Arsenal Medium Open Face Tool Organizer

A compact soft-side bag that provides ample storage for a range of frequently used hand tools, and even a compact power tool


Arsenal Medium Open Face Tool Organizer

To keep hand tools organized, easy to find, and ready for transport to and from the job site, or simply to use around the house, you'll want some kind of tool organizer — box, bucket, or bag. The type, size, and quantity of tools you use, along with how frequently you use them, and how particular you are about protecting and securing them, will determine the kind of tool organizer you choose.
Soft sided bags are among the most popular tool organizers, in large part because they are lighter and easier to carry around than conventional tool boxes. They also store tools upright, which many people find makes it easier to locate the right tool.
Ergodyne has nine different models of soft sided tool bags in a range of sizes and features to suit different storage requirements. I tested their Arsenal Medium Open Face Tool Organizer (5817). It's a fairly compact bag, measuring 9" wide, 14" high, and 15-1/4" long. It has 42 storage pockets, and can hold approximately 1 cubic foot of tools with a combined weight of 75 pounds.

Tough ballistic polyester shell       
The 5717 is made from a 1680D ballistic polyester fabric. The 1680D refers to the 'denier' count of the fabric. It's a measure of yarn thickness — the higher the denier number the heavier the fabric. Ballistic simply refers to synthetic fabric that is woven in a 2x2 or 2x3 basket weave pattern.
When it comes to work gear, it's good to know that 1680D is a premium fabric that is abrasion, puncture, and tear resistant. Which means this tool bag will gives years of reliable service.
A few other things are worth noting on the 5717. Ergodyne uses 6-ply nylon stitching for increased durability, with all of the major seams double stitched. The hardware — D-rings, snaps, and tape hooks — are nickel-plated. This provides some level of corrosion and wear resistance. They also use heavy duty #8 and #10 plastic zippers. While the pull taps are a bit on the small side, 2" long braided cords are attached to the tabs, making them much easier to grasp and pull. Finally, the shoulder strap has a comfortably curved, adjustable, non-slip pad that keeps the strap from digging into your shoulder when the bag is full.

Molded rubber base          
The 1680D fabric is water repellant, but not waterproof, which shouldn't be a concern, as no one leaves their kit out in the rain — right? However, to keep water from seeping into the bottom of the bag, the 5717 has a molded rubber base that runs up the side of the bag a full 2" making an effective waterproof seal.

Handy accessories    
The 5717 comes with three handy accessories, plus the shoulder strap. The detachable phone holder that has a metal clip on the back so that you can slip it onto a belt, or onto one of the tape hooks on the side panel of the bag.
The small 1-1/2" x 5-1/4" x 8" semi-clear parts organizer that has 12 adjustable compartments. It's handy for storing a collection of commonly used fasteners, coin batteries, Allen keys, driver bits, and the like.
As well, there is a 5" x 7-1/2" zippered 'junk pouch' with a metal snap clip. It's a super strong, reinforced, waterproof pouch, which I've found useful for storing notepad, pens, business cards, and memory cards.


Large central compartment with ample storage capacity      
There is a large central compartment with two small side pockets. The wide, zippered opening is reinforced, making it easier to access contents in the compartment. As you can see in the photo above, I was able to fit a fair amount of gear into the compartment.

Outer pockets on both side compartments
18 pockets in each side compartment
The storage compartments on either side of the bag are identical. Both have a small 5" x 5-1/5" zippered pocket on the outside. When you unzip the main compartments you get an array of 18 pockets - 6 narrow, deep pockets on the first tier, ideal for storing long tools like pliers and screwdrivers; three wide pockets on the second tier, best suited for bulkier items, such as batteries and wide wrenches; and, nine narrow slots on the bottom tier that can hold only fairly slim tools, pens, pencils, and the like. I think that these narrower pockets would be of greater use for electricians, technicians, and service repairmen, than woodworkers.

End panel with net compartment
End panel with two tape hooks
On one end panel is a fish net compartment. It's a fairly generous size and makes a good place to store small tools that you want to access quick. On the opposite end you'll find two tape hooks, one of which is useful for storing the cell phone holder. The large D-rings used for the shoulder strap also make a good place to attach tools or accessories with. On the opposite end you'll find two tape hooks, one of which is useful for storing the cell phone holder. The large D-rings used for the shoulder strap also make a good place to attach tools or accessories with carabineers.

Compact, well-made, ample tool storage space         
There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a tool organizer. If you're looking for a compact, soft-side bag, then this Arsenal Medium Open Face Tool Organizer (5817) offers very good value.
It provides ample storage for a range of frequently used hand tools, and even a compact power tool. Plus, it's made of a tough, durable ballistic polyester, and it has a waterproof base. With a lifetime warranty, this is a tool bag you can feel confident will provide years of reliable service.



  • 9" W x 14" H x 15-1/4" L
  • 1.09 cu ft storage capacity
  • 75 pound capacity
  • 1680D ballistic polyester exterior
  • 42 pockets
  • Molded rubber base
  • Nickel-plated hardware
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Includes shoulder strap, detachable phone holder, parts organizer, accessory pouch

SOURCE:Find a Retailer
Carl Duguay, January 2013
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