CoolBox: The Time Has Come For the Cool Tool Box
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 – a blend of traditional toolbox function with modern technology. We’re big fans of crowdfunding projects that allow really big ideas to find their way to the market from sources that normally would have to sell their idea to a bigger corporation. There have been some good ones like the CoffeeBoxx and Outlaw Fasteners that are incredibly innovative. Others, well, they’re the stuff of legendary jokes. Users are going to have to decide where the CoolBox fits in the tool realm. On one hand, people are excited enough about the project that that they’ve supplied almost $300,000 in this Indiegogo campaign. On the other hand, do we really need everything that CoolBox offers on a tool box?
Before we can begin to answer the above question, we need to know what features the CoolBox offers. Here’s a breakdown:
- 12 ft. retractable cord
- 3 three prong power supply plugs
- 20V lithium-ion battery
- LED lighting
- Bluetooth speaker
- Tablet/phone stands
- LCD clock
- 2 USB charging ports
- Removeable 20″ x 12″ whiteboard
What I Like
First of all, the retractable 12′ 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 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 20V battery should run any of the individual components for close to a full work day.
The Bluetooth speaker (or speakers, it looks like there should be two but it is referred to in the singular) is marine grade, so it can get wet. There’s also an auxiliary port for non-Bluetooth devices. The twin USB chargers round off what I like at first glance.
What I’m Not So Sure About
I’m withholding judgement 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 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 at 22″ x 12.5″ x 9″ (L x W x H). It’s smaller than my beloved Milwaukee 26″ Work Box and I’m still holding out hope that tool boxes will start being made large enough to fit general contractor’s kits like the new Ridgid Gen5X 5 piece kit.
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 than 20″ x 12″. 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 in to it that you won’t normally find on a toolbox, there’s no doubt about that. When people see the $299 price tag (you can get it for much less during the Indiegogo campaign), they may find that the combination of a Milwaukee Work Box ($40) and Milwaukee M18 Charging Radio with Bluetooth ($229) is a more economical use of their money, even if it does give up a few features.
Before you think I’m totally against the CoolBox, let me remind you of a couple of points. First, this is based off of 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 multitool 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!