Metal welding comes with its share of shortcomings considering that you are dealing with hot objects. Welding shirts are essential PPE that are either worn inside a welding jacket on their own to protect you from heat, spatter, and sparks from welding. The best welding shirt also keeps you warm in cold weather, while some are designed to release excess heat so you can work comfortably when things get hot.
Unlike most welding jackets, welding shirts provide you with the required level of protection without overly heavy or too hot so you can wear them for long periods. The shirts are made from thermally insulating and fire-resistant materials to protect welders from the adverse risk of welding.
However, finding a combination of safety, quality, and comfort at an affordable price can be quite challenging, and that what this article is all about. Luckily, there are tons of low-end shirts that provide a degree of protection. However, such products tend to be of inferior quality and expose you to the risk of personal injury. This is not worth the risk, and that’s why we will help you find quality gear to help reduce your health risks.
Best Welding Shirts Comparison Table
1. Bulwark Men’s Flame Resistant 7 Oz
Bulwark is a world leader in providing protective gear, and this men’s flame-resistant shirt is proof of that. It is durable yet comfortable, and it is also cheaper than most brands. It is also marginally lighter than other FR shirts, so if you weld a lot or use a blowtorch for your tasks, this is the shirt to get.
- Flame and heat resistance: Since you’ll be dealing with arc flashes and heat, this is the number one to look out for. Bulwark is designed with flame and heat retardant properties, so when a spark lands on your shirt, it will not burn your skin. The shirt will also protect you from excessive heat since it is designed to allow air to flow through.
- 100% cotton:This shirt is made from high-quality cotton to make it comfortable when worn against your skin. Cotton is softer on the skin and highly breathable. However, it is highly flammable, but in this case, it is treated with flame/heat resistant elements to resists flames and arc flashes while retaining its softness. The shirt is lightweight, making it comfortable to wear for long hours, and it can also be worn during the hot summer.
- 7 button closures: The Bulwark features classic styling with a hemmed front and 7 button closures. It also has two front pockets with flap enclosures to avoid metal slag and spatter from shooting in. You can use the pocket to keep your small consumables as with all the time. Overall, the shirt looks pretty good, and it is available in different colors, making it easy to find something that suits you
- Sleeve vents: Welders can take advantage of the sleeve vents when working in hot environments. This feature allows air to flow effortlessly through the arms and circulate throughout the body, thus keeping your body cool. The shirt is capable of withstanding harsh conditions at the workplace, and it is an ideal shirt for welding under the hot sun.
- The sewing and fabric quality tells you that this is a high-quality shirt
- 100% cotton makes it lightweight, so it is suitable for all kind of conditions
- Quite comfortable; it doesn’t feel like a welding shirt
- Machine washable
- The shirt is also durable, can withstand abuse and repeated washing
- Flame retardant
- Wrinkles a lot after washing, so it requires ironing
- It runs long on the arms and overall length; if you are small-bodied you may want to consider another model
If you need a great shirt for welding and other related applications, look no further. The Bulwark is designed especially for risks associated with welding, so it will keep you safe while you work. It is easy to maintain, and it is appropriate for both industrial and home wash.
2. Carhartt Men’s Big & Tall Flame Resistant Twill Shirt
This twill shirt is nice looking, and it is made to last a long time. The material is comfortable, lightweight, and it is the best welding shirt for warmer days. It comes in a variety of colors and wicks moisture away, which is a handy feature when working in hot environments. It is also odor treated, stitching is great, and it fits well.
- Blend of cotton and nylon: Carhartt’s flame-resistant twill shirt weighs just 6 ounces, and it is made of 88% cotton and 12% nylon. It is a comfortable shirt on warmers days, and at the same time, it keeps you warm in cold weather. Additionally, the manufacturer ensured that the shirt meets NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112 standards, so when the environment in the workplace gets worse, this shirt performs at its hardest.
- Work-dry material: Carhartt’s work dry mechanism wicks away any moisture for extra comfort when working in your shop. The material absorbs the sweat away, so sweat doesn’t get in your way while welding, and at the same time, it does not allow your skin to dry up. However, the shirt costs a bit more, but the fact that it looks like your everyday shirt is a huge bonus.
- Anti-odor treatment: Another remarkable thing about this shirt apart from its moisture-wicking properties is that it is odor treated. Since you may sweat a lot when handling hot metal, you’ll need this feature to keep the odor-causing bacteria at bay. It also keeps you fresh for a prolonged period before requiring to wash your shirt.
