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20 Different Types of Tool Belts

A handyman's tool belts.

Long before there were aesthetic belts used for holding up pants or nipping the waist, there were already tool belts. They were the first belts ever created and were made of softened tree bark. It wasn’t leather, but it was also hardy and pliable.

Aside from tradesmen, those who sported the tool belts were the soldiers and gladiators. It wasn’t until the Medieval period when ordinary belts were worn by people of all classes.

Related: Types of tool boxes



Suspender tool belt

Source: Home Depot

Suspender tool belts are ideal if you are going to be carrying a lot of heavy tools or nails in your tool belt as they will actually remove the weight from being around your hips and distribute it up to your shoulders where you can carry more weight without the risk of injury. These tool belts are great for saving the user’s lower back as they keep heavy weight from resting right there on the person’s body so you don’t have to worry about having a sore back after a long day working. Look for a suspender tool belt that has multiple places where it can be adjusted as well as tightened as you want to make sure that you can make it fit your body as perfectly as possible. A nice, tight, close fit will ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and keep you from accidental injury


Waist tool belt

Source: Wayfair

Most people picture tool belts that are fitted around the waist of the person wearing them. These tool belts are really popular, are easy to find, and, for the most part, work well for most conditions and jobs. The problem with these types of tool belts is the way that they hang on the hips or the waist of the user. This places undue stress on this part of the body and they can be very difficult to wear for extended periods of time without feeling a lot of pain. For this reason, if you are going to be wearing your tool belt all day long or know that you will have very heavy items in it, you will want to opt for a different type of tool belt that will give you more support. One of the benefits of these tool belts is that they can generally be easily customized. It’s simple to find the pouches that you want for your individual needs and to put them on your belt. Also, you can easily replace the belt itself if it starts to wear out.


Hip tool belt

Source: Etsy

Hip tool belts do a great job keeping your tools close at hand and out of the way by resting on the hip of the person using them. This means that you can easily drop your dominant hand down and grab the tools that you need without having to dig around in a massive pouch on your belt. The problem with these tool belts is that if your hand is holding something, then it can be difficult to get your other hand around your body and into the belt. People do enjoy wearing them for the freedom that they feel in their hands and the fact that they are much lighter than other types of tool belts. While hip tool belts can easily hold pruners, knives, and even small hammers in them, they will not be very useful on the job site as they do not have enough space in them for multiple tools. They make working in the garden very easy and ensure that you have all of your necessary tools close at hand.


Tool belt with pouch

Source: Hayneedle

If you are going to be using a tool belt that goes around the waist, then you will need to make sure that you have enough storage pouches on it for all of your tools and pieces that you will need on the job site. These pouches can generally be easily put on your tool belt and taken back off so that you can customize the pouches you have for each day’s job. Look for ones that have large enough pockets to hold multiple items and ones that are sturdy enough for even the heaviest of tools. By opting for pouches that have double stitching on the back, you can make sure that they won’t fall apart or pop off of your belt when you have laced the belt through the back and filled the pouches with heavy items.


Apron-like tool belt

Source: Home Depot

Aprons are a great choice if you want to have a tool belt that you can wear when working on a job but still want to protect your clothing and your body as well. Made of heavy canvas, these light aprons aren’t uncomfortable and will help to keep you safe when working with saws, nail guns, and other equipment. Look for one that has plenty of space in the front waist pockets so you do not have to wear a tool belt at the same time to get the storage you need. The straps that go around the waist and up over the shoulders of the user will help to spread out the weight of the items that you are carrying so that your body doesn’t get sore. Make sure that you can easily adjust the straps on your apron as you want to be able to tighten it for the best possible fit. Note that Velcro isn’t strong enough to hold heavy tools and nails.


Quick Release

Quick release tool belt

Source: Home Depot

Instead of having to adjust your tool belt each time you put it on, when you opt for one that has a quick release feature, you will be able to adjust it the first time that you wear it and then easily take it off and on without having to move the straps any. This makes it easy to use in a pinch and will keep you from dealing with the frustration of straps fitting the way that you want them to. Tool belts with these buckles are fairly easy to find and are perfect if you are the only person who is going to be using your tool belt. If you are going to share your tool belt with other members of the family, then you may want to buy one that is more easily adjusted so that people don’t have to be frustrated when dealing with the tool belt.


