As any person in the building trade can attest to, the secret to success lies with the tool belt. Obviously knowing a thing or two might also help, but having a reliable, comfortable tool pouch or belt that provides easy access to everything you need is right up there.
Occidental, Makita and Dewalt are leading the charge with premium leather belts, equipped with more pockets than you can shake a spanner at, but there are plenty of cheaper fabric alternatives too. We've ranked the 10 best tool belts for electricians, carpenters and more on Amazon set to give you a head start on learning your trade or upgrading a worn-out belt.
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Tool belts are known to have a far-reaching variance in quality and design. This simple buying guide will help you figure out which belts are better left at the shop and which deserve a place on your hips. With intended trade, material, pockets, features and size all influencing the effectiveness of a belt's outcome, it's advised to investigate each aspect before you buy.
Every tradesperson needs to be free to work without restrictions while using their hands at all points of the day. That's why it's so important to find a belt to sufficiently house your tools and hardware while allowing for quick access and freedom of movement.
While a fair proportion of tool belts are all-purpose in design, some are purposed for either carpenters and framers or electricians and technicians specifically. Obviously, there are a million and one other trades out there, but for the most part, those other trades will either suit a standardised tool belt or one of these two varieties.
A very easily recognised inclusion that sets a carpenter's tool belt apart is, of course, a hammer loop. Tool belts for electricians will skip on the hammer holder, focusing instead on larger, more centralised pockets to allow for easier movement in tighter spaces.
Tool belts are predominantly constructed from either leather or synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. To make sure you find the right tool belt for the job, honing in on material and construction will give you peace of mind when making the final nail-and-hammer decision.
Leather is widely considered the premium choice of material for tool belts. Through being hard-wearing, durable and long-lasting, leather belts have and always will be the first choice for all types of tradespeople.
However, just because a tool belt is made of leather, that doesn't necessarily mean it's top quality. Watch out for inferior leather tool belts at suspiciously cheap prices. These cheaper alternatives will quite often be made of thin leather that'll end up in the skip quicker than you'd like to know.
Tool belts that are constructed from nylon and polyester will generally be lighter than leather belts. This can be a true saviour for the youngest and oldest of the building trade who want to keep it as light as possible while working.
The same can be said for leather options, though – just make sure the quality is there and you should have no problems getting along with a nylon or polyester tool belt.
While they are both synthetic fabrics, nylon is known to outperform polyester by having stronger thread and being more water-resistant. This extra strength is what gives nylon a higher price tag to match.
Not every tool belt is made equal. Some brands like to focus on price before quality, while others only create products of the highest quality but the extra cost will be passed on to you.
Two clearly identifiable elements that spell out quality where leather belts are concerned are double stitching and reinforced rivets. If a brand has spent more money and time reinforcing a tool belt's stress points, then it's very likely the belt will perform well and last a good and honest while.
When in the market for nylon and polyester, be sure to check the denier count of the belt's fabric. Referring to the thickness of the individual thread, the denier count will be a good indicator of quality through durability and weather-resistance. Typical denier counts are 600D, 1200D and 1600D, with 1600D being the most hardwearing.
Whether you're a tradie who likes to be equipped with everything or you're someone who favours keeping it light and nimble with just the bare bones strapped to you, knowing how many pockets each belt comes equipped with will lead you to tool belt wearing heaven.
There's no point in rocking up to a job site with a brand new tool belt that's brimming with tools you don't need. You need to be prepared for anything the day can throw your way, but you also don't want to be carrying around unnecessary tools and weight.
Tool belts can come equipped with anywhere from 5 to 25 pockets, which can make deciding sometimes harder than it needs to be. With each pocket suiting a particular tool or piece of hardware, consulting a workmate or friend in your industry to see what they run is never a bad idea.
Otherwise, a good amount that should give any tradesperson ample storage space is between 12 and 18 pockets. This is seen as a fairly safe sweet spot that shouldn't leave you without in times of need nor be over-stocked with useless pockets.
Now that the air of confusion surroundings pockets has been accounted for, it's time to look specifically at some of the other tool-holstering parts. From hammer loops to tape holders, knife sheaths and clips, finding that perfect belt could come down to a key feature or two that only you can identify.
One useful feature for many types of tradespeople, however, is suspenders. Helping to transfer weight from your hips to your shoulders will relieve lower back stress and hopefully minimise any work-related injuries.
Though usually found on higher-end products, another one to look for is additional lower back support across the back half of the belt. With increased padding and wider hip-bearing sections of a belt, you should be feeling a million dollars as you work the day away in comfort and style.
The last note of concern before you're let loose to peruse the top 10 is the always important – yet sometimes overlooked – sizing issue. With most trades influencing the particular build of the people who work in them, you want to make sure your belt is up to scratch in terms of your physique.
A large proportion of tool belts will come with a range of waist sizes linked to them. This measurement is always mirrored by the standardised measuring system for trousers in inches.
The majority of tool belts offer a wide variety of waist sizes in the 32" - 48" range, though some brands do use the S, M and L system. If the latter is the case, it's a smart idea to consult any sizing guides offered to ensure a good fit.
