10 Best Welding Jacket and Buying Guide
Say what you may but there is no denying the fact that being a welder exposes you to an array of dangers, the onus is on you to select the best welding jacket to protect you against the work-related hazard.
Prevention they say is better than cure, is there any better way to protect your body from wielding related hazards than by wearing safety apparels that is both affordable and effective in playing the much desired "protection role."
To effectively protect against hazards, welders must insist on welding jackets made from suitable materials which would make the jacket at least fireproof.
Sit back and fasten your seat belt while I take you on a short trip to discover to great extent things or features to look out for while selecting the best welding jacket. For this purpose, ten welding jackets shall be reviewed.
Note: You also need to wear welding helmet, welding boots and welding gloves before working. Read more:
10 Best Welding Jacket
#1. Miller Electric 2241909 Welding Jacket, Navy, Cotton/Nylon, XL
Made from a blend of cotton and nylon this pocket-friendly welding jacket by Miller Electric is the first to be reviewed. The Navy Blue jacket comes with a chest size of 50 inches and a closure type of Snap Button, this might appear to be bigger than the average but who cares so far it can protect against heat while on the job.
The job of a welder is to weld metals and not to show fashion sense while at work.
Having used this jacket personally, I can confidently say it offers a great value for the purchase price it is comfy and protective. But it must be noted it is not suitable for heavy metal or aluminum work.
#2. BXRB9C-L BSX STRYKER FR WELDING JACKET – REVCO
This lightweight jacket comes with a very eye catchy design. Contributing to its elegance apart from its beautiful color is its blue flame pattern which is visible on its sides and contoured body. The elegant jacket fits perfectly on the welder as he performs his welding tasks.
The jacket was designed with adjustable waist straps, it is also designed with cuff snaps. There are also inside pockets to compensate for its lack of open packet, one of the inside pockets even has a zipper.
This jacket is very comfortable, moving up and down while on it was really easy. As beautiful and elegant it looks its use should be restricted to light MIG and FIG application.
#3. QEES Genuine Leather Welding Jacket 103CM Long Heavy Duty Welding Clothes Velcro Coat
Made from heavy duty genuine cow leather, this brown welding jacket offers protection to the welder up to his knee level. It was designed with a high collar, adjustable straps and double stitched seams.
The jacket also has a large pocket to fit in some small tools which you might need as you perform your welding task. Protecting the arms and torso from welding spatter and heat.
The designers of this leather jacket hold safety in high esteem, it is safe to say that this is a perfect blend of affordability and protection. The foul smell could be neutralized by spraying deodorants on the jacket.
In a bid to clean it you shouldn’t make the same mistake I made by putting it inside the water as this kind of deformed the jacket. A little brushing will do wonders in cleaning it.
#4. BLACK STALLION BSX® FR Welding Jacket - Black w/Red Flames – MEDIUM
This low budget heat and flame resistant jacket come with a stand-up collar, a dual scribe and inside pockets. Its waist straps and cuffs are adjustable to fit. It works for a chest measurement of approximately 56-58. Its design is so stylish that it could pass for a high-end shirt.
This jacket is a further proof that you don’t have to break the bank before getting a welding jacket. Right from its first use, I realized that using it for heavyweight welding work will be disastrous.
#5. Caiman Black Boarhide - 30"Jacket, Welding-Apparel Large
This extra-large jacket was brilliantly made from boar hide and premium high-quality pigskin leather. Boar hides have been known to offer greater heat resistance to cowhide it is also cooler and affords you easier mobility while at work when compared to the cowhide.
The leather jacket features a vented back and underarms for maximum comfort, it also features an inside pocket.
Perhaps this is the best jacket I have ever used in a while, after buying to test run it, I tried exposing myself to hot slag and sparks, guess what? It got me well covered. Colleagues have constantly been telling me they want this exact kind if you can afford it kindly go for it. This is surely a product that offers value for money.
#6. Steiner 1260-L 30-Inch Jacket, Weldlite Plus Navy Cotton, Rust Cowhide Sleeves, Large
This brilliantly designed two colored jackets was made from cotton with the sleeves made from cowhide leather which provides for more protection around the arm area. The jacket has a relaxed non-reflective snap front and wrist closure, relaxed full cut fit, Large inside pocket and a Leather reinforced snaps.
This is no doubt an excellent product for a great price, this jacket is best suited for stick welding or flux core MIG. It is too heavy for most standard MIG and undesirable for TIG. This is absolutely a premium jacket at a modest price. Kudos to the designers.
