I’m not kidding when I tell you this — getting a proper tool belt can change your life (at least the life that relies on tools). A quality belt will distribute the weight efficiently, provide easy access to the tools, and essentially become an extension of your body.
However, that’s unlikely to happen unless you get the right tool belt. While the choosing process can be pretty confusing in and of itself, it’s even more challenging if you’re left-handed.
Honestly, finding the best left-handed tool belt is like intentionally leaving most of your options out. Hence, one requires a bit more technical knowledge when choosing such a product. That’s where this article comes in.
I’ve tried out many and picked five of the top-rated tool belts for you lefties. Furthermore, I’ll be guiding you through the choosing process according to your needs. Let’s see what we’ve got in store.
|Fits Waist Sizes
|Easy Carrying Handle
|1250 DuraTek Nylon
|1680D Ballistic Poly
|1250 DuraTek Nylon
|Carhartt Tool Belt
Best Left-Handed Tool Belts in 2023 – My Picks
Quality left-handed tool belts have never been easy to find. Below are the best options that I’ve categorized according to their merits.
- Best Overall – Occidental Leather 9850LH
- Best Lightweight – Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo
- Best Value – CLC Custom LeatherCraft 51452 Tool Belt
- Most Comfortable – Gatorback Electricians Combo Deluxe Package
- Best within Budget – Carhartt Legacy Tool Belt
Best Overall – Occidental Leather 9850LH
This is no surprise for anyone that has been in this game for long. Occidental is an industry veteran with decades of experience under its belt (I’ll show myself out). The 9850LH with the Fat Lip bags is the overall champion for me.
Let’s start with the layout and design. Along with the apparent feature of being suitable for left-handers, it features an excellent layout. There are two groups of pouches (24 pockets and holders in total) and a hammer holster in the middle.
Speaking of pouches — these things are deeper than your Instagram quotes. Thanks to the 10-inch depth, you can store a ton of tools and accessories in the bags. This can be beneficial for purposes like storing fasteners.
And although Occidental says that this belt is designed with carpenters in mind, it’s incredibly versatile. Therefore, one can use them in most cases unless the bigger pouches end up creating a problem.
That’s one of the few drawbacks here. If you need to lean over a lot, smaller accessories may end up falling out. Not only that, but it also may cause interference issues if the user has to move through tight spots.
The corners and the bottom portions specifically caught my eye, though. All of these parts are reinforced with thick leather. That makes the product much more resistant to wear and tear over the years.
Nevertheless, another drawback is its lack of adjustment. I could not move the pouches wherever I wanted to customize the layout, which might be a bummer for some (not for me, though). Other than that, the left-handed tool pouch was also effortless to access.
I didn’t face any difficulties getting things out of them. Now, for the materials —this product uses a combination of leather and nylon. The belt is made with quality leather, which is also well-padded.
Thanks to that, the overall weight distribution is excellent. The contact points didn’t feel like they were under a lot of pressure either. I believe this capability would be especially beneficial for users with back pain.
The nylon used in it is thick and rugged, and there should be no worries about its durability. Occidental also used high-density neoprene in some parts, especially near the areas with padding. Overall, comfort and durability are top-notch.
You can also use suspenders with the belt to make things effortless. It comes with pre-installed D rings for such purposes, which I appreciate. Overall maneuverability is also decent, with adjustability between 32 to 40 inches.
Adjusting the belt was pretty straightforward, so no complaints there. The product weighs around 5.2 pounds, which is typical with leather. Yet, it didn’t feel uncomfortable, thanks to the impressive weight distribution and padding.
Sure, this product is far from being a cheap one. Nevertheless, I’d argue that you get what you pay for — an excellent tool belt that will last for years.
Best Lightweight – Gatorback B145 Carpenters Triple Combo
Regardless of how much value a high-end tool belt may provide, budget can always be an issue. Not all of us want to dish out hundreds of dollars on left-handed leather tool belts. Especially, the occasional hobbyists.
That’s what my second pick, the Gatorback B145, is for. This is a belt that ensures superb value minus the hefty price tag. As the name suggests, you get three groups of pouches — two on both sides and one in the middle.
