by Paul Sullivan
Last Updated January 23, 2019
For craftsmen (and women), technicians and laborers who are looking for tool belts, there are several things to take into account in order to find the best belt for the job.
The materials will generally tell you everything you need to know about a product when it comes to durability-though there are definitely exceptions to this rule, especially as synthetic fibers are a more popular choice since they are lightweight and breathable.
Still, when you consider the tool belts of old that would last decades, there is definitely a pecking order in terms of how well a tool belt will hold up in the long run.
Also check our review about the best electrician tool belts on the market.
Choosing the best tool belt doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal. Keeping some focused questions in mind will help you identify key things that will highlight the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great!’ The market continues to grow as in-home contractors and crafters have now created a demand for the best tool belt for homeowners in addition to the industrial workers, construction workers, and technicians that previously dominated the field.
Tool belts were formerly designed solely for industrial use, are now being modified and designed for other uses too. At the end of the day, knowing why you want to invest in a good belt in the first place will help you choose the absolute best one for the job – whatever that may be.
This excellent Occidental tool belt is just the quality you would expect for the price – maybe even better! It fits a waist between 32″ and 41″, weighs 5lbs before being filled, and has a sleek, professional leather finish with nylon accents.
In addition, a pair of suspenders can be attached as well. This belt easily outperforms the others on this list and is the best leather tool belt we review.
The perks of this tool belt far outweigh any negative reviews or concerns. To start, this belt is offered for both right and left handed workers.
It has the most pockets – a hefty 24 – and they are also the deepest pockets of all the tool belts on this list, with the largest pockets stretching 10″ deep. These allow all users to retrieve things from the pockets with ease.
However, with all the benefits related to the bags (or ‘pouches’ as they are sometimes called), there are a few things to keep in mind. Because of the size of the bags a few comments cautioned about spills as the contents weren’t sealed in well.
Additionally the bags are long, so if you are on the shorter side the large bags may not necessarily be a perk. Lastly, there were some comments about how difficult it was to adjust the bags on the belt.
It can be done, but they aren’t as easy to slide around as other models (which, on the flip side, keeps them in place better when in use).
This tool belt from Gatorback has the best reviews regarding the bags. The large belt size fits a 36″ – 40″ waist and it has different sizes available up to XXL (for a 49″ waist).
It comes with 9 different pockets in a variety of sizes, a hammer loop, and a speed square. Like the first tool belt on this list, it weighs approximately 5lbs empty.
The best feature of this tool belt is the pockets. They are in fact the best reviewed on this list. They – along with the rest of the belt – are made with heavy 1250 DuraTek nylon.
In addition, all of the pockets are lined with plastic to prevent sagging and stretching. Lastly, the center pouch is 8″ deep, which is nice and roomy without being too long for shorter wearers.
Besides the pockets, this tool belt also comes with a 1 year product warranty. There were not too many cons listed for this belt.
The one caution that users had is to size up, especially if you are going to need to use this in cold(er) weather and are wearing layers. Overall, this belt is recommended as the best carpenter’s tool belt on account of the quality pockets.
This twelve pocket tool belt from CLC Custom Leathercraft is the second least expensive belt on this list. However, don’t let the low price fool you.
The quality far surpasses the investment and provides the buyer with a long-lasting belt for a fraction of the cost of other belts. It does the job for all types of work, from industrial workers to homeowners alike.
One factor contributing to the affordability of this belt is the suede leather material. This also makes the belt more lightweight as it weighs less than 2.5lbs empty. The belt fits a 29″ – 46″ waist, but reviews recommend upsizing.
They also reported that it doesn’t shrink down smaller than 36″ too well. The belt is a 2″ web with a steel buckle that is a decent quality depending on the user and how tight the belt is cinched.
The 12 pockets are broken down into 4 main pouches, 6 smaller pockets and 2 hammer loops. Sadly, the pockets do not have extra lining and some of the reviews did caution that excessive weight and/or long-term use had a tendency to wear the seams thin.
However, on the flip side, this belt is one of the few that doesn’t allow screws and nails to spill out. The pocket depth ranges from 3.5in to 6in and the primary hammer loop is metal.
While this belt has many of the top features that most people look for in a tool belt, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping. While the pockets are good, the seams do tend to wear. Additionally, there was no spot that really fits a tape measure too well.
Lastly, depending on whether you are right or left handed, the hammer loop is on the left side of the belt. For right handed users, this was something that they often mentioned as a negative.
However, for the left handed users out there, this was a rare find and a great feature. Overall, this belt is highly recommended for carpenters, industrial workers, and homeowners alike.
For the big and tall workers out there, this is by far the best tool belt available for you. It comes in six different sizes, fitting waists from 29″ (SM) to 54″ (XXXL). It weighs 5lbs empty (more for larger sizes) and has 7 bags.
This Occidental leather tool belt is the second style by this company on the list. While this model has a more simple design than its #1 counterpart, it still holds to the same level of quality and is highly recommended by industrial workers.
While 7 bags may not seem like enough (and some of the reviews cautioned it wasn’t), this model has additional pouches available for purchase. Additionally, they can be arranged on the belt to allow for individualized ease of use.
Overall, this is one of the best tool belts available and has a high quality that is hard to find and even harder to beat. However, there are a few small things to keep in mind when considering this product.
