Tool belts and totes can easily be loaded down with too much weight for prolonged wear. Ergonomically speaking, it is recommended that a full backpack, with weight evenly distributed across both shoulders, be only 15 percent of your body weight. Cut that number in half for a single shoulder tote, and its easy to see how quickly a bag can become too heavy. Tool belts, on the other hand, have a more even weight distribution around the body, but you should still pay attention to how much weight you carry around the waist. In addition to the ergonomic issue, balance can also be a problem if you aren't used to carrying the weight. The last thing a newcomer to the toolkit needs is to lose balance while operating a handsaw or nail gun. Lighten the load, bring only what you need, and make a second trip for the rest.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|