After outfitting my garage with Gladiator GarageWorks cabinets, the final thing on my list was someplace to store my tools. In this article, I’m going to be reviewing my Gladiator GearDrawer rolling tool chest. I’ll also review my Gladiator GearBox, and how that fits into my storage system.
Let’s dive in.
The GearDrawer (GAGD275DLG) and GearBox (GAGB272DLG) were the last of my garage cabinets to arrive, so I’d been living with Gladiator’s Premier and RTA cabinets for a few weeks. I had high expectations since these were the most expensive pieces in my new garage storage collection.
Unlike the RTA cabinets, which you’ll have to assemble, the GearDrawer and GearBox come (almost) fully assembled. As a result, they typically ship freight instead of through your regular UPS driver.
I’ve read reviews online where some people have had their cabinets damaged in shipping, but thankfully, that didn’t happen to me.
Once you unpack them, the only things that you’ll need to do are attach the rubber bumpers and choose between casters or the adjustable feet.
Both cabinets are made from 24 gauge steel and come with tubular locks, like the rest of the Gladiator Premiere lineup.
One thing that immediately stood out was how deep the Premiere GearBox and GearDrawer are. I was used to seeing Gladiator’s RTA cabinets in Lowe’s and Home Depot.
At 25″ deep, they’re a full five inches deeper than their RTA cousins.
That makes a big difference if you want to pair these with one of Gladiator’s cheaper modular workbenches, which are only 20″ deep. Thankfully, I bought the 6′ adjustable height workbench, which is deeper and matches them perfectly.
The Gladiator GearBox is a general-purpose rolling-storage cabinet. It has two lockable doors and a strip of peghook holes inside each door for additional storage. They’ll work with any of your favorite peghook accessories.
Inside, a single shelf splits the interior storage in half. Although you can’t adjust the height, the shelf extends fully to give you easy access to items on top.
My GearDrawer is Gladiator’s five-drawer rolling tool chest. It’s the smallest of their modular tool storage cabinets.
They also make a 7-drawer GearDrawer, which is the same size but swaps two medium-size drawers for four thin drawers. Although the 7-drawer version is about $20 more expensive, it gives you more flexibility for smaller tools like screwdrivers and sockets.
I’d probably go that route if I had to do it all again.
Gladiator also makes two 41″ mobile tool chests, but I didn’t need that much storage. They’re also considerably more expensive.
Each is available in three finishes: Gray Slate, Red Tread, and Silver Tread.
Warning: If you’re not used to Gladiator’s naming, you could easily choose the wrong color, so be careful.
Silver and Red Tread cabinets get their name from the tread pattern on the doors and drawers, with the only difference being the color. Both have a hammered granite finish on the frame, which looks black from more than a few feet away.
Gray Slate cabinets have a powder-coated white frame with flat gray doors and drawers. If you’re looking for white garage cabinets, this is the one to go with.
Here are the model numbers:
- GAGD275DLG: Silver Tread
- GAGD275DLW: Gray Slate
- GAGD275DLR: Red Tread
- GAGB272DLG: Silver Tread
- GAGB272DLW: Gray Slate
- GAGB272DLR: Red Tread
Gladiator GearDrawer & GearBox: What I Like
After spending some time with the Gladiator GearDrawer & GearBox, here are some of the things I really liked:
Smooth Opening Drawers: The first thing I noticed about the GearDrawer’s drawers and the GerBox’s shelf is that they opened and closed smoothly. Most manufacturers say that about their products, but it’s actually true in this case.
I’d been used to the cheap rolling tool chests from big-box retail stores, so this was a big plus for me.
Multiple Work Surface Options: By default, the Gladiator GearDrawer and GearBox have a textured work area on top. With raised edges on the sides and back, it’s perfect for holding screws and small tools for your current project.
But, if you prefer, you can add an optional hardwood top to match the Gladiator workbenches.
Initially, I thought I’d appreciate the textured work area.
However, I rarely used it and instead found myself constantly returning to work on my main workbench. So, I added the hardwood tops a little later down the road.
Heavy-Duty Drawers: Even when fully loaded, the GearDrawer’s drawers and GearBox’s inner shelf open smoothly and don’t seem to buckle under the weight.
Admittedly, I wasn’t close to their maximum weight capacity (65 lbs. per shelf). Still, they felt so sturdy that it gave me the confidence to keep piling in more and more tools.
Easy Maintenance & Cleaning: Love it or hate it, Gladiator’s diamond-plate finish is easy to clean. I was able to wipe up most spills with a damp cloth. Occasionally, I had to use a general-purpose cleaner for more stubborn stains.
While sensitive to certain chemicals, the hammered granite finish is generally easy to clean and maintain, ensuring the cabinet looks good for a long time.
