Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila
Electricians wear belts and shoulder harnesses that frequently have 10 or more pockets for optimal customization and organization of their specialized tools. This is because electricians spend a lot of time on ladders, in tight spots, or covering a lot of ground throughout the day and need to have multiple tools on hand.
The material, storage, and design of a tool belt are key when carrying around the heavy tools electricians need, and are just a few of the qualities we looked for when testing these belts. Keep reading to learn about other key features to consider when shopping, and then explore the picks for the best electrician tool-belt options on the market today, which we assembled after we performed days of hands-on testing with the following electrician tool belts.
- BEST OVERALL: Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Electrician’s Tool Belt
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: AWP 1L-23021-3 Mini Electrician Tool Pouch
- UPGRADE PICK: Occidental Leather 5590 Commercial Electrician’s Set
- BEST FOR DIYERS: ToughBuilt TB-316-2 Utility Pouch and Tool Belt
- BEST POUCH: Klein Tools 5178 8-Pocket Tool Pouch
- BEST ADJUSTABLE: Milwaukee 48-22-8110 Electrician’s Work Belt
- BEST WORK BELT: Klein Tools 5207 Electrician’s Leather Tool Belt
- BEST SHOULDER POUCH: Klein Tools 5242 Tradesman Pro 9-Pocket Tool Pouch
- ALSO CONSIDER: CLC 5505 12-Pocket Electrician’s Tool Pouch
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila
We knew it was important that all the tool belts for electricians that we suggested be top-notch options. To ensure that they were, we performed hands-on testing with all of the models in our list. First, we used our experience in the trades and maintenance to come up with the most important criteria that a tool belt had to meet. Then, we hand selected the models we thought could meet our standards and put them to the test.
First, our test consisted of adjusting each belt to fit and then loading it with as many applicable electrical tools as it could hold. Then, we wore them, walked around in them, jumped down from a truck bed, and climbed a ladder to test how secure and comfortable the belt would be. Next, we performed three mock tasks: wiring a light fixture, wiring an outlet, and running wiring through a garage to see how useful these belts were when reaching for tools and working at different heights and positions.
We spent several hours with each belt over 4 days testing their capabilities, comfort, and utility. Some belts failed our tests, whether it was from quality or utility, so we removed them from our list. The ones that passed were given awards based on their strengths or style, allowing us to put together a rock-solid list of the best electrician tool belts.
Our Top Picks
The top-rated products below were chosen for quality, price, and customer satisfaction to help shoppers find the best electrician tool belt to organize their gear.
Note: Some of our pocket counts might differ from the belts’ descriptions. This is because we counted only true openings with closed bottoms as pockets, while we considered those with open-bottom sleeves to be tool holders. This might not be the criteria that the tool belt manufacturers use to count their pockets (in fact, we know it’s not).
The Klein Tools Tradesman Pro tool belt is one of the best tool belts for electricians on the market. It features a padded electrician belt that has a mesh inner liner, so it is breathable and comfortable to wear for a long time. The pouches feature hook-and-loop backing that allows you to adjust your position on the belt as well, making access to essential tools a priority.
With a ballistic-weave material and rubber-reinforced bottoms, this Klein Tools belt is strong and durable enough to last for years. It also has a heavy-duty nylon belt with an extremely thick leather belt end to keep things light but sturdy. A built-in handle makes the belt easy to carry when you aren’t wearing it as well. The two pouches have wide-open pockets for easy access and designated areas for screwdrivers, drill bits, a tape measure, and even a small drill.
We liked a lot about the Klein Tools Tradesman Pro tool belt. This belt features a hook-and-loop closure that temporarily holds the belt in place until the extremely thick belt is fastened, so putting the belt on is easy. It also has a neat flip-down drill bit holder to easily access common bits and driver bits. The padded belt is comfortable and breathes reasonably well so we could stay cool while working.
We liked that the pouches are positionable a few inches forward or backward, allowing you to move them to a more comfortable position. Plus, they stay in place thanks to the hook-and-loop backing. Our main complaint is that the suspender loops are stitched into the belt, so there isn’t any adjustability.