- Button closures: This model comes with button closures and adjustable cuffs as well. What’s more, it offers a relaxed fit, and it is not stiff and, as such, it very comfortable to wear. However, it is better to go with a smaller sized model if you are slim. Additional, its maintenance is stress-free since it is machine washable, and it comes in 5 different colors.
- The material is very soft and comfortable
- It does not shrink after washing
- It is easy to wash- also machine washable
- Large covered pockets that you can use to keep small items
- Moist winking properties
- It must be ironed.
- Some users reported that flame retardant easily washes off after washing the shirt severally.
Any welder knows the importance of having the appropriate safety gear when working on dangerous work sites. This Carhartt’s flame-resistant shirt will protect you from flash fire and arcs so you can show up to work every day, knowing that you are well protected 24/7.
3. Wrangler Men’s Western
The Wrangler western cowboy is an awesome old school cotton shirt that talks for itself. Its classic look never goes out of style. Besides, it is highly breathable and lightweight, allowing you to move from one place to another without much hassle. It also has a durable construction, and the shirt is sewn sturdily to reduce chances of tears.
- 100% cotton Indigo denim: The button-up shirt is 100% cotton denim style with a twill finishing. Unlike other models, the fit is not relaxed, which means that it is a perfect choice if you have a slim body. However, it allows you to move around comfortably without feeling constricted. The only downside is that the material might soften up after several washes, but the quality will not be compromised.
- Long sleeve work shirt: This cowboy fit offers a classic fit from torso all through to the arms, and the best part is that it is a long sleeve shirt. In addition, the shirt has a spread collar that allows you to snap it in place easily, and it offers adequate neck protection for a range of welding applications.
- Authentic western finishes: The welding shirt has a western front and iconic western yokes on the back with “W” stitching. It also comes with convenient snap closures and two chest pockets for your smaller things. The left pocket comes with a pen slot as well as the manufacturer’s logo. The stylish shirt is ideal for metal fabricators of different levels, and it comes with over ten colors to choose from.
- Heavy-duty: The Wrangler is built tough for a tough day’s work and to keep you protected from flame and excess heat. The shirt is machine washable with like colors, and it only requires medium ironing. You can use non-chlorine bleach only when needed. It is also easy to wash with hands, and it is perfect for all weather conditions.
- Very durable shirt- it can stand a lot of abuse
- The buttons hold up pretty well
- The collar is adjustable
- Ideal for all weather conditions
- It is long-sleeved
- The shirt is somewhat stiff, but it goes away with washing
- The material might feel difficult for hand washing
The authenticity of the Wrangler Men’s Western to protect you from welding sparks can never be questioned. The design of the shirts provides sufficient air circulation to keep you cool whenever working.
4. REVCO BLACK STALLION-FS8-DNM LARGE
This affordable Black Stallion shirt provides you the much-needed protection without having to wear a bulky welding jacket. The shirt is lightweight, so you can wear it under your welding jacket or alone when you need to do light welding work or grinding. It is also one of the shirts with a very generous fit, but it may look a bit baggy if you have a medium body.
Features and benefits
- 8 oz. cotton FR labeled denim: This denim style shirt weighs 8 ounces, which is a bit on the heavy side but very breathable. The fabric is 100% cotton with natural fire-resistant properties. The FS8 is further treated to meet the ASTM F1506 standards, so you can be sure that the shirt will maintain its fire-resistant properties even after repeated washes.
- Long-lasting metal snaps: The FS8 comes with long-lasting metal snaps that make it easy for you to put on and take off the shirt. These convenient snaps make it a breeze to enclose the sleeve for extra protection and roll them up when you are done welding. Plus, it offers long sleeve protection, and it has a long tail so you can tuck in your shirt.
- Two chest pockets with flaps: The shirt also features two deep chest pockets with flaps, so you easily access small items such as pens and other welding accessories on the go. The design of the shirt gives enough space for airflow to keep you cool when you have the shirt on. The shirt is quite hard to resist for any welder because of its professional look and practicality.
- Generous and comfortable fit: Among the welding shirts that we have reviewed, the Revco Black Stallion stands out for its generous and comfortable fit. However, it is important to pay attention to the measurements of the shirt to ensure that it is not too loose. And although it should be able to withstand tough conditions in your workshop, the shirt is designed for secondary protection or light duty welding.
- Fits very well but it tends to run big
- The stitching on this shirt is done very well
- Good and classy look
- It is a comfortable and safe cotton work shirt
- Highly breathable on those hot days
- It is not as heat resistant as expected.
- Not the best for high amperage applications.
The Revco Black Stallon-FS8 brings you peace of mind, so if you are considering getting a welding shirt for your future welding projects, this is the shirt to look out for. It has excellent FR properties, and comfort is just perfect.
