To get a great metal welding shirt is a no brainer.
Metal welding is a dangerous activity considering the fact that you’re using a torch to melt metal. Welding shirts make up the bulk of the protection that doesn’t keep you from going blind, and pretty much any welder should make sure that they have one.
Welding jackets are designed to protect your body and arms from the heat, sparks and spatter from welding. The challenge is to find an effective jacket that is really protective without being too hot or heavy to wear for long periods. Some of the industry’s leading names – such as Miller, Lincoln, and others – have all come up with some great designs for both men and women that deliver in terms of style, comfort and protection.
With all of them, the pros far outweigh the cons, so you’re guaranteed to be safe and comfortable whichever jacket you choose!
There’s a lot of them on the market, however, and it can be hard to make sure you have one which suits your needs. We’ve go over what we’ve selected first then afterwards our reviews, go into mroe detail as to what you should be looking for when purchasing.
Below are our recommendations for 4 best welding shirts on the market as rated by Australian General Engineering, your fabrication experts in Melbourne.
Rasco FR Clothing Men’s Hunter Henley Metal Welding Shirt
Raco offers this fire-resistant Henley for those who want something more casual and cheaper than top of the line shirts from bigger companies. In addition to being comfortable it’s easily available in all sizes and boasts a pocket for anything you might need to carry.
It has a fairly generous cut, so order accordingly, but it offers you quite a bit of protection for a low cost. Be advised that the design means it doesn’t have a high collar, however, so it’s not advisable for those who like to weld with goggles instead of a mask.
Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant Lightweight Twill Metal Welding Shirt
Carhatt makes some of the best work clothes around, no matter what field you’re in, and this flame resistant shirt is no exception. It comes in a variety of solid colors, is odor treated, and also wicks moisture away from the body which is a must when you’re working with hot materials (see full specs).
It’ll cost you a bit more, but the fact that it looks like a normal shirt is a huge plus and the brand has been field tested since time immemorial which makes it a definite winner and one of the best welding shirts around.
Rasco PLR756 Men’s Fire Resistant Plaid Metal Welding Shirt
If you’ve been looking for a welding shirt which looks a bit more formal without having to break the bank to get your hands on it, this plaid design from Rasco is fantastic. It’s extremely fire resistant, offers a decent collar, and the three button cuffs are sure to only come loose if you want them to.
The fabric on this one is pretty heavy, and it doesn’t offer any of the advanced features of more expensive brands but it’s field-suitable and the price is a real bargain.
Carhartt Men’s Flame Resistant Metal Welding T-Shirt
As usual, Carhartt delivers with a flame resistant, casual looking long sleeve shirt. It’s primary advantage is its light weight, which makes it ideal for those working in hot and humid climates. You’ll be impressed. In other climates it may be best used as a base layer, however, underneath more extensive clothing.
They’re odor resistant as well, which is something that all of us can appreciate. The high cost may be discouraging to some, but really these metal welding shirts simply can’t be beat if you’re looking for something which will keep you safe in the field without making too hot to handle.
What Use Welding Shirts?
For those who are wondering, it’s important to keep in mind that a welding shirt isn’t a welding jacket. The latter offer more protection and are generally worn over a flame resistant shirt. What these will do is meet OSHA requirements and allow you to work without having to worry about setting your clothing on fire or experiencing the dreaded melting of synthetic fabrics which can occur.
Each company uses their own proprietary blend of materials, whether it’s 100% cotton which has been treated or blends of non-melting synthetics combined with cotton. For the most part, one of these shirts and a pair of fire-resistant jeans will be suitable for lighter tasks.
These are designed to protect from small sparks, of course, and not for repeated exposure to larger bits of molten metal. They’re definitely not the equivalent of a bulletproof vest for welding, but they’ll help to avoid minor injuries while you’re in the field.
Picking out the Best Welding Shirts
Since they’re fairly simple to produce each company offers their own twists and blends and a lot of what you’re looking for will simply come down to personal style. There’s a few things you’ll want to keep in mind though, as long as the shirt meets your aesthetic standards.
Type of Welding Shirts
While something with long sleeves is pretty much required, the type of shirt can affect its usefulness in the field as well. The cuts here aren’t strictly for looks.
Longer shirts will enable you to get some protection just in case something gets through your pants.
Looser shirts can be easier to move in but they’re more prone to letting sparks in. Cuffed sleeves, for instance, are awesome for making sure that nothing flies past your gloves and gives you a shock while you’re running the welder.
High collars can sometimes be found in these shirts, which can prevent smaller bits of flying material from dropping down the front of your shirt but you’re best off relying on a jacket with a high collar to protect your neck. Just make sure to button things all the way up when you’re working to avoid problems.
Material of Welding Shirts
The material used will pretty much always meet HFRC1 standards or the shirts can’t be sold as fire resistant in the first place. This basically means it will resist sparking and not melt when exposed to extreme heat.
What you really want to look for are moisture-wicking materials, which will dry more quickly and move sweat away from the body. This is pretty much a requirement if you’re working in areas where it gets extremely humid, and it’s convenient everywhere else.
The second factor to look for is odor resistance. If you’re used to working around the heat you know there is one certainty in life: you’re going to be sweating. Odor resistance can keep your shirts from being able to clear a room at the end of a long work day.
Welding Shirts Conclusion
If you’re a casual welder at home, then investing in the best welding shirt you could afford is a great idea for your personal safety. It’s pretty much required on job sites, lest you break OSHA standards, but making a good, informed choice and getting the right welding shirt possible is a lot better than relying on whatever the company recommends. So get your shirt, and get welding in more comfort than you ever thought possible. Good luck!