Read our full review: Klein Tools Tradesman Pro Electrician’s Tool Belt
- Type: Standard belt
- Number of pockets: 12 pockets and 24 tool holders
- Materials: Mesh, ballistic weave, rubber, and leather
- Size(s): Medium, large, and extra large
- The belt consists of thick nylon and extremely thick, durable leather with heavy-duty stitching
- Hook-and-loop backing keeps pouches in place wherever you set them
- Built-in drill bit holder allows access to common driver bits much more easily than digging through pockets
- Wide, structured pockets make reaching in for items and storing large tools easier
- Stitched-in suspender loops don’t allow for any adjustability or removal
Get the Klein Tools Tradesman electrician tool belt at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Folks who need a lightweight electrician’s belt at a very affordable price should consider the AWP mini electrician tool pouch. This pouch features a compact design with a total of six pockets and seven tool holders, ensuring there is room for the most essential tools. It also has a tape chain (though it’s actually a strap) as well as a carabiner for keys or tool lanyards.
This tool belt is primarily made from polyester, which is lightweight and durable. It has a belt loop and a belt clip so the wearer can clip the tool holder onto a pant pocket or pant belt. It’s worth noting that it does not come with a belt of its own.
Although this belt lacks a lot of thrills or fancy features, it serves its purpose at this price point. We liked that there were enough pockets for our most essential items, including several screwdrivers, wire strippers, and other small hand tools. We also liked that this pouch would stand up on its own if we took it off and placed it on a table, since this allows the pouch to serve as a tool station of sorts. The exterior pockets were a bit shallow, and the metal belt clip isn’t the most comfortable way to carry this tool belt, but overall, we feel it provides plenty of value.
- Type: Pouch
- Number of pockets: 6 pockets, 7 tool holders
- Materials: Polyester
- Size(s): NA
- The low price ranks it as a great choice for those who want to save money
- Small in size but contains quite a few pockets for storing essential items
- Can stand up on its own on a table or other surface and serve as a tool station
- Exterior pockets are pretty shallow, so some tools don’t sit deep enough
- The belt clip on the back of the tool belt is uncomfortable
Get the AWP electrician tool belt at Amazon.
The Occidental leather tool belt was designed with functionality in mind, featuring hand-specific tool holders to avoid having to reach across the body for a tool. This is a bonus for anyone who is a southpaw because the pouches can be switched for left-handed optimization.
This leather tool belt comes at a premium price, but the belt’s leather construction will ensure long-lasting durability that might see tools wearing out before the tool belt. Occidental Leather’s patented NoSpill holders use the flexibility of leather to form fit around the tools in the belt, keeping them in place when not in use. The two pouches have 37 pockets and tool holders between them. And if that isn’t enough, this belt comes in sizes from small to extra large to help buyers find the best fit.
To be quite fair, this leather tool belt has more pockets than we had electrical tools to test it. It can handle several screwdrivers, pliers, and strippers, and even clips for metal conduit, fasteners, and a small drill. There isn’t a ton of adjustability in the belt, but it does come in small, large, and extra-large sizes (and we barely fit our small-size test belt; a medium would help), but the belt’s leather is thick and wide, and it’s just tacky enough to stay put when snugged down.
It’s also worth noting that all Occidental belts are made with extremely high-quality leather, heavy-duty nylon stitching, and lots of reinforcement. While this belt is big and heavy, and best suited for electrical construction work, it will likely last most electricians for their entire careers. We’ve tested and owned other Occidental belts, and they’re always worth the premium price tag.
- Type: Standard belt
- Number of pockets: 37
- Materials: Leather and nylon
- Size(s): Small, large, and extra large
- It features hand-specific tool holders, so pros can get used to where their tools are
- Extremely high-quality leather, including the belt and the tool pouches
- It has more pockets than we had electric-specific tools to even test
- No medium-size options are available, and we barely fit into our test small
Get the Occidental Leather electrician tool belt at Amazon or Occidental Leather.
ToughBuilt’s utility pouch can offer just about everything a DIY electrician could ask for in a tool belt. It has 13 pockets total, including the main pocket with eight smaller pockets inside it, as well as four on the outside. It also has five tool holders, a chain for electrical tape, and a carabiner for keys or tool lanyards.
