Are you looking for the best tool belt but unable to decide what to buy? Those who are into DIY or handle tools for a living know how important a tool belt is.
But is it really necessary to have one? And how many pockets or bags do you need?
These are important questions, and this is where my guide can help. I have been using tools all my life and have experience with these tool belts, and I chose the top 10 you can buy right now.
And if you’re still unsure, I have also prepared information about tool belts in general.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Tool Belt Comparison and Ratings
- 2 Top 3 Selections
- 3 Why Do You Need a Tool Belt?
- 4 Best Picks of Tool Belt
- 4.1 1.Occidental Leather 9855 Adjust-to-Fit Fat Lip Tool Bag Set – Cafe
- 4.2 2.Rack-A-Tiers 43242 Electrician’s Combo Belt & Bags – Medium, 30-34
- 4.3 3.Custom LeatherCraft 1614 23 Pocket, Heavy Duty Framers 5-Piece Comfortlift Combo Tool Belt System
- 4.4 4.MagnoGrip 203-017 Magnetic Carpenter’s Tool Belt
- 4.5 5.Occidental Leather 9515 Adjust-to-Fit OxyLight Framer
- 4.6 6.DEWALT DG5650 31-Pocket Professional Carpenter’s Pro-combo Apron
- 4.7 7.The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt, 10-Pocket, Pink
- 4.8 8.Dead On DO-FR Framers Rig, 1 Size Fits All
- 4.9 9.Style n Craft 76-425 11 Pocket Tool Belt in Polyester
- 4.10 10.DEWALT DG5472 12-Pocket Carpenter’s Top Grain Leather Apron
- 5 How to Choose the Best Tool Belt
- 6 Tool Belt Maintenance Tips
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Final Verdict
Top 10 Tool Belt Comparison and Ratings
Here is a quick comparison of the ten tool belts that we are reviewing here. As should be clear, I chose the Occidental Leather 9855 as the top rated, and the Rack-A-Tiers 43242 and Custom LeatherCraft 1614 making up the top 3.
Other features are covered in the detailed reviews that follow. For now, here is quick rundown of these tool belts and what they have to offer you.
|Name||Number of Pockets / Pouches||Size||Weight||View on Amazon|
|Occidental Leather 9855||10||Adjust to fit||5 pounds||Check Price|
|Rack-A-Tiers 43242||9||Medium, 30 34||3.9 pounds||Check Price|
|Custom LeatherCraft 1614||6||29″ 46″||5.1 pounds||Check Price|
|MagnoGrip 203-017||12||One size fits all||2.2 pounds||Check Price|
|Occidental Leather 9515||21||32 to 41 Inches||4.2 pounds||Check Price|
|DEWALT DG56504 ½4 ½||31||29 Inch to 46 Inches||5.6 pounds||Check Price|
|The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt||10||22” to 44”||1.2 pounds||Check Price|
|Dead On DO-FR Framers Rig||32||28 to 36 Inches||6.8 pounds||Check Price|
|Style n Craft 76-425 11 Pocket Tool Belt||11||29 Inch – 46 Inches||2 pounds||Check Price|
|DEWALT DG5472||12||29 to 46 inches||5 pounds||Check Price|
Top 3 Selections
Why Do You Need a Tool Belt?
One of the questions that I am often asked is why would you need a framer tool belt if you already have a toolbox? While a toolbox is handy, a tool belt is more practical for several reasons.
- Having a tool belt gives you quick access to your tools. A heavy toolbox is difficult to carry around.
- A well-designed toolbox is lightweight even if it is full
- You can organize the belt so your most frequently accessed tools are within reach of your dominant hand.
- You no longer have to stop working just to get a tool. This can be very inconvenient if you’re doing roof work and the needed tool is in the garage.
- Fasteners, nails, screws and other small tools can be stuffed in the pockets
- The tool belt makes it easy to carry small tools
- You don’t have to waste your time looking for tools
- Tool belts are made of durable materials so you can use anywhere, anytime
The bottom line is a tool belt makes it easier to do your work. At first you might feel uncomfortable due to the weight around your waist, but you will get used to it.
A tool belt does not have to compete against a toolbox. In fact you can use both, with the toolbox having all your tools and the belt the ones you muse most often.
Best Picks of Tool Belt
Here are my picks for the top tool belts you can buy. While I have chosen the top three, you should still check the others as they may strike your fancy instead.