For materials, this product relies primarily on synthetics. Parts like the pouches are made with nylon and Lycra fabric. Gatorback also reinforced areas with leather to increase the longevity and durability, which I appreciated.
The belt is also leather-tipped to provide extra strength. For the price, I’d say the materials are decent. And relying on Lycra fabrics instead of leather makes the whole thing more breathable and comfortable.
I also enjoyed the back support pad. It uses memory foam for padding, meaning the user wouldn’t feel much stress even with a lot of tools. Furthermore, it’s pretty wide — measuring roughly 8 inches at the widest part (3″ at the front).
Now, I was pretty content with the stitches and rivets. Areas that might be under stress are all stitched with bar-tacks and metal rivets. The pouches are able to handle a significant amount of pressure and weight because of those.
Furthermore, all of the pockets use 1250 DuraTek nylon webbings to double down on that quality. My only gripe is that the portions with Velcro aren’t reinforced as well. Other than that, the number of pouches is pretty impressive.
There’s a large tool pouch, seven pocket fastener pouches (especially helpful for carpenters and wall builders), a single pouch, and two holders for your hammer and tape. While that’s remarkable, it’s not all sunshine.
Even though the main pouch was spacious (8″ deep), some of the pouches are somewhat tiny for their respective purposes. For example, the nail pouch could be a bit more accessible. The tape holder would also have a hard time storing a 30′ tape.
Nevertheless, I liked the boxed design that Gatorback follows here. That way, the user gets as much storage space as possible. The compartments also keep their shape thanks to the plastic reinforcement inside them.
It’s also possible to use suspenders with this belt. The product comes with suspender rings out of the box, making it easy to achieve superior weight distribution and comfort. I found that it supports any four-point suspenders too, which is remarkable.
There’s also a handle to carry it when you aren’t wearing the belt. There are a bunch of size options as well, making sure it suits everyone. I’d recommend going slightly higher than your actual measurement for the ideal sizing.
Since resizing the belt is pretty convenient, you don’t have to worry about it being a tad bigger than necessary. All in all, it’s an easy recommendation if you want the best left-handed tool belt.
Best Value – CLC Custom LeatherCraft 51452 Tool Belt
One of the essential parts of a tool belt for me is its comfort. Suppose the product itself weighs around five pounds, and then you add a few pounds with your tools. Without a quality design and sufficient padding, it’s going to hurt.
People with back pains surely know what I’m talking about. My third pick from Custom LeatherCraft impressed me in this aspect. First off, it uses fabrics for the most part, and that works in favor of the user (more on its quality later).
Thanks to that, the product’s overall weight is much less than belts entirely relying on leather. Secondly, it’s pretty wide (5″) to distribute the weight evenly and prevent stressing any part of your body.
It also provides enough legroom (waist-room, if you will) with a size range of 29″-46″. Modifying the width of the belt seemed pretty straightforward for the most part. That’s helped by the steel roller belt buckle, which is sturdy and efficient.
Now, one might wonder if using fabrics instead of leather compromises with stability. I would say no. This belt uses double-layer ballistic fabric to ensure remarkable durability, supported by the top-grain leather trim on the edges.
Other portions also use the same high-quality nylon and leather. Its combination between lightness and durability is what I really enjoyed. All of the edges are reinforced with leather to prevent sharp tools from poking through.
Another benefit of nylon pouches is that they are incredibly breathable. Leather products tend to feel a bit hotter since they don’t allow air to pass through. And I didn’t feel like it lacked much in terms of storage space either.
There are a total of 27 pockets on this belt, 17 of which are smaller holders for your wire cutters or pliers. Furthermore, it includes 8 reversed nail and tool pockets, which are spacious enough and don’t let anything fall off.
Accessing the nails and fasteners seemed pretty convenient, although it could use a bit of work. This design is especially well-suited for framers due to the layout and design. But of course, anyone else can also make great use of it.
My gripe is with the hammer holder at the middle of the belt, however. I couldn’t like the position it’s in, as it keeps hitting the leg. Not only that, but it can also be a bit awkward to reach the hammer.
