HealthyHandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Best Carpenters Tool Belts for the Money 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

Last Updated:

a good belt for carpentryIf you’re reading this, you’ve probably already decided that you want to buy a carpenters tool belt. However, you’re not sure which one will be the best for your needs, and going online can be confusing with so many belts out there. Also, you’ll not only be confronted by the different belts, but also by reviews of what other people think about them. Not everyone will have the same opinion.

Don’t worry; we are here to help you, but before we start, think about what you are looking for. Are you a professional who needs to use a carpenter’s tool belt all the time or are you a DIY enthusiast who will be using a belt now and again? Here you’ll find our top five in-depth carpenters tool belt reviews which should help you to decide which belt to buy. We’ve done all the hard work; now it’s up to you.

Our Favorite Models Compared:

ModelPriceWarrantyEditor Rating
Occidental Leather 9855
Occidental Leather 9855
Best Overall

Check Price
2 years4.9/5
Gatorback B145 Carpenters
Gatorback B145 Carpenters

Check Price
1 year4.7/5
Magnogrip 203-017
Magnogrip 203-017
Best Value

Check Price
14 days4.6/5
Bucket Boss 85035
Bucket Boss 85035

Check Price
1 year4.3/5
Klein Tools 55427 Tradesman Pro
Klein Tools 55427 Tradesman Pro

Check Price
1 year4.1/5

5 Best Tool Belts – Reviews 2020:

1. Occidental Leather Carpenter’s Tool Belt – Best Overall

Occidental Leather 9855

If you need to use a carpenter’s tool belt regularly, you have come to the right place. The Occidental Leather 9855 is the best leather tool belt we have found. It is both comfortable and well- built, and although it is the most expensive of the belts we have researched, you will appreciate the quality, especially if you are using the belt for work purposes. Everything is heavy-duty and the craftsmanship is spectacular. It has deep industrial-type nylon bags that are reinforced with leather on the bottom and corners, making them strong enough to bear the weight of all your tools. The pouches stay open naturally because of the leather, meaning that you can get to your tools easily, and both the belt and the bags are fully adjustable.

If you have back problems and are worried about wearing a fully loaded leather belt, invest in suspenders as well. They will make all the difference.

From carpenters tool belt reviews that we have read about the Occidental Leather 9855, the general consensus is that it is excellent value over time. People have commented on the huge pockets which can hold everything you need, the comfort factor, and the great quality of the leather.

To sum up, you definitely get what you pay for. The belt is sturdy and strong and should last you for years even if you are using it daily. It even comes with a two-year limited warranty, which is a great bonus.

However, if you only plan to use a carpenters tool belt now and then, a high-quality, but budget-friendly belt is worth looking into.

  • Durable construction
  • Comfortable
  • Quality leather
  • Excellent warranty
  • High initial cost

2. Gatorback B145 Carpenter’s Tool Belt

Gatorback B145 Carpenters

The Gatorback B145 Carpenters tool belt is a great runner-up to the Occidental Leather 9855, and costs two and a half times less. You’re probably wondering why it is so much cheaper.  Well, to start with, the pockets aren’t made of leather, so maybe they won’t last quite as long as the Occidental. However, they aren’t flimsy. They are made out of heavy duty 1250 Durateck nylon which keeps them firm. There is also an interior plastic lining which stops them from sagging, making it easy to get hold of your tools. In addition, every stress point on the pockets and also on the belt, are riveted and bar tacked.

From reading carpenters tool belt reviews, there have been only a few negative comments.  A couple of people have reported that the pockets fell apart after just a month or two and that the pen pocket is too narrow to fit in a pen. However, on the plus side, others have found that the belt is comfortable and gives a sweat-free experience. Even the foam backing is made out of an ultra-breathable material.

