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Best Tool Vests for Carpenters

Carpenters know that freedom of movement is the most critical part of the job. Which is why the best tool vests for carpenters are comfortable, durable, and hold just enough tools to get the job done.

But finding the right tool vest system can be difficult. 

So, to maximum your use and investment, when choosing your vest you’ll want to consider:

  • Durability of the fabric to last for years
  • Pocket locations
  • Options for right and left-handed users
  • Zipper and buckle quality
  • Adjustable to fit your unique body style
  • Optional compatibility with tool belts

Lastly, the best vests are designed to adapt to your days work. For example, if your day is spent framing and on ladders then getting rid of bulky pouches will free you up. Or, for a day spent installing doors adding in pouches for hinges or magnetic strips for screws will speed up the job.

Tool Vest Features

Carpenters understand that quality is #1 in anything they buy. 

And with tool vests and belts the number one guarantee is they will be subjected to harsh use. But beyond durability, when a vest is first strapped on any woodworker is going to start looking for pockets, zippers, storage compartments and more. 

So, as you’re looking at carpenters tool vests the following features are sometimes overlooked but important to consider:

  • Buckles. Most tool vests either zipper or buckle – and with gloves or large hands an oversized buckle that is easy to reach is a priority.
  • Modularity. Everyone wants to use their tool vest slightly different. The best vests allow for modifying storage.
  • Fabric. From dealing with fabric-shredding HVAC systems to squeezing through nail-infested framing sites a durable yet flexible fabric is a must.
  • Safety. Unique to some manufacturers, information about the wearer can be embedded in a chip in case of accidents.
  • Ergonomics. If a vest prevents you from doing your job then it won’t be used. Top tool vest manufacturers have adjusted and adapted their vests over time to become invisible.
  • Visibility. Some jobs and regulations require a carpenter to wear high-viz gear.

Top Vest Manufacturers

There are surprisingly few manufacturers of carpenter tool vests. But, the product quality of the vests produced by these select few are high:

  • Atlas 46. Is a small-town USA manufacturer of high quality vests, suspenders, belts and more. 
  • Occidental Tool. Known of their Made in USA leather, this handcrafted manufacturer produces high quality leather vests.
  • SpecOps Tool. This vest manufacturer specializes in military style vests, belts and other construction gear with a mission to help Veterans.
  • Snickers Work Wear. Stemming from Swedish descents, this manufacturer focuses on high visibility workwear and tool vests.
  • Diamondback Tool. Featuring attention to detail, modularity and high quality components combined with sleek styling a Diamondback vest is at the top of many carpenters lists.

Review: Best Carpenter Tool Vests

From framing in the heat or sub-zero cold to finish carpentry inside homes a carpenter puts their tools and clothing to the test.

But regardless of the elements, a carpenter knows their number one job is quality and right behind that is efficiency. Which means having everything you need on you and ready to go to save needless trips off the ladder or to the truck.

Lastly, before getting started, the tools vests in this review were selected for their quality, storage and reputation for durability. 

Best Overall: Atlas 46 Saratoga Tool Vest

Diamondback 701 Tool Vest

Maximum storage options

The best carpenters vests have one thing in common: you choose the storage location and what you’re wearing for the job. Coupled with the lifetime warranty an Atlas 46 vest is a long-term commitment and value for any carpenter.

Top Features

Overview

The Atlas 46 Saratoga vest is a near-equal to the Diamondback in quality and construction. 

Curious what the “46” is about? Well, along with al lifetime warranty the company gives you “46 days” to try one of their vests and decide if it is the right fit for you. 

But, after most serious carpenters try theirs out the odds are good they keep it due to:

  • Adjustability to almost any body type
  • Top tier construction
  • Ease of use
  • Made in USA (small business)
  • Warranty
  • And overall fit and feel

However, a vest like this will cost 2-3 times its purchase price fully outfitted. So, be prepared to make a lifetime investment.

Pros

  • Rugged YKK zipper
  • Hand crated in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Three straps for storing tools and accessories
  • Zippered pocket for cell phone
  • Rugged, breathable mesh

Cons

  • Doesn’t include pockets – must buy separately
  • Cost
  • Will not fit over a heavier winter coat

Best Value: Diamondback 701 Tool Vest

Diamondback 701 Tool Vest

Choose your storage

It’s only fair that when carpenters are asked to build custom projects that they tools (and vests) they use to get the job done can be customized to their needs. And Diamondback is the only manufacturer that allows just that.

Also available in High Visibility

Top Features

Overview

With the Diamondback tool vest the first focus is on comfort and then customizing the storage to your unique needs and working style.

While this vest ships without pouches or accessories there is a good reason: the storage you need, where it’s located and if you need to change it during a job is up to you.

