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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After browsing through several tool belt and tool pouch threads on this forum, I have a lingering question for those that either choose or are obligated to wear a tool belt for electrical work, doing either construction or service:

  1. What size/weight of the belt plus tools/fasteners constitutes "safe" for long-term back/joint health?
  2. Secondary to weight, does belt configuration and/or design influence what constitutes safe or sustainable loads?
My knee-jerk guess at this one is "just as many tools/fasteners as ones requires to get the job done, efficiently and without losing anything/putting holes in walls/etc.", but then again, my primary experience using a belt has been as a framer, carrying a fraction of the hand tools I see in many electrician's pouches.

Since carrying tools on one's hip seems to be a polarizing subject, I am interested in others' opinions and experiences as I set up to either build a set of bags for myself, or purchase something from a maker like Occidental or Viking. For my varied applications, the belt would not replace the Veto bag I carry onto the job, but rather, save my pockets and hopefully multiple trips up and down the ladder or back to the bag.
 

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i went thru an entire toolbelt evolution, tried to balance the load, suspenders, thought about rough vs. trim , pipe vs romex, etc

now i just wear baggy pants hoping for a hottie to say 'are you glad to see me?'

~CS~
 

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Buzzy304E
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Sustainable? Are you looking for free-range, organic, green tool pouches/belts?
 

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donjuandesparko said:
After browsing through several tool belt and tool pouch threads on this forum, I have a lingering question for those that either choose or are obligated to wear a tool belt for electrical work, doing either construction or service:


[*]What size/weight of the belt plus tools/fasteners constitutes "safe" for long-term back/joint health?
[*]Secondary to weight, does belt configuration and/or design influence what constitutes safe or sustainable loads?

My knee-jerk guess at this one is "just as many tools/fasteners as ones requires to get the job done, efficiently and without losing anything/putting holes in walls/etc.", but then again, my primary experience using a belt has been as a framer, carrying a fraction of the hand tools I see in many electrician's pouches.

Since carrying tools on one's hip seems to be a polarizing subject, I am interested in others' opinions and experiences as I set up to either build a set of bags for myself, or purchase something from a maker like Occidental or Viking. For my varied applications, the belt would not replace the Veto bag I carry onto the job, but rather, save my pockets and hopefully multiple trips up and down the ladder or back to the bag.
There is no safe weight. Everyone will be effected by carrying additional weight differently.
Even 5 extra pounds can have adverse effects if you lift or turn the wrong way.
I see a chiropractor 3-4 times a month. I used to go twice a week. Stopped wearing a belt and now I feel 95% better.
I got hurt from simply having a little too much weight and twisting/bending to pick things up. Shoulder harness would not have helped. You will never be able to carry everything you need all the time, no point trying.

I use a small hip pouch when I need to but that's it. If I am on a ladder I take what I need and nothing more.
No point taking the risk.
I have my Veto and Dewalt Tough System. It gets me through and my back does alright.
 

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Estwing magic
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Buy tool pouch. Load it up with hand tools, rechargeables, pipe wrenches and maybe a Sawzall. Wait twenty years. See doctor. Get x rays. Compare the shape of your spine to that of a pretzel.

Seriously, it's each to his own. I use a small carpenter's apron if I have to wear a pouch at all. I like to have my tools in front of me rather than beside me. It sucks if I am on an extension ladder, though, because tools get stuck in the rungs. In that case I use a bucket and a rope. I don't like to see my rechargeables bounce of concrete from twenty feet :( .
 

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This is a question that will generate many wide ranging opinions.

I am an "old fart" that has worn a pouch for most of my 40+ years in the trade. So far, I have not had any health issues from wearing a tool pouch. Here are a few tips to wearing a pouch:

1. Only carry the items that you need to be efficient- not everything that you own.

2. Balance the belt as near as possible- maybe tools on one side parts bag on the other side.

3. Use a wide belt and/or a back pad.

4. If you need to pick up or tote something heavy, take off the tool belt first, to lessen the load on your body.

5. Suspenders are only helpful if you are normally reaching below shoulder height. If you reach above your head, your shoulders must lift the tool pouches.

6. Regardless of how great your pouch setup is, it will never be 100% comfortable. ( Neither is crawling in an attic.)

A lot of the ailments and injuries attributed to pouch wear are PROBABLY caused by other issues such as: poor posture, ill fitting or worn out shoes, standing or walking on concrete all day, working contorted on ladders, lifting and carrying heavy loads and just general body wear with age.

Most of these work situations are inherent to the electrical trade and is just a part of the life of a working person. General health and fitness has a lot to do with staying (mostly) pain free. Being overweight, having chronic ailments, or just the bad luck of genetics probably affects health more than carrying a few tools.

Interestingly, I can remember some large companies that forbid carrying tools in ones pockets. It was considered a safety hazard if you were to fall or drop something out of your pocket on someone.
 

