Thread: Ideas on the Best Tool Case – Box for Airline Travel?
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Recently I had to fly to a job in Everett, WA so I was limited to 50 lbs of Hand tools in a canvas tool bag which I thought would do fine as checked luggage. Well on the flight to Seattle my tool bag must have been dropped off a conveyer or thrown because most of the stitching on one end of the zipper was ripped out.
So I purchased a new bag as soon as I could. I was there 8 weeks and on the flight home the bottom was slightly torn on the new bag.
Other guys I work with have the usual metal boxes and I’ve seen a lot that had been crushed etc.. or plastic boxes that were broken.
The Canvas bags are between $20.00 to $40.00 but I hate to have to buy a new one every time I have to fly and take the chance that they sustain so much damage that I’ll lose hand tools I’ve had for years. I also hate to spend $200.00+ on a case I might only need a few times a year.
So I’m looking for ideas from others who travel on airlines with tools and what kinds of Tool Boxes or Bags that you have had good luck with.
of custom tooling and instruments as specified by
the gov. of the USA. They are VERY good and I
assume not cheap.
Check out Jensen for a great overview, I have not looked for a while but their rotomolded cases were very good. I think Pelican is the best choice in general and they have a good website and good distribution. Many sizes and features.
A word on soft bags. If you are looking for a soft bag or portfolio style bag, I suggest getting Cordura Nylon, it is several times more durable than the look alike and much cheaper polyester. 25 years ago Cordura was expensive but far out performed anything else available and was popular for luggage etc. The polyester people came up with look alike materials that had simular bulk but weigh much less per yard and are fine for lots of uses but for things like bags that get abused you want Cordura.
Cordura is a specific type of nylon yarn from Dupont that has alot of give and toughness.
Knowing that your all tools will arrive intact would be one less thing to worry about.(granted the whole case could be lost, one good reason to ship it ahead of time)
My friend was in front of me in line- lots of emergency type things going on with confused airport employees trying to implement the sudden rule changes.
She replied, Oh a screw gun and my nail guns
She was instantly whisked of into a little room by a security guard.
Behind me my other friend was saying, But I’ve ALWAYS brought my axe in my duffel bag before!
We usually made up crude plywood cover/crates on the job to protect our tool chests, and threw them away when we got hom. Of course Hudson’s paid the shipping bills.
some of them had metal briefcases (the kinds you see for digital cameras that are solid foam on the inside and you just rip off the squares of foam tillyou get the shape you want)
I checked the Pelican website for cases and found that on the wheeled models large enough for my tools. The empty weight is nearly 30 lbs and up so I would only be able to take 20 lbs of tools. So If I decided on that option I guess I would have to decide what to leave behind. The tool sets provided by the company have very few small hand tools those are the responsibility of the mechanics so I suppose I could only eliminate a small amount of what I took on the first trip.
I am responsible for getting my tools to the job in my personal vehicle or by checking my tools (50 lbs including the box or bag) as baggage (not carry on) with me on the plane.
I will check with the office on weather they would reimburse or pay to ship the bigger tools from my home to the job but I doubt it.
So I decided to go a step better I found small canvas zippered bags to hold small socket sets and tools like punches, chisels etc and also found some big enough for big tools like Ѕ” dr. deep socket sets. That way in case the big bag is damaged I wont lose small items and also to protect the big bag from being damaged from the inside by sharp tools like screwdrivers or scrapers. Also if my tool bag is over the weight limit I can easily put some of the smaller canvas bags in my suitcase.
So until I get better ideas I’ll just stick with the large canvas bag and smaller canvas bags for small things that seems to be the best option as far as weight and price at least until I find something better.
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