Tool bags have become more popular in recent time, especially for tradesman and maintenance workers who want quick and easy access to their tools. Using a tool bag makes it easy to organize those tools, while still having them contained in a way that they are easy to carry from project to project while working. With all of a tradesmans essential tools inside, hes got everything conveniently at hand.
Although tool bags seem like a new arrival on the scene, they've been in existence for quite some time. I cant find any data showing when they were first used, but some trades have used them for centuries. Farriers (those that shoe horses), have always used a tool bag for their nails, files, hammer and hoof trimmer. Pipefitters working on the cooling system for the Boulder Dam used tool bags to take their tools from worksite to worksite. Even the Army has used tool bags for years, at least as far back as World War I.
The nice thing about a tool bag, as opposed to a tool box is its convenience. No matter how well organized a tool box is, it cant keep everything ready at hand like a tool bag can. The open top and flexible sides make it easy to carry a variety of things, while the sewn-in pockets make it easy to organize a wide variety of tools.
I was amazed when I started looking at tool bags for this article, to find how wide a variety of tool bags were offered and how expensive some of them are. Of course, like anything else, you get what you pay for, so those high-dollar tool bags are better than the low cost ones that you might find at your local building supply center.
Tool bags are constructed out of a combination of heavy canvas, leather and plastic. Some have hard sides, with pockets sewn inside and out, while others are all soft-sided. What works better for your needs depends a lot on the tools you need to be able to carry with you and your personal work style.
The key to these bags is how sturdy they are built. I have an old all-canvas one that I've had for years. While I've managed to poke a number of screwdrivers, chisels and knives through it in one place or another, I cant say that I've really damaged it. Clean it up and itll look just about as good as new. The bigger risk for breakage actually comes in the ones which have plastic supports and sides. Those might break, especially if kept in the heat or cold a lot, as both heat and cold can make plastics brittle.
The other thing to look for is the number of pockets that the tool bag has, and whether they are the type of pockets youll need for the tools that you need to carry. Some of these are designed for specific purposes, and if you end up trying to use them for some other purpose, youll end up pretty frustrated.
One other thing Id like to say about these is that they are not for the person who doesn't put things back where they belong. The whole concept of a tool bag is to have everything neatly organized where you can grab it easily. If youre the type of person who is likely to throw your tools in the middle compartment, rather than put them in the pockets, dont bother with a tool bag; youll just end up frustrated.
If you're looking for a bag that will carry a lot of tools, look no further. This 25-inch long bag will allow you to lay down a 2-foot level in it. You can carry over 100 tools without a problem; assuming that you're strong enough to lift it when it's full. Read Full Review
Veto makes an extensive line of tool bags, which are considered some of the best in the marketplace. This particular bag is huge. It can hold a 24 inch level in either of the two main compartments. Plus has 58 vertical tool pockets and four zippered pockets. An outside mounted stainless steel clip holds your tape measure. The PVC impregnated denier sides and 3mm polypropylene base are both waterproof to protect your tools. Marine-grade rivets help protect the bag. The bag will hold and organize over 100 tools. A heavy-duty, wide shoulder and ergonomic padded handle make it easy to carry around.
This bag provides a great combination for the technician that needs his tools and his computer as well. On one side, it's a briefcase, with room for your laptop and other office essentials. On the other, it's a tool bag, with room for a variety of tools. Read Full Review
Yes, this is another product from the same manufacturer. Like I said, they make the widest selection and some of the best. This bag is unique in that it takes into consideration that the modern tradesman often needs much more than his tools to get the job done. This tool bag combines storage for 39 tools with a soft-sided, but still rugged, briefcase, so that you can carry your laptop computer and other office essentials with you. A great combination. Built of the same materials as the one in our number one slot, its designed to outlast you or your laptop.
This is actually an all-leather tool, something I didn't expect to find. As such, you can probably pass it on to your grandchildren, after you get plenty of use out of it, of course. Read Full Review
Before seeing this tool bag, I didn't realize that anyone was still making all-leather tool bags. In a way, this is a bit of a throwback to yesteryear. Nevertheless, being made of leather, you can count on your grandkids being able to use it as well. This one doesn't have as many tool pockets as the cloth ones, but it does divide the center section into nine center compartments, allowing you to split your tools into sections. The leather construction is fairly rigid, making it so that the bag always sits upright. A reinforced bottom helps ensure long-term durability.
DeWalt makes a really nice bag, that's nowhere near as expensive as some of the others we've looked at. This 18-inch bag comes with a total of 34 pockets to hold individual tools, plus the open center area. Read Full Review
For those that dont want to spend a fortune on a tool bag, DeWalt makes a very nice 18 wide unit. This one comes with 18 exterior pockets and 16 interior pockets. Plus, there are three flap-covered pockets and one zippered pocket for small parts, testers and other easy-to-lose items. A collapsible bar handle allows for excellent visibility and easy access to all tools. The padded shoulder strap makes it easy to carry.
This bag is similar to the leather one we looked at, except being made of fabric. It also has a compartment in the bottom, with a multi-compartment box for small parts. Read Full Review
This bag is very similar in design to the leather one that we looked at above, except it is made of fabric instead of leather. It also has more pockets, allowing easy organizing of your tools. Being designed for electrical maintenance workers, it comes with a bottom compartment, which hides a multi-compartment plastic tray for holding crimp lugs or other small parts. Elastic loops in the main compartments help keep tools upright. The square design is almost impossible to tip over.