Milwaukee Packout Drawer Tool Boxes
The Milwaukee Packout is one of the most popular ways to store your tools and other household items. There are many different types of packs, but they all have similar features: They’re made from heavy duty plastic with a built-in roll top. You place your stuff inside them, lock it up tight, then put them away when you’re done using them.
Packouts come in various sizes, and there’s even a variety of designs. Some are designed to hold small items like screwdrivers or wrenches; others have shelves to organize larger items such as hammers and drills. Most packs are designed so that they can be stacked vertically, but some have side rails that allow you to stack them horizontally.
Some packs come with drawers, while others don’t. Some have lids that open and close to make them easier to use. Others just have slots where you insert things into the bottom of the pack.
Some come with handles or wheels so you can move them around easily. Still others are completely flat, without any supports at all.
In this post I’ll go into more detail about these different types of packout drawers. I’ll start with the basics and then move on to more advanced features.
What Is a Packout?
A packout is a container meant to store tools or other items. They’re usually made from heavy duty plastic, but they can also be made of metal or some other material.
The main thing that all packouts have in common is that they have a roll top that locks shut. This makes them very secure – there’s no way for someone to get into them without the key. They’re also very durable, so you never have to worry about them falling apart or breaking.
Of course, packouts aren’t just made to store tools. You can use them to store practically anything. They’re great for storing camping gear, sporting equipment, clothing, food, and practically anything else you can think of.
Most packouts are made of plastic. This is both a pro and a con. The biggest benefit is that they’re cheap to make.
A mold can be made relatively inexpensively, then it’s just a matter of injecting the plastic into it to create as many containers as you want.
The downside to plastic is that it’s not as strong as metal. If you were using a metal container of the same size and tried to lock it down as tight as a packout, it probably would take several minutes and require several people to accomplish the task. Most plastic packouts, on the other hand, can be locked down with just one hand in less than a minute.
Another downside to plastic is that it scratches and dents more easily than metal. This is especially true if you store items that have rough edges, like screws or lag bolts. If you’re not careful, the edges can end up damaging the plastic, which can lead to the bottom of the packout becoming detached from the walls, allowing your tools to fall out.
Metal is even harder than plastic, but it’s also much heavier. Also, while metal doesn’t dent as easily as plastic, it can still be damaged in other ways. For example, a metal packout filled with tools and then dropped three feet onto a hard surface is almost certainly going to experience severe damage.
Most packouts have the same general internal structure. They start with a base and build up from there. The base can either be open or enclosed.
Open bases have just sides that hold the rest of the container up. Enclosed bases have walls on all sides. Most packouts use enclosed bases, but there are some exceptions.
One of the biggest differences between packouts is how many tiers they have. A one tier packout is just one level, while a two tier has a second level that can be accessed by lifting up the top tray. Three tier packouts have a third level that can be accessed by lifting up the second tier.
When the tiers get very high, it’s not always practical to lift up every tray to get to the one above it. This is where sliding drawers come in. Rather than lifting up each tray, you can just slide them out like a drawer.
While this reduces the height of each level and eliminates the possibility of keeping taller items on the top level, it makes the container much easier to access.
There are also specialty packouts that don’t fit into these categories. One of the most common of these is a roll away packout. As the name suggests, it has wheels at one end and a handle at the other, allowing you to easily pull it around.
However, they don’t have as much storage space inside as a regular packout.
Another specialty packout is the dolly. It’s basically just like a roll away packout, but without the handle. This makes it wider, so you can’t fit as many of them in a row, but the extra width allows for more storage space.
In general, packouts are used to store tools and other supplies, but that doesn’t mean they’re limited to just that. Over time, especially with something like the five or six tier types, you’ll find all sorts of other people using them for just about anything. Some people have been known to use them as stands for keeping small pets off the floor, or to reserve a particular one just for dirty laundry.
It’s even not all that uncommon to see them used as improvised barricades in the event of a riot. At 50 pounds each, they’re not going to stop bullets, but they’re heavy enough to slow people down and give you time to get away if need be.
Even with all their advantages, packouts don’t replace toolboxes altogether. They do have some practical limitations that toolboxes don’t, and aren’t nearly as versatile. Still, for workers on the move they’re quite handy and most are willing to deal with their limitations in exchange for the benefits they do have.
You look up from the packout and glance over to where Owen is standing. He looks anxious, like he’s about to speak, but then he stops himself.
“Spit it out,” you say.
“I’ve been noticing how dirty the floors have been getting,” he says.
you ask. “It isn’t like that’s out of the ordinary.”
“I know, but… It’s just really dirty.
Even dirtier than it usually is. I don’t like it.”
Owen has served under you for almost three years now, and in all that time he’s always been very calm and collected. You appreciate that, because it’s helped him be a good leader for the other underlings. So for him to be voicing concerns like this means he must really feel strongly about it.
“I’ll tell you what,” you say. “When we get back to the warehouse, I’ll go inspect all the floors, including this one. If I find anything wrong, I’ll have someone fix it.”
“Yes, really,” you say.
He nods. “Thank you, sir. I just…
I don’t know, I’ve never seen it this bad. It just doesn’t seem right.”
“Don’t worry, Owen,” you say. “I’ll take a look. Now let’s finish up and get out of here.”
Owen nods, but doesn’t say anything else. You finish sweeping up the glass, put it in the container and then place the container on the floor. Then the two of you head back to the warehouse.
Once you get there, Owen heads off to do his normal duties, which mainly consist of overseeing the other underlings and making sure they’re not slacking off. You, on the other hand, head directly to the Boss’s office. He usually doesn’t arrive at the warehouse until very late in the day, so you know he should be there.
Sure enough, he’s in his office, going over some paperwork. He looks up when you enter, then smiles and waves you in.
“Ah, it’s my most productive worker!” he says cheerfully. “
Come to check in and tell me how many carts you’ve brought in today?”
“Not today, I just have a question,” you say.
The Boss nods, gesturing for you to ask your question.
“There have been a lot of fights breaking out between the territories as of late,” you say. “Everything from simple name calling to attempted assassinations. I just wanted to know what we’d do if there was a full scale war.”
The Boss sits back in his chair, clearly pondering the question.
“Well, I hope you’re not planning on starting one,” he says.
“No, of course not,” you reply quickly.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Toolbox on wheels (Y Shpitzer – US Patent App. 29/624,475, 2019 – Google Patents)
- Toolbox on wheels (Y Shpitzer – US Patent App. 29/624,478, 2019 – Google Patents)
- Storage Device System (GT Squiers, M Vargo, MW Naiva, G Barton… – US Patent App. 16 …, 2020 – Google Patents)