Systainers (from sys-tem con-tainers) are modular inter-stacking plastic containers used for transporting power tools. Boxes from different manufacturers are compatible and can be stacked and clipped together. A design using four joining clips was introduced by Festo Tooltechnic in 1993.[2] In 2010 the T-Loc variant was introduced using a rotating handle for connecting and locking of containers, in combination with redesigned feet.[2]

Plastic nubs around the base of each container enable stacking and inter-locking from multiple manufacturers.
Other names
  • Berner Bera Clic/+
  • Hitachi Hit-Case
  • Makita MakPac
  • Metabo Metabox/MetaLoc
  • Mafell Max/T-Max
  • Starmix Starbox
  • Systra Modul
ClassificationModular stacking tool box
  • Classic
  • T-Loc
  • Tool Box
  • Systainer3
Used withPower tools
  • Martin Topel (de)
  • Herbert Pauser[1]
  • Festo
  • Tanos

To reduce plastic pollution, Festo designed the Systainer to first allow distribution of products, then be reused in stacking form as reusable packaging for tool transportation and storage.[3]

Several power tool manufacturers use or offer Systainer-compatible variants.[4] Other manufacturers use the alternative Sortimo L-Boxx design.[4]

The term "Systainer" was trademarked in the United States in January 1994.[5]


Systainer height by type (without 7 mm feet)[6]
Type Stacking height increment (mm)
105.0(2 × 52.5 mm)
157.5(3 × 52.5 mm)
210.0(4 × 52.5 mm)
315.0(6 × 52.5 mm)
420.0(8 × 52.5 mm)
Mini III
Mini I
Systainer3 height by type (without 7 mm feet)[7]
Sys³ Stacking height increment (mm)
105.0(2 × 52.5 mm + 0 mm — "4 inch")
130.0(2 × 50 mm + 30 mm — "5 inch")
180.0(3 × 50 mm + 30 mm — "7 inch")
230.0(4 × 50 mm + 30 mm — "9 inch")
330.0(6 × 50 mm + 30 mm — "13 inch")
430.0(8 × 50 mm + 30 mm — "17 inch")

Systainer horizontal dimensions)[8]
Type Nominal (mm) Actual (mm) Internal (mm) Style
Classic T-Loc
Micro[9] 105×65 100×60 Yes
Mini 265×171 254×154 Yes Yes
Normal 400×300 396×296 382×267 Yes Yes
Midi 500×300 496×296 483×267 Yes
Sys3 L 510×300 508×296 Yes
Maxi 600×400 596×396 545×330 Yes
Sys3 XXL 800×300 792×296 786×279 Yes


The T-Loc style uses a single rotating catch mechanism.

In 2009, the design of Tanos' T-Loc stacking boxes was registered in the name of Timo Kuhls.[10]

In 2011, the design of Makita's Makpac stacking boxes was registered in the names of Yuji Yamamoto and Kiyozumi Kokawa.[11][12]

In 2014, the design of Tanos' cantilever toolbox was registered in the name of Timo Kuhls.[13]

Beginning in 2014, the students at the Heinrich-Hübsch wood-working college in Karlsruhe started making wooden containers for each students' tools. The "Woodbox" design is 210 millimetres (8.3 in) high, with a transparent area for drill bits in the lid, and a T-Loc closing handle compatible with other systainer cases.[14] In 2016 the teacher of the class, Peter Winklhofer, made the PDF plans available to enable other carpenters and students to build their own versions of the case.[15]

In 2015, the design of Hitachi's micro-sized Hit-Case stacking boxes was registered in the name of Yi-Hung Lin.[16]

In mid-2019, Systainer³ was announced jointly by Festool, Bott, and Tanos. These containers have integrated slide rail slots for direct connection to van racking, and front handles, along with backward compatibility.[17]

Stacking orderEdit

Stacking order/compatibility of different types
Toolbox T-Loc Sys3 Orga Midi XXL Classic Maxi
Toolbox Yes
Systainer3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1‒2
T-Loc Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1‒2
Midi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 1
Sys3 XXL 1‒2 1‒2 1‒2 1‒2 1 1
Classic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maxi ×2 ×2 ×2 ×2 Yes


