Choose The Best Tool Belts-Ultimate Buyer’s Guide And Reviews 2018
When you’re working on the job, having the right tools at your disposal is essential. Whether you’re a carpenter, an electrician, or someone else who needs easy access to a variety of devices, it’s imperative that you have a high-quality belt.
Today we’re going to be looking at the best tool belts, both for carpenters and electricians. Regardless of the kind of work you do, a reliable belt will ensure that you can be more efficient and reliable onsite. Rather than searching through your toolbox for the right piece, you can pull it out and be ready to go in seconds.
Let’s see how the tool belts stack up against each other and try to find the right one for your needs.
- 1 Best Tool Belt for Carpenters Review- Top Picks
- 1.1 1. MagnoGrip 203-017 Magnetic Carpenter's Tool Belt
- 1.2 2. CLC Custom Leathercraft I823X Suede Carpenter's Nail And Tool Bag
- 1.3 3. Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo w/Pro-Comfort Back Support Belt
- 1.4 4. TradeGear MEDIUM 31-35" Carpenter’s Combo Belt & Bag
- 1.5 5. DEWALT DG5372 12-Pocket Carpenter's Suede Apron
- 2 Best Tool Belts for Electricians- In Depth Reviews
- 2.1 A. Occidental Leather 5590 M Commercial Electrician's Set
- 2.2 B. CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608 Electrician's Comfort Lift Combo Tool Belt
- 2.3 C. TradeGear MEDIUM 31-35" Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo
- 2.4 D. Style n Craft 70-603 10 Pocket Heavy Duty Oiled Top Grain Leather Electrician's / Contractor's Tool Pouch
- 2.5 E. DEWALT DG5103 Small Durable Maintenance and Electrician's Pouch
- 3 How to Choose the Best Tool Belts-Complete Guide
- 4 Best Tool Belt Buyer’s Guide
- 4.1 Do I need a job-specific tool belt?
- 4.2 Which material is better for long-term use?
- 4.3 Should I wear suspenders with my belt?
- 4.4 What elements are most necessary for a tool belt?
- 4.5 Are most tool belts ambidextrous?
- 4.6 What’s the difference between a tool belt and a pouch?
- 4.7 Do I need magnetic pockets?
- 4.8 Which kind of belt fastener is best?
- 5 Final Verdict
Top 3 Tool Belt for Carpenters - Comparison
Gatorback B145 Carpenters
DEWALT DG5372 12-Pocket
Top 3 Tool Belts for Electrician- Comparison
TradeGear MEDIUM 31-35"
Style n Craft 70-603
Occidental Leather 5590
Best Tool Belt for Carpenters Review- Top Picks
If you’re not familiar with tool belts in general, then you might make the mistake of thinking that they are all the same. After all, they are meant to carry tools, so what difference would it make? Overall, these belts are created with a specific group of workers in mind, so it’s better to pay attention to ensure that you get a model that fits your requirements.
For example, the best tool belt for carpenters will have a loop for holding your hammer, as well as closing pockets to carry a variety of fasteners (i.e., nails and screws). Some quality models may even include magnets to ensure that your pieces don’t fall off easily.
Here are the best-rated carpenter’s tool belts on the market today.
1. MagnoGrip 203-017 Magnetic Carpenter's Tool Belt
Because carpentry jobs can vary in size, it’s essential to find a belt that can meet your needs without being too bulky or cumbersome. This model from MagnoGrip is designed for most carpentry work, making it a great addition to your everyday tools and equipment.
As I mentioned above, one thing about carpentry is that you have to deal with a lot of fasteners. Nails, screws, and bolts are your bread and butter, which means that you have to carry a lot of them with you on the job. To make this process easier and more efficient, the MagnoGrip comes with three magnetized pockets on the front. This allows you to keep all of your fasteners handy at all times, and also prevents them from falling out.
The downside of having magnets in front of you is that you can sometimes get caught on metallic objects. For example, you may notice that your belt adheres to your truck when you’re trying to get in and out. However, that just shows how powerful and reliable these magnets are. You don’t have to worry about nails or screws falling all over the place.
