10 Best Tool Bags | May 2017

10 Best Tool Bags
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a self-proclaimed handyperson, our selection of tool bags will provide you with an easy way of toting all your gear to your next project in comfort and safety. Whatever's next on your to-do list, you'll be able to complete it in a timely fashion with everything you need close at hand and properly organized. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tool bag on Amazon.
10
The bottom of the Ironland Wide Mouth is reinforced with a thick plastic sheet to help protect the bag’s contents in case you accidentally drop it. As an added convenience, the shoulder strap can be unclipped if you prefer to carry it by hand.
  • base pads shield bag from wet floors
  • main compartment is easily accessed
  • tool pockets are rather small
Brand Ironland
Model pending
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
9
The Stanley Soft Side is ideal for those who don't need to carry around a lot of tools. It’s affordable and nice-looking, but it probably won’t stand up to heavy daily use and shouldn't be loaded with a whole bunch of heavy items.
  • comfortable cotton-padded handles
  • resilient rubber foam bottom
  • no ring to hang a hammer
Brand Stanley
Model STST70574
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
8
While it doesn’t offer an enormous amount of storage space, the Black & Decker Matrix has a compact design that makes it a solid option for contractors who are always on the go. When it’s empty, you can fold it flat for easy storage.
  • zipper-sealed main compartment
  • dual rigid interior dividers
  • pockets are too deep for small tools
Brand BLACK+DECKER
Model BDCMTSB
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
7
The Bucket Boss Gatemouth is a basic, no-frills carrying bag that performs as advertised by keeping your tools and hardware organized and protected. It has a wide, fixed top opening that lets you retrieve and pack tools in seconds.
  • durable foam rubber handle
  • 16 interior tool loops
  • limited number of pockets
Brand Bucket Boss
Model 70012
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
With a dual zipper top that opens wide for easy access, the Husky 18-Inch is useful for carrying power tools and other heavy-duty items a normal bag wouldn't accommodate. It has a hard bottom, so you don’t need to worry about tools with sharp points poking through.
  • sturdy handles will not rip
  • designed with water-resistant fabric
  • outer pockets ideal for small tools
Brand Husky
Model 258028
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
5
Professional and versatile, the WorkPro Wide Mouth could be mistaken for a business briefcase at first glance. It won’t accommodate large power tools, but it’s a suitable option for storing and carrying small to medium-sized gear of all kinds.
  • stiff padding on the sides
  • durable polyester fabric
  • soft hand strap on each side
Brand WorkPro
Model W136007A
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
A quality option with 50 total pockets, the Custom Leathercraft Tote is a nice choice for the do-it-yourself enthusiast or for minor professional jobs. It has a padded, reinforced web carrying handle and an adjustable shoulder strap for comfort.
  • heavy-duty stitching and bar tacking
  • adds little weight to your load
  • pockets are logically organized
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model 1113
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
3
The refined craftsman who doesn't want to look like he or she is lugging around a bunch of tools will find a friend in the Florida Coast Trim. It looks like a piece of designer luggage or a stylish picnic basket, but it’s still sturdy and able to withstand heavy use.
  • seams are rolled for durability
  • trendy leather trimmed handle
  • made of natural cotton
Brand Florida Coast
Model RB 15002
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
2
The Snap-On Organizer features lots of pockets, a wide-mouth opening and a cavernous interior storage area. It’s built to last and quite rugged, so you can pack it full of heavy, sharp tools without worrying about it breaking down.
  • will not slide around in the trunk
  • very large but not bulky
  • velcro dividers for easy adjustments
Brand Snap-on Official Licens
Model 870340
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
Its deep central compartment has a pop-open design that makes it easy to pack and retrieve power tools, but the DeWalt Tradesman also offers plenty of smaller pockets for organizing items like nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
  • zippered inner pocket for valuables
  • 20 exterior pockets
  • handy adjustable shoulder strap
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model DG5543
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Do I Need to Know Before I Buy a Tool Bag?

