Best Welding Jackets of 2020 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)
A welding jacket is a crucial piece of welding safety equipment to protect your body and arms from spatter, burns, cuts and radiation. The main two types of welding jacket are leather and cotton. Cotton provides protection for light welding applications and leather gives you more thorough protection. If you’re welding overhead or stick you require a full leather welding jacket.
We’ve chosen our top picks and have explained the differences between these in the buyer’s guide below with details of what to look for to ensure you get the right welding jacket for you so that you don’t burn holes in all your shirts and injure yourself! Updated 23rd April 2020
- Best Welding Jackets Comparison Chart
- Best Cotton Welding Jackets
- Best Leather Welding Jackets
- Best Hybrid Welding Jacket
- What to look for in a welding jacket
Best Welding Jackets Comparison Chart
Lincoln Electric Premium CottonBest cotton welding jacket
|Flame Retardant Cotton||See Review|
BSX FR Black & BlueBest cotton welding jacket for the money
|Flame Retardant Cotton||See Review|
BSX Cotton BX9C Black & Red
|Flame Retardant Cotton||See Review|
Miller Electric 2241909
|88% Cotton 12% Nylon||See Review|
Lincoln Electric Brown LeatherBest leather welding jacket
Lincoln Electric Heavy Duty LeatherBest professional leather welding jacket
Caiman Black BoarhideBest leather welding jacket for comfort
QeeLink Split CowhideBest leather welding jacket for the money
Black Stallion JL1030-BB
Black Stallion Hybrid FR and CowhideBest hybrid welding jacket
|FR Cotton and Cowhide||See Review|
Best Cotton Welding Jackets
1. Lincoln Electric Premium Cotton Welding Jacket
🥇 Best cotton welding jacket
This lightweight jacket from Lincoln is our favorite cotton welding jacket. It’s lightweight and is designed to be durable as it’s made from premium flame retardant fabric that also has anti-mildew and anti-static coating to improve durability. The jacket is machine washable up to 50 times and the seams are multi-layered to increase longevity and stop it from tearing.
The jacket is ideal for lighter welding projects like in position TIG and low amperage MIG. The flip up collar will help to protect your neck and the cuffs are adjustable with snaps to offer good wrist protection. The lightweight material is breathable but the fit is quite small so you should look at buying a size up from usual for maximum comfort. There is only one pocket on the inside to store any tools, and it is slightly more expensive than some other cotton welding jackets but you could save more money over time because of the durability. Overall you can’t go wrong with this if you’re looking for a lightweight and durable cotton welding jacket available at a reasonable price.
2. BSX FR Black and Blue Flames Welding Jacket
🥇 Best for the money
Black Stallion are known for their excellent welding safety gear available at good prices, and this is another reliable addition to their set. This jacket has pretty much everything you need for your standard cotton welding jacket, it’s lightweight, has good snaps, looks good and is adjustable.
It’s made from 9 oz. flame-resistant cotton with an extended length front and adjustable cuff and waist straps. It’s worth buying a size or two up because these are a smaller fit and if it’s too big around the waist you can always tighten it. The blue design with flames on the side is a pretty cool look and on the inside is a zippered pocket. There’s also a small pocket in each sleeve for storing your scribe. Finally, the collar is standup to give your neck the best protection from sparks and radiation.
3. BSX Cotton BX9C Black with Red Flames Welding Jacket
This black and red cotton welding jacket is a very similar design to the blue and black BSX cotton jacketing, except it has different colors and the flame design is on the sleeves instead of the side of the torso. The jacket is comfortable to wear and it features the same lightweight 9 oz. flame-resistant treat cotton and adjustable straps. Other cool features are the zippered inside pocket and sleeve storage for marker pens. The snaps are nice to use and the standup collar helps improve safety. Overall this is a stylish and comfortable jacket that’s perfect for lighter welding projects and great value for money. Try getting a size up from usual if you’re going to be wearing a thick shirt underneath.
4. Miller Electric 2241909 Welding Jacket
Miller’s thin navy jacket is made from 88% cotton and 12% nylon. This is another good jacket for warmer climates and in position TIG and MIG welding. On the sleeves and front there are snap buttons and the neck fastener is velcro. The velcro neck means it is a little looser around your neck than the BSX jackets, which is more comfortable if you have a wider neck whilst still providing that same protection. Miller have a reputation for exceptional quality products, but this is simply a good cheap jacket that’s reliable although not quite the quality we’re used to from Miller. Miller have, however, looked to increase durability with pre-shrunk fabric to help eliminate sleeve shrinkage and reinforced stitching. Again, the size runs small so look at buying a size up than usual.
