What good is a tool without a quality toolbox in which to store it? We’ll answer that. No good. If not properly stored away when not in use, even the most expensive tool will rust and dull, which is why we suggest all levels of DIYers and tradespeople find a toolbox that is large enough to hold most – if not all – of the tools in their arsenal. We often find ourselves recommending the TB102 toolbox from Excel, but is it the right toolbox for you? Read on to find out.
The Excel TB102 is a basic though high-quality toolbox that has applications in both hobbyist and professional settings, although it is most commonly used by DIYers. It is available in a number of sizes – for the sake of this review we chose the 16-inch model – and is relatively inexpensive when compared to some other steel toolboxes on the market.
We most commonly recommend the TB102 to hobbyists as its capacity is a little less than what the average professional requires. DIYers, however, tend to have a much smaller arsenal and so should experience little difficulty in fitting a significant portion of their tools into the Excel TB102. Selling for in or around $20, the Excel TB102 is pretty inexpensive for a quality steel toolbox, so you should certainly consider it if you don’t have a lot of room in your budget.
Many toolboxes on the market today come with a small collection of tools included in an attempt to draw the consumer towards them. This is particularly true in the case of beginner’s toolboxes. Unfortunately, the Excel TB102 does not include any tools and those who purchase it will receive only the toolbox itself. While it is certainly a drawback, the lack of additional accessories plays a significant role in the low price of this toolbox, so we can’t exactly condemn Excel for it.
While the Excel TB102 is lacking in accessories, the toolbox itself is loaded with features which set it apart from other models in its price range. For example, the exterior of the TB102 comes powder coated, which makes its paint job resistant to knocks, bumps, and scratches.
It is also resistant to chemicals. A combination of an easy-grip handle and a full-length piano hinge allows this toolbox to be easily opened with one hand, so you won’t have to worry about diverting your attention away from your project every time you need a new tool.
Weighing in at just 2.6 pounds when empty, this is a lightweight toolbox and so can be easily transported from your garage to your worksite and back again. Considering this is primarily a hobbyist toolbox, our only major issue is that it is unable to be locked. While it does feature a latch to keep it shut, Excel neglected to fit the TB102 with an effective security system.
Although the Excel TB102 is resistant to scratches and chemicals, it requires careful care and maintenance to ensure it continues to protect your tools to its highest possible standard. If you aren’t certain what you should be doing to maintain your toolbox, we recommend watching the video below, in which you will be shown how to resurrect your toolbox even if it has been neglected to the point of rusting.
While the Excel TB102 is great for DIYers, we generally advise professionals against it because of its low capacity. If you are a tradesperson and are searching for a container in which you can store and transport your tools, you may want to consider forgoing the traditional toolbox and instead choosing a tool chest, perhaps the Modular Organizer and Storage System from Keter.
The great appeal of the Keter Modular Organizer and Storage System comes in the form of its five drawers, the last of which is double-deep to allow for the storage of larger tools. Despite its greater capacity, this tool chest is just as portable as the Excel TB102 and can be broken into two halves for easy transportation.
There is nothing fancy about the Excel TB102. It is exactly what it looks like, and that is a steel toolbox with a capacity almost solely suited to the arsenal of a hobbyist. It is this simplicity which accounts for a large portion of the Excel TB102’s allure. It harkens back to a time when every homeowner had a set of tools in their garage that they could turn to whenever something needed to be done around the house as opposed to paying for professional intervention.
If you’re searching for a toolbox that will do everything a toolbox is supposed to do and no more, the Excel TB102 should be high on your shopping list.