Welcome to the second part in my “Is this accessory compatible” series. Here I look at accessories from some of the major wall storage systems and see how they work with any of the other brands.
On my weekly trip to Lowe’s, sometimes I find a really great hook or basket from another manufacturer and I always wonder if it would fit on my system.
So I decided to run an experiment to find out what accessories work on different track systems.
This time, I’m looking at the Rubbermaid FastTrack system to see if any accessories from Gladiator GearTrack, Craftsman VersaTrack or the Kobalt track system are compatible with it.
You can check out the other installments in my “Will this accessory work” series here:
- Will this accessory work with Gladiator GearTrack?
- Will this accessory work with Kobalt K-Rail?
- Will this accessory work with Craftsman VersaTrack?
How the experiment works
The test is pretty simple.
- I bought a hook and track piece from Rubbermaid FastTrack, Gladiator GearTrack, Craftsman VersaTrack and the Kobalt storage rail system found at Lowe’s.
- 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.
I hate when I go shopping and I’m never really sure if what I was looking at would work the way I wanted it to when I got home. This experiment cost me about $100 in total, but it really helped me decide what the best track storage system was for my garage.
I hope you like what I discovered.
The Rubbermaid FastTrack Rail Design
One of the things I really like about the Rubbermaid FastTrack system is the black plastic cover that slides over the metal rail.
The rail itself is a heavy steel molded into a ‘W’ shape. The two channels have screw holes every inch apart all the way down the rail.
Since the rail is steel, you won’t be able to drill a hole through it very easily on your own. The screw holes are a nice touch and very much appreciated.
Because the bare steel rails aren’t very stylish, Rubbermaid includes a molded plastic sleeve that goes over the rail.
I really like the idea of the black plastic sleeve, but I wish that it didn’t include the Rubbermaid logo.
On a simple 4′ or 8′ track, it’s not bad. Imagine a wall full of FastTrack rails and you could easily see that logo dozens of times.
How the Rubbermaid FastTrack Accessories Are Supposed To Fit
The Rubbermaid FastTrack accessories have a familiar C-shape that fit over the rail. However there are a couple of enhancements that make this the most secure track system I’ve tested.
The top of the FastTrack hook has a small ball-shaped ending that secured the top of the hook.
Nothing out of the ordinary, right?
What I like about the Rubbermaid design is the two notches on the bottom of the hook that help it in place.
The good (and bad thing) about this design is that this hook isn’t going to move once it’s locked into place.
If you want to re-position a Rubbermaid hook, you’ll need to lift up to release those notches from the track. All of the other hooks I tested were able to slide along their track system. That made minor (or even major) adjustments a little easier.
The Rubbermaid FastTrack hooks don’t move at all once they’re locked in.
Personally, I really like knowing that the stuff I hang on my garage wall isn’t going to move once I put it there.
A quick word about the FastTrack track…
Rubbermaid uses a thinner track (overall height) than any of the other manufacturers. That will affect how the hooks fit on them. I’ll try to address how they fit (or don’t) with each one below.
You’ll see some answers like “yes it technically fits, but…”, so please bear with me.
Let’s get started and see what other hooks are compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack.
Test 1: Gladiator GearTrack
Gladiator hooks secure to a GearTrack or GearWall system in two ways. First there’s the typical C-channel on the back of the hook to slide over the track itself.
The second way is the locking tab at the top of the hook, as you see in these pictures.
Obviously those hooks have nothing to hook into on the Rubbermaid system. From an aesthetic perspective, it’s small, so you won’t really notice it unless you’re looking for it.
Without that hook locking it in place, the Gladiator hook slides freely along the FastTrack channel. It also wobbles from side to side and doesn’t feel very secure.
It’s secure enough to hang items from, but you want to be very careful when taking anything off the hook. It’s very easy to pull the entire hook off the track while you grab whatever was on it.
Compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack? Yes, but not secure
Test 2: Craftsman VersaTrack
I’m beginning to think that Craftsman’s biggest strength is its versatility. Once again, the Craftsman hooks worked much better on a different manufacturer’s track system than I expected it would.
The C-channel on the Craftsman hook fits neatly over the FastTrack channel. The only challenge is the locking hook on the bottom.
On the Craftsman hook, there’s a small grey knob on the front that you turn to lock the hook in place. With the hook set to the ‘unlocked’ position. the Rubbermaid FastTrack channel just barely fits underneath.
It’s a snug fit, but not quite locked in place.
What I suggest is to take a small file or heavy-grit sandpaper and sand down the inside of the hook about a millimeter. Then the lock can engage and secure the hook.
Not to say it’s perfect, but I think it’s an honestly workable solution.
Compatible with Rubbermaid FastTrack? Yes! (with slight modification)
Test 3: Kobalt
I’m beginning to think that the only thing the Kobalt hooks are going to work with is their own track system.
The Kobalt track is made of a rubberized plastic, so the hooks stay in place largely due to the friction of the track on the hook. All of the other manufacturers rely on the friction of the hook, or some other locking mechanism, on the track.
The hooks, on the other hand, have a slight bend to the top part of their C-channel and a flat portion on the bottom.
When you try to put a smooth hook on a smooth track, you can imagine what happens.
It falls to the floor.