Gullwing vs Single Lid Toolbox: Which is Better?

Whatever job your truck is helping you do day in and day out, it’s certain there’s a lot of tools and/or gear involved. If you’ve got a work truck, then you need a toolbox. Without a toolbox, all that gear rattles around loose in the cab or the truck bed, you waste time searching for what you need, and your tools and your truck gets damaged or, in the case of the tools, lost or stolen in the process.

You need a work truck toolbox.

Luckily, you’ve got many options for selecting a toolbox for your work truck. One way to go is a crossbody toolbox that mounts near the bulkhead on top of the bed rails. These types of boxes are popular because they provide considerable storage space, are easy to install, and leave room below for hauling longer items in the bed.

If you’re considering a crossbody toolbox for the rear of your truck bed, you have two basic styles to choose from: a gullwing box or a single-lid toolbox. Which one is better?

Gullwing vs. Single Lid Crossbody Toolbox

Let’s start with a single-lid box. This crossover toolbox has one lid that runs across the full width of the toolbox. The lid lifts from the front of the box and opens towards the cab of your truck. Lifting the lid gives you easy access to the entire box.

A gullwing box has two lids, one on each side of the toolbox. The lids open from the sides towards the middle, and each gives you access to the items stored on that side of the box. That said, the box is only one compartment, so you can store larger items that could potentially be reached from either side.

So which is better? Which style comes out as the winner in the battle between gullwings and single-lid boxes?

The answer is neither. Or rather, it depends.

Weighing the Differences

Each box has advantages and disadvantages that boil down to two major questions:

  • What will you be storing in the box?
  • How do you want to access your gear?
  • What other items will you have on your truck?

Gullwing Doors

Gullwing doors allow you to get your tools and gear from outside your truck. With a Apex gullwing model, you don’t have to climb into the bed of your truck to get into your toolbox for a screwdriver or an extension cord; you can reach those items from solid ground with the use of our Apex screwdriver mount. In addition, gullwing doors are half the size of a single-lid door, making them easier to open. The doors move straight up allowing you to slide the box all the way against the back of the cab and still utilize a ladder rack.

However, as you might imagine, if you have a lot of small items floating around in your box they can make their way to the middle of the box. With a gullwing box it can be hard to see and reach those small items from the sides, so that the center space can be a bit of a dead zone.

The bottom line: if you want to be able to slide this box all the way against the cab while using a ladder rack, and don’t have a bunch of small items floating loose in the bottom of your box then the gull-wing is the way to go!

Single Lids

A single-lid toolbox makes it easy to store large, long items since you get full access to the entire box when you lift the lid. This makes it easier to retrieve small items that may have shifted to the center of your box. That said, If you utilize all the Apex Accessories, you shouldn’t have to retrieve those items.

The bottom line: A single-lid box is likely your best option if you want 100% access to the entire box.

What Other Features Matter?

What else matters when shopping for a work truck toolbox?


Truck toolboxes are typically made from either steel or aluminum. You can find some models made from plastic, but these aren’t durable enough for heavy-duty use. Steel is very strong but also very heavy and vulnerable to rust and corrosion. While steel toolboxes are powder coated to protect against rust, sharp tools can scratch the coating and expose the steel to water damage. Aluminum toolboxes are a good alternative; aluminum is much, much lighter than steel, won’t rust, and is still very strong. But aluminum can be a bit pricey, so you’ll need to weigh your options carefully.


Your tools and gear are valuable. A secure toolbox made from strong materials that include strong locks will keep your stuff safe.

Weather Resistance

Another facet of keeping your gear safe is protecting it from the weather. Rain and snow are your tools’ worst enemies, and your work truck toolbox needs to keep the water out on the stormiest days or when driving through the car wash. Features such as one-piece gaskets for a tight seal, watertight hinges and latches, and welded construction all help keep the interior of your toolbox dry in any condition.


Aside from the overall design of the box, look for other features that make using the box more convenient. Examples include the following:

  • Gas struts that assist with opening the lids
  • Robotic welds and jig construction that keep the box square and the lid level
  • Interior and exterior accessories such as a portable cargo tray, molle panels, or L-tracks for additional storage. The APEX Gullwing truck toolbox from Chandler Truck Accessories is especially notable for providing a variety of flexible storage options.

The Best Work Truck Toolboxes

The best work truck toolboxes are CTA toolboxes. We carry a wide variety of toolboxes in different shapes and materials so you can find the storage solution that’s best for you. The APEX Gullwing is an exceptional choice if you’re interested in a gullwing crossbody toolbox. We engineered and built this box for ultimate customization and storage efficiency; you can easily set up the interior and exterior of the APEX to meet your needs with the help of L-Tracks and accessories, hooks, storage bins, socket organizers, molle panels, and a removable cargo tray. If you love the idea of the APEX but feel a single lid box would better suit your storage needs, hold onto your hat – and APEX single lid crossover is on its way.

Buy your next work truck toolbox from Chandler Truck Accessories and experience for yourself the difference premium design, materials, and construction can make. Call today to learn more.