Best Welding Sleeves

Best Welding Sleeves

Welders are exposed to harmful radiation, sparks, and spatter when doing their job.

Hence, wearing proper protective gear is a must. Besides a welding helmet, welders usually wear a welding jacket and a welding cap.

However, a welding jacket can be cumbersome sometimes. Particularly, leather welding jackets can be very hot. Therefore, in certain conditions, like a warm climate, they can be uncomfortable to wear.

This is why some welders opt to wear welding sleeves only. Some welding techniques allow for the use of this protection item without the need for an entire jacket.

But with so many options in the market, you may have trouble deciding which one to get.

This is why we have tested many welding sleeves in the market to compile a list of the best ones. We evaluated the quality of material, refractoriness, size (length), and type of welding for which they are suitable.

Top Pick
Miller Electric 231096 (2)

Miller Electric 231096

  • Premium pigskin leather
  • INDURA flame-resistant cotton fabric
  • 21” (53 cm) long

We have selected the Miller 231096 as the best welding sleeves in the market. They offer superior protection while providing breathability and comfort. These sleeves are a great addition to any professional welder’s protection arsenal. They work great for any type of welding.

Welding Sleeves Comparison Chart

ImageProductPrice
Miller Electric 231096Miller Electric 231096

Length: 21” (53 cm)
Material: Premium pigskin leather & flame-resistant cotton fabric
Welding type: Any
Mokeydou EasyLife185Mokeydou EasyLife185

Length: 18” (46 cm)
Material: Kevlar and glass fibers
Welding type: TIG
Lincoln Electric KH813Lincoln Electric KH813

Length: 21” (53 cm)
Material: Flame-resistant cotton
Welding type: TIG
QeeLink QLLWSQeeLink QLLWS

Length: 18,5” (47 cm)
Material: Split cowhide leather
Welding type: Any
Hobart 770570Hobart 770570

Length: 19” (48 cm)
Material: Flame-resistant cotton
Welding type: TIG

5 Best Welding Sleeves (as of November, 2021)

1. Miller Electric 231096 Welding Sleeve – Best Miller Welding Sleeve Review

Miller Electric 231096 Review, Pros and Cons

When it comes to protection and performance, the Miller 231096 Combo Sleeves shine. These sleeves benefit from the combination of two different materials. This smart design hits the best compromise between protection and comfort.

Putting them on could not be easier. Just slip your arms in and secure them with elastic bands at the bottom and top. These bands will hold the sleeves in place during your welding. They provide supreme protection and breathability.

Material

The lower part of the sleeves is made of high-quality leather (pigskin). The upper part is made of flame-resistant cotton. The cotton enables airflow circulation, thereby creating a cool feel in your arms. It also helps reduce their weight.

Refractoriness

Leather is a proven material to protect against spatter, sparks, and even molten metal. Hot particles cannot penetrate this material. Hence, the lower part of the sleeves offers superior protection when it’s needed.

The upper part, on the other hand, can allow breathability since spatter is less likely to reach the upper arm. However, if this happens, flame-resistant cotton will protect your skin effectively.

Size / Length

These sleeves are 21” (53 cm) long, which fits most welders. Their size allows you to wear a long-sleeve t-shirt under the sleeves.

Types of Welding

You can use these sleeves for any type of welding. They will protect you even if you do high-amperage arc welding. Therefore, they are great for professional welders.

Hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts can use them too. However, the sleeves are pricey and may not be cost-effective if you weld sporadically.

Comfort

The wide elastic bands allow a firm and secure fit. Thus, the sleeves are quite comfortable while you work. Due to the combination of the two materials, the sleeves are not stiff.

Pros:

  • Two-material combination for supreme protection
  • Comfort and breathability
  • Secure fit thanks to wide elastic bands.

Cons:

  • Pricier than other options.

2. Mokeydou EasyLife185 Welding Sleeve – Best Kevlar Welding Sleeve Review

Mokeydou EasyLife185 Review, Pros and Cons

The Mokeydou EasyLife185 is an outstanding pair of welding sleeves. They are made of Kevlar, a strong material commonly used for the fabrication of bulletproof vests.

These seamless welding sleeves are reinforced with glass fibers. This adds mechanical resistance to cutting, tearing, and abrasion. They are perfect protection items to perform different industrial tasks.

