A tool belt is one of the most important pieces of a builder or tool user’s repertoire. A good tool belt keeps you safer and more productive on the job, it keeps your hands free when you need them and ensures you have easy access to a whole arsenal of tools, no matter where you are or when you need them. Whether you’re on the ladder, on the roof, or anywhere out of the shop, a tool belt promises you’ll have exactly what you need. https://michalklapuch.cz

So tool belts are great, right? But what exactly do you stock them with? How do you find a balance between being prepared and being totally bogged down by odds and ends? The key is knowing the work you have ahead of you and being familiar with the functions of each of your hand tools and accessories. Foreseeing the future, though, is a lot easier said than done and, accordingly, I’ve put together a list of gadgets that together comprise the ideal, generic tool belt.

But first! Please allow me to provide a few tips about using, wearing and stocking your tool belt.

Tool Belt Tips

– Ensure you invest in a tool belt that is designed for your dominant hand. You shouldn’t have to reach around your body to grab your hammer with the hand that swings it.

– In your tool belt store your most commonly used tools on your dominant side and the tools you reach for less frequently on your secondary side.

– Keep fasteners (like screws and nails) on your secondary side so that your “helping-hand” can seamlessly feed fasteners to your dominant hand.

– When you need to bend or adjust your balance/load, try rotating your tool belt 180-degrees. This puts the weight behind you and keeps your tools from impeding your movement (especially in crouched or awkward positions).

– If your tool belt gets particularly bulky, invest in a pair of wide-band industrial suspenders. This will disperse the weight and save your back.

– Don’t put yourself in a corner with inferior equipment – invest in high-quality tools. You don’t have to break the bank to buy a good product and, if you have to sacrifice high-tech for high-quality, do it. There is nothing worse for your productivity or your budget than struggling with poorly fabricated tools.

And finally, here is a list of essential items for your tool belt with a brief explanation of why these tools are important and what to look for in a good one.

Essential Tools for Your Tool Belt

Pencil and Pen/Sharpie
In your tool belt, square carpenter’s pencils are preferred. Their shape prevents the pencil from rolling and increases their durability. Keep at least 2 pencils on-hand as you never know when a tip will break or when you’ll drop one from atop your ladder. Also carry a pen or permanent marker for marks that require a little extra distinguishing.

Hammer
While you may choose a hammer with a wood, steel or fiberglass handle, the most important thing to consider is the quality and balance of the hammer as a whole. Ensure the hammer is not too flimsy and not too heavy. You may also choose between a hammer with a rip claw and a curved claw. Though the curved claw is more traditional, the rip claw can double as a hatchet if you need to chop something (albeit roughly) in a pinch.

4-in-1 Screwdriver
A 4-in-1 screwdriver offers 2 common sizes of both Phillips head and flat-head tips. This eliminates the need to carry multiple screwdrivers.

Fasteners
If you don’t carry a pouch for your screws and nails, it can’t hurt to carry a handful of fasteners in your tool belt. You never know when you’ll need to replace a screw or hammer a few nails; accordingly, it’s also smart to carry various sizes.

Nail Sets (in the 3 most common sizes)
For setting nails (or driving them below a surface) or for poking a hole or two, there is nothing so helpful as a nail set. Keep multiple sizes on-hand and you’ll use them often.

30-Foot Tape Measure
Anything larger than a 30-foot tape may not fit exceptionally well (or at all) in a standard tool belt. Accordingly, invest a 30-foot or 25-foot measuring tape with a 1-inch blade (this will ensure better reach with less buckling). Durability is important as tapes often get knocked around and because you will use the thing constantly.

Rafter Square/Speed Square
Though there are many uses for a rafter square, you will most commonly use this for marking both straight and angled cuts on virtually every cutting material. Choose a square made of thick aluminum or thick plastic as the thinner models don’t hold up.

Chalk Line
Use a chalk line to mark perfectly straight lines in a flash (or, more accurately, a “flick”). These are great for marking long cut lines or perimeters, but, as a cautionary tale, use only blue chalk on surfaces you want to keep clean (red chalk will stain).

Utility Knife
You will use a good utility knife to cut everything. You may choose a standard knife or an upgraded knife with a quick-change blade. In either case, invest in a higher-grade cutter to reduce blade wobble.

Cat’s Paw
A cat’s paw will help you pull or pry just about everything. Literally, these tools are ideal for nail pulling but can also contribute to light demolition, chiseling or scraping.

3/4-Inch Chisel (or set of 3: ½-Inch, ¾-Inch, 1-Inch)
A tough 3/4-inch chisel is ideal for a wide range applications from scraping, cutting and prying. You’ll likely reach for your chisel frequently so although a 3/4-inch should do everything you need it to, it’s good to have a few sizes on-hand.

1-Inch Putty Knife

By yanam49

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