The other thing that I like about the MagnoGrip is the durability of the material. When picking out the best cheap carpenter’s tool belt, this is an affordable option that uses heavy-duty polyester to keep it all together. Better yet, the seams are reinforced with rivets to hold the whole thing together for years to come.
2. CLC Custom Leathercraft I823X Suede Carpenter's Nail And Tool Bag
Although we’re talking about the best tool belts for carpenters, this next model can come with or without a belt. But why would you want it to be sans fastening device? Well, this feature will allow you to hook it to any belt that you are currently wearing. Thus, instead of having to wear two belts to work, now you just have to wear one. Also, the bag is ambidextrous, so you can place it on your left or right side without any issues.
This tool bag is another highly affordable option, but that doesn’t mean that it’s low-quality. The material is heavy-duty suede leather, and the seams are reinforced with rivets so that it won’t come apart after years of constant use. Overall, the material is rugged, yet it will soften over time, making it more comfortable for you as you use it.
The size of this bag isn’t as large as other models, but it’s perfect for the casual carpenter. Also, at this price, you can afford to buy two of them (one for each side), making it even more functional and capable. This unit comes with eight pockets - two primary ones in the front and six smaller ones on the sides.
What’s also cool about this bag is that it has two hammer loops. Although you probably won’t be carrying a multitude of hammers, you can retrofit different items into the loop as needed. For example, this model doesn’t have a clip for a tape measure, but you can probably use the steel loop instead. It’s not as convenient, but it works well.
3. Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo w/Pro-Comfort Back Support Belt
If you’re looking for the ultimate tool belt for carpenters, then this model from Gatorback is one of the best options you can find. It has three sets of pockets, meaning that you will never have to worry about leaving anything behind again.
What I like most about this product is the material. It’s made of heavy-duty 1250 DuraTek nylon, which ensures that it will last through all kinds of projects and keep on ticking. Not only that, but the material is also breathable to make sure that you don’t get overheated while working.
As with other tool belts, the seams on the B145 are reinforced. They use metal rivets to keep the corners from peeling, and they also double up with bar tacks to add even longer life to the material. Overall, you can expect this tool belt to last a lifetime.
Another cool thing about this product is the sizing. With most tool belts, the sizes can be a little misleading because they don’t take into account the fact that you’re wearing clothes underneath. Gatorback, however, understands this and provides you with a better size chart so that you don’t have to settle for something that’s too tight or too loose.
The abundance of pockets on this belt is incredible, making it one of the best carpenter’s tool belt for the money. That being said, this model is more of an investment than others, so I recommend it only if you are serious about getting a high-quality belt.
What I love about the pockets is that they come with a rigid plastic liner. This ensures that the material doesn’t sag or droop while working, making it easier to grab what you need no matter where you are.
4. TradeGear MEDIUM 31-35" Carpenter’s Combo Belt & Bag
Although I liked the size and versatility of the Gatorback B145 bag above, there is a thing as too many pockets. When you have so many tools all around you, it can weigh the belt down and make it too bulky and cumbersome to be effective.
Thus, if you want to keep the same quality construction and reliability without the added weight, then I would suggest this model from TradeGear. I like it a little better because it only has two sets of pockets instead of three, meaning that you can move around easier without poking yourself with your tools.
The material for this belt is similar to the Gatorback. It uses heavy-duty DuraTek 1250 nylon, which is also made with air vents and breathable slots so that you don’t get too hot while wearing it. I hate having a pool of sweat on my clothes from where the belt was, and this ensures that that problem is less severe.
The other cool thing about having two sets of pockets is that they are adjustable. They use Velcro fasteners to allow you to move the pockets around the belt as needed, helping to ensure that you can customize it to fit your needs.
Overall, this is one of the best for the money carpenter’s tool belt.
5. DEWALT DG5372 12-Pocket Carpenter's Suede Apron
When asking “what’s the best tool belt for carpenters,” one of the essential elements should be how well it fits. Since most models have all kinds of pockets, it’s better to pick one out that feels comfortable so that you can wear it all day without pain or soreness.