Material

These leaves are weaved with Kevlar and glass fibers.

Hence, the sleeves are completely seamless. The materials are not toxic and don’t include any carcinogenic substances.

Refractoriness

For welding, these sleeves protect from sparks and spatter. However, these sleeves are resistant to light heat only.

Size / Length

The sleeves are 18” (46 cm) long. This size is good for most welders, including men and women.

Types of Welding

Because of the relatively low heat resistance of these sleeves, they are suitable for welding techniques that don’t generate a lot of heat. For instance, they can work for low-amperage TIG welding.

For hardcore welding, such as high-amperage stick welding, you should wear the sleeves under a welding jacket.

Comfort

These sleeves feel like stretchable fabric. Thus, they conform to your arm, thereby providing a very comfortable fit.

The sleeves have a thumb slot to prevent the sleeves from riding up. Moreover, these slots allow you to use your hands more freely. The sleeves are soft and flexible, which allows you to move your arms freely while working.

Pros:

  • Superior mechanical protection
  • Soft, flexible, and lightweight
  • Good for many industrial tasks.

Cons:

  • Limited use in welding because of relatively low resistance to heat.

3. Lincoln Electric KH813 Welding Sleeve – Best Flame, Heat Resistant Welding Sleeve Review

Lincoln Electric KH813 Review, Pros and Cons

Lincoln Electric is a well-known brand in the welding business. Hence, one can have big expectations for their KH813 welding sleeves. They are light and comfortable to wear in some cases.

But, do they offer the necessary protection to the welder? Let’s find out.

Material

These sleeves are made of 9-oz flame-resistant cotton. This material is lightweight and breathable.

This is the result of its thinness. However, the same thinness of the material diminishes the protectiveness of the sleeves.

Refractoriness

While the material is flame-resistant, splatter still can penetrate it in some cases. This can compromise your safety.

Hence, it is better to use these sleeves under a welding jacket. Direct exposure to heat may represent a risk, especially with hardcore welding.

Size / Length

With 21” (53 cm) of length, these sleeves fit most welders. For the tallest ones, they may be a bit short, though.

Types of Welding

These sleeves are suitable for light-duty welding, such as low-amperage TIG. If you use a high-amperage stick or flux-core welding, you better wear them under a welding jacket.

Comfort

These sleeves are very lightweight because of the material used for their construction. Since the material is thin, you’ll be able to move your arms freely while you wear them. You won’t even notice that you have them on.

The sleeves are equipped with elastic bands that help them keep in place. These bands are at the top and bottom sides of the sleeves.

These ensure a firm and secure fit. However, the elastic bands may be small in some cases.

Pros:

  • Superior comfort to wear
  • Lightweight and breathability
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons:

  • Not very effective for direct exposure to welding spatter.

4. QeeLink QLLWS – Best Leather Welding Sleeve Review

QeeLink QLLWS Review, Pros and Cons

The leather welding sleeves by QeeLink are suitable for hardcore welding. Leather is a proven flame-resistant material. The leather pieces of these sleeves are stitched together using Kevlar thread.

Make no mistake; these sleeves are made to last. If you are not completely satisfied with these sleeves, the manufacturer can reimburse your money. You cannot get a better deal, can you?

Material

These welding sleeves are made of thick leather (split cowhide). For more durability, the pieces are put together with fire-resistant Kevlar thread. A cotton layer is placed inside for a softer touch.

Refractoriness

Leather has been used for protection from welding sparkles and spatters for many years. It is a proven material. Hence, protection is not a problem with these sleeves.

Size / Length

Being 18.5” (47 cm) long, these welding sleeves fit average size welders. For taller welders, they may be a bit short. They can be worn by both men and women.

Types of Welding

Because of their superior protectiveness, these sleeves are suitable for any type of welding.

Comfort

Leather is generally a stiff material. Hence, to provide more comfort, these sleeves have an inner cotton lining. This prevents your skin from itching or getting chafed.

The sleeves can be adjusted using a Velcro band on the top. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t provide a tight grip.

Hence, the sleeves sometimes run down, which can bother during welding. Also, leather is not breathable. Hence, it can get very hot inside after some hour of welding.