Heavy-Duty Casters: This probably won’t matter if you have a sealed concrete or epoxy coating on your garage floor.
But, if you have interlocking floor tiles, or worse, an unfinished dirt floor, this will make a HUGE difference. Gladiator’s GearDrawer and GearBox come with 2″ casters that allow it to easily glide over most surfaces.
Gladiator GearDrawer & GearBox: What I Don’t Like
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows, however. There are some things I didn’t like about the Gladiator GearBox and GearDrawer.
I’ll cover those in this section.
Sensitive Finish: There’s no doubt that Gladiator makes some good-looking garage cabinets. However, the diamond tread finish can be sensitive to certain chemicals.
Harsh chemicals, like certain degreasers and cleaners, can stain the glossy finish. Unfortunately, this is almost always somewhere noticeable.
The hammered granite’s textured finish could also pose some cleaning challenges. If you don’t immediately clean up liquid spills, they can easily dry and harden on the textured surface. This makes them much harder to clean up in the future.
Drawers May Slide Open: One of the more frequent complaints I see online is that the drawers slide open as you move the tool chests around your garage.
I’ll admit, I’ve only experienced this a few times. I typically chalk it up to not closing the drawer properly.
But that’s the problem.
There’s no soft-close feature, so the drawers don’t close automatically. Unless I use the lock, I’m never 100% sure the drawer is completely closed.
The drawers come sliding open as soon as I move the GearDrawer to a different spot.
It’s a little thing, but it’s still annoying.
Price Point: Compared to rolling tool chests from other brands, it’s hard to say that the Gladiator GearDrawer is expensive. Still, it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum for what you’ll find in big-box stores.
Gladiator isn’t known as a high-end garage storage brand. Their typical market is homeowners (like me) who want something more durable than plastic cabinets but can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on custom garage cabinets.
Budget-conscious buyers might find this cost-prohibitive, especially considering professional rolling tool chests aren’t much more expensive.
Who Should Consider the Gladiator GearDrawer & GearBox
So, who should consider the Gladiator GearBox and GearDrawer?
I’ve broken it down into these three categories:
You Need Basic Storage: If you only require storage for a few essential tools, the GearDrawer and GearBox could be your answer. Sure, there are simpler and cheaper rolling toolboxes, but they don’t have the build quality and durability of the Gladiator GearDrawer.
You Want a Good-Looking Garage on a Budget: Gladiator storage cabinets look great and don’t cost a fortune. If you’re upgrading from a budget or DIY storage solution, you can’t go wrong with Gladiator GarageWorks.
You Have Changing Storage Needs: The GearDrawer and GearBox integrate seamlessly with other Gladiator products, making it a great option to build a comprehensive and cohesive storage system over time.
On the flip side, here’s who should consider a different product:
They Aren’t Cheap: While they’re not the most expensive rolling tool cabinets, the Gladiator GearDrawer isn’t cheap. Even compared to other Gladiator GarageWorks products, the price might be too much for homeowners on a tighter budget. Choose a more affordable storage option if you don’t need some of their higher-end features.
Professional Mechanics and Craftsmen: If you’re a pro, you’re probably not reading this GearDrawer review. Still, a professional mechanic or craftsman probably needs a rolling tool drawer that can take a lot more abuse. Gladiator’s diamond-tread finish looks fantastic for everyday use but won’t hold up that well in a working garage.
You Have Limited Space: The standard single-car garage is between 12′ and 16′ wide and between 16′ and 20′ long. That doesn’t leave much room for a 25″-deep rolling tool cabinet. That means the GearDrawer might not be the best fit for homeowners with small garages.
Wrapping It Up
Every time I go into my garage, it’s a good bet that I’ll grab something from my Gladiator GearDrawer. It’s safe to say that it’s had a massive impact on my garage’s organization.
Although I don’t use my Gladiator Gearbox as often, it’s no less important.
Both are well-constructed and have plenty of storage space to fit my tools.
I like the unique, industrial finish and color choices, which will take any garage design to the next level. I particularly appreciate the smooth drawer operation, which has made accessing my tools a breeze.
However, there are some things I wish were different.
For instance, the drawer’s latching mechanism could be more secure, especially when moving the GearDrawer around my garage. I’ve also noticed the powder-coated finish requires careful handling to maintain its appearance.
Overall, my experience with the Gladiator GearDrawer and GearBox has been largely positive. They’re a durable, versatile, and good-looking storage solution that’s a great option for homeowners wanting to upgrade their garage storage but don’t want to spring for custom cabinets.
Gladiator Premier Modular GearBox
Gladiator Premier Modular GearDrawer
Gladiator Premier 7-Drawer Modular GearDrawer
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