Tool Bag VS Tool Box | Is Tool Box Or Tool Bag Better?

tool bag vs tool box

Table of Contents

There are many products for storing tools such as tool cabinets, tool walls, tool boxes, tool boxes and tool bags, but not all tool storage products are easy to carry and organize tools, many people choose tool bags to store and carry their tools.

If you are a tool storage product user such as an electrician, carpenter, plumber, HVAC worker or DIYer, you need to choose a product that meets your needs. If you are a seller or retailer of tool products, you need to know which is more popular in the market and sells better.

So, which is better, tool box or tool bag? There is no doubt that the tool bag is better than tool box, tool bags are more convenient, more variety, better organization, take up less space, more comfortable and more functional. We have produced and sold tool bags since 2003, and sold tool boxes since 2017. We know the features of both, so this post compare the cons and pros of tool boxes and tool bags from 8 aspects to help you choose.

Features Comparison Of Tool Box And Tool Bag

Tool BoxTool Bag
Organization And StorageLoserWinner
Tool SafetyWinnerLoser
Different TypesLoserWinner
Amount Of Space It Takes UpLoserWinner
Comparison Chart Of Tool Box And Tool Bag

Organization And Storage

Whether tool bag, tool box or other tool storage products, the primary function of these products is to store and organize tools or hardware, so storage and organization is the first aspect when comparing tool boxes and tool bags.

Tool Box

Most tool boxes only have a central main compartment for storing tools, which results in your tools being cluttered together and not being able to quickly find what you want. Sometimes people give tool boxes a tool divider to sort tools, but this adds extra cost and doesn’t organize tools perfectly. So tool boxes can store tools but cannot organize tools perfectly.

tool box with tools
Tool Box With Tools

Tool Bag

Large size tool bags are able to store a lot of tools and hardware, as long as you use a tool bag of sufficient size, you don’t need to worry about your tools cannot being stored. In addition, tool bags are usually equipped with many special structures to organize tools such as zipper pockets, loops, slots, tape measure holders, hammer holders, saw sleeves, spirit level holders and even laptop sleeves, all of tools can be organized in specific locations, these structures mak it easy to organize and access tools. So, whether for storing or organizing tools, tool bags have advantages.

tool bag with tools
Tool Bag With Tools


Most users don’t just use the tool in one place, they have to transport the tools from one place to another, so portability is very important.

Tool Box

Tool boxes tend to be large and bulky and usually come with only a simple handle, while rolling tool boxes equipped with wheels only allow them to be carried on flat groud. If the user needs to unload the tool box from the car or carry the tool box up the stairs, there is no good way but hand-held it. Who can keep carrying a bulky tool box without getting tired? Obviously, tool boxes are not portable.

tool box with handle
Tool Box With Handle

Tool Bag

Most tool bags have handles or shoulder straps for carrying, backpack tool bags allow the user to carry it on the back, waist tool bags allow the user to tie it around the waist (you can even add suspenders to make it more easy to carry), these are all it shows that the tool bags are very easy to carry. Compared with the tool box, the tool bags are more portable.

tool bag with handle and shoulder strap
Tool Bag With Handle And Shoulder Strap


If you don’t want the product to break after a few uses, then durability must be considered seriously. So which is more durable, tool bag or tool box?

Tool Box

The materials for making the tool boxes are: plastic, iron, stainless steel, aluminum alloy and so on. Among them, plastic materials cannot withstand high-strength impacts, so plastic tool boxes are easily broken. The iron tool boxes are very easy to rust, when the paint is knocked off, the damaged part will gradually rust, no one wants to put their tools next to the rust! As for tool boxes made of stainless steel and aluminum alloys, they have very good durability, they are hard and will not rust and can be used for a long time.

aluminum tool box
Aluminum Tool Box

Tool Bag

Tool bags are usually made of durable polyester, nylon or leather, Tool bags always equipped with special heavy-duty stiching and rivets, which ensures that the seams of the tool bags will not be easily torn, and all materials of the tool bags are specially selected for durability. In addition, cleaning your tool bag properly can maintain its durability, A Guide To Clean Your Tool Bags. Therefore, the tool bags are also durable. Choose a good tool bag manufacturer for more durable tool bags.

supper metal rivets of open tote tool bag
Rivet On Tool Bag

Tool Safety

Ensuring tool safety is the basic function of tool storage products. We compare tool bags and tool boxes from three aspects: waterproof, impact-proof and anti-theft.


Tool Box

Commonly used materials for tool boxes are plastics, metals, alloys, etc. Water cannot penetrate these materials, but water can enter the interior through the gap of the tool box lid. Basically, most tool boxes are just water-resistant, but the water-proof tool boxes are completely waterproof, and they’re even IPX6 rated.

waterproof tool box
Waterproof Tool Box
Tool Bag

Some tool bags are equipped with hard bottom to keep out water and dust on the ground, most of the fabric tool bags use fabrics that are coated, so the fabric itself is also waterproof, but since tool bags are fabric products, water can always be penetrates into seams, zippers, or opened pockets. Therefore, the tool bags are only water-resistant and not completely waterproof.

