Did you know that long-term exposure to an arc’s heat and ultraviolet radiation can result in skin cancer? During metal construction projects, personal protective clothing should be one of your top priorities. Many steelworkers use jackets, but these can be hot and heavy, and they tend to restrict your movements while you work.
Arm protection is a lightweight and comfortable alternative to full-body garments, and they offer the same level of safeguarding against burns and wounds. However, choosing the best pair of welding sleeves for the money and your needs can be a challenge, as there are many products available, which differ in terms of material, weight, and design.
In this comprehensive buyers’ guide, we will review limb safety gear from the most reputable brands and discuss crucial factors that you should take into account when shopping around. We will also look at suitable places to buy PPE for steelwork. Keep reading to learn more.
|Leather||One Size fits most|
|Leather||One Size fits most|
|Kevlar||One size, 18′ long, Sold as Pair|
|Cotton/Leather||One Size fits most|
|Flame resistant cotton||One Size fits most|
|Cotton & Leather||18” Leather/cotton Length, 22” Total length|
|Leather||21″ / 53 cm|
|Leather||24 x 9 in.|
Best Welding Sleeves for the Money
What are Welding Sleeves?
Welding sleeves are personal protective equipment that provide a similar function to gloves and aprons. These sleeves protect your skin against a wide range of hazards while you are welding. They consist of a pair of fabric tubes that you can pull over your arms.
The fabric is usually elastic, flexible, flame resistant or flame retardant, and heat–resistant. How far a pair of welding sleeves extend over the upper arms depends on its design and compatibility with other workwear. Some garments can attach to gloves, or they have thumbholes to keep the front in place and cover the part of your forearm and wrists that are left exposed by gloves.
Why is Welding Protection so Important?
While applying heat to join metal workpieces together, your arms are vulnerable to injuries from slag, hot splatter, and the heat that is emitted by the flame. Protective arm garments shield your skin against these and other hazards, including electric shocks, corrosive liquid spills, and toxic gasses.
While you are welding, you are also exposed to the UV radiation waves that are emitted by the arc. UV radiation burns unprotected skin as the sun does, and when you finish, you may have a ‘tanned’ arm. Wearing a pair of sleeves will lower your risk of cancer as the result of day-in and day-out exposure to this radiation.
10 Best Welder’s Sleeves Buyers’ Guide 2019
Lincoln Electric Black One-Size Flame-Resistant Welding Sleeves
- Brand Name: Lincoln Electric
- Color: Black
- EAN: 0725636420465 , 6280594360238 , 5448095627156
- Included Components: Welding Sleeves
- Item Weight: 4.0 ounces
- Material: Leather
- Size: One Size
The Lincoln Electric Black sleeves are made of flame–resistant and lightweight leather. They are comfortable to wear over your bare arms, as well as long-sleeved shirts. These sleeves offer unparalleled protection against sparks, heat, and harmful UV radiation.
The reviewers’ favorite aspect of the Lincoln Electric is that they are easy to slip on and pull off. These sleeves are also affordable for the long-term value they offer. Some may find them a little tight around the wrists where the elastic cuff is, but this prevents heat from radiating up your arm.
- Excellent value for money
- Long-term durability and protection
- Flame retardant
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Tight around the wrists
Leather Welding Work Sleeves for Men & Women | Cowhide Leather
- Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Material: Heavy Duty Leather
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 1.3 inches
- Color: Yellow
- Size: One-Size-Fit-Most
The Qeelink welding sleeves are made of a fabric that is a cowhide leather and Kevlar blend. The exterior of the fabric is entirely resistant to heat and sparks, and the inner is specially designed for optimal comfort.
This pair of sleeves have Velcro straps for an adjustable fit at the upper arm, and the elastic cuffs fit snugly around wrists of any size. The fit around the middle may be too bulky, but this makes it easier to wear over your work clothing.
- Durable cowhide leather and Kevlar blend
- Soft inner for comfort
- Heat and flame resistant
- Adjustable fit
- Bulky profile
Kevlar Cut & Heat Resistant Designer Arm Sleeves with Finger Openings
- Item Weight: 5.1 ounces
- Material: Kevlar
- Machine washable, Drip & Dry: Easy to Clean
- Colors: Black
- Size: One size, 18′ long; Sold as Pair
These protective garments are made of 100% Kevlar, and they are cut resistant with their double-ply knit construction. The seamless stretch fabric is flame–retardant and heat resistant. Additionally, they feature finger holes to protect your wrist and a significant part of your hand without restricting your movements.
The anti-slip material is lightweight and comfortable, and it is breathable to prevent heat and moisture build-up so you can work for longer. One drawback is that they don’t extend over the upper arm, but this makes them comfortable to wear with your work clothing.
- Finger holes allow for hand protection
- 100% Kevlar material
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Protects against heat and sparks
- Heat resistant and flame retardant
- Not long enough to protect your upper arms
Miller 231096 Combo Sleeves Leather 400 Degree F Pair
- Item Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.9 x 1.4 inches
- Item model number: FBA_231096
- Size: Universal
- Color: Royal/Black
- Material: Cotton/Leather
This pair from Miller Electric features a cotton inner and leather outer. The cotton keeps your arm cool while the leather offers protection against heat and sparks. At the top is an elastic cuff to ensure a secure yet comfortable fit.
