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The 7 Best Tool Belts Reviewed For 2019

A tool belt can help you work smoother and faster by placing all of your essential tools within reach. You’ll find that the best tool belts help you carry all your tools and work efficiently.

Whether you’re conducting repairs on a shed, knocking together a tree house, or doing some other construction work, you’ll want to find a good tool belt.

That’s why we’re going to review some of the top rated tool belts for the money that can keep cash in your pocket. Lets get started!

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Tool Belts For 2019

  1. DEWALT DG5617 Pro Framer’s Combo Apron Tool Belt & Suspenders
  2. Gatorback B240 Combo Electrician’s Tool Belt
  3. Occidental Leather 9855 Adjust-to-Fit Fat Lip Tool Bag Set
  4. Custom Leathercraft 527X Suede Construction Work Apron
  5. Dickies Work Gear – 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig
  6. MARKSIGN Heavy Duty Technician & Electrician’s Waist Tool Bag
  7. Custom Leathercraft IP489X 3 Pocket Suede Tool Bag

Here is a feature comparison of my top tool belts, with our buyers guide and comparison table to help you choose a belt below.

Best Tool Belts

 DEWALT DG5617 Apron Tool BeltGatorback B240 Electricians Tool BeltOccidental Leather 9855 Tool Bag
editors choice
Materials:NylonNylonLeather/Nylon
Shoulder Straps:YesNoNo
Pockets:291810
Best For:CarpentryElectricalCarpentry

Tool Belt Reviews

DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro Framer's Combo Apron Tool Belt

DEWALT DG5617 Pro Framer’s Combo Apron Tool Belt at a Glance:

  • Materials: Nylon
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs.
  • Compartments: 9 main pockets, 20 smaller ones
  • Carrying: Padded yoke-style suspenders with padded belt

DEWALT has been offering its professional workhorse solutions since 1924. This means that the company has developed a rugged and well-designed range of tools and accessories over the years. This wonderful tool belt is no exception.

Above all else, this is considered to be one of the best tool belts on the market because it is so rugged. When you’re working in a range of environments and housing a series of sharp and heavy tools, you need a tool belt that can keep up.

The padded suspenders and belt are a nice touch, too, keeping you comfortable and capable of working as long as you need to.

There are an incredible range of pockets available… So many, in fact, that it can even be a little overwhelming. If you decide that this is the tool belt for you, you’ll probably want to spend some time planning which tools will go where.


Gatorback B240 Electricians Tool Belt at a Glance:

  • Material: 1250 DuraTek Nylon
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Compartments: Carpenters tool pouch, deep single pouch, 7-pocket fastener tool pouch
  • Additional features: “Box design” stops pouches sagging

If you’re looking for the best electrician tool belt, this could be it. If you value durability and sturdiness, then you won’t have to look any further. The heavy duty 1250 DuraTek nylon protects the belt from scratches and tears.

The integrity is supported even further because each stress point is riveted and bar tacked. This stops the belt falling apart even after years of use.

The various pouches and pockets are made even stronger thanks to the “box design” that has been used on the product. This means that all the pouches have an interior plastic lining.

This helps to ensure the pouches retain their shape and safely hold your tools. It also stops holes from appearing in the bottom of the pouches – a common fault that can appear over time in other tool belts.

There are a variety of sizes available, so be sure to measure yourself accurately… Of course, you’ll want to factor in clothing! If you get it wrong, Gatorback has incredible customer service and you’ll easily be able to organize a replacement.


Occidental Leather 9855 Adjust-to-Fit Fat Lip Tool Bag at a Glance:

  • Color: Cafe
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Compartments: Fastener bag, tool bag, tool and hammer holder
  • Additional features: Fat Lip Bag Design, leather-reinforced bottoms and corners

This belt offers a classic leather look with some of the best craftmanship out there on the market – for an appropriate price. It is on the more expensive side, but in return you’ll get a tool belt that can last a lifetime. It is important to note that the bags are canvas with leather accents, though.

