10 Best Welding Sleeves 2021 – Reviews and Guide
Welding is a hazardous task, and there are several dangers associated with it. As long as you do not want to walk around with scarred arms, one of the critical things, both hobbyists and professional welders alike, need a pair of welding sleeves.
An essential item, a lot of the sleeves on the market lack comfort or proper protection. While any mediocre pair can get the job done, they are most definitely not ideal.
In this guide, we have listed the most comfortable welding sleeves out there. Read on to find out our picks for the ten best welding sleeves, in no particular order!
Review of Top 10 Welding Sleeves (2020)
In the following section, we have reviewed what we believe to be the top 10 welding sleeves you can buy right now. Hopefully, it should help you decide what to buy.
1. ZaoProteks ZP2202 Leather Welding Sleeves
These welding sleeves are of excellent quality and get the job done. With outstanding heat and abrasion resistance, they are perfect for when you need to get a job done.
The sleeves are ideal for the average hobbyist welder. Made out of pure cowhide leather, they offer relatively decent heat resistance, and the double-stitching in the leather makes it fairly abrasion-resistant.
The elastic cuff and the 17-inch length contribute to a comfortable fit. While the size is slightly shorter than the average 18-inch length, these should still fit most people.
This product is meant for heavy-duty use and is also multi-functional; one can use it for anything and everything, ranging from welding to gardening to refinery work. Yellow in color, they will help you stand out in dark conditions, but they are not fluorescent.
They have a significant flaw, however. While they are heat resistant and will not burn up, they do not do the best job of keeping heat away from the user and get very hot in summer, perhaps to the point where it may be uncomfortable to use.
2. Jewboer Leather Welder Sleeves
A smart pair of welding sleeves for the smart welder! Jewboer has done it again with another product of excellent quality, this time made of leather.
This pair is quite heat resistant and offers the user decent protection from any sparks and heat generated from welding. Hence, it is also quite multi-functional and perfect for a variety of tasks that involve heat.
The orange color will stand out, but the overall minimalistic design makes it usable with any set of tools and attire in any situation.
Sporting an elastic cuff on one end, they are quite comfortable to wear. However, being 16.5-inches long, the cuffs are slightly on the shorter side and may not be suitable for people with very long arms.
Though reasonably affordable and mid-range pair, these do have some flaws. Some may be poorly sewn and may require using a sewing machine to patch it up.
As mentioned above, these are smaller than average. These are also a tad bit on the heavy side as well.
3. Lincoln Electric KH813 Welding Sleeves
While this product is simplistic in design, do not be fooled by it. They are excellent to use, and one of the best pairs in the market for arc welding!
Lincoln Electric is a renowned brand, and they have done it again with their KH813 model of sleeves. Black in color and minimalistic in design, they will go with any welding jacket or attire that you wear.
These are incredibly lightweight and are very breathable. With an elastic cuff included, these are some of the most comfortable sleeves in the market.
Alongside comfort, they also provide excellent protection against stray sparks and are flame and heat resistant. With no burn-through, these are some excellent, high-quality mig and tig welding sleeves, and are ideal for any sort of welding.
Coming in at 21-inches in length, these long sleeves are perfect for people with long arms, but this brings in a few flaws. However, these are not ideal for people with short arms, and the tight cuff may not be comfortable for people with muscular arms.
4. Hobart 770570 Cotton Welding Sleeves
Manufactured in Pakistan, just like clothes from there, these welding sleeves offered by Hobart are of excellent quality!
A minimalistic dark grey design makes it suitable to wear with anything. Made from pure cotton. These sleeves are very breathable and comfortable to wear.
Furthermore, these flame-retardant sleeves are 19-inches long and are practically perfect for anyone and everyone. Being made out of cotton, they are also incredibly lightweight, and the fact that they are easily attachable adds to the comfort factor.
While lightweight, it is quite thick. This is almost as thick as your knee welding pads. Even after multiple washes, it holds up properly, and the elastic cuff does not deform easily.
However, these gloves fall short when used for MIG welding. There is a significant risk factor, as burn-through can occur when doing MIG welding.
For tig welding, however, these are fine. Despite everything, this will not last long as stray sparks can cause them to get pinholes in them.
5. US Forge 99411 Welders Sleeves
These sleeves have a significant selling point – the use of premium cotton to make them. The use of premium cotton is the perfect justification for the higher price you pay.
