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Stanley FatMax Xtreme Open Mouth Tool Bag

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1 Review

Brand: Stanley / Product Type: Tool Bag

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      22.12.2012 17:59
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      A true bag for life... and we're not talking about the wife's mother either...

      Bags, we all need them as we all use them, a bag of some kind or other, be it a 5p plastic bag from Aldi or a pound bag for life from Asda, a bag is a useful thing that helps carry several items around at one time.
      But apart from plastic bags there are even better bags, bags that are designed to carry heavier thing, items that weigh more than you Turkey at Christmas or your 8 pack of lager that you got at a bargain price. These bags also come in a range of looks, sizes, material and even prices, but again, they are all designed to carry heavier items from A to B without too much hassle.
      Anyway, one kind of bag that a lot of people have, mainly men but also women as well, are bags that hold tools. These bags are actually called tool bags, making it easy to remember what these particular bags are designed for.
      It is these types of bags that I am writing about here, one bag in particular, a tool bag that I have owned and been using for quite some time now, together with several other tool bags and boxes. But it is this bag that I feel is worth shouting about as this bag carries many of my most useful tools in one go.
      The bag I am going to shout about is called the FATMAX XL open mouth bag from the great tool maker that is called Stanley.

      * What does this bag look like..?
      It looks a rather fetching yellow colour with the letters A - L - D -... no, hang on, that's the other bag, the one I used to use to carry a few of my tool around. That was until I got this Stanley one.
      This one is a good size, being about 510mm x 250mm by 220mm and is strong, a lot stronger than my Aldi bag for life, this one is apparently made of 1200 denier fabric, which, if my denier knowledge is anything to go by, is pretty strong material indeed.
      When you open the bag you'll notice stuck to the base, there lies a plastic moulded panel which keeps the entire bag nice and rigid so that the tools that I throw into the bag don't make the bottom flop about in the wind.
      There's no interior sections to separate all your tools, so you do end up with a bag full of what can only be described as 'organised chaos in a bag'. but if you're anything like me then you'll know exactly what tools are in the bag and where they actually are.

      On either side there are a few pockets, with three on each side, two of those being the same size and on either side of a larger central pocket. The smaller compartments all have a rather nice way of closing securely, this being a double zipper mechanism which simply slides up and down using one rubber hand grip on each pocket which is attached to each of the zips, making them open and close at the same rate.
      With the side central compartments having a flap that covers the tools that are inside there, keeping them inside regardless of how high you swing the bag. Although I don't recommend swinging a bag full of tools too high as the health and safety brigade my take a dim view of tools flying about the area.
      Then there's the larger, main compartment which is secured by a strong zip that slides from one side to the other, concealing everything inside.


      * Is it easy to carry about with you..?
      Yes, pretty much, but it does get heavier the more tools you add to it. To carry this bag there is a rather strong shoulder strap which has padded protection so that it doesn't dig into your shoulder when you're heavier tools are in the bag.
      Or, if you want to carry it in a 'manly' way then it offers two smaller handles, one on either side, that you can get a good grip on using the padded sections and carry it with ease. Although this can get a little heavy on one hand and the shoulder strap does really come in handy after a while.

      * How tough is it then..?
      It's tougher than my wife's roast dinners, (and probably taste better too)... although that is a bit of a fib as I don't think anything's tougher than my wife's roast dinners. If there is I'd love to come across it and hire it out as a bouncer.
      Seriously though, it is one of the toughest bags that I have ever used, and I've used many bags indeed during my time, from small hold-alls to rucksacks that were taller than me, but this one is one of the toughest without a doubt.
      The base is made of a rubber type material that, when the bag is placed, or even dropped, on the floor, even the roughest of floors, the base doesn't take any nonsense at all. It basically looks at the floor and laughs, bouncing back even if it has several pounds of tools bobbing about on top of it.
      The actual material that this bag is made of can withstand quite a bit as well, managing to deflect such things as screwdriver tips without piercing through the sides. It has even managed to stop a chisel from stabbing through it which makes me think that it may have some kind of Kevlar material entwined in it, although I can't find any fact to prove that point.
      I doubt that it can take the slicing from a pair of scissors or a Stanley knife and to be honest I really don't want to deliberately slice away at it as I know that even this tough bag will not with stand being sliced open like a potato in a crisp factory. But if accidents do happen and the bag does with stand a slice or two then I'll certainly let you know.

      Finally, one more important test when it comes to the 'tough test' is how the handles cope with the addition weight that will no doubt be added into the bag on a daily basis.
      Well, I don't weight the bag before I go out on a DIY job but I do know that when I'm carrying it it does weigh more than my wife's shopping bags after a credit card trip to Debenhams. I do tend to through a fair amount of tools into it at one time and the handles have never even flinched one bit, taking the full weight without any of the stitching loosening at all.

      * My opinion...
      Since first using this bag I haven't really stopped. This is down to the fact that I feel confident that it can carry the tools that I may need on that particular job without fear of the tools falling out or without them sticking through the bags side or base, sticking into my legs as I walk down the street.
      The bag itself is well made and built to last as it has what is called a semi rigid construction, which basically means that it will stand almost upright even when there is nothing holding up the sides. This helps when it comes to putting things into the bag and taking things out as the sides don't flop inside, stopping whatever you are trying to put in from actually getting in the bag.
      There's plenty of room overall, with the main compartment managing to take larger tools, such as a couple of power drills, planes and other stuff too. Then there's the additional side pockets, three pockets on the sides, two of which are the same size, on either side of a larger pocket which is on the centre. I find that each pocket manages to hold a good collection of my tools, from a tape measure to a jigsaw.
      The entire bag manages to hold its shape better than I do after I've stuffed my face over the Christmas period.

      The handles may be made of cloth but they are very strong indeed with a rubber section at the top where you actually grip the bag. And the shoulder strap, which clips onto the two hooks that are either end of the bag itself, has a very comfortable strap attached to it indeed.
      The middle side pockets have a good flap flopping over them which do a fine job in covering what ever you put into them and the other pockets zip up securely so that they too hold what ever you put into them nice and safe.


      Note:
      I haven't got long arms, well, no longer than the average man anyway, and when I'm carrying this bag by the handles it hangs just below my knees, being a foot or so above the ground, so there's not much effort when putting it down or even picking it up.


      * And the price of this tool carrier..?
      This tool bag from Stanley sells for a remarkable £30 to £40, which may sound a bit pricy for a bag but I personally feel that it is money well spent. It can take a lot of hassle from my tools and I honestly think that it will last me a long time.

      Do I recommend this tool bag..?
      Yes... a big fat yes, (no offence to big fat people).
      If you like to carry tools about with you when you're doing a DIY project then this is well worth looking into.
      It may be on the pricier side but it is money well spent as it can carry more than you can and won't split like the plastic bag that you usually use

      ©Blissman70 2012

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    • Product Details

      "Tool Storage / 21"" (546mm) / Rigid construction retains shape, giving easy access through wide mouth / Made from 1200 x 1200 denier material for durability, with patented breathable shoulder strap / Features: 3-Layer Construction; Solid Waterproof Base; Rigid Mouth Structure; 2-Part Quick-Snap Handle / Specifications: W x D x H: 546 x 350 x 270mm."