The ToughBuilt utility pouch features all-nylon construction except for the rubber-reinforced bottom. It also has a built-in handle with a thick rubber grip for comfort, and it comes with a nylon adjustable belt that goes up to 52 inches.
Since the average DIYer would rather spend their money building out their tool kit than the tool belt they haul it around in, the ToughBuilt utility belt is worth considering. We liked that this tool belt provided plenty of storage thanks to its large structured pocket that can hold a meter and plenty of tools. We also liked that this belt could stand on its own, meaning DIYers can bring it to their project and place it down without its contents spilling out.
We weren’t big fans of the thin, uncomfortable belt. Also, the tape chain is in the back of the bag, which makes it a challenge for righties to reach. But overall, the quality exceeds the price point, so it’s definitely a consideration.
- Type: Tool pouch with belt
- Number of pockets: 13 pockets plus 5 loops
- Materials: Nylon and rubber
- Size(s): Up to 52 inches
- Provides plenty of storage for tools, including bulky items like meters or small drills
- The bag can come off the shoulder or hip and sit upright on its own without spilling its contents
- Relatively high-quality construction and design for an affordable price point
- The belt is stiff, thin, and uncomfortable
- Tape chain is in an awkward place and difficult for right-handed users to reach
Get the ToughBuilt electrician tool belt set at Amazon.
Electricians who would prefer to keep their load light while doing some light-duty work should consider the Klein Tools 5178 eight-pocket tool pouch. This pouch consists of a classic electrician’s pouch design with two main pockets and six smaller pockets, as well as four tool holders, a keychain holder, and a clasp for keys or a lanyard.
This tool pouch features thick leather and mostly rivet construction with some stitching reinforcement at the bottom and between pockets. It has a standard belt loop that you can feed a 2.5-inch work belt through, but it doesn’t have any handles or carrying straps.
This tool pouch is definitely built for the long haul. The leather is thick and quite stiff, and it hardly broke in during our hours of use. It holds tools securely due to the stiff leather, though the pockets aren’t tremendously deep (that might be our biggest complaint). It has just enough pockets for essential screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers, and a pen tester, so finding the right tool was easy when crouching to work on a low outlet or when working one-handed. As time goes on, this pouch will continue to break in and become more pliable, but even in its brand-new stiff iteration, its contoured fit around the leg was comfortable and it stayed in place while walking.
- Type: Pouch
- Number of pockets: 8 pockets and 4 tool holders
- Materials: Leather
- Size(s): Universal
- Stiff, heavy-duty leather ensures that this pouch will last, even becoming better with time
- Organizes only the essential tools for streamlined work on smaller projects
- Contoured to wrap around a leg for comfort and it stays in place while walking
- The pockets aren’t as deep as we would prefer
Get the Klein Tools 5178 electrician tool belt at Amazon or Acme Tools.
Folks who struggle to find a set of tool bags that they can tweak to get just right should check out Milwaukee’s electrician’s work belt. This tool belt features bags with hook-and-loop backing that keeps them wherever the user positions them on the padded belt, whether they be forward or backward.
This tool belt features lots of storage, including 22 true pockets and 12 tool holders (as well as two tape chains and a built-in clip for lanyard tools). It’s made primarily of nylon with reinforced bottoms and rivets throughout. It features suspender clips, a hammer loop, and plenty of pocket space for meters and other large items.
This Milwaukee belt was a serious contender for the top spot on this list. Between its affordable price and plenty of onboard storage, it has a lot going for it. It also has a really smart pouch design: There are padded standoffs that keep the pouches off of the user’s legs slightly, allowing for airflow underneath the tool bags. We didn’t like the stitched-in suspender straps because they don’t adjust, but we did like that we could adjust almost everything else on the tool belt. Size information is not readily available, but we measured roughly 32 to 50 inches in waist size adjustability.
- Type: Pouch
- Number of pockets: 22 true pockets and 12 tool holders
- Materials: Nylon
- Size(s): 32 to 50 inches
- Lots of value at this price point, allowing you to get a fully functional belt for a good price
- Fits a wide range of waist sizes, plus you can adjust the pouch positioning for customized setups
- Padding on the bottom of each pouch allows for comfort and extra airflow underneath
- Suspender straps aren’t adjustable, which is a shame considering everything else adjusts
Get the Milwaukee electrician tool belt at The Home Depot.
