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UPDATED: 1/22/2021

If you're a General Contractor or in any professional occupation that requires you to be in different jobsites, then you know how important it is to keep your tools and hardware organized and ready to go at a moment’s notice. So naturally, you invest in toolboxes and containers to keep everything neat and from moving around in your work truck. However not all boxes and bins are made the same. Some are way too brittle and break after the first drop. Others can't seem to keep hardware from migrating to other bins. VERY ANNOYING!


After searching online for a solution, you’ll quickly realize the two most popular results are the Milwaukee PACKOUT and the DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM. So, what’s the difference between the two? They’re both modular/stackable storage systems, portable, and customizable. Which one is better? I’m hoping I can answer that for you by sharing my thoughts and opinions. Yes, there are many similarities but also distinguishable differences. To really figure out which system is better, let's discuss three factors: Durability, Accessibility and Versatility.



The beginning foundation of a portable toolbox is mobility. In this case (no pun intended), we’re going to compare the durability between the Milwaukee 48-22-8426 PACKOUT Rolling Tool Box and the DeWalt DWST08250 TOUGHSYSTEM Mobile Storage. These units are very capable and durable compared to other storage boxes in the market, that goes without saying. Both are rated at IP65, which means that its "dust tight" and protected against water projected from a nozzle. That’s where the similarities end in my opinion.


The wheels on the Milwaukee PACKOUT are larger, wider, with more tread. The wheel axel is hidden underneath, purposely enclosed to avoid any damages while lugging this around. The actual box is so much more robust than the DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM. All corners are reinforced with built-in hardware for tie-downs. The strong laches on the PACKOUT create a firm seal with a satisfying snap. The industrial-grade handles feel very solid and sturdy. Its so well built you can use it as an actual dolly! Its capable of supporting 250 pounds! The DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM Mobile Storage feels like a plastic bin with casters compare to the mighty PACKOUT Rolling Tool Box!



DeWALT DWST08206 TOUGHSYSTEM Stackable Multi-Grip Tool Box Tote SHOP NOW
DeWALT DWST08130 TOUGHSYSTEM Anti-Rust Weather-Resistant Tool Box SHOP NOW
DeWALT DWST08204 TOUGHSYSTEM Case Tool Equipment Box - Extra Large SHOP NOW
DeWALT DWST60436 TOUGH SYSTEM 2.0 Heavy Duty Rolling Tower Tool Box SHOP NOW
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Once you have your mobile rig onsite, how fast can you get to work? How difficult is it to start pulling out tools and hardware needed to get going? The Milwaukee PACKOUT and DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM have two completely different mounting systems. PACKOUTs are attached to each other by the lids and are firmly held together by a single clip. The TOUGHSYSTEM has two options. First option is to stack them on top of each other. Latches on both sides will snap upwards to securely lock them in place. Second option is to slide them in place utilizing the TOUGHSYSTEM Brackets.


Milwaukee has the advantage of removing a PACKOUT using only one hand, simply unlock and pull. The TOUGHSYSTEM forces you to use both hands to unlock both clips from each side and pull up. Not a huge deal but something to think about. Since the TOUGHSYSTEM are locked in by the body, one major disadvantage is the inability to access any bottom box WITHOUT having the need of unlocking and removing any boxes that are attached above. PACKOUTs, like the 48-22-8424 Polymer Tool Box, make it much easier to access any box just by opening the lids. Anything attached will just lean backwards. However, DeWalt does have a solution for this! You can take advantage of the TOUGHSYSTEM Brackets and purchase the DeWalt DWST08210 DS Carrier.



Not every job is the same, so only bringing the necessary tools and equipment on the fly is key. These modular/stackable storage systems are a great way to handle this task. They are very customizable, and you could really tailor this for your work needs. Milwaukee PACKOUT and the DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM are designed to provide users with the ability to interchange and interlock a wide assortment of heavy-duty toolboxes, organizers, and storage totes in multiple different configurations.


Both Milwaukee PACKOUT and DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEM are very versatile, no questions on that. However, the Milwaukee has a larger PACKOUT catalog. Which means more configuration options, and it seems like Milwaukee is consistently adding to the lineup (Click here and build your own Milwaukee PACKOUT!). What DeWalt offers that Milwaukee doesn’t is the TOUGHSYSTEM DWST08260 Workshop Racking Solution. This enables users to store their TOUGHSYSTEM boxes in their own workspace, neatly mounted on the wall, and ready to go at any time. They also offer this same system for work vans! To be fair Milwaukee offers the PACKOUT 48-22-8485 Mounting Plate, but its not the same if you ask me.



Milwaukee 48-22-8425 100-Pound Capacity Polymer PACKOUT Large Tool Box SHOP NOW
Milwaukee 48-22-8426 250-Pound Capacity Polymer PACKOUT Rolling Tool Box SHOP NOW
Milwaukee 2950-20 M18 18V PACKOUT Radio Charger - Bare Tool SHOP NOW
Milwaukee 48-22-8435 5-Bin Impact Resistant Polymer PACKOUT Compact Organizer SHOP NOW
Milwaukee 48-22-8485 PACKOUT Mounting Plate


The Milwaukee PACKOUTs are a better purchase than the DeWalt TOUGHSYSTEMs. They are a little bit more expensive, but you get more. The PACKOUTs are definitely more durable and because Milwaukee has a larger catalog, your able to customize your setup further than the TOUGHSYSTEMs. Spending the extra dollar on a PACKOUT is worth it! However, with all that being said. Don’t brush off DeWalt so quickly! They have introduced the second generation called TOUGHSYSTEM 2.0!!! Engineered with upgraded features and compatible with existing TOUGHSYSTEM products. I’m honestly very excited about the second gen and I can’t wait to put them side-by-side! See you on the next one!



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