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Best Tool Belts

Updated December 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 87 Models Considered
  • 45 Hours Researched
  • 2 Experts Interviewed
  • 123 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best tool belts

    Last Updated December 2018

    Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer, part-time handyman, or professional builder, you know the importance of keeping your tools organized and within reach while you work.

    Most tasks require moving from one place to another, and stopping to locate important tools only wastes time and detracts attention from the work at hand. This hassle is easily solved when you strap on a tool belt stocked with your most-needed tools.

    But you may be wondering how to choose the best tool belt to match your specific needs. Tool belts come in different materials, with different configurations of pockets and loops. Some are designed to carry everything you might need, while others hold only a few tools.

    Don’t worry. BestReviews is the best tool to help you decide!

    A tool belt with adjustable pockets is ideal for anyone who needs to carry different tools for different projects.

    With the guidance of expert tool consultant Natalie and the analysis of our team, you will be sure to find the best design, features, and materials for you. You can feel confident that the information we provide is unbiased because we never accept free samples or payments from companies or manufacturers.

    So, with your tool-toting needs in mind, check out our top five picks above for the best tool belts on the market.

    Read our shopping guide below to find out product details, features, tips, and tricks that will help you decide on the most practical model for your needs.

    Natalie
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    Natalie owns and operates a family farm in Northern Kentucky where she raises poultry and grows vegetables. Out of sheer necessity, Natalie has accumulated a wealth of knowledge regarding land management and preservation, agricultural landscaping, a myriad of fencing materials and applications, and small engine mechanics. Although she loves her chickens, Natalie is planning to expand into raising American Guinea Hogs and Shropshire Sheep. She spends much of her free time designing and building furniture and home decor in her wood shop.


    Natalie  |  Farmer

    Types of tool belts

    Tool belts are designed to help you keep your tools handy and organized while you work. Constructed of rugged materials, with various pockets and loops, tool belts come in a variety of styles for everyone from the do-it-yourselfer to professional. It doesn’t matter if your top priority is lightweight design or the number of pockets, you can find a tool belt that is comfortable with the features to suit your needs.

    If you’re a professional, chances are a tool belt that works perfectly for the weekend DIYer won’t work for you. Conversely, if you need a belt to tote tools for hobbies and household projects, you don’t need a large, heavy-duty design.

    Practical for professionals

    Anyone whose livelihood depends on tools knows that only the best, most durable tool belt will do. Professional-quality belts come in different styles, with some pockets and bags located on the hips and others in front. If this is the type you need, look for these features.

    • Deep pockets, including some with wide openings.

    • Made of leather or nylon; “I’ve seen more leather than nylon belts used by carpenters and framers, but more nylon used by electricians,” says our expert Natalie.

    A top-of-the line leather tool belt is a good choice for professional electricians and builders. It can hold many large, heavy tools and will last for years.

    Designed for diy

    Whether you’re mending a fence, doing repairs around the house, or fixing a leaky faucet, you aren’t likely to need a heavy belt with lots of deep pockets. Look for these features.

    • Lightweight.

    • Flexible.

    • Made of nylon or canvas.

    • Shallow pockets.

    • Apron style.

    Works for woodworkers

    Woodworkers need easy access to gauges, pencils, and T-squares, and some belts are designed with these items in mind. If you work with wood, look for these features.

    • Lightweight.

    • Flexible.

    • Made of nylon or canvas.

    • Pockets for woodworking tools.

    • Apron style; some extend to chest for easy access to tools.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    For those who dabble in woodworking, a good choice is a lightweight apron-style belt with easy-access canvas pockets.

    Tool belt features to consider

    Fit

    You want a tool belt that fits your individual needs, and you want a tool belt that fits your body. Keep these features in mind when looking for a comfortable tool belt.

    • Thick or Thin

    Think about the bulkiness of the belt.

    • Heavy or Light

    If you’re uncomfortable carrying excessive weight, or you have hip or leg issues, a heavy tool belt may not work for you. Conversely, a light belt may not be strong enough to carry the tools you need.

    • Adjustable or Not

    You want to adjust the belt closures so the fit is comfortable. If your weight tends to fluctuate, or you’ll be wearing the tool belt with different types of pants, you might want a belt that is more accommodating. Snap closures are handy but less adjustable than buckles.

    Many canvas tool belts are made by hand with quality construction and attention to detail.

    Material

    Most tool belts are made of leather, nylon, or canvas. Knowing the pros and cons of each will help you decide which will work best for you.

    Leather

    • Pros: Durable enough for heavy-duty tasks. Suitable for professionals. Molds to your shape with use. Deep pockets for large, heavy tools.

