There’s nothing more satisfying than getting your welding gun and bending electricity to your will. Whether you’re just doing a TIG, MIG, Stick weld, or even something more intense like an arc weld, getting to the end of your weld, grinding it down to reveal the beautiful work you've done is very satisfying.
Like many professions out there, welding is also fraught with its own dangers. Bending electricity to your will requires special skill. However, the level of electricity required is quite intense.
This is the reason why a protective wear is mandatory.
From there, the heat produced is around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s enough to cause serious damage to the body without even the body coming into contact with the source of heat. The best welding jackets are going to protect you from intense heat and allows you to move freely without being caught on anything. These jackets are typically made from leather or flame-resistant cotton.
As the metal gives in to the power of electricity or gas from your welding gun, some pieces will refuse to conform and break off. As they break off, they will splutter all over. These splutters are hot and can cause severe damage when they come into contact with the body.
This is the reason why gloves, work shoes, and welding jackets are important for your safety.
However, not all jackets offer the same level of protection, or will even last you several years.
Top Welding Aprons in 2023
1. Lincoln Electric Leather Sleeved Welding Jacket
Lincoln Electric is highly revered among people who know what the name is. Actually, the name has come to be so much associated with quality, it’s difficult not to picture the quality of their products whenever they’re mentioned.
The Lincoln Electric Leather Sleeved Welding Jacket will not be the exception to this association. The arms are made from top of the line cowhide split leather. This is to offer protection from spatters and excessive heat when you’re working. The rest of the jacket is made from flame-retardant cotton to stop your jacket from lighting up with fire.
Made with comfort and flexibility in mind, most welding jackets are noticeable heavy and stiff. Lincoln Electric did a great job with this design made for long hours of welding.
Although in terms of protection, it doesn’t offer as much as an all-leather jacket, the fact that it is lightweight and breathable makes it worth investing. It is also covered with anti-static agents and mildew spray, coating to make sure it does not become a hazard as it wears.
2. Steiner 1260-L Weldlite
As the name suggests, this jacket is best used for lighter applications. If you’re a heavy-duty welder, then this may not be the option for you. That being said though, the features it carries make the Steiner 1260-L Weldlite a worthy choice to consider.
It is made in the same way as the Lincoln jacket; leather sleeves and flame-retardant cotton for the rest of it. However, the main difference comes in the form. Whereas the Lincoln jacket is of a single color, this Steiner is more stylish with its brown arms and navy-blue body.
The collar may not offer as much neck protection as other jackets, and this definitely means it cannot be used for overhead welding.
3. Black Stallion Leather Welding Jacket
Here is a company that thought, “Well, we could go in a different direction and see how it works.” It definitely works for me, as I know this would for many of you. This jacket is made entirely of split leather. The Black Stallion Leather also went ahead to dye part of the leather blue, just to add a different flavor to an otherwise bland lineup.
The collar on this jacket is adjustable to protect from the spatter coming at you from various angles. The inside of the shoulders is also lined with satin, to ensure it slides easily on and off. If you’re not a fan of working with heat under the jacket, then this may not be the one for you.
Here is something that will have you feeling like you’re about to face off with John Wayne to find out who is the fastest gun in the West. This because it is made entirely from split leather, and they chose to die it brown. To top it off, it is stitched together by Kevlar to give you extra protection.
The Qeelink Leather Welding Jacket comes with a number of pockets that you can use you put your tools and consumables in as you work. The only downside to this jacket is heat retention as a result of how heavy it is. If the jacket isn’t something you’d stay with long term, you can return the jacket and receive a full refund.
5. Gotega Flame/Heat Resistant Welding Jacket
Once in a while some manufacturers will try to do something different than what is considered normal. In some cases, they’re innovations become world-famous. In others, those ideas just fizzle out and die. Not in this case with the Gotega.
This jacket, or coat, is actually quite long as it can cover up to the mid thigs, or to the knees. This is a hybrid between a jacket and an apron. The front is made entirely from cowhide. The back though is just open and this jacket is held together by straps and some Velcro.
These characteristics mean that even though you’re working in a hot environment, as the back is open, it can easily shed heat and you can continue working in a cool environment.
