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Pigskin Leather vs. Cowhide Leather for Welding Clothing

a man wearing a pigskin leather welding clothing

When it comes to welding, safety is paramount. Proper welding attire is essential to protect yourself from sparks, molten metal, and other hazards. Two popular choices for welding clothing are pigskin leather and cowhide leather. Each has its own unique characteristics, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Pigskin Leather: Lightweight and Flexible

pigskin leather

Pigskin leather is often the preferred choice for welding gloves and aprons. One of its standout features is its lightweight and flexible nature. Welders who require precision and dexterity in their work often choose pigskin leather because it allows for more nimble movements.

Despite its relatively thin texture, pigskin leather provides excellent protection against heat and sparks. Its natural fire resistance makes it ideal for welding tasks. Pigskin also has good breathability, which can be a significant advantage during long welding sessions, as it reduces sweat and discomfort.

Furthermore, pigskin leather is less expensive than cowhide leather, making it a practical choice for welders on a budget. However, it may not be as durable as cowhide leather, and it can wear out faster in heavy-duty applications.

Cowhide Leather: Durability and Robust Protection

Cowhide leather, on the other hand, is the go-to choice for heavy-duty welding clothing. It’s thicker and more robust compared to pigskin leather, providing superior protection against sparks and molten metal splashes. This durability makes cowhide leather ideal for welders who are exposed to harsh conditions regularly.

leather welding jacket

Cowhide leather is also known for its impressive abrasion resistance. If you’re working in an environment where your clothing might come into contact with abrasive surfaces, cowhide is the better option.

While cowhide is tougher than pigskin, it is heavier and less flexible. This can limit dexterity, making intricate welding tasks more challenging. Additionally, cowhide tends to be less breathable than pigskin, which can lead to discomfort during prolonged use, especially in hot environments.

Choosing the Right Leather for You

Ultimately, the choice between pigskin and cowhide leather for welding clothing depends on your specific welding needs and personal preferences.

Choose pigskin leather

if you require a lightweight and flexible option, prioritize dexterity, and work in a relatively low-intensity welding environment. Pigskin is also the more budget-friendly option.

Opt for cowhide leather

if you need maximum durability and protection in a heavy-duty welding setting. Cowhide excels in providing robust defense against sparks and abrasions, making it ideal for welders facing extreme conditions.

Remember that your safety should always be the top priority. Regardless of the type of leather you choose, make sure your welding clothing fits properly and provides adequate coverage. Regularly inspect and maintain your welding attire to ensure it continues to protect you effectively. Ultimately, the right choice of leather for welding clothing can make a significant difference in your safety and comfort on the job.

What’s the best Leather for Welding?

best leather for welding

Leather is a natural material that has been used for centuries to make clothes, shoes, and other items. It is made from animal skin and fat and can be made from many different animals including cows, elks, pigs, goats, deer, and sheep. All these types of leather have their own unique properties which can be used to determine the best type to use in certain situations. Here we talk about the best leather for welding for the best welding protection

 

Types of Leather, what’s the best leather for welding?

Before we decide on anything, it’s best to get to know the types of leather and what makes them different from each other. 

 

Goatskin

Goatskin is suitable for jobs requiring high tensile strength and flexibility. This type of leather is thin, soft, and pliable but it provides excellent protection against cuts and abrasion. The higher lanolin levels in the skin provide a moisture barrier, and the thin nature of the material allows for excellent fingertip control. 

 

Because of this, Goatskin leather is ideal for MIG welding. When combined with dexterity, it makes an excellent choice for TIG welding. Kidskin, very soft and lightweight leather from young goats also provides the required durability and abrasion resistance and is the highest quality leather for fingertip sensitivity.

 

Cowhide

The most common type of leather used for welding clothing is cowhide leather. This is because it is durable and flexible. It can withstand the heat generated by the welding process and will not melt like other types of leather would.

