Shop Aprons, My Experience

So do you use a shop apron ??  I think I want to.  I have tried and I think I like it, but…..

My biggest need is I am always hunting for my pencil and/or tape measure !!

What I like about shop aprons is easy access to my tape measure, pencils and a small square.  Of 3 pockets, left is small square, middle is tape measure and the right pocket, might have a large eraser, screws, nuts & bolts and/or a quick knife.  The right pocket is catch-all depeding on my current activitly.

So here is the history of my shop apron effort.

First there was the full apron.

ShopAprons-1This was purchased many years ago.  I used it some.  It did solve the problem for keeping track of my measuring, marking tools, but in the end it was hot.



  • The pockets were big
  • The pencil holder was somewhat easy to access
  • The over shoulder straps were well designed.
  • But it was HOT.

Second, The FastCap, Ballistic Belt

ShopAprons-2This was my first short apron.  Trying to solve the HOT problem.  This got used A LOT during the construction of THE ROOM.  ( My over 3 year DIY project to create my wife her own space.)  This apron is heavy and has large pockets.   My 16 ft FastCap tape measure ( which I love ).  Also since this was a construction project the pockets were useful for nails, screws, parts and at time my 12V Bosch drills ( screw drivers ).  The hammer loop is also very useable.

I tried using this for shop woodworking projects, but it just seemed to bulky and not exactly what I wanted.  ( I did not really need a heavy 16 ft tape measure for my WW projects. )

  • Heavy material, very tuff
  • Large Pockets.
  • Good belt, fastener
  • Good hammer loop.
  • Bad,  the pencil pocket is on the left, I am right handed.
  • It was a little long, so it rested on you legs a little.

Third,  my new short apron

ShopAprons-3So I liked the short apron style, but not the weight.  I ordered a new Bucket Boss 83100 13-pocket SuperWaist Apron from Amazon.

So far I think I really like this. Is is shorter and much lighter weight.   Forget the 13 pockets. For me,  I find 3 center front pockets and two pencil “pockets” to be useful.   I have gone back to my 12ft Stanley tape that I have used for WW projects for years.  It is light weight and completely sufficient for 98% of all WW projects.  I am still trying to figure out which small square.  Since the square is usually used for marking, I will go back to my Bridge City small square.   ( Not Pictured ).  I will also see if I like my 4″ Starrett for this purpose.  Same setup for large pockets.

The good news is the pencil pockets.  One on each side.  So my normal marking pencils are on the right.

  • Good size
  • Pencil pockets on both sides.
  • Light weight.

Final Answer

Initially the new apron feels and looks good.  I will only know in a few months after using the new apron on several projects.

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  1. ralph boumenot says

    Interesting post. I got the Lee Valley shop apron as a xmas gift last year. It doesn’t have the annoying around the neck loop. Instead it has 2 criss-cross straps over the shoulders. I’ve worn it twice but I don’t wear aprons for whatever reason.
    I’m used to working with my tools on the bench, if I use an apron I’d have to learn new tricks and I’m an old dog.

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