Best Pants for Welding in 2020 That Are Fire Resistant (FR)

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There may be no conditions tougher on work pants than those in a welding shop.

Sparks, embers, grinding debris, electricity, fire and molten metal are hazardous.

Your welding pants need to be long-wearing and comfortable no matter what.

We researched the available selection, and these welding pants are just what you need.


A quick comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Best overall
Carhartt 100791
Carhartt 100791

Relaxed fit

Super tough fabric

Brass zipper

Wrangler Riggs FR31
Wrangler Riggs FR31

100% cotton denim

Nomex thread

Boot cut

Ideal for summer
Black Stallion 40WS
Black Stallion 40WS

All leather

Kevlar stitching

Summer welding pants

Magid SparkGuard
Magid SparkGuard

Durable cotton

Machine washable

Reinforced zipper

Caterpillar 1810006 Cargo
Caterpillar 1810006 Cargo

Lightweight

Look normal

Cargo pockets

Bulwark Twill Khaki
Bulwark Twill Khaki

Lightweight

Breathable

Good uniform pants

Woman's pants
ARIAT Women's Bootcut
ARIAT Women's Bootcut

Look normal

Rugged denim

Boot cut

Best Pants for Welding

Here's a list of some of the best pants for welding:

1. Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants

Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants
  • 11 ounce duck - 88 percent cotton, 12 percent nylon
  • Cut for full seat and thigh
  • Triple-stitched main seams
  • Non-conductive waist button
  • Nomex zipper tape

Pros

  • Brass zipper
  • Reinforced pockets
  • Two back pockets, two front
  • Leg pocket
  • Straight leg

Cons

  • Too loose for some
  • No hammer loop

Overview

Carhartt has been a favorite of farmers, ranchers, linemen and trades workers for a long time. Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants are some of the toughest pants you can buy. Cut from 13-ounce flame resistant cotton duck canvas, they’re tough as nails. They’re famous for resisting punctures, wear and tears. These pants are made with a single piece on each side for a full seat and thigh, allowing room for bending and squatting without sacrificing durability by adding extra seams.

The Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants are triple-stitched on every seam. This pair has two front and two rear pockets and a smaller pocket on the leg suitable for scribe or soapstone. The waist snap is non-conductive to resist current and arcs. Some owners feel they’re too loosely fitting. Carhartt describes them as relaxed fit dungaree pants, so you might want to order them a bit smaller than your usual blue jeans sizing.

With a fireproof nomex zipper tape, brass zipper for longer wear (brass is self-lubricating) and reinforced pockets, Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants are worth a look.


2. Wrangler Riggs Workwear FR31 Flame Resistant Welding Jeans

Wrangler Riggs Workwear FR31 Flame Resistant Welding Jeans
  • 14.75 ounce flame resistant cotton denim
  • Arc resistant waist button
  • Triple stitching
  • Five pockets and leg pocket
  • Gusseted waist

Pros

  • Brass zipper
  • Nomex zipper tape
  • Boot cut legs
  • Reinforced pockets
  • Nomex thread

Cons

  • Stiff material
  • Waist runs small

Overview

Wrangler Riggs Workwear FR31 Flame Resistant Jeans are made from 14.75 ounce, flame resistant, 100 percent cotton denim. It’s a very heavy fabric that makes some pretty stiff pants. One woman humorously claimed her husband’s pants still stood up by themselves after a year’s worth of washing. While she’s not serious, these pants do require some breaking in before softening up.

They’re triple-stitched with Nomex thread and a brass zipper. They’ve got Nomex tape at the zipper closure and use a non-conductive button waist closure to minimize the danger of arcs. Wrangler Riggs Workwear FR31 Flame Resistant Jeans feature a relaxed fit and they’re cut to fit over pull-on boots. These pants have reinforced pockets, including a leg pocket for a knife, wrench or scribe. Wrangler has also sewed in a gusset below the waist for extra strength and wear. This might be why some owners feel that these jeans run somewhat tight in the waist.

