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When I built my first circuit, all of my tools and supplies fit inside a small shoebox. When I built my first robot, all was contained in a small under-the-bed clothing tote. Now, more than 12 years and many projects, tools, and parts later, my storage needs have become so much more complex.

In recent years I have tried almost every type of industrial storage product out there – trays, organizers, drawers, cabinets, bins, and totes. In my latest attempt to organize and tidy up my shop space, I moved a number of items from their current spots and into new Festool Sortainers.

In just a couple of days, they have proved to be among the most versatile and effective small tool and parts organizers I have ever used. They’re stackable, portable via a large carry handle, and feature dividable drawers that latch closed and open quickly via finger pulls.

It took me a few tries to arrange and separate the drawers in a way that works best for the intended contents, but that is always part of my new-storage-setup process. The hardest part was working with a limited number of Sortainers while wanting a couple more to fill up.

Sortainers are a bit pricey at over $140 per unit, but their quality, utility, and elegance justify the one-time investment. Although designed for woodworkers, contractors, and professionals, Sortainers are well suited for the more general needs of DIYers and makers. While they won’t magically improve your abilities or craftsmanship, they will help organize your shop or workspace efficiently and with flair.

Festool Power Tools — Sortainers


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Stuart Deutsch

When I am not testing and reviewing new tools, I am working on robotics, electronics, woodworking, and other types of projects.

I am also interested in microscopy, the physical sciences, and new technologies.

I write more about tools and workshop topics over at ToolGuyd.com.


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Comments

  1. joe says:

    I have been using Keter organizers for a while now. They are incredibly handy, each container pulls out and they stack nicely.

    I have 4 of these:
    http://www.keter.com/products/cantilever-organizer-18/

    Cheers,
    -Joe

  2. chuck says:

    I use Plano boxes from the sporting goods section of Kmart. I like the size and stackability and the price is considerably cheaper than $140. I have one for resistors, one for caps, one for transistors and ICs, One for switches, and one for diodes and LEDs. my only complaint is that they don’t come with enough dividers, but they’re cheap enough to just buy a few extra. Thrift is a maker’s best friend.

  3. William Babb says:

    Festool makes some very nice tools but this box is not one of them. My main complaint against Festool is that everything they make costs several times what it should. These plastic boxes will hold more than they can carry. The problem with most plastic tool boxes is the handle. It usually gives out long before the box is full and in my case it would cost a small fortune to contain all the tools I’ve collected over 60+ years. Besides, many tools would not fit in such a box. For small parts and hobby tools they might work but cost far too much to be practical.

  4. P Guncheon says:

    $140 for a plastic box? This is more than a “bit pricey”. Festool stuff is extremely expensive which is probably why I have never seen their tools on a job site. I’m guessing that their target market is the “gentleman craftsman”.

  5. jimmy says:

    late to the thread, but i feel I have to say something about the comments claiming Festool is too expensive…

    Yes, they are pricey, and for a Maker with a workbench, they are absolutely not worth the cost. BUT, as a professional on-site custom furniture builder, Festool tools and Systainers are indispensable to me. Like many things in commerce, you don’t pay for the product, you pay for the design and research. A “plastic toolbox” is not worth $140. But Sortainers, as part of the Systainer system, are not “plastic toolboxes”. Systainers are a highly engineered modular system of boxes, bins, drawers, carts, and cases that all share common dimensions, are interchangeable, stackable, lockable and make a mobile shop efficient, clean, and professional looking.