Folks who either need a belt for their pants with a little extra utility or a base belt for hanging their favorite electrician’s pouch from will want to consider the Klein Tools 5207 tool belt. This electrician’s tool belt has two built-in loops made from durable leather that can hold a hammer or other tools, as well as a tape chain that keeps electrical tape at the ready for any wiring job.
This belt is made from durable, thick leather. It features rivet reinforcement as well, ensuring that the tool loops can carry some weight. The belt comes in a medium size that stretches from 32 to 40 inches, and a larger size that stretches from 38 to 46 inches.
There isn’t a ton of utility to this belt at first glance. We were able to carry a hammer in the larger loop and a pair of large linesman pliers in the smaller loop, as well as some tape on the chain. However, it’s a great base for adding an additional pouch tool, though we felt weight should be kept low for comfort purposes. But, if it’s simply about keeping the wearer’s pants up while adding a little bit of utility, this belt’s quality makes it a solid choice.
- Type: Just a belt
- Number of pockets: 0 pockets, 2 tool loops, and a tape chain
- Materials: Leather
- Size(s): 32 to 40 inches or 38 to 46 inches
- Adds a bit of extra utility to a belt than simply holding up a pair of pants
- Offers a handy place to hang a hammer, a pair of pliers, and a few rolls of tape
- Serves as a solid base for you to add your favorite electrician’s pouch
- It’s only slightly more functional than a standard work belt
Get the Klein Tools 5207 electrician tool belt at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Whether because of back pain or just a preferred style of carry, not every electrician wants a tool belt, and Klein has an answer: the Tradesman Pro nine-pocket pouch. This pouch comes with two carrying options: a heavy-duty rubber handle or a padded shoulder strap. This allows pros or DIYers to get the job done without hanging their tools off their hips.
The Tradesman Pro pouch features seven true pockets and two tool holders with open bottoms. It also has a strap for tape measures and two sets of D-rings for attaching the strap or handle. It can hang from a 2.5-inch tool belt instead of the shoulder if desired, though it doesn’t come with a belt. The pouch is made of heavy-duty nylon with some rivet reinforcements, the bottom is double layered for durability, and the structured main pocket allows it to stand up on its own.
Overall, we thought this tool bag was great, but it had some give-and-takes. For instance, the flat, reinforced bottom makes it very stable when placed on the ground or a worktable but can become top-heavy and tip when using the lower D-rings. We also liked that this belt has so many carrying options (three), but belt carry isn’t all that comfortable because there isn’t any padding (it’s meant to be attached to a hook-and-loop padded belt). Still, very few shoulder pouches can carry the necessities as well as a meter, and that was our favorite feature of this pouch.
- Type: Pouch
- Number of pockets: 7 pockets, 2 tool holders
- Materials: Nylon
- Size(s): N/A
- Multiple carry options for plenty of flexibility: shoulder strap, carrying handle, or a 2.5-inch belt
- Small enough to be a shoulder-carry pouch but large enough to hold necessities and a meter
- Very stable when placed on the floor or a worktable thanks to its reinforced main pocket
- The belt-carry option isn’t super comfortable; it’s designed for a hook-and-loop padded belt system
- Using the lower D-rings makes it top-heavy and it will tip
Get the Klein Tools 5242 electrician tool belt at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Grainger.
CLC has plenty of experience building relatively high-quality tool storage products for affordable prices. This tool belt features seven true pockets, 10 tool holders, plus a tape chain, lanyard clip, and tape measure clip, providing lots of storage. It even has enough room for a meter in the main pocket, which is divided into two sections.
This tool belt is made entirely of polyester with rivet reinforcement. The bottom is doubled and features a structured design, so it is durable against sharper tools like screwdrivers. It also has a built-in nylon padded handle as well as a belt loop that can fit a belt up to 2.5 inches thick. And all of this comes at an affordable price point, making it an option worth considering.
