20 Tools To Carry In Your Trim Carpenters Tool Belt - 2022-
What is in a trim carpenters pouch? Well it seems like in my region most don't even wear pouches. Why? Too bulky, uncomfortable and too easy to damage the surroundings. I personally love wearing my pouch but its small and I try and keep it light.
20 Items I Carry In My Trim Carpenters Pouch
I have tried to rate the most common tools that I carry during finish work. 1 to 7 are a must for me but everyone is different.
- 16’ tape
- Glazing bar
- Adjustable square
- Nail set
- Small pliers
- Laser measure
- Putty knife
- 1/8th countersink
- #2 Philips and Robby
- Spare led
- 120 grit sanding block
- Finger shims biscuits and a couple long trim heads, just in case
- Glue bottle
- Block Plane
Here is a description of my trim pouch set up and why.
First the pouch
I wear a pouch I designed. You can check it out at www.trimpouch.com. Whatever pouch you get should be small lightweight and have a soft hammer holster. Metal holsters can damage finished product, You should find something that can be worn at the sides or behind you so when your working on the floor, (i.e. baseboard or cabinet leveling) you don't take it off. Taking your pouch off and putting it back on is a huge waste of time and disrupts work flow.
I don't carry my pencil in my pouch I use a magnet on my shirt and love it, but most trim carpenters like a pencil in there tool belt. I like a mechanical pencil.
#2 16‘ Tape Measure.
Its lightweight and sticks of trim only come up to 16’. you can carry a longer one in your tool box for the odd time you will need it.
#3 Large Olfa Knife.
I carry the large Olfa and use the ultra sharp black blades. The small knife is also fine but the big one offers more control and versatility,
#4 Glazing Bar
I can’t work without one. It is the ideal pry bar for working with trim. Some guys will have a second glazing bar within reach.
#5 Adjustable Square
This small square is from lee valley. It is ideal for setting reveals and quarks. I also use it to transfer layout lines. Its small ruler is great for machine set up.
I also carry this flat square ruler I really appreciate having both with me at all times.
#6 Nail Punch
This is a spring loaded punch, no hammer needed. This thing can set 3” commons.
Sometimes it's nice to have a standard punch around too.
#7 Small Pliers
As a trim carpenter you need a set for one reason, wiggling brad nails back and forth until they break, Ha ha ha. They are handy for more than that tho. Right now I'm using needle nose pliers but I think side cutters are a better choice.
#8 Laser Measure
This should probably be higher on the list. This model shows 32nds of an inch and is very accurate.
#9 Small Putty Knife
I use this for cleaning up glue, it's nice to have something that I can scrape things clean with.
#10 1/8th Pre-Drill/Countersink
Mine is set for 1¼”, seams like it gets me by for most jobs.
#11 Robby and Philips #2
I also like to carry a long Robby. For some reason it always comes in handy.
my pouch comes with a magnet that can attach through any grommet. I stick these bits on it so they are easy to grab.
Great for labeling parts and leaving reminders for yourself that are easy to read.
#13 Tiny Notebook
This one could be higher on the list too but most of my cut-lists are done on cutoffs of trim. This way I can write large easy to read measurements. It's nice to have a notebook for extended cut-lists and to take notes on details.
#14 Spare Lead
I use a 0.7 mm lead some carpenters prefer 0.9. It sucks running out of led.
#15 120 Grit Sanding Block
Some guys like 100 grit but I find with accurate joints 120 is all you need.
This is just a piece of sticky back folded in half I use to break sharp corners. My block is usually just a piece of MDF small enough to wrap 1/6th of a sheet of sandpaper around.
#16 Finger Shims Biscuits And A Couple Long Trim Heads Just In Case.
Just in case!
This Vaughan mallet seams to be the right choice. It's plastic side is hard and tough and its rubber side is actually soft enough not to leave dents. I prefer the Vaughan one over the other standard mallets you will find out there. You could argue for a 16 oz hammer, but during my work flow, I rarely find myself reaching for one.
#18 Glue Bottle
This one is from fast cap. its really good for crown and casing because you can use it in an upright position.
not very common but is nice to brush dust away before scribing or installing any material.
#20 Block Plane
A block plane is only worth carrying, (or even owning) if you know how to sharpen it and enjoy sharpening it. There is nothing more useless than a dull plane and nothing more useful than a sharp one (take that with a grain of salt of course) when you have a sharp block plane you can use it for scribing, trimming miters and planing down surfaces dead flat quickly. This plane is a low angle Stanley with a Veritas pmv 11 replacement blade.
Well that's all I would think of carrying. I rarely find myself needing a chisel and when I do it has to be sharp. I save my chisels for when it maters. I think a lot of carpenters use a compass as a scribe marker but I cut blocks to the size I need.
Maybe some people like different styles of squares or reveal blocks. If you can think of any honorable mentions or think I am wrong please comment below and we can dial this list in even better.
Thank you and please check out my custom modular tool pouch.
I have also designed a case to keep your Nails clean It fits 15ga, 16ga, 18ga, and 23ga check it out here the Finish Nail Case
Check out all of our products in our Collection Page
You can learn more about me and the trim pouch on my About us page located here www.trimpouch.com/aboutus
Brandon I have been trying to update my testimonial on your fantastic tool pouches but haven’t had any luck
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Thomas C Weyand Jr.
Hands down the best system in the game rn. I love this pouch and modifiying it to my needs. It’s super easy to change stuff if needed. Solid solid construction and it makes work so much more enjoyable. I love carpentry and working out of these pouches has been a pleasure!!!
Really like a lot of what you’ve done here.
Always looking for a “better” way.
I’ve made a custom leather tool vest and modified my Occidental pouches etc. as well as electrical pouches,
But it ends up that for shop & finish it a bit bulky i love the idea all at waist and not hangin onn my legs or hips
Agree with the sharp block plane.
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