When you are on the job and find yourself reaching for the same items over and over, a tool belt is the perfect convenience for keeping everything right at your fingertips.
Coleman Cosby, project manager at Yardzen, remarks, “When it comes to buying a tool belt, there are a number of styles and materials to choose from, so consider the type of work you’ll be doing and what specific tools will be typically carried. While you want your most-used tools to be easily within reach, consider a lighter model if it’ll be worn all day.”
From the bargain rack to designs that take it up a notch, we geared up to look for tool belts that offer the most comfort and convenience. Keep reading for the top tool belts available today.
Bucket Boss Mullet Buster Tool Belt with Suspenders
Detachable harness for extra support
Barrel-bottom pockets provide extra capacity
Cell phone pocket
Few complaints that the belt fits too loosely
You may think a traditional tool belt is nothing more than a few pockets hanging off of a belt, but this top pick is anything but traditional. Taking a modular approach to its design, the Bucket Boss Mullet Buster is loaded with storage opportunities, starting with three bags that attach to the belt. Each bag has additional pockets, clips, and dividers, making it easy and effective to store all the tools you'll need for the day right at your waist where you can grab them as needed. The padded suspenders have just enough stretch for comfort without sagging or slipping, and they help balance the weight of the loaded belt, which takes strain off your back and hips.
You can adjust or remove the suspenders and the bags if desired, or go ahead and load it all up. An adjustable chest strap connects to the suspenders for extra stability and support. The barrel-bottom, large-capacity, reinforced pouches hold an amazing amount of gear, and there are a variety of clips and loops for holding larger tools like hammers, as well. There's even a spot for your cell phone.
The heavy-duty polyester canvas belt fits waists up to 52 inches and has oversize, steel grommets and a steel buckle, so no worries about the grommets tearing or stretching over time. All in all, this is a tool belt that makes going to work at the jobsite, in your workshop, or on your property a pleasure, not a pain.
Price at time of publish: $84
Material: Polyester | Number of Pockets/Holders: 29 | Waist Size: Up to 52 inches | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 4.5 pounds
DEWALT Small Electrician's Pouch
Clips onto pocket or pants, can be positioned as desired
Pockets aren't very deep
No designated hammer loop
If you are looking for something with a more traditional look and feel, along with a tremendous amount of storage options, the DEWALT Small Electrician's Pouch is the tool belt for you. It has a central, large pocket, along with numerous smaller pockets and loops. The primary pocket is big enough to hold large tools like a flashlight or electrical tape. Keep the bag to your side so it's out of the way, or place it front and center so you can see your tools and parts as you work; this bag is easy to adjust for your specific needs, whether that's right in front or to the side.
The pouch also includes several convenient loops and sleeve pockets to place around the main bag. The loops will hold large hand tools like hammers and screwdrivers, while the smaller pockets are perfect for nuts and bolts that are easy to lose. This tool bag is made of heavy-duty polyester, and it clips to your belt, pocket, or the waistband of your pants, meaning it's one-size-fits-all.
Price at time of publish: $21
Material: Polyester | Number of Pockets/Holders: 6 | Waist Size: Not applicable | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 0.68 pounds
Dickie's Work Gear 5-Pocket Single Side Tool Belt Pouch
For a small bag, it holds a lot
Comfortable to wear
Few complaints that belt is too long
No hammer loop
True budget seekers will love the Dickie's Work Gear 5-Pocket Tool Bag, which is low on price and frills but big on storage capacity. With a simple set of five pockets in a side apron design, you will have the most basic setup for keeping your tools near you at all times. In addition to the pockets, the belt has a loop for a screwdriver-sized tool, a pocket for pliers, and two small slip pockets for small parts. It's an ideal tool bag for the DIYer or handyperson who likes to putter around the house or garage in search of small projects to tackle on the spot, and it also makes an excellent gardener's bag.