These Wrangler Riggs Workwear FR31 Flame Resistant Jeans are a favorite in automotive, machine and welding shops. Thoughtful design, high quality and great value are the reasons why.


3. Black Stallion 40WS Leather Welding Pants

Black Stallion 40WS Leather Welding Pants
  • Rivet reinforced
  • All leather construction
  • Kevlar stitching
  • 34 to 50-inch waist
  • 40 inch total length

Pros

  • 3 straps each leg
  • Good summer welding pants
  • Highly adjustable
  • Strong nylon buckles
  • Fire retardant leather

Cons

  • Not actually pants
  • Buckles could melt

Overview

Welding produces a lot of heat on the workpiece, in the shop and for the person doing the welding. If you need a good set of summer welding pants, your best solution might not be pants at all. Black Stallion 40WS Leather Welding Pants are actually welding chaps that wrap a layer of leather over your pants so you can wear normal work jeans.

Black Stallion 40WS Leather Welding Pants feature the reinforcement of 17 rivets to keep the hems together under tough conditions. They’re fully adjustable to fit a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. Users report adjusting these welding chaps to fit waist sizes from at least as small as 34 inches all the way up to 50 inches. Each leg has two straps above the knee and one strap below the knee for full adjustment.

Revco manufactures the Black Stallion 40WS Leather Welding Pants with Kevlar stitching. Leather is one of the most fire-retardant materials you can use for protective clothing as a welder and it also blocks harmful radiation. The 40 inch total length provides plenty of coverage for most people.


4. Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants

Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants
  • 12 ounce fire resistant cotton
  • Anti-static
  • Mildew resistant
  • Leather reinforced zipper
  • 32 waist x 32 inseam

Pros

  • Chemical resistant
  • Machine washable
  • Breathable fabric
  • Cooler than leather
  • Cut resistant

Cons

  • Sizes run long
  • Design is unusual

Overview

SparkGuard is the name that Magid gives to its flame resistant treatment for the safety clothing it produces. These Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants have a loyal following, especially for this price range. The design is different than most work pants, with front and rear halves sewn together instead the usually-seen left and right halves. The fit seems to be fine with most owners, with a few mentioning that the legs can run long.

Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants Feature a number of treatments to the heavy 12 ounce 100 percent cotton fabric. They’re not only flame resistant, they’re cut resistant and treated to resist mildew, chemical spills and static. They come with the standard complement of two front and two rear pockets.

If you’re in need of cooler pants for summer welding, the 12 ounce fabric is lighter weight than some others covered here and the cotton fabric breathes well and will keep you far cooler than leather or heavy denim. Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants also have a leather reinforcement patch for a more rugged zipper.


5. Caterpillar 1810006 Flame Resistant Cargo Welding Pants

Caterpillar 1810006 Flame Resistant Cargo Welding Pants
  • 9 ounce FR cotton blend
  • Articulated knees
  • Diamond gusset crotch
  • Bellowed back pockets
  • ATPV rating 9.5

Pros

  • Phone, scribe, tape pockets
  • Quite flexible
  • Machine washable
  • Boot cut
  • Good summer welding pants

Cons

  • Not as durable as heavier pants
  • Sizing is inconsistent

Overview

Caterpillar 1810006 Flame Resistant Cargo Welding Pants are a little different than some of the other pants here because they feature cargo pockets and extra pockets for your scribe, tape measure and phone. They’re made with a diamond-shaped gusset in the crotch for extra strength, protection and room to move. The knees incorporate panels sewn in to provide extra articulation to avoid binding the kneecaps.

These pants are fairly lightweight for a flame-resistant pair, made from 9-ounce cotton/nylon twill blend. This makes them a fairly good choice for summer welding pants because they’ll breathe better than denim, duck or leather pants. On the other hand, they’re going to be less durable than the heavier pants in the long run. They come in several colors and a wide range of sizes. Some owners report that the pants are either longer or shorter than the sizing would indicate, so that’s something to watch for.