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Leather Tool Belt
Made in the USA From the Highest-Grade Premium Leather
Extra Belt Padding Will Enhance Your Working Experience
2-Pouch Tool Belt
Makita Have Put a Clear Stamp of Quality on This Distinguished Tool Belt
19-Pocket Tool Belt
Included Suspenders to Increase Weight Distribution
Utility Waist Belt
Ideal Waist Bag With Belt for Electricians and Technicians
Leather Tool Belt
Unmatchable Quality for the WrightFits Price
Tooltime® Professional Leather Tool Belt
Smart, Heavy-Duty Leather That's Built to Last
Single-Pouch for Electricians and Technicians on the Move
Budget Polyester Pouch With a High-Vis Trim
20 Pocket Tool Belt
A Cheap Yet Effective 20-Pocket Tool Belt
In a clear leap on price, this tool belt by Occidental is in a league of its own. Being constructed from the highest-grade, premium top grain leather, this is a USA-made belt that deserves every builder's attention.
Noting the total of 23 pockets in all shapes and sizes, it's safe to assume that even the most equipped of builders won't scoff at its stature. The copper reinforced rivets are complemented by the toughened double stitching, making it known that this belt won't get tired for a while. Invest in something special with this belt of all belts.
Another entry near the top for the Dewalt brand, this tool belt is an industry favourite for any carpenter or builder looking for that Dewalt touch. Made of high-grade 1200D polyester with leather implemented onto high friction areas, it's a belt to weather the building storm with.
The included drill holster with safety clip is a sure-fire way straight to any builder's heart, while the increased padding across the hips and lower back will give an unrivalled feeling of comfort and pride. Let yourself in on the Dewalt secret and snap this one up before it's gone.
In a very similar light to Dewalt, Makita are at the forefront of the building trade where tool manufacturing is concerned. This tool belt is in alignment with the Makita way of producing things, being built of toughened leather and nylon to yield a durable yet light and comfortable tool-wielding sidekick.
The increased lower back support across the belt will give you plenty to smile about, while the reinforced rivets and galvanised washers won't be popping off anywhere in a hurry. At 1 kg in weight, this is a well-constructed belt that weighs less than most.
Dewalt know the building trade like the back of their hand. Producing top of the line tools for years, they know what works and what definitely does not. Therefore, you could bet your last milky tea on this tool belt with included suspenders functioning just the way it should.
It's adorned with 19 pockets to give carpenters plenty of nail-storing space while framing. Each pocket can be loaded up to the pocket's edge too, as the suspenders will give you load-bearing support. The belt fits waists in the 29" - 46" range, ensuring even the thinnest of tradies can get some welcomed relief.
Baigio have done right by the electricians and technicians of the building trade, creating this well-made waist bag with belt and shoulder strap. The eight pockets give ample storing space for its size, making sure that this belt won't disappoint its intended audience.
The construction is very much on point as well, being made of polyester canvas with a combined denier count of 1680D. This gives rise to a reliable undertone of quality that will keep rolling by your side when the going gets tough. Weighing just over half a kilo tops things off nicely.
This tool belt by WrightFits is as good a belt as you'll find for under £30. Constructed from hard-wearing, dyed buffalo leather that can even be machine washed, it's a tool belt that looks as good as it performs.
With a modest amount of pockets, it's not trying to be anything it's not, instead, it focuses on being a work accessory that can be relied upon day in, day out. Add that to the double stitching and reinforced riveting complemented by a steel hammer loop, and you'll agree that this is a really good deal.
Branded as being constructed from heavy-duty top grain leather, this tool belt from Am-Tech is poised to last. It offers 12 pockets and two steel hammer loops, so most tradespeople should find some building solace whatever they need to hand.
The oil-tanned brown leather really sets a nice tone against the copper-plated rivets to give a rustic, hardwearing look, suiting any rugged builders with an eye for design. Weighing in at 1.15 kg reveals that it's not the lightest of the bunch, but then again, quality leather isn't light.
This single pouch belt from Copechilla is intended for electricians and technicians specifically. It's constructed from oxford canvas polyester, but unfortunately, the denier count is on the lower end for a tool belt at 600D.
However, it weighs a mere 228 grams, making it the lightest tool belt on the list and possibly the internet. This low weight is a defining reason why this belt deserves a recommendation. With a total of 12 included pockets, it'll keep any technician well-equipped for all manner of unforeseen wiring woes.
Here's another budget tool belt designed to get any apprentice on the job site and looking the part for a whole lot less. This one comes equipped with 11 pockets to house a reasonable amount of tools and is branded as an all-purpose belt.
The fact that it comes with a steel hammer loop makes it more geared toward builders and carpenters than technicians, but Cengyuik has instructed that it's non-discriminatory. The basic rivets and stitching mean it will have its flaws when coming up against rigorous work, but at least it's effective and cheap!
First on our list is this tool belt with 20 pockets, a metal tape measure clip and two fabric hammer loops. This entry-level tool belt is ideal for apprentice carpenters, builders and any DIY enthusiasts.
For under £20 it's certainly not a belt that's going to be hanging off your hips for years – it'll get you onto the job site, learning as you go with your new tools at the ready. It does, however, fit waist sizes from 32" - 48", so most older teens and adults should have no problems in the sizing department.
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