The above video is from 2014. The current full grain leather belt only comes in one width, and the buckle was upgraded to 316 Stainless Steel instead of nickel plated brass.
This sizing chart will help you get precisely the correct belt size. Please read it. Until about November 2018, we used to say, "Buy two sizes up from the pant size you generally wear. But that was stupid. So we went back to a logical sizing chart below.
A Full Grain Leather Belt, and Why That's Important
Imagine you caught someone shaving the shingles off of your roof. You'd want to kick them below the belt, right? They would be taking off the toughest and most protective part of the roof, and now your house would have problems. Well, that's what low class leather belt makers do to leather.
See, in their search to save money, they buy C and D Grade leather full of scars that nobody can use. Then they shave off the top part of the leather to get rid of scars and blemishes. But in doing so, they shave off the grain, which is the top layer and the toughest and most protective part of the leather, and then your leather belt just falls apart sooner than later. But those guys actually want the belt to break, then you have to buy another. So it creates recurring revenue for them. If there is a little bit of grain still there, then that's called Top Grain leather. We buy the expensive A Grade Leather with the full amount of grain (full grain) leather and make leather belts with it.
Leather Belts Made From Old Bulls
And we don't just buy the standard 1/8" thin leather; we buy the most expensive leather that is just under 1/4" thick. I can only get it this thick by ordering "Heavy Steer" hides. Most cows are slaughtered between 15 to 18 months old, but these bulls lost their lives at about 24 months old. That extra time doesn't give them much more meat, but it does give them thicker skin.
Just in case you don't know, a "steer" is a bull that was robbed of his crown jewels.
That's important because, like a eunuch (a neutered man) who guarded the king's harem, the hormones now are redirected to muscle and size. This is the thickest leather we can get. You won't find that in department store belts. A department store belt is made to hold your pants up long enough to get a real belt. A customer will buy one because it is cheap or has a fancy designer name on it. But, you won't get a guarantee on it; those belts are not rigid and durable enough to stand behind.
Save yourself from embarrassment when you search for a new belt to wear. You don't want your jeans to fall to the floor with a low quality belt.
Full Grain Leather Belts Tanned for Strength and Longevity
Our leather was not cheaply tanned. Vegetable tanning takes a long time to do right. Low quality tanneries only soak it for two to three weeks, but ours was allowed to soak up the tannins for 6 to 8 weeks which makes it stronger and last longer, which in turn makes your leather belt to be stronger and lasts longer too. It's more than style; we create belts to last a lifetime and pass down.
High End 316 Stainless Steel Hardware
Metallurgists think we're lying when we tell them our belt hardware is made of 316 Stainless Steel. The clasps on our bags were tested to hold up to 750 lbs. These buckles are thicker than those and can probably hold up to 1000 lbs. It's like killing a fly with a shotgun, but it's nice to know it will never have a problem and that I could trust my life to this buckle and this leather belt if I really needed to. This buckle will not break.
Design Of This Full Grain Leather Belt
All belts on the market only have 5 holes, 1" apart, and that start 4" from the tip, so it looks cleaner to people looking at your groin area. But they shouldn't do that. I designed this belt with 9 holes that are 3/4" apart so it can adjust comfortably. This belt will never be slightly too loose or too tight before or after meals. Along with that, the holes start 2" from the tip just in case you need to use your leather belt to strap down something to the roof rack of your rig.
How to Spot Good Quality Leather Belts
There are all types of belt styles, from everyday wear to special occasions such as weddings. These belts can go with everything. But how do you know if the belt is made of good-quality leather? Here are a few tips:
-Look for belts made from full grain leather. This is the highest quality of leather available and will ensure your belt is durable and long-lasting.
-Check how long the leather for the belt was vegetable tanned. You probably will not be able to find that information; they are too embarrassed to admit it. Our tanning process is more expensive and time-consuming, but it produces stronger and more durable leather.
-Make sure the hardware on the belt is made from high-quality materials such as 316 stainless steel. This will ensure that your belt buckle is solid and long-lasting. The belt buckle should last as long as the leather.
-Look for a belt that has been designed for comfort and durability. A good quality belt will have holes 3/4" apart and start 2" from the tip.
-Check the reviews of the full grain leather belts to see what other people have said about them. A quick Google search on them will reveal a wealth of information about any given belt.
When you keep these tips in mind, you can be sure that you are getting a good quality belt that will last you for many years. Or, in the case of our full grain leather belts, you will pass them down to your kids and grandkids.
The Importance of Thickness in a Leather Belt
A leather belt needs to be at least 5mm thick to be a decent quality belt. Our old bull leather belts are 5.5mm to 6mm, just short of a quarter of an inch thick. The problem is when you go to a store and ask for a leather belt that's at least 3/16" thick they will give you a blank stare. Why? Because the vast majority of leather belts out there are paper thin, less than 3.8 mm. Not full grain leather, and more specifically, not old bull leather.
Measure your current belt and see. Unless it is a Saddleback Leather Belt, you will probably find the measurement to be less than 1/8 of an inch thick. To make a living, the belt makers think they have to cut as many belts out of a hide as possible, and that's only possible if they use very thin leather that's been shaved down. Don't try to attach any other gear to it. That thin leather will break and drop your belt holster as soon as you put a sidearm in it.
The Bottom Line: A Better Belt
I'm not just trying to sell you a belt. I'm trying to show you the best leather belt that will last for years and years on any occasion. A belt that will become more comfortable with age and a belt that will develop a rich patina over time.
I know it's hard to imagine, but many guys who have never owned a good quality leather belt are amazed at the difference. It's more than style. It's like the difference between a Pinto and a Mercedes Benz. Or, if you've never had an expensive steak, the difference between a T-bone from Walmart and one from Omaha Steaks.
Don't throw away money and settle on a belt that will stretch, crack, and break. Instead, go for one made with the best materials.
When you invest in a full grain leather belt from Saddleback Leather, you're not just getting a belt but peace of mind. A belt that will last your lifetime and only look better with age.
Thickness: 5.50mm to 6mm
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