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Good advise Varmit. I look at these pictures of tool pouches on here and I wonder who they are trying to impress. Less is always better when it comes to carrying tools. I have tool that normally live in my pouch and when I get on the job the first thing I do is throw them my bucket if I am not going to need them for the job. But I do keep them close by if I need them.
LC
 

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1968. Strapped on shiny new tool pouch filled with tools of the trade. Never looked back.

Still wear it (one like it) today. No problems. Don't hop out of bed as fast as I used to but getting old sucks and I don't blame the tool belt one bit.
 

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Interestingly, I can remember some large companies that forbid carrying tools in ones pockets. It was considered a safety hazard if you were to fall or drop something out of your pocket on someone.
All tools must be carried in the appropriate manner. Bits removed and stored in the handle of the Yankee drill (no longer used), impact blades stored sharp side in handle, slicers knife in dedicated sheath.

My current pouches weighs 12 pounds and contains the tools needed to do the job efficiently. For new services I have a tackle box with extra tools and fasteners.

I used to wear my belt low on the hips, but now it's slung over the shoulder. My back feels better that way.
 

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When not doing resi, I tend to have my tool pouch on one side, parts bag on the other, and my impact or drill clipped on my tool belt in the back. Seems to work okay, but at the end of the day it sure feels nice dropping that 20+ lbs. Resi I sling my tool pouch over my shoulder and keep my linemans and screwdriver in my back pocket. Easier to not damage walls or trim that way.
 

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I've just started using the Occidental belt and suspenders with my tool pouch and like it. I was born without much of a butt so my pouch tends to slide down after a lot of walking with it loaded!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wear was is comfterable for me, not really taking into account what anybody else thinks.
Given that there are members of this forum with more years in the trade than I have been wandering this earth, my hope was to see if this attitude can do one well for the duration of one's career.

What feels good or comfortable at the beginning of one's career may have deleterious effects nearer the end - I don't know much about this, as I am just beginning - and ultimately, I want to set myself up with work habits to ensure my "end" on tools is a long, long ways away.

It seems that, in surveying my co-workers and their experiences, there are young individuals with screwed-up backs/knees/feet, just as there are guys with 35-40 years' experience on tools who wore a belt and pouch from day one. Based upon this and the responses thus far from the forum, it is not as cut-and-dried as "wearing a toolbelt will cripple you", and that there are good and bad, or unhealthy, ways to go about carrying around one's tools.
 

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Some people aren't cut out for construction just like some people aren't cut out to compete in the Super Bowl or the olympic games. If you don't want to wear a tool belt then thats your decision and luckily this industry gives you the option, it would be unthinkable for a framer or ironwork to forgo bags.
 

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From a commercial standpoint I carry everything to my work area in CLC double sided bag and wear a small belt because I am usually on a ladder.

In the belt I carry only what I need which usually consists of a Milwaukee driver drill..little pistol grip one in a drill holster, then a Greenlee aluminum level, Ideal conduit reamer, Knipex linesman, a tape measure and then a big flat blade for bashing lock nuts, knock outs etc.

That is what works for me. Usually have screws, Alex clips etc. too.
 

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RIP 1959-2015
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From a commercial standpoint I carry everything to my work area in CLC double sided bag and wear a small belt because I am usually on a ladder.

In the belt I carry only what I need which usually consists of a Milwaukee driver drill..little pistol grip one in a drill holster, then a Greenlee aluminum level, Ideal conduit reamer, Knipex linesman, a tape measure and then a big flat blade for bashing lock nuts, knock outs etc.

That is what works for me. Usually have screws, Alex clips etc. too.
What are Alex clips??,,:blink::):laughing:
 

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Given that there are members of this forum with more years in the trade than I have been wandering this earth, my hope was to see if this attitude can do one well for the duration of one's career.

What feels good or comfortable at the beginning of one's career may have deleterious effects nearer the end - I don't know much about this, as I am just beginning - and ultimately, I want to set myself up with work habits to ensure my "end" on tools is a long, long ways away.

It seems that, in surveying my co-workers and their experiences, there are young individuals with screwed-up backs/knees/feet, just as there are guys with 35-40 years' experience on tools who wore a belt and pouch from day one. Based upon this and the responses thus far from the forum, it is not as cut-and-dried as "wearing a toolbelt will cripple you", and that there are good and bad, or unhealthy, ways to go about carrying around one's tools.

I'm 53 and in September 1974 my first boss said buy this pouch,Today I still strap it on without an issue,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The key is to stay in shape eat well hit the gym hard drink heavily and smoke five packs of cigarettes a day ,Non-filter..:eek::laughing::laughing:

My pouch has a pair of Klein's ,***** , needle nose, strippers, an 6" beater , A 6" flat head,A 10 in 1 and some fine controls Screw drivers.

On the belt is a tape holster with a 16' tape on the other side I have a four pocket bag with connectors,Wire nuts ,Screws , and some other crap I might need,But I keep it too the minimum.:)






.
 

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been wearing a pouch for the last 8 years, i just carry what i need and put everything else in my bag.

i had a back injury last year unrelated to tool pouches. since then i've been given special excercise training with a therapist and my back has never been better.

i really think if you generally stay physically fit and healthy, you wont have as many problems.
 
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