Best Leather Welding Jackets
1. Lincoln Electric Brown Leather Welding Jacket
🥇 Best all-round leather welding jacket
You simply won’t find a better welding jacket for the money than this Lincoln brown leather jacket. It has everything you need, it’s comfortable, durable, protects you from sparks, looks great and is very high quality for the price, making it our number one all-round leather welding jacket
It’s made from fire-resistant leather to offer increased protection for the arms and torso. The flip up collar is fastened with adhesive straps to provide complete all-round neck protection, and the front closes with snaps and a lined flap. The jacket is adequately thick and will offer reliable protection out of position and for stick welding and it’s all sewn together with triple needle stitching for increased durability. This jacket from Lincoln is an affordable product that you can’t go wrong with.
2. Lincoln Electric Heavy Duty Leather Welding Jacket
🥇 Best professional leather welding jacket
This jacket from Lincoln is seriously heavy duty and one of the best welding jackets money can buy. It’s made from heavy split cowhide front and side with ergonomic leather sleeves to help provide enough flexibility for out of position welding. Whilst the back is made from breathable 9 oz. flame retardant cotton to help increase airflow and prevent you from overheating. The leather seams are reinforced to improve durability.
The cuffs and neck are both adjustable for extra comfort and the front buttons are layered with leather, fabric and velcro to increase protection by helping to stop anything getting into the jacket. There is just one pocket for storage on the inside so unfortunately there’s no pen sleeve storage, but if you don’t use this then that’s fine. Overall this is the top pick if you’re looking to get a jacket that’s heavy duty enough to stand up to anything but have a bit extra added flexibility and comfort.
3. Caiman Black Boarhide Welding Jacket
🥇 Best leather welding jacket for comfort
This jacket from Caiman not only looks cool but it’s designed for maximum comfort. It’s made from premium pigskin leather, so it’s thinner than cowhide leather jackets but still offers great protection for stick and out of position welding. This jacket is more breathable and doesn’t weigh as much as other cowhide jackets. The sleeves are satin lined to help you easily slide it on and off and airflow is further increased by the vented back and underarms. The result is a jacket that protects you from slag but also enables mobility and doesn’t get too hot.
The seams are sewn with kevlar and all the stress points are reinforced and double stitched. Finally, there is a large inside pocket and two extra soapstone pockets, one on each arm. Overall this is a great jacket that’s more expensive than most cowhide jackets but is around 15 percent lighter with much more manoeuvrability. Also, the jacket looks so good you could even wear it as your normal jacket!
4. QeeLink Split Cowhide Welding Jacket
🥇 Best leather welding jacket for the money
This QeeLink jacket is one of the cheapest leather welding jackets on the market but you get so much for your money. It’s a heavy duty split cowhide leather jacket that’s thick and fireproof, so it will protect you for a range of welding processes including stick and out of position welding. It’s also sewn together with Kevlar thread for extra durability. The collar can be turned up to an adjustable standup collar to fully protect your neck. There is an inside pocket and two more scribe pockets on the sleeves for additional storage. The fit runs quite small so look at buying one size up if it’s in stock. This jacket isn’t that breathable so you’ll get warm wearing it, but it will certainly offer some of the best protection at a very reasonable price.
5. Black Stallion JL1030-BB Leather Welding Jacket
Black Stallion’s leather welding jacket is a high quality and heavy duty jacket made from durable cowhide that offers some of the best protection possible from burns. The leather is thick so you’ll get hot wearing it, but it’s fairly soft and has gusseted underarms to help increase flexibility. The shoulders are lined with satin to make it more comfortable and the standup collar has two snap options to help you find the best fit. There’s an inside pocket and also a useful pocket on the sleeve for your pen. It’s a bit more expensive than the Lincoln Brown jacket but it looks great and offers great protection especially for overhead welding.
Best Hybrid Welding Jacket
1. Black Stallion Hybrid FR and Cowhide Welding Coat
🥇 Best hybrid welding jacket
If you’re looking for a hybrid cotton and leather welding jacket then check out this model by Black Stallion. Hybrid welding jackets are breathable and offer increased protection for your arms, which is helpful if you’re welding in position. You have to be careful with hybrid models and don’t be tempted to weld high amperage or out of position, because you’ll burn a hole in the cotton front of the jacket.
