"Autostuffplus.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here


Best Lunchbox Lockers –Review and Benefits


The lunchbox lockers are forms of an automatic locking differential. They are installed after replacing few components of the differential carrier with those components that are provided by the lunchbox lockers. With the choice of the lunchbox locker, you will benefit from the ease of installation. This is because it reuses the carrier. No need to replace the bearings and shims. The below article will make it easy to choose the best lunchbox locker:

They reuse the existing carrier in the differential.

What Is A Lunchbox Locker And How Does It Work?

In the market, there are various types of lockers available and each works uniquely. Out of them, the lunchbox lockers are beneficial to those who are on a budget. Its name -lunchbox originates from the fact that you pack different lunches within the same reusable box. Actually, in this case, the stock carrier is in the box and the locker is present in the lunch.

A lunchbox locker is uniquely designed to uniformly divide power between both wheels. This happens irrespective of which wheel possesses traction. However, it needs to stay open in normal driving situations to make sure the differential work effectively. The lunchbox lockers are also famously known as drop-in lockers.

The below section shows how a lunchbox locker works:

Inside a lunchbox locker, the hole in which the center pin passes through is not shaped like a perfect circle but it is shaped like an oval. Whenever torque is exerted, it forces the pin to shift slightly. Whenever the pin shifts, it pushes the cam gears inside the axle gears. Hence, they lock together.

When no torque is applied, the pin regains to the middle of the oval. After that, it stops pushing the cam gears towards the outside. As a result, the cam gears will spin over the axle gear and this will make the ratcheting noise. The lunchbox lockers are well-known for making this noise.

Top 4 Best Lunchbox Lockers reviews:

Let’s see which lunchbox locker best suits your needs:

1. Spartan Locker SL D30JL-27 Lunchbox Locker:

The D30JL-27 product is the best lunchbox locker in this list due to its unique features. When it comes to finding out the best lunchbox locker for dana 30, you can go for this lunchbox locker. It is compatible with the Dana 30 JL M186 differential. Moreover, it can fit the Dana 30 JL M186 equipped with 27 spline axles. This product has one great feature i.e. durability. It is built from 9310 steel for extra strength. Another great feature is it substitutes the spiders inside a standard carrier case.


With the use of high-quality steel that passes the strict proprietary heat treatment from Yukon, this locker exerts high torque. The high torque output leads to high efficiency. Furthermore, this lunchbox locker offers reliable traction at a reasonable cost. This might be a good choice for those who want a cost-effective lunchbox locker. 

The design of this Spartan locker does not use the thrust washers. Also, it comes with an innovative spring and pin design which makes installation quick. It is found that this locker works well for a maximum of 35 spline axles.

Within a few hours, you can complete its installation process. In most cases, it is found that this unit will take some effort from the user end. This is because the axle needs to be worked in and out until the spline cutout for the clip aligns with the opening.


  • Does not make much noise
  • Perfect fit
  • Easy to install 
  • Affordably priced
  • High torque output


  • Does not last longer
  • Not enough instructions 

2. Spartan Locker SL T8-30:

When looking for a top-quality lunchbox locker, you need to look at the compatibility. This SL T8-30 locker is found compatible with Toyota 8-inch differential-30 Spline axles. This product comes in 9310 steel, which is great for durability. It provides added strength. Another good feature is it fits the Toyota 8-inch with the 4 cylinder engine. Moreover, it can replace the spiders in a typical carrier case. 


At a reasonable price, it offers good traction. During the operation, it does not utilize the thrust washers. Furthermore, the advance spring and pin design speed up the installation process. I really appreciate the capability of this locker to work well in your daily driver. It can click or pop around the corners. Even off-road, it works great.

One great feature is it does not create much noise during the operation. You may notice some clicking in turns, chiefly if you are standing outside a vehicle; however, it is not noticeable. Even after years of use, this locker stays in a good condition.


  • Install is quick and easy
  • Works well on the trails
  • Cheaper than other lunchbox lockers
  • Durable steel construction
  • Wide compatibility


  • Gets quirky on road
  • Cross pin is not durable

3. USA Standard Gear (SL C8.25-27) Spartan Locker:

This lunchbox locker is suitable for the Chrysler 8.25 differential along with 27 spline axles. It unlocks effortlessly for typical street driving as well as it locks up when required. It is the best lunch box locker, especially for a daily driver. 


