bye-bye power hand tool cases

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 04-11-2012 02:16 PM 4286 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

10050 posts in 3785 days

04-11-2012 02:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cases power hand tool organize

Having cases for all of my power hand tools used to be really important to me, as they often rode in the back of my truck, were stored in my shed or were left on the work site (most projects on my own property, I’m not a contractor but do help out friends).

Now-a-days, since setting up a new basement shop and getting organized, I find that storing my tools in their cases is a pain in the neck, and takes up way to much precious horizonatal space to open up cases and retreive tools.

So I’m setting up both of my benches with power strips and shelves underneath, where I can keep these tools readilly available….I also want to make some kind of stand to keep the nail guns, and corded drills standing upright, so they take up less shelf space and are easy to grab and use. I also want to keep routers set up with guide bearing bits for filleting edges and flush trimming and am contemplating a shelf stand for them, so they can sit upright.

I’m going to need drawer space to keep some of the accessories organized, and then the plastic and metal cases are going bye-bye, out to the barn loft.

After years of spending as much time finding and digging out and setting up my tools as I do using them, my mantra for the shop is “have everything readilly available to use”

Anybody else out there ditching their cases?

Any good ideas for shelf organizers….

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

17 replies so far

View PutnamEco's profile


155 posts in 4743 days

#1 posted 04-11-2012 02:55 PM

One of the reasons I keep my tools cased is because when I have them out in the open they accumulate dust. Here in NE Florida humidity is always a concern, as my shop has no climate control. I would rather have moisture condense on tool cases rather than the tools themselves, plastic cases don’t often have this problem. If I had more cabinet space, I would be more tempted to ditch some cases for tools that I primarily use in the shop, but the tools on shelves would remain in cases.
If you ever want to peruse some decent tool storage ideas for small spaces, many contractors are ingenious when it come to arranging their trailers. Check out some of the contractors forums for their trailer set ups, like Contractor Talks thread job-site-trailers-show-off-your-set-ups
If you ever plan on selling your tools in the future, cases also ad a few dollars to the sale price, even more so with vintage tools, so you might want to care for those old cases.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View dbhost's profile


5906 posts in 4689 days

#2 posted 04-11-2012 03:04 PM

Not only am I not getting rid of my cases for my hand held power tools, I have several, specifically my circular saw, jig saw, angle grinder, and a B&D router that did not come with cases, and I have gotten and use the ballistics nylon type tool bags for these tools. I am admittedly “Organizationally challenged” and using these bags, and cases to organize my tools, and their related accessories really goes a LONG way to keeping my shop productive and safe. If it weren’t for these I would be spending hours untangling power cords and cursing when I can’t find the accessories for a certain tool.. So while I am not trying to discourage you from whatever works for you, I for one will not be ditching the cases any time soon, they are just too useful for me.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4765 days

#3 posted 04-11-2012 03:17 PM

After building my new shop back in early 2008 I threw out every case I had and now when I buy a new tool I pitch the case immediately. It is too easy to collect stuff if you don’t get in the habit to cleaning and organizing.
I am getting ready to get another storage shed for the sole purpose of storing and organizing lumber so I can better organize my shop for working. I work much better when my shop is clean and uncluttered.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5034 days

#4 posted 04-11-2012 03:24 PM

I’ve never used any of my cases and I must have 40 setting around. I thought of throwing them out but I looked at one and thought I could convert it into a tool case by cutting out the inside with my multi tool and pop riviting a pouch from a cut up tool bucket . Just an Idea ,I wonder if I’ll ever get to it :))


View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 5025 days

#5 posted 04-11-2012 05:15 PM

I keep and use the cases because they keep dust off the tools – but also because that means I don’t have to build stands for them to keep them from falling over, getting knocked about, etc…

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7481 posts in 3950 days

#6 posted 04-11-2012 07:02 PM

I have tossed all but 2-3 of those cases, and consider them an unnecessary added cost to tools (I know I’m the minority on that). While a few have went to the dump, other uses are to donate them to Goodwill (or such), I understand they are quite popular there…yard sale (never tried that) and one I actually sold on a WW’ing forum (that one was the one and only Festool Systainer I will ever have). My tools all have a home somewhere in the shop, and if I have to pack on off to the kid’s house(s) for a small job I’ll put them in a canvas tool bag. Trying to store them in the shop using those cases takes up way too much room.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jeff's profile


563 posts in 4651 days

#7 posted 04-11-2012 07:06 PM

I miss the solid side cases. They stack and there’s usually places inside for tools, instructions, etc. Now everything’s a canvas bag and everything is just tossed inside and you can’t stack them.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4324 days

#8 posted 04-11-2012 07:47 PM

I hauled all of my cases to the plant and stored them on shelves. I have a nearly unlimited amount of space at the plant. However, my shop is small and cases take up way to much room and too much time.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4147 days

#9 posted 04-12-2012 02:17 AM

ssnvet, Check out my solution under my projects: “I hate those plastic cases”. Just type I hate those plastic cases in the search window to find it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

10050 posts in 3785 days

#10 posted 04-12-2012 03:03 AM

Hey Doc, nice job on the nailer organizer, that’s exactly what I was thinking of!

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4147 days

#11 posted 04-12-2012 03:09 AM

I made a similar one for my screw guns/drills/batts/chargers.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4559 days

#12 posted 04-12-2012 04:30 AM

my mantra for the shop is “have everything readilly available to use”

The air gun organizer built by “gfadvm” definately looks useful. I have found that for me the plastic cases just become a place for my tools to become out of sight, out of mind and out of use. I do have a couple for tools that are needed on rare occasions. I like to have my most used tools at the “grab and go” ready….............

-- mike...............

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Mainiac Matt

10050 posts in 3785 days

#13 posted 04-12-2012 01:10 PM

I like that set up Mike…. everything is ready to roll….

Can you post a pic of your drill holder Andy?

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View BobM001's profile


388 posts in 3787 days

#14 posted 04-12-2012 01:24 PM

Cases do take up at times limited space. But when you have to transport tools to a jobsite and protect them from the elements, those “tool bags” come up short. The last tool I got BN with a REAL metal case is that 10 1/4” Milwaukee saw. In fact the Milwaukee deep cut VS Port-A-Band saw came in a plastic case. I think the Sawzall still comes in a metal case. I called various manufacturers just to see if they had “left over” cases for their tools, “no joy” was the result. Had to go to HD and find a Bostich toolbox with metal latches for my 8 1/4 Skil worm drive. If they rattle around in the back of the truck and get beat up, you’ll have to buy new ones n’est pas?

-- OK, who's the wise guy that shrunk the plywood?

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Mainiac Matt

10050 posts in 3785 days

#15 posted 04-12-2012 02:12 PM

Ya, my sawzall will certainly stay in a case… though I should probably wrap it in VCI paper and park it in the shed as well. It’s one of those tools that I don’t use more than once or twice a year…. but when I need it, I really need it!

Part of the reason for my changing scenario is that after building a pole barn a couple summers ago, and a big treehouse project last summer, and finishing the basement room for my shop this past fall and winter, my wife declared a moritorium on any and all building projects. She compares her situation to being a “football widow” every time I tear into a big project.

So now my focus is inside… puttering on some smaller scale things, like a cat condo, and hope chest and various shop projects needed along the way.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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