An HVAC technician usually wears a tool belt on the job site. Choosing a tool belt is an important decision because the technician will be wearing it all day every work day. You should choose a tool belt that has a comfort fit and has enough compartments to hold the essentials.
If you are working upstairs in the attic or crawling in a crawl space under a home, a tool bag with a carry handle is a must. You don’t want to spill your tools out of a tool belt when you are crawling in a narrow crawl space. Lightweight tool belts are best for routine maintenance calls for servicing thermostats or changing filters.
We have found a selection for you to check out. Choosing one is a matter of personal taste. We recommend that you check out our favorites as we have reviewed and provided links to the best of the tool belts available in 2017.
Best Tool Belts Comparison Chart
Occidental Leather 9850 Adjust-to-Fit™ Fat Lip™ Tool Bag Set
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TradeGear Medium 31-35" Belt & Bag Combo
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CLC Custom Leathercraft 1523
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Occidental Leather 9855
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Ergodyne Arsenal 5548 13-Pockets
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CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608
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Characteristics of Our Favorite Tool Belts
When making an important decision on the kind of tool belt to buy, there are some things you should look out for. To begin with, your tool belt should fit well. This makes it easy to wear and hold in place, regardless of the type of protective clothing you have on. Here are some characteristics of our favorite tool belts.
It should be made from high quality and durable material. Most tool belts nowadays are made from a combination of different fabrics, to make it easy to clean and maintain. The main fabrics are usually nylon, polyester, or cotton. In some cases, the belts are made from leather or have leather bits included in the stitching. A strong material should also be paired with quality stitching and riveting. This should be able to withstand the weight of different tools at the same time.
The pockets and tool holders should have adequate space. This is because different tools occupy different amounts of space. Measuring tape, for instance, will take up less room on your belt than a hammer. It should also come with as many pockets and hooks as possible to reduce the chances of having to get certain tools. This saves time and allows you to get more things done.
A good tool belt should have enough room to play with, to enable it to fit various body types. This should be possible without compromising the build quality or ease of use. You should not have to buy different sized tool belts for the workers in your business or even the people in your home.
Review of the Best HVAC Tool Belts and Pouches
Best Tool Belt:
Occidental Leather 9850
This is a leather tool holder with adjustable fasteners. It can be used on different types of clothing and from waist size 32 inches, all the way up to 40 inches. The design also accommodates for changes in the way you dress with every season change. You don’t have to purchase a new tool belt for every one of the four seasons. It also comes with D-rings already installed that can be used with suspension systems.
The quality of workmanship is top notch, with clean and sturdy stitching. The stitching makes it easy for the belt to hold a lot of weight at once. With tool holders, there are plenty of storage pockets and small nooks to hold tools of different sizes.
It also minimizes the chances of injury, by keeping tools such as hammers secure. This is thanks to the 10 inch deep pockets, which can fit larger tools. These could fall and flatten a toe. The tool belt also keeps you from losing tiny nuts and bolts as you work, something that continues to be a challenge for most DIY starters.
The Occidental Leather 9850 tool belt is made for use with a specific hand, which is something you might want to take into account if most of your workforce (Or family members) are either right or left handed. It is also very light, weighing only 1.01 pounds when empty and can hardly be felt.
This means it does not get in your way when you work. There have been complaints about the quality of the fasteners, which have been said to wear out after a few months of use. The buckle, for instance, becomes loose, especially if it has been switched between people of different waist sizes for a while.
This is a tool bag that is designed for carpenters, but HVAC technicians can make good use of it. It is made of leather to be wear-resistant. It features 24 pockets and tool holders. The main bags are ten inches deep and are designed to hold the tools of the trade.
This tool bag weighs just five pounds and is an American-made product. With this tool bag set, you won’t need the suspenders to hold it in place. The fit on the hips does not create pressure points or discomfort. This tool bag set is durable and will stand up to everyday wear.
