Why get a welding jacket?
Well, if you weld, you already know the importance of personal protective equipment. Your PPE is immensely important, and almost nothing is as important to your well-being as your jacket when you’re in those hot and heavy environments where welding is common.
In fact, finding the right welding jacket might just be one of the most important part of your welding so let’s show you some great protective clothing and then we’ll get into what makes each uniquely suited for the people who might choose them. So . . .
Here are our reviews of the 4 best welding jackets on the market as reviewed by Australian General Engineering, your local metal fabrication company.
BLACK STALLION BSX® FR Welding Jacket
If you’re a light duty welder, then this budget option is probably exactly what you’re looking for. It’s light and breezy compared to most outer PPE and as long as you keep it all the way zipped it’ll protect from medium sparks and UV exposure.
The main draw of this one is the low price, but it’s the full package deal for the right person. The collar comes up tightly, it fits true, and it doesn’t look half bad when all is said and done. If you’re going to be spending the entire day doing heavy welding, however, it may be better to invest some more money in a slightly stronger option. Still, it remains one of the best welding jackets for the money.
This jacket gives great coverage, even for taller people or those with long limbs. For the most part this is down to having a long 30 inch length, as well as an adjustable stand-up collar to protect higher up the neck. It’s super comfortable to wear and gives effortless mobility, thanks to satin lining in the shoulders and arms. The addition of fastening snaps just enhance how effortless it is to move around in this jacket – as well as to take it on and off – which I don’t have to tell you is a rare design feature in welding clothing! As if that wasn’t enough, the stitching has been finished with lame-resistant Kevlar thread to give added strength and durability, making this a really impressive jacket overall.
The lining of this jacket makes it rather thick, which in turn increases its weight as well. This can make it hot an uncomfortable to wear during warm weather or for heavy duty welding. In addition, although the extra coverage and protection is great, it might not be necessary for many applications; it’s a bit of an overkill for anything other than overhead welding.
This jacket offers fantastic levels of protection, so given that the only real drawback is the fact that it gets hot to wear, it’s excellent value for money.
Avalable In Small, Medium, Large and X-Large
Miller Welding Jacket, Navy, Cotton/Nylon, XL Welding Jacket
There’s a lot to be said for these cheaper cotton/nylon blended jackets. They protect quite well and they’re super easy to move in. This one is available for the larger people (medium-sized folks can find it here), but for those it’ll fit you’re in good hands. The extra tight fitted sleeves are a nice touch, although some may find that the collar is a little bit loose.
It holds up well enough for the occasional spark, but without spending three times the cost on a truly expensive coat you’re still not going to want to catch slag. UV burns shouldn’t be a problem, however, so if you want something for all day but light duty welding then you’ll be in good hands with this coat. It’ll give you the right welding protection that you’ll need.
The designers of this jacket have come up with a stylish, tapered and athletic fit, meaning that it looks good and fits well too. Putting on and taking off the jacket is a breeze, thanks to the satin lining which offers smooth movement. In addition, expandable leather in key places just makes it even easier and more comfortable to wear this jacket for long periods of time.
This leather isn’t cheap; it’s made from premium grade pigskin which has been stitched with Kevlar thread to give high levels of strength, durability and protection. In fact, the protection is really impressive, with a flame-resistant cuff around the wrist area, and a stand-up collar to protect the neck during out of position or overhead welding – both of which are features that you won’t necessarily find on cheaper models.
You should be careful if you want to wear this jacket for overhead welding. Although it is suitable for this purpose, there have been reports of sparks working their way between the buttons and down inside the pockets, which isn’t ideal. If you have anything flammable in the pockets or if you’re wearing anything that will burn easily, then this could land you in a lot of trouble.
By all accounts, this is a top quality welding jacket from one of the biggest names in the industry. It’s seriously impressive, as long as you don’t put anything flammable in the pocket!
