Hand tools need a place to live. Enter the tool belt or pouch. Since there will be days a tool belt is strapped to your body for 8+ hours, the best tool belts for electricians have to be high in comfort and durability. You also want the ability to stay organized, having your most needed tools right at your fingertips.
In this article, I share my picks for my top 6 best electrician tool belts and shed light on what to look for before purchasing. I’ll tell you what is great about each belt – and also what could be better.
Tips for keeping your prized collection of tools organized are covered too.
Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive list of tools for an apprentice and journeyman – master electricians. It’s helpful to know what tools to have at each stage in your career.
Our Top Picks
1. Top Pick – Occidental Leather Commercial Electrician’s Set (5590)
2. Best Overall – Boulder Bag ULT104 Electrician Combo
3. Best Budget – TradeGear Electricians Belt & Bag Combo
4. Top Pick Runner-Up – Occidental Leather Adjust-to-Fit Industrial Pro (9596)
5. Best Overall Runner-Up – Gatorback B240 Electrician’s Tool Belt
6. Best Budget Runner-Up – CLC 1608 Tool Bag & Lift System
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READ OUR REVIEWS
1. Occidental Leather 5590 Commercial Electrician
2. Boulder Bag ULT104 Electrician Combo
3. TradeGear Electricians Belt & Bag Combo
4. Occidental Leather 9596 Industrial Pro
5. Gatorback B240 Electrician’s Tool Belt
6. Costume Leathercraft 1608 Electrical Lift System
Which Tool Belt is Best For Me?
Comfort and Support in Tool Belts
Keep Your Tools Organized
Quality and Durability in Tool Belts
Top Pick for Electricians Tool Belt
Occidental Leather Commercial Electricians Set
- Superior-quality leather
- Adjustable bags (lefties rejoice!)
- Pockets mold to your tools
- Accessories available
- Suspension system available
- Hand-crafted quality
- Made in the U.S.
- Initial investment is higher
- No tab for a measuring tape
For many professionals across the trades, Occidental Leather is a favored choice for tool belts. The Commercial Electricians Tool Belt Set is built to accommodate the unique tools and work habits of electricians.
Durability: The quality and durability will be hard to beat. This top-notch leather belt will hold up to daily wear and last far longer than cheaper ones on the market. Please note that two of the pouches are made of durable nylon to help lighten the load.
Some workers boast that they’ve had theirs for 20-30 years. But I feel confident that 5-10+ years lifespan is an attainable goal for this tool belt for electricians.
Comfort: Adjustable bags are a top feature. You can evenly distribute the weight, plus lefties can switch the bags to the opposite side to make the whole setup work better for them.
Tool Organization: If you’re looking to stay organized and keep a good rhythm while working, the hand-specific tool holders will help. Occidental Leather has trademarked its No-Spill tool holder system that forms to your tools.
But remember, that it can take some time for the leather to break in. It won’t mold to your tools immediately.
The fact that there are 37 pockets and tool holders demonstrates that significant thought has gone into this tool belt. All of this configuration gives you plenty of room to carry your most-used tools, which I’m convinced can boost efficiency and thereby your energy level too.
The main bag, which you are free to have on your right or left, measures 8″ x 6.75″ x 2.75″. The fastener bags are 9″ x 7.5″ and 8″ x 6″ with the upper bag 4.5″ x 4.5″.
The belt comes in small through xxx-large. Add 4-inches to your pant waist size to order the right size.
If you want your electrician’s tool belt to last as long as possible, plus have top comfort and convenience, then I recommend the Occidental Leather Commercial Electrician tool bag set.
Key takeaways: If your budget allows you to purchase this, then you can’t go wrong. It’s expensive but worth the price tag.
The downside is the lack of a tape measure tab. Although Occidental Leather does sell a highly rated leather clip-on tape holster.
Best Overall Electrician’s Tool Belt
Boulder Bag ULT104 Electrician Comfort Combo
- Belt with durable leather at endpoints
- Lighter weight tough Cordura material
- 19 pockets and 13 slots
- Comfort belt with foam padding
- D-rings to attach suspenders
- No carrying handle
Boulder Bags are manufactured in the USA. Not everyone has heard of them, but those who have comment positively on the value and durability.
