools and really like the systainers' features for being stackable and portable....but they are priced out of the range of what I am willing to pay for an ABS stacking box!   I had decided to try making my own boxes that would stack with T-Lock Systainers - halfway through that project, I stumbled across the TSTAK boxes.   Looked at them online - didn't look as refined as the Systainers, but the price point was where I needed it to be to make the thought of building my own stacking boxes seem silly.  Acme Tools, in MN had the product in stock and on display, so on a trip to MN, I made it a point to go over to Acme and check them out.   I will say, I am not a fan of dewalt products and swore them off years ago, but the moment I opened the drawer on the 2 drawer tstak box - I was sold!   That day I bought a tall handle single box, a 2 drawer box and a 1 drawer box.  Out the door for about $65.

After I got home and did some 'fit checking' with some of my tools, I ordered about 4 more various boxes from Acme - a tote, a deep box, a single box and another 2 drawer box.

When I received these next 4, I fell in love with the Tote Tstak and it became my 18V Fuel Circ. saw box - complete with everything that needs to be with the saw...battery, tape measure, speed square, angle square, pencils, pencil sharpener, marker, saw edge/rip guide, spare/alternate blades and a small japanese stye flush cut handsaw.   Perfect! and the open top makes everything easy to pack/unpack.   I ended up using the deep box to store 2 routers and various, often used bits, edge guides and router chuck wrenches.    The single TStak I works nice for packing my angle grinder and an assortment of grinder, cutting, polishing wheels and brushes, but other than that - the single drawer TSTAK ends up be better suited for housing more often used power tools, if they fit....saber saw, drills, sonic tools, zip tools, etc.

I decided to sell my big rolling tool chest and replace it with an similarly sized Tstak caddy/cart and workbench combo.

I am nearly finished, but am so pleased with it so far, I couldn't wait for it to be finished to start using it.

Here are a few pictures of the set-up.264022-0264024-1264026-2264030-3264032-4264034-5264036-6264038-7
« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 01:14 AM by festfooltoo »

Online grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 138
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 07:44 AM »
If you want to be Systainer-Style, obviously you can try and find the perfect combination out of:
- Sytainer-Toolbox,
- Drawer-Systainer
- Combi-Systainer

I started to use the combi-systainers quite a bit, since they allow you to have the tool & accessories / additional parts nicely organized.

The DeWalts look nice, as well, but I have invested quite a bit into the systainers and like to keep it all in one system.

What I like about the Systainers is that by only changing the T-Loc to a different color, you can easily bring more organization into your stack and it is quick to find what you are looking for.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 777
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 02:27 PM »
Interesting. I had not looked into the DeWalt TSTAKs since they originally announced them. I didnt realize the product line had gotten so expansive. Ill have to check those out more. Pricing looks more realistic for taking my cheaper tools on the go than Festool's offerings. And if that plastic they are made of is the same as their tool cases they ought to hold up quite well.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 164
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 09:38 PM »
Interesting...why come here and post about Dewalt on a  Festool owners group?
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 777
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 11:13 PM »
Interesting...why come here and post about Dewalt on a  Festool owners group?
Why not? Its worth discussing the alternative options out there. Festool is not and never will be the end all be all.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline festfooltoo

  • Posts: 5
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 02:34 AM »
.....Because, it was my experience with Systainers and my Festool tools that even led me to consider this approach.   If I was very deep in with the Systainers, I would have stayed with them.  However; I wasn't at that point - I was at the beginning.  I do love the system-mixing, matching sizes and styles and stacking that makes the approach perfect for what I was looking to do.   Here's the problem I had.....I couldn't justify paying $72 for a 4" ABS box!, $80 for an ABS Tote! - At $20-35 for a system box, I can!    I am not a fan of DeWalt tools - but with regard to a toolbox system, DeWalt's  TSTAK did, for me, what the Systainer couldn't - allow me to afford to buy enough of them to be useful as a system. 

My far and away favorite piece is the open top tote - here is a comparison of the TSTAK and Systainer: 


$82 vs. $20!!!

My second favorite, the single drawer box -


(not a drawer unit)

$26 vs $72!


