Hello. My name is Clint DeBoer, and I hoard fasteners…After organizing screws and nails in all of the wrong ways, the Milwaukee Packout system helped me do it right. I used the Packout system to categorize and organize screws, nails, and every other faster I had into easily-accessible containers.
Even better, the Packout system functions as a drop-proof, water-resistant, and upgradeable solution that should last nearly forever.
Editor’s Note: Check out our article on the best deck screws to see our top picks.
Organizing Screws and Nails – The Big Picture
For years I ran back and forth to a more traditional “drawer-style” storage bin that housed my fasteners. I could never grab the entire bin. For one, it didn’t lock the drawers in place. Because of this, it was incredibly unstable when carried. The end result had me grabbing tray after tray—occasionally dropping them or having to make multiple trips.
A better solution for this would involve the ability to grab everything you need at once. Portability, organization, and flexibility would describe the ideal solution.
Enter the Milwaukee Packout System.
Without rehashing the Milwaukee Packout review here, the idea is that you have secure bins within containers to use for storage. That’s far better than open drawers that cannot be transported from a centralized location.
So here’s what we dd with our Packout System to organize screws, nails, and other fasteners in our shop.
Organizing Wood Screws
Testing tools, we go through a lot of screws. Often, we reach for standard 2-inch Grip-Rite drywall screws. Other times, something larger or smaller fits the bill. Regardless, we needed a solution to better organize anything from 1-1/4 inch to 4-inch screws. Packout took care of us, providing plenty of organizational compartments and flexibility.
In the past, we had kept screws in their boxes and bins. Those containers often bend, break, and make a general mess. Now we can either grab the entire Packout case or pull out an individual open tray.
Storing Organizing Decking Screws
During the course of upgrading a deck or reviewing MoistureShield composite decking, we went through a lot of deck screws. We also built raised garden beds and did other projects requiring stainless or coated screws. Maybe I overbuy—but in either case, they tend to accumulate.
The clear lids on these storage containers do well to allow quick and easy identification of the contents. Decking screws can be colorful, so this worked out well.
Machine Screws and Washers
Machine screws came next, along with washers and nuts. Another result of having done 30+ years of renovation and projects either on my own or with my dad—this case weighs a ton!
Driver Bit Storage
We like small driver bit cases—good ones. Most simply don’t work well. They either hold the bits too tightly or have poor organization for what we need. Milwaukee Packout lets us bring all of our Phillips, Star, Square, Slot, and Hex driver bits to the job at hand.
We spent a good amount of time here, rebuilding several of our small cases while optimizing a half-width Packout storage case.
Storing Lag Bolts
I have to admit—I don’t use lags nearly as often as I used to. Often, however, we need to organize more than just small screws and nails. More and more, I’m turning to ledger screws and other construction fasteners that don’t require pre-drilling. Still, I’m not throwing away my lag bolts, so this full-depth Milwaukee Packout organizer came in handy.
Curious about those long lags in the middle? Those secure Snap-N-Lock aluminum roof panels to the top, middle, and bottom support beams. We recently installed one of those systems over an outdoor kitchen, ending up with a dozen or so extra lags. Eventually, I may even come up with something to do with them. For now, they nestle nicely in the middle of the Packout organizer.
Flat Panel TV Installation Hardware Kit
I have a lot of experience with home theater audio and video components. As a result, I often get “the call” when a friend or acquaintance purchases a new TV and wants it mounted on a wall. I now have a storage organizer dedicated to supplying every type of screw, bolt, washer, and stand-off I could possibly need to match any model television or projector on the market.
Storing Toggle Bolts and Drywall Anchors
Hang any pictures or shelving? This kit has everything needed for drywall anchoring. I also placed some concrete block anchors in there for good measure.
Any Negatives with Using Milwaukee Packout?
While the Packout storage and organization system offers nearly endless possibilities, we did find some room for improvement. For one, Milwaukee provides very little space for labeling the systems. The deeper organizers have room on the sides, but the plastic lids don’t have a dedicated area for labeling.
Also, with respect to the lids, they don’t give you a truly clear view of the contents. Instead, Milwaukee added a honeycomb pattern over all the areas. It’s pretty—but I’d rather see my fasteners.
Finally, we can’t wait until Milwaukee releases their on-wall Packout mounts. I would very much enjoy placing my organizers on the wall for easy identification of the contents. It would then truly be “grab and go”.
None of these are deal-breakers, of course. Using Milwaukee Packout for organizing screws and nails dramatically reduced clutter in our shop. It also lowered the “search” time for fasteners and bits. Grabbing the right fasteners is now a much more accurate and efficient process, saving time.
Packout is available just about everywhere, so do yourself a favor and try it out for yourself. I promise you won’t go back to unsecured plastic drawers ever again!