Buying Guide

Tool Bags, Pouches and Belts

Bags, Pouches, Belts and Other Storage Devices

With so many different types of tool belts and holders available, it is important to consider what your primary needs are and how frequently you'll use the device. In most cases, you'll probably end up with a combination of products, such as a belt designed to accommodate several pouches and separate holders for a hammer, flashlight, tape measure and more. If you're using a belt, make sure to set it up so that it positions tools in the most convenient way. Keep frequently used items such as hammers, pencils and wrenches on the same side as your dominant hand and helper tools and fasteners, such as chisels and nails, on the opposite side.


Tool bags are lighter and easier to carry around than conventional toolboxes. With their soft sides and flexibility, they can also fit into smaller, more irregularly shaped spaces. Bags often feature center sections that provide ample space for larger tools and side pockets and pouches for holding small tools, nails, screws and other items. Small bags are perfect for a number of different applications, whether you're building a tree house in the back yard or need a way to keep network administration tools handy when you're on the go.

  • Bags are often made from leather, burlap or nylon
  • Can be used for special sets of tools, such as a ratchet or drill set
  • Offer a professional appearance for contractors
  • Some bags can be attached to belts for greater convenience

Pouches, like bags, are often designed to meet the needs of a specific contractor, such as a plumber or an electrician. There are, however, also a number that have been designed with both frequent and occasional do-it-yourselfers in mind. Pouches may be anchored, or fixed in place, or moveable. Anchored pouches are often worn in the front while moveable pouches can be worn off to the side or back. Pouches are available with a wide range of pockets, running anywhere from a small four-pocket pouch to one with eighteen or more. Pockets may be small for holding nails and fasteners or large for holding drills and other tools. Single-pocket pouches clip onto belts and are ideal for holding nails and small tools.

  • Pouches are often constructed of saddle leather
  • Specialized pouches, such as electrician's pouches, are configured for specific tools
  • Anchored pouches are present on aprons and some belts
  • Moveable pouches, also known as tool rigs, are often used in conjunction with tool belts
  • Pouches often include hammer loops and other handy features

Storage belts, also called tool belts or utility belts, provide plenty of room for a host of pockets. They can also hold pouches and allow the use of clip-on holders. Belts can provide much-needed back support to help reduce fatigue. They range from simple devices with a few pockets to versatile configurations that feature several pouches, small tool pockets, hammer loops, sleeves for holding crowbars, flashlights or other tools and more. Modular tool belts allow you to rearrange and customize belts every time you work. Avoid leaving tools in your belt after you're done working, since a fully loaded belt may stretch over time, causing it to crack or wear out more quickly.

  • Belts are typically fastened with notches or clips
  • Padding makes belts more comfortable over long periods of use
  • Some belts may include matching suspenders
  • Belts may be made from leather, cloth, nylon or canvas
Other Devices

There are a number of other storage devices that will come in handy, some of which can be used individually and some of which are used in tandem with other items, such as a belt or suspenders. Aprons and tool holders are amongst the most commonly used. The chart below describes various storage devices, their uses and some of their features.