If you’ve started to get yourself into more than enough electrical work that you’re carrying around more than 10 tools, then it might be time to look into getting a tool belt to store those tools in. Electricians are always on the move and for each situation, you may find yourself needing a different unique tool for different situations.
A tool belt is perfect for this as they are designed to sit comfortably on your hips and keep everything organized in pockets, loops, hangers, and pouches that are right within reach to grab when needed. Each pocket created to fit different types of tools from small screwdrivers to wire cutters, a hammer, tape measure, or pockets to store nails/fasteners in.
It’s important to understand many different factors when buying a tool belt including the materials used, the stitching, the belt/buckle, and how adjustable and comfortable it is. Some factors may just be a personal preference while others can be deal-breakers. The perfect belt may also depend on your needs as some belts only have a few pockets/holders which may be perfect for you if you only need a minimal amount while others may need a heavy duty one with 30+ holders. Throughout this article, we will go through all of the things to know about tool belts before making a purchase as well as our favorite tool belts with an overview of their pros and cons.
The Best Tool Belt for Electricians On The Market Today
Below is the list of all of the best tool belts for electricians on the market today along with an overview of each with their specific pros and cons to help you pick out the perfect one.
Occidental Leather 5590 M Electrician’s Set Review
- Double-side multi-compartment belt
- Heavy Duty leather belt
- Durable and well-made
- Over a dozen tool compartments/clips/pockets
What’s NOT so Good?
You’ll love this complete tool-belt that is perfect for the electricians on the go. With over 37 different pockets and tool holders coming in multiple different sizes, you’ll have plenty of room for all of the necessary tools that are needed around the job site. Create with their famous leather “NoSpill” tool holders means that the leather forms to your tools easily as you put them in. Even if you lean over, you won’t lose half your belt on the ground.
This tool belt is also made with highly durable and strong leather on the belt itself and most of the pouches as well. You can expect this belt is made to last for years and won’t break on the job so you can keep working.
The pack has two separate sections on the left and right side. The left side has 4 large compartments designed for large parts and tools that need to be stored including a tape measure, tools, nails, chargers, etc. The right-hand side gives you all of the tool compartments, pockets, straps, and clips to fit everything in.
While there is no specific holder for a tape measure, these typically come with a clip which can easily be fastened to the belt itself. Since this tool belt is made with real heavy-duty leather, it won’t be able to be used when it arrives and might need to be worked with a bit including using some conditioner/oil on the leather to loosen it up.
CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608 Electrician’s Comfort Lift Combo Tool Belt Review
- Very affordable for the quality
- 28 unique pockets
- Lightweight polyester material
- Suspender for added durability and comfort
- Adjustable from a 29 to 46” waistline
What’s NOT so Good?
While this comes from the Custom Leathercraft company, don’t be fooled as this one is made from polyester. While polyester isn’t the strongest material, it is lightweight and durable enough to support the tools put into it. We found this one to be a great choice for most DIY home enthusiasts as it’s made well enough for most DIY tasks and comes with suspenders that if used each time will ensure it lasts as long as a typical leather tool belt.
Over 28 separate compartments on either side of your waist make it evenly balanced. The largest pocket has a zipper which means you can store small materials inside and it won’t fall out when you’re on the job. If you use a cordless drill, you’re in luck as there is a large holder made specifically for drills so you have all access to the necessary tools you need.
One of our favorite parts of this belt is that it comes with a 4-point suspender system so you don’t need to search for an attachment that fits this belt. This is great because it will reduce the stress on your waist and back when your tool belt gets a bit heavy. It also helps extent the lifetime of your belt as it evens out the weight across your body.
You’ll also enjoy the fact that this belt truly is a “one size fits all”
TradeGear Medium Electrician Combo Belt Review
- 27 different size pockets for all of your tools
- Durable and strong nylon material
- Comfortable feel and fit around the waist
- Versatile with carrying handles to double as a tool bag
What’s NOT so Good?
For just over $100 this is a really great tool belt for most DIY enthusiasts and semi-professionals. You’ll enjoy over 27 different pockets that can store a range of tools from wire strippers, screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, tape measures, pliers, and so much more. With varying sizes and shapes, you’ll find plenty of places for each of your tools. It also has two large pouches to store anything from tape measures, drills, and other large materials.
Made with Duratek nylon gives it a very strong but yet lightweight feel to it. You’ll also find the double stitching on the seams means that it is made to last for years to come. The best part about the build is it’s extremely lightweight so it won’t add to the load it puts on your body.