Despite the low price, this is no flimsy tool belt. The waistband is made of webbing that secures the weight around your hips for comfortable support. The plastic buckle is designed to take high impacts so you won’t have to worry about damaging the belt with unintended bumps. The bag itself is heavy-duty canvas. This tool belt fits waists from 32 to 52 inches.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Canvas | Number of Pockets/Holders: 5 | Waist Size: 32 to 52 inches | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 0.6 pounds
Custom Leathercraft Suede Tool Bag & Poly Web Belt
Has additional loops for hammer and tape measure
Fits smaller waist sizes
Very reasonably priced
Hammer loop is a little small for some larger hammers
Tool belts aren't only for big projects that require a heavy load of supplies. Even if you are working on small projects, it can be handy to keep whatever tools the task calls for close by, thus sparing you multiple trips to your garage or tool box. The Custom Leathercraft Suede Tool Bag is an affordable, simple tool belt for the occasional weekend or repair project that doesn't require too many tools at hand, but it certainly adds efficiency and convenience to your work.
Three pockets provide you enough space for small tools and parts like nails, pliers, or pencils. A pair of leather side loops will hold a single hammer and a tape measure. The entire belt is made of suede leather, which makes it durable for normal uses. For something that won’t weigh you down, this is a great option, especially when tackling projects such as framing, fence repair, or other repetitive but straightforward projects. The belt fits waists from 29 to 43 inches.
Price at time of publish: $17
Material: Leather suede | Number of Pockets/Holders: 3 | Waist Size: 29 to 46 inches | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 0.8 pounds
Best for Handypeople
GlossyEnd 11-Pocket Tool Belt
Two metal hammer/tool loops
Plenty of carrying capacity
Pockets are fixed in place on belt
If you work as a handyperson, are an avid DIYer, or just like the convenience of strapping on a tool belt that's big enough to carry just about anything you are likely to need while working around the house, yard, or garage, then the GlossyEnd 11-Pocket Tool Belt is your best bet. This sturdy polyester tool bag has a web belt for comfortable fit around waists from 33 to 50 inches, and a strong quick-release buckle.
The bag has five larger pockets for carrying screwdrivers, levels, wrenches, or many other things, as well as six smaller pockets for holding nails and screws, pliers, pencils, and other necessities. Two sturdy loops hold hammers or other larger tools, while the center flat portion is the perfect spot to clip your tape measure. The price is very reasonable, as well.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Polyester | Number of Pockets/Holders: 11 | Waist Size: 33 to 50 inches | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 1.2 pounds
Best Drill Holster Tool Belt
Custom Leathercraft Deluxe Cordless Poly Drill Holster
Attaches to your own belt
Very convenient for many DIY projects
Some complaints that bit holders are too loose
While most tool belts have a loop for a hammer, there are times when you need a power drill. For those occasions, the Custom Leathercraft 5023 is the answer. It's designed like an old-fashioned gun holster, but instead of a pistol, it's your cordless drill that's ready for action whenever you need it. Not only does this tool belt give you a dedicated spot for your drill, it also comes with three outer pockets for additional tools, as well as six small loops for holding drill bits.
Made from polyester fabric, the tool belt is strong enough to hold the weight of many common types of power drills. A safety strap fits above the holster to secure the drill when not in use. Unhook the strap for instant access to the holder. The holster attaches to your belt, so you can position it right where you want it. It fits most standard cordless drills.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: Polyester | Number of Pockets/Holders: 4 | Waist Size: Not applicable | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 0.4 pounds
Best Tool Belt with Harness
Milwaukee General Contractor Work Belt
Pockets can be removed or adjusted
Comfortably padded on harness and belt
Cell phone pocket is a bit small
Need the ultimate amount of storage and flexibility? A suspension rig tool belt offers the maximum in comfortable storage for a multitude of tools. The Milwaukee General Contractor Work Belt has a harness that fits comfortably around your shoulders and waist. The design divides the weight of the tools so no single spot on your body begins to feel weighed down as you work. However, you can remove the harness if desired and use the belt on its own.
The design of the belt is customizable, offering 29 organization pockets of various sizes, including a pocket for your phone and a plastic-lined, puncture-resistant pocket to hold sharper objects like knives safely while you work. The belt and harness are breathable, heavy-duty 1,680 denier nylon with riveted seams and metal hardware. The belt fits waists from 30 to 53 inches.