    • Cons: Pricier than other materials. Bulkier and heavier than other materials. Needs breaking in for optimal comfort. Not ideal for all DIYers.
       

    Nylon

    • Pros: Lightweight. Almost as durable as leather. Flexible. Easy to clean. Ideal for electricians.

    • Cons: Lacks structure required by some contractors and builders. Less durable than leather (loose seams, fraying). Not as “professional” as leather, but worth considering.
       

    Canvas

    • Pros: Lightweight. Flexible. Reasonably priced. Ideal for woodworking.

    • Cons: Prone to stains. Less durable for heavy-duty or frequent use.

    Leather is considered the premier material for tool belts, but nylon is durable, too. It’s also a good choice if you prefer a lighter, more flexible belt.

    Natalie
    Farmer

    Pockets

    Pockets, also referred to as pouches or bags, are the most important features of any tool belt, but not everyone needs the same pocket design or configuration.

    • Deep pockets are best for large tools.

    • Various pocket sizes allow you to carry small and large items, such as nails, screws, hammers, and wrenches.

    • Removable pockets are practical for anyone who uses different tools for different tasks.

    • Fixed pockets are suitable for workers who use the same tools every day.

    • Pocket placement is an important consideration. Are you right- or left-handed? Which tools do you use most frequently? How do you want the pockets to lie on your body?

    • Some belts also have loops and holsters for quick access to tools like hammers and screwdrivers.

    EXPERT TIP

    Do you need to be able to grab tools quickly, sometimes while wearing gloves? Consider a tool belt with large, wide pockets without closures.


    Natalie  | Farmer

    Tool belt prices

    Tool belts vary in price from $15 to $400, and what you spend will depend on the material, design, and your budget.

    Inexpensive

    Though you aren’t likely to find a leather tool belt in the neighborhood of $15 to $40, you will find some nice nylon and canvas options that won’t disappoint when working around the house or even in the woodshop.

    Our expert Natalie warns against “buying a belt for your budget and not your needs.” While not everyone needs the costliest belt on the market, professionals find the price of a top-quality belt to be a worthwhile investment.

    Mid-range

    If you’re a DIYer, you don’t have to pay top dollar for a quality tool belt. In the $40 to $75 price range, you can find a tough nylon or leather tool belt that will last for years.

    Expensive

    Tool belts on the higher end of the price spectrum range from $200 to $400, but these are built to last. Commonly made of high-quality leather, these belts are meant to be used in rugged conditions by professionals.

    EXPERT TIP

    DIY belts will be more affordable and likely less durable, but weekend fixer-uppers don’t typically need the durability of a guy or gal putting in 12 hours of tough work each day.


    Natalie  | Farmer

    Tips

    Consider these tips and tricks to help you choose the best tool belt for your needs.

    • Consider how you’ll use the tool belt. You may not need the heaviest, most expensive tool belt on the market if you’re a weekend DIYer or hobbyist. But if you make your living in the building or contracting trade, durability should be your first priority regardless of price.

    • Keep your work environment in mind. The type of material you choose will depend on where you plan to wear your belt. Leather and nylon belts are made to withstand tough outdoor conditions. Lightweight canvas is ideal for tasks around the house or in the workshop.

    • Ladies, don’t forget your hips. Just like clothing fits men and women differently, so do tool belts. “Hips change the way bags lay,” our expert Natalie explains, so women should consider tool belts with compartments that are situated around the waist instead of on the hips.

    • Think about the type of belt you wear with clothing. Do you generally wear a thin or thick belt? Apply your preference to the type of tool belt you choose for optimal comfort.

    • Soften a leather tool belt. Leather tool belts have a tendency to be stiff at first, but you can apply a conditioner such as saddle soap or leather cream to help make it more supple.

    Do you work construction as your job but enjoy woodworking or farming on the weekends? Keep two or more tool belts on hand, one for each activity.

    FAQ

    Q. I’ve had several tool belts, and the corners of the pockets usually wear out first. What do you suggest I do to prevent this from happening in a new belt?

    A. Look for a tool belt with riveting around the pockets. Not only does this hardware help the pockets hold up to heavy tools but it also protects the exterior of the belt from typical signs of wear.

    Q. I would like to buy a new tool belt that is sturdy but lighter than my old leather model. What’s the best material to consider?

    A. “Don’t discount nylon just because leather has historically been associated with hard work. Nylon is tough and lightweight, so give it a chance!” says tool expert Natalie.

    Q. What’s the best way to spot-clean the pockets of a canvas tool belt when it doesn’t need a thorough washing?

    A. Small stains and marks on canvas are easy to clean by scrubbing them with an old toothbrush dipped in soap and water. Blot dry with a paper towel or clean cloth, and you’re good to go.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor

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