Buckle tool belt

Source: Hayneedle

Buckles make it very easy to take off your tool belt and will allow you to do with just one hand if necessary. This means that you can easily drop all of the weight from around your waist if it gets to be too heavy and won’t be at risk of injuring your hips or your waist by carrying something that is uncomfortable. Buckles snap together and apart very easily so even younger members of your family as well as the elderly can use these tool belts with little assistance. Look for a buckle that is strong enough to last through a lot of use as you do not want it to fall apart. Additionally, buckles that are too big will be very uncomfortable when you bend over or squat down so make sure that the size works not only with your body type but also the kind of work that you’re going to be doing the most of.

Knife Sheath

Knife sheath tool belt

Source: Etsy

A dedicated knife sheath on your tool belt is the best way to make sure that you don’t accidentally poke yourself with your knife. These sheaths are typically a little better reinforced than other pockets on your tool belt so that there is very little risk of the knife poking through the pocket. While you can keep your knife in any pocket in your tool belt, knowing exactly where it is makes it easy to grab it at any point while on the job site. Additionally, these sheaths are usually large enough that if you want to store another skinny tool in them, you usually can without any problem. This means that you don’t have any wasted space on your tool belt.


Personalized tool belt

Source: Etsy

There are a few great reasons to buy a personalized tool belt for you or as a gift. If you have a loved one or a close friend who has just gotten a new job in construction or started his or her own business, then giving him or her a personalized tool belt is a great way to commemorate this exciting time in his or her life. Rather than giving him or her just a regular tool belt, you can customize the one you give him or her with his or her name as well as the date of his or her new venture. Another reason why you may want to buy a personalized tool belt is if you have a number of people in your home who share tools and continually take ones that do not belong to them. Rather than dealing with the drama of people not having their own tools, when you have a personalized tool belt, it makes it very easy to quickly tell which tools belong to which person. This is a great way to cut down on any fighting and make sure that tools do not accidentally go missing right when they are needed.


Adjustable tool belt

Source: Home Depot

Keep from worrying about how your tool belt is going to fit you when you choose one that is adjustable. This is also a great choice if there is more than one person in your home who is going to be using the tool belt as they can easily loosen or tighten it according to their needs. Rather than dealing with a tool belt that is uncomfortable to wear and may actually cause injury, adjustable tool belts are easy to use no matter what size you are. One of the most important ways to make sure that you do not get injured when wearing a tool belt is to ensure that it is the right size for your body. Rather than struggling with a tool belt that doesn’t work for your size, choosing one that is adjustable will take care of this problem.

Reinforced Pockets

Tool belts with reinforced pockets

Source: Houzz

While lighter tools won’t cause any problems in your pockets, if you are going to be carrying or storing heavy items for a long period of time, then you will want to make sure that your tool belt has reinforced pockets. This means that they will have a stronger seam closing them up and may even be reinforced with double stitching. Rather than worrying about your tools popping out of the bottom of the pocket or slowing tearing a hole in your tool belt, when you choose one that has reinforced pockets, you won’t ever have to worry about what it is that you are carrying with you. This gives you peace of mind and allows you to carry all of your tools without any problems.

Padded Belt

Padded tool belt

Source: Houzz

Tool belts are by nature fairly heavy. Wearing one for hours at a time can be uncomfortable at best and downright painful at the worst. Rather than subjecting yourself to this pain, you can take steps to ensure that you are protected no matter what long hours your work or how heavy the tools are that you have to carry with you. Choosing a padded belt will relieve a lot of the pain and the pressure that you feel when you put on your belt. Of course, you will have to replace your padded belt over time as the padding will begin to flatten out as you continue to use your belt. This simply means that you will need to replace the belt. Since you can easily take off the pockets and pouches and move them to a new padded belt, this doesn’t cause a lot of problems or delays in getting your work done

Gusseted Pockets

Tool belt with gussetted pockets

Source: Hayneedle

For really roomy pockets on your tool belt, you will want to make sure that you choose one that has gusseted pockets. These pockets are extra strong but are also designed so that you can easily slip your hand into them and pull out the nails, bolts, or nuts that you need without any problems. These pockets are stronger than the average pocket and have more space inside of them so you don’t need to worry about where you will store your hardware and tools.


