Author Topic: Suggest a toolbag?  (Read 4584 times)

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Offline WorldPowerLabs

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Suggest a toolbag?
« on: January 19, 2013, 04:09:18 am »
Hi all,

I have a contract job doing product development for a local company.  This involves a wide range of prototyping activities, and because I'm the only EE in the company and they just don't have tools in the office, I end up lugging my own tools around.

I currently use a large army mechanic-style bag like this:  http://www.vtarmynavy.com/jumbo-mechanics-tanker-tool-bag.htm but it is starting to wear out a bit.  The size of this bag is almost perfect.

Does anyone have any specific suggestions for a good tool bag?    I'd like it to have separate pockets for multimeters.  I do not want a messenger-style or shoulder-worn bag; I want something that sits upright on its own base and has carrying handles.  I'm mostly interested in heavy-duty fabric bags -- not hard-sided cases or toolboxes.

As for what I need to carry, it's items like test leads; a couple of compact multimeters and possibly a full-sized one; butane soldering iron and solder (I do have a temp-controlled iron at the office, but sometimes I have to repair things at a separate facility); small screwdriver set; diagonal cutters; pliers; small spools of wire; some crimp terminals and housings; tweezers; etc. -- in other words, ordinary electronics tool.  No hammers or bulky items.

Fluke makes some nice bags, but those are spendy.  My budget is about $60 US (somewhat flexible, but it would take some convincing to exceed this figure).

If anyone has a suggestion, I'd be very eager to hear it.

-Ben
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 05:40:55 am »
Given the variety, best I can think of is to point you to a few companies that should have something in the approximate size that will do the job (variations on pockets, single or dual main compartments, aluminum frame or not, open top or not, ...), and meet your budget.

McGuire-Nicholas (Synthetic line) http://www.mcguirenicholas.com/items.aspx?id=5 Can find prices and reviews on Amazon.
Custom LeatherCraft (http://clccustomleathercraft.com/Catalog.aspx, all .pdf catalogs); Also available on Amazon.
BucketBoss (check them out on Amazon)

There are others, but generally these makes hold up from what I've seen and heard. Hope it helps.  :)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 06:24:08 am »
Why not just buy a few for the $60, and then every year buy them again?
 

Offline WorldPowerLabs

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 10:01:26 pm »
Nanofrog, thank you for the links.  I have searched a bit both online and in catalogs (as well as in retail stores), but I've managed to overlook McGuire-Nicholas.  All three makers you mentioned seem to have some nice products, and I'll be taking a detailed look through their catalogs.

SeanB, I have actually thought of doing exactly what you suggest -- the only drawback is that these bags are made by many different manufacturers and their quality varies quite a bit, especially in the zippers and stitching.  I suppose I could call around and see if anyone still sells any made under a military contract  (the majority seem to use some variation of "Mil-Spec" in the name, but just as a marketing gimmick it seems).

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 10:20:47 pm »
I used to take a zippered multimeter tool pouch around everywhere (like those Fluke ones) while on site troubleshooting. It could hold a folding pocket multimeter, all the usual side cutters and screwdrivers, various special test leads etc. That would be my go-to tool bag when shit hit the fan in production. Too small for what you are after, but thought I'd mention it.
I love my "Jack Bauer" canvas shoulder messenger bag:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Jack-Bauer-Canvas-Messenger-Bag-Black-Olive-Khaki-NWT-/330466637039?pt=US_CSA_MWA_Backpacks&var&hash=item4cf158b4ef&_uhb=1#ht_2866wt_1163
I take this to the office  and everywhere else every day.
It's just an open style top, with open pockets on the sides, but it's huge, comfortable, and easy to access. One small zippered pocket inside for small items

Dave.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 10:29:37 pm »
Take a look around a good tool shop/DIY warehouse - there are plenty of options.
Something else that may be worth a look is paramedic bags, although these tend to be expensive.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 11:04:48 pm »
Nanofrog, thank you for the links.  I have searched a bit both online and in catalogs (as well as in retail stores), but I've managed to overlook McGuire-Nicholas.  All three makers you mentioned seem to have some nice products, and I'll be taking a detailed look through their catalogs.
You're welcome.  :)

