The Systainer

Most power tool brands have a system of interlocking storage cases. This makes it easy to move multiple cases at the same time, and possibly even to lock them down in a vehicle. Probably the best-known example, at least in Europe, is the Systainer. The Systainer is usually associated with Festool, but it is actually designed and manufactured by a German company called Tanos.As a matter of fact, many companies, not only Festool, use the Systainer as their storage system.

There are several variations of the Systainer design. They are compatible, with limitations:

  • The Systainer Classic is the original design. Cases are connected via two clips on the sides, the lid is locked with two front clips. This is the case used/sold by Makita as Makpac. A common complaint is that, when new, the clips can be quite difficult to open.
  • The Systainer T-Loc is the second version. Connection is achieved by sliding into the lid of the lower case, and a combined rotating connector/lid lock that is much easier to use than the clips. The T-Loc Systainers can be locked to the top of a Systainer Classic, but not the other way round.
  • The Systainer 3 is the latest iteration. Three sizes are now available: M (the same size as the T-Loc and the Classic), L, and XXL. The cases now feature a front handle in addition to a top handle. The cases slide directly into the vehicle racks by German company bott.

All three variants are available in multiple heights and in several versions, like drawer-equipped and as toolbox.The standard size has exterior dimensions of 39.6 x 29.6cm and interior dimensions of 38.3 x 26.7cm. These are the interior heights of the five available heights (exterior heights are 3cm taller):

  • I – 7.5cm
  • II – 12.75cm
  • III – 18cm
  • IV – 28.5cm
  • V – 38.4cm

There is also a mini version of the T-Loc of about half the size (26.5×17.1cm), also available in several heights. Finally, there’s the Micro Systainer – it’s only 10.5 x 6.5 x 3cm in size, but equipped with the same T-Loc system – for really tiny power tools.

Systainers sold by power tool companies come in the brand’s color (like Makita’s teal and Festool’s light grey and green), whereas the standard Tanos color is light grey and blue. Tanos also sells other colors, depending on the type of Systainer. The Systainer T-Loc III e.g. is available in eight different body colors, and twelve different clip colours – plenty of options for customizing! Since you can order replacement parts in various colours, it is also possible to customize and colour code your existing Systainer cases.

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