The bags aren’t just large and reinforced with leather for extra durability, but they’re also perfectly placed. This means your tools are accessible and you’ll quickly feel natural working with the belt.

While some users may be disappointed that the bags aren’t leather, this does help to reduce the weight and you’ll find that the belt is comfortable and light even with tools in it.

The fat lip bag design also helps to keep them secure and in place while you work. If You’re looking for the best carpenters tool belt, you won’t go wrong with this one!


Custom Leathercraft Construction Work Apron at a Glance:

  • Weight: 1 lbs.
  • Compartments: Four main nail and tool pockets, eight smaller pockets
  • Materials: Heavy duty suede/contractor grade suede/top grain heavy duty leather
  • Additional features: Book opening design

The previous tool belt options have focused largely on more rigid designs, but the work apron is a classic that might be more appropriate for you. This option is more flexible and far lighter, making it a more appropriate choice for specific circumstances.

There are a few options in terms of the material, with the top grain heavy duty leather option commanding the highest price due to its enhanced durability. With that said, the contractor and heavy-duty suede options are tough and should stand the test of time.

The price of the tool apron is attractive, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the quality it offers given that low price. The pockets are tough and located in the perfect locations to make working a breeze.


Dickies Work Gear Carpenter’s Rig at a Glance:

  • Weight: 3.79 lbs.
  • Compartments: Left side: three wide pockets, three smaller tool pockets, two tool loops; Right side: seven pockets; potential for more to be added.
  • Carrying: Padded suspenders
  • Additional features: Mesh-backed cooling waist belt

If you’re looking for the best tool belt suspenders to carry a lot of tools with you, then this could be the one for you. A variety of diverse pockets mean that you can carry practically every tool or item that you need.

You don’t have to worry about the weight either, thanks to padded mesh suspenders that evenly distribute weight.

Comfort is also guaranteed thanks to a 5-inch moisture wicking belt that can be adjusted to give you a custom fit. This holds your tools in place and makes it very comfortable to move around while working.

In terms of aesthetics, this option comes in a tan or black color. It’s built from heavy-duty and rip-resistant canvas materials too, which ensures you’ll have a reliable companion. If you have other Dickies brand pouches and tool holders, these can also be added to the belt to offer even more capacity.


MARKSIGN Heavy Duty Technician & Electrician’s Waist Tool Bag at a Glance:

  • Materials: Main body is 0.6-inch EVA foam with micro suede lamination.
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
  • Compartments: Two main pockets, two small pockets, two side slots
  • Carrying: Adjustable 1.5-inch nylon waist belt with adjustable buckle

This tool bag has a more modern look and as well as looking great, it’s also durable. This durability is thanks to the EVA foam that is used for the main compartment, meaning that it’s easily protected from wear and tear. The reinforced stitching – as well as leather and metal accents – also help to protect it.

The range of pockets on offer are impressive, helping you whatever your trade. This could serve as a carpenter’s or electrician’s tool belt, for example. These pockets have wide openings that make it easy to access the various tools and parts that you carry with you.

In terms of carrying, you’ll be using an adjustable waist belt. This is a high-tenacity belt that fits all types of waist sizes, ranging from 28” to 48”.

The nylon is durable while the adjustable buckle means that it fits to your exact needs. If you’re trying to save some money, it’s the best work belt with it’s price tag under $30


Custom Leathercraft IP489X Suede Tool Bag at a Glance:

  • Material: Durable suede leather
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Compartments: One, three, eight, and ten pocket versions available
  • Carrying: Options with and without a belt

This is a cheaper option that’s great if you’re looking to get a dependable and durable option quickly. There are a variety of configurations available, meaning that you can get the number of pockets that you need. With one, three, eight, and ten-pocket options on offer, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

The suede leather is durable, so you can be confident the product will last. There are options available both with and without the belt, so you can use the individual pouches to store your tools and equipment rather than carry it.

