1. TR Industrial 12 Pocket Belt Tool Holder
If you find yourself working with a bunch of tools every day, chances are you are also looking for the best tool belt. Maybe the one you have just broken or you added some more tools to your collection and you need more room for these tools. To help you with your search, you first have to determine what tools you will be using every day. Maybe some days you only need a framing hammer and other days you need a tape measure, nail set, and end cutters.
While you understand the number of tools will vary depending on your tasks day to day, figure out the tools that you need the most and the ones that you use more often. The best tool belt is one that makes it speedy and efficient for you to find the right tool that you need. It should also be extremely comfortable around your waist and durable enough to last a good few years of wear and tear. The quality of the materials used is pretty important here as well as the buckle adjustability. When looking at a tool belt, you should also look at the number and size of pockets and tool holders.
Best Tool Belt Reviews
- TR Industrial 88021, 12 Pocket Multi-Function Belt Tool Holder (Top Pick, $)
- Custom LeatherCraft 1614 23 Pocket Combo Tool Belt System (Best Value,$$)
- Occidental Leather 5089, 23 Pocket Leather Tool Belt (Most Durable, $$$$)
1. TR Industrial 88021, 12 Pocket Belt Tool Holder
The TR Industrial 88021 is the best tool belt for the weekend warrior or handyman who wants an entry-level tool belt at entry-level prices. This tool belt is made of 100% polyester and has 12 pockets for storing all kinds of tools. There are a couple of spots for storing the most common tools like hammers, measuring tapes, and screwdrivers. It has 4 nail pouches, 3 pliers sheaths, two screwdriver sheaths, a hammer hook, a measuring tape clip, and a center pouch that can be used for anything.
The strap itself isn’t tall (around 2 inches in height) so it doesn’t weigh you down or feel baggy at all. It has a pretty durable belt construction and feels sturdy, although it is made of polyester. When you put it on, you don’t feel anything will fall. The belt is detachable and the pockets are removable. Everything on it feels sturdy and well-built, including the belt buckle. Our complaint is that the waist length isn’t really adjustable down to small waist sizes. It only goes down to waist size 32, which makes it tough to properly wear on skinny guys and women. So the fit is great if you are an average man. So overall, the TR Industrial 88021 is the best tool belt for those who have great sturdy polyester belts at poor man’s prices.
2. Custom LeatherCraft 1614, 23 Pocket Combo Tool Belt System
If you want the best tool belt that is versatile enough to pretty much handle every tool you own, you will want to invest in the Custom LeatherCraft 1614. Custom LeatherCraft is a well-known player in the work gear industry and has made quality gear since its inception. The 1614 by Custom LeatherCraft is a 23-pocket-heavy duty tools holder. It has nice padded suspenders that are adjustable to help you support the weight of your tools without straining your lower back.
If you don’t like the suspenders, you can use it belt only as well. But we must warn you there is not too much padding around the belt itself so maybe it will be a bit uncomfortable. You can also upgrade to the 31-pocket version, which is made of the durable double-layer 600D polyester fabric but just with more pockets. The 23-pocket version comes with 6 large pockets, 13 additional sleeves, and pockets of variable shapes and sizes.
There are two hammer holders, a measuring tape clip, a pry bar sleeve, a carpenter’s and combination square, and pockets to allow easy access to nails, fasteners, and spare parts. The pockets also stay open with their unique design, which allows easy access to your tools while still keeping them in place without spilling out of the pockets. The CLC 1614 has a very versatile belt length: it can be adjusted from size 29 all the way up to size 46. The brass finish on the hardware and rivets all add to the durability and aesthetics. All in all, 1614 is the best tool belt for someone who wants a bit more than just a regular tools belt for the average Joe or weekend warrior.
3. Occidental Leather 5089, 23 Pocket Leather Tool Belt
Occidental Leather makes the best tool belt if you want a leather belt. There is something classic and iconic about a handyman wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, boots, and a leather tool belt. Occidental Leather sells this image but at a steep price. We would only consider this belt if you have a lot of money to spend and want something that looks good. This is the king of work belts and is almost a collector’s item.
It is also very soft and durable. It is made of premium top-grain cowhide leather and conditioned with oils and waxes. This leather starts out tough and strong at first but quickly breaks down into soft leather that molds to the shape of your body. The Occidental Leather belt is also functional. It has 23 different pockets and tool holders, which is enough for amateurs to professionals. If you wanted to, you can add suspenders to the belts to make them weigh less and help ease the pain in your back. The leather suspender system is sold separately by Occidental Leather. Our one complaint about this besides the price is that it is a bit heavy. But then again, so are all leather tool belts. But it is very durable, feels very comfortable, and most importantly looks iconic. This tool belt comes in many sizes so be sure to pick the size that fits you.
More Info on the Best Tool Belt
In terms of durability and fit, a quality tool belt is harder to find than you think. While most belts have adjustable belts, some belts come in one waist size (like those non-adjustable hats). While the elastic band certainly gives a lot of slack, we wouldn’t recommend these unless you are confident you can fit into an average-sized waist of around 34 inches. If you are going to get an adjustable belt, please get one with many holes.
You want the space between the adjustable holes to be small so that it can accommodate small increments of waist sizes. With a tool belt with well-spaced holes, you may run into the problem of it being too big or too small for your waist. Also, your waist size may fluctuate during the day depending on how much food and beverages you have consumed, so you might want to take that into account as well.
In terms of material, a tool belt can be made of either leather or nylon. Nylon is both lightweight and comfortable, but it can be viewed as a lower-quality product and not a “proper” tool belt. They can have some of the same features as leather belts including handles, suspender loops, and hammer and tape holders. Believe it or not, there are some high-quality nylon tool belts out there, and as long as you can get over the physiological fact that it is not a manly leather belt. Leather tool belts also come in many varieties and materials. You have oil-tanned leather rigs, two-ply, top grain leather, bonded leather, saddle leather, etc. The list goes on. The key point here is to make sure you find something that is soft and comfortable.
In order the find the best tool belt, you have to take into account ergonomics. You want a belt that maximizes useful space while maintaining great organization. This usually incorporates having individual tool holders inside the main compartment. You want a tool belt with plenty of pockets and a compartment, but also one where these don’t get in the way of each other. You want to strike the perfect balance between space maximization, comfort, and organization. This happy medium is hard to find, which is why we have done all of the heavy lifting for you. We have plowed through hundreds of tool belts and narrowed the list down to our favorites, obviously taking into account all of the aforementioned factors. Please see below.