When you’re down in the trenches, comfort becomes a luxury. You crave it. Scrape for it. But apart from changing the work environment (which is next to impossible), there’s nothing much you can do.
But you CAN make a difference. A proper tool belt is one of the only ways you can actually make your work life more comfortable. While it won’t get rid of all the discomfort that comes along with a project, it will certainly make your life better, easier, and smoother.
However, no one belt rules them all. It varies from vocation to vocation. That’s why it’s really important to understand what’s the most comfortable tool belt for you.
I’m going to highlight a bunch of tool belts – some all-purpose, others specific to one type of work – to give you a clear idea of what to expect from a belt in terms of comfort and utility. The breakdown that I’ll provide in this article will help you choose an appropriate belt for your upcoming/existing project.
So, reduce (or at least minimize) the downtime of switching between different tools by getting yourself a belt that makes you feel like the “Caped Crusader”.
P.S: If you make it to the end, I’ll let you in on the belt that I love, capeesh?
|Product||Material||Fits Waist Size||Pockets||Color|
|Bucket Boss AirLift Belt||600D Poly||Up-to 52″||12||Brown|
|ToughBuilt Tool Belt Set||Polyester||32″-48″||31||Black|
|TradeGear Part#SZB||600D Nylon||40″-55″||27||Black|
|Gatorback B240||1250 DuraTek Nylon||26″-55″||27||Black|
|The Original Pink Tool Belt||Polyester||23″-43″||10||Pink|
|Dead On DO-FR Rig||600D Poly||28″-46″||24||Grey|
8 Most Comfortable Tool Belts to Wear to Work or DIY Jobs
When I say I’d “highlight a bunch of tool belts”, I don’t mean putting the belts I’ve listed here on a pedestal. What I will do is- show you the perks, the pitfalls, and how to make the most out of each belt, capeesh? Now that we’re on the same page, let’s head in.
- Best Overall – DEWALT DG5617 Tool Belt
- Best Budget – Bucket Boss AirLift Belt
- For Roofer – ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt
- For Electrician – TradeGear Belt & Bag Combo
- For HVAC – Gatorback B240 Tool Belt
- For Carpenter & Leather – Occidental Leather 8089
- For Female – The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt
- For Framing – Dead On DO-FR Framers Rig
DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro Framer’s Combo Apron Tool Belt and Yoke-style Suspenders
I already mentioned that there’ll be both all-purpose and task/gender-specific belts. Specialized belts have their limitations because they’re meant for one particular job. However, an all-purpose belt like the DEWALT DG5617 Combo is perfect for people who want to get maximum performance for different projects.
The DEWALT DG5617 has a lot of good stuff going on. What caught my eye the moment I started using it was the number of pockets. It has so many – in fact, some would argue that it has too many.
I took care of many projects without making full use of the 20 pockets. Still, it’s always good to have more. You never know when an extra pocket might come in handy.
Now, more pockets can mean more trouble as well. If the weight distribution on the belt is poor, the pockets can create a potential recipe for disaster. Imagine walking up the ladder with all your tools, and the belt just pops open. Not pretty.
However, the suspender-style belt can distribute the weight evenly throughout your body. Usually, waist-only belts put all the pressure on your waist, creating discomfort and potentially ruining your night’s sleep. However, the DEWALT DG5617’s suspenders can endure the weight of all the 20 pockets, and disperse it.
Another issue workers have with belts is the constant sweating. The belt wraps you like a Boa constrictor, and you suffocate. But the breathable mesh takes care of this issue. You will still sweat in a heated workshop. But the mesh lining will reduce the intensity by allowing more air passage.
However, the armor of DG5617 isn’t impenetrable. The pocket dedicated for cellphones is dated. Cellphones are getting taller, wider, and thinner. This belt’s cell pocket struggles to accommodate anything larger than 5.5 inches.
The one way of working around it is using Velcro to keep it stationary. However, you’d still feel a tinge of discomfort because sudden movements can result in serious damage to your phone.
But the DEWALT DG5617 is an incredible belt for a decent price. If you think about it, you’re not supposed to carry a cellphone when you’re working anyways. So, the poor phone pouch is somewhat forgivable.
The leather quality, the number of pouches available, suspender-supported design – all of these together make up for the little deficiency of the DG5617. If you’re looking for an all-purpose tool belt that’ll be flexible enough for different tasks, give the DEWALT DG5617 a whirl. I would even go as far as to bestow the title of the most comfortable work belt to the DG5617.
