Almost every Saturday I go to Lowe’s for something and I usually find myself walking through the garage storage section. Sometimes I’m looking for something specific. Sometimes it’s just to see what’s new.
As I explained in my track system recommendations article, I went all-in on the Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall storage system for my garage.
But sometimes I find a really great hook or basket from another system that I can’t get through Gladiator. I stand there in the middle of the aisle, holding this hook or whatever, wondering if its compatible with my system.
So I decided to run an experiment to find out what accessories from different brands are compatible with Gladiator.
How the experiment works
This article is part of a series where I look at each of those systems and test all of the other main brand’s accessories on them.
The test is pretty simple.
- I bought a hook and track piece from Craftsman VersaTrack, Rubbermaid FastTrack and the Kobalt storage rail system.
- I mounted each on my wall and tested each brand’s hook to see if it fit and if it could actually hang anything reliably.
Since I have Gladiator’s system, that’s where I’m going to start.
This works the same for both the GearTrack and GearWall systems, since they’re interchangeable.
How the Gladiator Accessories are supposed to fit
Like almost every other track system, Gladiator accessories have a C-shape that snaps over the center channel in the GearTrack or GearWall track.
There’s a short tab at the top that slides in underneath the top section of the channel. Once you have the hook where you want it, pull down and it’ll lock into place.
Once they’ve snapped in, there is no wiggle room at all.
In my opinion, that just makes it feel like a higher-end product and it was one of the big selling points.
If all of these systems cost roughly the same, why not go for the one that seems like a higher end product?
Obviously none of the other hooks will have that tab at the top so the won’t be able to snap into place.
Let’s see how they do.
Test 1: Craftsman VersaTrack
The Craftsman hook worked much better than I thought it would.
Like the Gladiator, they have a C-shape that fits over the center channel in the track. Without the tab at the top, there’s no way to lock it in to place so there’s a little wiggling.
On the bottom of the hook on the front side, there’s a little grey knob that works the locking mechanism.
That sounds more complex than it really is. The locking mechanism is a little piece of plastic on the back that presses against the channel when you turn the knob.
When you use them on their own VersaTrack system, it locks the hook into place with only a little bit of movement.
Unfortunately there’s still a little bit of play in the hook when you put it on a Gladiator track. It’s not nearly as noticeable when there’s weight on the hook.
All things considered, the Craftsman accessories work pretty well on the Gladiator track. Just be careful when taking the tool off the hook or it could go flying.
Compatible with Gladiator? Yes (mostly)
Test 2: Rubbermaid FastTrack
This was a complete failure.
The Rubbermaid FastTrack rail is about a centimeter thinner than the center channel of the Gladiator system, so the hook can’t even attach completely.
As you can see in the picture above, the hook is just perched on the top rail. The top part hooks over the edge and won’t fall out, but it’s not secure at all.
There’s no way I would use a Rubbermaid hook on my Gladiator FastTrack. A small bump and the entire hook would land on the floor along with whatever was on it.
Compatible with Gladiator? No
Test 3: Kobalt
The Kobalt hook fits…technically. It just doesn’t fit well.
Kobalt makes some of the least expensive accessories for their track storage system so I was really hoping to find a low-cost option. Gladiator makes nice stuff, but it can be expensive to do an entire garage.
The Kobalt hook uses a modified C-shape that, at first glance, looks perfect. The hook fits over the center channel snugly…
…and falls off after you pull your hand away.
The problem is that the top curve of the hook is too short to work on anything but Kobalt’s own track, which is angled a bit to help.
I tried making some small adjustments to see if I could get it to work, but nothing helped. The Kobalt hooks need to be a little bit longer at the top of the “C” to work on anything but their own system.