The Basics of Organizing Your Tool Belt

Hammer, screw driver, and wrench in tool beltTool belts are meant to make projects around the house much faster. Experienced handymen know exactly where to reach for the right tool without taking their eyes off the job. But beginner DIY handymen may be uncomfortable with the weight of the belt, as well as the inconvenience of searching through many small tools to find exactly what they need. Some DIYers may prefer to make trips back and forth for the right tools, stuff small objects in their pants or shirt pockets, and tuck tools in the waistband of their pants. None of these options are efficient, and they may even be a safety hazard. Here are some tips for organizing your tool belt for maximum comfort and productivity.

  • Use a tool belt that has many pockets for screws and nails of various sizes. Buy a belt that has the hammer loop on the side of your hammer hand – this is particularly important for left-handed DIYers. Beginner handymen who just need a belt for basic tools should consider an option that offers many small compartments for nails, adhesive, tape, etc. Experienced handyman would likely need a belt with large pockets and straps for bigger tools.
  • Keep the tools you use the most near your dominant hand. For example, a claw hammer, a carpenter’s pencil, a chalk line, slip-joint pliers, a drill, and a utility knife are some of the most common tools for home projects. Organize them on the right side of the belt if you are a right-handed, or on the left if you are left-handed.
  • Store secondary tools, aka “helper hand tools”, on the opposite side. These tools work in combination with the dominant tools. Nail sets, chisels, screwdrivers, fasteners, flashlights, tape measures, and squares are examples of items that would go on the left side of the belt if you are right-handed, or on the right side of the belt if you are left-handed.
  • The ability to be flexible when wearing a tool belt is important. Jobs that require long periods of bending over can be done more comfortably by turning the belt to the rear. Handymen can either rearrange their hand tools and fasteners, or learn the new positions of the belt when rear-facing.
  • When it comes to ladder safety, use belt accessories like a drill carrier to climb

safely without worry of dropping your tools. When working on ladders, utilize the belt waistband to store more tools within easy reach so you can avoid having to climb up and down the ladder numerous times.

  • Handymen who are concerned about wearing the weight of the belt for long periods may want to invest in suspenders. They distribute the weight of tools and fasteners.

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