Which leather tool belts are best?
Tool belts are designed for you to carry all the tools you need around your waist or on your hip. There are many different kinds of tool belts — some are called tool pouches and others tool aprons. Better tool belts are made of tough material, and the best tool belts are made of leather.
If you are looking for a water-resistant and oil-tanned leather tool belt, take a good look at the STRONGLAD 5 Pocket Oil Tanned Leather Tool Belt.
What to know before you buy a leather tool belt
There are six basic types of leather, varying in strength and cost.
Full-grain leather is the outside of the hide. Full-grain leather is the finest of leather. It has had the hair removed but has not been sanded or buffed, so it will have minor cosmetic imperfections. However, the surface is strong, durable and can withstand tough use. The heaviest grain leather is best for furniture, luggage and saddles.
Top grain leather is full-grain leather that has been sanded and/or buffed to remove irregularities and imperfections. Sanding makes the leather look better but reduces strength and water resistance. Top grain leather is used in high-end leather goods, like handbags and wallets.
Split grain leather is from a lower layer of the hide. Its surface is not as dense or tight as full grain or top grain leather. Split grain leather has an artificial layer applied to the surface and is used for leather products that are dyed, embossed or styled in some fashion. Split leather is also used to create suede.
Genuine leather comes from any layer of the hide and is treated to provide a more uniform surface. Like top grain leather, genuine leather loses some of the leather’s desirable qualities and is used to make things like belts.
Bonded leather is made from leftover pieces of scrap leather. The scraps are shredded to a pulp and mixed with glues and fibers. Bonded leather is very cheap and so is popular in low-end upholstery and commercial applications.
Oil-tanned leather is commonly referred to as boot leather. It is soft, flexible and waterproof, and has a natural appearance. Any type of real leather can be oil-tanned.
What to look for in a quality leather tool belt
People who use tool belts will tell you it is better to have too many pockets than too few. You can always use the extra pockets to stow nails, screws and fasteners. Look for pockets that have deep and wide openings and rounded corners for easy access. Choose a leather tool belt that has pockets with rivets and reinforced stitching.
Many tool belts are made for general DIY work, but some are made for special trades, like carpenters, plumbers and electricians. Each will have features fine-tuned to match particular needs. Most have a place for a hammer, tape measure, pliers, screwdrivers and assorted hardware.
Tool belts have pouches or pockets that may be in front, on the sides or in the back. Some tool belts are apron style. Aprons have more pockets to carry tools and provide the wearer with a level of protection.
Some people like to wear their tool belts around their waist, but most wear them lower, around their hips. Look for leather tool belts that adjust for girth so you can always find a comfortable fit, even when wearing extra layers of clothing.
Quick-release buckles are the easiest to put on and take off, but they may require some caution to keep from coming loose while you are wearing them.
How much you can expect to spend on a leather tool belt
Midrange leather tool belts cost anywhere between $25-$75. Better leather tool belts cost between $75-$100 and serious pro rigs cost more.
Leather tool belt FAQ
Is suede the same as leather?
A. Leather is the smooth outside of the hide, called the grain side. Suede is the rough inside. Some leather tool pockets and pouches will have untreated suede on the inner surfaces.
What is the best way to take care of a leather tool belt?
A. Begin by keeping it out of the sun and rain as much as possible. To keep it from cracking as it ages, use a leather conditioner.
What’s the best leather tool belt to buy?
Top leather tool belt
What you need to know: Stronglad uses only genuine leather to guarantee this tool belt will endure the harshest treatment.
What you’ll love: The oil tanning process makes this leather tool belt soft, pliable and water-resistant. The belt is attached to the pouch with a two-prong roller buckle, so the pouch won’t slide off your belt by accident. All the seams on this leather tool belt are double stitched with nine ply nylon thread, and all stress points are riveted for added ruggedness. The belt adjusts from 29 to 46 inches.
What you should consider: Some wish this 2-inch-wide belt was wider and more comfortable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top leather tool belt for the money
What you need to know: This is a great 5-pocket split leather tool belt for a good-sized DIY homeowner.
What you’ll love: This tool belt is made for tasks requiring only a few hand tools. The 2-inch-wide polymer belt has a quick-release buckle and adjusts from 36 to 54 inches. This leather tool belt is strong enough to hold a power drill and the reversed and rounded corner pockets make tool access easy.
What you should consider: The quick-release buckle can come undone under stress.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This durable oil tanned leather carpenter’s apron has 12 spacious pockets.
What you’ll love: The apron style of this tool belt protects you while you work. The belt is 2 inches wide and made of saddle leather. The corner pockets are reversed and rounded.
What you should consider: With 12 pockets, this leather tool belt is for people who work with tools every day.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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