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Do I need a tool belt as a residential or construction electrician? I have been thinking about purchasing a Klein Tradesman Pro suspender rig belt. I am a new apprentice and was wondering if seasoned vets commonly use a tool belt (?) Thank You.
 

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Why don't you just get a tool belt that costs 1/4 what the one costs at somewhere like Lowes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just want to make sure it lasts. I was talking to friend who has been in the union for 15 yrs, and he said he doesnt wear a tool belt; that he just keeps his tools in his pockets (??)
 

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Well I can't speak for everyone but when I did some residential I had a large metal tool chest that I could lock where the majority of my tools, then I had my tool belt where I would keep the tools I would need for the day on me.

I just view it as a time saver and my tool belt that I use right now was about $30 or so, I don't see it wearing out any time soon.
 

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I've had the same tool pouch setup for 7 years it's made up of all kuny stuff at Home depo. But I don't ware it when I work it's more for transport
 

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I have a leather, Custom leather craft tool pouch and belt with pouches/holders for tape measure, hammer, screw gun and an empty pouch for small materials like screws or box connectors. I never fill all the pouches at the same time. I just don't need all of those tools on me at the same time. Plus it would be 25 lbs. I actually only wear it ounce or twice a week. I usually work off of a tool cart. Out of the other 10-12 electricians on the job, zero wear a tool belt. However about half keep their tools in one and hang them from a ladder or sit them on a cart. My opinion is you defiantly need one. Their are situations where you are going up a ladder and will be up there for a while. Getting up and down will wear you out quick plus slow you down. My boss and Forman recommend that we wear one. We are on a commercial job though. Resi is a little different. If you are working around finished walls, I would never wear a tool belt. The chances of scratching somthing are just too high.
 

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I was talking to friend who has been in the union for 15 yrs, and he said he doesnt wear a tool belt; that he just keeps his tools in his pockets (??)

Classic.


You must have a tool belt to be productive.

You don't need to wear it 100% of the time and you don't have to carry all your tools 100% of the time but, if you don't have one, you are not going to be working with me.
 

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For residential construction and resi/commercial service? Yes, you might need to use half of the tools in your belt on one service call. Get a belt. For commercial and industrial construction? Probably not. You will have a tool cart or something else and only be working one task at a time. For instance, pulling wire for weeks on end you will need linemans, strippers and tape. Running pipe for weeks on end, you will need tape measure, pencil and channel locks and screw driver.
 

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I find it handy in commercial, I don't wear it all the time but when I start getting to the point where I have 5+ tools in my pockets I reach for it.

I put mine together from assorted Home Depot stuff too. When you are starting you want to be as fast as possible at everything and you'll still feel too slow 90% of the time. Don't gimp yourself on tasks that require you on a ladder with 8 tools fumbling around in your pockets and changing bits in a 10 in 1 while holding a light with one hand above your head, get a belt.
 

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It is a good thing for an apprentice to wear tools. I expect my helpers to have them on when working with me because they need to focus on building good work habits and electrical fundamentals. Learning to grab the right tool from your pouch without the need to look is a handy skill to aquire. I firmly believe "a place for everything, and everything in it's place." The place for a helpers tools is in his pouch, around his waist.
 

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For commercial and Resi, yes you will need a belt and pouch, keep it small and basic as a new apprentice, The setup that HARRY304E posted is the Ferrari of tool belt/pouch systems and priced as such, but my opinion would be to keep those links in mind and the pics and then go to the local hardware stores and electrical supply places and see what they have there.
Just start with the tool pouch and make sure it has provisions to work on a belt and on a shoulder strap, You may be spending a lot of time on a ladder, that is when the belt comes in handy, when you're getting tired and working at a panel or finishing being able to have you're heavy tool pouch hanging on something or at your feet real plus, then fill up the pocket pouch up with all the doo-dads, marrets, screws , and stuff you're installing. But wait a little while before you buy the pocket pouch as you may not need it for a while. The wide belts do make carrying a heavy tool pouch more comfortable, but you'll notice that people suffer in the long run carrying a heavy tool pouch on their hip all day. So you may already have a regular leather belt that will work fine.

Basic pouch that carries screw drivers, couple of nut drivers, strippers, side cutters, tape measure, Linesman pliers, non-contact voltage tester and a loop for a hammer and for channelocks and does not cost much money and is all you should need this first little while, as you figure out what you'll be doing and more importantly how YOU work, then look at the higher end pouches, because then you'll know what YOU need.
 

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I think belts are wack. If you're doing construction you should be working off a cart or on a lift and you just throw your pouch right on it. I use this, I don't wear it on my belt I just carry it around and throw it on the lift or cart or table or whatever. As far as tools go I can get through about 90% of my day with this, a meter, and a drill



 

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I think a pouch is a good idea, not as critical in wiring shacks, but I have worked apartment construction where you could be a 5 minute walk from your tools.

I've worn out a few!
 
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