Is the CLC 12-pocket pouch perfect? No, it has some downfalls. For one, it will not stand up on its own, despite the product pictures. It’s also not comfortable on a belt, since it’s designed to be attached to a hook-and-loop padded belt system. However, it holds quite a few tools, though the interior tool holders are really only a 1.5-inch strap stitched into the pouch and not actually sleeves or pockets to keep tools more secure. But overall, it’s a nice-quality tool belt for the price, even if it could benefit from some design changes.
- Type: Pouch
- Number of pockets: 7 pockets, 10 tool holders
- Materials: Polyester
- Size(s): N/A
- Lots of storage, and can even handle a meter in 1 of the divided main pockets
- Durable nylon construction with a reinforced bottom for durability and sharp tool protection
- It’s an affordable option for folks who’d rather save a bit on their electrician tool pouch
- It will not stand up on its own despite the product pictures
- Pretty uncomfortable on a standard work belt; designed for a hook-and-loop padded belt system
Get the CLC electrician’s tool belt at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Acme Tools.
Southwire Pouch4 Leather Tool Pouch
We were OK with the Southwire leather tool pouch’s relatively small size and lack of storage. However, with riveted leather construction, we thought it would be a better-quality pouch. The pouch we received consisted of inconsistent leather thickness, making some areas stiff and others floppy—almost paper thin. We also didn’t like the look of the leather or the rust already starting to corrode the metal rivets, which was a deal breaker for us.
Estwing 13-Pocket Electrician’s Tool Rig
We sincerely wanted to like the Estwing electrician’s tool rig. Not only does it come from a brand we typically trust and appreciate, but most of the design is terrific. However, in an effort to innovate adjustability, Estwing has a detachable belt extension that zips on and off. The zipper is of very low quality, and ours is already starting to show wear. Also, we’re relatively average-size guys, and if we were much larger, we’d have to use the detachable extension, which would then get in the way of setting up the belt properly. And while it did come with a nice set of padded suspenders, we cannot recommend this belt.
TradeGear Part#SZB Electrician’s Belt & Bag Combo
The TradeGear electrician’s tool belt was pretty much a nightmare to put on. It has a massive capacity but low-quality hook-and-loop strips on the back of the bags, so they constantly fell off when we were putting the belt on. When they fall off, they pull the belt out of the loops, so we had to thread them back through the loops while holding the pouches in place. In fact, we found the easiest way to put them on was sitting down on a flat surface and cinching the belt tight, making it less than enjoyable to don. It does have plenty of pockets and storage, that’s for sure, but for the price, there are better options on the market.
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila
Electrician tool belts can be split into two categories based on how they are worn. Standard electrician tool belts are designed to sit securely around the waist, while an electrician tool belt with a harness or suspenders uses the upper body to better distribute the weight of the tools. An electrician’s tool belt is, therefore, a much-preferred alternative to a simple tool bag when working at a height.
Standard electrician tool belts fasten around the waist and typically come with a range of small pockets that are ideal for carrying screwdrivers, pliers, and any other tools needed to get the job done. Standard electrician tool belts are more affordable and offer ample storage. However, for those planning to wear the belt for more than a few hours, it may be better to invest in a harness or suspender attachment to help balance the weight of the tools throughout the body, reducing body fatigue and muscle strain.
A set of suspenders is almost a necessity for those planning to work with essential tools around their waist for hours at a time. This is because having either the shoulder support of a set of suspenders or the full upper-body support of a harness will help better distribute the weight of the tools. In doing so, you can alleviate any pain or soreness that’s built up through repeated muscle strain. Keep in mind a harness or suspender system will be more expensive and is not required for small tasks or minor home repairs.
It’s also worth mentioning pouches. Some electricians prefer to carry their tool pouch on a shoulder strap or a carrying handle, rather than wearing a heavy tool belt. These pouches usually need D-rings or a way to attach a shoulder strap. And, as minor as this might sound, many pouches can stand on their own and allow the electrician to use them as a tool station, while others fall over and spill their contents.
Before choosing an electrician tool belt, take a few minutes to learn how to find the best belt for the job. Whether you’re a professional who is frequently fixing power outages or a DIYer, size and fit, construction, and capacity are all important considerations to think about.
Support and Comfort
Those who plan on wearing a tool belt for the entire workday might want to find a product that fits well, has the necessary support, and feels comfortable when wearing it. To ensure the tool belt fits, you will want to select a product similar in waist measurement to your pants so it will fit around the waist without being too tight or too loose.
