Nice full coverage at 27" of width. Large, deep pockets. Includes a high pocket for your smartphone. Made from a good quality heavy-duty waxed canvas. Great for woodworking, but also can withstand high heat situations.
The straps on this apron can be difficult to use and keep fastened.
Nice quality leather – not too thick, not too thin. Heat resistant, made for welding, but great for a lot of shop applications. Lighter than other leather aprons. Strap design helps keep the weight off your neck, making it very comfortable. Good quality for the price. Nice length for tall people.
This apron is very long, which offers less range of motion than others on the market, however the length makes it very protective.
Shorter length with the same width, makes it a comfortable choice for shorter people. Waxed canvas works well in a light-industry shop, or in forge applications. Company stands behind product and will replace it if you have problems. Straps work well.
Apron is pretty stiff coming out of the box and needs a breaking-in period.
Quality workmanship, strong and sturdy leather, unisex sizing, and plenty of pockets make this shop apron perfect for crafting, grilling, or working in the shop. Clothing is protected from flames, sparks, dust, dirt, grease, and stains. Headphone loop lets you listen without a cord dangling in your workspace.
This shop apron is "one size fits all" and may not be suitable for wearers that are big or tall.
Made from cowhide. Comfortable and lightweight. Does a great job of protecting your clothing from sparks. Provides more protection than heavy canvas. Straps cross in the back to defer weight from your shoulders. Stands up to hard use.
Designed with fewer pockets than most on the market.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
An apron is one of the most useful items you’ll find in a shop. Shop aprons are not just for mechanics, welders, and blacksmiths, either. Other people use them, too: butchers, bakers, beauticians, pet groomers, and artists, to name a few. If you want to avoid soiling, tearing, or otherwise damaging your clothing, a shop apron is an apt choice.
There are many benefits to wearing a shop apron. First off, they look cool — and they’re available in a range of materials, colors, and styles. If you’ll be working with multiple small tools, consider getting one with multiple pockets. If you’ll be working with caustic chemicals or hot liquids, invest in one to protect yourself and your clothing. There are many types of handiwork that call for a protective apron, especially if you anticipate getting your hands dirty.
Read on to learn more about shop aprons and how to choose the best one for your purpose and pocketbook. When you are ready to make a purchase, consider our recommendations.
Welding shop aprons: When welding, using a cutting torch, or performing other hazardous shop tasks, safety is paramount. A heat-resistant, flame-proof welding apron protects your clothing from slag, hot metal, sparks, and fire. This type of apron serves the needs of not only welders but also blacksmiths, lathe operators, and mechanics. Typically made from leather, a quality welding shop apron should provide years of service.
A full welding shop apron looks like a chef’s apron but provides extra coverage and protection over the shoulders, around the waist, and about the neck. These aprons are typically made of leather and are meant to protect your clothing and skin. Many choices feature deep side pockets for supplies, double-stitched seams for durability, and adjustable straps for comfort.
Rubber or vinyl shop aprons: Heavy-duty rubber or vinyl shop aprons are recommended when mixing farm or shop chemicals, when butchering, and when cleaning fish. Any other task that requires heavy-duty protection is a candidate for a rubber or vinyl apron, as well. These aprons are designed to keep your clothing dry and free from odorous debris.
Disposable shop aprons: Disposable shop aprons are ultra-thin and often individually wrapped. Designed for one-time use, these aprons are inexpensive yet often highly effective at protecting the wearer from liquids, grease, and oil. If your task does not require protection from sparks, caustic chemicals, or other hazards, a disposable shop apron may be all you need. For example, if you’re painting a room or cleaning the dog kennel, you might find a thin, disposable shop apron to be the most convenient choice.
Bib apron: Bib aprons provide ample coverage for the full torso. A traditional design used around the world for centuries, the bib apron sports a loop around the neck and ties around the waist. For most, the apron falls just above the knee.
This style of apron provides excellent protection for anyone whose job or passion subjects them to messy or hazardous spills and splatters. This includes machinists, lab technicians, and animal caregivers.
Bib apron with suspenders: If you wear a bib apron with suspensers, you’ll have no loose ties to worry about. This style of apron typically features a three-slot chest pocket, reinforced suspender attachment points, and a rugged cotton canvas material that repels tough stains.
Bib aprons with suspenders have pockets on each side for tools and a locker loop behind the collar for hanging. They are hemmed to fall about the knee and designed to be durable and tear-resistant.
