While in the midst of a major DIY or professional job, there are few feelings better than knowing that you have every tool you need to bring your blueprints to life. Whether you’re working on an assembling project or an at-home renovation, a spacious and durable tool belt is nearly as important as the hand tools and construction materials you store within it.
Carpenters, electricians, and construction workers alike will all swear by their own tool belt, even if they aren’t sure why they like it so much. I was in the market to replace my old, worn-out tool belt recently and thought, “who better to ask for a recommendation that the men and women who use a tool belt every day on the job?”
While I originally undertook this research in order to find my next tool belt, I’m passing what I learned onto you so that you too can find the best tool belt to fit your needs and your budget. With offerings from major brands like DeWalt, Dickies, and GatorBack on this list, brand loyalists are sure to find a tool belt to match the rest of their repertoire. Even budget-conscious DIY-ers can pick from this list and know that they are getting the most bang for their buck.
As I discovered, no two tool belts are exactly alike, especially when it comes to storage capacity and durability. As a result, this top 10 review of the best tool belts in 2021 includes concise breakdowns of many of the most important specifications and features that allow these models to rise above the competition.
Based on my expert analysis of each of these models, I believe that one of these well-built tool belts has a future at your side, either on the job or during an at-home DIY project.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Tool Belts – Comparison
- Top 10 Tool Belts for Skilled Handymen and Handywomen
- 1. Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo
- 2. DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro Framer’s Tool
- 3. BLENDEX Magnetic Wristband
- 4. Bucket Boss 2 Bag Tool Belt
- 5. Occidental Leather 5590 LG Commercial
- 6. Dickies Work Gear 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig
- 7. ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt Set
- 8. CLC Custom Leathercraft 527X Heavy Duty
- 9. Klein Tools Adjustable Electrician Belt
- 10. GlossyEnd 11 Pocket Heavy Duty Construction
10 Best Tool Belts – Comparison
|Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple||Check Price|
|DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro||Check Price|
|BLENDEX Magnetic Wristband||Check Price|
|Bucket Boss 2 Bag Tool Belt||Check Price|
|Occidental Leather 5590 LG||Check Price|
|Dickies Work Gear 4-Piece||Check Price|
|ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt||Check Price|
|CLC Custom Leathercraft 527X||Check Price|
|Klein Tools Adjustable Electrician||Check Price|
|GlossyEnd 11 Pocket Heavy Duty||Check Price|
Top 10 Tool Belts for Skilled Handymen and Handywomen
After trying a full assortment of different tool belts on and testing their capabilities, I can fully certify that these 10 models are the best tool belts available for purchase in 2020. In order to highlight what makes each of these belts so outstanding, I’ve written up a succinct review for each that covers what specification and which features made me want to add it to my own DIY loadout.
Whether you are looking for a simple work apron or a fully-equipped tool harness set, you’re sure to find your new favorite tool belt among these top 10 models.
1. Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo
The Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo Heavy Duty Work Belt was one of the first models recommended to me and after trying it on, I can surely see why! This tool belt was as comfortable as can be, even as I wore it out in the warm summer sun. As it turns out, this level of comfort is facilitated by its patented air channel design, which provides a sweat-free experience around the wearer’s waist.
I was also immediately impressed by how many different types of metallic supports this GaterBack tool belt included. After looking closely, I found that nearly every seam was supported by a rivet, a tack bar, or both. Combined with the heavy duty 1250 DuraTek nylon that makes up the belt and accessories for this model, I would expect this model too far outlast the competition in terms of durability.
This GaterBack tool belt comes in sizes ranging from small to 3XL, so there’s truly no reason why a professional craftsman or DIYer should pass up a chance to own one. Even for its higher-than-average price tag, owning this GaterBack tool belt will be a worthwhile investment that you won’t regret.
- Multiple sizes between small and 3XL
- Patented air channel design for enhanced comfort
- Durable construction with rivets and tack bars at all seams
- Not priced for DIY-ers
2. DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro Framer’s Tool
DeWalt always provides some of the best power tools, so I had high hopes when I tried on the DeWalt DG5617 20-Pocket Pro Framer’s Tool Belt. Suffice to say, my expectations were well met as soon as I felt its unique suspender construction lift a substantial load off of my main tool belt. With the weight spread out so effectively, I felt more empowered than ever to carry every tool I could need with me while completing DIY jobs.