This Spartan locker comes with easy drop-in installation. This might be a good choice for those customers worrying about installation hassles. Another good feature is it comes in 9310 steel construction. This steel material makes this lunchbox locker very durable and long-lasting. Moreover, this locker is heat-treated for added strength.  The precision-cut teeth offer high effectiveness during the operation.

At a cost-effective price, it offers superb traction. Furthermore, the design does not make use of the thrust washers. The innovative pin and spring pin design helps a lot for installation. There are no worries about using this locker in snow and rain. It can work reliably in all weather conditions. Moreover, it can lock full on the rear 2 wheel action. The proper use of this lunchbox locker allows the user to buy it again for different applications. 


  • Quality locker at a reasonable price
  • Minimal noise 
  • Offers enough traction
  • Works well in all outdoor conditions 
  • Comes with sharp teeth


  • Takes some time for setup
  • Needs expert handling 

4. Powertrax 2210-LR Lock-Right (Dana 30): 

This product is the best lunchbox locker for dana 30 for off-road and on-road use. It is compatible with 27 splines and comes with a pin. This Powertrax lunchbox locker has one good feature i.e. durability. It is constructed from Zytanium ultra-strength alloy that makes it durable and reliable. Generally, this locker is best suited for extreme on-road to off-road use. 


During its operation, it replaces the spider gears inside your open differential carrier. This is made possible with the help of basic tools. There is no change in ring and pinion settings. Another good feature is it comes implemented with the 3×2 spiral gear technology. The Powertrax Grip Pro offers adjustable traction. Depending on the throttle input, it is easy to control the amount of traction to be applied. This locker is suitable where effectiveness is as valuable as the traction.

It can work well on the road, in snow, and rain. Hence, it can work well in most weather conditions. One more unique feature is it blends the smooth operation of a differential having limited slip with the power of a forged steel case.  During the use, there will be minimal ratcheting sound.


  • Comes with Powertrax no-slip traction mechanism 
  • Budget-friendly lunchbox locker
  • The noise is not noticeable on the road
  • Straightforward installation
  • Excellent traction 


  • Not so durable
  • Instructions are not clear

Benefits of Lunchbox lockers:

When looking for the Best Lockers For Jeep JK or best lunchbox lockers, you need to know the benefits. They help you to make a better buying decision. Let’s take a look at the benefits of the lunchbox lockers:

Perfect lock and unlock:

Due to the application of powerful torque, most lunchbox lockers lock perfectly. Also, it is easy to unlock when needed. When you stay at precisely the same speed or slow down in a corner, the locker behaves perfectly. You just need to make sure there is no excess acceleration. Hence, there would be no issues related to unsafe handling. The perfect locking and unlocking mechanism makes them suitable for various applications.

Good traction:

For flawless use, the traction is inevitable. This might be very useful to you when you need to use it in any weather conditions. Many of the decent quality lunchbox lockers allow you to control the traction, according to the needs. The excellent traction makes sure there will be no issues when driving on the road in wet, icy, or snowy conditions. Another great thing is you get good traction at a cost-effective price in most lunchbox lockers. No need for using extra parts to manage the traction.

Minimal noise:

It is common to understand that all lunchbox lockers make some ratcheting sound when locked. However, this noise is minimal and not so noticeable. Even during unexpected lock and unlock, this noise is not very loud. Depending on how you corner in vehicles, the sound may vary but it is generally not loud.

Ease of installation:

Most manufacturers design lunchbox lockers with ease of installation. The innovative spring and pin design make installation easy and quick. Moreover, the easy installation determines that it does not need much maintenance. Hence, you can continue using it for a long time without any extra cost.

Read more:

Best sound system for Jeep Wrangler

Best Spark Plugs for 4.0 Jeep


From the discussion above, the winner is Spartan Locker SL D30JL-27 Lunchbox Locker. It is the best lunchbox locker due to high torque output that leads to high effectiveness. Also, the traction is very good at the offered price. During locking and unlocking, it does not make a loud noise. Moreover, the installation is quick and easy. At a feasible price, you get to use a feature-rich lunchbox locker. 

Leave a Comment