The real sign that you’ve made the transition from boy to man is owning a good toolbox. Most are clumsy metal contraptions, but Stanley’s efficiency-boosting FatMax Organiser puts them to shame. By presenting your tools like a tray of chocolates it effectively cancels the time wasted rooting around in the bottom of your toolbox in search of that elusive alum key.
Its A-frame design gives the FatMax the visual advantage of storing every tool in an upright position so that nothing is hidden and you can whip them out in a trice. The fabric side panels role down to reveal all, 46 pockets hold your hardware in place and another 20 loops of elastic grasp your spanners and sockets.
The FatMax does the splits too, giving an overall top-down view, while the hard plastic and waterproof nylon walls protect your beloved tools from the dirty ground and provide a makeshift workstation.
Anticipating a tough life on a building site, the denier nylon and industrial leather materials that make up the body of the bag are especially tough, as are the zips and rubber carry handle. You also get a strong detachable shoulder strap for heaving it around.
In practice, the FatMax Organiser has a number of immediate advantages over the other toolboxes and bags that we’ve tested. Its upright form factor makes it easy to pick up and cart around like a briefcase or a shoulder bag and, with a small footprint, it takes up less room in the workshop. It’s particularly light when its empty, but still feels tough enough to survive life on the road and it’s waterproof enough to keep your tools snug and dry.
Of minor concern are the four zips that seal everything in. If one goes, your bag is compromised, but if two or three zips fail you’ll need to replace them or the bag. Happily they seem very strong and the advantage of Stanley’s access-all-areas approach far outweighs the risks. This is genuinely one of those tools that can take the pain out of DIY.