#7. West Chester IRONCAT IRONTEX 7050 Flame Resistant Cotton Welding Jacket, Large
This flame-resistant Jacket is made of 100 percent sateen cotton fabric. *Snap up jacket includes adjustable snaps at wrist for custom fit; hook and loop collar can lay flat or be worn around the neck for added protection. The jacket features a small inside pocket useful for keeping small items.
Here is another cheap jacket in a class of its own. I’d rather prefer it to be more elegant, the design looks just too basic to me, I feel the designers should add a little aesthetics at least color wise, the color seems a little boring to me. Apart from that considering its price I can say without mincing words that I got value for money.
#8. Hobart 770486 Leather Welding Jacket – XL
This extra-large brown jacket was made from real cowhide split leather, it features heavy-duty stitching which joined the seams together, reinforced snaps and it is unlined. It weighs around 11 pounds and measures 15.9 inches in height, 12.6 inches in length and 3.4 inches in width.
Unlike the previously reviewed jackets made mostly from cotton that eventually gets burned when exposed to heat over a long period, this jacket stood the test of time I have no regret buying it whatsoever but the buttons cannot be removed swiftly.
#9. Hobart 770568 Flame Retardant Cotton Welding Jacket - XXL
This Dark Gray lightweight jacket with long sleeves was made using flame retardant cotton, it features no lining, and heavy-duty snaps providing excellent coverage. It weighs 1 pound and a size of 9.9 x 1.3 x 1.3. It also features a pocket on the inside of the jacket.
Hobart has delivered yet another cotton jacket that provides reasonable protection at a pocket-friendly price, although I have used this jacket for all kinds of welding from light scale domestic welding to commercial welder work and I have been protected. I will not recommend it for heavy welding work because of its cotton material.
#10. Antra WCJ-121-2XL Flame Resistant Cotton Jacket Size 2XL
There is relatively little to say about this beautifully tailored flame resistant jacket by Antra since it is relatively a newcomer to the welding jacket market. The blue colored jacket was made wholly from cotton. With a size of 1.72 pounds, it is very easy to carry about and has no pocket.
This beautiful jacket is better used by amateur welders or welders still undergoing training this should not come as a surprise considering its price and the materials it was made from. If you a welder in training or not into serious welding work and you want a flame resistant jacket at a pocket-friendly price then this is for you.
The Benefit of wearing welding jackets
The job of a welder is a dangerous one, a welder is at constant risk of electric shock which can be so serious as to take his life, they are also exposed to heat, sparks, metal, fumes and ultraviolet light which has been linked to cancer and other health implications.
A good welding jacket should be sturdy and made from fireproof materials. Below we present some of the benefits of wearing a good welding jacket.
There is no denying the fact that being a welder exposes you to a lot of heat which can cause burn, a welding jacket should be able to handle sparks, and spills with ease. It is not just the molten metal itself, but also the heated welding equipment, workpiece, and the hot air around a work area.
At its least harmful, this radiation can cause ‘flash’ burns on the skin – an injury that looks like a burn, causing the skin to redden and blister. The exposure to radiation at high scale has a very tremendous negative effect on the body, radiation occurs more frequently on exposed parts of the skin.
An effective welding jacket should leave no opportunity for the radiation to pass through the body thereby protecting the wearer completely.
In case of a fire outbreak or disaster, a welding jacket being flame retardant makes it difficult for the wearer to get burnt. Any jacket that cannot protect at least reasonably against fire is not worthy to be called a welder jacket.
Leather Vs. Cotton Welder Jacket
Both jackets have their strengths and weaknesses and shall be discussed below.
Pros of wearing a leather jacket
- It is much more durable than cotton
- Leather jacket, when compared with cotton offers the most protection against fire and heat.
Cons of wearing a leather jacket
- It is heavy which makes mobility while wearing it a bit hard.
- Not suitable in warm climates.
Pros of wearing a cotton jacket
- It is relatively more affordable than a leather jacket
- It is lighter than a leather jacket. This affords for easy mobility while at work
Cons of wearing a cotton jacket
- It is not suitable for heavy metal work
- They offer the least fire resistant
How to Choose Right Welding Jacket For Your Job
From the above, it can be safely deduced that a leather jacket is much more favorable than a cotton jacket when performing high end and heavy-duty metal work. Cotton jackets should be used when performing medium or light welder work.
Based on over one-decade experience on handling all kinds of welding task ranging from the lightweight simple metal fabrication work to a high end heavy industrial welding task I can confidently say that these are key and salient features to be considered before choosing the welding jacket that suits your taste and meets up your job demand. They shall be discussed below.
