At Holz-Handwerk we saw not only thousands of tools, but several companies creating systems to store and transport those tools. You'd think that there are only so many ways mobile tool storage can be designed, but we saw at least four different approaches.
First up is OPO Oeschger. This Swiss trading company distributes some 35,000 items to tradesfolks around the world, so we can't really say these few of theirs that we're going to hone in on are indicative of their sole approach to tool storage, but it's a good place to start. On display were their collection of box-based tool storage objects in two form factors: A sleek-looking briefcase style, and a series of deeper boxes meant to be dense enough to store a variety of hand tools, yet manageable enough for one person to carry. And they all come pre-loaded with the tools.
Starting with the boxes, their Comfort model is made from birch and features a lid that slides rearward into a fixed vertical position. Interestingly enough, this model contains a built-in battery, a power cord and four sockets; the idea is that you plug the box into a wall when an outlet's available, and this charges the on-board battery; later when you're working and no outlet's available, you plug your devices into the box's sockets and draw juice from the battery. This box is designed to hold 67 specific tools.
Their smaller Compact III model is also made from birch, though this one's made for those who solely use hand tools, no on-board power. It features these little removeable wooden boards mounted with like tools, presumably so the user can install the appropriate boards for the day's work, carrying only what's necessary for the particular job. Fully laden, the Compact III is designed to hold some 34 tools.
Then we get to their far more serious-looking metal boxes. The Compact model is billed as being lightweight, yet sturdy enough to carry 100kg (220 pounds) worth of gear. There are a lot of tools in this one--145 to be exact—and they've maximized the internal space by creating this drawbridge-style front with an additional vertical tool rack right behind it.
The Profi model is a bit smaller and carries less than the Compact (70 tools) but features the on-board battery system and four plugs. It's also got a quick-access drawer on the side, with user-configurable dividers in it. And handily, the interior compartments can be popped in and out.
More compact, and arguably sexier, are OPO's briefcase-sized models. The aluminum Pro Case 4 stuffs a lot of tools (139) into a much smaller package by using a binder-like flap loaded up on both sides.
The Pro Compact is the smaller version, shrinking the package down to 92 tools and roughly half the weight of the Pro Case 4.
Finally their latest case, the Pro Chrome Wood, has foregone the aluminum for an ABS construction (hence the rounded corners, which we assume are to provide structure). This one carries 116 pieces, including a tiny cordless driver, charger and extra battery.
Up next we'll look at an even more comprehensive approach to mobile tool storage design.
Spotted at Holz-Handwerk.