One of the most essential pieces in your tool kit will be a dependable and durable tool belt. Having one will make the job that much more comfortable and way more time-efficient. With the right belt, you will be able to carry all of your necessary tools and leave yourself with your hands-free to do the work.
But the weight of the belt can lead to back pain and an uncomfortable work experience. After all, you are lugging a couple of pounds on your waist, and you may be climbing or squatting for long periods. This can wear you down.
One of the main problems most tradespeople have is that they are not wearing their belt quite right. There are some tips and tricks that, along with choosing the right belt, can distribute that weight better and make for more comfortable wearability.
But first, how do you find the right tool belt (which is half the battle with the proper wearing of this work person accessory)? In this article, we will take a look at that, as well as how to organize the tool belt and how to properly wear it too!
What to Look For?
There are a lot of factors that play a role in making sure you have invested in the right tool belt for you and your needs. The first thing you need to make sure of is that you have chosen one that is oriented for your dominant hand.
That means if you are right-handed, the belt should be built for you and visa versa. This is key, as your dominant hand will be using the tools. Making sure it is designed for you also ensures that things like nails and screws are set on the side of your helper hand.
You will also want to look at the capacity of the tool belt. This is key to understanding how many tools you will be able to carry along with how much weight you will be strapping to your waist.
The weight that is carried can also help you decide if you need to invest in a pair of suspenders. If your tool belt carries a lot and is going to be excessively bulky, you may want to add a pair of suspenders to help distribute the weight more evenly.
The features play a role in how to wear your tool belt, but so does the organization of the tool belt.
How to Organize a Tool Belt
In order to help distribute that weight, try using some of the organizational tips below.
A Place for Everything
You don’t want to jumble multiple tools into one pocket. Instead, make sure that each tool type has its own pouch or pocket.
You should also make sure that the back and front seats are allocated to the right tools. Things like tape measures are best to reside here.
When organizing your tool belt, you should allocate the space according to the amount of importance of each tool. That means the tools you will use regularly should be distributed on your dominant hand side and auxiliary tools on the side of your less dominant hand.
This will keep the workflow steady and you from having to reach over to the side to get things like screws and nails.
Move the Weight
Move the weight according to your job and your comfort. Sometimes it is best to shift the weight from the front to the back. This helps give your back a little relief during the day.
Left & Right
Make sure to allocate your pockets to the left and right of your body, not in front and back. This will help with actions like walking, climbing, or lifting.
With all that being said, let’s look at some final tips on how to wear your tool belt properly.
How to Wear a Tool Belt
It may seem like wearing a tool belt should be a simple task. But there are some very specific things to consider to ensure you are not putting any undue stress on your back. When looking at this, you can look at three different things. The way that you address these factors will play a role in your comfort and the efficiency of your work.
The first factor to consider is the placement and orientation of the tool belt. Most professionals prefer to wear their belts facing backward. This can actually be very effective. Doing this places the pouches behind you, and therefore they won’t dig into your body when you are completing tasks.
It is also good as the backside tends to carry more weight; therefore, it can handle the pressure of the poundage from your tool belt. One thing, though, if you opt to wear your belt like this, you will want to switch the pouches so that the right ones are located on your dominant side.
The next factor to consider is the number of pouches the belt is designed with. Most belts will come with two large pouches and be able to be fitted with multiple smaller ones as well.
These pouches will begin to fan out towards your back which, as we said above, is good as the backside can weather more weight. However, the more pouches you have, the more difficult your job and the less flexibility of movements you will have.
The last thing and perhaps the most important to proper wearing of your tool belt is to think about the weight of the tool belt and the tools you are placing in it. If you carry heavy tools, then you will want a more substantial belt (and potentially some suspenders).
If you are carrying heavy tools, you may want to make sure your belt has a weight dispersal system or, like we said, invest in some suspenders to add to the belt.
So how do you wear a tool belt? There are a lot of different options, but the tips and techniques above are sure to get you set on the right path.