Durability: The ULT 104 Electrician tool belt combo is made of Cordura with an extra coating to stand up to a fair amount of abuse.
No one likes for a product to only last months. It’s not unheard of for this tool belt and pouches to last 8-10 years. (Of course, remember that there are always those who are really hard on their possessions. I’m not going to out my friend though.)
Organization: As you can see, there is plenty of space for all the tools you might want to carry as an electrician. The pouch on your right starts out with a tape chain and tool clip. The main compartment is divided with one interior pocket and 2 exterior pockets. For slots, you get 5 interior and 6 exterior. I should mention that there is also an interior utility knife pocket.
Now for the left pouch. There is a large interior pocket and exterior pocket. Plus there is a nice upper Velcro pocket with 4 elastic slots.
So this baby is quite well organized and you should be able to develop a nice working rhythm. Oh – and I shouldn’t forget to let you know that there is a hammer holder as well.
Comfort: The belt is padded with thick closed-cell foam. If you want to add a suspension system, you’ll be happy to know that there are D-rings on the belt where you can attach suspenders.
Key-Takeaway: Lighter material made of tough Cordura and a midway price forms a nice marriage in this Boulder Bag Electrician Tool Belt Combo. To boot, I really like the length of time many users have been able to use their bags.
Best Budget Electrician’s Tool Belt
TradeGear Electrician’s SZB Tool Belt and Bag Combo
- Constructed with 600D nylon material
- Double layers reinforced with metal rivets and bar-tack stitching
- 27 pockets
- Carry handles
- Padded cushioned belt
- Some owners claim the suspenders are poorer quality
Tradegear made this tool belt specifically for electricians. I don’t need to tell you that it has 2 pouches, but you might not know that this tool belt has 27 spacious pockets for fast tool selection, D-ring attachments, and 4 attachment loops should you choose to add the suspenders.
I’m pretty happy with the material they chose to build this thing. Tough 600D nylon should stand up to abuse on the job and all those tools sliding in and out of the pockets. Similar to the Gatorback mentioned, it also has metal rivets and bar-tack stitching on those stress points. For added comfort on long days the “ergonomic design coupled with a high-density, air-mesh foam padding” should help back stress.
I give extra points for carrying handles. You can lug this around without your tools falling out when not wearing it.
Now here’s a unique feature to keep this belt nice and snug and perfect for each individual. Fold-over Velcro inside near the belt buckle adjusts to give you perfect sizing. That’s good news for after Thanksgiving.
All-in-all, this TradeGear Electricians Tool Bag and Belt Combo is a good buy – especially for apprentice electricians. It’s going to hold up well, have enough comfort, and is decently priced. I usually advise apprentices to work a year or so before investing too much money in a tool belt. At that point, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision of how you like to work and those must-haves for yourself in an electricians tool belt.
Top Pick Runner-UP
Occidental Leather 9596 Adjust-to-Fit Industrial Pro Electrician
- Top-of-the-line leather pouches
- Well-cushioned belt
- 31 pocket and tool holders
- Leather “No-Spill” system forms to your tools
- Made in the USA
- Bags are stationary – can not adjust
- Higher initial cost
Get ready for compliments on this top-of-the-line toolbelt. Occidental Leather doesn’t cut corners.
Durability: The electrician trade can be abusive on toolbelts, but this quality leather bestows the strength and durability needed to last many many years. Plus you get to enjoy that nice leather smell.
The electrician tool pouches or bags are 7-8oz. leather. Each piece is fed by hand through industrial threading machines.
Adjust-to-Fit: Now the belt itself is a combination of rugged commercial nylon and high-quality leather. Since the belt is adjustable you can get that perfect individual fit you want. And, if you need a looser fit in the winter due to heavier clothes, you can simply adjust the fit.
The nylon webbing should first be released to freely adjust the belt. The buckle is designed to land at your side and out of the way. Your bags should rest on or just back of the centerline of your hips. Believe it or not, this belt can be adjusted anywhere from size small to size large. If you lose weight, this belt will still fit!
Comfort: We also want to point out that the extra-wide padded hip area helps weight distribution and ramps up your comfort level.
And if you ever want to add a suspension system, the suspender loop attachment points will let you easily do that.