  1. ^ Noe, Rain (18 June 2015). "Core77 Visits Festool, Part 8: The Wrap-Up". Core 77.
  2. ^ a b DeBoer, Clint (21 October 2010). "Festool T-LOC Updates Systainer Storage System". Pro Tool Reviews. Retrieved 12 July 2018. in 1993, the Festool Systainer turned upside down the world of construction professionals, who by then was still mainly organized with boxes… Systainer is a composition of words Sys-tem and Con-tainer… first generation of Systainer… close and unlock four snaps, …new T-Loc system is backwards compatible with existing Systainers… T-Loc versions on top… T-shaped and Loc means close (Lock), open (Open) and connected (Connect).
  3. ^ Morris, Michael; Carnett, John B. (September 1994). "Euro Tools". Popular Science. Vol. 245 no. 3. p. 84. ISSN 0161-7370. Festo has also developed its own unique response to Germany's environmental challenge—by packaging its products in sturdy plastic crates call Systainers that later become a stackable, transportable storage system for tools and accessories.
  4. ^ a b Meltzer, Matthias (7 May 2018). "Handkreissäge kaufen: Das sind die beliebtesten Produkte" [Circular Saw shopping: these are the most popular products]. Computer Bild (in German). Retrieved 12 July 2018. Hersteller wie Festool, Mafell, Makita und Metabo liefern ihre Werkzeuge im Systainer von Tanos. Nur Bosch setzt bei den Geräten der Professional-Reihe auf die L Boxx von Sortimo.
  5. ^ "Trademarks". Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 1170 (3): 128. 1995. SN 74-482,890, Festo KG, 7300 Esslingen… Filed … Systainer
  6. ^ A short extract of our product range (PDF). Tanos Medical (Report). 7 April 2015. p. 6. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Gibt es eine Übersichtstabelle mit allen neuen Bezeichnungen, Größen und Höhen?" [Is there an overview table with all new names, sizes and heights?]. Systainer³ verbindet Werkstatt und Baustelle. Festool Mobility (in German). Systainer³ (Höhe mit Fuß in mm): …SYS3 M 112; …SYS3 M 137 Neu… SYS3 M/L 187… SYS3 M/L 237… SYS3 M 337… SYS3 M 437
  8. ^ "Systainer® product overview: A short extract" (PDF). Tanos. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Micro-Systainer T-Loc" (in German). Koffer Fun Shop. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  10. ^ US patent D627967S1, Kuhls, Timo, "Storage box", issued 2010-11-30, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 
  11. ^ US patent D668867S1, Yamamoto, Yuji, "Tool box", issued 2012-10-16, assigned to Makita 
  12. ^ US patent D668869S1, Yamamoto, Yuji & Kiyozumi Kokawa, "Tool box", issued 2012-10-16, assigned to Makita 
  13. ^ patent D731183S1, Kuhls, Timo, "Storage box", issued 2015-06-09, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 
  14. ^ "Ausgefallene Projektarbeit an der Berufsfachschule Karlsruhe: Praktisch für die Ewigkeit" [Unusual project at the Karlsruhe training college: Practically forever]. BM-Online (in German). 11 June 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  15. ^ Närdemann, Christian, ed. (24 June 2016). "Jetzt Woodbox-Baupläne herunterladen: Praktisch für die Ewigkeit: Werkzeugkiste für Ihr Azubi-Projekt" [Download Wood Box Blueprints now: Practically forever: Toolbox for your trainee project]. BM-Online (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  16. ^ US patent 9375835B1, Lin, Yi-Hung, "Tool box assembly", issued 2016-06-28, assigned to Fairness Technology Group 
  17. ^ Dixon, Lucy (2019-07-03). "Festool to launch the Systainer3 tool storage system". Professional Builder UK. Retrieved 2019-09-16. Systainer³ can be integrated into the Bott vario³ vehicle equipment… Systainer³ Organizer… in two different sizes and has a transparent cover… integrated mounting rails… number "3"… indicates the third generation of the Systainer, which has been established in the professional trade sector since 1993, …compatible with all older Systainer models… three low Systainer³ variants have a handy front carrying handle

Further readingEdit

  • Classic (1992): EP patent 0555533B1, Pauser, Herbert Bernhard & Peter Maier, "Stackable container", published 1993-08-18, issued 1994-08-10, assigned to Festo and TTS Tooltechnic Systems  (expired)
  • Maxi (1999): EP patent 1018473B1, Pauser, Herbert & Johannes Steimel, "Container assembly", published 2000-07-12, issued 2003-01-02, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 
  • T-Loc (2009): EP patent 2313321B1, Koenig, Andreas; Timo Kuhls & Raimund Schäffer et al., "Stackable Container Assembly with Reciprocal Locking of the Stacked Containers", published 2011-04-27, issued 2012-02-15, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 
  • T-Loc (2009), credit card size (ID-1 format) label holder/attachment interface: EP patent 2485874B1, Michels, Markus & Lutz Wolle, "Container arrangement", published 2012-08-15, issued 2017-12-06, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 
  • Toolbox (2013): EP patent 2994274B1, Kuhls, Timo & Lutz Wolle, "Container assembly", published 2016-03-16, issued 2017-05-31, assigned to TTS Tooltechnic Systems 

External linksEdit