 

Its tough structure resists abrasion, sparks, and spatter, making it an excellent choice for tough jobs involving metal inert gas and stick welding. Cowhide is naturally water- and dirt-resistant, making it simple to care for. Although slightly more durable than elkskin, it is not as soft. 

 

Cowhide, on the other hand, is preferred over other non-leather materials for comfort, allowing it to be worn for longer periods of time. Cowhide leather is an excellent choice due to its abundant supply and durability.

 

welder at work

Deerskin

Deerskin gets its toughness from the fact that deer spend so much of their time in thorny, rough environments. Despite its toughness, deerskin leather is lightweight and pliable, making it one of the softest and warmest leathers readily accessible. It’s also one of the few types of leather that, when wet, returns to its original shape and softness. Thicker cuts of deerskin leather are ideal for MIG welding, while thinner cuts are ideal for TIG welding.

 

Pigskin

Pigskin is a dense leather, so it is less flexible than other leathers on the market. But because of the small pores in the skin, it allows the wearer’s skin to breathe which is great for welding gloves. Pigskin leather has a supple feel and retains its softness after being wet. Pigskin leather, though, is not recommended for use in areas where moisture levels are typically high. This type of leather is ideal for MIG and stick welders who require a high level of durability.

 

Elkskin

Elkskin leather is one of the softest and thickest leathers available. It’s the most heat-, flame-, and abrasion-resistant leather, and it won’t harden as quickly as other options. It remains soft even in hot and humid conditions and conforms to your hand, allowing you to move freely and comfortably. Elkskin’s heat resistance makes it ideal for stick welding.

 

Sheepskin

Unlike other leathers, sheepskin is tanned with the wool intact. Wool acts as an insulator and is resistant to flames and static electricity. Sheepskin is thin and elastic, allowing for flexibility and sensitivity, making it ideal for TIG welding. Its natural lanolin content helps heal sensitive and inflamed skin, and the fibers absorb perspiration.

3 Factors To Consider in Buying the Best Welding Gloves

welding gloves

3 Factors To Consider in Buying the Best Welding Gloves

welding gloves

With so many different kinds of welding gloves out there, it can be a challenge to choose the right one. Here we narrow down three factors to consider to make sure you get yourself the best welding gloves suited for you and the type of welding you do.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an estimated 562,000 employees are at risk or exposure to chemical and physical hazards of welding, cutting, and brazing. That’s why having the proper welding clothing and protective equipment should always be a priority. 

welding gloves

3 Factors to consider in buying the best welding gloves

Whatever the style or material you have in mind, the functional principle remains. Welding gloves are protective equipment made to allow digit articulation while protecting the hands of the welder from extreme heat, electrical shocks, or ultraviolet and infrared radiation. These also enhance grip and provide abrasion resistance. Now, before you go ahead and buy yourself a pair, consider these 3 factors. factors. apibus leo.

Type of Welding Gloves, welding glove material

The first thing you have to consider is to know the type of welding you do. This would dictate the kind of materials your welding gloves should be made of. There are those made for MIG welding, TIG welding, and Stick Welding. For each comes these three types of welding gloves. 

MIG Welding Gloves

In Metal Inert Gas or MIG welding, metal is joined together by electricity by forming an arc between the metal and the electrode. This means that there will be more sparks flying and could get a lot messy when grinding down the weld. The best MIG welding gloves then should give maximum protection while providing some dexterity. 

These can either be made of either pigskin, cowhide, or deerskin. Pigskin is a tough hide and works well in oily and wet conditions. Cowhide, on the other hand, is a well-known leather for protective clothing because of its durability. Deerskin is a supple soft hide that provides a nice dexterity perfect for MIG welding. 

Stick Welding gloves 

Stick welding is the most common type of welding which is used for the construction of heavy steel structures. It’s similar to MIG welding such that it also uses electricity creating an arc to join metals together. This type of welding job involves a lot of sparks and high heat as well and should, therefore, offer robust protection appropriate for the kind of job.