If you opt for the option with the belt, you’ll find that the 2” poly web material is comfortable and strong, while the quick release buckle helps you to attach and remove it. This is the best tool pouch for a variety of tasks and is appropriate for waists measuring between 29” and 46”.


Tool Belt Comparison Table

Tool Belt MaterialsStrapsPocketsBest ForRating
DEWALT DG5617 Pro Framer'sNylonYes29Carpentry4.0 / 5.0
Gatorback B240 Combo BeltNylonNo18Electrical4.4 / 5.0
Occidental Leather Tool BagLeather/NylonNo10Carpentry4.3 / 5.0
Custom Leathercraft Work ApronSuedeNo12Carpentry4.3 / 5.0
Dickies Carpenter's RigCanvasYes10Carpentry3.7 / 5.0
Marksign Waist Tool BagNylon/SuedeNo4General4.5 / 5.0
CLC IP489X Tool BagSuedeNo3General4.4 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Tool Belt – Buyers Guide

best carpenters tool belt
CLC IP489X 3 Pocket Suede Tool Bag with Poly Web Belt

There’s a lot to consider when looking for the ideal tool belt, and each of these factors will influence your decision. If you balance these factors correctly and make the right choice, you’ll find that you get a great tool belt that accompanies you for years to come. Make the wrong decision, though, and the tool belt could become a hinderance rather than a help.

Work Environment

Is the majority of your work going to be performed inside or outside? Will you carry a large number of tools and other items with you, or just a few key ones? Will the tool belt become very heavy, meaning that you will have to consider suspenders to work comfortably?

The answers to these questions will all shape the tool belt that you go for. It’s worth thinking each of these questions through for a while and really imagining just how you’re going to work. If you’re going to be working in challenging and diverse weather conditions, then you’ll probably want to prioritize the material if your tool belt.

Likewise, if you’re going to carry just a few tools, perhaps a tool pouch is a more comfortable and appropriate option. If the tools are going to be heavy, then you’ll want to give some serious though to support in order to protect your posture and make work possible.

Important Features

Are the pockets the most important part of your tool belt, or the hoops? Are you going for a long-lasting tool belt that can accompany you for many years, or something cheaper that you can buy multiple times?

If you’ve pictured yourself working, then you’ll have identified these important features and you’ll have a good idea of how to filter the potential tool belts you’re looking at.

Future Needs

While a canvas tool pouch may be the best option for you right now, could that change? Perhaps as your collection of tools expands – and the work changes – you’ll find that you need to change your tool belt. It can often be worth buying for the future if you have an idea of how your needs might change. You can put the money you were going to spend toward a superior option that will last longer and be more enjoyable to use.

Types of Pockets

Aside from your tools, are you going to need to carry smaller items like nails and screws? If so, you’ll want to think about the pockets that you’ll need available and what they’ll be made from. If you choose a material that is inferior, you could find that the tool belt will quickly become damaged.

This is why it’s also important to think about the build quality. Poor stitching and workmanship could mean your tool belt, while being built from great materials, won’t last.

best work belt
Dickies Work Gear 57077 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig

Straps or No Straps?

It’s very important that you think about whether or not you’re going to need straps on your tool belt. If you’re going to be carrying heavy loads throughout the day, then you’ll probably want them. Likewise, if your work requires you to be agile and moving around, these straps can offer you extra security.

The quality of these straps is also critical. If they’re not padded, you might find that they are uncomfortable and make working painful. You should be sure to go for straps that are comfortable and also help to stop sweat accumulating beneath them.

Budget

Now that you’ve got an idea of the features that you’re looking for and the type of tool belt you want to purchase, it’s time to think about the numbers. You should do some research to get a feel for what’s an appropriate price and what is available on the market. Equipped with this information, you’ll have an idea of your budget.

It’s important to understand that the higher-quality tool belts will command the highest prices. This is because they are the most durable and will last you longer. As with many other purchases in life, if you can afford the high upfront costs, you’ll get a higher-quality product that lasts longer and saves you money over the course of time.

