10 Best Tool Belts Reviewed and Rated in 2018
No garage is complete without a proper tool belt. Having to lug around tools freely is extremely inconvenient this is where this type of product comes in handy. There are different types of this type of product available on the market today each with their unique characteristics. They hold fairly heavy accessories and so the material of the product needs to be pretty heavy-duty and the stitching needs to be done with stronger thread. The construction of the product and its design also needs to be well crafted and not easily broken down. This type of product is usually made out of a heavy duty canvas, poly, cow hide or leather and is stitched together with heavier than average thread. It usually consists of anywhere from 5 to 35 pockets and they are meant for the storage of all different types tools. They make working in the garage much easier and are typically used on construction sites to avoid having to travel often to get additional tools. Though this type of product is usually considered something that is used specifically for tools they can also be used for daily activities like walking the dog, working in the garden and using at non-construction related jobs (like teaching). They add a level of convenience to our daily lives that go beyond that of a backpack or a purse. We have created a list of products from everyday consumer to handyman. Just because you aren’t working in construction doesn’t mean you may not need one.
- Dickies 57026
- Occidental Leather 9855
- TR Industrial 88021
There are numerous highly rated tool belts on the market today. What you need depends on what you are using the product for. They all have their own unique characteristics. We put the work in and found the best products currently available online. They were rated and reviewed by real people who used them and listed out their likes and dislikes of each product. We took the highlights of each and even included some of the biggest complaints. We want to make this process super easy for you and the only way to do that is to show you what each product is really like. At the end of this article we go through the criteria for evaluation (the things we considered when choosing each product) and a list of commonly asked questions. So, let’s get into it. This is the top rated tool belts of 2018.
10 Best Tool Belts
1. Dickies Work Gear 57026
This apron has a very simple design. It sits comfortably on the side of your hip, it is compact and is well designed.
Due to the size of this product, it can be used for more than just in the garage. Many reviewers used it for when they walk their dog or at non-construction type jobs (like teaching). And because it is quite affordable it makes sense!
Cost and Value
This product is quite inexpensive. It is one of the least expensive on the market today and yet very highly rated. With how inexpensive it is and how versatile it is this product is worth the buy!
- Pockets are big enough to hold electronics as big as a tablet
- Includes reinforced pockets
- Has an adjustable webbing belt
- Affordable and versatile
- Very small, and therefore holds less
- Better for light and non-construction type jobs
2. Occidental Leather 9855
This is a beautiful belt. It is made of premium leather that will break down over time and become incredibly soft. The product is also made in the US.
Tons of storage
This product has 24 pockets including a metal hook hammer holder. It will hold everything in snuggly and everything has its place.
Cost and Value
This product is quite pricey which is warranted due to its gorgeous design. The premium leather is gorgeous and the belt is an actual button belt as opposed to a snap buckle or D-ring. It looks beautiful, it is made of fine craftsmanship and that is why it is priced the way it is.
- Very comfortable
- No need to break it in
- Beautiful and well-designed
- Surprisingly light-weight
- If carrying too much tools suspenders may be required
3. TR Industrial 88021
This product has 12 pockets. It is made of durable material and can handle a fair amount of weight. It is ideal for all general garage-related jobs and will hold everything you need easily.
This product comes with a one year warranty which should add some assurance when purchasing it.
Cost and Value
This product is inexpensive in price. It sits on the lower end of the price scale. It is durable and it comes with a one year warranty so it is a no-brainer, this is a good purchase.
- The pouches can be moved around for customization
- Made of tough, quality materials
- Both durable and light
- Very strong buckle
- Great for garages but may not be contractor grade
- No drill holster
4. Bucket Boss 50100
This product is great for those who carry heavier items in their belts. It comes with detachable suspenders to help distribute the weight more evenly. The suspenders are also padded for shoulder comfort.
Metal buckled belt
This product has a metal belt buckle with monster grommets making it super strong and nearly impossible to break. The monster grommets make it easier to put on as well.
Cost and Value
This product is mid-range in price. Because it includes both the belt and the suspenders the price makes sense. Most belts are sold separately from the suspenders so this product is a good deal considering.