Black Stallion 220CS Cowhide Welding Jacket Bib Combo
There’s no need to kid yourself, if you’re going to be doing serious, heavy duty welding then you’re going to be spending some serious money. But what you get with this Black Stallion is definitely worth it, and the included bib is just a bonus. UV burns aren’t even a concern no matter how long you’re at it and you’ll be protected from all but the nastiest of molten metal problems while wearing it.
The only problem with it seems to be that the cuff buttons don’t fit quite right on smaller arms, but chances are if you’re investing in a jacket of this caliber you’ll be able to find the right gloves to make everything work out just right. If you’re in industrial welding and can’t quite afford top tier gear yet, make this your first welding jacket and you won’t regret it. Hands down, it’s among the best welding jackets out there.
Caiman Black Boarhide – 30″Jacket, Welding Jacket
Unlike cowhide, boarhide offers an amazing amount of protection while still letting you move freely. This jacket will protect you from slag, UV radiation, and just about anything else you might encounter during a normal day while looking stylish enough to be worn just about anywhere.
The cost is up there, but that’s for a reason: it’s a flexible, powerfully protective jacket that won’t have you overheating or worrying about the slings and arrows of your job. Give it a shot—you won’t be disappointed.
Being made from high quality boarhide pigskin leather, this jacket it far lighter in weight than most other jackets that are made from cowhide. The material makes this jacket cool, comfortable and flexible, allowing you to move easily while wearing it, while still offering excellent protection. In fact, movement is made even smoother and easier by the fact that the shoulders and sleeves have been lined with satin. On the one hand, this jacket is cool and comfortable, due to the fact that it has vented underarms; on the other hand, it’s been reinforced at its weakest points and stitched with Kevlar thread, increasing its strength and durability.
This isn’t the longest jacket in the world, so some people might find it too short, especially those who are taller or with longer torsos. In addition, some wearers have identified that the collar sometimes feels too tight, while the arms have been cut generously, resulting in a fit that’s slightly too loose.
Without a doubt, this is one of the cooler, lighter jackets on the market. That said, it’s still really strong and gives good protection, which is a real advantage.
The Welding Jacket—Cornerstone of Welding Protection Clothing
Gloves and masks are pretty much a given, but more than one individual has made the mistake of trying to weld in just a shirt. This might be fine for brazing a joint, but if your job has you running a welder all day then you need more protection than you might think.
Welding Jacket Material Matters
Cotton/Nylon blends offer a lot of protection from sparks. What they don’t do is make sure that you’re truly protected from slagor UV radiation. Except for jackets that cost just as much as the generally superior leather ones, you’ll find out something surprising: long term exposure to UV radiation over the course of a day can still give you a mild burn through these lighter materials.
It’s not much of a concern for those who are only occasionally welding, but it can be a serious concern for some welders.
Leather is a great material for protection. You won’t get a UV burn through it and it will definitely keep you protected from sparks and often even sizable chunks of slag. The problem with it is that it gets hot and it’s relatively stiff, which makes things a little bit harder on the welder.
It’s pretty much the bare minimum you should aim for if you’re working in an industrial environment however and it can be relied on.
Of more interest to most career welders, however, is boarhide, which offers nearly one hundred percent of the protective qualities of leather while still being lightweight. This is the material of choice for those who can afford it. It’s a great material although it gets very expensive if you’re looking at truly industrial set ups.
Welding Jacket Fitting Concerns
Fit is also important. High collars can keep a hot spark from going down your shirt, and close fitting buttons are super important as a protective measure.
Cuffs are another thing which need to be held together super well, but these can be mitigated to some extent by having the correct gloves.
If this is your first case of buying PPE for welding, just make sure that any disadvantages offered by the items you go with can be mitigated by the rest of your gear.
Sadly, welding is inherently a dangerous profession, but you can reduce most of the risk to yourself with the right choice of gear. Finding the best welding jacket around is one of the best ways to begin with this, so make sure that you make the right choice and you’ll be much happier once you get on the job. Good luck!