Tool Bag Labels

How do you label your tool bags? I spend a lot of time looking for hard cases for my power tools; unfortunately not all tools have a manufacturered hard case and I have a decent amount of tools in soft bags. I have tried oak tags, p-touch labels and key tags with split rings.

The oak tags ripped off to easily. The p-touch labels adhesive works for about 6 months. The key tags were the most durable, but they are small, hard to read from a distance and honestly my handwriting is terrible.

Has anyone come across a durable solution which can be printed?

I just make my mark on them with a Sharpie, I’m probably the only one with my current crew that actually marks my bags/cases, there are only a few of us and a small handful of subs we often use. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with guys that all have different and easily to identify tools to their owners. Yellow tools probably mine, orange are my brother in laws, teal are Jason’s, red are Brandon’s, floor guy uses green, electrician has blue, plumber has lime green. You get the point. I did work with a guy a while back that riveted metal tags on alot of his stuff.

I would love to hear of a solution to this. Best heavy duty luggage tags would appear to fit the bill but any recommendations?
EDIT: I’m going to try out some engraved “military style” dog tags with wire rings

I’ve done a lot of mix and match sort of labelling over the years for my home shops. When tools mostly came in nondescript outer boxes but nice inner metal cases – I often used Sharpies (Black, Blue, Red or Silver – depending on what showed up best. Then when the outer packaging got more descriptive – pictures of what was inside etc. I took to cutting out some of the outer packaging labels/pictures, peeling away the cardboard backing brushing on some shellac and then using contact cement to affix it to the case. I did the same for metal or plastic tool boxes that were used to house multiple tools – but tried to avoid plastering too many labels on the boxes to make them look messy. This holds up fairly well if you don’t just repeatedly toss things in the back of the truck and leave them out in the weather. For things that did not move around much – like others have said – I used the embossed plastic labels – first made with a Dymo hand labeler – then a Brother machine. When tool bags became ubiquitous, I went back to the Sharpies – but my wife who’s into gardening and crafts – decided that she could do what I did with the outer packaging, glue-up a piece onto an index card, computer printed on the rear with the bag contents, laminate the label, add a small grommet to create a tag and then and use a piece of coated SS cable, and one of my crimpers/ferrules used for fishing rigs to attach it with a loop to the bag handle. She uses a TL906 thermal laminator:

I guess you could use small grommets or rivets to affix the tag at its four corners to the side of the bag - perhaps with some inner backup plastic sheet - but this might compromise the integrity of the bag,

Now if you want a more expensive solution, we had a nameplate embossing machine in our metal fabrication shop. Ours was made by a company called Seton – but I see lots of others on eBay

A more modern approach would probably use a computerized laser etching machine

BTW – in the business – we more often labelled the cabinets (Lista and Vidmar) bins (liked our Rotabins and compartmentalized Knaack boxes or upfitted trucks) with P-Touch labels – that did peel off from time to time. The guys – still used Sharpies to scrawl labels on the cases and bags that went into the bins.

Thanks fellas. I am going to research a solution Fred implied. Rivoting a ‘metal engraved’ (or similar) ‘placquard’ to the front of the bag. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Merry Christmas to all!

Alright, so after everyone’s feedback, some research for available materials and cost, and evaluating how much time and effort I felt this was worth- here is what I can up with:

I purchased these name tags from Amazon for $10.45.

They are magnetic and the backing has double sided tape as well. I removed the back and drilled a hole 1/8" hole thru the metal plate.

I then centered the plate on the bag where I wanted it, drilled another hole in the bag and used a 1/8" steel river with backing to affix to the bag.

Then using Avery clear address labels, I printed out the label of each tool in the bag, peeling and sticking to the front of the name tag.

Final product after attaching the name tag to the magnetic back


Looks neat, professional and easy to do at a reasonable cost.
I’ll have to give it a try.