Why Diamondback? Their quality components include:

  • Tough military grade nylon
  • Long 5 year warranty and 30-day no-risk return
  • USA-based (and made) with the exception of the highest grade belt buckle on the market: Cobra Quick Release (this one part is sourced in Austria)
  • Embedded TWICEME electronic tags to assist first responders when injured

Pros

  • Best modularity of any vest
  • High grade materials
  • Unique safety features with TWICEME
  • Long warranty
  • Can be combined with Diamondback tool belts

Cons

  • Doesn’t include pockets – must buy separately
  • Cost
  • Will not fit over a heavier winter coat

All-in-One Pick: SpecOps Tool Vest

SpecOps Tool Vest

Military grade vest with a mission

The Tactical Tool Vest is both functional and supports a cause: they return a portion of the sale to the SOWF (Special Operations Warrior Foundation). Combined with top quality this vest includes all the pouches you’ll need and top-quality comfort

Top Features

Overview

The SpecOps Medic tool vest is arguably the most complete tool vests for carpenters who want storage without paying for all the additional pouches. 

And, with a mission every American supports, their brand is worth the investment. Of course, the vest is top quality as well and built with the high quality nylon and other protectants that will let you use this vest for years.

Pros

  • Best all-in-one vest
  • High grade materials
  • Maximum storage
  • Includes tool belt and hammer hook
  • Mission-driven small business

Cons

  • Lacks customization of the Diamondback and Atlas 46
  • Will not fit over heavy winter coat

Budget Pick: Snickers Workwear

Snickers Workwear

High quality, value price

While other tradesman vests require purchase of pockets and a $500 plus investment, this all-in-one vest is a great option without breaking the bank.

Top Features

Overview

While the Diamondback and Atlas 46 vests are designed to let you choose your pockets, they come at a price.

The Snickers tool vest, however, is built for a professional tradesman but comes with well designed storage areas. 

Pros

  • CORDURA enforced pockets
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Expands to fit over a jacket
  • Wide shoulder straps for comfort
  • Integrated belt system
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Cannot customize storage
  • Fabric not as durable as top-grade vests

Best for Trim Carpenters: Makita Tool Vest

Makita Tool Vest

Lightweight, inside jobs

Trim carpenters typically don’t need the bulk of a full-sized construction or framing vest. And this compact, top tool branded vest has all the basic storage and brand quality.

Top Features

Overview

Not every carpenter has $700-1000 to fully outfit a Diamondback or Atlas 46 tool vest.

But, most can afford under $100 to try out this quality vest and see if this is an option. And, while a budget price, this vest has six pockets for storage (no need to buy separate) and an open design that breathes well in hot weather.

Pros

  • Price
  • Pouches included
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • Minimal adjustability versus higher grade carpenter tool vests
  • Cannot configure pockets to users liking
  • Fabric is not as durable (cotton) as other vests

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tool vests adjustable to allow for adding or removing storage?

The top brands of tool vests for carpenters have storage belts that can be used to store one or more pockets in any location you need. This flexibility works well for left handed workers that may need a different pocket location.

What is the best fabric for a tool vest?

The top tool vests are made from a military grade nylon mesh that will last for years if treated properly.

Can you wash a tool vest?

Some vests can be washed, and most modular vest systems allow the pouches to be washed. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations to avoid voiding the warranty.

What is the best warranty for a tool vest?

Atlas 46 has a lifetime warranty for their tool vests while Diamondback features a five year warranty.

Summary

For the price of a high quality business suit a carpenter can improve their trade with one of the best tool vests for carpenters. But, as a plus, carpenters only need to own one vest to make their jobs go. If a vest isn’t for you, another option for indoor use is a premium woodworking apron that protects clothing and offers storage.

Bestseller No. 1
Makita P-72089 Worker's Vest New Version E-05636...
  • Smart alternative solution to the traditional tool...
  • Frees up the hands for increased safety on...
  • Contains multiple pockets and sleeves for complete...
  • Light construction for increased user comfort
  • Can be worn over a t-shirt, sweatshirt or jacket...
Bestseller No. 2
Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men's Big & Tall Foreman...
  • Water repellent fabric
  • Heat seeker lining
  • Two large lower front pockets, zipper chest pocket
  • Triple stitched main seams
  • Sleeveless
Bestseller No. 3
Blaklader Men's Standard Ripstop Kangaroo Mesh...
  • MEN'S WORK VEST - Make the job a breeze with...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE - This vest's main fabric...
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL POCKETS - This work vest...
  • DETAILS - This work vest for men also feature an...
  • BLAKLADER - Functional workwear to make your job...
Bestseller No. 4
GSGGIG Men's Work Utility Tool Vest Ripstop...
5 Reviews
GSGGIG Men's Work Utility Tool Vest Ripstop...
  • DURABLE MATERIALS: The safety vest fabric is 20%...
  • POCKETS: The utility vest has multiple canvas...
  • COMFORTABLE: The construction vest for men design...
  • DURABILITY: The wear resistance of the tool vest...
  • PRACTICALITY: The carpenter vest is designed for...
Bestseller No. 5
Niche Safety Tool Vest with Adjustable Straps,...
  • TOP QUALITY MATERIAL & COMFORTABLE CARRYING –...
  • DIMENSION : Fit for waist size : 38 inches + 8...
  • REFLECTIVES AND ADJUSTABLE – Size adjustments to...
  • NUMEROUS POCKETS – the work vest has a lot of...
  • VERSATILE USAGE – the work vest can be used by...

Last update on 2022-11-23 at 02:43 / Images from Amazon

  • About the Author
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( Woodworker )

Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.

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