How does all this affect you as a buyer? Well, firstly you’ll be spending a lot less money than on the Occidental, and if you are just a DIY enthusiast who doesn’t use a carpenters tool belt daily, the Gatorback B145 is ideal. On the other hand, this belt has just a one year warranty as compared to the Occidental Leather 9855, which has two.  However, on the positive side, you would be able to buy two and a half of these belts for one of the Occidental, making the length of the warranty, not such a big issue.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Offers comfort and ventilation
  • Pockets don’t sag
  • Average durability
  • One year warranty

3. Magnogrip 203-017 Tool Belt – Best Value

Magnogrip 203-017

Are you looking for a good economy carpenters tool belt? Well, look no further. The Magnogrip 203-017 gives great value for money. It has 12 pockets, so is well equipped to store all the tools that you need. Also, it’s made out of durable polyester, a double-layered 1680d, and the stress points are secured by rivets. The main pockets stay open so that you can easily get to your tools. The manufacturer has thought out the placement, amount, and type of pockets so you should be able to get to your tools without looking, especially handy when up a ladder.

The magnetic nail holder is a bonus. You don’t want to be digging around in the pockets for nails and screws if it isn’t necessary, and the magnetic nail holder helps you no end. However, there is a small minus to the magnetic strips. If you are doing metalworking, metal slivers and shavings can get attached to the magnetic strips, so just be careful.

This carpenter’s tool belt comes in one size, so it may not be suitable for very small or very large people, but a plus is that the belt is extremely wide. meaning that weight and pressure are distributed equally.

The belt only comes with a 14-day warranty, but at the price, you can’t really complain.

To sum up, if you are looking for the best carpenters tool belt for the money, don’t look any further than the Magnogrip 203-017. You get both value and a great product.

  • Value for Money
  • Durable
  • Has a magnetic nail holder
  • Wide belt
  • Short warranty period
  • One-size belt

4. Bucket Boss 85035 Carpenter’s Tool Belt

Bucket Boss 85035

Bucket Boss has been around since 1987, so is a well-established company. The Bucket Boss 85035 carpenters tool belt is made from heavy-duty 1680d 2-ply polyester material and is very durable. It also has load bear stretch suspension which makes the belt more comfortable when you are carrying tools around all day. There are just two large-capacity pockets, but there are some extra smaller ones attached to these. The pockets are adjustable with Velcro which can have its disadvantages. Looking through customer reviews for this product, some people have found that the Velcro doesn’t stick anymore, but of course, this can be replaced. The pockets are sturdy and sit upright, which is great as you don’t have to look down to pick up your tools. The belt has both a steel buckle and monster grommets

The size of this tool belt can be an issue as it only fits people of a waist range of 44” to 52”, which means that slim built and heavier people won’t be able to use it. There is also no tape measure clip.

This product has a one year warranty, which doesn’t equal the Occidental 9855 but is the same as the Gatorback 3145. Both are more expensive than the Bucket Boss 85035.

We have only read a few negative reviews about this product; for example, the pockets wear through quickly. However, you pay for what you get and this tool belt is a bargain.

  • Attractive price
  • Large capacity pockets
  • Durable pockets
  • Limited size of belt
  • Length of warranty

5. CLC Custom Leathercraft I823X Tool Belt

CLC Custom Leathercraft I823X

If you are looking for a cheap carpenter’s tool belt look no further than the CLC Custom Leathercraft I823X. However, remember that price nearly always equates with quality.

To start with, if you purchase this product, you only get the pockets, not the belt. Also, you will need a belt up to two and three-quarters inches wide, which can be restrictive. From reading carpenter tool belt reviews about this product, the general consensus is that aren’t enough pockets, just two main nail pockets and six small pockets for pliers, nail sets, and pencils.

This item would suit a child or someone who is doing a one-off weekend project. Don’t think about this product if you are doing heavy-duty work or professional contracting. It’s fine if you just want to use a few tools, but not if you want to do an elaborate job or use it daily.

Other negatives include the fact that there isn’t a clip for a tape measure and that the belt loop is made of thin leather which can easily rip. In addition, the backs of the rivets which reinforce the corners are very rough so they can prove to be uncomfortable. Be prepared to replace this product after a few uses.

  • Attractive price
  • Not enough pockets
  • The belt loop easily rips
  • Uncomfortable
  • Comes without belt

Buyer’s Guide

It isn’t difficult to choose a carpenters tool belt if you are just presented with a small selection. However, if you go online and browse through all the different tool belts on offer, you can easily become overwhelmed by the choice. We’re here to make this choice easier for you.