Waist aprons: Waist shop aprons, also known as half aprons, are not designed to provide full torso coverage; coverage is provided from waist to knee only. This type of apron sits well above the wearer’s knee, allowing for flexible leg movement. Waist aprons are perfect for persons that need to move about frequently and quickly. This is the style preferred by carpenters and craftsmen.
Waist aprons designed for the shop typically have a minimum of two front pockets for pens, supplies, and tools.
Disposable plastic shop aprons are the cheapest. Heavy-duty leather shop aprons are the most expensive. The apron that’s right for you depends on the tasks you need to complete.
Many shop aprons are of the “one size fits all” variety. However, there are some companies that make shop aprons for children and/or persons of exceptional girth. Most shop aprons can be folded over at the waistline to adjust the length of the apron. However, several brands offer custom sizing for a nominal cost. Custom-sized shop aprons are available from extra-small to 7XL: short to extra-tall.
For the sake of durability, a shop apron made with quality manufacturing techniques and materials is best. Look for double stitching, brass grommets, and brass rivets for strength. Apron pockets should be double-stitched and deep enough to accommodate your necessities. Apron ties should be securely attached, and a locker loop should be provided to keep your apron from falling off of a hook.
Shop aprons are manufactured from a broad range of materials including waxed canvas, denim, chrome-tanned leather (which is lighter than oil-tanned leather), oil-tanned split cowhide, rubber, and vinyl. The material you select should be based on function.
Heavy-duty rubber or vinyl (PVC) shop aprons aren’t just for the shop. They’re also handy for washing the car, cleaning the pool, gutting fish, and bathing the dog.
If you’re taking on a dirty job that requires a shop apron, you may also need a few other items to protect yourself.
Safety goggles: YESWELDER True Color Welding Goggles
The best safety goggles provide eye protection while welding, cutting, brazing, sanding, or spraying. Offering good protection, these darkening welding glasses can be adjusted to your sensitivity. They will fit under a hard hat if needed.
Gloves: Leather Forge Welding Gloves
A handy pair grill gloves that does double-duty in the shop, these are great for tending the woodstove, welding, barbecuing, and ice fishing. They are double-insulated to protect hands in extreme heat and cold, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.
Inexpensive: If you are looking for a lightweight, waterproof cover to protect you from splats and splatters, you can find plenty of choices for between $10 and $15 that may be made of lightweight canvas, denim, or nylon. While these lighter aprons might provide protection from non-hazardous liquids, grease, and grime, they do not protect from corrosive chemical solvents, heat, sparks, or flame. Individually wrapped disposable shop aprons on the budget end may cost from $.07 to $.13 per apron.
Mid-range: In this price range, you can expect to find heavy-duty leather shop aprons of high quality in a diverse array of styles from reputable companies. A mid-range bib shop apron, the most popular design when arm and shoulder protection is not required, sells for approximately $20 to $30. Bib shop aprons of comparable quality crafted from canvas or denim may cost $20 to $38.
Expensive: Top-shelf bib aprons are often made of leather. Sold for anywhere from $40 to $90, many of these high-quality aprons can be expected to last a lifetime.
Leather welding aprons do double duty. You can use your apron for household chores, in the shop, at work, or when grilling.
When you need a shop apron with plenty of storage for tools and supplies, the Holanton Work Apron with nine pockets is durable, comfortable, and an excellent value. Built to last, this apron features solid brass grommets and rivets, double-stitched hems, and double-stitched pockets with plenty of space. A handy headphone loop keeps headphones in place if you want to listen to tunes while working.
The sturdy QeeLink Leather Welding Apron resists heat and flames. Made from split cowhide leather, this extra-long apron is multifunctional and quite handsome. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Readywares Waxed Canvas Tool Apron is great for gardeners, mechanics, potters, and woodworkers. It’s made of tough and durable waxed canvas and has a whopping 12 pockets as well as two tool loops. Putting it on is no problem; the easy-to-close back buckle snaps quickly into place.
Q. Do rubber or vinyl shop aprons have cloth backing?
A. It depends. While some brands make aprons for industrial purposes out of solid rubber, others use lightweight rubber or vinyl with a cloth backing. A shop apron with a cloth backing is much cooler to wear.
Q. I have to buy my own safety gear for work. Should I expect to spend a lot of money on a shop apron?
A. The price you pay depends on the quality of the product. How often you wear the apron is key. If you wear it for work, it sounds as though you might need an apron every day. A high-quality shop apron will provide years of daily service; many of these can be had for around $50, give or take a few dollars. A cheaper shop apron (under $20), worn daily, might need to be replaced sooner than later.
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