The first thing anyone needs to consider before shopping for a tool bag is what they'll need that bag to hold. Make a list of all the tools that you'd like to have at your disposal. Once you've done that you can begin to narrow your search based on which tool bags are capable of carrying that load.

As you begin to research bags, take note of how many compartments each model has to offer. Take note of whether those compartments fasten, zip, or snap. Take note of whether certain items will hang loose on metal hooks, or individual ringlets. And take note of whether the center of the bag has been hollowed out, or divided into halves.

You'll want to compare each tool bag's maximum weight capacity against the weight of the equipment that you'll need that bag to hold. In addition, you'll want to determine whether a tool bag features one long strap or two. Having two long straps is advantageous, in that it will allow you to distribute that bag's weight across both shoulders.

Along those lines, be sure to confirm that any tool bag you might be interested in has been designed by using durable materials. Most top-of-the-line bags are made out of reinforced nylon or polyurethane, with certain bags featuring a leather trim around the border. As a precaution, make sure the bag comes with a warranty. That warranty may be the only thing to fall back on if the bag does not live up to expectations.

How To Organize Your Tool Bag Efficiently

Most tool bags are made to be organized from the outside-in. That is to say, you want to use the outside compartments for the tools you use the most, while reserving the inside pockets for any minor items you'll only reach for in a pinch.

It's important to consider which shoulder you'll be carrying the tool bag on. Keep in mind that one side of the bag will inevitably be brushing up against your body. You'll want to avoid filling the outer compartments of that side with any jagged objects. If you fill a pocket with nails, it helps to carry around a magnet. That magnet will allow you to gather in some of those nails without having to dig into the pocket.

Another convenient way to keep you and the tool bag efficient, is by keeping accordant objects stored together; take for example, a tape measure and a pencil, a hammer in close proximity with nails.

Ideally, you should keep larger items in the center of the bag, with accessories and attachments around the sides. As for sharp objects, it's best to keep them holstered at your sides, and avoid carrying combustible materials. Make sure to press the lids down tight on any aerosol cans. Of course these are not strict guidelines, as one's tool placement preference differentiates from person to person.

Once a month, you'll want to remove any of the bag's unused items, while replenishing any of the items that have started running low. Make a point to keep a few of the bag's compartments empty, just in case you need to pick up some new hardware or equipment on the go.

A Brief History of The Tool Bag

Tools have been around ever since man realized they could produce and utilize them. While some of these tools are as rudimentary as a sharpened stone or bone, it's safe to suggest prehistoric cavemen may have invented a sack to contain their personal items. The Australian Aboriginals, for example, were known to handcraft what are now referred to as dillybags. These bags featured deep pockets,and were abrasive to the touch due to the plant material they were made from.

Artisans throughout Ancient Greece, on the other hand, were known to carry their tools inside a gunny sack. The gunny straps were usually bound together so the artisan could easily reach for whatever tool he wanted.

Handymen throughout the Gilded Age in America considered it apropos to carry their tools inside a leather satchel. This began to change, however, during the Industrial Revolution, as a rise in manufacturing and construction (not to mention production of utilities) led to an increased demand for professional tool belts.

In 1916, an American inventor named Myron Simpson was awarded the first-ever patent for a "construction tool bag." Simpson's bag looked like a briefcase, and it was handcrafted out of brown leather. Simpson's bag featured a wide flap and a pair of fasteners across the front. Inside, the bag featured a series of pockets, each of which was sewn into the interior. Locating a specific implement in Simpson's bag was not very easy. This bag was tight, which resigned people to feeling around as if they were in the dark.

Today, tool bags have become an essential part of any handyman's arsenal. Tool bags are preferable to tool belts for larger jobs, in that the tool bag will allow one to carry more equipment (if not the tool belt, itself).



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Last updated on May 21, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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