TradeGear made this tool belt extremely flexible as well as it has two built-in carrying handles so you can carry it between work sites as well if you can’t have it on you (due to space restrictions). You can also purchase affordable suspenders that attach right to the belt for added support.
Occidental Leather 9855 Adjust-to-Fit Tool Bag Review
- 24 different pockets for your tools
- Adjustable from 32-40-inch waist sizes
- Leather material for a durable and long-lasting tool belt
- High-quality build and durable construction
- Renowned leather brand
What’s NOT so Good?
By far this belt from Occidental Leather is one of our top picks for the best tool belt on the market. Yes, it does have a pretty high price point, but for the quality, functionality, and strength it has, you won’t regret making the purchase.
With over 24 different pockets designed specifically for each tool, you’ll find the perfect fit for that wrench, screwdriver, tape measure, wire strippers, and everything else you may want. Right at the back, you’ll have the perfect loop for your hammer even.
Made from high-quality real leather, you can tell this belt was built to last. Upon the first arrival, the belt may seem stiff and rigid but this is an expected aspect of fresh leather that has to be worked with to get it to loosen up. Each seam is stitched for perfection and you can expect it won’t come apart for years to come. Extra rivets can be seen all along the belt-line to ensure it stays together strong.
Gatorback B145 Triple Combo Back Support Belts Review
- Very expansive waist sizes ranging from 26” up to 55”
- Inner foam backing for additional back support
- Stress points are riveted and bar tacked
- 18 total pockets and tool holders
What’s NOT so Good?
This tool belt is made with strong Duratek nylon so it’s almost as strong as leather but much lighter making it easier to carry around. While most tool belts strive to pack in a massive number of pockets, this can often wear you down. The Gatorback B145 is designed with the user in mind making it as comfortable and as supportive on your back as possible. With a wide padded waist-band and an inner lining, it helps keep your body supported while wearing it. It also doesn’t overload you with tools but still has enough to ensure you can get the job done.
There are 9 pouches, some including inner pockets and loops to store smaller tools. A hammer loop at the back and deep enough pockets to store any tool you might need up to 10” long.
You’ll also find that this tool belt has plenty of ventilation making it a “no sweat” type belt to keep you comfortable and cool.
DEWALT DG5641 – 20 Pocket Framer’s Combo Apron Review
- 8 primary pockets with 20 smaller pockets and sleeves
- Adjustable suspenders for additional support
- 5” belt with extra padding
- Waist sizes from 29”-46”
What’s NOT so Good?
Getting easy access to all of your tools is made easy with this DeWalt adjustable work apron. With a waistline available from 29” to 46” this belt will fit most workers easily. The belt has inner padding that makes it comfortable to wear and reduces strain on your back. It also comes with a 4-strap suspender that connects in the back and front giving you additional support and reduction of strain on your back.
There are 8 primary large pouches on each side of the tool belt which can be used for tool storage on their own. There are also 20 smaller individual tool pockets/pouches for all of the necessary tools, materials, and devices you carry around with you. The back side has a hammer loop as well as other hooks for a tape measure and other tools.
OX Tools Four Piece Construction Tool Belt Review
- Two large side pockets with up to 22 different pouches, slots, and hangers
- Thick 3-inch leather belt
- Up to 29-46” waist sizes
- Reinforced with rivets to strengthened it
What’s NOT so Good?
This tool belt is built to last a long time and provide you with all-day comfort while still giving you all of your tools at your fingertips. With a total of 22 different individual pockets for all of your necessary tools as well as hammer hook and pouches for nails and other small parts.
No matter your waist size, this one can fit almost anyone going as small as 29” on it’s the
smallest ring all the way up to 46” on the highest. You’ll like that the belt is wider than the standard 2” belt coming in at 3” so it provides you with added strength, support, and comfort while wearing it.
The rivets all in the right place shows you that OX Tools produced very high quality and durable tool belt that should last for many years to come.
Things to keep in mind when buying an electrician tool belt
If you’re ready to purchase your first tool belt or an upgrade to your last one, the first review the important parts of an electrician’s tool belt so you’re ready to know the differences. There are benefits to different types of materials, styles, and designs.
Below are the important factors to consider when purchasing a tool belt.
Tool belt material
The very first thing that you’ll find different between belts is the material used to craft them. There are two main types of material that are durable enough to suit a tool belt. The most common is heavy duty leather and the other is made from strong nylon.
Leather is one of the strongest and most common but you have to also understand that there are different types of leather. Soft leather tool belts (like suede) are quite inexpensive and you may be tempted to purchase these ones but they are typically not meant to be a belt that will last you many years.
