Most power tools come in heavy, protective blow molded plastic cases. Like this one:

Woodnetter devildog1024 stirred up a whole mess of conversatin’ when he asked: “What do you do with your power tool cases? I have a dozen stacking up in my shop. Throw them out or keep them?”

Woodnetters responded. I counted their responses.

Before digging in, I observed a pattern: the guys who keep their tools mobile (contractors/nomadic types) vs. the shop-use only guys who don’t move their tools around much. Obviously, the mobile guys hang on to their cases for dear life, while the shop-use guys sold, recycled, donated the cases.

That said, there were a number of shop-use onlies who kept the cases to store the tools… and a couple that built shelving to fit the cases… but ONLY if space was not an issue.

Also, I was surprised that there’s such an aftermarket demand for cases… I saw prices ranging from $5-$25 each.

The list below is in order of frequency of mentions. #1, “tool transportation,” was mentioned 11 times by Woodnetters, and #13, “target practice,” was mentioned once.

Ok, enough observation ;P I now humbly submit to you 13 Things to Do With Power Tool Cases:

1) Tool transportation (jobsite transport, moving, etc): 11
2) Recycle/trash them: 8
3) Store tools in them: 8
4) Sell them: 5
5) Store chargers, accessories and manuals in them: 5
6) Save for when/if selling the tool: 3
7) Modify them for storing other items/tools (blades and bits): 3
8) Store tools in them until storage is built/cleared: 2
9) Built cabinet to store the tools in cases
10) Donate them to Habitat for Humanity
11) Compost/worm container
12) Locators for crab pots – sealed with silicone
13) Use for target practice

In case you were wondering, yes the last three are my favorite… And they’re in order (11, 12, 13) of how you could get the maximum use out of a single case ;)

Thanks to WoodNet:
What do you do with your power tool cases?

More Resources for Hoarders, Cheapskates and Other Woodworker Types:
Lumber Salvage: The Top 10 Sources for Cheap, Free and Recycled Wood
Woodworking Through the Economic Crisis: 11 Resources for Stretching Your Woodworking Budget
28 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Sawdust and Woodchips
Woodworking with Pallets: A Guide to Finding, Breaking Down and Building with Pallets
The Harbor Freight Buying Guide
11 Ideas for Wood Cut Offs
11 Cheap, Recycled or Free Items Useful in the Wood Shop
Cheap, DIY Clamp Alternatives
The Cheapskate Woodworker Quiz