Tool belt with zipper

Source: Houzz

If you are going to be doing any climbing or will be contorting your body to get into smaller or awkward positions and locations, then you will want to make sure that you don’t accidentally lose anything out of your pockets while you are working. The best way to ensure this is to opt for a tool belt that has at least one zippered pocket on it. While these pockets are a little more difficult to quickly access when you are in a hurry, they do a great job at making sure that nothing falls out of your pockets when you are working. This allows you peace of mind that you won’t lose anything important on the job site.



Tool belt made out of canvas

Source: Home Depot

Canvas is super heavy duty and any tool belts that are made out of this material have been built to last for a long time and to stand up to hard work without fraying or being otherwise damaged. Canvas has the additional benefit of being able to protect you from flying bits of metal or wood if they were to strike you on the tool belt. Because your canvas tool belt is so strong and durable, you won’t have to worry about it picking or tearing through normal wear and tear. While it may not be as attractive or last as long as a leather tool belt will, canvas is a great choice for anyone who is looking to get a great tool belt without overspending. Make sure that there is double stitching on the canvas so you don’t have to worry about it pulling apart during normal use.


Tool belt made out of cotton

Source: Home Depot

Cotton is very soft and flexible; when you choose a tool belt that is made from this material, you won’t ever have to worry about it being uncomfortable while you are wearing or using it. The problem with cotton is how light it is and how easily it can tear or be damaged. This is why when you buy a cotton tool belt, you really need to pay attention to the quality of the work. Look for a sturdier cotton that can stand up to lots of use and heavy tools. If you choose one that has a zipper, make sure that the teeth are strong and the zipper appears to be very durable.


Tool belt with fabric

Source: Home Depot

Pockets made of a cotton fabric blend are very comfortable to wear and to use but don’t offer the durability that you can expect and rely on when you opt for canvas or leather. Fabric pockets look great and are much lighter than other options but you do have to be careful to make sure that you don’t overload them. Putting too many items in them or using them to hold very heavy tools can result in the pockets stretching or deforming.


Tool belt made out of leather


Source: Hayneedle

Most people naturally gravitate toward buying a leather tool belt because they feel as though it will be the sturdiest option available. While this is often true, there are a few things that you have to consider when buying a leather tool belt to make sure that you get one that will last for a long time. While softer leather is a pleasure to feel and to wear, if you want to make sure that your tool belt can stand up to a lot of use, especially on a job site, then you will need to look for leather that is heavier as it won’t be as prone to be damaged. Look for stiffer leather that is full-grain, not an option that is two-ply with two pieces of leather sewn together. Two-ply leather is a great way to save a little money on your leather tool belt but usually will not last for as long. Bonded leather is much stiffer than real full-grain leather and also tends to not be as durable. Saddle leather that is pliable and thick is the best choice and will last for a long time.


Tool belt made out of nylon

Source: Hayneedle

Nylon tool belts and bags have a huge benefit in how lightweight and comfortable they tend to be. Because they are so much lighter than other options, they are ideal if you are older or suffer from major back problems. Opting for a nylon tool belt will allow you to store all of the tools that you need but keep you from being in pain while you have it on. Unfortunately, nylon tool belts have a little bit of a bad reputation for being weaker than ones made from other materials and while this is true, you can take steps to make sure that your nylon tool belt is good quality and will last for a long time. Look for one that has thicker nylon than normal and check the quality of the stitching. Double stitching will keep the tool belt in better condition for longer. Additionally, make sure that there are features that you will enjoy and that will help you to use the tool belt, such as suspender loops or a knife holder.


Tool belt with polyester

Source: Home Depot

Polyester tends to be very durable, making it an obvious choice for a tool belt. The fibers can withstand higher temperatures than other types can and are very versatile. When you choose a polyester tool belt, you can rest easy that it will be strong enough to stand up to most of the work that you need to do without being damaged or without you risking accidentally losing your tools. Look for one that has plenty of pocket space and takes advantage of the strength of the material by providing larger pockets and space for very heavy tools.