DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 Storage Improves in Several Areas
Tool storage is a huge segment for several manufacturers. While many folks are going to stick to the brand they like, there’s nothing that says you can’t put Craftsman tools in a DeWalt toolbox. The DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 storage system makes some significant improvements to its first-gen system. We cover everything you need to know about this portable tool storage system.
- New auto-locking side latches make stacking and securing easy
- More robust latches
- More space
- Excellent durability
- Available wheeled base box rolls smoothly
- Metal reinforced padlock holes
- Rubber gasket keep dust and water out
- Lid system doesn’t keep objects from traveling out of trays
- No dedicated strap points for transport on the rolling box
DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 Improvements and Testing Results
The DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 addresses one of the biggest complaints we’ve seen—the latches. They’re much more robust on the new system, locking down solidly with a more durable feel.
We noticed that it’s possible for the metal catch to slide over the top of the latching slot. That’s not an issue of fit, though. On the contrary, it fits extremely well with no wiggle.
The catch doesn’t swing freely down, so you just need to give it a little extra attention. You might make the argument that DeWalt could make the lip a bit larger, but this is really a very minor issue.
Super-Easy Auto-Connect Side Latches
We LOVE the auto-connecting side latches on the DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0. They’re spring-loaded and automatically lock one box on top of another with a simple press. Often, the weight of the box and its contents are enough to do the job without any extra help.
You have to make sure the boxes are lined up properly. It might take a day or two, but it settles into muscle memory pretty quickly.
These side latches are very secure. We haven’t had any issues with them coming apart. Even when we tried to pull and bang them off, they continued to hold fast.
There’s another pivoting latch point in the middle. Look for half-width boxes, bags, or other storage accessories coming down the road that use it.
More Storage Space
It’s worth noting that DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 has roughly 20% more storage area than the original design. That’s not necessarily an innovation, but it’s awfully helpful as you’re organizing tool sets.
Great, But is ToughSystem 2.0 Actually Tough?
Overall, the build of the boxes, including the wheel and handle system on the rolling cart, seems solid. We don’t do destructive testing, so we didn’t drop concrete blocks on these from 10 feet, push them out the back of a truck at 60 MPH, or see how well they hold up to a 12-gauge turkey load.
However, we didn’t just let them sit around a look pretty, either. Holding their weight capacity in tools and accessories is definitely no big deal for them. Neither is Tom Gaige standing on them. Or jumping on them. Even my 200-pound weight wasn’t enough to make them cry uncle.
So while we’ll leave finding the breaking limits to those more prone to clickbait headlines, we are confident in saying that the DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 is more than able to stand up to the tough jobsite environments.
Additional Field Notes
Original ToughSystem Compatibility
DeWalt made some smart calls for their update to the ToughSystem lineup. First of all, ToughSystem 2.0 is absolutely compatible with all your original ToughSystem boxes and accessories.
We like that because it means we can replace our boxes as needed without a complete overhaul. It also means the Storage Racks or DeWalt Music+Charger you already have still integrate well.
DeWalt’s gasket system is excellent. The material seals out dust and water beautifully. Its yellow color also adds a nice contrasting accent to the black boxes.
The lid system doesn’t sit tight against the open trays inside the box. It’s still possible for anything you put in those to travel or fall out. However, the trays that come in boxes you can carry suitcase-style have individual no-travel lids to keep things in place.
Spring-Loaded Side Handles
Like the side latches, the side handles (but not the front handles) are spring-loaded. Whether you’re setting the box down somewhere or locking into the system, they drop down out of the way without any extra help from you.
While there aren’t any dedicated strap points on the rolling box, the side handles make for a good alternative if you’re staking multiple boxes.
Sometimes Labelling is a Good Thing
Sometimes the little things make a big difference. If you’re the kind of Pro that likes to label your boxes, it’s pretty easy. The clear plastic cover over the “ToughSystem 2.0” label near the top slides up and you can put your own label in there. In fact, you can flip around the existing label and write it in by hand if you like.
