Head Judge: Andrew Wilcox
Channel 4’s Head Judge & Founder of Shed of the Year Andrew Wilcox has worked to help design an impartial judging system for WhatShed. The judging system uses many different parameters to help give a large degree of impartiality to the way we select products for each of the league tables we do. You can read more about the system here.
A garden tool store can be the crowning glory of any garden, and they’re essential for anyone who is enthusiastic about DIY and home improvements. When you have a high quality tool shed you’ll always know where to go to find the equipment you need, and of course it can be a secure storage space for much more than drills, handsaws and the like. A toolshed needs to be heavy duty so it can store everything safely. Tool sheds are available in many styles, and at many different prices as well, so finding the one that’s just right for you may seem confusing; don’t worry, WhatShed have created this handy guide to the 20 best tool sheds that are available to buy online in the UK today.
WhatShed review garden buildings of all types and in all sizes, so we know what differentiates a great tool shed from an average tool shed. We also wanted to make sure that each of the storage units in our league table were easy to find. That’s why we’ve only considered sheds that are sold by the ten leading retailers in this field, who between them sell more than 95% of all the garden buildings that can be purchased online today.
4' x 3' Rowlinson Heritage Wooden Grey Storage Shed (1.32m x 0.98m)
For the purposes of this league table, we have defined a tool shed as a garden building designed for storage purposes, but not one that is large enough that it could also double as a workshop. Whilst this means that they are invariably among the smaller sheds that we review, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have a lot to offer. This is a perfect example. It has a compact footprint (sometimes also called a sentry box shed), making it a great choice for smaller gardens where space is at a premium, and yet it’s made of high quality shiplap cladding that has been pressure treated to give it extra durability and weather protection. The 15 year manufacturer’s warranty that comes with it is an indicator of just how effective this is, and as it also represents excellent value for money we have no hesitation in placing this at the top of our list of the best tool sheds available online today.
Appearance wise this follows the classic tool shed design, with a centrally positioned single hinged door, no windows, and an apex roof that carries rainwater away. We found that the superior quality smooth planed timber gave it an elegant and attractive look, however, so it’s ideal for people who are looking for a building that offers quality as well as value. We were also pleased to find integrated floor bearers that give protection against ground moisture, not something that we always see on tool sheds as inexpensive as this one.
BillyOh Boxer Apex Metal Shed
Whilst the majority of tool sheds that find a place in our league table are made out of wood, this Archer shed from BillyOh shows the many advantages that a metal tool shed can bring, it also features double doors and is the only storage unit in the list to offer this. They are of course immune to the threat of rot and wood worm, and they can provide great value for money when compared to their timber equivalents as well. That’s certainly what we found here, with a shed that has a very accommodating base area of four feet by seven feet available for a price of less than a hundred and fifty pounds. It’s this excellent value, added to the low maintenance nature of well built metal sheds, that earns this fine example the runner up spot in our top 20.
We know that many people prefer the look of wooden tool sheds to metal sheds, but the green colour scheme, with eye catching white contrasts around the doors and gables, elevate it above its metal origins. Even traditionalists shouldn’t baulk at having this in their garden. It comes with a 10 year guarantee against perforations caused by rust, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it lasting much longer than this without any problems occurring. With a foundation kit included as well, to aid in the assembly and installation of the shed, we feel this is a good buy for those operating on a tight budget.
BillyOh Master Tongue and Groove Apex Shed
We now come to another member of the BillyOh range of tool sheds, but this one is very different. For a start, it’s made not of galvanised steel but has double doors and tongue and groove cladding that looks tightly together to keep rainwater out and the tools and equipment inside dry. This is also helped by the slope of the apex roof, and with a peak height of 1.97m there’s plenty of room to move around in inside when storing and retrieving tools. For added reassurance there’s a 10 year warranty included, although it should be noted that this is dependant upon the customer keeping up with an annual treatment schedule.