- Hammer loop included is removable and therefore customizable
- Comfortably fits larger individuals
- Some minor functionality issues with the pockets
- The pockets aren't super deep
5. MagnoGrip 203-017
This product has both magnet pocket fasteners and also magnets on the front for quick access to some accessories and screws or nails. This is great for individuals doing jobs that require quick tool change over.
Rivet reinforcement at key stress points
This product also has rivets at all the major stress points to reinforce the product and add longevity to it so you know the product will last a long time.
Cost and Value
This product is on the low to mid-range in price. It was built to last a long time with unique design add-ons like the stress point riveting this product will pay for itself with time.
- Safer than comparable products
- Comfortable to wear
- Wide strap (more even weight distribution)
- Designed well
- Magnets may pick up unwanted items
- The rubber at the back can cause discomfort against bare legs
6. TradeGear Belt & Bag
This product has an ultra thick, brace style belt. It has high-intensity foam padding at the back of it to support your back and is also made with breathable fabric to help with ventilation and avoid overheating.
This product is extremely tough and is made for professionals. It is made of high-density nylon webbing and has metal rivets at all the major stress points for longevity.
Cost and Value
This product is a little higher in price. This is due to the level of durability and quality of the product. This will more than likely be the last one you ever buy and is therefore worth the cost.
- Great for commercial use
- Made with quality materials
- Heavy-duty buckle
- A little bulky
- Doesn't come with straps
7. Task Tools T77265
This is an attractive product. The material is a beautiful oil-tanned leather that is a little darker in color in comparison to competitive products. Leather will break down over time and become really nice and soft to touch and yet still very strong.
Extra long waist
This product has an extra long belt for those with larger waists. This product would be ideal for those with a little extra around their mid-section.
Cost and Value
This product is really quite inexpensive especially considering it is made of real genuine leather. Leather is known for its durability and strength. Between the low cost and the quality of the fabrics being used this product is great for those on a budget that don't want to skimp in value.
- Really good quality materials
- Reinforced rivets
- Great for gifting
- Does not hold a full sized drill comfortably
- Extra long belt isn't ideal for anyone with smaller waists
8. Carhartt Legacy Tool Belt
Carhartt is a very well known company that is known for their contractor products. They have been around since 1889 and are known for their strict quality control standards.
Lots of room
This product is roomy enough to hold an impact drill. An ongoing complaint with most of this type of product on the market currently, having space for a drill is fairly impressive.
Cost and Value
This product is well-priced. It is considerably less expensive than comparative products. Carhartt is a well-established company known for making good products and this is one of the few large enough to hold a drill, for these reasons the price is justified.
- Long belt length
- Deeper pockets
- Again, maybe too long of a belt for smaller waists
- Due to deep pockets, it might be hard to find smaller objects
9. Custom Leathercraft 1614
The strap on this product is 3 inches thick which is an inch thicker than the majority on the market today. It also includes padded suspenders for both support and comfort. The single roller bucket is also adjustable for the optimal fit.
This product has pockets that "sta" (stay) open. This allows easier access to the contents within them.
Cost and Value
This product is quite inexpensive. Considering everything it does, how much it can hold, the thicker apron and the suspenders, this product is worth the cost.
- Oversized pockets
- Can fit easily over winter gear
- Not overly bulky
- Good bang for your buck
- Straps are a little long
- When the product is undone, due to removable pockets, they can fall off
10. Dead On Framers Rig
The halter on this product is fully adjustable. It has padded shoulders and attaches to 4 points of the harness with a connection between the shoulder blades. This will help in making the wearer feel fully secure.
Plenty of storage
This product has huge side aprons with 32 pockets between the two of them and the front hammer holder. It is ideal for those up in the air that can't get down easily to get more tools.
Cost and Value
This product is pretty well priced. It is on the inexpensive side of apron/suspender combos and has a moisture wicking inner lining. With all of its available features, this product is worth the price then some.
