9 Best Tool Belts | April 2017

9 Best Tool Belts | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★★
We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Calling all DIYers, carpenters, electricians and construction professionals. Never be left scrambling for the right equipment again by investing in one of these high quality tool belts, which will help you keep everything you need within easy reach. This list includes something for every job, no matter how big or small. Skip to the best tool belt on Amazon.
9
With its water-repellent finish, the Carhartt Legacy Standard is designed to withstand harsh weather and won't get moldy in high humidity environments. It's a good and durable budget option that should stand up to heavy use.
  • nail pouch with extra hammer loop
  • waistbelt is fully adjustable
  • not very comfortable
Brand Carhartt
Model 26061102
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
The DeWalt DG5641 is not only a very useful model with eight main pockets, but it also features fully adjustable padded suspenders for superior weight distribution. Its one-size-fits-most design accommodates waists from 29 to 46 inches.
  • buckles securely closed
  • built-in utility knife holder
  • belt is a little flimsy
Brand DEWALT
Model DG5641
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
With magnetic fronts on its bags so you can quickly grab small nails or screws, the MagnoGrip 203-017 is probably one of the most inventive new units on the market. The strong, double-layered ballistic polyester material can stand up to the toughest jobs.
  • rivet reinforced stress points
  • smartly placed pouches
  • cannot hold larger equipment
Brand MagnoGrip
Model 203-017
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
6
The Original Pink Box PB2BELT might not have the largest capacity, but it is certainly the most stylish choice for flamboyant DIYers out there. It does have lots of little pockets, though, which should help you keep everything organized.
  • has a hammer loop
  • part of a complete set of pink tools
  • material is not very tough
Brand The Original Pink Box
Model PB2BELT
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
When both comfort and ease of movement are necessities, the Custom LeatherCraft Professional Carpenters Combo will exceed expectations. All of its parts are removable and interchangeable, so it can be customized to fit even the most demanding needs.
  • easily adjustable
  • stay-open feature on the main pocket
  • extra wide padding
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model 5605
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
4
With a two-, three-, and four-bag option, the Custom LeatherCraft IP489X is an extremely affordable model that, with a suede exterior, also looks great while wearing it. It's suitable for smaller jobs, but you'll probably need to upgrade if you're carrying a full tool set.
  • smaller pockets for nails and pens
  • excellent value for the price
  • good for the home hobbyist
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model I823X
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
Ideal for heavy duty use, the Rack-A-Tiers 43242 is made with a durable fabric that won't tear or rip. With nine oversized pouches and openings that are lined with nylon webbing, it is perfect for electricians who want quicker access to a large number of tools.
  • ventilated fabric keeps you cool
  • contoured back for extra support
  • includes a tape holder
Brand Rack-A-Tiers
Model pending
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
2
The Custom LeatherCraft 1614 provides true comfort during extended periods of use by incorporating thick shoulder straps, which help evenly distribute the weight across a larger portion of your body and take some strain off the hips. Plus, the whole rig is adjustable.
  • double layered 600d polyester fabric
  • convenient top carry handles
  • custom pocket for squares or rulers
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model 1614
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
Featuring a fat lip bag design with room for more equipment than you probably want to carry, the Occidental Leather 9855 is the ideal choice for the professional carpenter. All its pouches have leather-reinforced bottoms and corners, protecting it from wear and tear.
  • high quality nylon bags
  • handmade in the usa
  • material is easy on your back
Brand Occidental Leather
Model 9855
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Why Quality Matters: Tool Belt Edition

The most important thing to know when selecting a tool belt is what type of instruments you need it to hold. There is a question of durability, to be sure, especially given the fact that different professions require different tools, some of which may be sharp, heavy, or hazardous, but the first order of business is to make a list of all your essentials tools, so you can find a belt that will comfortably accommodate them all.

After that, take a look at the materials out of which a given belt is made. This is especially important if you plan on using smaller pockets to store tacks, screws, or nails. Leather is a reliable option, as it protects the skin from any sharp points or edges that might protrude from within the belt. Polyester and nylon are also excellent options for their durability if you are in any way averse to leather. Either way, if the material and its stitching aren't reinforced, metal points can easily cause those pockets to tear, and might even puncture your skin.

If you've got a bad back (or a narrow waist), you may want to consider a tool belt with suspenders, which will help to hold the belt in place while taking its weight off of your lower back. If you have a wider waist, you'll want to make sure you find a belt that's capable of fastening in your size. And, regardless of your size or pain issues, if you've got delicate skin that is given to bruising, you'll want a belt that includes some type of padding in its design.

All Within Arms Reach

Tool belts aren't all that complicated. They're designed to equip you with any the tools you may need to get a job done without running back and forth to your toolbox, saving you time and, potentially, eliminating the need for a second pair of hands.

The overlying pockets on most belts are designed by using polyester or nylon, while the underlying belt is made of reinforced leather (usually gray, brown, or black). These pockets store anything from a screwdriver or a tape measure, to a set of drill bits or pliers. Most belts also feature what are known as D-clips, or rivets, for looping in a hammer, a cat's paw, a speed square, or a level. A belt's smaller pouches are reserved for storing tiny accessories, like a box of screws or nails.

Certain belts come equipped with suspenders or padding, both of which are meant to minimize the burden that a person's midsection has to bear. Heavy weight or high friction in the area of the lower back might result in anything from blisters to muscle pain and even spinal alignment issues after chronic use.

A Brief History of The Tool Belt in America

Belts, as a concept, have been in existence since the Bronze Age. And while it is difficult to pinpoint when the term "tool belt" came into being, it's not a stretch to assume that people have been attaching tools to their waists since the dawn of the Roman Empire. (We know, after all, that Roman soldiers wore swords on their belts, at least.)

In America, throughout the Gilded Age and the Industrial Revolution, most craftsmen and laborers carried their tools inside of a satchel. Considering the daunting images of brave men scaffolding early New York skyscrapers without so much as a rope to save them if they were to fall, it's pretty surprising that these workers wouldn't want to minimize their movement at such heights. Tool belts would have at least made it a little easier on them.

But as American hardware grew into a major industry, self-styled handymen took pride in assembling a small arsenal of tools that they could use around the house. The tool belt, which arose in part as an implement aimed at such DIY-ers, achieved its peak during the 1980s, thrust forward thanks to a variety of television shows hosted by experts including Bob Vila and a 1990s favorite, Tim "the Toolman" Taylor.

Since the turn of the 21st century, a lot of companies have turned their focus toward electronic appliances and digital power tools. These are progressive additions to the everyday workbench, but they in no way replace the tools a handyman still needs to keep around his belt.



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Last updated on April 27 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.