With this new drive to carry more weight, I was delightfully surprised to see that this DeWalt model provides 20 pockets across both the belt and suspender components. Many of these were gusset-style pockets, allowing me to store whole handfuls of nails comfortably alongside my drill bits, wrenches, and mini-levels.
Most of the tool belts I’ve owned in the past have cut into my waist and stomach, making them excessively uncomfortable. The DeWalt DG5617 20 seems to have found a way around this problem, as its padded belt and double-tongue roller buckle didn’t leave me with almost any discomfort after several hours of wear.
Altogether, folks looking for a high capacity alternative to traditional tool belts will find the DeWalt DG5617 20 to their liking.
- Suspender construction evenly distributes the weight from large tool loads
- Double-tongue roller buckle doesn’t cut in at the waist
- 20 pockets in total, with much featuring gusset-style construction
- Plastic connection component prone to breakage
3. BLENDEX Magnetic Wristband
A little innovation can go a long way and the BLENDEX Magnetic Wristband proves this to be true almost immediately. Though it is technically a simple magnetic tool strap with Velcro, I was more than surprised how much use I got out of it on jobs requiring a lot of nailing or drill bit changing.
Because of this tool belt’s Velcro strap, you can actually attach it on your belt and upper arm as well as your wrist. Wherever you place it, you’ll have the power of 15 strong magnets holding tight to every last nail, screw, and small metal tool you need.
Even for its full magnet set, this model weighs in at only 2.4 ounces. While neither the exterior 1680D ballistic polyester weave or interior padded mesh weigh this belt down, they do add a great amount of durability and breathability, respectively.
While the BLENDEX Magnetic Wristband lacks pockets in the traditional sense, busy craftsman and DIYer will surely be able to use it to supplement their current tool belt with pockets.
- Unique wrist-mounted construction ideal for keeping nails and screws at hand
- 15 imbedded magnets strong enough to even hold drill bits and small wrenches
- Exterior woven from durable 1680D ballistic polyester
- No pockets for large volume storage
4. Bucket Boss 2 Bag Tool Belt
The Bucket Boss 2 Bag Tool Belt definitely fits the bill as an “average” tool belt. But even so, its sizing and organizational system make it useful for all type of tradesmen and women, both professional and amateur.
Though I don’t need every inch of this model’s potential width, I can appreciate the ability of its “infinity belt” to widen all the way out to 52” inches. That wide of a range can really make the difference when it comes to getting a comfortable fit if you’re a broader individual.
The Bucket Boss’ barrel-bottom pouches are also outstanding, primarily because of how easy they are to adjust and access while the belt is being worn. The durable steel hammer loops, steel buckle, and steel grommets throughout also come together to make this a solid choice for a new tool belt.
- “Infinity belt” fits up to 52” waist
- Adjustable pouch system for added versatility
- Steel hammer loop, buckle, and grommets for added durability
- Not particularly comfortable
5. Occidental Leather 5590 LG Commercial
Certain trades require special equipment to simplify or organize their workflow. As its name suggests, the Occidental Leather 5590 LG Commercial Electrician’s Set is geared towards electricians and their need for compartmentalized belt storage for their many thin tools. Each narrow pocket on this model can comfortably hold a tool or two without creating snags or overburdening the wearer.
This model’s belt proper is also made of high-quality American leather. I found this particularly eye-catching in an era of all synthetic-made tool belts. However, I didn’t appreciate the prospect of resealing this leather belt at least twice a year, per its owner instructions. If I were a dedicated electrician, I would still give this tool belt from the Occidental Leather a chance, despite that drawback.
- Crafted from high quality American leather
- Narrow pockets optimized for electrician’s tools
- Six different sizing options for a nice tight fit
- Leather requires treatment at least once per year
6. Dickies Work Gear 4-Piece Carpenter’s Rig
This Dickies Work Gear model is certainly a full rig, as far as tool belts are concerned. When I first tried it on, I was worried that I would easily lose track of which pocket my necessary tools were in. However, this model’s left-right storage system makes it easy to differentiate which tools are in which storage pouch.
Also, this Dickies Work Gear model is surprisingly comfortable, even for its maxed outsize and fitting. Every inch of this model’s internal rig is lined with a unique cooling mesh that creates an air channel when worn. The suspenders on this model additionally features gel padding in order to prevent them from digging in when its pockets are loaded down with gear.