This is a popular tool belt and for good reason; it is comfortable to wear and lightweight while remaining well built. It will serve you for a long time before you need to replace it.
Best Tool Pouch:
This a tool pouch that was designed with storage space in mind. It has one main pocket which is large and spacious. This is surrounded by smaller pockets that can fit everything from a small flashlight to a chapstick. The pockets are designed for easy access. This makes working in tight spots a breeze.
This tool pouch also comes with multiple storage options, including web loops and carabiner. These are ideal for hanging various useful things such as a roll of electrician’s tape. The carabiner keeps your keys safe while you work.
The DEWALT DG5103 is made from an extra strong polyester blend that is designed to withstand battlefield like situations. This is then reinforced at the edges to increase durability. The extra reinforcement is to reduce the chances of fraying and tears, which break the strength of the pouch. The entire set up weighs about 9.6 ounces when empty, which is very light. This is designed to make it go unnoticed when you’re wearing it and working. It is also to help with storage since it can easily fold and fit in a drawer.
Being made from polyester, it is also easy to clean and maintain. You can hand wash it with a small brush and household soap, and out it out to dry. It does not require any sort of special equipment to clean.
You can attach this pouch either directly to a belt that is up to 2 and ¾ inches wide, or using a belt clip. The clip’s build quality has however been called into question, with customers complaining that it broke too easily. This is something you may want to note, although the solution is simply to switch to the other mode of attachment.
This DEWALT tool belt is extremely lightweight. It weighs only 9.6 ounces. It is made in China. This tool belt is smaller than some, but it is perfect for those tools needed during routine maintenance HVAC calls. This tool belt is likely to become one of your favorites.
Pliers, screwdrivers, wire strippers, and HVAC gauges will fit nicely in this electrician’s pouch. These items are used regularly and this handy tool belt will give you a hands-free way to transport them from the work-truck to the job site.
This is an easy to maintain tool pouch that is both sturdy and spacious. The belt clip could be made better though since it breaks too easily.
Tool Belt Runner-up:
TradeGear Medium 31-35" Belt & Bag Combo
The TradeGear Medium 31-35" Belt & Bag Combo is an electrician utility belt that is made from extra strength DuraTek nylon. This material is hard to damage, which is likely to happen during a job, with the belt catching in a stray nail. It is then reinforced with metal rivets and state of the art Bar-Tack stitching.
This makes it resistant to tear from carrying heavy weight. It remains comfortable to wear even when fully packed and heavy. This is thanks to the high-density memory foam padding that comes with air channel ventilation. The belt also comes with contoured back support to ease the pressure of the weight of the tools.
It comes with plenty of space, thanks to the 2 heavy duty pouches and 27 other pockets which vary in size. This means you can put a large chunk of tools in the belt, reducing trips to the toolbox. This saves on the time spent on a job. This belt also comes with easy to lift handles. This makes the process of putting it on and taking it off while on a job very easy. This is important to note because once fully packed, this belt can be pretty heavy.
This tool belt is medium sized and measures 15.6×13.2×11.2 inches and weighs about 4.4 pounds. This is important information if you are looking for a lighter sort of belt. It is also best stored hanged, and be sure to remove all the tools.
There have been complaints about the quality of the Velcro attachments. They tend to weaken after some time and stop working which causes the bags to move around while you work. This can get bot tedious and dangerous, especially if you are working in a high-pressure situation.
This tool belt is also designed for electricians, and HVAC technicians can wear this tool belt and change out a defective breaker. This tool belt weighs in at 4.5 pounds. It is durable and ventilated to prevent excessive sweating at the beltline.
The carry handles make it easy to put the belt on and take it off. This tool belt features 27 pockets for smaller tools and 9 larger pockets. The main complaint is that there is not a cover-over a couple of the pockets to keep small items from spilling out of the pockets. You might want to consider getting the suspenders to attach to this particular tool belt. Also, this belt is made for thin waists.
