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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I went for training with a factory rep. today to get certified to install corn fired furnaces and boilers. The rep unlike myself used a tool belt and seemed to work extremely efficiently compared to myself and my tool bag. We started at 6am and were done retrofitting a furnace and a boiler by 7pm including quite a bit of work setting up secondary systems that made the use of corn more convenient.

    I know some of his efficiency was due to knowing the equipment that we were installing. But I have had some reservations lately with the trend of my bag collecting more tools and it doesn’t distribute the weight vary well so on those jobs that have long hikes and attics I have been loosing some of my liking for the bag. Also I find a way to loose a screwdriver or something at least every other month.

    I would appreciate your thoughts and experiences

    He was using something like this

    [Edited by hvacrjones on 09-12-2006 at 02:50 AM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Near Chicago, IL
    I like Occidental Leather Products

    I have their "beltless framer" setup.

    Yes, they are expensive, but I have had mine for over 5 years now and it is very comfortable. Their drill holsters are available in right and left hand versions.

    The only problem I have had is from the hooks used to clip the suspenders to the belt. The belt loops are steel and the hooks are pot metal, so the hooks wear out. Occidental sent me new hardware for free. I found a saddle shop to make some changes to the rear hooks because those were riveted on- so now they loop through clips like the fronts. Now I use brass hooks and they last much longer.

    I also have a bag, but common stuff is in the belt. I take stuff out depending on the task.
    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too little.
    When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you may lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

    John Ruskin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Been using a leather tool belt for years. The first one lasted about 21 years before it started falling apart ..... hated to get rid of it but it was shot.

    The one I use is not really big and has no room for meters but it does carry the common things I need. Had a friend that had a real nice setup with some real big service pouches that were divided up a lot better then anything I have seen out there, not just big pouches like a carpenter has. His van got broken into and they were history. He never did find anything close to being as nice as they were.

    Maybe its just me but I havnt really seen anything in a pouch that I would rather use over my tool belt ..... it might just be that I stick with what Im use to, force of habit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Derby City
    When I was in the field (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) I always used a belt with pouch. It was a webbed belt (military type) with a leather pouch. I never thought of doing it any other way, and the 'buckets' etc. had not really come into the picture yet.

    I think it is unrealistic to think you can carry every single item you may need at one time, so with the tool belt, I was able to carry virtually all the hand tools I would need. I was also able to carry amprobe.

    If I needed a drill, or something to that effect, then of course I would carry it separately. Really made it nice having both hands free to work, and not having to 'lug' around anything else.

    I have seen service men use the canvas tool bags, and although they look great, the majority I have seen have not been very well organized. I also found there to be a lot of 'junk' that accumulates in the bottom of them.

    Sometimes, if the environment warranted it, I would carry my belt and pouch instead of wearing it. (close quarters, climbing around attic, etc.)

    I very seldom 'lost' any tools, surprisingly enough.

    Funny how I get calls from customers, saying "your service tech was here yesterday and he left his meter, crescent wrench, etc." Seems I would always hear about this from the customer; never the tech! hmmmmm.

    I would say whatever works best for that individual is what is best for them; belted or otherwise.

    Oh yeah, in the 'good old days' we didn't have those suspender thingys, just good strong backs!

    Hmmmm, I wonder if that is why I 'list' to the right?

    all the best, John.
    Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.

    Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Florida Panhandle
    I have used a tool belt for so long cant remember when I started...40 years??

    I used to get a real nice leather one from Scottys but since they no longer exist, could not find the same type.

    But, I found a nice pouch at Lowes, its an electrician type, cant remeber the exact wording, but is the best non-leather type I have found so far.

    The reason I like to use a pouch is for several reasons. It keeps your hands clear for other things like clipboard, parts etc. Same when you have to climb up in to attics or rooftops. I pretty much have enough tools in there to do most all repairs.

    A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.
    Lysander Spooner

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    For install and new construction I use a boulder bag...

    Its the electricans model, but they make a bag that is aimed at HVAC (Tinknockers though mostly)

    Just add a Screwgun holster and some suspenders, and you have a pretty reliable and rugged bag set up. I have used the boulder bag now for a few years sice my Occidental Nylon ones ripped apart. The boulder bags seem way more durable than the Occidental nylon ones...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Rapid City, SD
    When I did commercial jobs I used a sears tool belt (the kind where you buy everything seperate). I had a hammer loop, 2 bag/pouches (dunno what variety), a drill holester and sometimes I'd also clip on one of those J-hook looking things. Also would never be with out the suspenders either. If nothing else they made it way easier to put on.

    Since most of our houses we do are fairly small I don't wear it anymore, I just carry a tool bag .

    If I get on a bigger job I'll still dig out the old belt, but it's very rare. More often than not you only need a couple tools at any one time, and those usually fit nicely on the ladder. In the commercial stuff though, since you worked on lifts, ladders, and in huge buildings lugging a bag around for the common stuff wouldn't work so well.

    Most guys I know around here that do resi work (average house's not monsters) don't wear a belt. For service I don't recall ever seeing anyone wearing one.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Southern CT
    Just a typical electrician's tool pouch. The basics for a service call, allen's, 4 nut drivers, 2 screw drivers, control drivers, couple wrenches... keep it simple and light.
    Only time will tell

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    control drivers? lost me on this one

    Thanks for everyones responces Im in the thought process now of cutting down from the one heavy bag 40-45 lbs to a tool belt / pouch hopfuly 20 lb max but also dont want to end up making 1000000000 trips back to the truck. Ill see about posting what i end up with

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Western, NY
    Originally posted by psychometric
    Just a typical electrician's tool pouch. The basics for a service call, allen's, 4 nut drivers, 2 screw drivers, control drivers, couple wrenches... keep it simple and light.

    This is what I do. Toolbag for bigger jobs.

  11. #11
    the best guys I worked with used a tool belt slung over their shoulder.

    Myself, I have a bag simular to amiracing, only it's "mo-stuffed".

    a slot for everything and EVERYTHING is in there... somewhere

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I do installation and I use an electrical bag on my dewalt belt and the drill hoist works good.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Originally posted by hvacrjones
    control drivers? lost me on this one
    really small


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