DEWALT TSTAK Storage System an ACC Tool Storage Solution
Whether you rely on a short list of tried and true tools or are in the remodeling business like us here at a Concord Carpenter and the list of tools you need never ends, storage is a key component to fast and efficient work.
DEWALT has been building a comprehensive storage system with the DEWALT
TSTAK line of tool boxes complete with deep and standard size boxes, drawer units, bins, and even a wheeled cart. We here at ACC have integrated this system into our tool storage strategy and really appreciate the organization this line brings to the shop, job-site, and most importantly a working vehicle.
Most recently DEWALT added three new offerings to the TSTAK system; a clear top organizer [DWST17805], a deep box organizer [DWST17806], and a wheeled cart attachment [DWST17889]. These components were officially announced in New York City this summer at the Stanley Black and Decker Media Event where we first got a chance to get our hands on the system.
Of course a comprehensive storage system needs more than the aforementioned components so first lets take a look at the TSTAK’s specifications, their intended use, and approximate cost.
- Flexible platform allows different combinations
- All units can stack on top of the other, connected with slide latches
- Removable covered cups for small parts & accessories
- Removable dividers for organization of drills & bits
- Ball bearing slides reliable for heavy-duty loads
- Bi-material handle on top of each unit
- Heavy-duty metal latches
DEWALT TSTAK I
[DWST17808] about $30.00 to $40.000 each
An integrated tool container and divided accessory/small part storage unit that features an oversized top handle is a great drill box perfect for keeping your drill, driver, and an auxiliary tool, along with bits and small attachments. This is the only box that does not feature latches for another box to clip OVER it, although other boxes can still clip UNDER it.
DEWALT TSTAK II
[DWST17807] about $20.00 to $40.00 each
A slim tool container designed for foam inserts that keep your tool protected, organized, and accessible. This box is probably the heart of the system as you’d probably need numerous boxes to accommodate your tool collection.
DEWALT TSTAK III
[DWST17803] about $30.00 to $50.00 each
A heavy duty deep drawer organizer with a smooth as silk ball bearing slide that locks securely and contains removable covered cups for fasteners or small parts.
DEWALT TSTAK IV
[DWST17804] about $40.00 to $60.00 each
A two drawer organizer with removable divided sections that features the same ball bearing slide as the heavy duty deep drawer for smooth operation.
DEWALT TSTAK Deep Box Organizer
[DWST17806] about $25.00 to $40.00 each
A deep tool container / tool box for larger tools with a removable tray for small parts or accessories. Another core component of the TSTAK system but can double as a traditional tool box.
DEWALT TSTAK Clear Top Organizer
[DWST17805] about $25.00 to $40.00 each A clear top fastener container that mirrors the current industry standard but integrates into the TSTAK system that locks down onto the rest of the DEWALT TSTAK boxes.
DEWALT TSTAK Cart
[DWST17889] about $55.00 to $70.00 each A large wheeled cart that floats along smooth surfaces to easily transport several units stacked on each other, making your tool box units a mobile tool chest, and features the same clip system that keeps the boxes securely attached to the cart and one another.
Out of the Box
The DEWALT TSTAK boxes are super durable made from a heavy duty plastic, which keeps them light unloaded. The handles are a composite material with comfortable finger grips that lock securely into place when not in use. The DEWALT TSTAK I & II features two handles on the top and face of the box, which makes for flexible storage and carrying options.
Although the lack of foam inserts has made me reluctant to load many tools loosely in the TSTAK I & II, unless I can pack the box effectively to prevent the tools from sliding around. This is probably TSTAKs biggest drawback to comparable systems. Currently DEWALT does NOT include the foam, nor to they sell a foam insert for the system.
The stacking clips are also made of a heavy duty plastic and the clips fold down securely out of the way when not in use. The system requires all boxes to face the same direction to lock into place and the clips must be manually opened and closed for a box to mate and lock with another. But once the boxes are locked securely to one another, they are bullet proof, and you can get creative with configurations.
The DEWALT TSTAK design is not nearly as sleek as the Bosch L-Boxx system that locks together with a pressure mechanism that allows you to simply stack one box on another and they click and lock into place. But I will say that the DEWALT system, although not super innovative, is simple and easy to use. I can recall plenty of minutes wasted trying to get those L-Boxx tabs to line up perfectly and connect or disengage.
