CoolBox Lays Claim as the “World’s Smartest Toolbox”
Co-founders Mike D’Agostini and Christopher Engelo have a lot of people excited about the CoolBox. The Coolbox delivers blends a traditional toolbox with modern technology. It started as an IndieGogo crowdfunding project and now you can buy it online. Crowdfunding has created some interesting products in the past—like the Oxx CoffeeBoxx and Outlaw Fasteners that we find incredibly innovative. Follow that up with products like the Milwaukee Packout radio, and you see that manufacturers like melding technology with tool storage. Users have to decide where the CoolBox fits in the tool realm. The real question remains: do you really need everything that CoolBox offers on a toolbox?
Before we can begin to answer the above question, we need to know what features the CoolBox offers. Here’s a breakdown:
- 8 ft. extension cord
- Integrated 3-way splitter plug
- Internal 4-hour 11.1V/3 Ah lithium-polymer battery
- Detachable LED lamp
- 3.5mm AUX input
- Dual 20W RMS 8-ohm marine-grade speakers
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 2 USB charging ports
- Tablet/phone stands
- LCD clock
- Bottle opener
- Dual-sided whiteboard
Coolbox Tool Box Connectivity
First of all, the retractable 8-foot cord is a big win. It’s long enough to actually use, yet retracts for easier transport. I also like the trio of three-prong outlets. Not everything charges via a USB port (yet), so it’s nice to know that I can set up a charger or three for my power tool batteries. The integrated 3Ah lithium-polymer battery should run any of the individual components for close to a full workday.
The Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to get your tunes started. A couple of 20W 8-ohm speaker give you marine-grade durability. That means it can get wet. There’s also an auxiliary port for non-Bluetooth devices. The twin USB charging ports round off what I like at first glance.
What We’re Not So Sure About
I’m withholding judgment before I say that there’s anything I flat out don’t like. I do have some doubts about a few things though. I’d prefer it if that 20V battery were removable. Sooner or later, it will need to be replaced and I’d rather not have to send the entire unit in to have it done. There’s no specific mention of how you access it, so it may be that it’s an easy process that can be done yourself. We just don’t know yet.
LED lighting on a tool box? A couple for seeing inside—absolutely. Outside? It will remain to be seen if they are effective enough to replace the lights we’re already using like Ryobi’s Hybrid LED Work Light that I could just as easily run off of one of the power supplies.
The dimensions of the box are smaller than what I’d prefer to see. You can fit a six-pack of cans inside, but not bottles. It’s smaller than the dated Milwaukee 26″ Work Box and I’m still holding out hope that toolboxes will start being made large enough to fit general contractor’s tools like your best impact driver.
What I Could Probably Do Without
Honestly, there are just some things I don’t think I need (but who knows, maybe once I see it I’ll change my mind!). This just boils down to the wheels, whiteboard, and tablet/phone stands. With dimensions like these and a 65-pound capacity, I’ll just go ahead and carry the CoolBox, thank you very much. I do use a whiteboard frequently, but I need it to be bigger. The phone and tablet thing… it’s nice, but I don’t need it. That’s not to say that there aren’t people that could. It’s just not for me.
But It Could Be Really Cool…
Yes, the CoolBox may be extremely cool. It’s got a lot of features built into it that you won’t normally find on a toolbox, there’s no doubt about that. When people see the $129.99 price tag, they may find it competes well with a combination of a Milwaukee Work Box ($40) and Milwaukee M18 Charging Radio with Bluetooth ($229).
Before you think I’m totally against the CoolBox, let me remind you of a couple of points. First, this is based on only what the makers of the CoolBox are telling us online. Second, more than 1350 people have been a part of the fundraising effort to get the manufacturing process started. That’s really good for a crowdfunding effort. This thing has a lot of features. Whether it’s going to be a $10 Gerber multi-tool on clearance or as popular as the Leatherman Wave, we can’t know until they start showing up.
What do you think? Tell us what your first impression is of the CoolBox!