Tool Board vs Peg Board

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by LoyalAppleGeek posted 04-10-2016 01:43 AM 2682 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

04-10-2016 01:43 AM

Hi everyone!

I’m have a very small and cozy shop built into a dust sealed bedroom. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to organize the wall space, and that comes down to peg board vs tool board (the ones with horizontal dovetail slides that boxes, shelves and other things with slides on them mount to). I was thinking pegboard for simplicity, but a tool board is much more versatile.

Does anyone have a preference, and why do you like one better than the other?


UPDATE: after all the great help, I’ve decided on French cleats. Im still asking questions from time to time as I plan out the best way to install them in the small space.

Thanks so much again!

28 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1361 posts in 945 days

#1 posted 04-10-2016 02:16 AM


I use neither in my shop. However, I have been where the peg board system is used. The frustrating problem I have encountered with the peg board system is that the tool holding pins oftentimes come off with the tool. I understand that peg board pins are available which more or less lock in place. Since I have not looked into it, I cannot suggest where to look or say how well the stay-put hooks work.

The tool board option (which sounds like a system based on the French cleat) has the problem of either having to buy or build a device to hold a tool on the wall mounted component of the system. Initially this is not much of a problem, but as something new enters the shop; a new system component may be needed. The manufactured systems look pretty nice, but I my impression is that these are fairly expensive by the time everything is bought. Making one is simple enough, but requires buying the plywood and spending the time building the wall and tool carrying components.

I think I would opt for the peg board if stay-put hooks, etc. can be found; due to its lower cost and its greater flexibility. Otherwise, I would probably go with the tool board.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1478 days

#2 posted 04-10-2016 02:57 AM

Build the old carpenters chest. As you purchase each tool make a fitted box. Fill the chest. Put it in the clothes closet.


-- Madmark -

View Andrewst's profile


13 posts in 814 days

#3 posted 04-10-2016 03:47 AM

Well this is my advice, I have a peg board in my shop currently. I have my hates and loves with it. If you make a tool board and make your own holders for your tools I think it is kinda better because you can fit everything in the way you want. If you use a peg board you have to buy the pins and there is always places where you can’t put anything.

I would say tool board because it gives you a project and you make it any way you want :)

-- Andrew, Home Hobbyist, Canada

View Picklehead's profile


1041 posts in 1954 days

#4 posted 04-10-2016 11:25 AM

I’m currently reworking my tool wall with a combination of pegboard and plywood. Things that hang on the types of tool pegs I have go on the pegboard. Tools that need a specific mount/holder/shelf or can be hung by just a nail go on the ply-wall. Doesn’t have to be either or. Go hybrid.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2947 days

#5 posted 04-10-2016 01:26 PM

Whenever I have a question on how to do something or what to buy I ask myself: What do the pros do? I have NEVER seen tools Hanging on a wall in a professional wood shop nor in a sheet metal shop. Jigs and patterns , yes but tools go in drawers or tool boxes. I have a small workshop and I put shallow cabinets on one wall. No pegboard. My tools are in a self made wooden tool box.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View hotbyte's profile


991 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 04-10-2016 03:55 PM

I’m using French cleats for larger tool holders and a double layer of OSB hung on a French cleat to put smaller tools on (eventually will change to plywood but had OSB on hand from sheathing my walls). I used ideas from Matthias Wandel’s video
Not a French cleat...

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4843 posts in 2434 days

#7 posted 04-10-2016 06:09 PM

The pegboard you get from box stores is no longer 1/4 thick unless specifically marked and usually if so is brown. The thinner new stuff is fair but weight is a limitation. My shop had pegboard walls from former owner. As the years have gone by I have installed cabinets below to store most tools, cabinets above to cover tools, used french cleats for clamps and yes a few pegboard hooks here and there.

My suggestion would be mixed use, based on need. No one solution fits all. Just my two cents worth.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

#8 posted 04-10-2016 11:55 PM

Thank you for all the answers everyone, they’re really giving me a better picture. I want to stick to something that can be easily changed, as I reorganize monthly LOL. Hybrid isn’t particularly practical for me, since I’m looking into something only about 2’ X 4’. I am leaning to the tool board or French cleats as I need something to hold medium sized power tools, with hardware bins, small shelves and other things more on the heavy side. Possibly more keen on the French cleats for their simplicity and ease of movement. I never even saw those before, so thank you so for mentioning them! I have wall space to spare but can’t say the same of my floor and shelf space, so tool drawers won’t really work either. Izzy Swan, Matthias Wandel, and John Heisz are my 3 favorite online resources, glad to hear one of them mentioned, incredible guys!

If anyone has a photo they would like to share of their setup, that would be a big help as well.

Thanks again!

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

#9 posted 04-11-2016 12:23 AM

Alright everyone! I’ve come to a decision. The winner is… French cleats! It uses the least material, is the simplest to build, is easy to rearrange, and causes the least damage to a wall. Unless someone has a reason not to that I couldn’t find, I’m going with the French cleats. Thank you so much for telling me about them, I can wait to get started.

View ajshobby's profile


93 posts in 2333 days

#10 posted 04-11-2016 03:10 AM

I use both. I find peg board good enough for shop supplies and misc tools. Most of my hand wood working tools are on my french cleet wall. Dont try to organize ot from the outset. Do projects and organize by how you want to reach for things. I also make use of overhead (ceiling) storage as it gave me a lot of extra space in my small shop.

View HokieKen's profile


5229 posts in 1163 days

#11 posted 04-11-2016 11:14 AM

Could always hang pegboard then mount french cleats on the pegboard. Then you have the flexibility of both.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3557 days

#12 posted 04-11-2016 02:19 PM

Check out this “slat wall storage system” #805

I have pegboard, I’d do some of each I could.

-- My reality check bounced...

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

#13 posted 04-11-2016 02:37 PM

Thank you for the photos :-) From your pictures, I can tell the French cleats are definitely the best option for my space. I’m also picky about the appearance of the workspace, clean and cozy are the criteria here, and I like the appearance and shop feel they give much better than the pegboard. I have a number of items to finish up, but it’s an absolute guarantee that my shop will be set up with this system within a month.

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

#14 posted 04-11-2016 02:44 PM

I like the idea of mounting a small pegboard to the French cleats as well, I’ll likely do that. Thank you for the link, but I don’t have an account with that website. Is it by chance available on YouTube?

View LoyalAppleGeek's profile


160 posts in 919 days

#15 posted 04-11-2016 10:09 PM

I have a question. Should the cleats have a bevel of 30 or 45 degrees? And, anyone with humming bird feeders, get them out! Our first of 30 has returned from his vacation :-)

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics