Tool cabinets generally fall into two categories: custom made and prefabricated. The most common prefabricated tool cabinets are made of metal such as steel or aluminum, and they feature several drawers that slide in and out on a series of bearings. The size of such tool cabinets will vary; some are quite large, placed on casters, and feature several drawers as well as two or more large cabinets for storing larger tools, while other are fairly small and can sit on a table top or workbench. Custom made cabinets will vary in features and size according to the builder's preferences.
Custom made tool cabinets are very often made of wood because wood is easy to work with during construction. The tool cabinet may mimic the design of prefabricated models, or it may be customized to suit a particular builder's needs. Some builders even construct their tool cabinets directly onto walls, with cabinets that open and close easily. These wall-mounted tool cabinets are permanent features and do not take up any floor space. Other custom made models may feature casters just like the prefabricated models, and the unit can be moved easily around a workspace. The size and features will again depend entirely on the builder's needs, and certain tradesmen may need different features from their tool cabinets than, say, a consumer or homeowner.
Some tool cabinet units are stackable, meaning the independent units can be placed on top of each other and secured in place to make one large unit. This allows the owner to construct a large cabinet with drawers of different sizes. If one cabinet needs to be removed and transported to a different area, this can be done quickly and relatively easily. Larger drawers are usually placed lower to support the weight of the upper shelves and to ensure larger tools are placed down low for easy access. Smaller drawers are placed up high so that small, light tools end up being stored in them.
Some people choose to build tool cabinets directly into a custom-built workbench. This cuts down on clutter and makes accessing tools quickly a very simple process. Building such a structure will require carpentry knowledge, and it helps to plan out the cabinets carefully before construction begins to ensure the layout is logical and easy to access. Some people build custom work benches with open spaces that allow prefabricated tool cabinet units to be fitted directly under the bench, cutting down on construction cost and time while still allowing for easy access to tools.