In this case, the DG5372 from DeWalt is well suited for most carpentry jobs. That being said, it’s a bit smaller than other ones that we’ve seen, which can be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, a lighter belt allows you to move around more easily, and it doesn’t sag. Alternatively, it doesn’t offer as much storage space.
What I like about this belt, in particular, is the double-tongue roller buckle. Since most belts have a single tongue, doubling up provides more support and ensures that the material will last longer. Also, the pockets are made of durable suede leather, so they are built tough as well.
Another proprietary feature that you get with this belt is the loop on top of the pockets. There is one on each side, and it makes it much easier to adjust yourself while you work. With other tool belts, you have to struggle to move the pockets around, but this is a breeze. Also, when you’re not wearing it, the loop allows you to carry the whole thing much more comfortably.
Overall, this is a great tool belt for casual carpenters, but it might not hold up to heavy-duty use. Hobbyists and DIYers will get the most use out of this model.
Best Tool Belts for Electricians- In Depth Reviews
When comparing different tool belts, you may be wondering what makes one more suitable for electricians than general carpentry. Well, the reason that these are specific to the trade is that they are crafted with specific tools in mind. For example, electricians use a lot of pliers, clamps, and screwdrivers. Also, you may need a holster for electrical tape. As we’ll see, these belts are customized for the job, making them the best electrician tool belt.
A. Occidental Leather 5590 M Commercial Electrician's Set
Starting us off is this high-quality belt from Occidental Leather. The construction of this product is second to none, making it an ideal choice for any professional electrician out there. However, because it is made of real leather, the price is higher than you might expect. Still, this belt has an abundance of pockets, and it’s one of the more reliable sets you can find.
What I like most about this belt is that it has room for everything. No matter how many tools and products you want to carry, there is a pouch or loop to hold it. You can bring all kinds of pliers, screwdrivers, drill bits, and anything else you can imagine. There is a T-chain also attached so that you can carry several rolls of tape more easily.
Another excellent feature of this belt is the fact that the inside of each pouch is non-slip. Thus, whenever you’re moving around or working on something, you don’t have to worry about losing your tools because you bent over too far. To make it even better, the pockets can slide around the belt, ensuring that they are never in the way.
B. CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608 Electrician's Comfort Lift Combo Tool Belt
One element that many of the best tool belts for electricians have is the ability to strap suspenders to it. Almost all of these job-related belts come with hooks and loops built-in. The reason to include them is that most of these bags get weighed down with so many tools that it can be hard to carry them comfortably.
Usually, you will have to provide your own suspenders, but this set from CLC comes with padded ones to allow you to work more efficiently. Also, the belt itself is padded to distribute the weight more evenly and ensure that you don’t get sore on the job. This is a one-size-fits-all, up to a size 49-inch waist.
As with most electrician’s tool belts, this unit comes with a ton of pockets. You get 28 of them, all of them suited for a variety of tools. Also, you can keep them from falling out, thanks to the locking flap that covers them all while you work. At times, the fold can get a little annoying, but it’s more helpful than anything.
C. TradeGear MEDIUM 31-35" Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo
So far, I would say that the best tool belts we’ve seen have been the ones that come with ultra heavy-duty nylon material. If you liked the carpenter's options but wished that there was one for electricians, you don’t have to wonder any longer.
As with the other units on this list, the TradeGear Belt and Bag is made of thick 1250 DuraTek nylon. This material ensures that you don’t have to worry about the pockets or seams coming off while you work. They are reinforced to give you years of protection and reliability.
Comfort also comes standard with this belt, thanks to the breathable memory foam insert along the waistline. Adjusting this belt is super easy, and it won’t create pain or soreness in your body, even when the thing is fully loaded.
Because it’s an electrician’s tool belt, you get 29 pockets in which to store all of your tools. Also, the inside of each pocket is designed to keep things from falling out, making the belt even more reliable.
Finally, I like that there are carry handles on each pouch. This allows you to shift them around while working, and you can hold the belt when you’re not wearing it much more easily.
D. Style n Craft 70-603 10 Pocket Heavy Duty Oiled Top Grain Leather Electrician's / Contractor's Tool Pouch
When picking out the right material for your tool belt, I like having leather over nylon. The reason I say this is that leather can be broken in over time, meaning that it will only get softer and more comfortable the more you use it. Nylon, on the other hand, can be itchy and rough, no matter how long you’ve had it.