3 Layer Waterproof Construction


Tool Box

All tool box shells are hard, as long as the shell material is hard enough to protect the tool when the tool box is dropped or impacted, please don’t choose poor quality plastic tool boxes as they are easily broken.

Tool Bag

Most soft sided tool bags tend to be made of only two or single layers of fabric, which obviously don’t protect the tool well. The bodies of open tote tool bags are rigid, and they’re as shock-resistant as tool boxes. And heavy duty tool bags are usually equipped with multiple layers of materials such as fabric, lining, EPE foam sheet, PE sheet, 3D air mesh cloth, etc. These materials and structures can effectively reduce impact and thus protect protective tools.

open tote tool bag
Rigid Open Tote Tool Bag


Tool Box

There are many tool boxes that are lockable, and it is not difficult to convert a normal tool box into a lockable tool box. Therefore, the anti-theft performance of the tool boxes are very good. However, if people use tools in one place, why not use a more safety tool cabinet to store the tools? Frequent locking and unlocking is also very troublesome if people need to carry tools to different places!

lockable tool box
Lockable Tool Box
Tool Bag

Only some tool bags are lockable, most tool bags have open pockets and compartments, and single zipper is not lockable. Therefore, the anti-theft performance of the tool bages are not very good.

Different Types

For any product, being able to provide more choices means being able to meet different needs, this is an advantage that cannot be ignored.

Tool Box

People’s impression of a tool box is usually a square box or case. Some tool boxes are just an empty box, some have built-in dividers, some are equipped with wheels and a rolling system, but the variety of tool boxes is still too small, which makes it impossible to meet people’s diverse needs.

Tool Bag

As we all know, there are many types of tool bags, such as: soft side tool bags, open tote tool bags, backpack tool bags, tool pouches, waist tool bags, tool roll bags, bucket tool bags, etc. The post ‘Definition, Usages And Types Of Tool Bags‘ details the different types of tool bags. Obviously, tool bags have more variety, which makes them able to meet different needs.

different types of tool bags
Different Types Of Tool Bags

Amount Of Space It Takes Up

When you’re comparing tool boxes and tool bags, you have to consider whether your workshop can hold them and whether they can save more space as much as possible.

Tool Box

There is no doubt that tool boxes are usually bulky and un-foldable, and you can’t reduce their size when you’re not using them, which is very space-consuming, isn’t it?

Tool Bag

But tool bags are better in saving space. Most tool bags are made of soft fabric or leather, which allows the tool bags to be folded when not in use. Even open tote tool bags can be designed to be foldable. This greatly saves storage and transport space. This means that the tool bags can save a lot of logistics costs and take up less space when not in use.

foldable tool bag
Foldable Tool Bag


The comfort of the product when it is used must be considered, and the worker or DIYer must prefer the tool storage product that reduces fatigue, otherwise the work will become more tiring.

Tool Box

Almost all tool boxes are hard, which makes people feel uncomfortable when carrying the tool box, neither the hard handle nor the metal pull rod can provide people with comfort, so the tool boxes are usually uncomfortable.

Tool Bag

Designers usually design many special structures on tool bags to increase comfort, such as padded grips, foam grips, non-slip handles, padded shoulder pads, padded backpack backs, padded tool bag backs etc., these structures make user feel comfortable rather than tiring when carrying or using the tool bag. In addition, these structures also reduce the risk of injury to user’s bodies. Therefore, the tool bags are more comfortable.

padded grip handle of 18 inch tool bag
Padded Grip
Padded Back Of tool backpack
Padded Back Of Tool Backpack
tool belt with suspender
Tool Belt With Suspender


It would be perfect if your tool storage product would not only help you store and carry your tools but also provide extra functionality!

Tool Box

Unfortunately, most toolboxes can only store and carry tools, they don’t offer much more to help users to work.

Tool Bag

Some tool bag sellers give tool bags with additional useful functions, such as lights, which help users find tools or use tools in dimly lit environments, such as bluetooth speakers, which play songs to make people feel less at work boring. In conclusion, the tool bags are multifunctional and they can do so much more.

tool bag with light
Tool Bag With Light
tool bag with speaker
Tool Bag With Speaker


To sum up, we have compared tool bags and tool boxes from multiple aspects, and it is clear that tool bags are better, tool bags are more convenient, more variety, better organization, take up less space, more comfortable and more functional.

Whether the end user or bulk buyer, everyone has different needs, we wrote this post to help people analyze the features of tool bags and tool boxes in depth, so as to help people choose the tool bag or tool box.

We are a tool bag manufacturer started in 2003, we provide OEM/ODM service, and we welcome global clients to purchase tool bags in bulk. More than 100 original designed tool bag styles for you to choose, technicians with 10 years of experience help you realize your custom ideas.



Hi, I'm Daniel, CEO of a professional tool bag manufacturer---IRONLAND, we spacialized in tool bag industry and business since 2003. And the purpose of these articles is to share with you the knowledge related to tool bag industry from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

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