1.Occidental Leather 9855 Adjust-to-Fit Fat Lip Tool Bag Set – Cafe
The tool belt has the Occidental Leather Fat Lip Bag Design for convenience. It also has 10 inch bags where you can store your tools.
These bags are made of nylon, with the corners and bottom fortified by leather. Even with constant use, the tool Occidental Leather 9855 won’t deteriorate.
The large pocket remains open so your tools are always within easy reach. The leather lips on the pouches are sturdy and thick, an indication of its quality.
The belt is easy to put on and adjust until you’re comfortable. The smallest waist can fit is 30” and can go up to 46”, giving it a great deal of flexibility.
The pouches on the belt sit on your side, but it is easy to adjust so they’re within easer reach. By adjusting the pouches and organizing the content you’ll have an easy time accessing the tools.
The tool belt is made of canvas with leather accents, but it is much stronger than other tool belts. With proper care the 9855 will last for years.
The belt works fine as is, but you can equip it with the Occidental Leather with harness straps to provide weight support.
The Occidental Leather 9855 is ideal for the professional carpenter, contractor and DIY enthusiast. There are lots of pockets here, and there are tool holders for the stuff you want to carry around when you work.
2.Rack-A-Tiers 43242 Electrician’s Combo Belt & Bags – Medium, 30-34
The Air Channel ventilation adds to the comfort level even with prolonged wear. The use of a nylon web core interior also gives it extra strength.
The 43242 tool belt has heavy duty metal rivets and tar back stitching, making it stronger than other tool belts.
The pockets are well-placed so the tools are within easy grasp. The pocket openings are lined with high density nylon webbing for extra strength.
Even if you wear the tool belt for long periods, it doesn’t wear out. The bags have a solid feel too and can hold the tools you put in.
The fabric and stitching are solid. The tool holders and loops are a bit tight when new, but they loosen up over time.
You can put an assortment of tools in the bags, and it feels comfortable even when filled. The material is heavy duty, but it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a heavy load.
The Rack-A-Tiers tool belt also provides pretty good support for your back. Even if all the pockets are full, you won’t feel dragged down.
The back padding is nicely implemented so you’re comfortable with it. You can also use suspenders if you need weight support for all those tools.
The Rack-A-Tiers 43242 is marketed as an electrician’s combo belt, and it provides the comfort and convenience you need. However it is flexible enough to be used by carpenters and DIYers.
3.Custom LeatherCraft 1614 23 Pocket, Heavy Duty Framers 5-Piece Comfortlift Combo Tool Belt System
If you’re looking for the best tool belt under $100, the Custom LeatherCraft 1614 should be on your radar. It is packed with features that make it ideal for technicians, repairmen, installers and technicians.
The 1614 tool belt comes with half a dozen pockets, plus 13 more pockets and sleeves for your tools. It also comes with a couple of hammer holders so no need to search for them in the pockets.
The measuring tape clip lets you keep often used tools within quick reach. You can then use the sleeves for a carpenter’s square, a pry bar or a combo square so it’s even more convenient.
The large gusset pocket gives you quick access to parts, fasteners, nails and whatever tools you put in it. The 1614 tool belt also has the Sta-Open pocket design with fortified webbing for versatility.
The Sta-Open pocket design also keeps the pockets open. This saves you the trouble of fumbling around trying to open a pocket.
The 1614 tool is solidly built and comes with padded, fully adjustable suspenders and this allows for even weight distribution. Because the pouches are properly distributed, there is less strain on your back.
It comes with a double tongue roller buckle so the pockets are secure, and its web belt is heavy duty and meant for long term use.
The 1614 23 tool belt is the ideal option if you’re on a budget but still want a quality product. With its combination of pockets and pouches, all your tools are within your grasp, and it’s built to last as well.
4.MagnoGrip 203-017 Magnetic Carpenter’s Tool Belt
The MagnoGrip is made from polyester, but it has been fortified so it’s going to last longer than low quality tool belts. There are a dozen pockets for storing a wide range of tools.
One of the more interesting features of the MagnoGrip is the magnetic nail pockets. With this you’re assured the tools will remain in place.
This is also one of the more durable tool belts in its class. This is possible because of the double-layered 1680D ballistic polyester used.
A look at the tool belt reveals that the stress points have been fortified with rivets. This means the 1614 23 tool belt can handle more punishment than others.
The tool belt have always-open, wide mouth pockets for easy use. The belt can also be adjusted up to 48”, so fitting won’t be a problem.