Caterpillar 1810006 Flame Resistant Cargo Welding Pants feature an Arc Thermal Protection Value of 9.5, a very good rating for welding pants. They’re also anti-static treated and the zipper has an anti-static closure as well.


6. Bulwark FR 9 Oz Twill Cotton Khaki Welding Pants

Bulwark FR 9 Oz Twill Cotton Khaki Welding Pants
  • Button waist closure
  • 9 ounce twill
  • 100 percent cotton
  • Inner lined waistband
  • Button-down left hip pocket

Pros

  • UL certified NFPA 2112
  • Two front, two rear pockets
  • Four colors
  • ATPV rating of 11
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Lack durability
  • Inconsistent fit

Overview

If you’re looking for a pair of uniform pants that are also flame and arc resistant with UL certifications, then Bulwark Flame Resistant 9 Oz Twill Cotton Khaki Welding Pants could be just what you’re looking for. Made of 9-ounce 100 percent cotton twill, they’re not durable enough for heavy duty welding all day in the shop, but for a quick repair with a MIG welder they could be just the ticket.

Bulwark Flame Resistant 9 Oz Twill Cotton Khaki Welding Pants do have an Arc Thermal Protection Value of 11, which is outstanding for pants of this weight. However, they’re not going take a lot of abuse from welding sparks and spatter without getting some holes. These pants feature an inner liner on the waistband for additional strength, and button closure.

These pants are a boot-cut style. Some owners feel the legs on the Bulwark Flame Resistant 9 Oz Twill Cotton Khaki Welding Pants are too baggy because they’re made to fit over pull-up boots. Sizing is inconsistent, with highly varied reports of the fit being true to size, too large and too tight.


7. ARIAT Flame Resistant Woman's Welding Pants

ARIAT Flame Resistant Woman's Welding Pants
  • Mid rise waist
  • 100 percent cotton
  • 12.5 ounce stretch denim
  • Gusseted below the waistband
  • UL certified FR CAT 2

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Boot cut
  • Look like normal jeans
  • Flat seams
  • Slimming side panels

Cons

  • Some people mentioned they can shrink after multiple washes

Overview

Ariat Women’s Flame Resistant Mid Rise Bootcut Woman’s Welding Jeans are made from 12.5 ouncea flame resistant stretch denim of 100 percent cotton. They look like normal jeans. These pants have a mid-rise waistline. They’re certified by Underwriters Laboratories for Category 2 for flame resistance. Ariat gave them flat seams and a gusset added below the belt line for strength.

There are reports that the legs and hips fit too loosely, with many owners saying they “fit like men’s pants” through the hips and legs. Some felt the waist was too tight, especially for those who are used to wearing low-rise jeans. Ariat Women’s Flame Resistant Mid Rise Bootcut Woman’s Welding Jeans also tend to run long in the legs.

Ariat Women’s Flame Resistant Mid Rise Bootcut Woman’s Welding Jeans feature a boot cut style to fit over pull-up boots and will do a good job of protection in machine and automotive shops, but will likely need replacing a few times a year in a production welding environment. Owners are mostly very happy with the quality of these pants, made in Mexico from US fabric.


Buyer’s Guide

If you’re in the market for welding pants, it’s important to pay attention to safety ratings and design features.

This is one piece of safety gear that can either cause or prevent serious injury.

Terms and Standards

FR: This is just an abbreviation of the term “Fire Resistant” or “Flame Resistant.” Fire Resistant clothing is easily identified by FR tags sewn into the seams and on pockets in clear sight, signifying the use of treated materials like FR cotton, twill or canvas.

This designation doesn’t mean the clothing can’t catch fire at all, just that it resists catching fire, slowing down factors like heat transmission and absorption, and will often extinguish small sparks and spatters. FR pants are a crucial piece of equipment for welders.

