LAST UPDATED: October 7, 2019
Best Tool Belts: Keep Your Top Tools at Hand
These top tool bags make professional and DIY jobs easier to complete
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 7, 2019
A tool belt is very convenient because you can keep all the tools you need right at your waist. It prevents you from making several trips back to your garage or toolbox for the right pair of pliers or wrench. If you're looking for a high-quality, affordable tool belt, check out our reviews below.
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Benefits of Tool Belts
- Work faster. A tool belt helps you work faster since you have all your essential tools within reach. It acts like a toolbox that you can attach to your body and carry it wherever you go.
- Save on space. A toolbox or tool backpack takes up a lot of space on the work table. Worst still, you may spend more than 10 minutes fumbling around the box for the right tool. Wearing a tool belt helps you save on space and is the best way to keep the essential tools you need for the job close to you.
- Avoid misplacing things. It can get really frustrating when one of the bolts rolls under the work table or when you misplace the radiator cap. You can avoid wasting several minutes looking for the missing items by storing them in your toolbelt, and only taking them out when you need them.
- Versatile application. A tool belt can be used by anyone who’s handy with their tools. From professional mechanics, construction workers, to DIY warriors who want to conduct simple repairs in a shed.
Types of Tool Belts
Suspender belts are a great option for reducing the weight around the waist when carrying plenty of tools. It typically has straps hooked on the belt that run across the back and shoulders to redistribute the weight. Some have more pouches on the shoulder straps for extra storage space.
Waist belts are tied around the waist and have multiple pockets hanging from the belt. It’s the most popular option since it’s affordable and allows the user to carry multiple tools at the same time. However, you may feel some strain on your lower back when the pockets are full or when you fill them with heavy tools like a hammer.
Pouch belts are also held on the waist portion but only have a single tool pouch at the front. The pouch can have more pockets inside or plain spacious design. It can be detached from the belt and most have handles on the top so that they can be used independently. This also makes it easy to use separate pouches for different types of tools
Headquartered in Towson, Maryland, Dewalt is one of the best manufacturers of hand tools, power tools, and workwear for the construction and woodworking industries. It was founded in 1924 by Raymond DeWalt. Some of its top products are the Dewalt DG5617 Tool Belt and Yoke-Style Suspendersand the DG5472 12-Pocket Leather Apron.
Custom Leathercraft (CLC)
CLC is a California-based company that’s known for making some of the best work gear and tools at a reasonable price. Some of its popular products include work gloves, aprons, and tool holders. Check out the CLC 1427X Suede Leather Work Apron, which is one of its best-selling tool belts.
Carhartt is a Michigan-based apparel company that’s dedicated to creating high-quality gear in the service of handy workers. Since its inception in 1889, the company has designed some of the best work vests, shirts, overalls, belts, and hunting clothing. One of its best-rated tool belts is the Carhartt Legacy Tool Belt.
MagnoGrip was founded by Andre Woolery in 2005 and is currently based in Miami, Florida. From its humble beginnings, it has evolved to be a nationwide developer of affordable magnetic work gear for professional craftsmen and DIY warriors. Some of its best magnetic tool holders are the MagnoGrip Magnetic Carpenter's Tool Belt and the MagnoGrip 10-Pocket Magnetic Tool Pouch.
Tool Belt Pricing
- Under $50: This price range mostly includes single pouch tool belts that are ideal for DIY projects and household chores. Despite not having many pockets, they can still be useful for storing essential tools and are comfortable to wear.
- $50 to $150: This mid-price range holds a plethora of suspender and waist tool belts. The belts have pouches on either side and the suspenders can have more pockets on the straps. Additionally, most are customizable and you can add, remove, or readjust the pouches as you see fit.
- Over $150: If you are paying this much for a tool belt, then you should expect the utmost comfort and stronger pockets. This is why you should expect to find heavy-duty suspender-style tool belts with adjustable belts and straps that can be worn by an adult.
Of all things to consider, the belt material should be at the top of the list since it determines how long it will last and how comfortable it is to wear. Full-grain leather is comfortable, water-resistant, and tough enough to handle heavy tools. Suede is also tough but isn’t water-resistant. Lastly, you could opt for synthetics like nylon which are light, attractive, and fairly durable.
It’s important to look into the workmanship of the belt. You could have a belt that’s made from a durable material such as leather but poor stitching can mean that the belt won’t last. Look into how well the pockets are attached to the belt, the integrity of the belt rivets, and other reinforcements put in place to ensure that the belt won’t fall apart with frequent use.
There’s no optimal number of pockets to have on a tool belt. It all depends on the number of tools you need to carry. Count all the tools you need to store on there and get a belt with the appropriate number of pockets that can fit your tools.