The wristbands are soft and flexible, and you can comfortably wear them with your welding gloves. These garments are 21 inches long and don’t stretch to fit different arm lengths.
- Durable cotton and leather construction
- Safeguards against heat, radiation, and sparks
- Cotton inner remains cool
- Does not fit all sizes
Kevlar Sleeves Arm Protection Sleeves with Thumbhole
- Item Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 4.2 x 2 inches
- Size: Standard Size
- Color: Black
- Style: Arm Sleeves Protection
- Material: Kevlar
- Pattern: Cut Resistant
These Kevlar sleeves feature the same materials as bulletproof clothing, which are seamlessly woven and completely slash resistant. The double-ply layers enhance the radiation- and spark resistance of the fabric, and they can stretch to fit all arm lengths.
Another attractive feature of this pair is the finger holes that allow uninhibited hand movements while providing added protection to your hands and knuckles. An issue with this pair is that they tend to be tight at the top, but they are breathable and don’t limit blood circulation.
- High-end Kevlar construction
- Double-ply materials for enhanced cut and fire protection
- One size fits all
- Comfortable fingerholes
- The top end is tight
BLACK STALLION BSX® Reinforced FR Sleeves – Black w/Red Flames
- 9 oz. flame resistant cotton BSX welding sleeves
- 19 inch length
- Reinforcement layer
- Wide arm elastic
- Item Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 1 inches
- Item model number: BX9-19S-BK
The Black Stallion arm protection garments are made of flame-resistant cotton and feature a reinforced layer for additional safeguarding against slag and sparks. This FR pair is 19 inches long, and they feature comfortable elastic cuffs at the top and the wrists.
The material doesn’t stretch, but it is roomy enough to use over your work clothing. These BSX models are available at a reasonable price and offer excellent value for money.
- Optimal protection against fire and high temperatures
- Comfortable fit
- Easy to slip on and pull off
- Great value for money
- Flame resistant
- The material doesn’t stretch
Tillman Leather Goatskin and Cotton Protective Welding Sleeves
- Made of top grain goatskin material from wrist to upper arm, protects key exposure areas from sparks and spatter with less bulk.
- Royal Blue 9 oz. Fr cotton on upper sleeve.
- Leather seams are sewn with Kevlar thread for added strength and heat resistance.
- 2 1/4” wide external elastic secures sleeve to arm.
- 18” Leather/cotton Length, 22” Total length.
The Tillman gear is made of top-grain goatskin leather, and, at nine ounces, they are lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. The leather seams are sowed with Kevlar thread for added durability, and they will not catch alight.
With elastic bands included, these leather sleeves are 22 inches long and 2 ¼ inches wide. The bands fit securely to your wrists and upper arms. If you have big arms, however, they may be too tight.
- The goatskin fabric is durable and protective
- Flame resistant Kevlar stitching
- Comfortable fit over a shirt
- May not fit someone with big arms
IRONCAT 7000 Heat Resistant Leather Cape Sleeve
- Item Weight: 1.0 pounds
- Material: Leather
- Model Number: 7000/L
- Size: Large
- EAN: 662909003577
- Color: Tan
This reasonably priced leather welding cape sleeve is made from cowhide and doesn’t only cover your arms, but also a significant part of your chest. The material is heat and flame resistant, and it can protect your skin against airborne splatter.
One unique feature is conveniently located pockets that you can use for storing small accessories—to save you time while you are working. A minor issue with the IRONCAT is that it emits an unpleasant odor.
- Protects your arms and your chest
- Pockets for small tool storage
- Durable cowhide leather
- Heat and flame resistant
- Color comes off and can make your clothes yellow
- Emits an unpleasant smell
Waylander Welding Sleeves Leather Kevlar Stitched
- Weight: 1 lbs / 450 g.
- Circumference 17″ / 43 cm.
- Length 21″ / 53 cm.
- Material: Leather
- Style: Regular
- Color: Dark brown
Waylander protection clothing is made of premium thick cow leather and features Kevlar stitching that will not melt when exposed to high temperatures. On the inside is a satin lining for added comfort.
The upper ends are entirely adjustable to fit any arm, and the elastic bands are comfortable, but will not allow heat radiation, splatter, or sparks up the sleeve. The high-density materials tend to result in heat and perspiration build-up, which can be uncomfortable, but you can easily take it off to get some air.
- Offers high-end protection against hazards
- Completely adjustable
- Soft and comfortable against the skin
- Material is not breathable
Heat Resistant Welding Sleeves, Leather Sleeves for Welding
- Main material and featur : Leather material with double stitching to provide high abrasion resistance and heat resistant.
- Flexible design : The cuff with button closure design for maximum flexibility and easy operation.
- Heat and abrasion resistant : Potect your hands in contact with high heat, rough, sparks, sharp , flame, and so on.