HRC: This stands for Hazard Risk Category. It’s used with a descriptive term to inform workers what level of protective clothing is needed to work in that area. “HRC FR 2” means you need Fire Resistant protection at NFPA 2.

NFPA Rating: This stands for National Fire Protection Association, which maintains a set of ratings standards to indicate the level of protection offered by personal equipment. Levels range from 0 to 4.

  • Level 0: These materials are fireproof and don’t burn.
  • Level 1: Must be exposed to severe heat to catch fire.
  • Level 2: Will burn if exposed to moderate heat.
  • Level 3: Can ignite with normal environmental heat like friction or flame.
  • Level 4: Liquids like gasoline that vaporize at normal pressures and burn easily.

Construction Details

Look for rugged construction and robust materials. You need a minimum of 9-ounce cotton blend fabric.

Cotton duck, twill or canvas are all favorite materials and are frequently used at 12-ounce weight and higher.

This kind of heavy-duty construction provides long wear and delays the transmission of heat coming from sparks and welding spatter.

Brass zippers are longer lasting than steel or nylon ones and brass is a self-lubricating metal that won’t jam easily.

Look for fire-resistant materials and construction methods like leather strips or Nomex tape in zipper construction.

Button fasteners for the waist that won’t transmit electricity or get hot and burn you. You want wood, leather or plastic buttons for your waist fasteners.

Seams should lie flat and be double- and triple-stitched for security over a long time. You don’t want seams coming apart and letting embers down into the pants legs. Look for layered inserts over wear areas like on the knees or in the waist.

Gussets that add extra strength in high-stress parts of the pants are a big factor. Reinforcement of any kind is a good thing. Rivets, extra lock stitching and linings are all features to get if you can find them.

Comfort and Sizing

If the pants aren’t comfortable, it can make it hard to wear them and be safe. Besides that, chafing, blisters or wear points are vulnerable to heat even when the pants aren’t burning. If you have a raw injury that makes it difficult to move easily, you can cause an accident.

If that same injury is next to a hot spot on your pants, it can become a more serious injury. Comfort matters. Choose materials that breathe. Breathability will get you through the heat. Material that breathes well is a must for summer welding pants.

Pay attention to sizing. The pants need to fit your waist comfortably so they’re secure, don’t move around and don’t allow sparks and embers inside the waist. You need free movement in the rear end, thighs, hips and knees. If the knees don’t move freely, they’ll bind on your kneecaps and cause injury over time. Inner linings are great for comfort whenever you find them.

The length and diameter of the legs is important. They need to be long enough to cover any exposed laces on your boots, but short enough that you’re not walking on the heels. They have to be big enough around to fit over your boots, but not so loose that they’ll catch on objects like handles and tools and trip you, or drag and spill things.

Extra Features

Any time you can find extras like hammer loops, cargo pockets, scribe pockets or pants that have good styling that fits well with a uniform, come in great colors and other features, get them if you can.

Conclusion

We consider the Carhartt 100791 Flame Resistant Washed Duck Welding Pants to be some of the best pants available, evidenced as the choice of farmers, ranchers, outdoorsmen, linemen and others, not to mention welders. They’re nearly indestructible, provide virtually every safety feature and they’re well worth their cost.

For those who just can’t afford the Carhartts as of yet, we’d recommend the Caterpillar 1810006 Flame Resistant Cargo Welding Pants for the cargo pockets and great construction. The Magid SparkGuard FR 12 oz. Green Welding Pants are a great budget choice that can double as good summer welding pants.

You can’t go wrong with any of the pants on this list, but we highly recommend you consider the heavier weight fabrics if you’re going to be working in a production welding environment.

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About Jeff Grill

Jeff Grill hails from Long Island, a 118 mile stretch of land that starts just off the coast of Manhattan and stretches deep into the Atlantic ocean. He has always been interested in welding from an early age and has the cuts and bruises to prove it as he set out to work with a variety of metals.

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