In this case, we have a smaller, 10-pocket pouch that can attach to almost any belt. This makes it more convenient, as long as you don’t have to carry a ton of tools. The pockets are also mostly open-ended, making the pouch lighter and more maneuverable. There are three loops for screwdrivers or hammers, and three metal pieces on the outside as well.
The first metal component is a T-chain for holding tape. Second, there is a rigid clip for your tape measure. Finally, there is a hook chain so that you can carry almost anything that has a loop in it.
Overall, the size and construction of this tool pouch make it a viable addition to any electrician’s gearbox, and it will last for years to come.
E. DEWALT DG5103 Small Durable Maintenance and Electrician's Pouch
Our final best budget tool belt for electricians is this adjustable pouch from DeWalt. As with other models we’ve seen, you can attach this to your standard belt, making it more versatile and customizable. However, to make it even more efficient, this pouch is also equipped with a belt clip. This allows you to hook it on and take it off without having to remove your belt first.
I like this pouch because it offers a wide range of pockets and storage options. There is a large middle pocket for bulky items (i.e., electronic testers), and small side loops for things like hammers, screwdrivers, or pliers. There is also a carabiner on the side for your keys, as well as a rugged strap for holding tape.
Overall, this is a fantastic electrician tool pouch if you’re on the go and on a budget. The price of this model is much less than you would expect, but the quality is still as excellent, thanks to the fact that DeWalt makes it.
How to Choose the Best Tool Belts-Complete Guide
Whether you use a tool belt all of the time or you just bring it out whenever you’re working on a home project, you need something that is going to stand up to the test of time. If you carry it every day, then it will endure a lot of wear and tear that will add up and could cause it to break down.
When picking out the best tool belt for carpenters or electricians, there are two primary materials from which you can choose. First, there is leather. I like leather tool belts because they can be broken in after a while, meaning that the material will become softer and more malleable. After a long time, however, then the pockets could become worn and thin, which will force you to buy another one.
The second material is nylon (or polyester). The benefit of going this route is that it is rugged and dependable, and it takes longer to soften and break down. I like nylon for its durability, but it can be rough and scratchy, which can be an issue when you have to reach inside it all day long.
The other thing to remember is that you need reinforced seams. Most tool belts use metal bolts to keep the pockets and other edges together, but you can also find models that have tacks as well for added protection.
While the material of your tool belt is crucial, it’s not as essential as the pockets themselves. The reason I say that is because you could have the most comfortable and resilient belt ever, but it will still be a dud because you don’t have enough storage space.
When looking at pockets, it’s not just the size that matters. What you want to check is to see if the tools you use most can fit inside without any problems. Almost all belts are designed to carry a variety of pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers, but some tools require specific holders.
For example, a tape measure requires a strap or clip so that you can access it easily. While you could affix it to a metal hammer loop, it’s not as efficient or as reliable. Another thing to consider is a T-chain for tape. Usually, electricians need this more than carpenters, but you never know when it can come in handy.
Overall, make a list of the kind of tools you plan on using and then double check to see if the belt can accommodate all of them. If necessary, choose a model with more pockets or a wider variety of holders so that you’re ready for anything.
Carrying around a tool belt can take some getting used to, especially if you fill it regularly. Holding an additional 10-15 pounds of gear can put a lot of pressure on your back. Thus, you want to make sure that your belt is as comfortable as possible.
There are a couple of different features you can choose to make this a reality. First, you can pick a belt that comes with padding on the inside so that it doesn’t feel as rough against your body. Pads can be especially helpful when the pouch is full as it will provide a buffer against the hard metal surfaces.
Secondly, you can opt to wear a set of suspenders with your tool belt. Usually, electricians need these more than carpenters because they hold a lot more gear, but anyone can benefit from the additional weight distribution. With that in mind, you want to find a belt that has loops on the top built for suspenders. If it doesn’t have these, you won’t be able to use them.