If you’re just purchasing a tool belt for home DIY projects then it may suit you but if you need this for professional work then instead you want to get the bonded leather (or two-ply) as they will be much stronger than the soft leather ones. This is one of the toughest leathers as the two parts are typically sewn together to give it the strength it needs.
Typically, strong leather tool belts will last the longest but they also are not typically able to be used right upon purchase as the leather will be stiff requiring you to work with it a bit to get it stretched out and flexible. You can always use some oil or leather treatment to get it to soften up.
Another newer material is heavy-duty nylon which is relatively lighter than leather but still strong enough to do the job. The nylon tool belts will last you a couple of years, but it’ll be relatively shorter than the heavy-duty leather ones. If you are getting a nylon tool belt, it is highly suggested to ensure that all of the seams are double stitched and the material seems strong and durable.
Most tool belts claim to be a “one size fits all” but this is certainly not the case so you should be sure to try it out before buying. As a general rule, most electricians tend to be bigger in body build so many of the tool belts are designed for a larger physique.
If you have a waistline between 30-32 inch then you might be in for a scavenger hunt to find a tool belt made to fit your size. Most tool belts are designed around a standard 34-inch waistline so make sure before you buy that “one size fits all” tool belt that you make sure it truly has enough notches for your specific waistline.
Tool belts tend to weigh heavy once you load it up, so if it’s too loose on you, you can expect to be wearing the tool belt around your ankles most of the day which isn’t ideal for the task you purchased it for. Be sure to look at the notches to ensure it can be tightened at least one or two knocks closer as it may stretch over time.
If you’re not sure what size of tool belt you need, a general rule of thumb is to measure your waistline. If you have a 32-inch waistline, you should be selecting a tool belt that’s about 2-4 inches bigger than that as you’ll be putting your tool belt on top of your pants and on top of your belt on your pants so it’ll be quite a bit wider.
Number of Compartments
When picking out your tool belt there’s a perfect balance between the weight and the number of pockets/pouches on it so you have enough storage but it doesn’t bog you down. Of course, the greater number of pockets on the tool belt means you have a higher ability to store more tools. This also means it will weigh a lot more which can sometimes wear down and strain your body over time.
Before purchasing your tool belt first go through your tools and determine how many tools are typically used every time on the job and count those. You should probably go with a tool belt which has a couple more slots than what’s needed so it’s flexible to add those when necessary.
It’s also great to have a tool belt with a few large compartments so it’s flexible enough to have an interchangeable tool/part areas so it’s can be used for numerous different job types.
A few important compartments you should look for are the following:
- Hammer loops
- Tool/Nail/Screw pockets
- Zippered pouches for small pieces
- Non-slip pockets that mold to the tool so if you lean over it won’t fall out
- Compartment large enough for a multimeter
While this may not be top of mind when you’re purchasing the tool belt, but the placement and the sturdiness of the rivets are important. Often the rivets are places to keep the belt together well, but sometimes they are located in places that may get in the way of the tools on the belt itself. This means the tools get caught or knock against the rivets which is both damaging and frustrating when trying to get tools out.
They also can often have sharp edges which may cut or hurt you over time when blindly reaching for tools on your side. This can put you out of commission for the day which isn’t ideal. Make sure the rivets are in places which your hands typically won’t be reaching for.
Comfort of use
While no tool belt will feel great to wear as they are added weight to your body, there are some tool belts that just hang wrong and dig into your hips making it very uncomfortable. Make sure to choose a tool belt that is both light but strong. Normally a fabric/nylon tool belt will be more comfortable and light to wear, but they don’t typically last as long as the heavier leather/strong tool belts.
Quality and Durability
Selecting the best quality belt is one of the most important parts on a tool belt. Nobody wants to get a tool belt that starts to tear after a month or even a year. A good quality tool belt should last you up to 5-10 years before you should have to replace it.
When determining the quality of a tool belt you need to look at the durability of the materials like the leather quality and thickness, the quality of stitching and if it’s double stitched, how strong the rivets are and the metal it’s made with.
Typically, one way you can ensure you have purchased a good quality tool belt is by going through some of the most trusted brands including Custom Leathercraft, Occidental, DeWalt, and Tradegear. These companies are known for high quality tool belts and many other bags, tools and machinery which make them great choices if you’re not sure which brand to get.
Tool belts are highly customizable but not all of them are designed to be interchangeable. Most tool belts are simply a straight belt with attachable belt straps with holders. These holders can come off or be moved around allowing you to add more and remove when necessary. This means if you run out of pockets you can always purchase additional accessories to expand it.