Bucket Boss – AirLift Tool Belt with Suspenders
Most weekend warriors don’t want to shell out big bucks or even close-to-moderate bucks for a tool belt. I get that. They just want to take on a few household tasks and spending anywhere close to $100 doesn’t make much sense. So, the Bucket Boss AirLift Tool Belt is for all the budget hunters out there.
Similar to the DEWALT DG5617, the Bucket Boss AirLift also comes with suspenders. All the weight of the tools won’t fall on your waist. Instead, your shoulders will pitch in and make it easier to move around with the tools.
This belt doesn’t have a ton of pockets like the DG5617. However, the 12 pockets of AirLift were more than enough for me to handle a ton of household jobs. I could keep my speed square, nails, and all the other small tools.
But there is no dedicated space for speed square and other tools. It might not seem like much, but it can increase your downtime during work. There are small and big pouches in this belt. However, all the pockets are somewhat deep. So, the little stuff like nails can get buried. You need to put some extra effort and time to find the small stuff from the mess.
However, this will only happen if you carry a lot of tools with you. Most casual DIYers just need a few pouches to carry a handful of things. And the Bucket Boss AirLift is perfect for it.
Plus, the belt can accommodate up to 52-inches. So, even someone overweight won’t have a problem with it.
The leather quality of the belt is decent. It’s not big-league leather, but it has enough to hold its ground for years provided you use it carefully. Just maintain the leather, clean the belt, and you’re set.
I didn’t expect a budget belt to have any adjustment options whatsoever. But you can adjust the harness and even remove pockets if you feel like it. You can’t customize the pockets, though. The small pouches are attached to the larger pouch. So, you’d have to remove the larger pouch and the smaller ones along with it.
Is the Bucket Boss AirLift perfect? No. So, why is it in the list? More so, in the second position? Well, this belt has what it takes to be a DIYers best bud. Even professionals can take it out for a spin if they don’t need a lot of tools for a certain job. Plus, you pay almost half of what you’d pay for the DEWALT DG5617. So, for the price paid, I’d say this belt is – without a doubt – a bang for the buck.
ToughBuilt – Handyman Tool Belt Set
Roofing contractors are well aware of the challenges that come with the job. Without a task-specific belt, it can quickly become a looped nightmare of going up and down. You can use a random belt, but chances are, you’d waste a lot of time. That’s where the ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt Set comes into the equation.
Once you’re on the roof, you don’t know how long you will be able to maintain a straight posture. I remember having to bend often and even partially sit on the roof with my knees. In the case of bending or sitting down, a traditional belt can get on your nerves real quick. Why?
The pouches will keep touching the ground. And worse, the small tools drill bits or nails will take a nosedive from the roof. The ToughBuilt’s signature ClipTech design can avert this crisis. Unlike other belts – where either the pouches are fixed or they’re tough to remove – this belt has a simple plug-and-play system.
ClipTech is actually plastic cleats holding the pouches together. The pouch itself has a wedge system that connects with the cleat. So, what it does is – it makes the entire pouch-on and pouch-off process super easy. Just click, it’s on. Another click, and it’s off.
So, even when you sit, you can open the pouch, put it on the roof, and keep working.
Apart from the pouch management comfort, this belt has more pockets than the DEWALT DG5617. The entire set comprises 3 items – the belt, contractor pouch, and a utility pouch. The contractor pouch has 23 pockets and the utility has 8, bringing the total number up to 31 pockets.
There’s also the hammer loop on the contractor pouch if need be. The contractor pouch is spacious and is designed to carry heavy-duty tools. Utility pouch is there for the small things. I mostly carry drill bits, nails, pens, and stuff. If you’re clever, you can use the back of the utility pouch to hold your glasses.
The one issue I have with the ToughBuilt Handyman Tool Belt is the absence of suspenders. I get that roof contractors don’t often require suspenders. But most DIYers are not used to carrying much weight on their waist. They would feel the lack of suspenders.
Also, the belt will be useless to people who have a waist of more than 48-inches. Although it’s unlikely, but if you have your thanksgiving tummy, this belt may not fit you.
However, there is a solution if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks. The belt has suspender loops attached. So, you can buy the harness separately, attach it, and voila – no more weight issues.
TradeGear Part#SZB Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo
Whenever I met an electrician, I would throw a quick question at them. What’s more important – comfort or safety? The answer’s pretty obvious – safety. However, most electricians want to have a combo of comfort and safety, which is rare. The closest I’ve come to this comfort + safety fusion is the TradeGear Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo.