6. Miller Electric Welding Jacket 2207775
It’s not everyone who will get up one day and just start doing arc weld for 60 hours a week. Some will only do it occasionally, or some are in a technical school where they’d only weld a few hours a week. In such cases, they won’t go for the top-notch jacket, they need something cheap for occasional use.
That’s what this Miller Electric Jacket is. Made from 88% cotton and 2 percent nylon, this jacket is stretchable than most out there. This, however, means that the fire resistance has been compromised just a little bit.
This jacket is a well thought out design with the high collar and the tight cuffs. It also includes a pocket on the inside.
7. Waylander JC850 Welding Jacket
This welding jacket looks like something that Levi’s or Gap would come up with if they were asked to design one using denim, but that’s not what it is. The Waylander JC850 jacket is made using high-grade leather, it has fire retardant cotton and all this is held together by Kevlar stitching. These three are also known as the fire-resistant triad.
The main material of the jacket is cotton, which makes it quite comfortable to use while welding every day. It also comes lined with satin to improve comfortability and ease of use. It also comes with three pockets to add to its multifunctional credentials.
8. Caiman Boarhide 3029-5 Welding Apparel
Here is one for those who love their jackets to be all leather in build. This is also for those who love to operate with jackets that are dark colors. This jacket is made from, not cow’s leather, but a pig. This means it offers the same protections as cow leather, just in a lighter package.
A lot of thought went into this design. The underarms and the back have vents built into them to allow airing. This by no means compromises on the safety of the jacket, and the insulation properties for those in colder climates.
The one thing letting down this jacket is the collar. Instead of a high collar, Caiman thought I best to just put on a standard collar.
Buying Guide For Welding Jackets
While not a requirement for welding, a welding jacket can add an extra layer of protection while working. If you’re welding daily or for longer periods of time, the jacket will protect your skin from heat and pieces of hot metal. The UV rays that are given off by a welder can actually cause skin burn similar to sun burn.
Welding jackets are made using fire resistant material that is also insulated. There are a number of factors that determine if a jacket is going to work well for your situation. It’s a good idea to read about some of these features before you go shopping online or in-person for a welding jacket. That way, you’ll know all about the different things that you can look for to make your life easier and safer.
You should be able to comfortably move in your welding jacket. Anything that’s too restrictive could put you in danger. If your arms can’t move and you can’t completely bend your elbows, it’s time to move on to another jacket. Pay close attention to how well you can bend and move at the waist as well.
Like any other jacket or article of clothing, a welding jacket will come in sizes anywhere from small to multiple XL. You’ll want to measure your chest and sleeves to see what size bracket you fit into. Sizing up or down too much could affect the safety of the jacket.
The most comfortable and safe material combination for a welding jacket is cotton and leather. You’ll also find other materials on the market such as carbon fiber, denim, nylon and rayon. The type of material used will determine the price point of a specific jacket.
A leather jacket that’s made of real leather is going to cost quite a bit more than artificial leather. But artificial leather can make a product more affordable by far.
Frequently Asked Questions About Welding Jackets
Q: Does the overall weight of the jacket matter?
Welding jackets may feel very light or heavy on your body, depending on what materials were used to make the coat. Leather can be pretty heavy, though it is safest. Trying on a few different jackets can help you determine what feels the best.
Q: Are there different designs and styles to choose from?
There are companies that manufacture very simple welding jackets. You’ll also find that there’s a market for fashionable welding jackets. If you’re working in a shop all day, you may want to purchase something that reflects your style and personality. There’s nothing wrong with this, just make sure the jacket is safe.
Q: Is temperature control something I can look into?
If you work in a hotter climate but still need protection, look for a jacket that is made with moisture wicking material. A jacket that is marketed as being breathable is also beneficial.
There are a lot of contenders for the crown of best welding jacket. To many people, this may be different. However, if we do take into account all the factors put forth, there is only one clear winner of all these contenders.
The Lincoln Electric Leather welding jacket offers the best value in terms of protection, visual appeal and price point. It's near unbeatable when it comes to comfort and flexibility.