Who Needs a Tool Bag?
Almost anyone who carries tools, whether a construction worker, carpenter, technician, electrician or a DIYer, needs something that makes it easier to organize and move tools from one place to another. Tool bags minimize the chances of expensive tools getting damaged and misplaced. They also keep tools handy and well organized for use. Sure, one can also put all the tools inside any regular bag, but they are not designed specifically for protecting and organizing tools. To manage your tools, you need a durable, sturdy and purpose-built bag to protect your tool investment. Tool bags offer the flexibility, functionality and design we need to ensure that our tools don’t get damaged and we are able to quickly find what we need.
Things to Consider When Buying a Tool Bag
While searching for a tool bag, you’ll come across all sorts of options, including top-end and budget bags. But there are a few things that can help you make a better buying decision. There is no point in spending more money if you just need a reliable bag to move a few tools around the home. Your own budget is obviously a critical factor in selecting a tool bag, but things like build quality, the number of pockets, spaciousness, adjustable shoulder strap, zipper pockets and overall weight also play an important role. In any case, you will want a tool bag that’s built to last and makes it easier to organize different types of tools. Construction workers, plumbers, and pros typically want a bigger bag able to hold heavier tools with both inner and outer compartments for quicker access. The size and spaciousness of the tool bag are ultimately determined by the number and weight of your tools. Most DIYers would find an affordable and lightweight bag more suitable, while pros need something bigger with a large compartment and separate inner and outer pockets. Tool bags are made using a variety of materials, including leather, canvas, nylon, and plastic. Choosing the right kind of material depends on your budget, weight of the tools you want to carry and also the weather condition, but canvas remains a good option for most situations.
Tool Bags vs. Tool Box
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it ultimately comes down to how you want to store and move your tools around. Other than tool bags, you also have the option of tool chests, tool cabinets, rolling toolboxes and of course toolboxes (metal and plastic). But tool bags are the easiest to move around with all your needed tools neatly organized inside. Since we are more concerned about the advantages of tool bags, here is how they stack up against toolboxes:
Disadvantages of Tool Boxes
- Large and bulky
- Uncomfortable handles (mostly), difficult to move around
- Too many compartments make it difficult to quickly locate the tools
- If you don’t place tools back into their designated place, you’ll have a hard time finding them the next time
- Latch-closed compartments make things difficult at job sites
Advantages of Tool bags
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Durable and sturdy
- Pouches allow storing tools vertically, makes it easy to find tools
- More suitable for job sites
- More versatile, can be zip-closed
- Wide-mouth design allows carrying an extra load such as extension cords and battery packs
- Padded spaces for cell phones, gloves, bottles etc.
- Also available with waterproof/water resistant bases
- You can even find tool bags with their own light, some even have built-in speakers
Let’s jump straight to some of the best tool bags, including some budget-oriented and higher-end bags.
The 18-inch multi-compartment tool bag features 50 pockets, which is more than enough for most construction workers, technicians, and other professionals. The solid construction and an extra-large center compartment make this bag a great option for most professionals, especially electricians, plumbers, and general carpentry workers. The sturdy shoulder strap is designed to distribute weight evenly, while the zipper reaches the very bottom so you can easily find screws/nuts. The side panels are zipped, which help prevent spillage of tools. Vertical tools pockets work great when you want to quickly access most commonly used tools. Although it’s more expansive than most ‘regular’ tool bags, the durability and functionality it offers are worth the price.
- Heavy-duty zipper for better protection
- XL center compartment
- Handle and shoulder straps
- Zipped side panels
Made using high-quality waterproof material, Veto Pro Pac is an all-weather tool bag that can easily accommodate more than 100 hand tools. Two large storage bays are located on either side of the bag for quicker access and have similar storage capacity. This means you can easily organize different types of tools meant for different jobs and don’t have to search for the whole bag for them. Vertical pockets are a standard affair in this price range so nothing special going on in this regard, but the handles are ergonomically designed and make it easier to move the bag around. However, the tool bag is not ideal for carrying larger and heavier tools, making the bag more suitable for people who carry a large number of tools that are not too heavy. It’s lightweight, offers great portability and can survive most of the rainy days.
- Waterproof material
- Lightweight, compact and portable
- Designed for storing more, but lighter tools
- Separate storage bays
- Ergonomically designed handles
This 12-inch soft-sided tool bag is a great option for people who want an affordable general-purpose bag. It is designed for carrying small-medium tools, hand tools and focuses more on portability and comfort. The straps are adjustable, allowing users to easily access the contents. The cotton-padded handles provide comfort, while rubber foam at the bottom protects what’s inside from hard falls. Mesh pockets on the outside provide convenient storage space for most used and small tools/accessories. You cannot really expect tons of pockets, separate hammer ring and other features at this price point, but the tool bag still manages to offer a lot for the price.
- Adjustable straps
- Cotton-padded handles
- Rubber-foam bottom
- Outer mesh pocket
- Durable fabric
Available in 12 and 16 inches, DG5543 offers a nice balance between price, spaciousness, and durability. Dubbed as tradesman’s tool bag, it features durable poly fabric construction and abrasion-resistant rubber feet. A total of 33 pockets, a large interior compartment, and a pop-open design make it easier for users to organize and access their tools and provide ample storage space. The pockets include 20 pockets for holding general items and 13 zipper pockets for storing more delicate tools. The bag also features reinforced corners, bottom base pads, and edges, making the bag more wear-resistant and durable.
- Pop-open design
- Large interior compartment
- Poly fabric construction
- Abrasion-resistant rubber feet
- Non-slip adjustable shoulder strap and handle
- 14 interior + 1 zippered pocket, 20 exterior pockets
Although this tool bag is a little expensive, it’s a great option if you are looking for a durable backpack. In addition to standard features you can find in this price range, the tool bag comes with LED light, which can be direct light to the work area or into the bag itself. The light can be adjusted as needed (3 levels) with a max output of 39 Lumens. Adjustable shoulder straps, padded-web carrying handles and larger back pads improve comfort and portability. The bag is designed for a wide range of users and fitted with 57 pockets out of which 48 are multi-use (inside), while 9 pockets on the outside are meant for most used tools and accessories. Whether you want to store drills, cords, extensions, pliers or wrench sets, DEWALT DGL523 has got you all covered.
- Adjustable LED light, max 39 Lumens (powered by 2 AAA batteries)
- Padded-web carrying handles
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Large pads on the back
- 57 pockets, 48 multi-use internal and 9 outer pockets