The stuff your welding jacket is made of should be the first thing you consider before selecting your jacket, as you might have realized during reading this blog, jackets are majorly made using flame resistant cotton and leather although there are a lot of jackets in the market that combines the two materials.
If you engage in heavy-weight welding work like working on a ship, high-end mig and tig welding etc. then your surest bet is to go for a jacket made majorly from leather as it is safer although it can be a little hard for you to move about. If you also work in a very cool climate a leather jacket is also better.
If you work on lightweight welding like stick welding and what have you, you might need nothing more than a jacket made majorly from cotton, the material is strong enough to protect you against heat, ultraviolet light etc. that you might get exposed to on your work.
Like in all kind of job if you are not comfortable there is no way you can give your best, believe me, you as a welder your comfortability on your apparel is very important, in choosing your jacket it is advised that you choose the one that offers maximum protection and maximum comfortability combined.
The work of a welder is hard enough the last thing you want to worry yourself about is your discomfort. From experience cotton jackets being lighter are more comfortable than a leather jacket.
As a welder, I have always taken into cognizance the weather condition before I adorn myself with a welder jacket, during winter I prefer the leather jacket for it protects in no small measure against the blistering cold and in summer I go for jackets made from cotton.
If you work in warmer countries or when the weather is quite warm then I recommend you chose a jacket made from cotton but if you work in extremely cold places like Antarctica then you need not be told that the leather jacket is your friend.
The color of a jacket is important in selecting the best jacket for you, apart from showing the elegance in your jacket, it is advisable for you to wear a bright colored jacket in the dark and a dark colored jacket in the light.
Personal bias or preference for or against some colors also determine the choice of color, I find it difficult adorning myself on red colored jackets, another color I cannot go for is color pink, you shouldn’t blame me I find the color girlish (no offense).
Just like selecting any item for buying, the durability or otherwise of the item is a great determinant to the decision to buy or otherwise not buy the item. You need not be told that to maximize the benefits you enjoy from using your jacket select a more durable jacket.
Another determinant to the durability of the jacket apart from the materials it was made from is its weight and size, I can remember selecting an oversize jacket I couldn’t use it for long because it robs me of my comfortability. I cannot sacrifice my comfortability especially with my welding job.
You don’t have to break the bank before you can select your jacket, cut your cloth according to your size. It is advisable that you chose what you can afford, from my years of experience I have noticed that leather jackets are costlier than their cotton counterparts this should not be a surprise cotton is way cheaper than leather.
While I recommend cutting your cloth according to your size I feel low price should not push you to buy jackets that are unsuitable for your kind of work, you can’t go for instance. Say because of its cheapness you select a full cotton jacket over a leather one in performing heavyweight welder work, that would be tantamount to playing Russian roulette with one’s life.
I have personally saved for a high-cost leather jacket before and I haven’t for once regretted it. Safety, comfort, durability should not be sacrificed for cheapness.
Some brands are popular for producing good quality jackets you can try them out but that is not to say that you should only go for popular brands, there are tons of reviews on the internet to help you select the best irrespective of the popularity or otherwise of the brand.
Washing your jacket
While it has been argued that cleaning of a jacket is not necessary since it is used for work and would always accumulate grime I strongly believe that to maintain its durability it is really important for the jackets to not only be cleaned but to also be cleaned properly.
The dirtier the jacket gets the stiffer it becomes and the stiffer it becomes the more it loses its comfort, dirty jackets also produce a rather repugnant smell.
To remove grime from your leather jacket, saddle soap can be effectively used, but to maintain the sturdiness of the jacket, it is better you apply some leather conditioner after the cleaning. You should not soak a leather jacket inside water it can have a negative effect on the leather, simply using little water to wipe the surface should suffice.
Cotton jackets, on the other hand, can be effectively washed just as we wash our regular clothes just that it is advisable that you add 3 to 4 spoon of fabric softener before drying, as should be expected drying takes more time.
You should not wash your welding jacket in a washing machine, and if your jacket is old and maybe you are not ready to get a new jacket, you can rub alcohol before beginning the washing process.
Question and answer
Flame resistant jackets or Leather for Welding?
It depends on the welding task you intend carrying on, for a lightweight welding task flame-resistant jacket is okay, but for heavyweight and industrial welding task then leather welding jacket is okay, other factors that determine the choice of jacket includes, comfortability, durability, and cost
How is the best way to soften a leather welding jacket?
By simply applying a leather conditioner on the jacket before wiping it off with a handkerchief or a small towel
Is there any good way to clean a leather welding jacket?
It can be cleaned effectively by applying wiping off the with washing soap and water.
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