Do I need a welding jacket?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Welding Society (AWS), the best way for welders to stay safe on the job is to wear head-to-toe protection and use welding safety equipment. Although not all of the following safety measures are required, it’s important for welders to have the right welding protective gear to help prevent work-related injuries.
During the working day, professional welders are exposed to a collection of fumes, sparks and heat that can be a real danger if not adequately protected against.
Finding the best safety equipment is key and being able to identify the right type of protection for each job can sometimes be a tricky process.
One of the most important and protective pieces of equipment is a welders jacket as they’re excellent for all-over protection.
A welding jacket is standard for any welding safety gear list or PPE list. While leather is often recommended because it isn’t flammable and provides protection, many welders find leather too hot and prefer fire-resistant cotton jackets with leather sleeves. Some welders also choose to wear leather jackets under their jackets for an extra layer of protection.
The quality of a welding jacket will certainly depend on the fabric or material used in its construction. Welding jackets should be made from an extremely durable material like cowhide or pigskin leather.
The use of jackets, whether made from traditional cowhides or unique pigskins, provide a high level of protection when any welding task is involved.
There are two basic types of jackets available. There are half jackets that offer lower waist protection and full jackets that protect the welder’s entire front side.
Some jackets are made of heavy denim or cotton. These are available at very reasonable prices compared to their leather counterparts. High-quality jackets use flame retardant cotton to better protect the welder from high heat or even open flames.
All of the materials mentioned above helps to ensure that the jacket won’t ignite when sparks fly. However, it is crucial to know that some jackets are only flame-retardant treated. These will lose flame resistance properties after laundering.
It is important to pick a welding jacket that provides the right combination of strength, protection and comfort.
Something worth mentioning is high heat from welding can make colours bleed from certain jackets onto clothes. Keep this in mind when choosing and wearing your new jacket.
What are the best welding jackets?
Following are the four best welding jackets from some of the top welding equipment manufacturers in the industry:
Black Stallion 220CS Cowhide Welding Cape
Black Stallion is a big name when it comes to welding equipment. Undoubtedly, their welding jackets are the best as well. Black Stallion has been producing the most affordable, durable and highly protective welding jackets for a long time. Black Stallion 220CS Cowhide Welding Cape is one of them.
Coming at a reasonable price, it is the best welding jacket if you need to perform heavy-duty welding tasks in any of the seasons throughout the year. With this capability, you do not need to worry about UV burns at all, no matter how long you are going to work. Most welders who work in industries need a high-quality welding jacket, and they come at a higher price as well. This is the least expensive yet highest quality jacket to get.
Whether you are doing industrial or commercial welding, you are protected from all burning metal problems with this welding jacket by Black Stallion. It has a very nice fit if you get one according to your size.
It is best to get for household welding as it fits well in all weathers (except when it is really hot) and saves you from any risk of burning as you are relatively less skilled at welding at the beginning of your career. One thing you might need with it is the right gloves as its arms are not long enough to cover your hands.
Overall, Black Stallion 220CS Cowhide Welding Cape is the best option to consider if you need an all-rounder welding jacket that is extremely safe. For really hot weather I would consider buying a pair of welding sleeves. I have a post about them here.
- Best for industrial work
- Perfect for all seasons
- Worth the price
- Might get a little too hot in the summertime
Miller Electric 2241909
Miller Electric is known to produce the best welding jackets. Miller Electric combines the key features that are needed in the fire-resistant jackets and produce gear accordingly.
It comes with a high level of protection during summers. With a composition of 88% cotton and 12% nylon, it is the most lightweight welding jacket. Also, this combination of cotton and nylon makes it highly durable. And it is not expensive either. Overall, it is the best welding jacket for hot weather.
Due to these great specs, you do not need to rely on any other welding jacket for summer use. The cotton and nylon make it perfect to be worn over your regular summer clothes without feeling very hot and uncomfortable. It provides great ease and comfort so you can continue working without breaks.
Another good thing is that it has a high neck collar and a good arm fit up to wrists. This makes it very protective so it can deliver the main purpose. However, the material cannot help with highly intense sparks, and they can damage the jacket, if not the body.
Overall, it is a great choice when it comes to the best welding jacket for hot weather.
- Great body fit
- Durable and affordable
- Best for hot weather
- Not good for heavy welding jobs
Lincoln Electric K2989
Lincoln Electric is a well-reputed brand when it comes to welding equipment. It delivers a high degree of strength and protection. The best thing about Lincoln Electric is that it manufactures welding jackets keeping in view the needs of the welders. So the best welding jacket by Lincoln Electric in terms of durability and heavy welding jobs is Lincoln Electric K2989 Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket.
