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The Best Woodworking Apron For Your Shop

Updated: August 25, 2022
Woodworking aprons not only protect your clothing, they offer up storage for small tools and even your phone. In this guide learn what the best woodworking apron is and what’s best for your projects.
Best Woodworking Apron
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The Best Woodworking Apron For Your Shop

Woodworkers rely on woodworking aprons to both store often-used tools and protect their clothes. But choosing the best woodworking apron is a decision between leather, canvas, pockets and ultimately cost.

If I had $5 for every pair of jeans or shirts ruined by wood glue or stain I’d be able to pay for a dozen woodworking aprons.

And, for some reason, aprons for woodworking just aren’t a popular item you’ll find at big box stores. Which makes finding the best apron a little bit of a search.

In this article we’ll review:

  • Types of woodworking aprons
  • Best aprons for woodworking
  • Fabric considerations
  • Storage needs like keeping your phone safe
  • Flexibility vs. durability of fabric
  • Full size aprons vs. waist-aprons
  • Carpenter aprons

Not sure an apron fits your style? A popular option is to use a construction-grade carpenter tool vest for more freedom.

Types of Woodworking Aprons

Woodworking Safety Gear

It’s surprising how many options there really are for woodworking aprons.

While a simple search will show you a standard, full length apron there are many more options. 

For example, if you dig a bit further you’ll find:

  • Full length aprons that cover your whole body
  • Waist-only aprons
  • Various pocket configurations (top only, full, bottom only)
  • Leather aprons
  • Cloth aprons
  • Waxed cloth aprons
Which is best for your woodworking? Well, it depends if you’re planning to use the apron all day, on a job site, what movements you’ll do and how much you plan to carry on  you.

Apron Features to Look For

While you might think an apron is just an apron, remember it’s a tool that will be strapped over your shoulders. And carry your tools.

Which means you’ll want to be on the lookout for:

  • Weight of the apron is important, even an extra 8 ounces can be noticeable
  • Padded shoulder straps are a must
  • Heavy duty pockets that won’t rip easily
  • Phone storage with a zipper to prevent slipping out when bending over
  • Waxed or leather construction to prevent damage from stains

Who Makes Aprons: Manufacturers

First up, aprons do come from popular woodworking brands like Dickies and Rockler. But, like other clothing, most woodworking aprons are imported with online-only importer labels.

Best Woodworking Aprons

1. Eco Zen Woodworking Apron

Full size woodworking apron

This apron checks the box on all the important features. From being available in Small to XXL sizes, zippered phone pocket and wax fabric to a lightweight 16 ounces.

Overview

With woodworking most damage to your clothes comes from just over the knees up to your chest. And that makes a full length apron a must.

While there are a lot of aprons available, this popular apron features large pockets, double-stitched construction and quick release buckles.

Key Features

Pros

Cons

2. FIGHTECH Leather Apron

Leather woodworking apron

Leather aprons can last a lifetime as they are almost indestructible. Which makes this leather apron a good investment for anything from woodworking to welding.

Overview

While leather is heavier it’s durability for an extra 16-or-so ounces is worth it to many. Especially if your woodworking switches to metalworking on occasion.

Key Features

Pros

Cons

3. Texas Canvas Wares Waist Apron

Waist apron tool pouch

If your primary interest in a woodworking apron is for storage, then a waist-only apron like this waxed canvas apron has ample storage and an easy click-on design.

Overview

If your woodworking takes you out on a jobsite but isn’t a trade that requires a full tool pouch, then this portable apron is a great alternative to a full size apron.

From a metal clip to hold your tape measure to four double-stitched pouches this easy-to-wear apron will hold what you need without adding weight. Or restricting mobility.

Key Features

Pros

Cons

4. Hudson Durable Goods Budget Apron

Waist apron tool pouch

If your #1 interest in an apron is to protect your clothing then you can skip all of the pockets and opt for a well designed and comfortable Hudson Durable Goods apron.

Overview

If 12 pockets, leather or other features aren’t your style then a no-frills woodworking apron is  probably best for you.

Which makes this Hudson Durable Goods option a great solution as it has a few pockets, carries its weight low.

And, of course, protect you from stains and spills that make it an investment in protecting your (more expensive) clothes.

Key Features

Pros

Cons

5. Carpenter Tool Belts

Carpenter apron

Overview

When it comes to carpenters the standard tool belt is the only option.

Instead of carrying the weight on a belt, a front-mounted carpenter apron will help shoulder the load.

With, of course, padded suspenders that go up and over your back and cross-over to keep weight off your neck.

Key Features

Pros

Cons

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should I look for in a woodworking apron?

Since woodworking can put a heavy demand on your clothes with lifting, bending and twisting a durable apron is a must. From double stitched pockets to riveted corners a well made shop apron must be durable and also have the right storage for woodworking tools. Look for a handy place for pencils, tape measures and other tools you frequently use. Finally, leather is best but adds weight (and cost) versus lighter cloth versions.

Is a leather apron better than cloth?

For durability a leather woodworking apron is better than cloth. However, for weight and breathability a cloth apron can be just fine if your main purpose is to protect from glue or wood finishes. In fact, there are times owning both makes sense depending on the job at hand.

Is a woodworking apron worth the price?

Think about this in another way: how much is a good quality pair of pants and shirt? Wood glue will make anything you wear “shop clothes” once it’s in contact and dries. So, for about the price of a pair of blue jeans a shop apron is well worth it.

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Last update on 2023-01-09 at 16:13 / Images from Amazon

  • About the Author
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( Woodworker )

Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.

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Disclaimer: DIY projects can be dangerous, hire a professional (link to Home Advisor) if unsure.