5. Flame Resistant High Visibility Hi Vis
Just In Trend offers this classic for welders who want something that fits well but doesn’t restrict the range of movements. This doesn’t, however, mean that you have to give up safety for a good looking shirt. This flame-resistant shirt complies with NFPA 2112 (ASTM F1930) for Flash Fire AND ASTM F1506 for Arc Flash. What’s more, it is lightweight and quite comfortable against your skin.
- Friendly design and sizing: The shirt comes in western style on the front featuring pearly snap buttons for extra style and safety. It has two deep breast pockets and a convenient pen slot on the left pocket. The shirt does not shrink as you would expect, and it holds up to many hours in the welding shop. Besides, it looks professional, and it should work great for a range of welding jobs.
- Two-inch high visibility reflective tape: The shirts come with a two-inch high visibility tape making this shirt the best welding shirt for daytime and night time welding applications. So if you work in areas like traffic zones or construction sites where “been” seen” is essential, this is the shirt to go for. On top of that, the khaki is a universally accepted color, but it is also available in royal blue, navy blue, orange and light gray.
- Pure cotton construction: This high visibility shirt is made of 100% cotton. The shirt is also fire resistant, and it is a comfortable work shirt for long hours on the job. The fabric is compliant with NFPA 2112 (ASTM F1930) for flash fire and ASTM F1506 for arc flash. The weave quality just right, and it is designed to ensure optimum comfort and maximum safety.
- Durable construction: This shirt weighs 7 ounces, so it is a solid shirt that provides adequate protection relative to other models. It is also designed to minimize shrinkage, but you must take proper care while washing to extend its lifespan. The shirt should be washed with mild chemicals and mild temperatures if machine washed.
- Minimal shrinkage
- The pen slot on the left pocket is a great feature to have
- Heavy-duty made
- The fit is great; the quality far exceeds your expectation
- It is fairly priced
- The snap buttons seams cheaply made
- The hands are a bit short
If your work involves a lot of heavy-duty welding, this shirt is a good investment. The shirt not only protects you from flames but also dirt and grime. It can withstand a lot of abuse and still maintain its fabric quality even after being washed several times.
6. Flame Resistant FR Shirt – 88/12
This is yet another one from Just In Trend that is designed for a close fit while keeping sparks off your skin. It will keep you warm in cold weather, and when things get hot, the vented sleeves make it easy to release trapped heat. And although the material is heavy-duty, the shirt lightweight and it does limit your mobility.
- Material – 88% cotton and 12% nylon: This flame-resistant shirt is a very casual looking, and it is made of 88% cotton and 12% nylon. The fabric is durable, and it allows you to wash the shirt repeatedly. Another important thing about this shirt is that it is NFPA 2112 / HRC 2 compliant. This rating means that the shirt has passed the standards for flame resistance, and it can protect you from flash fire and arc flash.
- Full sleeves: The basic design of this shirt features full sleeves with cuffs and the all-time favorite western style on the front. The sleeves are vented to keep your hands cool even when you have the gloves on. It has two breast pockets with flaps to prevent hot materials from getting in, and you can also use them to keep your consumables.
- Lightweight -7.0 ounces: Ideally, the shirt is light enough to wear during summer or as a support shirt worn under the welding jacket in cold weather. The shirt is designed for optimum comfort during any time of the year. It has a close yet relaxed fit, and it can also machine washed, making this shirt a force to reckon with.
- Turned down collar: The shirt comes with a turned down with a 3-inch finished width to add more style and extra protection to the neck area. This design also allows you to wear this shirt as an ordinary wear without people realizing that you are wearing FR garment unless they read the label on the left arm.
- The style and fit is superb
- Seems like decent quality and great craft
- Excellent FR properties
- It is not overly heavyweight
- It does not wrinkle as much
- You might need to replace the snaps
- It might also shrink after washing severally-you might need to order a bigger size
This shirt is great for summer use because of its breathability. It is flexible, so you’ll have enough room to move. It allows for good air circulation, and it also has vented sleeves that prevent heat from building up.
7. BENCHMARK FR
Weighing in at just 5.1ounces, the Benchmark FR is one of the lightest welding shirts you’ll find. It is expertly crafted, and it is ideal for use during one of those lengthy projects or during summer. It is fire rated although it does not offer as much protection as its thicker counterparts. It also has a loose fit, so we recommend this model if you’re on the bigger side.
- Strong and comfortable FR welding clothing: The structure of this shirt is composed of ballistic nylon and Kevlar surrounded by FR materials. These materials provide flexibility and superior strength than most cotton coated shirts. Also, the shirt has a very minimal shrinkage rate, and it does not fade in the wash. The silver bullet color is great to wear in the sun, and when it comes to durability, it is two times durable than the competition.
