I am a professional Home Improvement Contactor who does everything from small jobs, to major additions and renovations. Therefore, finding a suitable setup was almost impossible. I wanted just ONE......not several depending on the work of the day. Then I found Occidental Leather.
Although I was always a Carpenter in one way or another, I also am a degreed Accountant who spent 17 years as a Plant Controller, and was considered an expert in my field regarding efficiency, plant operations, and start ups. But I left the Corporate world and went back full time, to the type of work that paid my tuition 20 years earlier, and could not be happier. I mention this only because I want to point out that I am more than fit to judge good design, efficient setup, and high quality craftsmanship.
First of all, I want to thank you and the craftsmen who made my Framer rig. I have tried ALL other belts: apron style, 4 tiered bags, 2 tiered bags, and accessory holders. Each style had it’s drawback. I cannot wear the apron style because it restricts movement, the single bags simply have plain pockets, and tools fall out. But mainly....they just don't hold up well.
Last year, I finally spent the money for an Occidental classic framer setup. I looked at it on the website for more than six months trying to justify the expenditure. Then it hit me.....I already spent more buying other bags that didn't serve the purpose or hold up!!! So I ordered it.
Right away, you can see the craftsmanship of the pouches. Of course, the bags were stiff, especially the tape measure pocket, but after a couple of months of use.......they broke in beautifully. The rig is also VERY well designed. I know where all my tools are intuitively, and never take my eyes of my work. I also have the Ranger style belt, and hammer holder.
They are not too big, or too small.....they are EXACTLY right. The belt is wide around the pouches for great support, yet narrow in the front so it does not dig into you, and there is no need to fumble with the double prongs. Having a separate slot for a speed square is awesome! Having a place for a Combination Square.......is a real treat! And the tape measure holder is exactly where it should be. No other bags have this design. These really were designed, by, and for, professionals.
One final point I would like to make is that the design of your product, has increased my efficiency, and effectiveness. In the morning, no matter what the carpentry project of the day....I simply grab my Occidental setup.....and get to work. Everything I need is in there......no trips to the toolbox. And because of the great design......although the bags feel heavy.....they seem to lighten up once you put it on. The design and weight placement is superb.
I purchased another for a helper who turned 40. He was elated.! I think he spent the first hour just admiring it! He even purchased a separate duffle bag to keep it in, and has a “special” place for it in the truck!
After 1 year of use......they still seem “new”. The have softened up just right, yet, they still have their great shape. The quality of the leather is exceptional.......and I can honestly say, although I tried ALL others......I consider my Occidental Leather........the First “real” setup I have ever had. It will also be my last. Someday, if it ever wears out, I will purchase another.
Congratulations Occidental Leather......and please extend my thanks to everyone from administration, to manufacturing, R&D, and the craftsmen on the factory floor.
This is the style of bag that became the foundation of Occidental Leather in the mid 70s. Recently, Rob from Vicotria BC sent his original #5000 buscadero one piece set in for repair. Here are the before and after images images of this 27 year old set.
Click Image to View
Rob's Original Bags
Click Image to View
Rob's Repaired Bags
"... I also attached pics of my occidental pouches just to show you that I appreciate your product greatly and that they are well used daily :)."
"I just received my first Occidental Leather Bag I ordered from Ace Tool and all I can say is WOW!!!!! I cannot wait for work tomorrow. The 5080DB. The quality is unbelievable. I look forward to wearing the quality that you and you team design and build. I wish that more outlets were available here in Florida so that others could see, touch and feel the quality that you guys put out. Without going through a day of work yet, I can tell that you will have a customer for life.
On a side note, my wife told me to take the belt off while I was grilling supper. I told her I was just trying to break them in first.
We received this bag for "lifetime" repair. Please note, this very hard working fellow sent in his "Best Friend" hoping we could repair it. However, this bag is beyond repair. Structurally, we have to have a body to repair to, in this case, this fellow has stretched the life of his tool bag to the max and it is time for new bags.
We can repair corners that leak nails, holders that tear, and replace upper and outer bags, tunnel loops and tape pockets but when the area we need to secure to is also gone then your bags have served you well and should be retired to your "wall of fame".
Beyond Repair Click on image for larger view
These "old friends" belong to a carpenter who is currently still using them!
Please note: the bags have been repaired once before. As tried and true as these old friends are, it is time to consider setting aside the money for a new set!
Thank you Mike from MN for choosing handcrafted American Made from all of us!
Click on image for larger view
Kayleen McCabe and the DIY Rescue Renovation Crew. Thank you for choosing handcrafted American Made Occidental!
"My name is Thomas O. I am a renovation specialist from framing to finish carpentry . In 1998 I purchased one of your green belt systems, and it has lasted 13 yrs of abuse!! I find that to be amazing. As I watch other carpenters around me buy belt after belt mine stayed strong.