Close to the hammer loop are a couple of tool holders, with the one on the right a bit larger. With these, you’ll be able to access the tools you’re looking for.
Whether you’re doing gutter work or other tasks, the 1614 23 tool belt should handle the job. It isn’t the fanciest tool belt, but for practicality it works.
Whether you’re into DIY or carpentry, the 1614 23 won’t disappoint. It is also easy to wear so that’s a plus.
The MagnoGrip 203-017 is a good tool belt if you work with light to medium tools. Not everyone needs a bulky, heavy duty tool belt anyway, so if you just want that’s light and comfy, the MagnoGrip 203-017 is a good option.
5.Occidental Leather 9515 Adjust-to-Fit OxyLight Framer
The 9515 makes a good case for being one of the best tool belt for carpenters available. Suitable for 32 to 41 inch waists, the 9515 is easy to adjust so you don’t have to put up with a too tight or too loose tool belt.
The belt comes with the D-rings preinstalled, making it easy to fit with suspension systems. In addition the tool holders are positioned so they’re within easy reach of your hand.
The rugged nylon tool belt is complemented by its high quality neoprene. The hip section comes with extra padding so you remain comfortable even if the belt is fully loaded.
The 9515 also has a distinct nylon cross design, giving it an adjust-to-fit system so it is always secure. The belt is also fully adjustable so you never have to reach out far to get that tool.
There are 21 pockets in total so finding space for your gear won’t be a problem. And since the bags are fixed, they won’t slip and slide when you move around.
The split fastener is well done, and the always-open pockets mean no-hassle access to your stuff.
This tool belt is well made, and its adjustability level is one of the best. If you have filled it up with shims, fasteners, nailers, etc. it will still hold up.
If the standard tool belt isn’t enough, the 9515 is what you need. With its superior construction, pockets and adjustability, this is the kind of tool belt that carpenters and other DIY enthusiasts will like.
6.DEWALT DG5650 31-Pocket Professional Carpenter’s Pro-combo Apron
There are a lot of tool belts that offer good value, and the DG5650 is one of the best. It comes with 11 large pockets and 24 smaller ones, so there’s more than enough room for your tools.
The best tool belt for the money makes it easy to organize tools, and the DG5650 allows that. With so many pockets, it is easy to organize pencils, nails, squares, pliers and other tools.
The belt also has holders, loops and sleeves so your tools are never too far away. The belt also has Dri-Lex liner padding for comfort and durability.
There is a built in pocket for a utility knife. This is a nice feature that ensures the knife doesn’t pierce any of the other pockets.
There are two hammer holders, handy for heavy duty work that requires their use. It also has a cellphone holder, which is another nice touch.
The belt also comes with the proprietary pouch handle that simplifies belt adjustments. Even the best tool belts need some adjustment every now and then, and the DG5650 makes it easy.
Having lots of pockets certainly helps, and the Gusset-style pockets let you put a lot of tools in it. If your tools are always scattered around, this tool belt will help you get organized.
The 6 inch padding adds durability, and along with the buckle keeps it stable.
The DG5650 is for those who find ordinary tool belts lacking in features and capabilities. There is lots of space for your tools, and the durable construction means it’s going to last for years.
7.The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt, 10-Pocket, Pink
With its black webbing and pink canvas, the PB2BELT is also one of the sharpest looking tool belts today. There are two major pouches with ten extra pockets that come in various sizes.
The bag comes with a hammer loop, and the pockets give you plenty of room to organize your tools. There are slots here for screwdrivers and other common tools so it is easy to make arrangements.
The PB2BELT is also an all-around bag. Aside from carpentry tools, you can use this belt to store arts and crafts supplies and other utilities.
The double loops simplify adjustment for the most comfortable fit possible.
While the PB2BELT is aimed at women who are into DIY and other hand tools, it is versatile enough to be used in other ways. The belt construction is sturdy so it is going to last a long time.
There are pockets in the pockets so the belt doesn’t have a cluttered appearance. Some of the pockets are deep so you can put long tools in it.
Other pockets are shallow so you don’t have to reach down deep just to get that tool you need.
The PB2BELT tool belt is the ideal choice for women who like to work with tools, as it is light and yet packs a lot of good features. Lightweight, easy to adjust and durable, it’s for any woman who likes her tools neat and orderly.
