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Thread: the various brands/colors of systainers

  1. #1

    the various brands/colors of systainers

    I am replacing some of my tool boxes with systainers. When i bought a domino I swore I would not embark down the slippery festool slope, but that did not happen. I see systainers sold by festool, tanos, fein, and even Lee Valley seems to have their own branded colors. Are these all the same? Are there quality differences between them, or can I just look for the one with the lower price?

  2. #2
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    Tanos is the manufacturer (and in the same corporate family as Festool)...so if it's a "SysTainer", it's Tanos, regardless of the color or branding. They are all compatible with each other. So if color doesn't matter...buy for price. Or take advantage of buying Tanos rather than branded (usually better priced than Festool brand, for example) and you can even customize the color of the latches, etc.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Something you may want to consider before you start your buying spree is that Festool / Tanos have announced a new generation of systainer that has a few more features and an entirely different height from the current t-loc model. It is about to deliver in Europe as we speak and the U.S. can't be far behind.

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    Don't shoot the messenger, but there are better boxes out there for less $. Try a Milwaukee Packout for example. A LOT stronger box and cheaper.

  5. #5
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    I'm up to something like 140 of these now, but still accumulating them as the tools grow. They're waterproof, and moisture tight. I have no use for the stackable ones. Having these in individual cubbies, I can grab what we need, and even taking them in the back of the truck, it doesn't matter if they get rained on. I don't need to see all the hand planes, but like for them to be rust-free when I take them out to use.

    They're in a different place now. This was a flipping house, when I first started building the cubbies, I think in 2009, or 10.

    They're sold under Stanley, Bostitch, Dewalt, and now Craftsman brand names, but all the same boxes. 23" long ones can be found for $25, and the 28" long ones for 30 to 35. The larger ones are also available with wheels on one end, and a telescopic handle. Heavy loaded boxes, with wheels, like Pulling, and Stonework tools stay on the bottom, and can just be rolled out.

    Probably don't stroke the ego as much as having stacks of Systainers, but very practical. I've also since bought a little vinyl cutter, to make more professional labels, but have been too busy to get into that yet.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Tanos is the manufacturer (and in the same corporate family as Festool)...so if it's a "SysTainer", it's Tanos, regardless of the color or branding.

    They are all compatible with each other. ...
    I think there are currently two versions of systainers (old and new), and they may not be compatible in terms of how they stack and lock. Based on Dave Sabo's post in this thread, I found info on the third version coming that has handles on two sides and locks into what looks like a vehicle shelving system. The new sustainers are 8" wider than the current ones, but can still be stacked with the current ones, there are slots in the top to fit the new and old form factor.

    FWIW, I have about a dozen Systainers that I got with various Festool tools and accesories and they are used as storage boxes in my RV. I don't travel with my tools, and prefer them on shelves and in drawers in the back bench, where I can see them and grab them in 3 seconds.
    Mark McFarlane

  7. #7
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    Mark, the older generation must be on the bottom, but the newer ones will stack on top just fine. I don't know anything about the new version folks have mentioned at this point but it's unlikely that Tanos would make them totally incompatible relative to stacking...it's a major part of the value proposition for Systainers.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Don't shoot the messenger, but there are better boxes out there for less $. Try a Milwaukee Packout for example. A LOT stronger box and cheaper.
    i agree with you that Milwaukee and Dewalt cases are cheaper and stronger , I don't agree that makes them better.

    At least not in all circumstances. For rough trades like framers and plumbers, or handymen that throw their gear in the back of a pickup - absolutely. The red and black ones are also water proof which is a benefit to in many instances.

    For the finish guys, especially ones working on big expensive projects where you would find Festool on a jobsite - the smaller , lighter, easier to open systainer is better. Moving them around is easier too. They attach to the vacuums and can be pushed to the elevator or around the worksite. This wouldnt be real important to the framer , but to a kitchen fitter in a high rise it's quite valuable.



    About the new systainers - which I hate personally. :

    https://www.systainer3.com/en/systainer_3.asp
    Last edited by Dave Sabo; 01-23-2020 at 6:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    i agree with you that Milwaukee and Dewalt cases are cheaper and stronger , I don't agree that make them better.

    At least not in all circumstances. For rough trades like framers and plumbers, or handymen that throw their gear in the back of a pickup - absolutely. The red and black ones are also water proof which is a benefit too in many instances.

    For the finish guys, especially ones working on big expensive projects where you would find Festool on a jobsite - the smaller , lighter, easier to open systainer is better. Moving them around is easier too. They attach to the vacuums and can be pushedto the elevator or around the worksite. This wouldnt be real important to the framer , but to a kitchen fitter in a high rise it's quite valuable.



    About the new systainers - which I hate personally. :

    https://www.systainer3.com/en/systainer_3.asp
    I dunno Dave, I have a Festool vacuum and some of that variety of tools and things in systainers that I use like you described for various trimout jobs (minus the elevator, not many around here) and the systainers on it are good, but the Milwaukee cart rolls better and has the benefit of also working on surfaces that are less than pristine. They also have a four wheel version, and you can stack them on the festool vac if you really want


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Mark, the older generation must be on the bottom, but the newer ones will stack on top just fine. I don't know anything about the new version folks have mentioned at this point but it's unlikely that Tanos would make them totally incompatible relative to stacking...it's a major part of the value proposition for Systainers.
    Thanks Jim. The new ones will also stack with the current ones, but they are wider.
    Mark McFarlane

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    Thanks Jim. The new ones will also stack with the current ones, but they are wider.
    The systainer 3 has a medium size that has the same footprint and an L size that has a larger footprint. The L size is somewhat analogous to the MIDI in terms of a wider systainer, but is not the same width. They have changed the heights, which is a bee in my bonnet; because with the T-loc systainers you could build stacks that would match the height of your MFT (or just each other) for use as a work support.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Don't shoot the messenger, but there are better boxes out there for less $. Try a Milwaukee Packout for example. A LOT stronger box and cheaper.
    I actually agree. I have a stack of Dewalt boxes for router and drilling tools.

    But my festool dominoes and the consumables all came in systainers, so I want a systainer to go with them to hold the dust extractor hoses.

    I ought one of the Tanos black/yellow ones from lee valley.

  13. #13
    I use the Makita branded Systainers (made by Tanos.) They have the older style latches (no T loc) but are otherwise identical to the older Festool systainers and have some compatibility with the new T Loc boxes.

    They are less than 1/2 the price of new Festool boxes if you look around online.
    That's just like, your opinion, man.

  14. #14
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    If you're a Festool user then systainers make sense, even being more expensive, because all of the tools you buy come in systainers which gives you a big head start on storage. Over the last six months I have gotten a Domino which includes a systainer for the tool and for the dominos, sander, vac and vac attachments. All of the sudden I have four systainers which are made specifically to hold the tools that go in them. I plan on putting them on roll out shelves in some shop cabinets I am building. So while systainers are more expensive I didn't have to pay any extra to get started. Compared to the numerous, useless DeWalt bags I have floating around, systainers are a much better buy.

    I also have some DeWalt tough boxes that I bought when I was flipping a house a couple of years ago. While those are nice, after having systainers for a while I think, I like the systainers better. The smaller form factor is a plus IMO because they are easier to move around.

    Like most things though, it all really comes down to your needs. If I was a contractor and carrying around a bunch of framing nailers, circ and recip saws, etc I'd probably go with the tough boxes or packouts. Like someone mentioned previously, if I'm a finish carpenter I am probably investing heavily in the Festool system and relying on systainers for most things.

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