Today I just ordered another green bag setup which wasn't cheap, but I never hesitated as the original rigup I had was amazing. I just felt a positive e-mail was in order because these days its hard to find any quality tools or bag rigs meant to last for the real pro's out there. I just wanted to thank you for offering a well made product MADE IN THE USA!!!! That I am proud to wear.
"... holy cow, does it do the job! First, it looks nice, which helps to project a professional image. And it seems durable; I’ve been dragging it around for a year now, and there’s hardly a scuff mark on it. ... every time I look at it, I am happy I own it. I can’t even say that about my dog." - Andy Engel
"I wanted to thank you so much for your support with our grand reopening. It was a huge success. My brother finally listened to me about your products and purchased a tool belt (8585) with the hip buddies (9008) and suspenders (5055).
He doesn’t know how he could have gone this long without realizing the comfort and most of all the back support of your products. Not to mention they look cool. Here is the funny part. My brother’s partner was with him while he was looking at your products. He was doing the “How much does that cost?” and the “You don’t need that.” routine.
I told my brother as I would tell any customer that I would buy back any part of his purchase that he didn’t like. To date I have not had an unsatisfied customer. My brother has informed me that he has had his partner ask to try on his bags because he was tired of listening to him brag about how comfortable they were. If this was a religious thing I would have to say we have a new convert!
You guys make it so easy for us to sell your products.
"Woooowwww. I got the brief case yesterday. Absolutely unbelievable. I mean it. Before construction I worked as a financial advisor. Those guys tote gucci, louis vuitton, ferragamo bags daily. I mean this though...this occidental is much nicer. You really should be dealing this from saks or neiman marcus. It is that nice. It is made heftier and nicer than any of the luxury brands. I really mean it. You really need to take this design to womens purses. You guys rocked it out with this bag. I feel it took oxy to a whole new level. Great job and thank you so much for it. Keep me posted on the new stuff. Thanks again.
"Just received my B9588 bags and they are beyond my expectations. Top notch quality and craftmanship. Looking forward to many years of service. Thanks for making such a fine product.
You guys are the greatest. Fantastic American made products and outstanding customer service. I can’t say enough. Oh, and by the way, I’ve been wearing the new tool belt (B9588) for two weeks now and it is by far the best belt I’ve ever worn. Capacity, organization and comfort. It’s a real pleasure to wear. Thanks again for the care package and for making such fine products. I’m definitely an Oxy customer for life.
"The bags arrived this afternoon: they are superb in every respect. Occidental continues to raise its game while everyone else cuts corners, both on the pure manufacturing front, and through this lamentable, ever-growing trend toward globalised outsourcing. The Machinist's Tool Bag has improved in nearly every measure. The bag is slightly bigger, much easier to access, with its new Gladstone-like full opening, and it is beautifully made according to your peerless tradition.
The Canvas Sport Bag is not only gorgeous to behold and wonderful to carry, but perfectly conceived and built with great integrity. The thing is a marvel of good taste and elegant style, fit for a lady of great distinction to lug around everywhere she goes, as my own personal dame will start doing first thing in the morning. My wife went mad over these two bags; I'll never be able to touch them, much less press them into proper work service, without risking grave personal injury. In a phrase, Occidental Leather is the best outfit of its kind anywhere in the world!
First, let me say thank you for making the finest tool belt ever made. I have had my Pro Framer for about 17 years. I've sent it in twice for service, both times for minor replacements (a hammer loop, pencil holder and belt loops). And both times it came back clean, repaired and fast. Again, thank you.
Sadly, after 17 years at 50 weeks a year, 40 hours a week and a rough total of 34,000 hours of service, it's time to retire my bags.
"This is by far the best workmanship I've seen in any product. I'm
very particular about my tools, and your product's quality is at the
level of other great American made products such as Starrett and Lie
Nielsen tools. Thank you for making such a great product!
My name is Jeff Kieninger, and I am an occidental leather customer. I have sent with this letter a set of tool bags to be repaired and wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts on your product.
I have been a carpenter, both residential and commercial, for 15 years. About 8 years ago a former employer of mine talked me into buying this set of occidental bags and I was a little skeptical as to whether or not they would last any longer than other bags I'd owned. I have used these bags 5, 6, sometimes 7 days a week since they were purchased. They have seen weather ranging from 100 degrees to 0, rain, snow, and many other harsh elements. I have to say without a doubt that they have been the best tool purchase I've ever made. About two years ago when the top of the belt loop started to tare I retired them onto a shelf in the garage. Because of a new baby, and the economy I wasn't able to replace them with a new pair of occidentals, so I bought a cheaper brand that appeared to be of pretty good quality. Needless to say after wearing them out, and another pair after them in less than a year, I pulled these bags out of retirement and started using them again. I hope they can be repaired, because they are the most important tool I own.