Another issue is that the sides of the pockets can be pretty stiff during the initial period. It can be somewhat annoying when you crouch down; especially you’re wearing it with a tight fit.
Nevertheless, the value it provides is commendable. Quality materials with an intelligent design for a reasonable price — I don’t think you can go wrong with this tool belt.
Most Comfortable – Gatorback Electricians Combo Deluxe Package
As I said before, comfort is of utmost importance when shopping for a tool belt. Otherwise, you might end up having pain in your waist or back, and the experience would be nothing worth writing home about.
Enter the Electricians Combo. Although Gatorback says that it’s for electricians, it deserves more credit than that. Let’s start with the storage capabilities. This belt is relatively compact and has a smaller footprint than most.
As the name suggests, it’s a superb option for electricians. You can also use for other professions if you don’t need to carry large, heavy tools. Other than that, it comes with all the necessary bells and whistles and 18 pockets in total.
It follows the standard design with two groups of pouches. Each side has 9 pockets. There’s also a hammer holder at the back, and I’m not particularly fond of the placement.
The hammer sometimes ends up hitting the leg during movement, which is a bit annoying. This belt also features a tape chain, which works as intended. The pockets are deep enough for short to medium-long tools.
For the materials, this belt relies on 1250 DuraTek nylon. And no, it’s nothing to scoff at. This fabric is surprisingly sturdy and can handle a significant amount of stress and weight. The icing on the cake is the padding on the rear.
It comes with a decent amount of padding, which makes wearing it for a longer period comfortable. As I said earlier, it’s a blissful experience if you have back pain. Even better, it comes with a pair of suspenders out of the box!
The suspenders use the same materials, making things durable. While you probably won’t need them, utilizing the suspenders can distribute the weight efficiently and prevent back issues.
There is a minor caveat, though. The shoulder straps on the suspenders sometimes fail to stay attached. This issue can be apparent if the fit is tight and you’re carrying a decent amount of weight on the belt.
Another bonus is that this product comes with a pair of DuraGrip finger-less gloves. These provide the necessary functionalities without hampering accessibility. Such little things show that a manufacturer is trying to improve the experience.
Regarding the sizing for the belt, you can go from small (starting from 26″) to 3XL (up to 55″ waist), which is incredible. Remember to keep your clothes on when you measure your waist, as that’s how you would wear the belt.
Overall, this is an outstanding option if you don’t need to contain comparatively larger tools. It’s already one of the best left-handed tools belts for electricians, so that’s a no-brainer. For other purposes, try to make sure it will suffice.
Best within Budget – Carhartt Legacy Tool Belt
You may have noticed that most of the belts above still weighed around 5 pounds or more. That’s something we cannot avoid with a leather-nylon hybrid product, as the leather will add to the weight.
If you want something surprisingly lightweight, you can try out the Legacy Tool Belt from Carhartt. The overall weight is only two pounds, making it convenient to carry. So, how did the manufacturer achieve this?
The answer is polyester, that too 100%. You might say that it won’t be as high-quality as leather products, and you’d be right. But this product doesn’t try to hit that demographic either. Inexpensive and lightweight is its ideal description.
It costs only a fraction of the previous recommendations, which can be a good thing. Polyester is water repellent to keep your tools safe from water.
Moreover, the pouches have abrasive-resisting corners made with Duravax. That means the sharp tools won’t be able to poke their way out of the pockets.
There are 9 pockets with 6 loops for your tools. I would say that they’re spacious enough, some of which are large enough for medium-sized screwdrivers too.
It boasts two removable pockets as well, allowing for the option to customize the belt. It also features a hammer holder in the middle, although its position might seem a bit awkward for some users.
Something that bummed me out was that the pockets are somewhat stiff. While this is expected from leather belts, a polyester option should be more comfortable and easier to break in.
Nevertheless, the tape measure holder seemed a bit tight, especially with longer tapes. Let’s move on to the belt. What’s good is that it’s padded and contoured, so the experience is not uncomfortable at all.
The buckle seemed a bit lacking in quality. But upon considering the affordable price, I can give it a pass. The maximum waist size is 42 inches, which should be sufficient for most people.