Usually, electricians need to carry a number of small to mid-sized tools. Whether it’s a plier, a fish tape, a drill, or even a digital multimeter, none of these tools take too much real estate. However, most electricians need to have all the tools with them to figure out the problem they’re facing. There’s why the 27 pockets of TradeGear Electrician’s Belt come in handy.
The two pouches are strong enough to withstand a lot of weight. I remember filling the pockets to the brim with tools because I wasn’t sure what I needed. The weight did bog me down. But the belt didn’t flinch.
Unlike the ToughBuilt Handyman, this belt has different sizes. So, even if you’ve put on some holiday weight, there’s no reason to worry.
The biggest perk of TradeGear is flexibility. You have tons of options to choose from. You can either go with a belt that has suspenders or maybe just get a wristband holder. The power is yours. Just think about the project you have at hand and choose accordingly.
Instead of using leather like the gloves I’ve already talked about, this belt has 600D nylon. It’s not as comfortable as leather belts, but it’s more durable. You can roughhouse with the belt and it’ll still last for years.
There’s a carrying handle on this belt as well. You’ll be hard put to find an attached carrying handle. It’s not a game changer by any means. But it does give you that added convenience of movement when you don’t have it wrapped around your waist.
The issue with the belt + bag combo is that you need to get the hang of using it. A lot of complaints circulating around this belt come from inexperience. However, having to purchase the suspenders separately is something you’ll have to live with.
Still, the TradeGear is one of the most comfortable tool bags out there. The design is smart, user-friendly – the construction is top-notch – the little tweaks are a big help. So, I believe all the serious electricians should give this belt a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
Gatorback B240 Electrician’s Combo
You don’t have to be an expert to know how important a tool belt is to an electrician. I’ve seen the guy who comes to fix the AC in my house and there is always a tool belt wrapped around his waist. So, if you are also an electrician or planning to join the profession, might I suggest you look into the Gatorback B240 Electrician’s Combo.
As an electrician, you’ll need a tool belt with a lot of pouches. Well, it’s your lucky day, the B240 comes with 18 pockets on the left side and 9 fastener tool pouches on the right side. Moreover, there is a hammer holster and a tape holder included with the belt.
Usually, tool belt pockets start to sag after a few months of use. However, the B240 has an interior plastic lining for all the pouches to keep them from sagging. The tool belt itself is made up of 1250 DuraTek Nylon and so are the pouches. It makes the product durable, rugged, and at the time lightweight.
The Gatorback tool belt features back support to keep you comfortable while working. The foam backing included in the belt is made with breathable material to give you a sweat-free, cool, and comfortable experience.
Nonetheless, the tape holder seemed to be a little flimsy, which is the only major drawback I’ve found in the belt. One more thing I would like to add is the price. It is over a hundred dollars; so, make sure you are ready to spend the amount before buying it. In any case, I believe the tool belt is worth the purchase due to its unique design and all the incredible features.
Occidental Leather 8089
As a DIY enthusiast and a fellow woodworking hobbyist, I know just how important it is to keep your essential tools near you, especially when you are working on a project. I remember my first day as a woodworker when I had to run back and forth from the project site to my garage. It was not pleasant at all but I can’t blame myself because it was just the beginning.
After gathering some experience and a little bit of enlightenment from my friends, I started using tool belts to keep my important tools nearby. Somewhere in my journey to find the perfect tool belt for carpentry I stumbled upon the Occidental Leather 8089.
From the very first moment, I had a liking for the belt because of its unique design. It is made up of industrial nylon and premium grade leather, which gives it a classic look and makes it strong enough to handle a heavy load. It also allows the belt to resist abrasion and lasts for a lot of years. My one has been serving me for quite a few years now without any issues; so, I don’t doubt its durability.
Now, let’s move into pocket space management. The pouches have a green color and they are reinforced with leather. There are a total of seven bags in the tool belt, which is enough to store most of your essential items. The main tool and middle bag are quite spacious and they give you a lot of space to keep medium to large tools.
One thing I didn’t like about the tool belt is its size adjustment. The belt indeed comes in different sizes, but it becomes annoying when you have to choose the perfect size and later on, see it doesn’t fit your waist properly. Therefore, make sure you choose the proper size.
Apart from that, the belt is extremely costly. If you are not holding onto a good amount of money, I suggest you look into something else. But if you do have the financial stability to afford the belt, I think you ought to try it out.
It is super tough and can last for years easily. So, once you buy it, you won’t have to worry about revisiting the belt shop in many years. Furthermore, the product is as comfy as they get. In my knowledge, it is the most comfortable tool belt on the market or at least one of the most.
