Tool belts are a required accessory for carpenters, plumbers, contractors, and even handymen around the house. When you are working on a project you need quick access to tools such as pliers, hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, or exacto knives. The ability to store all your favorite tools and know where they are at come time to work is also something to consider. I know many neighbors that hang their tool belt or bag up on their garage wall all set to go. Tool belts are also referred to as work aprons, tool carriers, holsters, and tool bags. Some tool belts are made specifically for certain trades such as carpenters, electricians or masons. Since some jobs require specific tools to complete, it only makes sense to have a tool belt designed to accommodate that profession. The average DIY homeowner can get away with a simple tool belt or bag since their projects vary from weekend to weekend. We went looking for the best tool belts from various sources to see just what people are buying and which ones are the most popular. See below for a quick buying guide and reviews of the top selling tool belts and bags.
Buying Guide - If you are a professional tradesman and work on a daily basis, definitely go with a tool belt that is made with leather or heavy duty nylon so that it can withstand the day to day abuse. Some of the tool belts that carry lots of equipment have suspenders that attach to the belt which help keep it on properly. Bucket Boss makes a few suspender style tool belts just for this purpose. DeWalt also makes a nice heavy duty ballistic nylon tool belt for around $43. In many tool belt reviews we read there were complaints of the belt not fitting properly. Either it was too lose and hung down low or it was too tight and restricted movement. Comfort, therefore, is a critical aspect when selecting a tool belt. Some people say they didn't realize the belt would be so uncomfortable until they put tools into it and by then it was too late. Several reviewers mentioned they would put tools into the belt or bag next time when they look at them in a store (great idea). You can buy tool belts in your local hardware store or online at websites like Amazon.com or Tools-plus.com. Many sites now offer user reviews on consumer comments and feedback so you can quickly read up on what owners have to say. The top brands are McGuire-Nicholas, Bucket Boss, DeWalt, Custom Leather Craft, Milwaukee, Husky, and Occidental. The cheaper ones go for less than $20 and the quality made belts cost more than $60. Look for sales in your Sunday paper from home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot. I recently saw a Custom Leather Craft tool carrier for under $50 listed from Home Depot. If you need to carry more tools than your tool belt will hold, consider a larger tool carrier or a tool backpack which holds drills and other larger accessories. We have attempted to list the top selling products in each category below with pricing, where to buy, and a brief description. You can browse their top selling tool belts and carriers online here.
Top Rated Tool Belt:
The DEWALT D5100SM ($50) tool belt is made with heavy-duty ballistic nylon and fits waist sizes of 28 to 38 inches. The belt rates high for durability with double stitching and it's reinforced with solid-steel rivets. DeWalt makes great equipment and this tool belt won't disappoint say reviewers. It's tough enough for contractors and other professionals with top-grain leather construction. The belt is both moisture and abrasion resistant. Those with larger waist sizes will be out of luck on this model as you can only expand the waist line to 38 inches (somewhat limiting). DIY homeowners note that this tool belt is more than sufficient with plenty of storage space for the averages tools in your garage. RECOMMENDED - The Milwaukee 49-17-0190 Tool Belt is the #1 seller on Amazon and reviews are very positive for this belt.
Most Popular Tool Bag:
The McGuire Nicholas 22217 Universal Tote ($30) is a 16 inch tool bag that features a rigid frame with a padded handle, lots of interior and exterior pockets so you can organize your tools, an adjustable shoulder strap, and 2 outer straps that let you carry a 2' level or blueprints. The ratings for this products are all very positive and durability and comfort lead the way. Homeowners and contractors like the convenience of carrying lots of tools around with you all at once. There is no wasted time in trying to track down your favorite hammer or screwdriver. If you have trouble staying organized with your tools, this tool bag will solve that. Other reviews note the bag is "sturdy" and "lightweight". I did read one review that said the bag was too small for a true professional who needs lots of tools. You can find this bag online at Amazon.com.
Tool Belt for Carpenters:
Are you a carpenter searching for the best tool belt on the market? We found a top rated belt on Tools-Plus.com called the Makita 845012-A Carpenter Tool Belt ($50). The tool belt was designed just for carpenters with leather hammer holster, 2 nail pouches, and 17 pockets. The ballistic nylong construction is sturdy and durability for all your needs. The adjustable waist on the belt fits waist lines from 32-inches all the way up to 48". The tool belt is water resistant as well and the 2 tape measure clips work great whether you are right or left handed. Makita has a strong reputation in the woodworking industry with saws and other tools. Browse the top rated carpenters tool belts online here
To organize your tools is one thing, but to have a tool carrier that will tote them around is another. The Bucket Boss 01056 ($20) tool organizer is shaped much like a larger paint bucket but offers lots of pockets and holsters for tools. There are 56 pockets (38 outside/18 inside) for quick access to almost any tool. The carrier even has room for a cordless drill. It's made with heavy-duty polyester and Bucket Boss says the tool organizer will hold "wrenches, handsaws, screwdrivers, hammers, pry bars, pencils, utility knives, pliers, and drill bit sets". This tool carrier is best used for those who are carpenters, electricians, repair people and avid DIY homeowners. Another option is the Custom Leather Craft Signature Series 18" Tool Carrier ($50) available at Home Depot stores. Although more expensive than the Bucket Boss, owners say they prefer the briefcase style to the LeatherCraft carrier.
I recently had a cable guy visit my house for some simple repairs and noticed we was wearing a backpack loaded with all his tools. The Custom LeatherCraft 1132 75-Pocket Tool Backpack ($70) is another way to go if you carry lots of heavy tools. The backpack has room pocket space for 75 tools and it holds 14-piece wrench sets, electric drills, extension cords, pliers, screwdrivers, etc. It's constructed with Duponts Cordura Plus fabric which makes it very durable. The cable repairman told me he had tried other belts and bags, but the backpack made the most sense. He went on to say that carrying the weight on his shoulders was easier than having tools around his waist all day. Plus he could put the backpack down at the spot of his work and not have an additional weight dangling from his waist area and getting in the way. The tool backpack is not recommended for some professions, as we found several reviews from carpenters and other contractors who worked on housing construction and said it's easier to have a tool belt with 10 basic tools than carry a backpack around.
Womans Tool Belt:
In our search for the top selling tool belts we can across the Pink Tool Belt ($25), a product made just for women. This pink leather tool belt has 2 large pockets for tools or nails and smaller pockets for files, pencils, pliers, etc. There are 2 hammer loops, a pocket for a tape measure, and of course the belt is made with very feminine looking suede leather in pink. Fits hips 30 to 47 inches and is sold online at Pinktoolbelts.com. They sell a variety of tool belts and bags that are pink and designed specifically for women along wiht pink work gloves. We found ours online at Amazon.com.