There’s another issue — it doesn’t always stay in balance when filled with heavier tools. Due to this problem, I would recommend using it to ensure stability. The manufacturer should address this issue ASAP, but you get what you get.
All in all, this tool belt cuts a few corners to reach its price tag. You can roll with it if you want something lightweight within your budget. However, I’d suggest opting for something better for serious, professional workloads.
What Should You Consider for When Buying These Products?
Sure, the reviews above will provide you with great alternatives. However, it’s crucial to know what you’re getting is right for your purposes and needs. That’s why I have prepared a detailed guide to help you get past that hurdle.
Quality and Durability
We need to look at a bunch of aspects to determine the overall quality of a belt. That includes the materials and stitching quality. Let’s take a look.
One of the first things to look at is the material. I would divide them into three categories:
i) Leather (usually oiled or suede)
ii) Nylon or pleather
iii) Mixed options (belts with both leather and synthetics)
Leather tool belts are usually the most expensive ones. But that’s not all they are. These products are also some of the sturdiest and most long-lasting ones.
• The most popular type of this material would be suede, with oiled options coming in at second. Thanks to their sturdiness, these products can easily withstand all the wear and tear you throw at them.
• Since leather is pretty popular, you can find a suitable option for every purpose. Slightly smaller options with deeper pouches for electricians, bigger ones for carpenters — the list goes on.
• Other than the higher cost, there is another con with these products, which is the weight. Such products are always heavier than materials like nylon, which can be an issue for some users.
• Another bit to remember is that there is a break-in period during which the product will feel a bit stiff. However, it doesn’t last too long, so don’t worry too much about it.
Overall, I prefer suede leather belts. They’re more comfortable than the oil-tanned options and usually provide more storage space.
ii) Nylon and Pleather
Thanks to good old science, we can now find extremely sturdy artificial materials like nylon. Brands like Occidental produce fantastic nylon products that can stand the test of time.
• One of the benefits of such belts is the weight (or lack thereof). Thanks to the lightweight artificial materials used, such products can be much lighter than leather. If you suffer from back pain, this can make a huge difference (for the younger ones — it’s coming for you!).
• Like leather belts, durability can depend on the quality and thickness of the material. If it’s too thin and doesn’t seem too sturdy, the chances are that it might not be.
• Another bonus with these products is that you don’t have to pay as much. Compared to leather, nylon tool belts are much more affordable, as the production costs less. Then comes faux leather or pleather.
• Pleather usually refers to an imitation of leather made with materials like polyurethane. The inclusion of synthetics usually makes it less expensive than leather. But don’t be fooled by that — these can be surprisingly durable too!
• If you’re looking for something within a tight budget, a combination of these materials can be suitable. Manufacturers have come a long way to ensure that they last long and perform well.
iii) Mixed Options (Leather and Synthetics)
Many of the mainstream brands are now producing belts with this combination. Usually, the main belts and holsters use leather, while the pouches come with synthetic materials like nylon.
Opting for such products can provide you with multiple benefits.
• Firstly, you can get rid of much of the weight a full-leather tool belt would have had. It might not be as light as a pleather belt, but you retain the durability and quality of genuine leather here.
• As people often wear these belts for extended periods, many now prefer these hybrid options. Furthermore, this approach can lower the manufacturing cost. In turn, the consumer needs to pay less, which is always a plus.
• Another bit is comfort. Many users find that belts with this combination are comfier. Not only that, but they also don’t feel as uncomfortable during the break-in period either.
I would go as far as saying these products are my favorite. Of course, much of it is a personal preference.
The Stitching and Rivets
A tool belt will withstand a lot of wear and tear and hold heavy objects (which varies depending on your purposes). Regardless of what it contains, one thing is for sure — it needs to be sturdy.
While the material is crucial, the stitching and rivets often determine if the belt can withstand the test of time. The first thing to look at is how well the product is stitched. Quality products will use materials like sturdy nylons.
Moreover, look for bar stitches or bar-tacks. This fancy word refers to the reinforcements at the end of a stitch and in places that face stress. Having these means allows the belt to handle even more roughness.
The rivets can play a significant role too. Like stitches, these also hold things in place and ensure that nothing loosens up. When you put a lot of pressure or store heavy tools, these provide the necessary reinforcement.