This is a tool belt that is made with the electrician in mind. The sturdiness of the material and the finishing are really excellent selling points. You should note however that this tool belt does not fit very well on waist sizes smaller than 34 inches.
Tool Pouch Runner-up:
CLC Custom Leathercraft 1523
This is a tool pouch that is designed for safety while you work. This is why it comes with a cover that works with a double pull zipper, which keeps the tools away while you work, reducing the chances of a workplace injury from falling tools. It also reduces the chances of tools dropping when you are climbing on high jobs, or crawling under a house or car.
The design also makes provisions for long handle tools such as hammers and wrenches. The cover is kept out of your way when you don’t need it through a nifty snapback feature. It makes it easy to access your tools while on a job.
The CLC Custom Leathercraft 1523 is made from an extra strong polyester fabric that is made to resemble denim. This is resistant to tear and does not pick up dirt quickly. It is also pretty easy to maintain and clean and does not stain easily. Cleaning can be done using a brush and household cleaning soap. It comes with extra storage thanks to the additional front panel pocket. This pouch also comes with plenty of slots, sleeves, straps, and a carabiner for storing keys. This pouch also comes with a tape clip.
You can either clip this pouch to your belt with the clip provided, or attach it straight to the belt itself. It is designed to fit different types of standard sized belts, up to 2 and ¾ inches. It measures only 5.6 ounces when empty, which makes it pretty light for a tool holder.
This pouch comes with a one year warranty. There have been complaints about the zippers on the product. Most customers reported that the zippers came apart after several uses, and they ended up having to replace them entirely.
This a lightweight tool pouch weighs only 5. 6 ounces. It has seven pockets. This product is manufactured in China. This tool pouch can be used for specific routine maintenance HVAC calls. It is not very durable and you can expect to replace this if you are not careful with it.
The stitching on the edge of the material is too close to the edge, and it frays and rips quickly. Poor quality is the chief complaint with this product. Users report that the zipper and seam came apart during the first use.
HVAC work is rugged, and this product would likely not make it through one day on the job. If you are using this product only when checking out the thermostat or to change filters, you might be pleased with the product. Attic or crawl space calls would be too rough for this tool pouch.
This is a decently sized tool pouch and the clip on this one actually lasts for quite some time. The problem is that the zippers do wear out quickly and you might have to replace them after some time.
Occidental tool belts are known for their user-friendliness and this one is no exception. It is a fully adjustable belt that fits various waist sizes in the 32 inches to 41 inches range. It also comes with a rafter square sleeve. You get adequate storage space with the main pockets being 10 inches deep. This is extended by the 24 different sleeves, pockets, and holders. This storage space means that you can add different types of long handles tools including wrenches and large pliers.
This is a hand-specific tool holder, which is something you might want to check when purchasing. Buying a tool belt for the wrong hand could make it hard to work with and even cause various injuries. This is because the arrangement and accessibility of the tools is not designed for your dominant hand.
It also comes with pre-installed d-rings which are designed for use with suspension systems. It is designed to be light to make it easy to carry. The pockets are made from industrial strength nylon, and the bottom is reinforced with leather to withstand the weight.
The belt design is based on the original buscadero design by occidental but also incorporates high-density neoprene. It is also made with commercial nylon that is designed for ruggedness. The belt has been said to have two major flaws; the adjustment and the weight distribution.
The adjustment is a bit loose on smaller waists and you might have to twist it halfway around if your waist is less than 34 inches. The bags are attached to the belt, which makes it hard to predict the weight distribution. This makes the tool belt sit awkwardly on your waist.
Weighing 5 pounds, this product is made in the USA. It has models made for both the right-handed and the left-handed wearer. This tool belt is made of nylon with leather accents and has additional suspenders that help reduce injury to the lower back.
It is a functional tool belt that is durable. It is a high-quality product. This tool belt features 10-inch deep nylon bags. The bags have reinforced leather bottoms and corners. This tool belt is versatile and can be used when carrying tools up the ladder into the attic or for routine maintenance calls on the ground.