Organization: there are a total of 31 pockets and tool holders. Made for the electrician you can build up a nice rhythm for locating tools. The leather “No-Spill” tool holders form to your tools to keep them in place. Please be patient though because it does take time to break-in this feature.
Key Takeaway: If you want a long-lasting, superior quality toolbelt set then this Occidental Leather Adjust-to-Fit may be the right one. Many electricians swear by the quality, craftsmanship, and comfort of Occidental Leather products.
Best Overall Runner-Up
Gatorback B240 Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo
- Reinforced stress points on the belt and pouches
- Ventilated padding on the belt including memory foam
- Hardshell protection from sharp tools
- Good for lefties – pouches can switch sides
- Built-in carry handles
- One year defect-free warranty
- Padded suspenders available
- Small front pockets should be wider and deeper
Durability: Straight off the bat, the tough 1250 DuraTek nylon toolbelt delivers strength and durability plus keeps the whole setup on the lighter side.
We like that the stress points are riveted and have bar-tack stitching just like the Tradegear model mentioned as our best budget choice. Keeping our tool belt rugged is what we’re after.
Organization: You can hold a bunch of stuff in this. The right side of this electrician’s tool pouch has 18 pockets and a tape chain. A 9-pocket fastener pouch is on the left side. You’ll find small holsters inside the bigger pockets.
A hammer holster and tape holder are included, so you won’t need to spend extra money to get those items.
As with leather, I suspect that you’ll need to give the pockets some time to break in. They will loosen and open up more if you’re patient, and allow for that breaking in period.
You can decide which side to put each pouch on – good news for lefties! Position them where you find them to be most comfortable.
Just so you know, the pouches have a plastic lining to keep a lid on sagging. It also aids in preventing tools from poking holes through the bottom.
Comfort: The belt itself has memory foam that is ergonomically shaped and molded to keep you more comfortable. If you work in warm climates, then the air channels that allow airflow under the belt should help reduce sweating.
Even better, the widest part of the belt is 8-inches for back support. It tapers down to 3-inches at the front.
For more comfort, you can pick up the Gatorback molded air suspenders that helps redistribute the weight of your tool belt.
Value: Gatorback has a one-year defect-free warranty. One reviewer mentioned that some velcro started to rip and they were sent a new bag without a problem.
That being said, a number of owners of this belt have mentioned that the velcro at the carry handles can come loose.
Best Budget Runner-Up
Custom LeatherCraft 1608 Electrical Tool Belt & Lift System
- 28 pockets including a zippered pouch
- Drill holder
- Padded belt
- Carry handles
- Adjustable padded suspenders
- Good for lefties – pouches switch sides
- Fair price
- Lower quality materials
- Can be somewhat bulky
If you’re just starting out as an apprentice electrician or you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a tool belt, then this Custom LeatherCraft might fit the bill.
You still get plenty of storage with 28 pockets! One of the best features is the zippered tool pouch on the one side to keep tools from spilling out while traveling.
I also appreciate the drill pocket and tape clip for sure. Carrying handles are always nice for an electricians tool belt and this one passes the test.
The belt is padded 3″ with a metal roller buckle that fits waist sizes 29″-46″. Included is a suspension system to help distribute the weight and take some strain off your hips and lower back. The bags placement on the belt can be adjusted with the Velcro strips.
Key Takeaway: You get a lot for the price although we can’t guarantee it will last very long. It’s still a good starter set with plenty of features electricians look for. And, just a quick note that some guys found it to be a bit bulky.
Electrician Buyers Guide: Which Tool Belt is Best for Me?
If you’re an electrician on the hunt for the best tool belt, look for one specifically designed for the electrician. This way, your unique tools have a more precisely designed space.
You won’t have to scramble and dig around for what you need while on the job site. Stay better organized and know exactly where a needed tool is located to save time and avoid needless frustration.
Let’s take a look at the most important factors to consider.
- Comfort and support
- Ability to keep you organized
- Durability – also knows as quality
A. Comfort and Support in Tool Belts
Not all tool belts are made equal. If you want to attain a higher comfort level while carrying a load of tools, keep the following in mind:
- Buy a padded belt. Every belt needs a breaking-in period, but you’ll be a step ahead with padding to protect your hips and back.
- Be careful of large buckles. They can dig into your stomach when bending over.