The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt
When I was tired of my wife snatching my tool belt for the silliest of reasons, (just because she didn’t have one) I decided to get her one that she’ll like; so, she would finally keep her hands off of my tools for good.
I did a lot of research for a belt that will suit her interest the most and found The Original Pink Box PB2BELT Tool Belt. It was everything she needed and some more. The best part was that she loved the color and the fact that I don’t have to share mine with her.
Let me give you a few details about my wife first. She is about 5.5-feet and a bit too thin for her height. I was doubtful whether she would be able to wear the belt or not because of her skinny 25-inch waist. However, my doubts were cleared once I saw that there were some extra holes left after she wore the tool belt.
What I understood after tinkering with the belt is that anyone with a waist size of 23 to 43-inch can wear it. It is adjustable and features pink-colored double-row grommets.
As for storage capacity, the belt comes with two huge pouches. On those pouches, you will find ten small pockets which you or your Mrs can use to carry your necessary tools or essentials. There is also a loop for holding hammers and a few screwdriver slots.
Another useful aspect of the tool belt is that it is light as a feather, of course, I’m exaggerating. Hence, it is suitable for people who like to keep things easy. However, there is a major drawback to the lightweight body and it is poor durability.
The belt is made up of polyester, which makes it light but reduces its strength. Therefore, do not try to stuff up the belt with heavy tools. One more issue my wife told me about the product is that the pockets tend to slide off from the belt.
But it can be easily fixed with some clamps or if you pay a little attention while taking off the belt. In any case, the belt was worth the purchase. It looks stylish, at least much better than the ones I use and it comes at a very reasonable price.
Dead On DO-FR Framers Rig
What could be better than bringing an end to all these reviews with a tool belt made just for carpenters who are interested in framing? Now, I know a thing or two about woodworking because I enjoy the occasional slicing and dicing (not talking about cutting vegetables); so, I could tell the difference between a belt suitable for making wooden furniture and framing.
This belt, right here is what I used to build frames for my doors, windows, mirrors, and lousy arts. I have to admit, the frames I made were quite shabby but you can blame my poor woodworking skills for it, not the belt. The belt was handy and helped in more ways than one.
Let’s begin with the seating arrangements and by that, I mean the total number of pockets. There are 24 pockets for tools and two rafter square pockets.
However, the maximum bag count is 32, if you include the barrel-bottom pouches, padded hammer holder, and the additional loop, which keeps them pesky long neck tools close to your waist.
Overall, you’ll be a walking, working mini tool house with everything you need right there. Anyways, the belt comes with a padded hammer holder, which I’ve already mentioned seconds ago.
It is to make sure you don’t lose a toe or two even if the hammer falls. I certainly would’ve broken a few bones in my legs by now if the holder wasn’t padded.
Let’s talk about size now. Although the manufacturers say one size fits all/most people, it is wrong. If you are any shorter than 5’8”, you won’t be able to fasten the suspenders properly.
So, you’ll have to stitch the suspenders and make them short. But the good thing is they are fully detachable, which makes it easy to adjust or stitch them whenever it’s necessary.
On the other hand, the belt is also adjustable and even if you have a gigantic waist size of 46-inch, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, the difficulty arrives when you have anything near 30-inch or less. In that case, you’ll need to do some extra adjusting.
Apart from all these, the tool belt itself is very durable. The exterior features 600 denier poly rip-stop fabric aka ballistic nylon. The inner lining comes with a moisture-wicking mesh liner. So, there is no doubt about the durability.
To keep your back comfy and safe, the belt features integrated back support. The waist belt is also padded and comes with a double roller buckle. Overall, it is the most comfortable carpenter tool belt I’ve ever used. Just remember not to sleep on the belt.
What Were My Focal Points When Choosing These Belts?
Let’s face it. Tool belts are IMPORTANT. There’s no way around it. The bigger the project, the better the tool belt you should have to reduce downtime and increase efficiency. Plus, having the most comfortable tool belt will go a long way in increasing your productivity.
The selections I’ve made in this article were not random. Besides my first-hand experience, I’ve prioritized certain features to measure a belt’s worth. Now, I’ll tell you what goes in my mind when thinking about the most comfortable belt, and how you should think before getting one for yourself.
• More Pockets ≠ More Comfort
This confusion is so pervasive and dominant that I have to address this issue every time a budding worker comes for my advice. Usually, most of us live by the principle – the more, the better. However, it doesn’t work with tool belts.
