Making his debut outing as part of the PE product review team, Howard Mitchell puts the C.K Magma Tool Belt and Pouches to the test.
When it comes to tool belts there aren’t many features that separate one from another. Screwdriver slots, a tape measure and hammer bracket, numerous pouches and holsters, a handy chain for your tape – these are the essentials you come to expect.
It’s therefore nice to find a tool belt that incorporates the old tried and tested features and toughens them up a bit. C.K seems to have done exactly this, designing a substantial tool belt that is very well constructed and thought out.
The first thing you notice is the belt’s comprehensive mesh-lined padding and enlarged back support which is particularly useful when you’re carrying heavier items. Constructed using thick tear-resistant polyester fabric and a row of sturdy metal eyelets and a double metal clasp, it’s like something you’d expect to see a bodybuilder wearing in the gym, though it shouldn’t matter whether you’re built like a strongman or on the slim side, as C.K have provided ample dual metal eyelets for various waist sizes.
If you’re looking for even more support, the tool belt can be used in conjunction with the C.K Magma braces which hook onto four triangular metal belt loops.
Sturdy and spacious
Supplied with a detachable drill holster and tool pouch, the latter even features its own handle for use as a mini standalone tool bag. This proves useful if you need to hop from job-to-job with minimal tools. There are three oversized deep pockets which are fantastic for safely holding tools and those fiddly items like cable clips and screws. They can also be a hindrance if you’re the type of person who ends up with more ‘stuff’ in their pockets than in their tool bag by the end of the day.
The tool pouch is also capable of holding a tape measure and hammer, with a removable metal hammer loop and a tape chain which is capable of holding around three or four rolls of insulating tape.
One thing I would be keen to see in a future version is a distinct suitably sized pouch for holding a pair of side cutters. C.K markets the detachable pouch as a ‘tool pouch’ which has five clearly defined slots for screwdrivers, but a pair of commonly used side cutters can easily get lost in those deep pockets leaving you rummaging around when you need them.
The drill holster is able to securely retain either a drill or impact driver using the Velcro strap, with the extra weight having little effect on the shape and comfort of the belt, whereas others may sag and distort. C.K has even added a row of small elasticated slots which are useful for a variety of drill bits, pens and pencils.
Comfort is key
Importantly the belt is very comfortable to use, even when working at height, and is able to carry everything I need. For example, when undertaking a floodlight replacement I was able to fit a drill and the floodlight itself in the largest of the three pouches. This means it’s not only safer and easier on the back, but it’s also a time saver that prevents the need for several trips up and down a ladder with tools and parts.
It’s the little things
Finally, who would have thought a simple thing as a chain with a toothed metal clip on the end of it would be so useful? I’m not sure what C.K originally intended it to be designed for but have found myself using it as a convenient clip for holding earth sleeving or holding a wiring diagram.
If you’re in need of some additional tool belt storage, or simply just need somewhere to store those ‘bits and bobs’, C.K Magma has also designed a set of three colour coded zip-able pouch bags – small, medium and large – with the largest measuring 230x175x10mm.
These are ideal for housing a ready supply of essentials such as screws, wall plugs, cable clips and Wago connectors without needing to carry in a whole box of fixings and connectors. You can attach them to either the C.K tool belt or to your tool bag using the metal carabiners for versatility.
Each pouch is constructed of tough polyester on one side and a heavy duty transparent rear panel so you can effortlessly see the contents of each one without having to unzip them all individually – a nice touch.
In the past I’ve been guilty of using other brands of pouches, but found that I was let down eventually by the durability of the zippers. C.K Magma has tried to overcome this problem by using what appears to be fairly robust zips on each pouch, so I’m hoping these should stand the test of time.
Overall the C.K Magma tool belt and pouches are extremely durable and should stand up to challenging site conditions, whatever your trade. When used in combination they allow you to have most of your essential tools and fixings comfortably with you on the move without needing to make several trips back to your tool bags or the van, which ultimately saves you time.
View the full C.K Magma range here.