- Breathable and excellent moisture wicking capability: It is can never be fun to wear a fire-resistant shirt or a welding shirt for that matter that gets sweaty throughout the day. The BENCHMARK FR is great at wicking the moisture away thanks to its superior moisture management ability. The fabric also allows for better breathability, and it is safe to wear against your skin.
- Ultra-light flame-resistant shirt: In general, most traditional FR wears are heavy and uncomfortable to wear, especially when you need to weld all day long. This shirt is created to be light and comfortable, and it is one of the lightest shirts that offer the same level of protection as heavy models. It is a good fit with enough room to move, and it is perfect for all weather conditions.
- Inherent heat and fire retardant properties: The flame and arc resistant properties of this silver bullet shirt are not significantly affected irrespective of wear cycles or washing frequency. It meets or complies with a number of standards such as ASTM F1506 standards, and it is NFPA 70E compliant. On the same note, it provides level 2 HRC/CAT protection and safe for washing at home or industrial laundry.
- It is ultra-lightweight
- Heavy-duty material keeps welding sparks from burning your skin
- The material seems stronger than ordinary cotton coated shirts
- Loose fit to facilitate easy movements
- The shirt does not fade like most FR cotton shirt
- The arm length could be longer
- It is pricier but worth the money
The BENCHMARK FR really stands out with its heat retardant properties. It is good at wicking away moisture so it will not weigh you down in the heat or make you uncomfortable when it gets hot.
How to choose the best welding shirts
If you are looking to buy a welding shirt you’ll need to buy one that is capable of protecting you while working. Let’s take a quick look of essential factors you need to consider when choosing a welding shirt;
A welding shirt should be made of topnotch fabric as poor quality material will deprive you of the required degree of protection and comfort. The fabric varies from one product to another, but the common material used is cotton. Cotton is highly breathable, so it is quite comfortable and can be worn in most weather conditions. Other materials include polyester, nylon, sateen, and denim. These materials are often chemically altered to add fire and electrical resistance. This property is not common with your everyday clothes, so make sure to look for a welding shirt with the FR label.
When it comes to the size of your welding shirt, you’ll need to get the right fit. It should be big enough to allow for work motion, but it should not be too baggy. For instance, unnecessary folds can hold spatters and sparks, while sleeves that come up too high can create room for injuries. It may not be possible to get a tailored fit, but you should always look at the product dimension to ensure that it is the right size.
Other than the type of material and the size of the welding shirt, there are other design features that you need to keep in mind. First, it is always a good idea to go for long sleeves to ensure maximum protection regardless of the type of welding. Also, a high collar is always the best as it protects your neck from flying debris. However, a high collar might be uncomfortable when things get hot, so it is important to balance between the design and the material used. That said, choose a shirt that goes with the environment you’re welding in.
Not all welding shirts have pockets, but if you pick a pocketed one, ensure that the pockets are easily covered. Open pockets can be very dangerous as molten metal and sparks can get inside, and before you realize it might be too late. Always button the pockets, cuffs, and collar to protect your exposure to radiation and skin burns. Some shirts are designed with sleeve vents to allow for more air circulation when it gets hot, especially during summer.
Welding shirts, just like other FR garments, should be washed separately from other clothing to avoid damaging their protective coating. Often, you’ll need to wash by hand using specialty chemicals and soft water. Avoid using hard water as it results in increased detergent usage, which can adversely affect flame resistance.
Most shirts are, however, machine washable without getting wrinkled up or damaged. Such products are made to be strong enough to withstand machine washing, which is a great feature for convenience. However, it is important to pay close attention to the washing recommendations provided by the manufacturer. If you are using the wrong method or chemicals, it can damage the fabric or lead to accidents, so you should act accordingly.
Some items begin losing some flame resistance after washing, making them susceptible to fire damage, so always follow manufacturer recommendations. Also, avoid using products that could compromise the quality of the shirt, including chlorine bleach, fabric softeners, peroxide, etc.
The welding shirt is one of the best protection you can get while working in high-risk areas. Whether you are a professional welder or engage in DIY projects, you need to get yourself the best welding shirt to keep you safe from flames while welding. Safety always comes first. All other aspects, such as comfort or mobility, come second, but they should not be ignored nonetheless.
Insufficient protection can lead to severe injuries when you sacrifice safety for comfort. On the other hand, the discomfort will limit your ability to perform optimally, and you are likely to wear out quickly, especially when working in hot conditions. So, always ensure to find a welding shirt that allows you to move comfortably while staying safe.