Price at time of publish: $100
Material: Nylon | Number of Pockets/Holders: 29 | Waist Size: 30 to 53 inches | Weight of Empty Tool Bag: 5.4 pounds
If you want a tool belt that has enough storage capacity to hold a large collection of tools and supplies, yet still is comfortable enough to wear for lengthy work sessions, then the Bucket Boss Mullet Buster is the best choice for you. But if you are concerned about budget and only need a small tool belt to hold a set of basic hand tools, then the Dickie's Work Gear 5-Pocket Tool Bag is your best option.
What to Look for in a Tool Belt
Wearing any type of carryall on your person for long periods of time can be exhausting and cause strain on your body, especially when loaded with heavy tools. That's why comfort and a good fit should be the first consideration when choosing a tool belt. Look for a belt that tightens securely around your hips without slipping when tools are added. Are the pockets and pouches easy to access, and are the tools easy to remove and replace? If your project requires heavier tools, does the belt include supports like suspenders, a shoulder strap, or a reinforced back? The right tool belt should be easy to put on and wear for several hours at a time without wearing you out or causing pain.
Kyle Shirley, owner of Sol Vista Roofing, adds, "Our team is nearly all fitted with tool belts when on our roofing jobsites. What we tell our roofers to wear are tool belts that are comfortable and compact enough for all-day work, while also tough enough to survive the jobsite. We prefer leather tool belts, but there are great nylon options available also.”
Consider the types of jobs where you are most likely to need your tools close at hand. Choose a tool belt with a design that's adequate to store them all within easy reach, but don't automatically assume that you need the largest tool belt possible. Different projects often call for different kinds of tools, and you can find belts specifically styled for professional electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and other trades. A tool belt that includes detachable pockets, pouches, and loops will give you more versatility to organize the belt for a specific job.
A tool belt should save you steps by eliminating the need to return to your toolbox every time you require a different item. It's likely, though, that you will still have to do some moving around, no matter what project you're working on. You need a tool belt that allows you to walk, climb a ladder, or maneuver into a tight space. The ability to reposition the pockets on the belt allows for more freedom of movement; this is especially important if your projects involve a lot of climbing on ladders.
How do you wear a tool belt?
Most tool belts are designed to fit and fasten around your hips—not tightly around your waist—comfortably and without slipping or throwing you off balance. Some may include suspenders or reinforced support to more evenly distribute the weight and ease pressure on your back and hips. Pockets and pouches should be attached in such a way to allow for even weight distribution. It's always a good idea to try the belt on with some added weight to check for comfort and ease of use before purchasing.
What tools go in a tool belt?
The type and size of belt you choose will determine how many and what kind of tools you will be able to carry on your person. Some tool belts are styled for specific jobs like electrical, carpentry, or plumbing and are made to carry the tools of those trades. The basic tool belt, however, usually holds hand tools like wrenches and screwdrivers with a pouch for small hardware and a hammer loop. Options move up from there to include capacity for large items, including some small power tools.
Is a tool belt the same thing as a tool apron?
When searching for a product to carry your tools on your person, you might see similar products labeled as tool bags, tool aprons, or tool pouches. These are all basically the same thing, although a tool apron generally has a large pocket in the front, while a tool belt might have two or more smaller pockets toward the sides.
Tool belts can also be named for specific types of construction, as with an electrician's tool belt, a carpenter's tool belt, or a plumber's tool belt. Many tool manufacturers include a brand-name tool belt that's styled to work with their products, so you can also try searching under the brand name of your preferred tool company.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Michelle Ullman is the home improvement/tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs around the house and yard.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of tool belts, evaluating each for durability, capacity, and organizing options, as well as comfort. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative, and received further input and advice from Kyle Shirley, the owner of Sol Vista Roofing, as well as Coleman Cosby, project manager at Yardzen.
Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, herbalist, and beekeeper who maintains numerous organic gardens along with five out-buildings and a large country home. She contributed additional research to this article.