This jacket has thick split cowhide sleeves for protection from burns and 9 oz. frame-resistant cotton body for increased breathability. The collar is standup for all round protection and there are dual scribe pockets on the sleeves. If you want a little extra arm protection but don’t want to buy a full leather welding jacket then this is a great alternative.
What to look for in a welding jacket
Depending on what type of welds you want to lay you’ll need a different type of jacket. MIG and Stick produce more heat than TIG and require more protection. The flame retardant cotton jackets are great but are only suitable for low-medium amperage jobs and grinding and definitely shouldn’t be used to any form of heavy stick welding.
For heavy Stick and MIG welding you’ll need to wear leather to protect you. Many welders have two different welding jackets for each application. A lightweight, comfortable jacket for light applications, and a more heavy duty leather jacket for when you’re using a bit more power and need extra protection.
If you’re wearing a welding jacket for long periods of time you’ll want it to be a comfortable fit. Ideally you’ll want something that’s lightweight but still protects you, is comfortable and fits your body correctly.
The most lightweight jackets are made from cotton. These are much more comfortable as then give you room to breathe and you don’t get too hot. Sometimes, however, you just need to wear a heavy leather jacket to protect yourself. If you’re concerned about getting too hot you can also look at buying leather sleeves to put over your cotton jacket, or buying a part cotton part leather jacket. Just make sure you’re not using too much heat that you’ll burn through the front of your cotton jacket.
Read through all the size measurements for the welding jackets and make sure you get one that fits comfortably. It might be worth going a size up from your usual size to ensure your movement isn’t restricted and your arms are completely covered. Think about what kind of fit you live if you want it snug with a bit more breathing space. Adjustable cuff and waist straps will help to adjust the jacket to its ideal fit. Welding jackets with a lining are easier to slide on and slide off and can feel more comfortable to wear.
There are different ways that jackets can fasten up, including zips, buttons, velcro and snap buttons. Snap buttons to seal the jacket are one of the most popular and effective.
Stand up Collar
A stand up collar will help to protect your neck from any sparks and radiation with all round protection. If you buy a stand up collar check that it isn’t too high because this can cause discomfort and you’ll end up leaving it open. Adjustable collars are best, if your collar isn’t adjustable and it’s too tight it will be uncomfortable, whereas if it’s too loose you could end up with sparks down your neck.
Flame resistant cotton welding jackets are the most common welding jackets for hobby welders. Cotton welding jackets are lightweight and flexible so are perfect for light projects where you don’t want to get too sweaty and won’t be using too much power. Cotton is normally flammable so cotton welding jackets are treated to ensure that they are fire resistant.
Some welding jackets are made from a mix of cotton and nylon. Nylon is a synthetic fabric that’s strong and lightweight, helping to make the material extra durable so it will last longer.
For high amperage welding with lots of heat then you’ll need to wear leather to protect yourself. Split grain leather will protect you from sparks and spatter, with cowhide and boarhide are the two most popular types of leather welding jacket. Boarhide is often a bit thinner and lighter.
Some welding jackets will be a hybrid cotton front and leather sleeves. These are an ok alternative but shouldn’t be used if you’re welding overhead. You can also wear some leather welding sleeves over your cotton welding jacket for extra protection. I prefer to use a separate cotton and leather jacket for different applications.
If you’re going to be battering your welding jacket with sparks then it will need to be durable. Look for the trusted brands and don’t bother buying a cheap thin cotton jacket because it will most likely burn up and you’ll have to buy another one anyway. Some jackets like the Lincoln jacket are sprayed and treated with anti-static and anti-mildew spray as well and fire resistance to help them last longer and get more for your money.
Other things to look out for are the stitching. Kevlar thread is heat resistant and the seams won’t be burnt open. Check for other features like triple stitching as well to stop them falling apart over time. High grade leather will last a lost time but if it’s not stitched properly it won’t last as long as it could without needing repairing or replacing.
Check how many pockets there are on your jacket and where they are. Pockets are typically on the inside so that you don’t get sparks in them, but it can feel more convenient to have them on the outside. The best common feature is to have small pockets on your sleeves to hold your scribe or soapstone.