Proban FR7A cotton is the primary build material for this product. The Proban process grants the cotton excellent flame retardation properties, while the FR7A process grants the cotton superior flame resistance.
These sleeves are incredibly long, coming in at 23-inches. This means they are not suitable for people with short arms. While they are relatively cheap compared to the length they are available in, the stitching is not that durable.
Loose stitching is a significant issue with this product. Alongside that, these are not meant for heavy-duty work and should only be used for light-duty work.
All in all, this high-quality cotton sleeve, with the processes it has undergone, is excellent for welding and other tasks relating to heat.
6. Leather Welding Work Sleeves
While the name is nothing unique or exciting, the item itself is of incredibly high quality and is excellent to use, thanks to the vast array of features it offers.
This pair is a hybrid of all the three primary materials used to make welding sleeves. The flame-resistant Kevlar threading offers heightened durability and strength.
The use of thick, split cowhide leather outer layers offers excellent heat resistance. You will get to experience supreme, maximum comfort for the protection the leather provides because of inner cotton.
Due to these sleeves’ hybrid nature, these are perfect for all forms of welding, including both mig and tig, and for other tasks that involve damage to your arms. The cotton on the inside aids in abrasion resistance and will help prevent chafing as well.
About 18-inches in length, they are a perfect size that will fit most people’s arms. However, for some people, the elastic cuff may be too tight on one end while too loose on the other, thus causing some discomfort.
Overall, this product has excellent value-for-money, and despite being a tad bit on the heavier side, it gets the job done very well.
7. Tillman 9215 Goatskin and Cotton Welding Sleeves
Tillman is one of those brands that are well-known to anyone who is into welding. A reputable brand, they have designed some excellent welding sleeves, and this is one of them.
Made from an unconventional material, these are a hybrid. The goatskin leather is sewn together with Kevlar threading for added flame and heat resistance.
Cotton is used on the upper sleeve and as lining on the inside, making these sleeves incredibly comfortable to wear, as they are both breathable and provide optimum protection. All this comes without sacrificing their average weight or flexibility.
Being 22-inches in length, the sleeves are perfect for people with long arms, but not optimal for average or short arms. The elastic cuffs are also just the right size to fit on most arms in general.
Moreover, the average weight of these sleeves, combined with their breathability, makes them incredibly comfortable while not sacrificing protection.
However, as these are mainly made out of goatskin and not predominantly cotton, these should not be machine washed and should either be dry-cleaned or hand-washed, as otherwise, the leather may get damaged.
Also, the elastic cuffs on some of these sleeves may be too weak and might tear after some use.
8. West Chester IRONCAT 7071 Cotton Welding Sleeves
West Chester has a variety of options for welding sleeves. However, this pair, in particular, stands out as it is incredibly comfortable to use.
These sleeves are made from flame-resistant sateen cotton, meaning they are incredibly breathable and lightweight. There aren’t many pair of sleeves that are more comfortable than these, as the flame resistance and sateen make it cool even when working in hot situations.
Green in color will also stand out so that you stand out, but these are not fluorescent. They are 18-inches, so they are ideal for the average person. The 3/4-inch wide elastic cuffs offer perfect fitting as well.
Moreover, the item meets the ASTM D6413 safety standards, and hence is safe to wear and should offer absolute protection while welding. These are quite affordable, only adds on to the fact that it would be a great product to have around.
One complaint you may have is that they are too tight, but apart from that, these sleeves are excellent and should be considered when purchasing a pair of welding sleeves.
9. Tillman 6200E Welding Sleeves
Some people value comfort above all. This offering by Tillman is more so suited for them, as it is made purely from cotton and is very comfortable indeed.
Made from Westex FR7A cotton, these sleeves are flame-retardant. They are easily washable and very breathable, and with the standard elastic cuffs, these are very comfortable to use.
Being 23-inches in length, these are suited for people with very long arms, but not so much for shorter arms. However, for longevity, these are most definitely not the best, as leather sleeves are far more durable and will last longer.
The green color helps them stand out, but they are not fluorescent. At a very affordable price point, these are quite good.
However, the issue of these being unsuitable for mig welding comes back again. Overhead mig welding can result in holes burning through it.
For tig welding, however, this is perfectly fine. As mentioned above, they are not suitable for people with average-sized or short arms.
10. ZaoProteks ZP2203 Fabric Welding Sleeves
ZaoProteks makes another entry in this list, this time with a pair of fabric welding sleeves.