- Hammer holder slides left and right for personalization
- Ideal for farming
- Well constructed
- The rig is bigger than some expected
- Could use a front chest fastener in addition to the back fastener
In conclusion, ensure that the product you are purchasing is the correct one for the line of work being done. When carrying heavier loads suspenders and harnesses can be a massive asset. The thicker the strap the higher the release of pressure there is and the more support there is for the back. If working in dangerous environments suspenders or harnesses may be a good idea even if the loads are lighter. You don’t want to be on top of a pole and to have your belt fall off and hit someone on the head. Rivets are good because they release pressure off the stress points of the product. Price will range depending on what you are looking for. Typically the higher quality materials will dictate the price of the product (in this case leather tended to be more expensive). Price does not always have to dictate the quality though (we talk more about that below). Ensure that when looking for a product that it is within the budget but also has good reviews. Reviews and ratings are a great way to find out more about the products and both the negative and positive of each. We created this list with the consumer in mind. These products were the best of the top construction accessory makers. We hope that within the wide range of products that we recommended that you found something that will work for your need. Below is some helpful information that we hope will be an asset to you and that you will take into consideration in regards to how to choose the proper product for your need. Happy shopping!
Criteria Used in Evaluation
The materials used will indicate the quality of the product. They are typically made of cowhide and leather. Some are made of synthetic materials but they tend to not be as strong as the cowhide and leather varieties. The benefits of using cow hides and leathers are that they are durable and waterproof (due to chemicals during processing, however, these do break down over time and should be maintained with protectors). Another benefit of cow hides and leathers is that they break down over time and become more soft, comfortable and fitted. You will be holding fairly heavy accessories in the product and so the product needs to be pretty strong as a result of it. You also want something that can withstand a little bit of wear and tear. It will most likely be holding sharp and pointy tools and the material should be able to hold them without fear of puncturing the material and ultimately causing holes that the contents may fall out of. It also needs to withstand time. They aren’t generally inexpensive and so you want to know the product you are paying for is going to be able to last a long time.
The characteristics of the belt are important because they all have specific add-ons for the type of job that they are doing. Characteristics to look for in this type of product are items like the width of the product. If you are fitting in tighter spaces then the product shouldn’t stick out too much. Length of the product will make a difference depending on both the purchasers height and weight, as well as what you are wearing it on top of. If this is being used in colder weather and a winter coat is required then the belt will need to either fit over the coat or fit near the base of the jacket comfortably. Additionally, the suspenders will need to fit over the jacket. Suspenders should be worn especially when doing more aerial-type jobs. Being in the air is going to require a really secure product in order to keep both you and the people below you safe. Having adjustable and comfortable suspenders is really important. Consider padding on the suspender too to ensure that shoulders and hips are not uncomfortable especially when carrying excessive weight. The padding on the inside of the apron and the suspenders should be breathable to avoid sweat (and thus discomfort) when working. Pockets in the apron can either be large, small, deep, narrow, open or magnetically closed. Depending on the job being done these aspects are important. If someone, for instance, is laying under a car, big open pockets are probably not ideal as items will fall out. If doing a job that requires standing and power tools then the big open products are probably more attractive. The material is discussed above but the material being used is important comfort-wise. Leather will wear over time and become very soft and start to fit the body better but still maintain its strength and integrity. The straps, snaps, and buckles should be strong but still easily removable. You don’t want the belt to easily come off but at the same time, you don’t want to have to fight with it to get it off when you want to. It should be made of stronger plastics or metals. The apron and the suspenders should be adjustable as well to ensure that they fit properly. All the companies have different size specifications as well, ensure that this is being looked at too before purchasing so that you know it will fit. The weight capacity of the product is also important. This goes back to the suspenders but if the weight you are carrying is quite heavy, to protect the back, it’s important that suspenders are included.
Manufacturers Reputation and Experience
The experience of the manufacturer is important because you want to make sure you are buying it from a stable company. If you need to return the product an insolvent company would be hard to get your money back from. Additionally buying it from a company that is known to make poor quality products is probably going to sell you just that, a poor quality product. You want to look for a company that has been through some trials and tribulations and came out a better company. You want to buy products from a well-established company that has fixed the kinks and are now making an upgraded product. You also want to make sure that the company has good customer service and either a good exchange policy and/or a good warranty. Without all these factors aligned the product should be avoided.