Coming in at a lower price than other brands such as wooden sheds brand Rowlinson or Keter this shed offers the customer awesome value for money. With tongue and groove cladding (this is better than shiplap garden cladding for a wooden shed ) thats dip treated this shed is an offer any customer should snap up.
What makes this stand out from other similarly sized and similarly priced tool sheds we’ve reviewed however, and what lifts it into the top three of this league table, is that it features two thin and tiny windows at the top of the eaves. This make it almost impossible for a passer by to see if anything of value is being kept inside the shed, but it still allows enough light inside on a sunny day to make finding the right tool easy. We feel that this adds value and makes this a very reasonably priced shed.
5' x 4' Yardmaster Pent Metal Shed 54PEZ (1.58m x 1.20m)
Keter might be a big name if you want a plastic shed, Rowlinson might be a big name if you are looking for a dip treated tongue and groove wooden shed but Yardmaster are one of the bigger players if you want a metal shed. This isn’t the smallest of the tool sheds featured in our league table, with a base area of 1.04 x 1.44m, but it is easily the cheapest. That once again demonstrates how cost effective metal sheds can be. On this occasion the cladding retains its natural silver grey colour, and this rather plan design is the factor which has prevented it from being placed even higher up our list. If you don’t mind having an obviously metal building in your garden, however, then this could prove to be a wise and cost effective choice.
The pent roof is still effective at carrying precipitation away, but because it isn’t as tall and obtrusive as most apex tool sheds we review it can be hidden away behind a fence or wall. This can be a useful boost to security, particularly if a padlock is added to the handle of the single hinged door which we were pleased to see was holed and ready to receive it. We were also pleased to see that the galvanised steel cladding comes with a 10 year warranty, which we were pleasantly surprised to see on a garden building that’s available at such a low price.
Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, Grey, 4 x 3 ft
In many ways, plastic tool sheds are the most practical sheds of them all. Keter are famous for plastic garden tool storage sheds and this storage unit is a fantastic example. This is free from concerns about rust or rot, and so once it’s assembled it becomes a maintenance free item especially as the cladding is also UV resistant and so won’t fade over time as some earluer plastic sheds used to do. It’s also a very heavy duty substrate, and so it does come with a 10 year manufacturer’s guarantee we would have expected this to be even longer. It’s only this, and the fact that this is a far from traditional toolshed, which stops it from being placed in the very upper reaches of our league table.
Whilst this could never be mistaken for a wooden shed we found it eye catching and attractive, and it should fit in well with gardens that have a contemporary design or that have lots of white PVC features in and around them. The black detailing on the roof and around the door creates a striking contrast with the white cladding that’s been arranged in a shiplap fashion. If you want tool sheds that are durable and that look different to anything that your friends and neighbours have, then this should be added to your shortlist. It’s also great value for money, considering that it’s four by three base area is also complimented by a tall eaves height underneath the apex roof.
6'5 x 2'10 Forest Shiplap Large Double Door Pent Wooden Garden Storage - Outdoor Bike / Mower Store (1.9m x 0.86m)
As we’ve already seen, high quality tool sheds come in a variety of styles and sizes, and here we have something different again as it’s a tool shed that is designed as a lean-to. This means that it attaches directly onto a house wall. One negative side of this is that it’s not as flexible as some of the other tool sheds we’ve reviewed (such as the sentry box shed) as it can’t be used as a stand alone shed at any site in the garden. On the positive side, however, it can save the use of valuable space in the garden itself, and it also gains extra strength and stability, and extra protection against the elements, from the wall that’s supporting it. With tongue and groove cladding thats dip treated this shed should last many years.
6' x 3' Palram Grey Skylight Plastic Shed (1.85m x 0.9m)
We’ve reviewed lots of Duramax sheds, and are always impressed by how tough and well built they are, as well as by the low prices that they typically retail for. This is the smallest garden building in their range, which means that it makes an ideal tool shed for people who want to assemble their shed and then not to have to worry about it for many years to come. It’s supplied with a 15 year warranty, which is as long as any that we’ve seen on the tool sheds we review, but the PVC cladding with its faux shiplap garden cladding is so tough and durable that it could last even longer than this warranty period suggests.
