The Best Garage Shelving in 2023 - Heavy-Duty Garage Wall Shelving

Save room, organize your tools, and consolidate the clutter without saying goodbye to all those spare parts.

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The Best Garage Shelving in 2023 - Heavy-Duty Garage Wall Shelving

You can fill your garage with everything from freezers to wall cabinets, but the extra space isn’t much use if you can’t keep everything organized. For heavy duty storage, garage shelving remains the most effective choice. Dedicated garage shelving is strong enough to support power tools and heavy equipment, and rugged enough to stand up to longtime wear-and-tear.

They’re also constructed of durable, moisture-resistant materials that are easy to clean if you happen to spill paint, chemicals, or oil on them. If adding shelving to your garage feels like a daunting task, don’t fret—most of the garage shelving units we recommend are easy to put together without any tools.

If you’re upgrading your garage storage with a new set of shelves and you don’t want to build it yourself, check out these space-saving garage shelving options.

When it comes to storing heavy items like power tools, big boxes, or dense metal items, the weight capacity of your shelves is vital. The capacity varies drastically depending on the size and material of the shelving unit.

Some light models only hold around 100 to 200 pounds per shelf, which is plenty for a few power tools and storage containers, while heavy duty models can hold more than 1,000 pounds, which is necessary for large appliances like lawnmowers or table saws.

Higher weight capacity typically costs more, so if you plan on only storing a few spare tools, a lightweight model will do just fine.

Most garage shelving units are either metal or thick, heavy-duty plastic. While metal shelving is usually stronger and provides higher weight capacity, it can be vulnerable to rust and corrosion.

Plastic shelving units, like our best overall garage shelves from CX, are much lighter, which is convenient if you plan on moving them around. Plastic tends to be much easier to clean as well.

The size of your shelf depends on your space, but more importantly, on the size of the items you plan on storing. Pay special attention to how deep and wide the shelves are to make sure they’ll accommodate your items. Some shelves are tall and stackable, which minimizes their footprint, while others have a wide base for more stability and larger items.

If you expect to move your garage shelves around as you work, look for options with wheels. Most wheeled garage shelves have a lower overall weight capacity compared to static options, but that’s in part to protect you from heavy items falling off while you move the shelves around. Wheeled options give you convenient maneuverability through your garage, but if you plan on storing very heavy items, regular feet might be a better fit for you.

If you don’t have space on the floor for shelves, many can be mounted directly to the wall. These usually require a bit extra installation time but keep your ground floor open. This also applies for hanging shelving which is installed on your roof and can give you as much storage as the entire surface area of your garage.

Here at Popular Mechanics, we know the advantages of effective garage shelving. We used our shop organization experience to recommend the styles, sizes, materials, and brands that we’ve come to trust, and since many customers have a variety of needs and budgets when it comes to garage shelving, we did our best to curate a range of options. We also chose models that can connect together to create longer or taller shelving units, which we’ve always found to be a convenient feature.

These CX shelves are ventilated to prevent mold and mildew buildup, but still have small enough openings to store thin or little items without them falling through.

The adjustable feet are also handy for use on uneven flooring, allowing you to customize each corner’s height to your exact preference. This process is much easier—and safer—than trying to shim up uneven corners with wood scraps or cardboard.

These garage shelving units work in conjunction with the corresponding storage bins, which fit perfectly between the posts. Plus, if you prefer to connect multiple units together, a unique interlocking mechanism makes this process quick and easy.

With an incredible weight limit of 2,000 pounds per shelf, there really aren’t many things you can’t store on this unit. Its heavy-duty steel frame assembles without any tools required, and the shelves themselves can sit at various heights to accommodate your stuff.

It might be overkill for those who just need to store a few hundred pounds per shelf, but it would be a perfect choice for those who want to be prepared to store almost anything.

Also, if any issues arise after your purchase, Gladiator’s limited lifetime warranty should have you covered.

This Craftsman stackable storage rack gives you more versatility than many traditional options. Each shelf stands on its own and can be used individually, or you can simply stack the shelves on top of one another for more floor space.

The expansive storage capacity of each shelf—1,500 pounds—is the same both stacked and unstacked. The shelves are also deep enough to store a tool chest length-wise, so you should have plenty of space for all of your items.

This Saferack model is ideal for those who need to store large boxes or items like water jugs or automotive parts, thanks to its 24-inch shelving width.

The alloy-steel construction can hold up to 300 pounds per shelf, and the powder coated wire and framing give it that extra bit of durability. The 150-pound weight also provides an extra-study foundation, which should minimize any swaying or rocking during use, making this a great pick for a high-traffic shelf.

It’s pricier than the other options on our list, but if you really need to store oversized gear safely and securely, this shelving could be worth the investment.

If you’re looking for a set of basic shelves and don’t want to spend much money, this budget-friendly unit could be a great choice. No tools are required to put it together, and since it’s incredibly lightweight at just 12.8 pounds, it won’t take much effort to assemble and lift upright.

It has relatively low weight capacity at 100 pounds per shelf, but if you’re just storing some bins of tools and scrap wood, this might not be an issue. It's constructed of a durable plastic resin, so you won’t have to worry about rust or dents, and it should be simple to clean.

This commercial-style unit features four rolling casters, making it ideal for garages with enough space to wheel it around. You can also use it with flat feet instead, which will increase its weight limit per shelf from 500 to 800 pounds.

Two of the casters lock to keep the unit firmly in place, and the zinc-coated steel construction should prevent rust or corrosion in wet or humid environments.

While the product is relatively straightforward to assemble, it will go a lot smoother if you work with a friend.

These floating shelves are a perfect option for anyone who needs sturdy garage shelving, but also wants to conserve floor space. The four steel brackets provide the sturdy foundation to support up to 200 pounds per shelf and can fit an impressive amount of storage.

If you get multiple units, you can stagger them horizontally or vertically, whichever is best for your specific garage setup. As long as you’re comfortable with basic stud mounting, installation should be easy and straightforward, and you should be able to do it on your own.

This overhead shelf is strong enough to hold up to 600 pounds of weight without taking up any floor space. Its large, wide shelf space is perfect for fitting awkwardly shaped items that wouldn’t fit on a shelf. The height adjusts to accommodate vehicles, garage doors, or other tall items below.

Although ceiling units can be intimidating to secure, this model includes a surprising amount of installation instructions, including processes for mounting to different ceiling joist configurations. You’ll still need at least a few extra sets of hands to help out, though, so keep that in mind.

Tom Price is an Associate Editor of Reviews for Popular Mechanics, and also contributes to Runner's World, and Bicycling. He has previously covered product reviews, startup news, and even professional wrestling. In his free time, he enjoys watching pretentious TV, low-brow movies, and exercising for beauty, not health. If you are interested in exploring more of his work, check out his website.

Alex Rennie is a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, Alex uses his hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. His work has also appeared in Business Insider's Insider Picks, and before his writing career, he was a full-time carpenter living in New York City. There, he worked as part of a team designing, building, and installing large furniture pieces, as well as performing a variety of home repair and maintenance projects. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends his free time exploring the beaches and mountains with his fiancé and their dog Louie.

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