Price is a tough one. The age-old saying is that quality over quantity. Quality inevitably will cost money, however, there are many manufacturers on the market that are selling quality for ridiculously engrossed prices. What you want to look for is the ethical company that sells their quality product at a good price. Heavily discounted products are typically discounted for a reason and therefore you should read the reviews on these products (and make sure they are real reviews and not fake ones) to find out if the product is a reliable one. We found a variety of products on the market that range in price specifically to show you the products meant for those on a budget all the way to the ones that are for those looking for the creme de la creme of tool belts. At the end of the day though, finding something quality that has been priced ethically is what you should be looking for. You don’t want to be a budget shopper and buy a product that will fall apart in a year. This will ultimately cause more buying in the long run and cost more money. There is a sweet spot and we hope we’ve helped you find it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are their suspenders and belts adjustable?
All the suspenders and belts in this article are adjustable. The only issue that may be seen is the size of the belt not fitting. It is smart to double check that the size range matches your size. Every product will have the range it will fit, there are usually also size charts available on the manufacturer’s websites. We found it really handy to read reviews online because if the product fits too small or too big it is usually the second thing reviewers will complain about so you will know if it fits a little too small or a little too large to save you from returns down the road.
Q: Will they stretch?
In general, yes, however, you will see it less in polyester type products. The products that stretch out the most are the leather variation. Leather stretch and mold to the body over time. It will also soften with time. If the product you are looking at is a little snug and is leather then you shouldn’t see too many issues with it fitting over time.
Q: How much weight can they hold?
They usually don’t have weight specifications, unfortunately. It is usually based on how much the wearer can handle. If it is quite a bit of heavy items then suspenders may be needed just to protect the wearers back. Most of the good quality products on the market have rivets on them on all the major stress points and they help hold the product together better and can also increase the weight load. If you are looking for something that can hold a lot of weight consider something made of better materials, with rivets and suspenders (or at least one that has a suspender add-on). This should help with the weight load.
Q: How do you break in a new one?
The majority of them do not need to be broken in but if they do you probably just need to wear it a fair bit. There are some products on the market that you can spray to help break down the material but this will only decrease the longevity of the belt. All the products in this article were considered comfortable so if this is a concern then any of the products in this article will work well for you. Again, leather will break down and become very soft with time, the same goes for cowhide so these are probably your best bets if comfort is the primary concern.
Q: How do you clean them?
Cleaning can be done with soap and water. They shouldn’t be thrown in a washing machine because that will destroy the structural integrity of them. Leather and cowhide especially cannot be machine washed. Additionally, most of these products have metal pieces on them as well which can end up hurting the washing machine itself. If washing is absolutely needed hand wash with soap and water then lay flat to dry. This should sufficiently clean the belt and keep the structural integrity intact.
Q: What is the best way to wear them?
Wearing them tight to the body will extend the life of them as there will be more pressure against the body and less pressure on the stress points of the product due to it sagging. If carrying heavier weights ensure that you are wearing a product that is meant to carry heavier weights and that the appropriate accessories are also worn (like suspenders or harnesses). Also make sure those products are being worn correctly (the suspenders should be pressed up against the shoulders, back and chest, and the pads should be against the shoulders). Also, ensure that the items you are putting in the product are supposed to be in it. If the product isn’t designed to hold a drill then a drill shouldn’t be placed in it. Being mindful of the critical and stress points of the product will go a long way in preserving it and your back.
Q: Are there any safety tips for when using this type of product?
As listed above, wearing it appropriate will aid in safety. Ensure that all buckles are done up correctly so that there is no chance of the product falling off especially in dangerous situations. Do not place anything sharp in the product that requires a cover (like a knife for instance). If the product has magnets ensure that when going around items that are magnetic that you are keeping a safe distance. Stray nails and screws should be kept in small, closed pockets. If there are no small, closed pockets then they should at least be in their own container within the pouches. Ensure that all straps are tight and all padding is resting against the right part of the body. Also ensure that the product fits appropriately.