Chris Martino
The 8' tall Matco Tools 6S setup is 76' wide and 28' deep, featuring a main box, hutch and top cabinet.

Big-Time Boxes: Chris Martino, Matco Tools

Aug. 10, 2017
This 8' tall setup was built up, not out, to save space

Owner: Chris Martino

Shop: Cold Spring Motors

Location: Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Chris Martino didn't have the space to spread out at Cold Spring Motors, a two-bay shop in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, so he decided to build his toolbox 'up.' 

The 8' tall Matco Tools 6S setup is 76" wide and 28" deep, featuring a main box, hutch and top cabinet.  

In total, there are 26 lockable drawers organized by tool category, from a socket drawer to specific electrical service drawers. Martino's main form of organization is keeping anything he can in blow-molded cases to keep the tools secure.   

"I used to work with guys that take everything out of the boxes and let it roll around the drawers," Martino says. "I just find that a little messy. And, yeah, my stuff takes up a little bit more room, but I know where everything is and I can open the case and see if something's missing."  

The setup features three full-length drawers, and a pull-out work surface Martino uses as a laptop work station, or to write work orders. 

"I like the full-length drawers I have because I'm able to put everything and lay it out the way I want," Martino says. "Instead of going through seven different drawers to do one particular job, I have everything I need in one drawer." 

Martino performs a lot of electrical diagnostics at Cold Spring Motors, so those items are kept front and center, while other less frequently used tools, and bigger service-type items are kept in the top cabinet, which can be accessed with a step stool. 

Within the hutch, Martino keeps a first-generation Snap-on Modis he uses as a scope, a Launch Tech Pad, and a Farsight tablet he's said has "changed the way [he works]" because it features technical support, computer programs, like ALLDATA and Identifix, and is a scan tool and programmer all in one.  

The toolbox features power outlets, USB ports and lights throughout. Martino set up a timer that shuts the power off every night around 7 p.m., as to keep his power tools and laptop charged, but not over-charged and "burnt out" while he leaves them overnight. 

In the future, Martino would like to purchase a side locker addition to house his scan tools and spread out some of his tools. That is, if Martino can convince his boss to move his old, rarely used toolbox so Martino can make room for it in the shop. He has high hopes, already planning out some Star Wars decals for the door.  

Martino has been a technician since 1999. For 10 years he worked out of Snap-on box, but after quickly growing out of that first setup, he traded it in for this sliver Matco box.  

Martino says he chose the Matco box because of his ability to customize every option on the box, rather than have the limitation of certain drawer size specs or bundle options.  

"It's the strongest box I've ever felt," Martino says of the Matco box. "When you shut the drawer you can feel how solid the whole box is. With my toolbox fully loaded I can unlock the wheels and push it with my pinky around the shop. It rolls so easy."

While trading his previous box in, Martino wanted his toolbox, hutch and top cabinet purchased all at once.  

"I told my [Matco] rep I didn't want to have to buy a toolbox ever again," Martino says. 

"He had me covered. Then, I saw the bill and I passed out," Martino laughs. 

About the Author

Vesna Brajkovic | Associate Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Vesna Brajkovic is associate editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Brajkovic has covered the transportation industry for a number of trade publications, with a focus on the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket industries since 2016. Prior to that, she covered the global aviation industry as assistant editor for Endeavor Business Media's, and held a number of editorial positions at an award-winning community newspaper.

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