Tradesmen in pretty much all the building trades use tool belts on the job, especially carpenters and electricians. The tool belt gives the worker a convenient way of carrying their most common tools with them, without having to have their hands tied up carrying a tool box. With the tools on their belt, they are easily reached while working, saving time and providing the worker with the ability to grab the tool with one hand, while holding what they are working on in the other hand.
Carpenters tool belts also serve as a nail pouch to hold the most common sizes of nails. While most carpentry today is done with pneumatic or cordless nailers, there are always a few nails that seem to need to be driven by hand. Having nails in your tool pouch keeps them ready at hand for those times when they are needed. The same pouches can be used to hold strips of nails for the power nailers, so that the carpenter doesn't have to go running back to get more.
While all quality tool belts used to be made of leather, this is being replaced by heavy nylon materials. The advantage of the nylon tool belts is that they breathe, allowing the workers perspiration to wick away from their body, instead of being trapped under the belt. This helps prevent rashes and infections.
Regardless of the material chosen, its important to pick a belt that is made of heavy-duty material which is well stitched. A poorly made belt wont last the rigors of surviving on a construction site, especially when weighed down with several pounds of tools and nails. Having a tool belts seam split open in the middle of a work day is worse than not having a tool belt at all.
The second important consideration when choosing a tool belt is that it has enough spaces to hold all the tools. A carpenter usually doesn't carry all that many tools with him, other than a hammer, tape measure and a pencil. At times, they might add other tools, such as a chalk line or a nail set, but youll never see a carpenter with a lot of tools in their belt. An electrician, on the other hand, needs a wide variety of tools for his work. To compensate for this, electricians tool belts have a lot more pockets to hold tools, but dont have a place to hold nails.
You want to be sure that the tool belt will hold everything even when you bend over or move in unusual ways. If you have to stop to pick up nails off the floor every time you stoop over, its going to make a long day of it. Better to have less space on the tool belt and have it keep everything stay where it belongs.
Finally, you want to make sure that you buy a tool belt which will be comfortable to wear. Remember, youre going to be wearing it for 40 or more hours per week, with several pounds of tools and nails in the pockets. If its not comfortable, youre going to end up being miserable. Some come with built-in suspenders, which help distribute the weight better, making it more comfortable for long periods of time. However, those shoulder straps could get uncomfortable as well, so you want to make sure that it will be comfortable for you, not for your buddy.
Although DeWalt is better known for their power tools, they did a really nice job of designing this tool belt. Made of 100 percent Dri-Lex, it is probably one of the most comfortable belts around, with plenty of storage for your tools and nails. Read Full Review
While DeWalt is best known for their power tools, they havent skimped a bit on the design of this tool belt. If I was in the market for one, I would definitely take a good close look at it. The belt and shoulder harness is made of padded Dri-Lex for comfort. The dual pouches have a total of 20 tool pockets, plus nine main pockets and a separate metal loop for your hammer. A carabineer allows you to hang your keys on the pouch, getting them out of your pocket. Zippered pouches on the shoulder straps allow storage of your cell phone and other valuables away from your tools.
An electrician's needs are different than a carpenter, and Klein knows what electricians need. This belt has 8 pockets in one pouch and 19 in the other, giving lots of room to store a wide variety of tools. Read Full Review
Klein specializes in tools for electricians and electronic technicians. This tool belt, from them, shows that in every detail. The belt is designed to provide a maximum amount of tool storage, with 8 pockets in one pouch and 19 in the other. A separate metal hammer holder provides a secure, easy access place for your hammer, with webbed straps for clipping a tape measure onto. This belt is made of 100 percent Cordura-Nylon, which will probably outlast anyone who tries to use it. They make sure of that with a lifetime warranty.
For those that like leather tool belts, Dead-On makes some really nice ones. This oiled-leather belt is top quality, being double stitched, with rivets at all the critical junctures. Read Full Review
For those that like leather, we had to get a nice leather belt in here. This one might look a little cheesy, with the skull and crossbones logo, but its construction definitely isn't cheesy. This is a quality belt, made of double-stitched heavy-duty leather, with rivets backing up the stitches in all the critical places. Being leather, it doesn't have as many pockets as the nylon ones do, but the pockets it does have are nice and deep. The hammer holders are leather straps, rather than a metal loop, so you might want to consider adding a metal loop hammer holder to your rig. Being oiled leather, it will resist water somewhat, but you should clean and oil it from time to time.
Bucket Boss is mostly known for their tool organizers that go on five gallon buckets. They've also produced a nice leather tool belt for the carpenter, with dual pouches and a leather holder for a tape measure. Read Full Review
Bucket Boss is actually better known for their tool organizers that are designed to go on a five gallon bucket. I guess that its a natural step to go from that to making tool belts. This is a soft leather belt, similar to the Dead-On 401-773. Large pouches provide plenty of room, but without a lot of individual tool pockets. Like most leather tool pouches, this one has a strap for a hammer holder, so you will probably want to add a metal ring holder. A special leather holder provides a place for your tape measure, but dont plan on putting a big tape measure in it.
For those who only need a tool belt once in a while, a high-dollar rig might not be appropriate. In that case, a smaller unit, like this one from McGuire Nicholas fits the bill. Made of polyester, it puncture, tear and water resistant. Read Full Review
Those that only need a tool belt once in a while may have trouble paying the high prices for professional-grade tool belts, and understandably so. Nevertheless, we all have times when a tool belt would be handy, even if its just for repairs around the home. For those people, a smaller tool belt like this one is ideal. Make of durable polyester, its puncture, tear and water resistant. A steel ring hammer holder is included, rather than a strap. It also has a side loop for a cats paw.