8.Dead On DO-FR Framers Rig, 1 Size Fits All
Leather carpenters tool belts can be expensive, but why get those when the Framers Rig is available? This tool belt is made from ballistic nylon fabric, giving it optimum life.
With 32 pockets, loops and sleeves, there is guaranteed space for your tools. Because the pockets vary in depth and size, you put everything from nails to large hand tools there.
The inner liner has moisture wicking properties, and there’s a rafter square pocket included. Suspenders are also included so you can use that if necessary.
3 front nail bags are included for your convenience, and it is adjustable to fit different waistlines. The material quality is top notch, and it is durable enough to be used by an electrician.
The real strength of the Framers Rig is the way it lets you organize stuff. Hammer, staples, screws, nuts, wire strippers, cutters, pliers and other tools have room here.
The way the pouches and pockets have been arranged is excellent. The pouches have several slots that are within easy reach.
The main pocket has a smaller pocket where you can put staples, nuts and other small items so they don’t get lost. The other pockets are suitable for larger and more varied items.
The Framers Rig is a good alternative to other high end tool belts, as it is just effective and durable. With all these pockets and a high level of adjustability, the Framers tool belt is more than capable of providing your needs.
9.Style n Craft 76-425 11 Pocket Tool Belt in Polyester
Style n Craft is one of the best tool belt brands thanks to products like the 76-425 11 Pocket Tool Belt. It is made of 600D polyester, heavy duty material so it can handle long term use at home or work.
This tool belt uses heavy duty nylon for the stitching so it can withstand abuse. The caps also have rivets for safety, and the polyweb belt design is good for 26 to 46 inch waists.
This tool belt has 11 pockets so you can put tools of different shapes and sizes in them. The support for suspenders also means you can also use them if you need the weight aid.
While this belt is for light and medium duty work, it can handle large tasks and tools as well. You can actually put a cordless drill on the belt as well as other large tools.
The 76-425 11 Pocket Tool Belt is well suited for the handyman. It is easy to adjust as well, and there is enough space here for a wide range of tools.
The tool belt is physically not as large as other belts, so large people may have trouble fitting in it. However, this is ideal for small individuals who find other tool belts too large.
The 76-425 is the tool belt for those who are into light and medium duty DIY work. This is not a heavy duty tool belt, but for casual work and even the occasional heavy task, the belt and its pockets should hold up.
10.DEWALT DG5472 12-Pocket Carpenter’s Top Grain Leather Apron
The DG5472 is comparable with many of the top tool belt with suspenders available. It comes with 5 main pockets plus seven smaller ones for easy storage of your favorite tools.
With a total of 12 pockets, you can put pencils, nail sets, hand tools, screwdrivers, pliers, nails and more. With its buckle and wide design, the belt remains balanced even when filled with tools.
This tool belt from Dewalt also comes with the unique pouch handle, so you can make adjustments. Its hammer holder also has a snap-in feature so you’re assured it is always secure.
The top grain leather sued on the tool belt increases its durability, and the double-gusset front pockets provide the space you may need.
The DG5472 is an all-around tool belt that is suitable for DIYers, laborers, carpenters, builders and repair technicians. The many pockets and comfortable fit also means it is appropriate for maintenance workers, tradesmen and the homeowner who does the occasional carpentry or DIY.
This is not the most powerful or durable tool belt, but for a lot of people this will do just fine. For DIY tasks and if you need a belt to keep your tools that is within your reach, the DG5472 is going to serve your needs.
Dewalt has made a lot of good tool belts, and the DG5472 is one of the best they have. It is comfortable and has the pockets and features you need for a quality belt tool.
How to Choose the Best Tool Belt
The best tool belt for a homeowner isn’t necessarily the most expensive. Rather it’s the one that lets you hold all the tools you need.
If you only do occasional DIY jobs, you can get away with a tool belt that only has a few pockets. But if you use tools frequently or for a living, you’ll need a tool belt that has lots of pockets or bags.
Some other suggestions:
- Prepare a list of the tools you want to put in the tool belt. Screwdrivers, nose pliers, torpedo level, speed square, tape measure and framing hammer are just some that you may use.
- Try different tool belts. See if there are enough pockets for the tools you’ll be using.
- Fit: how well does the tool belt fit? The belt may feel light right now, but how do you feel walking around with it full of tools?
There are other factors that you have to take into account. Let’s take a look at these.
Finish and Durability
That belt is going to be exposed to weathering and take a beating. Make sure it has a strong, durable finish that won’t wear off even with constant use.