Materials

Of all the factors to consider when selecting your tool belt, the material is perhaps the most important. This is because it will determine how long it lasts, how well it holds your tools, and how comfortable it will be to wear. Everyone will have their own preference in terms of what they find the most comfortable, so really spend some time to dive into the details around material. You’ll find that this really boosts the quality of the bag you’ll get.

Full Grain Leather: Certainly the most attractive of the materials. It’s tough, durable and will last a long time if properly taken care of.

Suede: A different type of leather that is tough and durable as well but it does require more maintenance to get it in good shape and is not as water resistant as full grain leather.

Synthetics: Primarily nylon is used in tool belts. Nylon is very light, tough and require no maintenance. An ideal material but certainly not traditional or as attractive.

FAQs About Tool Belts

Q: How many pockets should a tool belt have?

A: With so many options out there in terms of the number of pockets, people often wonder what the optimal number is. In fact, this depends entirely on your own needs. You can calculate the number of pockets you will need by listing all of the items that you regularly use throughout a normal day.

In addition to your key tools, think about things like nails, pencils, tape measures… It’s surprising just how much you carry, so you may find that you need multiple pockets.

Q: How should a tool belt fit?

A: Some people prefer a looser fitting belt, while others want it to be tight to their body to reduce the weight. You will have your own preference, so be sure to check the item description to understand the minimum and maximum size. The material of the tool belt will also play an important role in how it fits, so you’ll also want to take this into consideration.

Q: What is the best empty weight for a tool belt?

A: This depends on the number and weight of the tools that you’re going to carry. While a couple of pounds might not sound like a huge deal at first, it can really have a huge impact over the course of the day.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a tool belt that strikes a balance between being light and durable. This will mean you can load up with your tools and still be comfortable and mobile throughout the day.

Q: Why should I use a tool belt?

A: The convenience of having your tools on-hand at all times is really amazing. This can help you to save time throughout the day, especially if you have to be mobile and moving up ladders.

You can remain in the same place and hit a state of flow. Your two hands can work in harmony and you’ll find that you can pay attention to the task at hand rather than wondering where your tools are.

It’s also a great way to keep your items arranged. All too often we see people sifting through tool boxes looking for an important item. Those days are over when you have your tools on your person at all times.

Q: Who should use a tool belt?

A: Tool belts aren’t just reserved for carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Anybody working around the house or on the car can benefit from having their tools at hand. Professional or amateur, there are lots of cheap tool belt options out there that can help to make working more productive and comfortable.

Tool Belt Tips

Here’s a quick look at how you can get the most from your tool belt to keep yourself productive and working effectively.

#1 Plan out your pockets

Tool belts empower you with a range of places to place your items. Finding the most effective location for each is important to make yourself as productive as possible. To get started, I recommend that you create a list of the items you’re going to need. This might include things like:

  • Utility knife
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammers
  • Wire cutters
  • Nail clippers
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Putty knife

And many more. You’ll want to arrange the items according to the frequency that you use them. Make sure that the tool belt you choose has all of the necessary pockets and hoops for your needs.

#2 Care for your belt

Tool belts are often expensive items that are used in tough conditions. If you show your tool belt some love, it’ll last much longer. This process will vary according to the material of your chosen tool belt, of course. If it’s leather, you should be sure to clean it regularly with water and sealant. Clean your tools, too, so that you don’t make the tool belt dirty again right away!

If your tool belt is made from nylon or another synthetic material, you should use a brush to dust away dirt before vacuuming it with the smallest attachment possible.

Final Thoughts

Tool belts are a real game changer – you’ll find within minutes of using one that your way of working will change forever. You’ll be more productive and efficient while also being able to focus on the task at hand. We hope that this guide has helped you find the perfect tool belt!

OutsidePursuits.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. OutsidePursuits.com earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Rich Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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