Finally, you can also choose a breathable material. Tool belts can get hot and uncomfortable after a full day’s work, so having fabric that doesn’t insulate your body heat can make a significant difference.
When talking about how versatile a tool belt is, there are a few ways to think about this. For my purposes, however, I’m referring to the ability to shift the pouch around, as well as switch sides for your dominant hand.
In most cases, you can customize your tool belt to fit your needs. For example, if you prefer to grab your tools with your left hand, you want them to be accessible on that side. Usually, you can slide the pouch around the belt to switch sides. The fastener can either be Velcro or bolts, although I prefer the latter because they don’t come loose as easily.
The other thing to consider is whether the pouches come with a top strap as well. Having the additional straps will allow you to move them around more easily, as well as carry the belt when you’re not wearing it.
Finally, there is always the option of getting a pouch without a belt. This allows you to attach it to any belts that you currently have, making it a bit more versatile and easy to carry. I don’t like wearing two belts myself, so buying individual pouches makes more sense for me.
Best Tool Belt Buyer’s Guide
Do I need a job-specific tool belt?
If you are a jack-of-all-trades, then it might not make sense to buy a belt that’s designed for a particular discipline. However, if you are a professional electrician, carpenter, or framer, then you will want that kind of customization to make your life easier.
Overall, I would suggest buying a job-specific belt if that’s what you do for a living. If you’re just a hobbyist or a DIYer, then it will only matter as far as what you plan on doing with it. However, as long as your projects are few and far between, most belts will suffice no matter what.
Which material is better for long-term use?
As I’ve mentioned, I prefer leather due to its conformity to my work routine. However, I also recognize that some leather is better than others and that it can get too worn over time. Ultimately, both leather and nylon (or polyester) are going to last a long time, so it’s really up to your personal preference. That being said, buying cheap leather is worse than buying cheap synthetic, so that’s something to remember.
Should I wear suspenders with my belt?
The short answer to this question is yes, always. I would highly recommend wearing suspenders with any loaded tool belt because it can help distribute the weight and keep it off of your waistline. Over time, wearing a belt by itself can cause soreness in your back, but suspenders can relieve this pressure.
If you think that wearing suspenders makes you look silly, think about how much pain you’re willing to endure for something so trivial. Really, no one cares, so why not protect yourself? Even if it’s a matter of efficiency, you are only shaving seconds off of your routine, so it’s not that big of a deal.
What elements are most necessary for a tool belt?
This depends on what you do the most. I would say that a hammer loop, a tape measure clip, and two large pockets are necessary, along with an assortment of other, smaller pouches. However, you may need a T-chain for carrying tape, or a carabiner for holding your keys. Make a list of essential items you need to have on you, and then cross-check that with your belt of choice.
Are most tool belts ambidextrous?
Yes, in my experience, you can usually switch sides based on the hand you use the most. If you can’t, then make sure that you match up the right side so that you aren’t putting yourself in an awkward position.
What’s the difference between a tool belt and a pouch?
A belt is a model that comes with a fastener for holding the pouches on your waist. A singular bag is designed to attach to any kind of belt, including those you may already own. I prefer the latter because I don’t like wearing two belts at once. Some pouches may also come with a clip so that you can pull it off without having to remove anything else.
Do I need magnetic pockets?
According to most professionals, magnets are just going to get in the way. That being said, if you find yourself dropping nails and screws all the time, it might be a good idea to invest in a belt with magnets. However, be aware that your belt will try to attach to any metal in your vicinity, which can get really annoying over time.
Which kind of belt fastener is best?
If you are going to wear the tool belt over your regular one, then I suggest getting a model with quick-release handles. However, if you are also using the tool belt to support your pants, then you want something with a standard buckle system. If possible, I like a double-tongue model as it’s stronger and more reliable.
Overall, with their high-quality construction and abundance of pockets, I have to say that my top picks for the best tool belt are the Gatorback B145 and the TradeGear model. I love the fact that they are built with heavy-duty 1250 DuraTek nylon, and that they come with breathable fabric to help cool you down.
No matter what kind of job site you work in, both of these belts are sure to make your life so much easier. Work faster and more efficiently when you’re wearing one of these bad boys, and rely on them forever.