I hope you will share this letter with your employees, because as a customer who uses your product every day and especially at a time when made in the U.S.A. doesn't mean what it use to. I can't express enough how nice it is to find a product that it is so clear how much pride and craftsmanship went into it's construction. Your should all be very proud of your products and the great reputation they have made for themselves.
Jeff Kieninger, Customer for life"
Occidental Leather Note: Jeff's bags were not beyond repair and per our lifetime repair policy for All-Leather bags we gave his old friends a "face lift", and replaced the hangers so they'll serve Jeff another 8 years ... or more. (see image on right) - 11/06/2009
"I want to thank you so much for getting back to me.... My husband isn't one to use the computer but, the few times he does is to look at occidental to see what's new. he can sit for hours just comparing one pouch system to another.
He has been responsible for at least 10 other friends in norway purchasing pouch or vest systems. One young man, an apprentice carpenter, bought my husbands 10 year old pouch and it was almost like new. had a tiny little hole from getting snagged on a nail. another man that bought a vest had just come back to work after severing 3 fingers off his hand and sewing them back on. The occidental pouch system makes it possible for him to continue working a normal work day. It is an unbelievable product line and one that is well worth the investment. the one vice my husband has that i fully support.
"Feel free to publish!!! I know my husband just gets a glow in his eye when he looks at your website or catalogue ....you'd think it was a copy of playboy! ...
I have a special place in my heart for you and occidental. Your product makes my husbands job easier, which keeps him healthier and happier. With his the only income in the family....it's makes all the difference in the world. Anyone that thinks an occidental belt or vest system is expensive, has never tried it. It is well worth the investment. My husband is worth it and our family is worth it. When he's happy and healthy...we are too!"
One of our online dealers recently received the following e-mail from a happy customer:
I received the Occidental 7 bag framer tool belt that I ordered from you today. Its the most awesome toolbelt I have ever seen. Now I can carry all the gear I need at work and the smell of the new leather is fantastic.
I would also like to thank you for all the tool catalogues, brochures and the T- shirt that fits me perfectly. The tool supply companies here in Australia could learn a lot from you guys. Please feel free to pass my thanks on to Occidental also I wish there were companies down under that paid such attention to the needs of Aussie tradesmen. Keep up the great work.
For the past 20 years that I have been in the construction business I have bought and used those 'disposable' tool bags that never seem to work quite right. Not only do they start to fall apart at the first sign of a tough job site, but they are always uncomfortable, under-built, under-sized and always dropping tools out every time I kneel down or climb a ladder. But all that is about to change now that I have just purchased the last set of tool bags that I will ever want or need, the Occidental 5089 seven bag pro framer.
Just that 'new bag smell' is enough to make someone realize that this is no ordinary tool bag. But the real moment of truth is when you put them on for the first time. You guys should put a warning label on the belt that states that once you put the tool bags on you might never want to take it off because they are so comfortable. Seriously though, when I did put it on ,right after the UPS man left, I didn't want to take them off for anything. Not even for dinner. The only way I can think of to describe them is, buttery smooth comfort and rock solid craftsmanship together for the first time in a real nice set of bags.
Thanks for taking pride in your work and making it possible for us carpenters to look good while we do the same.
I've been a carpenter for 21 years. After going through a set of ordinary "tool bags" about once a year I decided to make an investment in my tools and buy Occidental. Now in hindsight it was the best investment I've ever made in tools. I purchased a set in 1987, left and right bags, a belt, and a cordless holster, for approximately $150 (the price hasn't gone up much in 18 years) that was allot of money for an apprentice carpenter 18 years ago.
After breaking them in, they were the most comfortable set of tool bags I've ever worn. That's important when you wear them 8 to 12 hours a day. I reasoned that, to take them away from me you would have to pry them from my cold dead hands. I've just now decided to retire them and buy a new set. The bottoms are wearing out where my jeans rub against them. Pretty great for 18 years of use and abuse. that works out to only $8.33 a year, and I get to wear the Caddilac of tool belts. I'm quite sure this next set will probably outlive me. Please send My thanks out to all the occidental employees for a job well done."
I've been using an oxy light belt for over a year now and it is just getting broken in. I'm totally satisfied with your product and would like to let others that I work with know who makes the best tool bags around. Thanks so much for a great product."
I bought my bags in '96, and I love them. They've been all over this country, Australia and New Zealand as well. I worked in Antarctica for 1 1/2 years, and the US Antarctic Program supplied Occidental bags.