- COLOR and SIZE (L x W ) : Yellow, 24 x 9 inches.
- Item Weight: 15.2 ounces
The Handook heat-resistant protective arm protection is made of leather material and features double stitching for added durability. The leather is also treated with a heat- and flame-resistant substance, and the sturdy outer is highly resistant to abrasion.
The cuffs have button closure designs for some adjustability, and the sleeve is 24 inches long. These leather welding sleeves may not be too comfortable, but they do an excellent job of protecting you against high temperatures, flames, and UV radiation.
- Durable leather with double stitching
- Highly abrasion, heat, and flame resistant
- Adjustable cuffs
- Not the most comfortable PPE
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Welding Sleeves
Protective clothing for welding consists of several materials, which are flame resistant and able to withstand abrasion, UV radiation, and high temperatures. Materials should ideally also be breathable and flexible for optimal comfort.
Fabrics that can fit these requirements include leather, Kevlar, denim, and cowhide. In most cases, the materials are processed or treated for added resistance to hazards and comfort. A sleeve can also consist of multiple layers of different materials to establish a comprehensive range of features.
Leather is a viable fabric option for durability, and Kevlar adds heat resistance. Some products have cotton inners for comfort.
When you are welding for hours on end, heavy protection gear can result in fatigue, which will lower your productivity significantly. The weight of your sleeves is a significant buying consideration, especially if you need them for overhead or industrial welding applications, where you have to lift your arms to weld.
Highly protective materials are generally thick and heavy. When selecting welding sleeves, find a balance between protection and weight. A product like Lincoln Electric performs admirably in both.
Weight is not only a result of materials but also the design and dimensions of the garment.
Sleeves should fit and be compatible with your gloves, welding jacket, and other personal protective equipment that you want to use. A sleeve should not be too tight or too bulky. Ideally, it should have adjustable features instead of being a rigid, unmovable tube.
Buttons, Velcro strips, elastic cuffs, and flexible fabrics are all design features that allow a suitable fit. Some products are designed to extend over your hands and are kept in place by your fingers. Finger holes are also ideal if you need added protection for your hands.
Movability is another crucial consideration for comfort. If your welding sleeves are too stiff or rigid and restrict your movements, you will be more likely to take them off and continue without them.
Fabrics that are flexible and can stretch to contour to the shape of your arm are typically moveable, but they don’t offer the same protection as leather. If your heat protection requirements are relatively low, consider a material that leans more towards movability.
On the other hand, if your skin is frequently exposed to UV rays, sparks, and high temperatures—and if you remain in one position throughout your working day—movability may not be your highest priority.
The primary function of welding sleeves is to keep your arms safe from metal construction hazards. Comfort is a secondary priority, and, generally speaking, the more protection your garments offer, the more uncomfortable they are likely to be.
There are several sleeves, however, that offer high-end protection, but are also soft, breathable, lightweight, and movable. Another factor that contributes to comfort is wear-ability with other protective clothing pieces.
Comfort is a crucial requirement, as it will prevent fatigue and frustration. Comfortable sleeves are also safer as they will not restrict your movements while welding.
You should consider your work environment and the climate when selecting your welding sleeves. If you work in high-intensity environments, where you can never remove your protective gear, select welding arm protection that is lightweight and offers sufficient protection like being flame resistant.
If you work in warmer climates or indoor spaces, breathability is crucial to prevent the build-up of heat and moisture under the fabric. If you work in cold outdoor settings, for example, in shipping yards or along pipelines, you need a warm sleeve that can fit over your welding jacket. Silk or cotton inners are ideal for these applications.
Best Places to Purchase Protective Welding Gear
There are several places to buy safety gear. For worry-free return policies, transparency in terms of product quality and customer service, and fast shipping, head over to Amazon.
When you browse on Amazon, you can see what previous buyers thought of the product they bought, and find out everything about things like material quality, protective features, and comfort. You don’t need to go out to compare features or find the best product for your needs.
If you have a problem with your sleeves, you can also quickly and easily return the product.
Employee Purchase Program
Depending on the terms of your employment, your company may offer reimbursements for your welding protection gear. If this is the case, you can use your employee purchase program to buy welding sleeves without being limited by budget constraints.
If you are not sure about an employee purchase program, contact your employer or HR department and ask them to provide you with more information. If there is such a program, find out if there is a recommended supplier. If not, you can refer back to the list above to select a pair that meets your needs.
Many welders make the mistake of continuing their welding operations with minimal use of personal protection equipment. While working without pesky respirators, sleeves, jackets, aprons, and gloves may be more comfortable and affordable, it may leave you susceptible to a wide range of personal injuries and health issues.
Your arms may not need the same level of protection. If your bare skin is exposed to the heat and UV radiation of a welding arc daily for several years, however, risk of severe conditions increases significantly.
If you wear protective sleeves, you will be able to continue a welding career without any problems. For the best purchase prices and a more extensive inventory selection of major brands, we recommend Amazon as the go-to platform for high-end products. All garments listed above are available there.