ToughBuilt tool belts give us a comfortable option
Ah, the tool belt. The right setup can boost your productivity and keep you comfortable even on hot summer days. Wrong settings can only make for a frustrating experience. We got our hands on a ToughBuilt Contractor tool belt set to see where it goes.
- Simple clip-on modular system
- Wide selection of bags and accessories
- comfortable design
- Extra zipper section for larger contractors
- Built-in stand on the bag
- Plastic latches on ClipTech hubs could be a long-term durability issue
- Lack of in-store retailers makes it hard to try before you buy or quickly grab extra clips in a pinch
- not small enough for some
Check out our best tool belts article for our top recommendations.
Our review set was the ToughBuilt 4-Piece Contractor Tool Belt Set (TB-CT-101-4). It includes a padded tool belt, 3 ClipTech hubs and 3 pouches.
ClipTech Hubs form the connection between the waist belt and pouch. They are mostly plastic construction and slide over the belt and snap into place. Once you've placed them where you like them, ToughBuilt's Tool Bags slide onto them and lock into place.
Right out of the box, everything is pretty solid. However, the plastic latches that lock each ClipTech Hub in place can wear out, which has us concerned about its long-term durability. That said, a 3-pack sells for about $8, so it shouldn't be financially stressful to have some spares on hand.
ToughBuilt includes their padded tool belt in this set, which fits waist sizes 32" to 48". If you're on the larger side, there's a zippered extension to widen it. It's a good range for the vast majority of people, but we did have one person in our crew who was too small to wear it comfortably.
The waist belt secures with hook-and-loop connections and an oversized plastic buckle. There are also suspender attachments if you want to add a set.
ToughBuilt uses foam padding covered by soft, breathable mesh. This allows for better airflow and comfort, but it's unlikely to last as long as the leather tool belt I've been wearing for the past 13 years. Every tool belt manufacturer has to make the same material decision, and in this case, it's more important than a quality issue.
The 4-piece contractor's set that makes up this ToughBuilt tool belt has ample storage with 36 pockets and loops. It's a bit clunky for most of my work lately, though.
That's no problem, as ToughBuilt has a wide selection of bags and accessories to choose from—30 bags in total. How easy it is to clip pouches and even ClipTech Hubs inside, it's a system for everyday customization.
ToughBuilt put a fun twist on their bags with an integrated kickstand. This is helpful if you want to place them on the floor or table next to you.
For renovators, electricians, plumbers, and other craftsmen who have a range of tasks in their job descriptions, it's very convenient to make several bags and simply grab the ones you need for the day or for a service call. There's even a wall organizer you can use to organize your shop or your work cart.
The bundle we reviewed costs $69.99. Prices range from $9.99 to $34.99 for a single pouch, and $10 to $20 for a bare strap. That's a bit higher than some tool rigs. However, there is an element of versatility that we don't often see on standard belts.
the bottom line
Overall, we like the way the ToughBuilt tool belt system works, and its modular grab and go features are very attractive. If you're the type of person who likes to customize and take only what you need every time you step out of the truck, this is a tool bench worth considering.
- Model: ToughBuilt TB-CT-101-4
- Material: Polyester
- Number of pockets: 36
- Depth: 21.25 inches
- Height: 13.25 inches
- Width: 25.5 inches
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime
- Price: $69.99