1.) I can afford them
2.) Nice handles
3.) Durable material
4.) Durable metal latches and hinge rods.
5.) Smooth drawer slides on drawer units
6.) Drawer units come with dividers or small parts organizer bins


1.) Not uniform height increments
2.) Side latches are not as nice/clever as the T-Lock
3.) "dewalt labeling"
4.) does not color match any of my other tools

I made a couple of 'adapter plates' so I can still use my T-loc and OG systainers with the TSTAK's too. TSTAK to T-Loc was fairly easy.  T-Loc to TSTAK is a little more involved, but I was able to buy the TSTAK side latches from a parts website.

I will post some pictures of this, soon.

Offline ChrisK1970

  • Posts: 569
  • Wicked Awesome
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 06:11 AM »
Well in keeping with your original question, I just bought my second set Sort 3 and Sys-storage for my shop. I stopped purchasing my systainers here in the USA and started buying them on Amazon from the U.K. and Germany. I spent $183 on those two boxes this time around saving nearly $80. The drawers in the sortainer are fantastic and hold a variety of tools and supplies and my sys storage tool boxes have been a real boon for me with hardware for cabinets. Hope this help, I really am a fan of these boxes. To stray a little, I like my Dewalt Tough System boxes too. The footprint is larger, they are heavier but they are a wonderful system. I have two dedicated to my Fuji sprayer and I even have one dedicated to firearms for cleaning and range use.
Dark Helmet.....Remember! Evil will always triumph over good. Because good is dumb!

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3879
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 05:06 AM »
1) I am not well organised in general.

2) They had a big sale on lest year for systainers marked down to $20 or maybe $23.
I had grand plans.

Some work well for storing things like volt meters, etc.
There is a large number of "sets of things" that do not really work.
So you may need more variety than Systainer-1s.
The Ikea fabric 335x335x370mm "cubes" are another option I am looking at.

3) A lot of time the common stuff is grabbed often. I got a tool bag on sale (Bessey) and then another (Snap-On).
Both seem to fill up.
I probably need another 1or 2.
They seem easier to throw around and abuse than a plastic systainer.
If I was a professional working out of van and needed to be stack-organised then the systainers may make more sense.

4) I have some drawered-systainers for Duetsch connectors and another for welding cups and tungstens.
They work OK for that, but maybe not really mush better than those cheap plastic jobs with small dividers.


Offline andy5405

  • Posts: 398
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2017, 02:15 AM »
This is what I came up with.

There's more details on my website here: Perfect Toolbox East Sussex Styley

Offline chris s

  • Posts: 102
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2017, 07:34 AM »
I have had good luck with the Rigid cases home depot sells. Also Milwaukee has just come out with a line of cases. Systainers are just to expensive for my wallet.

Online Peter Parfitt

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Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2017, 11:06 AM »
Hi @PattyO

I did some video work after buying into the Festool storage solution arena.

There are 4 videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Making Inserts for the Festool Toolbox:


Offline six-point socket II

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Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 11:46 AM »

I use the SYS-SB and SYS-TB2 as toolboxes when I know exactly what tools I will need. Or better when I know exactly I won't have to "MacGyver" through a day/project/favor full of "oh's", "ah's", "sh*t" and "shieeeeeet" 's. ;)

I use the SYS-SB when I need larger quantities of different consumables.

As my "grab-and-go" tool bag into the "unknown" I use a soft tote from Snap-On.

Kind regards,

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 443
Re: What systainer to replace tool box?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 11:50 AM »
Interesting...why come here and post about Dewalt on a  Festool owners group?
Because the Festool products serve their purpose, but do not fit every tool out there. Size can be an issue, as can cost when you wind up with 40+ tool boxes.

Most of my other construction type tools and supplies are in Ridgid tool boxes, or Costco bins.
The new Milwaukee system is "interesting" but I have not seen them in person. I do really like their small parts case though.
Not the Dewalt T-staks, but the Dewalt Tough Boxes deserve a look too.
A regular ole' mechanics type tool box also has it's place. I can not imagine having a majority of my automotive tools stored any other way. I could use another large automotive style tool box even now. Their security is second to none if they are high quality. Ever try moving a few thousand pounds around?

Research them all and find what works for you. Systainers are awesome, but there is nothing wrong with having multiple systems.