Top 8 Best Tool Bags
By | Last updated: June 12, 2020
best tool bags

There are occasions when a sturdy canvas or cloth tool bag is handier than a cumbersome metal tool box. Hitting a bump with the latter in your trunk or truck box results in a crashing sound not heard since the implosion of The Sands nearly 25 years ago.

It helps to buy a tool bag whose length exceeds that of the longest item you’ll be carrying, which is why we’ve listed the sizes of these bags when available. Look for lots of pockets, helping to keep items organized rather than rattling around in the bottom of the bag.

And, if all else fails, you might be able to use it as an airline carry-on. If they ever let us back on the planes, that is.

1. WorkPro 16-inch Tool Bag with Water Proof Molded Base

This tool bag is made from a polyester fabric which is said to provide excellent durability and reliability. The double fabric with stitching over the entire body makes the bag extremely tough and long-lasting, according to the seller – and reviewers, it must be said. It seems there would be little need to worry about this tool bag getting damaged or breaking while in use.

An internal metal frame should keep this thing from hiding that tool you’re trying to grasp one-handed. There are 8 pockets inside, 13 outside, and 8 belts for versatile storage of tools and accessories. This means your gear will stay organized, leaving behind the days of frantically pawing and digging to find that 10mm socket. Total size: 16” x 11” x 8”.

Pros/Highly rated by customers, many pockets, waterproof base
Cons/That waterproof base won't fold up
Bottom Line/Get it and go

2. Milwaukee M12 Heavy Duty Canvas Contractor Tool Bag

This brand hawks a wide variety of tool bags, ranging from this unit you see here to semi-solid side cases designed specifically for their line of cordless power tools. This one, thanks to its shape and abundance of pockets, can easily double as a tool bag if you’re on the go to a roadside call.

Measuring 13 inches long by about 7 inches square, there should be plenty of room in this thing for a raft of essential car wrenching tools, even if that’s not its intended design. Priced under ten bucks, it’s difficult to go wrong here if you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to haul around a few tools.

Pros/Price, it's bright red
Cons/Technically not for automotive tools
Bottom Line/Look past its intended purpose

3. G & F Products Government Issued Style Mechanics Heavy Duty Tool Bag

We’re not sure if the ‘government-issued’ label on this tool bag is a good or bad thing. If it’s of the mythical $300 toilet seat ilk, fine. If it’s of the same quality as the pothole repairs out in front of our office, that’s not so reassuring. According to the reviews, though, it seems to be the former, not the latter.

Priced just a coffee over ten dollars, this bag measures about 11 inches long which is slightly shorter than the two bags featured so far. There is a quartet of pouches on the exterior, great for keeping those sockets from getting lost in the bottom of the bag. The large brass zipper looks baller, if you care about that stuff.

Pros/Plenty of reviews praising its durability
Cons/Make sure it's big enough
Bottom Line/Give yer junkyard run a military feel

4. AmazonBasics Tool Bag with Strap

Bezos & Co. seem to put their name on everything, don’t they? If we ever do one of these posts on mud flaps or underhood insulation, they’ll probably have an entrant for those as well. A couple of options are available here, with a smaller 12-inch bag offered alongside this 16-inch tote.

Its dull grey and black coloring assures that you won’t care about it getting dirty. There are 26 pockets in total, including ten on the inside. The material is described as ‘600D Oxford cloth’ and received good durability reviews. A wide zippered opening permits easy access to tools.

Pros/Appropriately priced, plenty of good feedback
Cons/That infernal branding
Bottom Line/Just put some cool stickers over the logo

5. DEWALT 16-inch 33 Pocket Tool Bag

Like the Milwaukee brand, DeWalt would love if you bought a gross of its tools to fill this carrying bag. There’s nothing keeping us from using it for a tool bag, of course. No fewer than thirty-three pockets line this thing, along with one flap-covered pocket with hook & loop closure.

Abrasion-resistant rubber feet sound like something you’d find on a set of power armor in Fallout 4 but actually appear on the anterior side of this bag in a bid to keep it from wearing through prematurely. An adjustable shoulder strap rounds out a good and useful package.

Pros/Plenty 'o pockets, 4.8 out of 5 rating
Cons/More expensive than most
Bottom Line/You get what you pay for

6. Stanley 12-Inch Soft Sided Tool Bag

Getting in on the accessory game to prop up the tool side of their business is Stanley. Its tool bag is a foot long, just like your favorite sub sandwich, making it ideal for carrying hand tools and other small items. A shoulder strap is absent but the seller makes sure to point out the dual handles are padded for comfort.

A rubber foam bottom keeps the bag sturdy, protecting contents from hard falls and drops. In other words, your gear should be protected when you lose your grasp running towards that complete MX-5 that was placed in Row 17 just this morning. Use the outer mesh pockets for storing personal belongings to which you frequently need access.

Pros/Seemingly well-made, good price
Cons/No shoulder strap
Bottom Line/Collapsible utility

7. CLC Custom Leathercraft Medium and Large Utility Tote Bags

As noted advertiser Ron Popeil – who is now 85 years of age, by the way – used to say: “but wait; there’s more!” This listing from the ambiguously-named Custom Leathercraft company includes two utility tote bags for less than the price of most single units on this list.

The larger of the two is 14 inches long with the smaller one just over half that size. Many customers remarked that they use them as carry-ons for motorcycles or ATVs, good for slinging in a GoPro and other items. Despite its name, the bag is not made from genuine leather.

Pros/Very affordable, two for the price of one
Cons/Some durability complaints
Bottom Line/Set your expectations properly

8. Carhartt Legacy Tool Bag

This bag leans more towards the carpenter arena than the car mechanic’s but, given its durability ratings and size, might be a good left-field choice. It’s a durable tool bag with a zippered main compartment and 10 interior pockets. The bag measures 14 inches long.

There is an internal metal frame, rugged zippers, aggro stitching (that’s the first time I’ve ever combined those two words), and is made of a sturdy synthetic fabric. There are larger models available with a load-bearing, abrasion-resistant molded base for those who need greater support for heavy tools and gear.

Pros/Great workwear brand, 98% of reviews are 4 stars or higher
Cons/Very expensive
Bottom Line/An interesting alternative

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: StudioBakac / Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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