Overall, this Dickies Work Gear model is another great choice when it comes to maximizing storage capacity with a suspender-style tool belt.
- Unique left-right storage system for easy organization
- Moisture-wicking waist belt for 32-50” waists
- Gel-padded suspenders that don’t cut in with a heavy load onboard
- Only fits people 6’ or taller
7. ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt Set
The ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt is easily the most versatile and adaptable tool belt on the market today, owing largely to its modular storage system. This system allows you to effectively build your own custom belt and add on what you need, be that holsters, pouches, bags, rings, or clips. If you’re not up for customization, ToughBuilt even offers pre-made sets for tradesmen, farmers, builders, and contractors.
While this customizability was outstanding, I was most impressed by this model’s “No-Snag Hidden Seam” construction. With simply additional like plastic utility knife pockets and rivets on each heavy tool compartment, this tool belt was clearly built to last longer than its competition. At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with the durability and customizability that this ToughBuilt tool belt brings to the table.
- Modular construction allows customization
- Heavy-duty pockets and loops reinforced with rivets
- “No-Snag Hidden Seam” construction to minimize wear and tear
- Some webbing prone to fraying
8. CLC Custom Leathercraft 527X Heavy Duty
At face value, the CLC Custom Leathercraft 527X appears valuable simply because it is affordably priced. But below the surface, I was surprised to find it featured double gusseted pockets throughout. Each of these 12 pockets was made from a comfortable suede that, while smooth to the touch, did soak up sweat in an undesirable manner.
In terms of fit, this model’s 2” poly web belt and roller buckle fits well, albeit a bit tight when I bent over. Though I wasn’t wearing it at its largest setting, I was disappointed to see that this model only fit waists up to 49”. This is certainly a limitation, but not one that should dissuade bargain-minded tool belt shoppers entirely.
- Affordably priced
- Suede leather construction for comfort and durability
- Double gusset construction allows for easy access
- Does not fit sizes over 49”
- Suede holds onto sweat
9. Klein Tools Adjustable Electrician Belt
I’ve often found myself wanting to ditch my tool belt’s belt component while preserving the tool holster components. Few belt pieces had convinced me that this was a worthwhile option until I tried on the Klein Tools Adjustable Electrician Belt. This 2” wide polypropylene webbing belt was surprisingly rugged and able to adapt to my various tool holster components without snagging.
Also, unlike so many other tool belts, this model has its wearer’s safety in mind. While the quick release buckle is convenient when it’s time to take a break on the job, I also believe it could really make a difference should I become caught by my belt in an unsafe manner while working. On those two factors alone, I am convinced that this Klein Tools belt would make a worthwhile replacement option.
- Ideal as a main belt replacement
- Quick release belt for easy adjustment and safety
- Polypropylene webbing resists strain and wear
- Does not come with pocket accessories or clips
10. GlossyEnd 11 Pocket Heavy Duty Construction
This GlossyEnd tool belt had two distinct features that I believe craftsmen and construction workers, in particular, will appreciate. The most visually obvious of these two factors is the fact that this tool belt comes in an optional safety orange and yellow color scheme, which is ideal for folks who are required to wear safety-oriented colors while on the job site.
Also, this model’s 600D polyester belt is reinforced by sets of rust-proof rivets. Even after wearing this belt on a steamy summer afternoon, I was surprised to see that these rivets resisted corrosion from my sweat, even after drying back out. Taken together, I believe this model’s base capabilities make it a worthwhile option for those not in need of carrying every last tool with them at once.
- Rust-proof rivets resist sweat-based corrosion
- Available in construction site safety colors
- Five large pockets and six small pockets
- Plastic buckle prone to shattering under impact
At the end of my tests, I was surprised at how many durable, high-capacity tool belts were available on the market for amateurs and professionals alike. Because I’m still shopping for my own upgraded tool belt, I can’t pick just one of these models to serve as the best tool belt for 2021. Each one features their own quality attributes that may be appealing to craftsman and DIY-ers with different needs and budgets.
While I work on making my final selection, I’m going to also spend some time reevaluating how I organize my tools on my tool belt. That way, I’ll know I have the most comfortable, easy-to-access system in place when I finally purchase a new tool belt.