The heavy duty metal latches, similar to the latches you’ll find on most DEWALT tool cases, are strong and latch tightly to secure the lids on the TSTAK boxes. Although, the heavy duty plastic of the boxes are fairly ridged, but there is enough flex that the Deep Box Organizer body will often rack and not align with the lid preventing the latches from closing completely.
The TSTAK Deep Box Organizer also features a shallow tray that rests at the top of the boxes body, much like a traditional tool box tray, but I find the clearance needed for the tray to be seated appropriately and therefore allow the box to be closed, significantly reduces the depth of the box making it kind of a throw away item for me.
The drawer units on the TSTAK III & IV are super smooth and lock with a satisfying click. The drawer will not slide without a soft squeeze on the yellow pull of the drawer and between the deep drawer and double drawer units you have plenty of options between the dividers, covered cups, or just drawer space to place small items, fasteners, measuring, layout, and/or small tools.
Finally, the cart, although a simple platform with four oversized locking wheels that feature the same integrated latching system as the rest of the boxes is a must have accessory if you purchase more than 3 or 4 of these boxes. Additionally, if you work in a garage or a shop this allows you to easily glide your tools around a vehicle, from one workstation to another, or around a large work piece. Or if you spend a lot of time working in large commercial facilities you can save yourself plenty of time and effort avoiding hauling tool boxes from workspace to workspace.
I love the concept of an all encompassing tool storage system and DEWALT’s TSTAK definitely delivers a integrated solution that makes organizing tools and accessories of all shapes and sizes into a consistent and neat system of boxes that can maximize storage.
The TSTAK system has shined in a shop setting, as a vehicle storage solution, and on the job-site. There are some shortcomings of the system, we’ve already discussed the lack of available foam, so that’s an obvious issue.
Without the foam I spent a good amount of time switching out inserts, trays, and various components to see if I could create custom boxes or mix and match components to solve the lack of foam problem. The closest I came was taking out some cups in the clear top organizer to hold my multi-tool in place. But otherwise the interoperability of the different boxes, aside from the covered cups, is minimal at best.
Also, the boxes are not specifically designed for outdoor applications, but in construction you can’t always draw a clear line between in and out doors, so the lack of waterproofing can be an issue in the rain and snow. We had some snow flurries recently that found their way into our industrial container, which held my TSTAK I and my drill bits, snow accumulated on the box, the snow melted, and now I’ve got some rusty bits.
I wasn’t expecting a watertight seal on these boxes but some light snow effortlessly compromised the containers.
The TSTAK I is a great primary tool box that is accompanied well by the TSTAK III and IV drawers or the clear top organizer. This system definitely facilitates the creation of tool kits rather than just tool boxes. The TSTAK II and The Deep Box Organizer are also at the core of the system allowing users to build a tool kit around one tool, large or small, and accessorize with drawers or organizers.
The TSTAK III and IV can double as mini tool chests, providing plenty of space and organization that can be easily wheeled around using the TSTAK cart, making it a mobile tool chest!
The system is great, it has a few quirks and primarily minor shortcomings, with the exception of the failure to include and offer foam specifically for the TSTAK system and the inability to withstand inclement weather.
Like most DEWALT products the DEWALT TSTAK Storage System is a premium quality product. This series of tool boxes, drawers, and fasteners bins provide the professional tradesperson with an efficient storage and tool transportation system.
If you plan on committing to a storage solution like the DEWALT TSTAK system I’d recommend going all in, if you can’t afford to purchase everything you need at once, building up isn’t a bad idea, but be sure to be very intentional about what you purchase for what tools. Taking the time to think about what tools you use, how frequently, and with what accessories or auxiliary tools will make prioritizing components easier and make using the system more successful.
If your brand is DEWALT and you can’t wait to get a hold of this system, the one thing that could keep you waiting is the lack of foam inserts. Ideally these inserts will be sold discounted in box stores or perhaps DEWALT will offer a deal once available. But you’ll definitely want the foam to maximize the system, whenever it comes out.
Bottom line, some of the most important tools you own are the “tools” that hold your tools, your tool belt is a great example of this concept, you use it EVERYDAY and a good belt can ensure all your tools are accessible, secure, and quick to deploy when needed. The DEWALT TSTAK storage system is a great example of perhaps an overlooked “tool” that can save you time AND money by making your set-up, clean-up, and actual work faster and more efficient!
Definitely take a look at DEWALT TSTAK Storage System as way to integrate all your tool storage into a seamless, secure, and mobile platform to help you work smarter, NOT harder.