Stanley FatMax 23" Structural Foam, Water Resistant Toolbox

A good deal in a moderately sized, sturdy, waterproof toolbox


Stanley FatMax 23" Structural Foam, Water Resistant Toolbox

Properly storing your tools makes them less prone to damage and theft, and makes it easier to find the right tool when needed. There are two options when it comes to portable hand and power tool storage — a soft-side tool bag, and a hard shell toolbox. Traditional carpenters toolboxes are fine for use in a work shop, but less so on a job site - they leave tools exposed to the elements and sticky fingers.
At a quick glance you might think that Stanley's new FatMax 23" Structural Foam, Water-Resistant Toolbox (023001W) is not much more than a plastic box with a handle. Not quite so.
The box is made by a process called 'structural foam' — it's a type of injection molding that mixes a blowing agent, such as an inert gas, with resin under low pressure to form a thermoplastic that has a cellular core and a hard, smooth solid outer skin. The result is a rigid high density plastic that provides a superior strength-to-weight ratio.
For the FatMax 023001W, it means a toolbox that is strong, with high crush resistance, that is both moisture and oil resistant, and, at just over 7 pounds, is fairly light weight in relation to its size — roughly 10" high, 12" deep and 23" wide. You get about 0.9 cubic feet  (5.8 gallons) of storage space.

Integrated water seal       
A plastic toolbox, by its very nature, is waterproof. Where moisture can infiltrate is the opening between the lid and body. On the FatMax 023001W, there is an integrated rubber gasket that provides an effective seal between the lid and case. If you were to drop the box into a tub of water overnight, there might be some water infiltration, but you don't have to worry about rainwater seeping in if you happen to leave the box in the back of your truck or outside in a downpour.

Folding handle         
The 7" wide padded handle folds smartly into the top of the box. Which means you can use the top as a handy seat, a short footstool, or a small work surface. I weigh just shy of 180 pounds, and the top doesn't deflect at all when I stand on it. I also like that there's enough space to hold onto the handle comfortably without knocking you knuckles on the top of the case even when wearing gloves.

Recessed side handles       
Depending on what you store in the FatMax 023001W, it can become fairly heavy to lift in and out of a car truck or truck box. A recessed handle in each side of the toolbox makes it easier to lift the box with both hands.

Dual lid hinges       
The last thing you want is the hinge breaking because it can't handle the weight of the tools in the box. This won't happen with the FatMax 023001W — it has two 5-1/2" wide hinges with 1/8" steel rods that securely attach the lid to the body.

Sturdy rest-resistant latches      
On the front of the toolbox are two rust-resistant metal latches with padlock eyelets for securing your booty. The latches are easy to open, yet snap firmly and securely in place to provide a tight seal.

V-groove is handy for steadying round or square stock to be cut
Integrated into the lid is a V-groove channel that holds round stock in place for easy cutting. Because the edges of the groove are fairly wide — 1-1/2" — it also holds square or rectangular stock up to about 2-1/2" wide fairly well.
The scale imprinted on the top isn't overly useful because it's very difficult to read in all but the best lighting conditions.

Removable tray     
The main box can hold a fair number of hand and power tools. There is also a handy removable half tray to hold smaller items like files, nail sets, driver bits and the like.
For under $40 (taxes in), the Stanley FatMax 23" Structural Foam, Water Resistant Toolbox (023001W) is a good deal in a moderately sized toolbox. It's strong and sturdy, waterproof, has a wide padded handle, large lockable, rust resistant latches, a convenient removable tray, and a decent amount of storage space. It's not so large as to be awkward or overly heavy (when filled with gear) to tote around.



  • 10-1/2" H x 12" D x 23" W
  • ABS plastic construction
  • Water resistant lid
  • V-groove and scale on top lid
  • Handle folds flat into top
  • Recessed side grips
  • Rust resistant, lockable latches
  • Removable half tray
  • 5.8 gallon capacity
  • 7.3 lbs. weight

COMPANY:Stanley Tools
MADE IN:Offshore
SOURCE:Woodworking and hardware stores nationwide
Carl Duguay, December 2012
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