A ton of pockets/ pouches and not getting any use out of them will do the opposite. Imagine lugging around all the pockets while using only a couple of them. Pointless. So, understand the tools you’ll be using first.
Still, if you get something like the TradeGear or DeWalt DG5617, you can remove the extra pouch. It’ll allow easier movement and better tool access when the work at hand is a simple 10-min job.
• Flexibility is KEY
Flexibility is important – with a capital B. After all, you’re trying to get the most comfortable tool belt and that’s synonymous with flexibility. If you have more options to add/remove/customize pouches and pockets, you’ll never feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Because you can prepare the tool as you need.
However, flexibility can come in different forms. For instance, the DG5617 or BucketBoss AirLift isn’t a simple plug-and-play. You have to take time to remove and attach the pouches. On the other hand, it’s way easier with TradeGear’s ClipTech.
So, think about flexibility when looking for a belt. But there are few features that trump flexibility.
• Build and Comfort Trump Everything
You don’t want to keep shelling out your hard-earned moolah on low-tier belts. These belts will bite the dust after a few months of use. You don’t just lose money – your time and peace of mind – are also lost.
That’s why build quality matters a lot. Once you start hunting, you’ll find belts made of leather, nylon, pleather, and PVC. The material determines the performance and longevity of a belt.
From what I’ve seen, both nylon and leather are always trying to one up each other. In some belts, the hardened nylon seems perfect. On others, the leathery comfort feels amazing! So, it’s difficult to choose between these two materials.
However, as the heart of this article is “comfort”, I’d put my vote on leather. No matter how sturdy nylon is, leather excels in comfort. So, try to find a middle ground between durability and comfort.
• Don’t Overlook Suspenders
If you look up a picture of a roofer on google, you’ll see that most of them are wearing a belt on their belt. That’s been the norm for the longest time. I have nothing against waist-only belts. But wearing a heavy tool belt on the waist without using a suspender to distribute the weight is a young man’s game.
Still, you can go with a waist-only belt if you’re confident about your posture and physique. Even if you do throw caution to the wind and go for a waist-only belt, please make sure that it has suspender loops.
This way, when your waist reaches a breaking point, you’ll have the option to add suspenders and make it work instead of getting a new belt.
• Think about Warranty and Price Point
Looking at a product with a certain budget in mind is always a better option than swinging for the fences. Not having a fixed budget means you don’t know what you want. It can lead to unrealistic expectations and end up in disappointment.
So, know what you want from the get-go. If you’re looking to get a comfy belt that has what it takes to live up to your standards, set a budget of $100. Most mid to high-tier belts are around that price range.
But if you want a weekend warrior’s work belt, you don’t have to go higher than $50. Budget tool belts are also pretty useful. Their biggest problem is the inability to handle regular use. In short, wear and tear get to them quickly.
Warranty is the final consideration. Why did I keep it at the bottom, you ask? Well, all the tool belts – even the jacked-up premium ones – give you a limited liability warranty. The manufacturer won’t fix/address the issue unless it’s a design defect, which doesn’t happen often.
Still, knowing that the design would be perfect without any anomalies is better than nothing. So, you can either wing it without any warranty or get a limited warranty instead.
When It’s All Said and Done
There are two types of people in the world-
A) who love the comfort and know the value of it, and
B) who think comfort is the devil’s trick.
I always side with the former. Comfort can seem like a lazy man’s way out of trouble. But it can actually have a massive effect on productivity.
The more comfortable you feel with your work environment and your gear, the better you’ll perform. It’s natural. Now that you know that the most comfortable tool belt will give you an upper hand, why not have one by your side, eh?
Coming back to the promise I made in the beginning. Look – it’s hard to choose a specific belt and call it the “greatest”. As you know, the utility of a tool depends on the user and the project. Still, I’m all for multi-purpose belts because of the sheer flexibility.
In my eyes, the DEWALT DG5617 deserves to be crowned the champion. It’s a jack of all trades. You can use it for different projects, and the price is reasonable as well. But budget hunters will argue against the price being “reasonable”. If you fall in the budget band, I’d recommend looking into the Bucket Boss AirLift. It’s not spectacular, but it can be an excellent companion for casual DIYers.
One more thing. I’ve listed a belt for different vocations here. So, these two recommendations above are general. If you’re in certain trades with certain tasks, please feel free to look into the task-specific belts.
You know everything there is to know about the most comfortable tool belts. All you have to do now is – grab a comfy belt, strap it, and get to work. Cheers!