Pros:

  • Superior protection in any type of welding
  • Exceptional durability
  • Inner lining for extra comfort.

Cons:

  • Bulky and hot to wear
  • A bit short.

5. Hobart 770570 – Best Arm Protection Sleeve Review

Hobart 770570 Review, Pros and Cons

The Hobart 770570 is a pair of flame-retardant welding sleeves. Hobart is a well-known manufacturer of welding products. This product is rather simple, but it offers the necessary protection for some welding tasks.

What’s more, they are quite affordable. Hence, this is the best value for your money if you are looking for functional welding sleeves.

Material

These sleeves are made of 9-oz flame-resistant cotton. This material is lightweight and breathable. Also, this cotton material is rather thin. This may raise some concerns about the protection it offers.

Refractoriness

Surprisingly, these sleeves can protect effectively from spark and spatter. During our tests, the welder could occasionally feel some large spatter landing directly on the sleeves. However, the spatter never penetrated the material.

Size / Length

With 19” (48 cm) of length, these welding sleeves are a good fit for most welders.

Types of Welding

These welding sleeves are good for light-duty welding, such as low-amperage TIG.

However, they’re not recommended for hardcore welding, where a lot of spatter is created. They are not suitable for welding processes in which molten blobs will land on the sleeve. These welding sleeves won’t stop them from reaching your skin.

Comfort

Although these sleeves are very basic, they are quite comfortable to wear. Elastic bands on both sides of the sleeves help to keep them in place firmly.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Inexpensive
  • Machine washable.

Cons:

  • Not for heavy-duty welding.

Buyer’s Guide

A professional welder works in a harsh and hazardous environment. This makes the use of proper protection gear indispensable. Welding sleeves can offer protection for the type of welding job you do.

The reviews above shortlist the best welding sleeves in the market. Which one is right for you? All of them are good, but they have different characteristics.

Hence, this buyer’s guide will give you additional information to choose the correct welding sleeves for your work.

How to Choose the Right Welding Sleeves

To choose welding sleeves for your work, you must rank your priorities.

In all cases, protection goes first. You can relax other requirements sometimes. However, the protection level must always be adequate for the type of welding work you do.

Hence, eliminate from the list the options that don’t offer enough protection for the type of welding that you perform.

Other characteristics like size and comfort must be considered too.

However, if you are a DIY hobbyist, comfort may not be your priority when choosing welding sleeves. After all, you’ll be welding sporadically. Contrastingly, if you are a professional welder, comfort is important.

Hence, considering the above characteristics, choose the option that is within your budget.

Material

The material of a pair of welding sleeves determines the level of protection as well as other characteristics. The most popular materials to make welding caps are leather, flame-retardant cotton, and Kevlar.

Let’s summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each of these materials.

Leather has the following pros and cons:

  • It is very resistant to sparks, spatter, and molted blobs. This material offers top protection in any type of welding scenario;
  • Leather, however, is not breathable. Hence, it is not suitable for hot climates. But even in normal climates, after some time, it will become hot inside;
  • Cleaning leather requires a special process;
  • The leather is stiff. Without interior lining, this material can chafe your skin.
Leather sleeves

For flame-retardant cotton, the pros and cons are the following:

  • Cotton is lightweight and breathable. Welding sleeves made with this material keep your arms cool;
  • Cotton is less expensive and easier to clean than leather;
  • Cotton is thin. As a result, it may not be as resistant as leather. Hence, this material is not the best for hardcore welding.

Finally, Kevlar has the following pros and cons:

  • Kevlar is a very tough fiber. Hence, it has exceptional mechanical resistant properties;
  • Kevlar items are weaved; hence they don’t have seams. This improves comfort;
  • Kevlar doesn’t offer protection from high temperatures. Hence, this material is not suitable for welding except for light-duty tasks.

Knowing these characteristics, you can choose the most convenient material according to your requirements. In some cases, the combination of materials can offer a good balance between protection and comfort.

Refractoriness

Welding sleeves must withstand extreme heat and UV radiation. Moreover, welding spatter must not penetrate the material. If this happens, the welding sleeves should be used under a welding jacket for added protection.

Size / Length

You should choose welding sleeves that cover your forearm, elbow, and preferably the entire upper arm. If possible, measure your arms to know the length that you need.

