Tool Box Choices for Aircraft Mechanics
Having a safe place to store you tools is important not only to protect your investment, but also keep accountability of tools throughout the hangar. Lucky for us, the price of quality tool boxes have come down quite a bit. There once was a time when you would have to spend big bucks on a name brand tool box to get quality. Soon after I got my A and P license, I went out and paid close to $1000.00 for a sears craftsman tool box which was nothing more than a flimsy tin box on wheels. Today $1000.00 can buy a seriously nice tool box that could withstand a rocket attack and Yes, it is probably made in China.
Most A and P licensed mechanics choose the classic roller tool box. Why you ask? because they offer a place to pile junk on top of. Not to mention that is a portable work bench. Attach a vise to it to add to the versatility of the whole operation. Downsides to the roller box is that they take up slightly more floor space.
Tool Box Combos
The combination tool box set up is less dominate in the aviation maintenance world. Probably because we love to have a place to put things and the stacked up tool box setup does not allow for this. Also, if you skimp on these tool boxes, they get rickety pushing it around the hangar. One bump you have tools scattered across the floor and everyone staring at you. One benefit to this setup is that they take up less floorspace.
Tool Box for Overseas Aircraft Mechanics
So you got your A and P license and you want to get that hot contracting job overseas making the big bucks. Well hold on there and hit the brakes my friend because most of these jobs will require you to have your own tools. So the problem with contracting is finding suitable means to bring your tools to these god awful places where you can make some good money. I personally go for the smaller lighter approach in the event I need to get back home fast.
Soft Tool Bag
You guys already know that I think the Veto Pro Pac XL is the best tool bag on the market. Read my review here.
Pelican Type Case
You could always get a pelican case and either buy the drawers or build your own. Pelican cases are expensive but are about the only case that can withstand the abuse to traveling. Which ever tool box you decide to take overseas, expect it to get beat up and possibly destroyed or lost. Claiming tool lost and getting reimbursed can be a royal pain in the ass and sometimes impossible. Always keep a detailed list of all your tools while traveling overseas.
Don’t get too bent out of shape choosing your first tool box. Find one that is decent quality for a good price. If you just got your A and P license, you will have plenty of time to fill the box up with tools. You can always upgrade later on and move your old box into your garage at home. You can also add a top box to a roller box to increase tool storage. If you plan on shadowing your tools, remember that the shadowing takes up space.
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