Job site tooling is a very important factor for construction contractors. It’s expensive to buy, it’s expensive to maintain, so we try to find the right balance between quality and price.
But what about the workers and the basic equipment they have to buy themselves? We’re talking about what the apprentice needs to have with him on his first day on the job and that he probably won’t change for several years. You guessed it (it was easy with the title), we’re talking about the tool belt.
The market is full of choices for tool belts, but the question remains: which one is best for me? One thing is for sure, we all have our preferences, but below is a list of a few belts that are worth considering. Here are the criteria we think are important:
Weight to avoid injury
The weight of a tool belt can reach up to 50 pounds when full. Take the time to evaluate what it weighs when empty and choose it according to your fitness level.
Durability for repairability
The vast majority of belts available use durable materials. However, they each have strengths as well as weaknesses to consider. Leather, for example, is the strongest, but also the heaviest, whereas polyester and nylon are lighter, but pierce more easily. We’re looking for a happy balance.
Good bags for utility
The main reason why we buy a tool belt is to carry the equipment and for that, we need the pockets. We must therefore look at the number of bags, the durability as well as the size of the bag.
Comfort for the whole day
To have a belt that is comfortable throughout the day, it must meet a set of small elements that make you feel good. You look at the padding, the thickness, the maximum weight and the different ways to adjust it to you.
Belts Occidental Leather 8089 Oxy-Light with 7 storage bags
Price: 350$ Weight: 4.5 pounds (light)
Durability: Made of leather, good quality. Some report use for more than 10 years
Pockets: 7 deep bags that prevent tools from falling out. Lots of storage space.
Comfort: excellent, easy to carry all day without any problem
Gatorback Professional Belt
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Durability: uses a real leather toe cap, very sturdy
Pockets: 11 deep bags that prevent tools from falling out. Lots of storage space
Comfort: good back support, good breathability and comfort
LeatherCraft 51452 Pro
Weight: 4 pounds
Durability: made of strong, tear-resistant canvas
Pockets: 6 large and 7 small
Comfort: Very comfortable with adjustable straps and padded belt
Occidental Leather 9525 M
Weight: 4 pounds
Durability: combination of high quality leather and nylon
Pockets: including tool holders there are 25 compartments. The pockets are inlaid in the belt.
Comfort: comfortable and light enough to be worn all day long. The padded waistband distributes the weight evenly.
DEWALT DG5617 20-Pocket Pro
Price : 150$.
Weight: 5.2 pounds
Durability: Made of nylon, but tested to withstand harsh construction environments
Pockets: 7 large and 13 small
Comfort: Padded belt with double tongue buckle for stability and extra comfort.
How to clean your tool belt
Step 1: Remove your tools, nails and any other debris that may be inside.
Step 2: Take out the vacuum cleaner and take the time to go around every nook and cranny of the bags.
Step 3: Take a brush (if you don’t have one, see end of article for suggestions). Apply an amount of cleaner on the tips.
Step 4: Scrub all around the bags. (5 minutes)
Step 5: Hang your bags in a ventilated area.
Reminder: It is recommended to have this treatment every 6 months.
Useful tool for belt cleaning (With links)
Leather honey – For a good cleaning of the leather.
Leather Honey leather conditioner for $27
Protective leather bandage for 38$.
Leather sealer – To keep natural waterproofness
Moneysworth vision oil for $9
Weiman Cleaning Spray for $19
Nylon Cleaner – For a refurbishment (a dishwashing detergent will do the job)
Weiman Upholstery & Fabric Cleaner for 16$.
Nylon brush: To apply nylon cleaner.
Warner 5×11 for $9
Ultra rigid drill brush with extension for 16$.