I don't know how much you need to carry, so I was hesitant to make any specific suggestions. When I clicked on the link you provided, I noticed the dimensions of your existing bag. If you really need a bag that big (and of similar construction rather than say a backpack, roll bag, aluminum frame, ...), you might want to take a hard look at the CLC (Custom LeatherCraft) 1539. Be warned though, this bag is BIG. Holds a lot of stuff (loads of pockets), and can easily become heavier than you can reasonably handle. Think of it this way; it's possible to stuff more gear in it than an equivalent sized toolbox due to all of the pockets (less wasted space).

The 13" model (1537), might be another one to examine if you don't need the 18" version. Between this and McGuire-Nicholas, the CLC has more pockets and a better layout IMHO. And I suspect it's also a bit more durable once you replace the clips on the shoulder straps (they used to be made in the US, but have shifted to China; McGuire-Nicholas too IIRC).

CLC 1539: http://www.amazon.com/Custom-LeatherCraft-1539-Multi-Compartment-Carrier/dp/B000EDTSZG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358635757&sr=8-2&keywords=custom+leathercraft+1537
CLC 1537: http://www.amazon.com/Custom-LeatherCraft-1537-Multi-Compartment-Carrier/dp/B000EDTSYW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358635757&sr=8-1&keywords=custom+leathercraft+1537

Hope this helps out a bit more.  :)

I take this to the office  and everywhere else every day.
It's just an open style top, with open pockets on the sides, but it's huge, comfortable, and easy to access. One small zippered pocket inside for small items
Looks quite handy as well.

Out of curiosity, what kind of load do you make it handle, and how well is it holding up?
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 12:19:40 pm »
I use one of these, and i put all my screwdrivers, cutters, butane soldering iron, and other long thin tools in it, but not too much that it gets heavy, anything bigger and its too dense/heavy for its size)

http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=SOFT+STORAGE&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=501600M&SDesc=FatMax%26%23174%3B+Xtreme%26%23153%3B+Technician+Bag

and then, for things like probes, multimeter, pocket scope, powersupply, i put them in a sports kind of bag, but this would do too.

http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=SOFT+STORAGE&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=501200M&SDesc=FatMax%26%23174%3B+Xtreme%26%23153%3B+Tool+Bag
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 01:22:38 pm »
I use that military canvas bag myself, cheap, effective and won't melt around an open flame.   Its a tested design, been around since 1950s.  Most civilian bags are not built as tough but usually have nice pockets.  I would just buy another surplus bag.  Its not really for organizing although there are pockets inside, I just throw everything in it and go.

11"



19"



It comes in  2 sizes.

Hi all,

I have a contract job doing product development for a local company.  This involves a wide range of prototyping activities, and because I'm the only EE in the company and they just don't have tools in the office, I end up lugging my own tools around.

I currently use a large army mechanic-style bag like this:  http://www.vtarmynavy.com/jumbo-mechanics-tanker-tool-bag.htm but it is starting to wear out a bit.  The size of this bag is almost perfect.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kilroy

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Re: Suggest a toolbag?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 06:40:58 pm »
If you are not into messenger bags, and since you already have a canvas mechanics bag, you might try an old style canvas medical/shooters bag. These have a decent sized main compartment, six magazine pouches on the outside, a shoulder strap plus a pair of handles as well. A large clamp meter fits easily in a side pouch but something the size of Fluke 87v would be tight.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/8158-NEW-G-I-TYPE-OLIVE-DRAB-BLACK-MEDICAL-EQUIPMENT-MAG-BAG-11-x-9-x-6-/150770063252?pt=Tool_Boxes_Storage&var=&hash=item68ca254501
The fool generalizes the particular; the nerd particularizes the general; some do both; and the wise does neither.
 


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