6' x 3' Palram Grey Skylight Plastic Shed (1.85m x 0.9m)
These six foot by three foot plastic tool sheds have a unique look of their very own, thanks to the attractive light grey colour scheme that’s been applied to the polycarbonate cladding. Not only does this give them an exciting and modern appearance, it also adds an extra layer of protection against the elements. This then is a shed that should prove to be very long lasting, although we would have liked to see this reflected in a warranty period that was slightly longer than the ten years provided here.
6' x 4' Forest Overlap Apex Wooden Shed Pressure Treated (1.82m x 1.32m)
Nearly all of the tool sheds we review are window free. This in itself isn’t a problem, as they are designed for storing and retrieving items rather than being an environment to spend prolonged periods of time in, but we were still pleased to find that this particular tool shed included a fixed window on a side panel. The window itself features styrene glazing, which is very shatter resistant and so suitable for people who will have children playing near their shed.
5' x 3' Traditional Pent Tool Store Shed (1.52m x 0.91m)
This shares the same design as the lean to tool shed which featured earlier in our league table, but on this occasion it features an integral back panel. This means that it doesn’t have to be positioned next to, or physically attached onto, a house wall, although we feel that it still makes sense to do this if the garden is in an exposed area that could be subject to heavy winds. Overlap cladding is featured that was noticeably thinner than the shiplap cladding that we often see, but once assembled it still feels reassuringly strong and stable. The compact design would be ideal fo use as a log store.
BillyOh Master Tongue and Groove Apex Shed
BillyOh make and sell timber sheds in many styles and sizes, but with a base area of 2.02 x 0.92m and a window free tongue and groove design that provides an always useful boost to security, this particular model is ideal for use as a low cost tool shed. Unlike most of the other wooden tool sheds we’ve reviewed, this features double hinged doors rather than single. Whilst this isn’t much of an issue if only tools are being kept inside, we feel that most people will from time to time want to move larger and wider objects in and out as well, and that’s when these wider doors can become invaluable. We feel this is a good alternative to some of the tongue and groove sheds offered by Rowlinson.
5' x 3' (1.42x0.76m) Suncast Resin Conniston Four Vertical Shed - Plastic Garden Storage
For long term durability and reliability, resin tool sheds like this are hard to beat. They’re made from a high grade plastic that’s at the cutting edge of garden building construction, and as such they won’t rot, rust, fade or crack. Bearing all this in mind we would have expected to see a much longer warranty period than the five years we found with this model, and this along with a higher than average price has been taken into account when determining its final position in our top 20 league table.
Mercia 6 X 4 Ft Pressure Treated Shiplap Reverse Apex Shed
This differs from the majority of tool sheds featured in this league table for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s the largest shed to gain a place, with its six by four base size and a very generous height of 2.26m. It’s also one of only two sheds on our list to feature a window, although once again we found that the window is made of shatter resistant styrene rather than more expensive glass glazing. The difference which instantly caught our eye, however, is its reverse apex. This means that the roof, and the shed below it, is both wide and shallow, and for that reason it can be a perfect fit for people who have shallow gardens where space is limited. It’s this unique design, which we know will prove very useful to some, which earns it a place among the 20 best tool sheds.
Hartwood 4 x 3 FSC Overlap Tool Shed
Tool sheds in general are among the least expensive, and therefore best value, garden buildings of them all. We recognise that even among this category, however, there are people looking for high quality sheds that are available at lower than average prices. One such example is this Hartwood shed, which means that people can have a four foot by three foot tool storage facility in their garden for a price of less than a hundred and fifty pounds, and this is also one of the most attractive overlap sheds we’ve seen. One reason for this is that the single door, which we were pleased to find is given extra strength by z-shaped bracing, has hidden hinges. It creates a very clean and pleasing look where timber takes centre stage.