A note of interest for you - New Zealand has been having a building boom as well, but they are a bit fussy and old fashioned in some ways. They gawked and laughed at my bags, as well as my 28 ounce framing hammer. They still use very small aprons, and the laughter ended when I chided them for wearing their auntie's sewing aprons. The envy started when they realized things like hammers and fastenings don't fall out, there is a place for a speed square (which was also a novelty), and I didn't have to leave the roof every time I needed some odd tool - It was always in my bags. NZ has had to import many of its builders - 8% of all carpenters are from other countries on work permits to support the boom. With those foreign workers, they are seeing all kinds of new gadgets. I'm proud to be wearing your bags, laughter aside, as they are still the best out there.
First I want to tell you what great products you make. I have been wearing them for over 20 years and my original belt is still going strong in the shop. I bought one of your 8095 beltless systems as soon as it hit the market.....what can I say .....I love quality. this belt has been my main belt and served me well in all kinds of weather. The problem has nothing to do with your workmanship or the quality of the materials....both are outstanding! Keep up the great work. As bonuses for my guys I buy them whatever one of your belts they want. It is money well spent. Thank you.
Years ago I was given a set of your Journeyman bags by my partner I worked with for nearly thirty years. They knew how much I loved your gear and it was one of the best presents I ever received. I couldn't wait to try out the new set even though my old set was still going strong. The first time I put the belt on I was loading it up with my tools when I put a razor sharp chisel in the pouch and neatly sliced through the back of the pouch. Since than I use copper sheathing to line my chisel pocket, but I put this bag on the shelf and bought a new one. I always vowed to repair this bag because of what it means to me coming from my friend.
I recently lost my friend and partner and it left a void in my life that will never be filled. I came across the bag that my friend gave me recently and I remembered the day he gave it to me and the happiness it gave me to know this man and the many things we shared. We both shared a love of your products. Many lunches were spent teasing the other on whose bags were heavier. He always teased me about the care I gave mine and the abuse he gave his and how they held up the same. I know I am rambling and I apologize. I say this to emphasize the connection and joy that your products can give people. I may get these bags repaired and if I do can you sew up the slice. But I may keep it the way it is and remember the ribbing Tom gave me the day I did it. If you have read this far I thank you. It is important that you know you sell more than products, you sell memories.
"Hi my names Ben, i purchased a stronghold beltless system, about a year ago. I wish there were words to describe but "Ideal" comes to mind. I'm an electrician and they do absolutely everything i need them to do, with style and comfort. my framing Occidentals are 11 years old and i want my belt less to last even longer because i use it exclusively now.
Thanks for further reminding me that its hard to find good people these days. I glad for in these times, quality people are still putting out a quality product, wish there were more of us out there:) I am originally from Idaho and my leathers (they had a couple summers on them when i got them used when i was a trim carpenter so they really ha vent seen the HEAT, They are older framer bags and when i became an electrician a few years ago they didn't have enough pockets for all the specific tools we use, and they were heavier than nylon which made it even worse with all the stuff.
For the most part i think the beltless rig will go farther than even you guys expect it to, i get compliments on it all the time. Every older contractor i know (that's smart anyway, for the back situation) wears suspenders and they all want one:) Once again keep up the good work and i will defiantly continue to use your products.
"My name is Dennis Horton, and I talked to you a couple of weeks ago about a Stronghold Suspension System and my back problems. After a simple installation process, the new system works great! It is simply the most comfortable system I have used. I really appreciate your help with this problem.
Went toy shopping today and picked up a Pro Framer bag set and suspension system. I've had 4 decades in the trades and only two hours of that in your gear but I can't tell you how many body parts are already shouting 'thanks'.
"The belt I have is the pro carpenter with fixed bags. The company I bought it from called me and informed me that there is a kit to rivet the suspends to the belt. They send me one today in fact. But I wanted to tell you again the this belt and the suspenders are without a doubt the nicest I have ever owned or seen! I understand about the leather loops as well. One of the important detail on my belt was the loop that keeps the front of the front of the belt from sagging. Good job! I really appreciate your attention to detail! It's an excellent system! Beautiful! Thanks very much for your E-mail."
"Just a note to let you know what fine quality bags and belts you are making. I have been in the construction industry for 20+ years, replacing my bags/pouches every couple of years. A year ago I purchased your pro trimmer set and they are hardly broke in! I also just purchased the 5055 suspenders last week. It is a pleasure working with your products."
"Just a quick note to let you know how pleased I am with my Pro Carpenter Tool Belt. I am a general contractor doing renovations, so the type of work I do changes daily, from finishing to framing.
I've been using it for approx. 6 months now and absolutely love it!!!! When I first started wearing the belt, I was very unsure, it was a totally different design, not something I was used to. The leather was stiff (top quality, heavy duty material), and uncooperative. I persevered, and every day the belt became more comfortable!!!! I will never go back to a standard belt design, and will highly recommend your belts to all I know.
Design, specifications, and images are subject to change without notice. Not responsible for typographical or illustrative errors. Tools and other props are often used to represent the functionality of each tool belt, tool bag, and tool holder. They do not come with the product.