This is a useful and durable tool belt. It will serve you a long time before you need a replacement. It does tend to become a bit heavy, which is something to take note of, especially if you intend to wear it for long periods of time.
This is a sturdy tool pouch that is made from 1680D ballistic polyester. This material is scratch and puncture resistant, meaning that you will go for a long time before a replacement is needed. The stitching is heavy duty 6 ply nylon which holds together under incredible stress and is paired with nickel plated rivets for added support.
The base of the different pouches is made from PVC and reinforced bindings. The PVC is resistant to abrasion and tear. This means you can set it down in various places without worry. It comes with a patented storm drain design to keep your tools drain. This is useful for places with high humidity, which could cause drip water damage to your tools. The storm drains are also nickel plated for durability.
The Ergodyne Arsenal 5548 is made specifically for electricians. The pouches and sleeves are made to hold tools for electrical work. It also works exclusively with electrical fasteners. This is something to note if you are looking for a multipurpose tool belt for a DIY project or other forms of repair work.
It comes with 13 pockets divided into 2 main large pockets, with 5 smaller sleeves, and 6 large slots for carrying screwdrivers. It also comes with a clip for holding the measuring tape.
There have been complaints about the pouch sizes from some of the customers. The main pouches have are apparently too large for proper use. This means that unless they are full, there is still a risk of tools falling out. The screwdriver pockets are also not made universal and some screwdriver brands (especially the generic brands) will have trouble fitting.
This tool pouch is equipped with 13 pockets made of polyester. It is split into two large pockets, five smaller pockets, and six large slots designed to hold screwdrivers. This tool pouch weighs in at 1.1 pounds so that you are not lugging around a lot of extra weight with your tools.
This polyester product is reinforced with polypropylene to withstand the abrasions that come with a hard day’s work. If you load it with tools, there is a possibility that the stitching in the back pocket will tear because it is not as durable as leather. However, this tool pouch is serviceable for routine HVAC maintenance calls.
If you are going up into the attic, you might want to choose a leather product rather than this one made of polyester. You don’t want to risk the polyester ripping while you are climbing up or down a ladder or dealing with insulation in an attic.
This tool pouch functions as it was designed. The flaws brought about by the size of the pouches are something to take note of. It could also use more loops and smaller pockets for holding smaller tools.
Best Over the Shoulder Belt:
CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608
This is a combination of electrician’s rig. It is made up of a 3-inch padded belt with a single roller buckle, padded 4 point suspenders, and 28 different pockets. It also comes with a large side pocket designed to hold a cordless drill. The result is a comfortable fit with admirable weight distribution.
The weight does not pool at one place and this results in less strain on your shoulders, hips, and lower back. It also allows you to maintain correct posture while working, thereby reducing the chances of injury. It is also easy to carry, thanks to the straps and suspenders, all of which are padded.
The CLC Custom Leathercraft 1608 is made from a high-density polyester fabric that is both strong and easy to clean. It also does not stain easily. Cleaning can be done with a soft brush (Like the one on canvas sneakers), soap and water. It is designed to fit waists that are between 29 inches and 46 inches. The large waist size range means that it can be used both by professional electricians and at home while working on a DIY project with your teenage son.
There have been complaints that the design has changed in the newer iterations of the suspended tool belt. The suspenders have been reduced from a 4 point to a 3 point setup, and the layout of the bags has also changed.
The changes have affected both comfort and weight distribution. This has resulted in some customers claiming to have had the wrong product delivered. The stitching has also been said to come apart after a few weeks of use.
This tool bag features a built-in cordless drill pocket and has a zippered top flap pouch to reduce tool spillage. This tool carrying set is designed with padded suspenders and does not place strain on the lower back or hips. It has a wide padded comfort belt to hold the tool bag in place. This tool bag rigging is made of polyester fabric.