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Its leather material makes it very durable, powerful and suitable to be used in colder climates as well. Interestingly, it has a super stitch. Its triple stitched seams make it stronger and prevent fraying. The best thing about the K2989 Heavy Duty Jacket is that it has a long neck and sleeves to cover your neck and the wrists. It serves a dual function as it saves you from the chilly weather as well as burns and sparks that might catch your neck and hands.
The collar fit is, however, optional. If you feel heated up, you can take it off. With a long 32-inch body covering and zippers for convenience to wear and take off, this has proved to be a fitted jacket for heavy welding jobs.
However, as it is a heavy-duty jacket and is made of leather, it might be a little too heavy for some. Also, it cannot be worn in warm weather as it can be really hot and uncomfortable. That is why it is specifically chosen for heavy welding, especially in colder weather.
Overall, it is the best welding jacket to get if you live in an area that has a cold climate most of the year and requires a durable welding jacket for heavy welding purposes.
- Best for winters
- Heavy-duty jacket
- Durable and strong
- Uncomfortable in summers
BSX BX9C Black
BSX is a well-known welding equipment manufacturing company. Over the years, it has been making the most affordable products in the market for welding purposes. BX9C Cotton Welding Jacket is one of them.
It is the least expensive welding jacket out there with all the main specs and features that must be present in a high-quality welding jacket. It is designed to provide comfort and convenience to the welder. For maximum movability, the welder is free to work with this flame-resistant welding jacket.
In addition to this, it provides maximum coverage at this low price. The neck and wrists are all covered to ensure maximum safety and protection from burns, sparks and harmful heat waves and dangerous rays.
Moreover, the cotton material makes it very lightweight that contributes more to its flexibility. Overall, it is Amazon’s top choice due to its high selling rate and the features it presents at such a low price.
However, you might want to consider other options if you need a welding jacket for a heavy-duty welding job in a colder climate.
- Highly affordable
- Durable and flexible
- Maximum coverage and protection
- Not suitable for heavy welding
- Not ideal for colder climate
What are the welding jacket materials?
It’s important that not every welding jacket offers the same quality and comfort. Across brands, welding jackets come in varying levels of composition (typically leather), insulation, and structure. As an adept welder, you probably know that a pair of welding chaps and a welding jacket offer the best possible protection—though it can be pricy to own this amount of welding gear. So, a high-quality welding jacket is the best option for cost-conscious welders.
As an item of protection that can guard against high heat and metal splatter, you’ll want to find a welding jacket that offers both fire-resistant materials with some form of thermal insulation. Of course, welding jackets are perfect for cold weather environments, but they can be a year-round solution for personal protection, provided that you don’t overheat while working in higher temperature environments.
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While leather is the go-to for most welders, you can find welding jackets made from chemically-altered cotton that offer resistance to heat and flame, but offer more flexibility, comfort, and lower heat-retention. Other synthetic materials (like aramids, popularly known as Kevlar and Nomex) can offer superior protection, but may not keep your body warm in cold-weather project environments. Then there are carbon fibre welding jackets, which tend to be less flexible, but offer protection in high-temperature situations that experience a lot of splatters. It’s important to know that some jackets incorporate vulcanized rubber into the materials, which helps out in heavy splatter situations. Lastly, if you’re an occasional welder, a denim jacket can be used in low-splatter situations, though you should expect the jacket to not last very long for more work-intensive projects.
Both material of the welding jacket, as well as ease of its use, are very significant factors. However, more importance should be given to convenience as if you are not comfortable while doing your job, there is an increased risk of dangers and catching sparks. As far as material is concerned, you do not necessarily need to buy leather for ultra-protection. Many of the cotton welding jackets come with fire-resistant qualities that will save you from burns and keeping you from sweating.
Should I consider the style preference of my welding jacket?
It is important to pick a style that is comfortable. Make sure it fits well because an uncomfortable piece of clothing is less apt to be worn.
A comfortable fit can assure a smoother welding operation even after long periods.
You might find welding jackets that wrap, clip, or tie at the waist, providing protection from the waist down, more comfortable. Of course, a welding jacket of some sort will be needed to protect your upper torso.
Others may prefer a full welding jacket that looks similar to a chef’s jacket. These one-piece jackets provide more coverage and protection.
Welders come in different sizes, so various length jackets are available. Consequently, picking the right cut and style is fairly easy whatever build you may be.
You will want to consider your welding style in addition to the welding tasks at hand when picking the best jackets to use. For instance, long jackets are better in providing more protection and safety. But, it is crucial to also put into consideration mobility and practicality.
