Of course, all of these can still be accused of having one of the problems of pegboard when it's mounted--if you're not into the look, you're not into the look. And while your tools have now become mobile, if you're looking for space-saving solutions these aren't it. Another potential problem is that if you work in a communal workspace and don't want others having access to your tools, you'll need a more enclosed solution.
The solution to all three of those comes in the mechanic's standby, the rolling, lockable tool chest. Though compact in size, these can swallow a fair amount of tools in a fraction of the footprint you'd use with a pegboard construction. The aesthetics are simple, clean and unoffensive. And they can be locked to keep Junior's mitts off your expensive or dangerous tools.
A typical model like this Craftsman Quiet Glide (left) is designed with shallow drawers for the sake of efficiency. The thinking goes that if you can only fit one layer of tools per drawer, provided you can remember what's in each drawer (or if you have a labelmaker), this will preclude having to root around too long to find the tool you need. Powered variants like the model on the right provide a way to plug in the rechargers for power tools.
You can also purchase units that stack neatly on top, adding storage with no increase in footprint (left). And the super-duper AXS model (right) features slide-out LED work lights and a rather hokey digital clock with an alarm and temperature read-out.
(For more mobile tool storage solutions, check out our November posting on the subject.)
The problem with these heavy, solid metal carts is that their mobility is limited to your shop or garage; you ain't toting these bad boys anywhere else, not without two friends or one superhero. They're also quite expensive, at least for the good ones; the inexpensive models I've researched always have crap reviews. A good one-drawer-width base unit starts in the $300 range, and the higher you stack it, the lower your bank account goes. Larger and wider sizes, like this one below that looks like it would shield you from an RPG, go for about 7 grand.
Moving back down the economic scale, if you peruse your local big-box home center you're sure to see plastic "mobile work centers" like the Stanley boxes below, starting at around $30-$40. While Stanley generally makes quality hand tools, I wasn't impressed by the fit-and-finish of these; that being said I don't have any actual experience with using them, and they generally get good reviews on Amazon.
So what is the absolute ultimate in mobile tool storage? Something relatively affordable, well-designed, easily portable, and modular for expansion? Stay tuned for Part 3.