Like several other sleeves on this list, this pair is green in color, but not fluorescent, helping you stand out. These sleeves are made from a flame-resistant fabric with double stitching to provide added abrasion resistance.
The fabric, coupled with the elastic cuffs, makes this a relatively flexible pair of sleeves, albeit they are a bit short (16-inch length).
This product is multi-purpose and multi-functional, with the emphasis being on its excellent use for welding. The threading and sewing on this thing are relatively weak, though, and they may need to be sewn again after some help.
The fabric is better than cotton at protecting you, while far more comfortable than leather. This makes it the perfect low-cost-high-value pair of sleeves, offering the best of both worlds.
Why Do You Need Welding Sleeves?
Here are the reasons why you need welding sleeves.
First and foremost, protection is the main reason for buying welding sleeves. Welding is quite a dangerous job and can result in many accidents occurring if adequate protection is not worn, such as getting severe burns, losing visions, brain damage, scarring, and several more.
While a welding mask can help protect you from damage to your face, what about your arms?
These scenarios are where welding sleeves come in. Compared to welding jackets, which provide minimal protection, especially for your arms, these offer far superior protection.
They are more efficient at blocking sparks from hitting your arms, regardless of the material. Since they are reasonably inexpensive, it is worth purchasing a pair just for the protection factor.
The other reason why you need them is because of the comfort that they can provide. Due to the variety of materials that welding sleeves are available in, there is one that gives you the most comfortable experience.
Furthermore, since a lot of the time, welding is done with your elbows against a hard, rough surface, welding sleeves can prevent chafing. This issue is a significant problem, especially for people with dry elbows.
Things to Check before Getting One
Before buying a pair of welding sleeves, there are specific criteria to check—everything from sleeve length to material matters when choosing the best welding sleeves for yourself.
This factor is relatively self-explanatory. Since not all people have the same length of arms, manufacturers make all different lengths of sleeves, ranging from 10-inches to 25-inches.
Measurements are taken from the wrist to the point where a short-sleeve t-shirt would end. You should choose the one you think will fit you best, or measure the length you require before purchase.
The thickness can contribute to added protection, but most of the time, thicker sleeves do not fit under welding gloves and are hence inefficient. Thus, one should keep in mind how thick these things are and whether they will fit under gloves when buying them.
The three most common materials used in making welding sleeves are Kevlar, cotton, and leather. When buying a pair, make sure to purchase one made from something you are not allergic to.
Kevlar is a strong synthetic fiber that is highly heat resistant. They are lightweight and quite flexible, and unlike some other materials, do not shrink when exposed to heat.
However, Kevlar is an expensive material to produce, and as such, sleeves made out of it are, on average, more costly than those made out of other materials.
Cotton is a breathable material and incredibly light, making it perhaps the most comfortable fabric. However, cotton offers minimal heat protection, and certain kinds of cotton treated with chemicals such as ammonium phosphate may cause heightened allergic reactions.
Leather is a long-lasting and recyclable material, making it an economical and eco-friendly material for welding sleeves.
While they are not machine-friendly, welding leather sleeves are washable by hand. They offer decent heat resistance and are perhaps the cheapest options to go for on average.
An alternative to leather and Kevlar is a combination of them. Kevlar reinforced cowhide leather welding sleeves offer the best of both Kevlar and leather, all in one package.
You should pick a pair that best meet your needs and are the most comfortable for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are the most common questions people have before making a purchase and answers to them.
1. Is a welding sleeve even necessary if I have a welding jacket?
As mentioned above, absolutely! If not simply for the heightened protection, they offer to your arms. You should most definitely buy them for the added comfort and padding. Aprons are the main competition for welding jackets.
2. What is the best material for them?
This depends on your needs. If you value comfort above all, go for cotton. If you value protection, go for Kevlar. If you value economic value, go for leather. Alternatively, settle for a hybrid half-and-half, or opt for a Kevlar-reinforced leather sleeve.
3. Is it safe to do overhead welding with welding sleeves?
As long as they are flame-retardant and minimally heat resistant, and as long as you do not do anything that endangers you, almost all the sleeves listed in this review and guide should be safe to use while engaging in overhead welding. However, I would advise you to use welding blankets as well.
4. There are so many options! Which should I choose?
Well, this problem is precisely what the review portion of this guide aims to resolve!
There are so many products out there; some bad, some good, and some great. This guide has set out to help you decide the best welding sleeves for yourself and provide a review of what we believe are the ten best ones. We hope we succeeded, and happy welding!