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Old 10-04-2021, 19:08   #1
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What do you carry your tools in?

What kind of boxes, bags, etc., do you keep your tools in?

Keeping your tools organized would be, I think, essential, but the typical to boxes I see at the home stores seem too bulky to make a good fit on a boat.

What do you use?
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Old 10-04-2021, 19:17   #2
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

Canvas tote tool bag for me. I have a plumbers model that has a base that can sit in puddles without getting wet.


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Old 10-04-2021, 19:26   #3
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

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Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
... a good fit on a boat.

With each boat I've chosen kits that fit the boat. So the answer is always changing.
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Old 10-04-2021, 19:32   #4
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I've been through all kinds of solutions on my boat. My favorite so far is a small white canvas bag my father gave me, which he used to keep on his boat back in the day.

What I've learned is that it's no good if the bag is too big and you have to dig in it. I keep all my wrenches in a separate bag from everything else.

If I ever build a custom boat, I will have built-in drawers and cabinets for tools, inside a big walk-in engine/technical room. And a proper workbench with a vice.
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Old 10-04-2021, 19:48   #5
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

As somebody who uses tools as much on other boats as my own, I need something practical and portable. I am not compulsive about organization (OK, my partner would say I am disorganized...) So finding something that worked the way I did never really worked... Until I found these:

Atlas Yorktown Toolrool

They are really expensive, but they WORK, and they take all the abuse I heap on them. I actually have two, one for the standard mechanics tools, and a second, smaller one, for electrical tools. The big one probably has 60 pounds of tools in it, and I can toss it into the dinghy and not worry about things falling out, or scratching yacht finishes.

Actually made in the US, they have top quality components, materials and workmanship. This is something I use every day, and it makes my day better.
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Old 10-04-2021, 20:29   #6
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I can see how a good tool roll would work well for wrenches, screwdrivers, etc.

Exploring around Amazon, after loading your link, brought me to this, which might make sockets fit well into a roll:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0789DJSG1

But what do you keep your power tools in?
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Old 11-04-2021, 15:06   #7
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

Like an open tool tote with pockets on inside and outside for slipping things in and open center for bulky items. Put wrenches in a tool roll, sockets on one of those plastic clip rails that Jdege mentioned, hammer, small saw, etc in the center and screwdrivers and everything else in the pockets. Being open it's really easy to get at most of the tools. Currently use this one. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-20...9-02/306052568 Carry my 12v battery powered tools in a bag that came with one of my Milwaukee tools. Manage to fit drill, drill driver, impact driver, electric hacksaw, spare batteries and a charger into a fairly small zip up bag.supply

Think I saw a Milwaukee tote similar to above but better layout on sale at HD for $99.

That tool roll that BillKny mentioned looks really really practical left me drooling but it's pricey.
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Old 11-04-2021, 16:01   #8
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

Quote:
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With each boat I've chosen kits that fit the boat. So the answer is always changing.

I should have expanded.


The older I get, the more I like multiple bags for different groups. They are lighter and I can find what I need faster. I like:
  • Rolls for end wrenches and other long items. Trays for sockets.
  • Electrician's bag for GP tools. It also makes a good rigging bag for work aloft, so dual purpose.
  • Trays for fasteners, shackles, and bits and pieces. These often fit well at the nav station, where we used to stow maps.
  • Travel toiletries bag for smaller boats. It holds enough and it's pretty organized.
  • Big canvass bags for hauling "project day" tools, power tools, and supplies. I never kept more than a drill on the boat.
  • Backpack. I like the Klein backpack for traveling with inspection tools (engineering consulting business). But it's too big to fit in a locker on the boat, so it is just for travel. There are lots of cool tool backpacks and I am surprised I don't see them around boats more often.
Finding a functional way to carry and sort tools is an important part of learning to use them. You don't need as many, if you can always find what you are looking for, and the collection is versatile.
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Old 11-04-2021, 16:01   #9
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I use a tool roll for everyday item like screw drivers, adjustable wrenches and pliers (channel lock and regular). I have two of these (on different boats) and one has slots for sockets and a ratchet handle. This has become my favourite.

I also have a small canvas bag on each boat that is not too deep (not much digging necessary to find the needed tool which is always at the bottom), for less frequently used tools (hammers, mallets, strap wrenches).

Lastly, I have a locker with socket sets, open and hex head wrenches, (one boat, built in France with a British engine requires metric and SAE sockets and wrenches).

I have been using this setup for about 5 or so years and it works well for me. The tool box that I have at home would be useless on the boat. If one day I should become wealthy, I will have a boat with a workshop - I have seen these - they are amazing. But even then I would still use the tool roll and the small canvas bag for "offsite" jobs in parts of the boat distant from the workshop.
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Old 11-04-2021, 17:12   #10
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

A few small canvas tool bags or tool belts for the small stuff, then put those and the big stuff in a 5 gallon bucket
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Old 11-04-2021, 17:46   #11
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I use a hard plastic tote meant for cleaning supplies: it has two chambers, stays open, is sturdy, and won't scratch a deck. I one chamber I put cups to organize fids and pens and other small things.
I can dump it out and wash it whenever I need.
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Old 11-04-2021, 18:14   #12
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I am full time live aboard with no land base, LOTS of tools. I have bought a bunch of tool bags at Harbor Freight. I bag each for: battery operated drills, grinders, oscillating tool and accessories, sanders, ZIP tool, dremels, welder. They are inexpensive and of reasonable/good quality. But there are some things that just work better in a transparent plastic case, think Tupperware. I have hole saws in a 2 quart drink container. Keeps them from diffing up other stuff. A few things stay in their plastic case: the large socket set, drill index, tap and die set, big rivet tool.
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Old 11-04-2021, 18:20   #13
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I have some long tools- a torque wrench, a very large adj wrench (20") pry bar etc. Does anybody know of a good bag for these type items, (they won't be used very often so I can store away under a qrt berth,
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Old 11-04-2021, 18:31   #14
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I have most of my tools in canvas bags, organized by theme or type of project. I have a plumbing bag, an electrical bag (two actually), a deck hardware bag, and a general bag for the basic tools (pliers, basic wrenches, screw driver, etc.). I also have a fibreglass bin and a varnish bin. I use bins for those latter two to manage any spillage.

This keeps each bag/box fairly light and organized. Usually a job entails one or two bags.


ADD: I keep the power tools in a separate area. Drill, multitool, dremel, sander, grinder.
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Old 11-04-2021, 18:34   #15
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Re: What do you carry your tools in?

I keep y tools in bags. I have a couple and 1 is what I call the day tool bag. It has the basic stuff in it that gets used commonly.
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