Half-cut jackets can offer lower protection compared to longer jackets but provide more mobility and comfort. To mobility and coverage, split leg welding bibs are the way to go.
What do I need to consider in choosing my welding jacket?
Welding jackets are the most important personal protection equipment for a welder. If you are already into welding, you must know the importance of owning a best fire resistant welding jacket to ensure your protection. If not, let me make it very clear that without proper safety gear, you are not going to go much further in your welding career without hurting yourself.
Finding the best fire resistant welding jacket might be a difficult task as there are a number of options available out there. To ease that for you, here is a review of the best welding jackets that suit your needs of protection best and provide safety from heat and burns as well as UV and IR radiation.
Unrivalled Protection Area
Welders jackets have the advantage of being one piece of safety equipment that will cover a number of different areas, including the torso, shoulders, arms, neck and back, like no other piece of equipment on the market.
Jackets can range in material from leather all the way through to complete fire-proofed wool, as well as everything in between - depending on the temperature of the environment that work is being carried out.
A welders jacket will be fire-proofed material as standard and give a user ideal mobility, even when fully closed. The coverage area of a good welders jacket will protect against heat from flames, as well as protection from any stray scrap or projectiles whilst on a job.
Industry Standard For Safety
The welding industry is one that recognizes the importance of safety equipment like no other, with workers understanding how PPE safety equipment is mandatory, so it’s unlikely anyone you know or work with will be skipping on the correct safety gear.
Every piece of welding equipment, jackets included, must meet the EN ISO 11611 regulation - this is an industry-standard for welding clothing and something that must be abided by when companies are creating safety jackets.
All forms of welding protection will have been thoroughly tested to withstand repeated washings to ensure that it’s completely safe from the day of purpose up to and past the hundredth wash.
Comfortable Fit For All Jobs
When purchasing a new welders jacket, be sure to take your time and make sure that any potential purchase meets the required safety standards.
Outside of these industry standards that a welders jacket is required to have, both the comfort and fit are equally as important to ensure your productivity levels are at a high and you can keep going all day.
Be sure to try on your jacket of choice to determine if it fits nicely and will allow you to carry out your work in a controlled manner.
Are there any other additional options for my welding jacket?
There are additional differences in the type of jacket that you might choose to wear:
There is a split leg style that snaps or ties basically behind the knee; sort of like chaps for cowboys or motorcycle riders.
Also, there is a side split option where the top front is covered, and it ties in the back, like a jacket.
Additionally, a full jacket that snapped upfront and made of fire-resistant material is available.
There is a full-length jacket made of leather with the tie at the neck and back.
And for complete bodily protection, a full suite much like overalls is offered.
Is it important to find the right size?
Typically, welding jackets are given a standard size (S, M, L, XL) that’s based on your chest measurement. To find your size without having the option to try on a variety in-store, you’ll need to wrap a tape measure under your armpits and around the bulkiest part of your chest. It’s important to make sure that the tape measure is snug, but not so tight that it presses into your skin, leaving red marks or constricting your breathing. Also, be careful to relax during the measurement (i.e. don’t puff out your chest), as this can throw off the true reading. Once you have the measurement, compare it to the sizing chart of your choice of welding jacket to get the correct size for your welding needs.
They come in different standard sizes. Usually, you can easily get small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes in welding jackets. The best way to get to know which size is right for you is by matching your chest measurement with the size chart of the product. If the jacket fits your chest, it will most probably fit best to your body overall.
However, it should be noted that if you have a larger-than-average belly, you may want to substitute a belly measurement for the chest measurement. The reason is that you may find it difficult to button or zip up your jacket when it comes time to weld, limiting your mobility and making it difficult to feel comfortable. The process to obtain a belly measurement is nearly the same, but you’ll want to run the tape around your belly button instead. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid measuring around the hips, as this area tends to be thinner than your true girth.
How long do welding jackets last?
Like any of your welding supplies, you know that there’s a window of depreciation that a welding jacket has, based on the amount of use and wear it receives. Most welding jackets are designed to last between 3-5 years with regular wear and even less if you’re welding every workday. It’s a fact of welding life that the heat- and flame-resistant features of the welding jacket are going to wear down, so expect to upgrade accordingly.
Safety comes first, and so fire-resistant gear is a must for welders. There must be no compromise over getting the best PPE for yourself.
Therefore, provided above is a complete insight into the welding jackets along with the ultimate guide on how to choose the best welding jacket. If you consider all of the above-mentioned factors before getting a new fire-retardant jacket for yourself, it will prove to be worth it. If you are too lazy for that, you can consider any of the four listed in this post. You are not going to regret the money you spend on any one of these.