Stick welding gloves are made of either cowhide or elk hides. While both are great materials for stick welding, elk hides don’t harden as fast as cowhides when they are exposed to heat which means there is less hand fatigue making it the ideal pair for stick welding.  

TIG Welding Gloves

Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding is a very technical style of welding which requires a certain type of precision. TIG welding gloves are perfect for this type of welding job since it provides finger sensitivity while still giving the needed protection. 

The best TIG welding gloves are made of goatskin, horsehide, pigskin, and deerskin. Goatskin is soft and supple and offers great abrasion. Horsehide, on the other hand, is less popular than cowhide known also for its good dexterity. It’s comfortable, tough, and durable.

If you are out in the market for one that you can use not just for one particular type of welding job, you can opt for welding gloves that are uniquely crafted for TIG and MIG welders searching for a durable yet extraordinarily light design. The Waylander Welding gloves are forged to be resistant against rubbing and scraping while maintaining comfort and mobility.

welding gloves

The outside layer is made of leather goatskin, proven to have the highest tensile strength of any welding material with the addition of a suede leather cowskin cuffs. These gloves are also hemmed with Kevlar lining to provide extra strength in extreme conditions with rubber and leather reinforcements on the back and palm of the hand to increase grip and protection.

Type of Insulation 

Now that you know the type of welding gloves you need and you know the right material for it, you now move on to the type of insulation. Whatever type of welding you do, one thing is for sure, a lot of heat will be produced from the spark and heat of the torch which will then heat up your hands. The type of insulation is then necessary so you get maximum protection from your welding gloves. 

Cotton liner

Cotton liners are good insulators for moderate temperatures which are usually above 450°F. It can be bulky but is a good choice for those who aren’t looking to spend that much. 

Kevlar liner

Kevlar is well known for its resistance to heat and cuts. It doesn’t drip or melt even at temperatures reaching 800°F. Unlike cotton liners, they aren’t bulky which makes it perfect for welding jobs that require dexterity like TIG welding. 

Aluminized Backing

This type of insulation is perfect for stick welding which involves high heat. Aluminized backing helps deflect heat away from the hands which allows welders to work longer and perform better. 

Hand Movement

The last factor to consider in buying yourself the best welding gloves is hand movement. The level of dexterity you need depends on the type of welding job you do. For TIG welding, for example, you will need welding gloves that would give you a high level of dexterity since it requires a high level of precision. For MIG welding and Stick welding, you need low level of dexterity but higher heat protection. 

With so many types and designs of welding gloves in the market, it is easy to fall for ones that look nice. In the end, we regret going with style and less of the most important features and end up spending more and getting less of the quality you deserve. Keep in mind these three factors to consider in buying the best welding gloves and you end up with nothing but comfort, quality, durability and maximum hand protection. 

welding gloves
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Welding Sleeves: A Complete Buying Guide

welding sleeves

Welding Sleeves: A Complete Buying Guide

welding sleeves

Welding Sleeves are the ideal alternative for arm protection especially when welding jackets become too heavy for the job. Flame resistant cotton welding sleeves or even leather welding sleeves are on the list of things to have for welders everywhere. They’re not that expensive and they’re easy to use. The question is, how do you choose the best welding sleeves, and what works best for what you do?

According to a 2019 study by Arnold and Itkin, there are over half a million American welders and 1 in 250 construction workers die from a welding injury. So, whether you’re a professional welder or not, welding clothing like welding aprons, jackets, sleeves, and protective equipment should be your top priority.

Why use welding sleeves?

Welding jackets have long been the standard for safety and protection while on a job. While it gives optimum protection, there are some that require more arm movement and functionality. And for that, you need welding sleeves – the ideal alternative that protects against heat, flame, and sparks, all while maintaining mobility and comfort.

Welding sleeves are also much cooler than welding jackets. This is why it’s used often most especially for those who work in warmer climates. On top of that, these sleeves aren’t just useful for welding, these are also used for gardening, grinding, woodcutting, or other jobs that need arm protection.