Storage and Compartments
The amount of storage the belt offers is essential. The first step is to know what you’ll store on the belt. That can vary depending on your purposes — a carpenter and an electrician don’t require the same tools.
The space each compartment provides is just as crucial as the number of compartments. That’s not to say a bigger pouch is always better. It’s all about having the right options. Just like you need to store a hammer, you need to store a pencil too.
Additionally, consider the belt’s weight with all the compartments and accessories. Ensuring these bits can help you find a suitable option.
Even in Quality Left-handed Tool Belts, customizability isn’t something you can find everywhere. For example, many users don’t like pouches fixed in one place. The lack of control in that aspect can be annoying.
Moreover, left and right-handed people prefer ambidextrous tool belts. While it boils down to preference, that ability is always beneficial. It’s also essential to look at the hammer holder’s type and adjustability.
Fit and Comfort
Since we wear these belts for extended periods, comfort is crucial. Regardless of the material, it should have some sort of padding. Breathability also plays a role, and some leather belts can be lacking in this aspect.
Leather belts can be surprisingly uncomfortable without proper padding, especially during the initial period. While nylon options are lighter and somewhat comfortable, proper padding ensures that the tools’ weight doesn’t fatigue you.
Another essential aspect is the fit. The first tip is to get something slightly larger than your waist’s size. And it doesn’t matter what the belt is made of —they all benefit from a quality belt buckle.
It shouldn’t be too large, though. That would irritate you when you’re trying to lean over. The same principle applies to the rivets too. Having low-profile rivets allow for a less intrusive and comfortable experience.
Many belts will come with suspenders or support aftermarket ones. Essentially, they’re the straps that hold the tool belt and go over your shoulders. That means the weight distribution is much better, which allows for a better experience.
If you suffer from back pain, I would recommend getting a suspender right away. Of course, the suspender should also have proper padding and ensure comfort.
Try to look at the types of suspenders your belt would be best-suited with. While most belts should work well, the mechanism can vary throughout the spectrum.
How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Tool Belt?
Although this might sound somewhat dumb, many users fail to utilize their tool belts properly. When that happens, even an expensive product will fall short. Here are a few tips, including how to wear a tool belt and get the most out of it.
How you balance your tools can make a massive difference in the experience. The usual idea would be to pack all of the necessities near your dominant hand.
That may include tools like claw hammers, pliers, or utility knives. And it’s probably the ideal method — until it hampers the weight balance.
An unbalanced tool belt will make movements awkward and worsen the experience. You can try dividing the heaviest items to avoid having to work with a lopsided belt. All of the lighter essentials like pencils, wire cutters, or pliers can be wherever you prefer.
In terms of the arrangement, it’s always a good idea to keep similar tools separate. Otherwise, they’ll turn into a garbled mess when you move. This step is easy if your belt has enough compartments.
If it doesn’t, you can try creating groups of different tools, reducing the possibilities of mixing things up. Besides, arranging the tools according to how often you use them can also help.
Utilizing the Suspenders
Many users often complain about how their back hurts after using a belt. To no one’s surprise, they often store heavy tools in the belt. Not only that, the belt itself is quite heavy in some cases.
This is where suspenders can save the day. They will help you distribute the tools’ weight instead of having sore spots along your waist. Not only that, they increase the overall stability and make movement effortless.
Some products will come with suspenders, and some won’t. If you need to buy one, my recommendation would be M-shaped suspenders instead of the Y-shaped ones. Those usually provide a better experience.
Changing Things Up
An easy but effective way is to reverse your belt when you have to lean in to work. For example, it can be pretty annoying to have the tool belt at the front when building walls.
In such cases, having the belt behind you can be beneficial. It becomes effortless to get your fasteners and other accessories that way.
Wrapping it All up
Tools belts are an essential part of our workloads, be it for professional or personal projects. Unfortunately, looking for the best left-handed tool belt is more challenging in contrast to the right-handed options.
Nonetheless, the reviews and tips above should play a role in making that journey a tad smoother for you. Try to ensure that you know what your purposes require and follow the suggestions. Hope your hunt ends here!