It has a combination of 29 pockets, sleeves, and loops. It is a bit heavier than the other models, as it weighs in at 5.1 pounds. It is manufactured in China. This is a bulkier tool bag, and the chief complaint is that it is oversized and the material frays. However, if you are looking for a tool bag that does not depend on your lower back to carry it, this should be your first choice.
This over the shoulder belt started out great and was a favorite of many. Recent changes in design have affected the functionality somewhat and this is something you may want to take note of.
Occidental Leather offers another handcrafted leather product designed specifically for journeyman electricians. The leather beats the polyester product hands down for durability. Tools can’t poke holes through the leather, and you won’t find a need to replace this tool pouch.
This product is a good choice for HVAC techs who are working on the electrical issues of a unit. This tool pouch weighs 1.9 pounds. It has a handle and makes it easy for carrying into the attic or under the house in a crawl space. This tool pouch holds the wire strippers, nut drivers, lineman’s pliers, and multiple screwdrivers.
It also holds wire nuts, electrical tape, and other essentials. When you are buying tools, you buy the quality tools that will last, and when you purchase a tool pouch you should purchase the highest quality product as well. The Occidental Leather products are more expensive, but they are a high-quality product and worth the extra expense.
This one of the best tool pouches that we found on the market. It is heavy-duty and made of all leather. It sports 15 pockets and tool holders for your worksite essentials. It even has a loop for a flashlight for peering into the dark crevices under the floor or into the attics.
A chain for electrical tape is another unique feature that we like. It is a lightweight tool pouch, weighing in at a scant 2 pounds. This leather product is American crafted and built to last. This product is a bit pricey, but it is worth every penny! It is a solid product and has a comfort fit.
This is a medium-weight pouch at 1.6 pounds. It is made in China. This is likely made of faux leather. It is not as high quality as the Occidental Leather pouch, but this particular pouch is reinforced with rivets to increase its durability.
One of the unique features of this pouch is the “T” chain tape clip. You will need to buy either the suspenders or a belt to go with this pouch if you want to wear it. If you want to use this as a carry tool pouch, you will be pleased with this product.
We recommend oiling it with baby oil to soften the faux leather. This product will last longer than the polyester or cloth tool bags, and it will survive the average days on the job site. This product is not durable enough for long-term everyday use heavily loaded with the essential HVAC tools.
The Benefits of a Good Tool Belt
Choosing your tool belt wisely will make you a more efficient HVAC technician. As a heating and air technician, carrying tools from the truck to the job site is a many-times-per-day activity. One of the most important tools of the trade is the tool belt.
If the tool belt malfunctions or spills your tools all over the ground, you will be spending valuable time retrieving your tools and going back and forth to the truck instead of focusing on the task at hand. Rather than wasting time returning to the truck, you will have your favorite tools within reach at your waist. This will improve your productivity and make your boss and your clients happier because the job will be finished quickly and efficiently.
For those who are working on the routine maintenance calls on the ground, these tool belts come in handy, but for the technician working in the attic or crawling in a crawl space under a home, these tool belts are cumbersome and inefficient. The tool bags that have the carry handle are the best choice because they can be carried in your hand rather than worn into the narrow, confining spaces.
Tool belts and tool pouches come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. Like a woman’s purse or a man’s wallet, the tool belt or tool pouch is chosen based on personal taste and style. Whether you choose the low-slung tool belt, the over-the-shoulder suspender style, or the bag with the carry handle, you must be comfortable with your choice because you will be using it all-day, every day.
Material and appearance are just two of the things you should consider when you are selecting a tool bag or tool pouch. You should also consider where you will be using it. The carry handle bag will serve HVAC technicians better in the attics and crawl spaces while the low slung tool belt resting on the hips would be better suited to the outdoor service calls.
The routine maintenance calls would require a smaller tool pouch with limited space for the specialty tools of the HVAC trade. No matter which type call you are working, you should have your tools organized and prepacked into your bag, pouch, or tool belt. An organized HVAC technician is efficient and happier on the worksite.