- Work Environment: If you are going to be working outdoors in a challenging environment such as a job site, then you will most likely need to carry more tools. This necessitates having a tool belt with suspenders that will take on the extra weight.
- Customization: Left-handed people don’t arrange their tools the same way as right-handed people. This is why you need a belt that lets you customize or rearrange the tools as you please.
- Weight: You don’t want a belt that weighs down on your pants even when it’s empty. Get something with a manageable weight but doesn’t compromise on the sturdiness of the pockets.
Best Tool Belt Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Topping our list is a suspender-style toolbelt, which makes carrying a full load of tools an easy task. This is because it’s designed with fully padded yoke-style suspenders with pockets. The suspenders straps are designed with breathable mesh to make them more comfortable on the back and shoulders.
The belt area is fitted with adjustable pouch pockets with nine zippered main pockets, 11 smaller pockets, and sleeves to fit nails and pencils. Also, storing large tools isn’t an issue with this belt since it includes a hammer loop, utility knife pocket, and a carabiner for hooking your keys. Lastly, it accommodates waist sizes between 29 and 46 inches.
The main issue with this tool belt is that it seems that there are two different qualities of the suspender connectors being sold. Some have high-quality metal connectors and others appear to come with cheap plastic buckles. Make sure to get it from an authorized dealer to get the best version.
Made by MagnoGrip, this carpenter’s tool belt could be an easy and affordable solution to keeping your tools on hand. The belt is made from double-layer polyester, and has 12 pockets with magnetic fasteners to keep the tools from spilling. The magnetic strips also allow you to store nails outside the pockets.
Stress points throughout the belt are reinforced with rivets to prevent tears. Also, the belt is wide and the pouches are well-spaced out to distribute weight and pressure more evenly. Moreover, it comes in one size and is recommended for medium-sized people.
However, it can get pretty uncomfortable when the plastic lining at the bottom of the pouches rubs against your thighs. In addition, the pockets are small and would only be good for storing smaller tools such as screwdrivers and nails. It’s also not the best for metalworks since the magnetic strips can attract nails and metal shavings on the table.
Less is more with the Gatorback B145, which only has nine pockets, but they are large and sturdy enough to hold a hammer. The pouches are fixed on a heavy-duty belt made from DuraTek nylon that protects the belt from scratches and tears. To further support the belt’s integrity, it’s riveted and bar-tacked at each stress point, which prevents the belt from stretching out and tearing with frequent use.
The pockets are made with a box design with an inner plastic lining, which keeps them from sagging and losing their shape. The plastic lining is designed to be resistant to holes that form on the bottom of the pouch. In addition, Gatorback’s patented airflow technology keeps the nylon mesh breathable to prevent excessive sweating. Above all, you will appreciate that it’s available in a variety of sizes ranging from small to large.
Despite all that goes into making the pouches durable, it has been noted that the pouches start to tear and come off the belt the more you use it. In addition, the rear bag is awkwardly large and can feel uncomfortable on your back.
- Before purchasing a tool belt, make a list of the tools you want to store in the belt. Check the pockets and loops to see if the tool belt will hold a hammer, tape measure, or whatever else you need for a particular project.
- If you're using a ladder, put the minimum number of tools you need in your tool belt. You don't want to get bogged down by tools you're not going to use. This will also protect your back from strains.
- A padded tool belt is advantageous if you're going to be working all day long. If you're on a roof, working on a job site, or tinkering around your home, a padded belt will be much more comfortable.
Q. What tools should be in a carpenter’s tool belt?
A: This depends entirely on the type of job you are doing. For general purposes, you may need the following items: a claw hammer, a pencil or sharpie, pliers, a utility knife, nails, screws, a screwdriver, and electrical tape.
Q: What’s the best way to arrange tools in a tool belt?
A: Put your frequently used tools near your dominant hand. Put less-used but still important tools near your non-dominant hand. Plan in advance, especially if you're going to use a ladder so that you don’t have to turn into an awkward position to reach a particular tool.
Q: How do I clean a leather tool belt?
A: First, remove all the tools. Then, check to see if it's water-resistant by splashing water on it; if it beads up, you're good to go. Wipe the tool holsters with a damp cloth. Hang it up to air dry or pat it down lightly with a dry cloth. Seal and treat it once or twice a year.
Our pick for the best tool belt is the Dewalt DG5617 Tool Belt and Yoke-Style Suspenders. It's adjustable, includes 20 pockets, and is comfortable and heavy-duty.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the MagnoGrip Magnetic Carpenter's Tool Belt.