For those who don’t want to chance it, consider purchasing an adjustable tool belt, which allows you to adjust the sizing to fit your waist. For added comfort, opt for a tool belt that includes built-in padding or an attached harness as well as adequate air ventilation to avoid getting too hot during the day.
On average, a tool belt will have anywhere from 12 to 25 pockets. These can include wide, deep pockets (for tape measures or fasteners); medium-size pockets (for flashlights); and slim pockets (for screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers). For light work around the home, a smaller tool belt is OK, but for more complex projects, it may be better to have a larger tool belt that allows you to carry everything you need to have on hand.
To ensure the tool belt is durable enough to handle day-to-day use, invest in a high-quality product made of leather or nylon. Although polyester tool belts are another option, they’re not as durable, making them a better choice for light work around the home. Be sure to check the stitching of the tool belt. Single stitching is common, but a double-stitch pattern or bar tack stitching provide additional support for tools and make the pockets more resistant to tearing at the seams.
Electrician tool belts can be made of traditional leather material, nylon, or polyester.
- Leather electrician tool belts have a traditional appearance and a robust design that is resistant to cuts, scratching, and tearing. However, leather must be kept oiled to ensure it doesn’t dry out and become vulnerable to cracking and tearing. Leather tool belts not only work well but also look great and have higher durability than either polyester or nylon. This is why leather tool belts are usually more expensive than their less-durable counterparts.
- Polyester electrician tool belts are a good option for working around the home. They’re ideal for doing routine home maintenance or household repairs. Typically, polyester tool belts are affordable, but that’s because they’re not as durable as nylon or leather.
- Nylon electrician tool belts combine the strength and durability of leather with the inexpensive price of polyester. Nylon is a somewhat stretchy material, so it’s less likely to snap or rip if it gets caught on something. Nylon tool belts are an excellent choice for professional electricians because they’re lightweight, comfortable, and resistant to worksite wear and tear.
Design and Fit
When looking for the best electrician’s tool belt, keep in mind that comfort is key. Make sure it fits correctly; you don’t want to be holding your breath to close the belt or pulling it up every few minutes to keep it from falling off. A harness is a great way to make up for a belt that doesn’t quite fit, though not all electrician tool belts have them. Another option is to buy a belt with suspenders, which are similar to a harness but rely only on shoulder support instead of the entire torso.
Owning a tool belt is a quick and easy way to organize tools. The pockets for an electrician tool belt are designed specifically for screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, wire strippers, and fasteners, so you can work knowing exactly where to find each tool that will be needed for a specific project.
Another advantage of owning an electrician tool belt is safety. With tools kept neatly in a tool belt, they’re no longer on the ground where workers could trip over them and fall. Also, having them readily available around one’s waist means not having to keep climbing up and down a potentially dangerous ladder to grab tools from a tool box, saving time and reducing the risk of falls.
- Users can organize their tools so they can quickly grab anything they need from the belt around their waist.
- Having tools around one’s waist helps reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
- Save time with an electrician tool belt; you don’t have to repeatedly return to the tool box.
Before investing in a new electrician tool belt, take a look at these frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. How do you care for an electrician tool belt?
To care for your electrician tool belt, you will want to store it safely when it’s not in use and regularly clean it with warm, soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the material.
Q. How do you wear an electrician tool belt?
You wear an electrician tool belt by wrapping it around your waist and fastening it in the front. If the belt has a harness or suspender system, the straps should loop over your shoulders. A harness will also have a fastener that secures the harness across your chest.
Q. How do you choose the right size tool belt?
Tool belt manufacturers frequently include a stated size that matches waist measurements or you may see a more general designation, such as “small,” “medium,” or “large.” Choose an electrician tool belt that fits comfortably around your waist without being too tight or too loose. If you are unsure of your size, find an adjustable tool belt so you can adjust the size to suit your waist.
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Meet the Tester
Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including BobVila.com, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes. He also owns and operates a pest control blog, RiddaBugs.com. He spent years working in the trades and industrial maintenance, meaning he has a solid background in electrical tools and the belts that carry them.
Additional research provided by Timothy Dale.