How to Choose the Best Welding Sleeves

Welding sleeves come in different styles, materials, lengths, and colors. It is basically up to you to choose what’s most comfortable for you. But in making that decision, you need to consider these factors.

Welding Sleeves length

Ideally, welding sleeves are worn from the wrist to mid-bicep. That way, the shoulders are free to move and function. For the average male who’s arm length measures 25 inches, an 18-inch sleeve would work. But for those who have longer arms, 23-25 inch welding sleeves would be a better choice.

A quick tip is to measure the length from your wrist to your regular short-sleeved shirt. That way, you get an accurate comfortable length specific for your body.

Level of Heat Protection and quality of material

The quality of the materials used for your welding sleeves directly affects the level of heat protection. To know what kind of material would work best, think of the kind of job you do most of the time.

Assess how exposed you are to heat and how long you work in that condition. Also, think about the amount of slag and spatter you are subjected to while on the job. Once you know that, you can now choose the material that would best fit you. There are different types of fire retardant fabrics and each has its distinct property and use. For welding sleeves, materials used could either be Kevlar, leather, or cotton. Let’s take a look at these three up close.

Types of welding sleeves

Kevlar welding sleeves

For maximum heat protection, go for Kevlar welding sleeves. Kevlar is a strong synthetic fiber that is used to protect workers from abrasions, cuts, and heat. These are lightweight, flexible, and overall comfortable.

Unlike cotton, Kevlar fiber doesn’t shrink when exposed to heat and can be machine washed. Dry cleaning wouldn’t be a problem for normal cleaning.

Leather welding sleeves

Leather fabric is well-known for its flexibility and resistance to heat, fire, and cutting. It’s economic and can be reused for a longer period of time. While it isn’t as machine wash friendly as Kevlar and cotton welding sleeves, cleaning leather is fairly easy, similar to how you clean leather welding jackets. Read more about how to choose the best welding jacket on our blog.

welding sleeves
Get this Waylander Welding sleeves and the welding apron seen on this photo on Amazon.

While leather welding sleeves are readily available in the market, there are those that are made of cowhide split leather reinforced with protective Kevlar which could be a better choice. Check out this type of welding sleeves on Amazon. The combination of the two fire-retardant fabrics gives you the functions and properties of both which makes it a reliable means of protection.

Cotton welding sleeves

Cotton sleeves which are considered to be the most comfortable since it is the lightest. It’s thinner and breathable but they’re also the least heat-resistant as compared to Kevlar and leather. It offers protection from sudden flame exposure and light-duty welding sparks. Like Kevlar, these are also machine-wash friendly.

Welding sleeves style and comfort

Most of the time people buy welding sleeves for style and how good it would look on them. Style comes after you get to know the right measurement and the right material for what you do.

In choosing, you need to consider comfort and functionality. This would mean answering a few questions like, “Would the style get in the way of how I work?,” “Is this easy to wear?,” or “Would this fall off while I work?”

welding sleeves

Welding sleeves come in a wide array of styles. There are those that are just worn and secured by adjustable elastic, those that have a thumb cutout that covers the hand partially, those that fit like compression sleeves and some that are adjustable by cuffs and snaps. There are also welding sleeves that have a cooling design that keeps your arms cool and dry so you can work longer and harder.

welding sleeves
Get the Waylander Welding sleeves seen on this photo on Amazon

Whatever style you choose, you need to make sure it all works together to give maximum comfort, functionality, and protection.

These three factors to consider in choosing the best welding sleeves serves as a complete buying guide for those who are out in the market to buy one for themselves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced welder, having a pair of welding sleeves is a great addition to your list of protective clothing knowing that you have that alternative means of protection anytime. Make sure you read more on welding clothing and protective equipment. 

welding sleeves
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How to Choose the right Welding Jacket

welding jacket

How to Choose the right Welding Jacket

welding jacket

Choosing the right welding jacket is a skill you must have as a welder. Your work ranges from high end heavy industrial welding down to simple lightweight metal fabrication. With that comes different types of welding jackets to choose from. Here we give you a complete guide on how to choose the right welding jacket specifically for your job.