Notable DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 Products
While we can’t (or shouldn’t) cover every single DeWalt GToughSystem 2.0 storage product in detail within a single article, several key components stand out.
ToughSystem 2.0 Compact 11-in Tool Bag and 22-inch Tool Bag
The DeWalt DWST08025 ToughSystem 2.0 Compact 11-in tool bag and DeWalt DWST08350 22-in Jobsite tool bag are made with 1680D Ballistic Nylon. The material is both durable and virtually dirt-proof. You also get a nice waterproof base to keep your hand tools from getting soaked on the jobsite. The bags have all-around accessibility to enable fast and easy tool changing on the job. A bungee cord gives you additional storage space on the side and both bags include compartments for power tools, hand tools, tablets, and just about anything else you might want to take with you.
The ToughSystem 2.0 Compact 11-in Tool Bag includes 25 pockets. You can use the shoulder strap or carry handles—or stack it onto any ToughSystem 2.0 product. It features a 40 lb. load capacity, tape chain, and long, tool-side compartment, plus two-sided access. The ToughSystem 2.0 22-in Jobsite Tool Bag doubles the pockets to 50 and increases durability to a 77 lb. load capacity. It also adds side handles and a daisy chain and level holder.
DeWalt DWST08040 Full-Size Organizer
The DeWalt DWST08040 ToughSystem 2.0 Full-Size Organizer looks pretty stout. You get a 44 lb. load capacity with 10 customizable, removable trays and a clear lid to easily identify contents. A center area supports storing longer tools and the entire case is IP65 rated. If that wasn’t enough, the organizer is manufactured in the USA (with the caveat that it uses global materials).
DeWalt DWST08320 Two-Drawer Unit
Drawers! One of the most requested features for ToughSystem 2.0 had to be drawers. Now, you can grab the DeWalt DWST08320 two-drawer unit and add it to your ToughSystem 2.0 stack. This provides easy access to anything from smaller power tools to accessories and more.
Unlike most systems we’ve seen, DeWalt gives you ball-bearing slides on the drawers. That not only gives you smooth opens and closes but adds stability—eliminating sag.
The three-piece DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 “starter” set that we got runs $199.99 with individual boxes varying in price. We compared that to two other popular stacking sets.
The Milwaukee Packout System has a three-piece wheeled kit that runs $279. The comparable Ridgid totals $97 (you have to buy the pieces separately). As such, DeWalt finds itself in a pretty good position. With solid durability and a really nice feature set, you get more than you do with Ridgid, yet it’s significantly less expensive than Packout.
The Bottom Line
The DeWalt ToughSystem 2.0 is a really well-thought-out upgrade for DeWalt’s storage system. The improvements make big steps forward that are genuinely helpful, the system remains compatible with ToughSystem gear you already have, and its price positions it very well among other offerings.
Whether you’re looking for a storage system to jump into or simply thinking about replacing a few of the ToughSytem boxes you already have, ToughSytem 2.0 is a storage system we heartily recommend.
This article mentions several times that the new 2.0 is “absolutely compatible” with all the original toughsystem components even Dewalt’s website says they are compatible. This is not true… I have the Dewalt DCB-104 4-port battery charger which clamps to the top of my original toughsystem cases and it absolutely does not clamp to the top of the toughsystem 2.0 cases. I have also read that both the portable power charging station and the toughsystem 1.0 radio do not work with the toughsystem 2.0. I really don’t get why dewalt has right on their website “backwards compatible with all toughsystem… Read more »
Great boxes but only waterproof until you go to open the rolling box and any residual water on the lid dumps straight in..
More practically…I like the Packout system and am very heavily invested in it, but sometimes the system means most of the boxes are relatively deep front to back. So if you want to put, say, a circular saw in a box, you’re really limited to the biggest box and it’s actually too big for a single saw. The DeWalt boxes can be a good alternative even though they’re not going to stack and lock.
To bad the article doesn’t talk about how the plastic breaks easily in -20 C conditions.
Is it bigger then the previous tough system? My one complaint about the old tough system is how little the boxes seem to hold.