The Klein Canvas Tote Bag Provides Quality and Durability—But is it Right for You?
Looking for a new bag to get your tools from the shop to the job? Check out this modern take on a classic tote courtesy of the Klein tool bag.
When shopping for a new tool bag, the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming. With bags full of pockets, zippers, hook-and-loop closures, and hidden compartments, it can be downright confusing to select just the right one. Surely, there must be a simpler option to consider?
Enter the Klein Tools Canvas Tote. This classic Klein tool bag features a simple, one-compartment style originally designed for concrete and stonemasons. These men and women didn’t carry a lot of tools but rather a few important trowels, hammers, and chisels. They could place these larger items in the bag and shuffle them to and from the job site.
However, the versatile Klein tool bag isn’t just for masons. Klein’s focus is actually electrical tools, making this bag a favorite among electricians and line workers. It could also fit the needs of a DIYer, so keep reading to see if the Klein tool bag is right for you.
Verdict: The Klein tool bag is as durable as it comes. The bag offers natural yet heavy-duty vegetable-tanned leather handles and straps to support weight. The bottom features a large piece of leather sewn over the bag, adding reinforcement and abrasion resistance for long-term use.
- Durable leather handle and straps.
- Thick canvas body and leather bottom.
- Steel-reinforced opening.
- No pockets.
- Handles can be slippery at first.
- Not ideal for sharp tools.
Plenty of Storage Room Inside
The Klein tool bag is all about the sheer volume of storage. The bag itself measures roughly 15 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 13 inches deep, allowing plenty of room for some of the largest hand tools. After all, that’s the purpose for which this style of bag was originally designed.
This bag can handle several types of large hand tools, including hammers, meters, pliers, smaller hacksaws, and more. The interior is completely open and devoid of any pockets, so even bulky and awkward items can sit inside comfortably while still allowing the bag to close securely.
The one downside to this open compartment is that it won’t keep the tools organized. For smaller hand tools, drill bits, and the like, there’s a good chance they’ll slip to the bottom of the bag underneath the bulkier items, forcing users to remove the large tools to reach them. For that reason, it might be helpful to purchase a few organizers or tool rolls to keep the tools in order and accessible.
A Simple Design That’s Easy to Use
There’s something to be said for simplicity. Many bags feature a ton of pockets, closures, and layers. This style of bag can be excellent for organization, but it can make locating a particular tool a challenge. That’s where the Klein tool bag excels: There isn’t anywhere for a small tool, piece of hardware, or fitting to hide—except in the bottom of the bag (as mentioned above).
Also, the leather strap and metal buckle closure couldn’t be simpler to operate. The strap features several punched holes to make it adjustable, and the buckle is a durable metal model with a built-in strap keeper to prevent the strap from flailing in the wind. One note is that the leather handles are initially a bit slippery, though the vegetable-tanned leather will become grippier with time.
The metal-reinforced opening also increases the bag’s ease of use. When loading the Klein tool bag, the top isn’t going to fold over and get in the way. This metal opening also has two hinges to open and close the tool bag as smoothly as possible. The one downside is that the canvas doesn’t provide much structure, so the bag won’t stand on its own.
One more point to consider is the bottom of the bag. On many lower-quality bags, the walls of the bag are stitched to the leather, essentially using the leather as the bottom of the bag. The Klein tool bag is a one-piece bag with the leather stitched overtop it, so the bottom of the bag is canvas with a leather shell for added durability.
A Little on the Pricey Side
When it comes to tools and equipment, Klein Tools is a premium brand. The company makes a lot of professional-grade tools, and their prices tend to reflect that reputation. At around $65, many DIYers might be able to find another bag that suits their needs for less—but that decision won’t come without sacrificing some quality.
While the price is a bit high for a canvas bag with one compartment, the Klein tool bag is about durability, not organization. Less expensive bags might contain several pockets, zippers, hook-and-loop closures, and shoulder straps, but they might not be as durable as this bag.
The high-quality leather handles are strong, and the leather bottom ensures that this bag will take a beating. The metal frame is also thicker than on most other metal-reinforced options. Shoppers won’t be paying for organization (which they can find for a lower price); they’ll be paying for durability and quality.
How We Reviewed the Klein Tool Bag
Testing a tool bag is actually rather straightforward; gather a typical DIY-grade collection of tools and load it up. As a result, this test involved loading the bag with a power drill, a hammer, several pairs and types of pliers, a utility knife, some pry bars, an electrical multimeter, and some other odds and ends.
Once loaded, testing involved carrying the bag from a garage shop to a vehicle, to an imaginary job site, back to the vehicle, and back to the shop several times. We tested the handles for comfort while we tested the straps and buckles for stress with the weight of the tools. Additionally, the bag spent most of this time suspended from its handles and being jostled about to test its durability.
After the test, we checked the bag for signs of wear or stress, including the stitching, buckles, straps, handles, and fabric, to predict the effects of prolonged use.
Is the Klein Tool Bag Right for You?
The Klein tool bag might not be ideal for everyone, such as users with lots of small hand tools, fittings, and fasteners. However, for these scenarios, fabric tool rolls and plastic organizers can make a world of difference and increase the functionality of this bag for those looking for more organization.
While organization isn’t its strong point, the Klein tool bag certainly has its fair share of strengths. Considering the durable design, high-quality materials, and storage style, it’s easy to see why some DIYers would select this bag as their first choice.
Overall, this bag is worth checking out for anyone who needs a durable bag for storing a host of larger hand tools, including DIYers, electricians, plumbers, and the like. The metal-reinforced mouth opens easily and stays open, putting all of the large, contained tools on display for grabbing the necessary tool quickly. Also, since the Klein tool bag is so well-built, it can repeatedly support quite a bit of weight and still last a long time.
Given all of these features, the Klein tool bag is a solid choice for anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little more on a premium product. There won’t be any surprises with this tool bag; what you see is what you get—but the quality and durability are certainly this bag’s strongest attributes.