This is tied in to the finish, but your focus here should be on the rivets, stitching, seams and material. The last thing you need is for one of the belt pockets to give way while you’re climbing the ladder up to the roof.
Some of these belts are for specific sizes, while others are adjust to fit or one size fits all. There was a time when the smallest tool belts were for 34 inch waistlines, but smaller belts are now available.
Heavy vs. Light Materials
Tool belts made from heavy duty materials last longer, but they are heavier. Lightweight tool belts made of canvas or nylon are not as durable, but they’re more comfortable.
If you work with a lot of heavy tools, a heavy duty belt is for the best. If you have lower back issues or only use a few tools, a nylon tool belt will suffice.
Check the stitching and thickness if you’re buying a lightweight material tool belt. Double stitching is preferable.
Customization comes in different forms, such as tape holders, suspender loops, padding and handles. No matter what the material is, the tool belt must be able to withstand the abuse tool belts go through.
Capacity and Organization
The tool belt should have not just a sufficient number of pockets, but also makes it easy for you to organize those tools. You have to balance weight with the number of pockets so your tools are accessible without being too bulky.
If you only use a tool belt occasionally, this will not be a big issue. But if you use it a lot, this will be important in terms of flexibility.
There are different opinions regarding what features are essential, but buckle and belt adjustability are both mandatory. There should also be a considerable number of tool holders and pockets.
Some tool belts are ambidextrous while others are for left or right hand use only, so choose one that suits you.
Tool Belt Maintenance Tips
Tool belt reviews can help you decide what to buy, but it’s still up to you to take care of it. If the tool belt came with a user guide, follow whatever it says about cleaning and maintenance.
- Take care of the tool belt. Once you’re done using it, fold and store properly. Make sure to wipe it clean of any dirt or debris.
- Inspect the pockets every now and then for tears. This could happen over time or if you put the sharp end of a tool in it.
- Do not try to fit tools that are too large for the pockets as it could lead to damage.
- Arrange the tools in the manner by which you use them. That is, the ones that are frequently used have to be within easy reach of your dominant hand.
- Avoid wearing the tool belt in damp condition. The only exception would be if the material is waterproof.
- Do not leave the belt exposed to chemicals, solvents and other powerful solutions. This is especially important if it’s a leather belt.
- Make sure the belt is properly tightened but is not stretched too much. This might be stating the obvious, but you must never place liquids in the pocket or pouch.
- Be careful when putting wood chisels or other sharp instruments in the pouch or pocket. Even if it is made of durable materials, a sharp pointed tool can cause damage.
- If the material allows, apply waterproofing or a conditioner to keep the tool belt from cracking or drying. Properly conditioned tool belts will get protection from intense heat and rain.
- Do not leave the tool belt near a tumble dryer or any heat source.
- Do not store the tool belt under direct sunlight or a damp place where mildew could build up.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find the ideal tool belt size?
The only way to know is to try the tool belt, because the size and fit will vary from brand to brand. Two tool belts that are both for 29 to 46 inches may fit differently due to the design.
I am left handed. Is there a tool belt that will suit my needs?
The top tool belts today are either ambidextrous or have left hand versions. The ease with which you can access the tools depends on the arrangement.
Are those one size fits all tool belts really going to fit me?
Most of these tool belts are flexible and should fit your waist comfortably. These tool belts are also easy to adjust so you’re comfortable while wearing it.
How long will a typical tool belt last?
It depends on how you use the belt and how well it is maintained (see the maintenance tips in this guide). Even a low cost tool belt should last a long time if it’s properly taken care of.
What is the best material for a tool belt?
Leather is one the best but there are other good ones available, so make sure what you get is of good quality. Leather also needs proper maintenance to last.
Is it all right to wash a tool belt?
Cleaning with a damp cloth is better, and make sure it is completely dry before using it. After you’re done cleaning, make certain the too belt is stored when not in use.
How many pockets should a tool belt have?
There is no single answer for this. It depends on what you intend to do with the tool belt and how many tools you frequently use.
As I have shown in this guide, there are a lot of things that you need to look into before buying a tool belt. All the choices may make the process seem daunting, but it’s actually easy if you know where to begin.
But there is no questioning the fact that tool belts are necessary, so research is a must.
It is my hope that this guide and the reviews have helped you pick the right one. As should be clear by now, the best tool belt doesn’t come down to a specific brand, but what you need.