Best Welding Shirts for 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
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
88% Cotton, 12% Nylon
88% Cotton, 12% Nylon
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.