When it comes to working with your tools, there’s always a tool that you end up needing but didn’t anticipate that you’d need. That’s where the beauty of a tool belt system comes in to play. The point of a tool belt is to allow you to have all your tools attached to you so that you have everything you need within reach. The worst thing is being on an 8, 10 or 12ft ladder and needing to come back down just because you forgot your pliers or a certain type of screwdriver. You want to be as productive and efficient as possible. In this post I’ll get into the things you should look for when selecting the best tool belt system for yourself.
The first thing you want to make sure is that it’s comfortable. Whether you’re wearing it for 30 minutes or 8 hours, you want to make sure it’s not going to bother you. The best way to find out is through other people’s reviews that have actually used that specific tool belt. Another option would be to go into a store and physically try it on.
Something that I would recommend getting for your tool belt are suspenders. Suspenders help distribute the weight between your back and your hips. If you’re working with your tools everyday then it’s very important to take care of your body and minimize any injuries or back problems that may develop over time. Staying healthy means you get to work and make money, which means your wife is happy, and your kids have food on the table and a roof over their heads.
A critical component of a tool belt system is the separation of all your individual hand tools. You want a tool belt that has lots of little compartments and sections to allow each tool to have it’s own spot. It defeats the purpose of the tool belt if everything is unorganized in there. Again I’m going to stress the importance of being productive and efficient especially if you’re using the tool belt for work.
When you know where everything is it allows you to work quicker and get things done. Eventually you want to develop the skill of being able to grab whatever tool you need through muscle memory. When every tool has a specific spot then you wont need to look at your bag to grab what you need. This allows you to have a consistent work flow. Those couple seconds that you save are critical and add up when you’re working a full 8-hour day.
On your tool belt system you generally want one side to have more compartments and the other side to have a couple open bigger pockets. Those other pockets come in handy for any material that you’re working with. Whether it’s screws, nails, couplings, connectors, or anything else you need.
Material of Tool belt
Every tool belt is made of a different material, some are lighter and some are more durable. Most tool belts are either made of nylon, canvas, fabric, or leather. Leather tool belts are generally the heaviest but also the most durable. The other materials tend to be on the lighter side which might be preferred by certain people.
Another important factor to consider on your tool belt is the buckling mechanism. You want a tool belt that tightens up perfectly to your waist size. In my opinion the best belts are the ones that latch on like how a normal belt would. This allows you to tighten it up to whichever size you need and not have to worry about it coming apart.
Depending on how often you’re going to use it you want to pay attention to the stitching of the belt. Some bags have single stitching and some have double. If you’re using it on a daily basis you want to have a thicker material so that you can be rough with it and not have to worry about ripping or damaging your belt.
Which Trade/Type of Work You Do?
It’s impossible for me to tell you which specific tool belt system you should get. This will depend on your trade or the type of work you plan to use the tool belt for. Certain trades have many hand tools that they use on a regular basis and some trades have a larger variety of material that they need on them.
So before making a decision on which tool belt system you’re going to purchase, asses the tools that you want to put in it and make a decision based on that.
Putting it all Together
Things to consider:
Handles: Tool belts that have handles allow you to carry your tool belt a lot easier so you don’t have to wear them the whole time, especially from your car to work and vice versa.
Tape measure holder: Most people need a tape measure so it’s critical that your tool belt system has a tape measure holder.
Suspenders: Like I stated above, suspenders will help distribute the weight on your body.
The key is to take all these points into consideration and then make the best decision for yourself. Like the old adage goes “you get what you pay for,” you’ll find that the pricier tool belts are more durable and higher quality. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a legit tool belt if you’re on a tight budget. There are many great tool belts in that sweet spot price range that you can purchase. Later on I’ll get more specific on different types of tool belt systems for various types of work.
If you have anything to add I’d love to hear it in the comment section.