Be sure to check what the customization is before buying as some are not customizable at all and the pockets are attached directly to the belt itself. Additionally, make sure it has customization for suspender hooks as this is one of the most important features later on as you start to load up the belt to give it extra support and make it easier on your body to carry.
By the way, here’s how to setup tool belt:
While price doesn’t always mean quality, it’s usually a pretty good sign that a more expensive tool belt will mean it must have high quality and customization in it. A typical decent tool belt will be around $100-$150 USD, but there are also many home DIY belts that can be as low as $50 USD.
When you start looking at the really high-quality long-lasting tool belts, they can get up to $250 USD but these are ones that you can expect will last you for a decade at least so you won’t have to worry about it breaking down on the job. Make sure when selecting don’t make price your main focus, but weigh the professional needs with the price points.
Organize Your Own Electrician Tool Belts
To organize your tool belt, put your primary tools on the side that your dominant hand is on. For the majority of you that will be your right-hand side. Additionally, we always suggest to place your tape measure, pen/pencil, and knife on this side as those are very common standard items no matter what jobs you’re doing.
By organizing the more prominent tools in this hierarchy way will ensure that the best of the best tools (those ones you use on every single job) will always be right there on your side to grab and use no matter where you are – even if you’re at the top of a ladder somewhere.
The optional tools that are not used as often should be placed in the non-dominant (typically left-hand) side of the tool belt. This will help to make sure that the tools on the dominant side are easy to grab and the non-dominant is used less so they won’t have to be picked up as often.
Another important aspect of organizing your tool belt is making sure it is evenly weighted out. If you have too many tools on one side and not that many on the other, then you’ll find yourself leaning a bit awkwardly which can cause additional back/spine issues.
Everyone will have a different process for stocking their tool-belt but the above process will help make it easy and simple to locate and access your tools.
How to Wear a Tool Belt Properly
When buying a tool belt, there are so many things to consider before purchasing it before it even comes time to wear it. Wearing it is only half the battle because if you purchase a bad tool belt, then wearing it will just be so much harder in the end.
First thing you need to consider when buying your tool belt is how many pockets does it have a thick/padded belt line? You typically want one that’s 3” wide and make sure it has multiple pockets on each size ranging from small to large. You also want to make sure there are at least one or two pockets that zip so you can place screws/nails and other small objects in. The padded/wide belt will make sure that the weight is evenly pulling against your body/back so that you don’t have all of the strain hitting you in one place.
If you have back problems, a tool belt may not be the best option for you, but there are a few suggestions for those with back problems:
- Purchase the suspenders add-on to your belt if there is one. Some tool belts don’t have a place to attach suspenders so make sure to check this first if you have back problems.
- If your back is really a big pain point for you, you could instead by a tool bag which can often hold even more tools, but it won’t always be readily available as it will be sitting on the floor nearby typically.
- Check if your tool belt has handles so you can sometimes use it as a “tool bag” carrying it around and other times you can attach it to your waist. While adding straps to your tool belt may seem strange, it can often help to make your tool belt a much more versatile piece of equipment to keep around your garage.
Cleaning and Maintaining a Tool Belt
While a tool belt typically won’t get very dirty as it will be off the ground, but proper maintenance will drastically extend the life of your tool belt so it will last for many years. Most tool belts are made of leather so they will require leather conditioners to maintain them otherwise they will start to get cracks over time which will cause the leather to break and tear.
Tool belts that are made from other types of material like nylon will require other products to wash/dry them which you can typically find in the original packaging when you purchase it.
Here are a few suggested things you do to keep your belt clean and maintained:
- Use a soft bristled brush (old toothbrush works) to remove dirt and dust from the pockets.
- Use leather conditioners on the leather portions of all belts.
- Keep your tool belt out of direct sunlight as much as possible (especially when not wearing it) as this will reduce the wear-and-tear.
- Wipe off anything that gets on the tool belt and does regular inspections if you see any sign of a tear.
Tool belts are really a lifesaver for those of us who work on-the-go jumping from one customer’s house to another trying to fix different parts of their home/business so having a tool belt that can help make the job faster and easier is very important. Read through each of these tool belt overviews to determine if you need a hardcore professional leather one or just a DIY home enthusiast one so you can pick the perfect one for you.
The perfect tool belt is definitely waiting for you, just depends on the exact needs that you have for tools to store, the price range you have in mind, and the number of tools you are able to carry safely.