Milwaukee Jobsite Organizer Review: Packout or Rack?
by John Gagnon
The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of organizers used by home improvement stores (HD) and hardware stores (HP). The first type of organizer is called a “pack out” because it consists of several pieces of plastic, metal, wood and other materials which are stacked together with no regard for their individual use.
These packs are designed to hold large quantities of products so they can be sold at a profit. They do not allow for easy access to the product, nor do they provide any protection from damage caused by dropping items on the floor.
Pack outs have been around since the beginning of organized retailing, but were largely replaced in recent years by racks. Racks consist of various parts such as shelves, drawers and cabinets which are arranged in rows and columns according to function rather than size.
While packs may be smaller than racks, they are usually much sturdier and will withstand far greater abuse.
Packouts are generally considered inferior to racks due to their lack of flexibility and durability. However, some HD’s still use them in order to save money.
Some HD’s also prefer packs because they offer a certain level of organization without having to pay for a full-fledged rack system.
The question is this: Can a packout be upgraded to a rack system?
The answer is yes, but it will never be as good as a “real” rack. The main reason is that the packout will never be strong enough or have enough integrity to be moved around or stacked on top of one another. Additionally, the pockets will always be too small or poorly designed. It will look neat, but it won’t hold up under normal use.
So, if you have a packout now, it might be a good idea to replace it with a rack system.
But how will you know what rack to get?
There are literally hundreds of different types, makes, and models of racks on the market. They all seem the same at first glance, but some are far superior to others.
So what rack should you choose?
The best rack manufacturers in the world are Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and Sumter Products. They make the highest quality racks available anywhere. They are not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive. They are the perfect balance of quality, features, and price. If you are replacing your packout with a rack, you would be wise to look into these two manufacturers.
Now that you know what manufacturer to use, you need to decide on what specific type of rack to buy. As I stated earlier, there are many different types so let’s narrow the field a bit.
For our discussion we will focus on wire, heavy duty, lockable, multi-level, shelf racks. This type of rack is the most popular because of it’s flexibility and wide range of uses.
Wire racks are constructed with vertical supports and horizontal rails. The products to be stored are placed onto the rails.
The main benefit of a wire rack is visibility. If your products are on display for customers to see, they are much more likely to be purchased. This is very true for fast-moving consumer items such as grocery items.
Heavy duty refers to the quality of the rack. Heavy duty racks are extremely strong and will not deform under normal use.
They can hold hundreds of pounds of product without breaking. In the heavy duty category there are two types, welded and bolted.
The difference is quite simple. Welded racks are assembled with welding, while bolted racks are assembled with bolts.
Welded racks are always stronger than bolted racks of the same size and material.
Lockable racks have a lock integrated into the design to allow for locking the rack to a stationary object. This prevents the entire rack from being stolen.
If you are using the rack outside or in a place where theft is a possibility, you should strongly consider a lockable rack.
Multi-level racks have two or more levels that can be adjusted by the user.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Best Rolling Tool Bag for Tradesmen: Our Top 6 Picks of 2020 (E Mentor – 2018 – electricianmentor.com)
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