Tool Bag Vs Backpack Vs Tool Belt Vs Box (Which Is Best?)

The tool belt. The bag. The backpack. All of these are great options for tradespeople to carry their tools around in, but which is the best choice?

Today, we're examining the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision on which will work best for you. Keep reading to find out more.

A tool bag is simply a bag that tradesmen use to carry their tools to and from the job site. A tool bag can be made from various materials, including leather, nylon, cotton, canvas, or polyester.

Tool bags can also be purchased in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on your preferences. They can even be customized with your business logo or company color scheme.


  • You can keep all your tools in one place, helping you find the right tool quickly.
  • They're durable, and some are even waterproof, helping to keep moisture away from your tools.
  • They come in a range of sizes and styles, perfect for jobs big or small.
  • Tool bags are more portable than toolboxes.
  • Tool bags keep tools safe from damage.
  • Tool bags can be used as a seat when you're working on a challenging project.
  • Some toolboxes are expandable to increase valuable interior space when needed.


  • Tool bags can be heavy and cumbersome.
  • Not so good for small jobs, or if you need to bring just a few tools.
  • They can get worn and dirty.
  • Tool safety could be an issue, as bags are easier to steal.
tools on ground

Pros & Cons of Using Tool Backpacks

A tool backpack is essentially a specially designed backpack for carrying tools. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, or anyone who needs to carry tools with them on a daily basis, would use a tool backpack to transport their tools from point A to point B. 


  • A backpack can carry more than a traditional tool belt.
  • When you have to walk up stairs, a backpack can help you to maintain balance.
  • You can carry a variety of different tools without having to switch out your belt.
  • Keep all the tools in one place.
  • Interior compartments can be used to keep your tools and equipment separated.
  • Easier to carry than a bag or belt to and from job sites.


  • Heavy tools carried on your back for long periods can lead to backaches and pains.
  • Tool backpack bags are not as durable as tool bags.
  • A tool backpack looks less professional than a bag or belt.
person in black leather

Pros & Cons of Using Tool Belts

The tool belt is a holster for the tools that tradespeople use. It is attached to the waist and is a convenient way to store and carry their tools. The tool belt is used by electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and other tradesmen.


  • You can carry around more tools, so you can get jobs done faster.
  • Convenient and quick access to commonly used tools.
  • You won't have to worry about your tools dropping or falling, especially when you're on a ladder.
  • You can keep your tools organized.
  • Looks professional.


  • They can get in the way - especially if you are bending and kneeling constantly.
  • Loosened belts can become a safety hazard.
  • Tool belts may be too bulky and heavy to wear for long periods.
  • They are not very ergonomic.

Tool Bag Vs Backpack Vs Tool Belt (Key Differences Compared)

Style & Design

When it comes to style and design, we think you can't beat the tool backpack, and other tradies agree. In fact, most of the industry is moving towards the backpack style, but there are still people who prefer the tool belt.

A backpack is an excellent option for the tradesman who likes to keep their tools all together in one place. Tool backpacks are often designed to look like ordinary luggage but have a separate compartment to hide your design tools. Tool Bags are usually a little more expensive than other options, but their discrete appearance is very attractive. That being said, tool belts and bags have come a long way and are quickly regaining popularity.

Winner: Tool Backpack

Carrying Capacity

Portability is essential when working in the trades. A tool that you can easily carry and store is crucial when your job requires you to work at several locations. You want something lightweight and easy to carry that won't get in your way.

For this purpose, you can't beat the tool bag, especially if you aren't really sure what tools will be required day to day. Tool bags can carry more tools than your typical backpack or belt, ensuring you have the right tools in hand when you need them.

Winner: Tool Bag

Tool Safety

If you're worried about your tools being stolen, ensuring they are safe and secure is important. Backpacks, unfortunately, are easy to steal. As tool bags are a little heavier and cumbersome, they are far less attractive to potential thieves.

However, the best way to protect your tools is to have them on your person all the time, which is why the tool belt is crowned the winner here. We appreciate it's not always possible to carry all of your tools with you at all times, which is why we encourage you to secure them in a car trunk or locked cabinet when not in use.

Winner: Tool Belt


You can't beat the convenience of having all the tools you need within arms' reach - another reason to pick the tool belt. That being said, the tool belt is somewhat limited in its capacity, so if you find yourself bringing a large number of tools to and from your job site each day, a bag or backpack will do the job just as well.

Winner: Tool Belt

Storage & Organization

If you're looking for a way to stay organized, then you might want to invest in a tool backpack. There are many different styles available, but the most popular tool backpacks tend to be the ones that look like any other bag.

The true magic of these backpacks is on the inside, as they often include specially designed compartments for storing all your tools and other accessories, ensuring you know exactly where they are when you need them. We often struggle with finding what we need in a bag, while the belt is good for keeping a small number of tools organized.

Winner: Tool Backpack

For Plumbers

Plumbers travel from job to job, often not knowing what they may encounter once they get there. For that reason, they do not always know what tools they need and need to be prepared for every eventuality. This is where the toolbag's strength lies. As the tool bag has a large capacity, plumbers can carry the tools needed for whatever job may arise.

Winner: Tool Bag

For Electricians

Electricians use many tools, such as screwdrivers and pliers, to do their work. To help keep their tools organized and accessible, electricians could benefit from using a tool backpack that contain various compartments on the inside and outside of the bag. They can quickly and easily reach for what they need when they need it without having to rummage through their bags.

Winner: Tool Backpack


Did you know that HVAC technicians have their own specially designed tool backpacks? These backpacks contain small pockets on the outside designed to hold various hand tools and extensions that can be used throughout the HVAC service process. These backpacks are distinguishable from electrician's tool bags because they have fewer pockets and loops for holding tools.

Winner: Tool Backpack


If you're on a budget, high-quality tool bags can be picked up starting around the $30 mark. Despite being fairly basic in appearance, tool belts are the most expensive option here. Alternatively, there are some fantastic backpacks under $50 that can help make your life much easier without breaking the bank.

Winner: Tool Bag

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What Brands Of Tool Bags Are Popular?

There are many different choices on the market, with the most popular brands of tool bags being Milwaukee, Husky, Stanley, and DeWalt. Any of the bags from these brands can be relied upon to get the job done.

How Do I Choose A Tool Bag?

Check out our top tips for picking the best tool bag for everyday use:

  1. 1
    Make a list of your tools and the jobs you use them for. This will help you to determine the correct size of the bag.
  2. 2
    When it comes to size, bigger isn't always better. If you're going to be carrying many tools, you'll want a bag that can accommodate all of them. If you're just going to carry the bare minimum, you shouldn't need a large bag.
  3. 3
    Choose a bag with pockets for all of your tools and a separate compartment for larger tools, such as a drill.
  4. 4
    Choose a bag that is comfortable to carry. Look for padded shoulder straps and lumbar support.
Can Tradesmen Use An Everyday Backpack To Carry Tools?

It is not a good idea to use an everyday backpack to carry tools. The backpack is a great bag for carrying your laptop, papers, and other items you need to take to the office or the library. However, it is not a great bag for carrying heavy tools as it is not designed to do so.


If you're a professional in any industry, chances are that you're always on the go. This means that you'll need to bring along all your tools, equipment, and materials as you go from place to place. Hopefully, this article will help you decide on the tool bag, backpack, or belt that is best for you.

  • Updated November 6, 2021