First, decide what kind of work you’re going to do with your tools. Different tool belts are designed to fit the tools of specific trades, so carpenters, electrician, plumbers and drywallers, for instance, each wear a different style.
What kind of work do you do most often? Choose a belt that will suit the tools you use for those jobs. If you do general handyman work around your house, go with a carpenter’s tool belt, which typically will have two large pouches, a hammer holster and up to 15 smaller pouches of varying sizes to hold everything from nails to utility knives to hammers to measuring tapes.
Next, consider how much you want to spend. You can get a tool belt for as little as $15 or as much as $300, depending on how many pockets it has and what it’s made of. Leather tool belts tend to cost a bit more than nylon or fabric belts. Choose one with some padding to keep your tools from poking your body while you’re wearing the belt, reinforced stitching and a durable material.
Try the belt on to feel if it’s comfortable. Load it up with the tools you use most often. Check if the pockets are evenly spaced out; a belt with too many pockets on one side will pull on you and create a distraction while you’re working. Consider how hot it gets in Arizona before you buy a leather belt; a fabric or nylon style could wear a bit cooler.
Buy your belt where the pros buy theirs. You’ll find good belts at the stores attached to lumber yards that sell to contractors, and at some hardware stores.
Finally, decide if you want to wear suspenders with your tool belt. Padded suspenders can help support the belt and make it more comfortable to wear for long stretches.