Make sure that the welding sleeves have a way to keep them in place. You don’t want them to ride up or down.

Types of Welding

The type of welding that you do determines the level of protection that you need. There are several welding techniques, but the most common are MIG, TIG, and arc welding.

Some of these techniques use low amperage, whereas others require high amperage. Some of these techniques create a lot of sparkles and spatter. Hence, for high-amperage arc and other hardcore welding jobs, you better get leather welding sleeves.

For light-duty welding, such as low-amperage TIG, you can opt for flame-retardant cotton welding sleeves. Cotton has some advantages in comparison to leather. Because of the lower level of protection required, you can enjoy the benefits of cotton.

However, if you do heavy-duty welding and want some comfort, look for welding sleeves that combine leather and cotton.

Comfort

This buying criterion may or may not be important. If you are a professional welder, then comfort is a top requirement. A professional welder spends hours welding, grinding, and doing related tasks every day.

In such a case, the protective gear must not be a burden. If you do light-duty welding, flame-retardant cotton provides protection and comfort at a reasonable cost.

But if you do heavy-duty welding, you will have to use leather welding sleeves. Remember, protection goes first.

You will have to invest a little bit more for comfort.

For example, you can get welding sleeves with interior lining for a softer touch. It will be even better if you get welding sleeves made of leather and cotton. Leather will offer protection in the forearm, whereas cotton will allow airflow in the upper arm.

Style

This is not a top requirement. But, well, it doesn’t harm to look stylish at work, does it? Hence, choose welding sleeves that have a cool design too.

Budget

Ideally, cost should not be a limitation to get the best welding sleeves for your work. In reality, you have to set a budget for your welding sleeves. The recommendation is to buy the best welding sleeves that are within your budget.

FAQ

When MIG welding, should I use sleeves?

MIG is a light-duty welding technique. Some professional welders wear gloves only when MIG welding.

However, depending on the position you are welding in, you may need some extra protection. Welding sleeves are a good choice for the said extra protection.

How to make welding sleeves?

If you are a DIY type, you may want to make some welding sleeves and save some money. Several online tutorials provide instructions to make a pair of basic welding sleeves. One of those ideas is the following:

  • Find a pair of old worn jeans without any holes from the knee down;
  • Cut the legs off at the knee;
  • Then cut the hem off. Take into account that you will use approximately 22” (56 cm) of denim of each leg;
  • Make casings for elastic bands on both sides of each leg;
  • Sew the elastic bands. Close the casings and sew them also. Use fire-resistant thread such as Kevlar thread for sewing.

Now, consider that these DIY sleeves may protect you up to some point.

However, DIY sleeves may not be the best option for hardcore welding. Professional welding sleeves are made of special materials. They prevent spatter, and even molted blobs, from reaching your skin. Common denim will not do it.

What is a good material for welding sleeves?

Leather is a good material for welding sleeves when it comes to protection from sparks and spatters. It is resistant even to molted blobs.

Spatter and sparks

Hence, this material is suitable for protection in any type of welding. However, it’s not perfect.

Leather is not breathable and, as a result, can be hot to wear. Moreover, its natural stiffness can chafe your skin if no lining is used.

As an alternative, 9-oz flame-retardant cotton can be used. This material is softer and breathable.

However, it is also thin and may not be resistant enough in the harshest welding conditions. Therefore, a combination of both materials can be the best solution to get the best of both worlds.

How durable are the welding sleeves?

The durability of some welding sleeves depends very much on the quality of the materials. Craftsmanship plays an important role also.

Having said that, the exact time that a pair of welding sleeves will last depends on several factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The frequency of use. The more often you use them, the shorter time they will last;
  • The type of welding that you do. Hardcore welding with a lot of spatter will deteriorate your welding sleeves more rapidly;
  • The care and maintenance you give to your sleeves. Particularly, you must clean leather welding sleeves on a semi-regular basis to help extend their lifetime.

Hence, the combination of these factors, together with the quality of the product, can result in a lifetime of a few months to a few years.

Do the welding sleeves help against electric shocks?

Yes, they do. Leather, Kevlar, and cotton are electrical insulators. However, take into account that perfect insulators don’t exist. While these materials can offer insulation from low voltages, they may not protect you against high voltage.

Best Welding Sleeves

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