A great scanner holster is a necessity because it keeps the essential part of your gear well protected. There’s nothing more annoying than having to constantly check whether your scanner gun is in place or not.
So, the choice of a holster is especially important to ensure unimpeded workflow. This article features top 20 ideas for scanner holsters to help you make an informed choice.
1. Belt Loop Holsters
Traditionally, scanner guns are hip-mounted, and belt loop holsters are among the safest options. The belt keeps the holster fastened to your utility belt. There’s no way the holster can slip off your belt, whatever you might be doing.
Ideally, it goes around your belt tightly, preventing holster and scanner movement. Otherwise, the loose holster might bother you as you proceed with your daily activities.
2. Clip Connection Holsters
Clip connection holsters are a classy-looking option, and the clip keeps the holster tight to your utility belt. Commonly, they feature metallic reinforcement to secure a tight grip. If you inadvertently push the holster up, it won’t slip off the utility belt.
Also, this type of holster is much easier to remove without taking off the entire belt. You just need to unlock or unfasten the clip and pull out the holster. This is particularly useful when you need to carry several different items besides the scanner holster.
3. Open-Top Holsters
These holsters are the most convenient to use because you can easily pull out the scanner gun. They are great for work environments where you walk and stand most of the time.
However, they might not be the perfect choice if you need to climb or reach for items. Even though most open-top holsters hold the scanner gun tightly, there’s a chance the device might fall out.
4. Close-Top Holsters
If the job requires you to climb, reach, and move around a lot, a close-top holster is the best choice. The top cover secures the scanner gun and it won’t fall out no matter what you do.
When choosing a close-top holster make sure it’s easy for you to pull out the scanner gun. Typically, these holsters feature a fold-and-snap top with a magnetic lock. So, you shouldn’t struggle to get the gun out, but putting it back in place might require both hands.
5. Lid-Flap Holsters
Lid-flap holsters are a variation of the close-top models. The top flap covers the entire back and only the gun’s handle is exposed. Additionally, there are buttons on each side of the flap to secure the gun.
Sure, you need to unfasten the buttons each time, and putting the gun back is a bit fiddly. But this type of holster is still an excellent choice for those who move around a lot.
6. Retainer Strap Holster
These holsters are like a crossover between closed and open-top scanners. The top of the holster is open, but there’s a strap that keeps the scanner in place. These models are best suited to tablet-like scanners like Sonim’s RS80.
It might be tricky to place a gun-like scanner in this type of a holster as most models aren’t designed to account for the handle. But for models like the RS80, they work like a charm.
7. Shoulder Strap Holsters
As indicated by the name, these holsters strap to your shoulder rather than the utility belt. They are a good option for those who don’t need to wear the scanners all the time, but would benefit from a convenient mounting.
At best, the strap would cover both shoulders, much like firearm holsters. If not, you might be bothered by the holster movement as you walk around a warehouse.
8. Wrist-Mount Holsters
This type of a holster is the most convenient, particularly if you just need to aim the device to scan a barcode. Due to the specific mounting system these aren’t suitable for gun-type scanners. However, they work great with tablet-like models such as Sonim’s RS80.
The only thing to keep in mind is how the holster straps onto your wrist. It should be secure without any movement, but provide enough comfort so you can freely use your hands.
9. Finger-Mount Holsters
Actually, this is more of a scanner type than a holster. But because the mounting is so convenient, finger-mount scanners earned a place on this list.
They’re a good option for high-volume, fast-paced warehouses and retail settings. The scanning action is quick and it keeps both your hands free. Plus, you’ll really need to try hard to pull this type of a scanner off your finger, and they might come with additional holsters.
10. Leg-Strap Holsters
If you need to carry a scanner gun throughout the day, but don’t like utility belts, a leg strap holster might be the thing for you. They usually feature a retainer strap to keep the gun in place and the holster itself stays put while you move.
But since you’re mounting the holster to your leg, comfort is one of the key characteristics to look for. If the holster is too tight on the leg, you’ll soon want to take it off or loosen the straps.
11. Tethered Holsters
Tethered holsters are particularly convenient because they fasten the scanner gun to the holster and your belt. There’s no way your scanner would break even if it falls out as the tether prevents it from hitting the ground.
The only thing you need to ensure is that the tether is long enough for you to reach the items that are high or far away. If not, you’ll always need to unfasten the scanner gun, then fasten it back.
12. Loop Holsters
This is a variation of a tethered holster. But instead of a tether, there’s a loop that holds your scanner gun in place. Usually, loop holsters are open-top to allow for one-handed use and easier handling.
You’ll need to put the loop back on after using the scanner, but this isn’t too much of a problem. The loop holster may prevent you from mixing up your scanner with another one. And they do a great job of keeping the device in place.
13. Nylon Holsters
Nylon holsters are a relatively inexpensive and easy to use solution. They can be open or close-top and often feature a loop tether.
As nylon is a soft material, you should look for a model that has a metallic clip connection. This provides some additional rigidity and will keep the holster in place when you move around. But keep in mind that lower end nylon holsters might be prone to wear and tear.
14. Metal Holsters
These are the most durable and offer scanner gun protection that’s hard to rival. The downside is that metal holsters are heavier compared to other types. But when securely strapped to a utility belt, it’s not like you’ll feel too much of a difference.
More importantly, many metal holsters are suitable for mounting to flat surfaces.
15. Leather Holsters
After metal holsters, the leather variants are the most durable. They’re made of thick hide which offers plenty of reinforcement for your scanner gun. Also, some leather holsters are mountable to flat surfaces.
However, these are usually open-top models, which is something to account for if you wish to strap it to your belt.
16. Holsters With Accessory Pockets
Holsters with accessory pockets are often closed-top and may feature a belt of their own. The latter may depend on the number and size of the accessory pockets. But there are also holsters with accessory pockets that strap to your belt.
Either way, the key characteristics to account for are the size and weight of the holster, especially when fully loaded. That’s because you want to ensure the holster is comfortable to wear and doesn’t feel as if it’s pulling you to one side.
17. Antimicrobial Holsters
These holsters are made of special materials that repel microbes and other contaminants. They’re used in healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical, and food-processing industries.
Other than that, these holsters have the same design features as other types. But most models are close-top as an extra protection to prevent cross-contamination.
18. Handcart-Mountable Holsters
In retail settings, handcart-mountable holsters are a lifesaver as they help streamline the work flow. The scanner sits conveniently in front of you, freeing up both hands.
More importantly, mounting the holster to a handcart is safer because it’s isolated from your body. And these holsters are a great option for tablet-like scanners such as RS60 and RS80 from Sonim.
19. Column-Mountable Holsters
Using a column-mountable holster is convenient in warehouse and industrial settings where there’s no need to carry the scanner all the time. Typically, the scanner stays in the holster at the end of a row and is taken out only when necessary. And they can be open or close-lid depending on the environment.
20. Forklift-Mountable Holsters
If you need to operate a forklift and use a scanner, it’s best to keep the device mounted to the vehicle. You won’t risk hitting the scanner when getting in and out of the forklift. Plus, there’s less chance you’ll misplace the scanner itself.
When all is said and done, your choice of a scanner holster depends on your needs. If the device has to be by your side at all times, it’s best to get a model that mounts to your belt. Other than that, consider getting a scanner that features a loop or a tether for extra protection.
If you want to know more about holsters or scanners, please reach out!