- Double-check belt size. Some belts are single-size (One size fits all!). You could run into problems if you’re on the small or large end of the listed sizing. You will not be comfortable with a bag falling off your hips or one you can barely buckle.
- Belts with adjustable pouches offer more versatility. The ability to slide the pouches to different positions on your waist can relieve pain points. It’s also nice to customize the precise place you want your bags to hang. These are also great for left-handed electricians. (That would be me!)
- The weight of leather is heavier than nylon. Some electricians prefer nylon for the lighter weight, while others report the difference is negligible. Because quality leather is more durable than nylon, you need to decide which is most important to you: carrying less weight or longevity of the product.
Find that “sweet spot” where your tools are not placed so loose that they fall to the bottom of your pouch, but not so tight that it takes extra time just to pry your tool out and jam it back in.
Consider a Suspension System: If you struggle with back and/or hip pain, consider investing in a suspension system to disperse the weight of a tool belt.
There may be days you prefer to use a suspension system for your tool belt. These distribute some of the weight to your shoulders and relieve pressure off your hips and lower back.
Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will have back pain at some point in their lives. Do what you can to stay in the other 20%.
B. Keep Your Tools (and your day) Organized
Everyone has their own system for organizing their stuff. You will develop your system of organizing job tools over time. There are electricians that prefer to keep their most used tools in a bag, so we’ve covered that in our best tool bags for electricians.
Keeping your tools – and life – organized is a highly individual matter. What works well for me or others, might not work for you.
Mine is this:
I have a tool belt with two pouches. The right-side has most of my handtools: pliers, strippers, screwdrivers, etc. My left-side pouch has fewer compartments and larger pockets. This is ideal for wire nuts and larger stuff like a tape measure, torpedo level, electrical tape and so on.
Since a toolbelt can get heavy, I keep only the tools I use the most in the pouch. Everything else goes in a toolbox or tote. Many days I’m able to work off of a rolling cart.
Here are some things to consider in organizing your tools for the day:
- Work as light as possible. Carry only the tools you need for the job. Your toolbelt doesn’t always need to be fully loaded. Plan ahead then switch out tools for your next job.
- Get a belt with carrying handles and hook placement. There are times you can set your toolbelt on a cart or hang it from a ladder.
- Use distinct systems. Carts, totes, trim-out bags, and even work pants are all viable options depending on your job for the day.
Since a tool belt can get heavy, I keep only the tools I use most in the pouch. Everything else goes in a toolbox or tote.
Unless your boss requires the constant use of a tool belt, you may find it best to have various systems of organizing your tools depending on the job at hand.
- For example, if you’re working residential, tool belts can be problematic at times. Homeowners can get pretty nervous if you’re walking around their “fine china” with hammers and drills protruding 6-inches from your hips. In this case, it might be feasible to use a tote-bag or apron.
- In like manner, if you’re doing trim out work, grab a tool apron and pouch filled with only the tools you need for that job.
Given these points, as I said before, you will develop your own way of organizing over time. There are plenty of options.
C. Quality and Durability in Tool Belts
Not only do you want your toolbelt to be comfortable, but you also want it to last. It will take a fair amount of abuse, and plenty of stabbing and poking from tools.
Leather is well-known for being a durable product and will outlast other materials. But, did you know that leather can have varying levels of quality? Keep this in mind when purchasing a leather tool belt.
If you want the best leather available, I recommend the Occidental Leather Company. They have a reputation for the highest quality leathers available.
Some electricians prefer nylon because there is less weight to carry with this option.
I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for. If you already know the system of tool organization that works best for you, then, by all means, buy the best quality belt or bag that you can afford. You really will save over the long run.
For example, $300 divided by 25 years is a lot less money than $50 every other year for 25 years. We’re talking $300 vs. $650.)
If you’re an apprentice electrician and just beginning, then I would go less expensive until you really know how you prefer to work – or how your boss prefers for you to work. A quality item left idle is not a good investment.
This post was originally published in April 2017 but has been updated and modified in 2020 for accuracy and to better serve our readers.
Just for Fun! OCD Organization
(not for electricians on the job site)
I welcome comments and questions. I’ve worked over 2 decades as an electrician, and I will do my best to answer your questions.Steve