For whatever work you do, you need to have the right welding clothing and protective equipment. It’s not an option, it’s a need.

welding jacket

What are welding jackets used for?

Welding jackets are designed to give full protection from the neck down to the waist and also to the shoulder down to the arms against burns from heat, sparks, and weld splatter. It also protects your skin from the intense UV and IR radiation from a welding arc which increases the risk of skin cancer.  While welding jackets are primarily for welding, of course, it can also be used when oxy-fuel cutting or heavy grinding.

Choosing the right welding jacket for the job

What is the best type of welding jacket?

The primary features of a welding jacket are pretty basic. It needs to be durable, fire-resistant, can provide thermal insulation, electrical resistance, and heat protection. Most importantly, it needs to be made out of high-quality materials and is comfortable and easy to use.  The quality of materials used for a welding jacket directly impacts the durability and price of a welding jacket. So if you go for a cheap one, you get less durability and quality. While there are different types of welding jackets, some are better than others and it depends on the quality of the material and the kind of job you do.

Types of Welding Jackets

Welding jackets are classified according to materials used in their manufacturing. There are cotton welding jackets, leather welding jackets, and nylon/kevlar welding jackets. Take a look at how they’re different and get to know which one fits the kinds of job you do.

Cotton welding jacket

If you work in warmer climates or you want a welding jacket for summer, and you perform medium or light work, the cotton welding jacket is best for you. Cotton itself is flammable but these are altered chemically to make it fire-resistant. These are lightweight, flexible, and breathable and are the most affordable type of welding jacket in the market.

Leather welding jacket

Leather welding jackets are for those who work in cooler climates and engage in heavy-weight welding work like high-end MIG and TIG welding. Leather is the most durable material when it comes to welding jackets and is best known for its properties like thermal resistance and fire resistance. This immediately makes it the top choice welders who do heavy welding work. Leather welding jackets can either be top grain and split grain which have different tanning and cutting methods. Whichever you choose, you are sure to be free from skin irritations.

welding jacket

The best type of leather used in manufacturing welding jackets is cowhide. It is durable and strong and won’t crack easily like other leather types yet breathable and flexible. It is resistant to heat and punctures and moisture. This makes cowhide leather welding jackets a top choice.

welding jacket

Nylon/Kevlar welding jacket

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is lightweight, stretchable yet strong. Kevlar is a heat-resistant strong synthetic fiber. The combination of both produces fine material that primarily prevents skin burns. It is suitable for all industrial and heavy-duty welding work as it is breathable and highly flexible making it a good choice for those who also work in warmer climates.

What is the best size for a welding jacket?

Choosing the right size for a welding jacket is essential. If you pick the wrong one, you end up feeling uncomfortable which would affect work performance. Before you go ahead and choose a size, make sure to measure the size of your chest by wrapping a measuring tape around the upper body. If your belly area is considerably bigger, then measure the stomach area.  It is important you don’t wrap the measuring tape too tight to your body. A little allowance is always better. A tip would be to take the measurement while you wear your regular work clothes.

Which is more important, welding jacket material or convenience and comfort?

While some would prefer welding jacket material over convenience and comfort, the fact of the matter is safety comes first. So, in choosing, you should go with the one that you’re comfortable with so you avoid the risk of danger. There are some manufacturers who give a balance to high-quality material and comfort in welding jackets and it is up to you to find one that fits your need and your want.  Welders around the world need maximum protection from head to toe since they work in a high-risk environment. Underestimating what welding jackets can do by wearing the wrong one can expose welders to unwanted injuries or accidents. So whether it’s welding, oxy-fuel cutting, or heavy grinding, it’s a must to choose the right welding jacket specific for your job.

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