21 Top Tool Storage Tips, Tricks and Ideas
DIYers tend to accumulate all kinds of tools for all kinds of projects. The key to staying efficient, though, is to make sure you always have the right tools at hand. Check out these ideas to make sure you keep your tools organized!
Garden Tool Storage Cubby
Bench-Top Tool Storage Tip
Here’s a smart way to keep a vise or small bench-top tool right at your fingertips without cluttering your workbench: Build this slide-in base and mount the vise or tool on it so the entire unit can slide back in upside down and out of the way. Countersink holes into the underside of the base so you can recess the mounting nuts and washers.
Foam Ball Tool Storage
Panpipe Tool Storage
New Angle on Small Tool Storage
Find a bare spot on a wall or workbench and screw on a 2-ft. piece of 2-in.-wide, slotted angle iron available at home centers. It’s the perfect hangout for screwdrivers, bits, safety glasses and sanding drums.
Long-Handled Tool Rack
Eyeglass-case hardware storage
My wife has a drawer full of old eyeglass cases that she doesn’t use anymore, so I repurposed them to store small things like drill bits and screws. I stick a case in my shirt pocket when I’m working and toss it into a toolbox when I’m done. It’s much easier than digging around for small stuff in the bottom of my tool apron.
– Norm Smith
Rubbery shelf liner works great in toolboxes, but there’s a cheaper alternative. Cut a nonslip rug mat to fit any size drawer and keep tools from sliding around. For the ultimate in tool storage drawers, check out this handy tabletop cabinet.
Air Tool Station
A 2-1/2-gallon bucket is all you need to store air tools and hoses on a wall right by the air compressor. Screw a 3/4-in. plywood shelf inside the bucket to create two storage areas, then attach the bucket to the wall with a couple of screws and washers. Load up the bucket with nailers, nails, tire pressure gauges and other accessories and coil the hose around it.
PVC Storage Hangers
It’s true—we love PVC pipe. Or let’s say we appreciate the way it inspires and accommodates tool and hardware storage. Here’s the latest PVC gem. Cut 2-in. pieces of 3-in. PVC and saw away a 2-in. section so it looks like Pac Man. (Remember Pac Man?) Drill screw holes and attach the hangers to studs or shop walls. Space pairs for convenient horizontal storage of longer tools such as levels and glue clamps, and use single segments for ropes, electrical cords or anything else that you want securely stored yet easily accessible. Try this tip and you’ll learn never to be peeved by leftover PVC.
Keep all your hand tools within easy reach in a portable 16-in. pine carton. Build one from a 1×8 x 12-ft. pine board, 1/4-in. plywood and a 3/4-in. oak dowel, and you’ll never run back to the garage for a bit, blade, wrench or nail. Here’s how:
- Cut and screw together the sides and ends with the ends protruding 1 in. beyond the sides. Drill holes in the top of the ends for a 3/4-in. dowel handle and tap it in the holes before assembling the ends and sides. Drill the 3/8-in. storage holes in the top edges of the sides before assembly.
- Saw 1/4-in. x 1-1/2-in. pine strips for the side slats and screw them to the protruding ends.
- Cut and screw on the 1/4-in. plywood floor.
- Cut 3/8-in. pine partitions and screw them behind the side slats to create custom-width pockets for the tools.
That’s it—load it up and tote your tools with just one hand!
Flip-Through Storage Rack
Unless you live in an art gallery, wall space is always at a premium. Build this book-like storage rack, and expand your wall space exponentially. Grabbing a tool is as easy as flipping through a magazine.
Mount two parallel 2x4s on the wall spaced 24 in. apart. Cut the leaves from 3/4-in. plywood and hang them from the 2x4s with 3-in. door hinges. Fur out the hinges with 3/4-in. plywood blocks so the pages can pivot without binding. Mount the leaves at least 4 in. apart to allow room for them to fold back. Let your imagination run wild creating holders for your various tools.
For you pegboard fans, sandwich a 1×3 frame between two pieces of pegboard. Now your collection of hooks and holders will work with this tool storage system.
On-a-Roll Pegboard Doors
The trick is to insert 1/2-in. plywood spacers in the roller hardware as shown. You can use the floor bracket that comes with the slider hardware to maintain the same 2-in. clearance at the bottom of the cabinet. For door handles, simply drill a couple of 1-1/4-in. holes in the pegboard with a spade bit. Now pop in the pegs and hang up your tools.
Painting Gear Hangout
Organize your paint brushes, scrapers, roller frames, rags and paint cans with this shelf made from two 1×8 boards screwed together and reinforced with metal shelf brackets. We built ours 38 in. long to fit three brackets of sliding spring grips that we mounted under the shelf for tool storage. Build and attach this shelf to a shop or basement wall, and you’ll enforce orderly storage on all your far-flung painting paraphernalia.
Space-Saving Sliding Shelves
Drop this nifty rack in a deep tool chest drawer and fit more pliers and wrenches in less space by storing them on their side. The Lisle No. 404090 storage rack holds up to 13 tools and has two different size slots.
Turn any closet into a useful hang-up storage space by adding S-hooks to wire shelving. This provides tidy storage for mops, brooms and other cleaning tools.