First, this model doesn’t have suspender hoops. Additionally, some of the tool belt reviews cautioned that the pockets are on the smaller side and aren’t always easy to get things in and out of.
This ToughBuilt tool belt is exactly that: tough built. It is made with heavy-duty canvas and fits a 32″ – 48″ waist. There is also an optional belt extender in order to accommodate waists that are larger than 48″. It weighs just under 4lbs empty and is one of the least expensive tool belts on this list.
Instead of a standard belt with permanently (or semi-permanently) attached pockets and pouches, this tool belt is built so that the pockets and pouches can clip on and off. This allows for a great deal of customization depending on what job you need to do.
The standard set includes 2 pouches, a heavy-duty organizer, 10 pockets, a hammer loop, 2 ClipTech hubs and tape measure clips. It also includes a speed square, and if you’re looking for suspender loops, this tool belt has three.
While there are many neat features to this tool belt, there are some features that keep this from being at the top of the best tool belts list. While the belt is innovative and customizable, it lacks long-term durability.
The belt also doesn’t have pencil holders, and customer reviews frequently warned that the nail pouch spills easily. Additionally, the bags are not lined which can stress the seams and the belt tends to sag – especially if you purchase additional pieces to attach.
Despite this, however, it came decently recommended for the price point and general quality, although it may not work for carpenters due to the lack of pencil holders.
The Original Pink Box has truly delivered a very original pink tool belt. The belt is hot pink, lightweight and small. It fits a 22″ – 44″ waist and weighs less than 1.5lbs empty.
Don’t let the small size fool you though, it comes with 10 nylon pockets, 2 large pouches and a hammer loop.
This belt is made from canvas and while most belts have some or all of the bags permanently attached, this isn’t true for this belt. One of the best features is that all of the bags can be adjusted on the belt for the most comfort.
A word of caution though, they can also slide right off the belt too. This does, however, make this a great tool belt for both right and left handed people since the pockets can be arranged in any way.
While this tool belt has nice aesthetics, there are a number of things to consider when considering this belt. Unfortunately, the bags are said to sag quite a bit and they don’t have a way to stay shut.
Additionally, the pencil holder doesn’t fit the larger, carpenter-style pencils. There were also a number of customer reviews that said this belt didn’t last too long.
Outside of a construction-style need, however, this tool belt does the job and is sufficient. While it may not work too well for industrial workers, for some it is the best belt for crafters and home projects.
Overall, it is a good tool belt that gets the job done even if it doesn’t live up to higher-grade expectations.
This DEWALT tool belt is the second best when it comes to the number of pockets and pouches. It fits a 29″ – 46″ waist and is moderately priced compared to most of the belts on this list.
It weighs approximately 5lbs empty and is predominantly made with canvas, but has some plastic features as well.
In addition to having a large number of pockets – 20 to be exact – this tool belt is also the only model with built-in suspenders that do not have to be purchased separately.
Both the belt and the suspenders are nicely padded, ensuring that the user has the most comfort when using this belt.
In addition to the pockets, this belt also comes equipped with two steel loop handles. The standard model has normal suspenders, but an optional model can be purchased that includes additional pockets on the suspenders as well.
Unfortunately, there are some things that keep this belt from being listed as one of the top best tool belts for workers. The main complaint found in almost all of the customer reviews is that the suspenders are connected to the belt with plastic.
This is the least durable part of the tool belt, with some of the customers experiencing this part breaking within hours of use.
Most expressed their disappointment with this part of the tool belt, as the rest of the belt and the layout of the pouches are excellent.
Unfortunately, without the suspenders the belt is not usable so this feature really is something to be wary of when considering this product.
Frequently asked questions
The answer to this will most likely be the primary driver in your search for the best tool belt. A certified industrial worker will require much more of a tool belt than an in-home, weekend crafter. Likewise, a technician who works with smaller equipment will have different needs and tools than someone who works outside. Consider the type of work that you do and let this drive your search. Knowing the type of work that this belt will be used for ensures that you will choose the best one for the job and don’t end up disappointed.
Knowing what is going into the belt is just as important as knowing what it will be used for. This will help you narrow down your tool belt choice based on things like how many pockets and pouches you may need, if a tape measure spot is necessary, if you need one hammer loop or possibly two, etc. Thinking about what will go into the tool belt also helps you determine how deep the pockets may need to be and if you need them lined to prevent sagging.
After you have given some thought into what you’re using the belt for and what you’re going to carry, you will have a good idea of how durable your tool belt needs to be. Not all users will require a top-of-the-line belt that offers the best durability. If you are not going to use the tool belt daily, or if your tools are light and/or smaller (e.g. wires and nails), you don’t need to invest in a belt that costs hundreds. A good nylon one may do the trick. There’s no need to invest in a hardcore tool belt if it’s overkill.
At the end of the day, regardless of what you will use the tool belt for or how durable it is, this is all about you. Make sure you pick something that fits and helps you do a better job, rather than choosing something that makes you uncomfortable. Make sure the tool belt comes in your size and allow extra room for outdoor clothing if you work outside where it’s cold. Additionally, consider if you’ll need/want suspenders for extra support and if the belt is padded or not. Likewise, consider if the model is for left handed or right handed wearers because this is a factor that will keep you happy and efficient. Lastly, think about the weight of the belt as well. If it’s a heavier belt from the get-go, there is a high chance you won’t want to weigh it down by stuffing the pouches too much.