There’s been such a big push to get more women interested in welding as a career, and I can see by some of the comments on this site, our readers are often women who are looking for information about getting into the industry. And so, with summer winding down and Labor Day just around the corner… that means Back To School! Your first classes will probably be basic MIG and Stick welding, so you won’t need fancy expensive equipment at first, but you will want some good basic personal protection equipment (PPE) products. We recommend at a minimum: welding gloves, a jacket, a helmet, and a respirator.
Your welding gloves should fit well for optimal dexterity (to figure out your size, check out this handy chart) so unless you have “Big Man Hands” you’ll want to select a glove made for women. We like the Revco One of our favorites is the Revco Angelfire Welding Glove. It’s constructed with top quality thin cut kidskin leather, with pig skin palms for the best in protection and the ultimate in flexibility. And be sure to save your welding gloves for welding and use more rugged metal worker gloves for your prep and finish work.
You may also want a decent welding jacket to protect yourself from sparks… BSX was a leader in offering welding apparel constructed to fit women. The Angelfire jacket is durable, stylish, and reasonably priced.
If a jacket is more than you want to put on–it is still summer after all–check out the flame resistant, decked out in flames, welding sleeves.
Last but not least, you’ll need a welding helmet. You can start out with a basic “passive” welding helmet that will protect your eyes. The Miller helmet is comfortable, and offers plenty of protection. If you really think you’ll need an auto-darkening helmet, the Miller Performance Series auto-darkening welding helmet is a great starter helmet.
And don’t forget to protect your lungs! The half mask respirator we’ve written about extensively here is such an inexpensive way to keep your lungs healthy. Arc-Zone’s Joanie won’t weld without one!