How do I find the right one for my needs?

Choosing a carpenters tool belt is no different from choosing a car or a washing machine. It’s a completely personal decision and what suits one person often won’t suit another.

If you are a professional, you will probably want a different tool belt to what a DIY enthusiast is looking for. Your personal needs have to be taken into account before purchasing.

When deciding which carpenters tool belt to purchase, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself.  Firstly, do you intend to use a tool belt every day? If so, you need a belt that is both durable and comfortable. In this case, you should be prepared to look at the more expensive range of carpenter’s tool belts. However, if you intend to use a tool belt now and then, it will pay you to look at the value-for-money belts. Of course, nothing is stopping you buying a more expensive model if that’s what you want and we have given you a selection of belts covering a wide price range.

One excellent way of gauging which tool belts should be on your shortlist is to ask yourself which belt can hold every tool you want for the job. Are there enough pockets and drill/hammer loops? Is there somewhere to put your tape measure? Your tool belt must have room for all your tools otherwise you will be wasting your money. The best thing to do is to make a list of your tools before making a decision.

what's in his tool belt?

Source: Flickr, Token Blogger

Then you need to look at the sizes on offer. Most belts come in a variety of sizes, but some don’t. One-size fits all isn’t advisable if you are either very small or extra-large.

The next step is to look at the materials on offer. This is particularly important if you want to carry nails and screws as you don’t want them protruding into your skin. Leather is the best bet, but nylon and polyester are good too. Whichever you go for, make sure that the material and stitching are reinforced.

Leather belts, like the Occidental Leather 9855, are the most durable, but if you have back problems, you would be better off going with a belt that has nylon or polyester pockets, like the Magnogrip 203-017. If you are going for nylon or polyester, check the thickness and see if the stitching is single or double. Double would, of course, make the product more durable.  Nylon might also be better for the older person as the padding is more comfortable and helps to spread out the weight of the tools.

You also need to balance the capacity of the carpenter’s tool belt with the weight. If it becomes too bulky and heavy, you probably won’t use it. You need to find a belt that offers organization while making the most of the space available. Again you need to weigh up if you want heavier leather or a synthetic material. Oil-tanned leather belts are the best for durability, but they are heavy and are more suited to the professional. They are designed for the long haul.

Another matter to consider is the belt buckle. If there is a large buckle, it can dig into your skin or even scratch a finished surface. The best buckle for your belt is one that spins around or one that can be slid to the rear or behind one of the pockets.

The Benefits of owning one

A carpenter’s tool belt means efficiency. All your tools will be with you which is especially important if you have to climb up ladders. To keep going down to pick up tools from your toolbox is a total waste of time, as is asking someone else to pass the tools up to you. With a tool belt, you will get things done quicker and have more free time.

What are your Options?

It takes a long time to research carpenters tool belts on your own, but if you follow this guide you should be able to find one that’s perfect for you. However, if you want more options, why not look at the range of other carpenters tool belts produced by the companies we have written about; Occidental Leather, Gatorback, Magnogrip, Bucket Boss, and CLC Custom Leathercraft.


You’ve read through our buying guide and have seen the carpenter’s tool belts which we recommend. One thing is clear; quality directs the price. Our top choice, the Occidental Leather 9855 is the most expensive on the list, but it is also the most durable and well-made. It is a belt for the professional, but an amateur DIY enthusiast could buy it if he or she wanted a belt to last a lifetime. The Occidental also has the best warranty out of all the belts we’ve reviewed, so it’s not surprising that it’s our top pick. However, if you don’t intend to use your carpenter’s tool belt regularly, why not go for the MagnoGrip 203-017? It’s the best value for money that we have found.

Carpenters tool belts have been around for years, but manufacturers are now working towards getting the right balance of price, durability, and performance. With so much competition out there, quality is on the increase as each company tries to outdo the others.

Yes, it can be confusing with so many products out there, but hopefully, we’ve made the job easier for you. Good luck with your new carpenter’s tool belt.

More buying guides like this:

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!