Checked and updated on November 10, 2020 by Aaron Barnett
The best material for a woodworking apron is either waxed canvas or leather. Both are durable, but both have there different pros and cons when it comes to maintenance and comfort, more on this below;
The best-waxed canvas apron will stand to good use while maintaining flexibility for a longer period of time, this might be your priority for a shop apron.
A leather apron instead of a canvas work apron might suit better for woodturning, and more aggressive woodworking jobs when you want a thicker shield of protection to defend you and your clothing from flying wood chips.
Best woodworking apron
#3 Best Hudson work apron
Hudson woodworking tool apron (brown)
#4 Best Hudson woodworking apron
Hudson woodworking shop apron
Best woodturners apron
Woodworking aprons are essential accessories for anyone who works with wood. They provide protection against sharp debris and prevent wood chips, sawdust, and fine particles from covering your clothes and getting in your shoes.
Woodworker’s aprons can be used by carpenters, crafts workers, sculptors, builders, furniture makers, cabinet makers, DIYers, and anyone who regularly works with wood.
Smocks or work aprons of some kind have been used by woodworkers for hundreds of years. Traditionally, these were fashioned from odd bits of leather or fabric roughly stitched together by woodworkers themselves.
Nowadays, there are many machine-manufactured aprons for the woodworker market made of modern materials and with more advanced features.
In many ways, however, modern shop aprons retain the basic design as the over-the-shoulder aprons from hundreds of years ago.
The best Woodworking aprons are made of durable materials that are resistant to splinters, sharp objects, and wear and tear.
Most are made of heavy canvas, denim, or leather and some have a dual layer of canvas-backed cotton for added strength and durability.
Some woodshop aprons are made of wax-coated fabric that prevents wood debris from sticking to the surface.
These fabrics also make the apron easier to clean simply by wiping them down with a damp cloth.
Having large pockets allows you to have many of your essential tools nearby so you don’t have to stop working to retrieve them, or lose your pencil.
Features to consider
Woodworkers apron vs. Carpenter’s apron
Many carpenters could use a woodwork apron when planing, ripping or carving wood, or doing anything that produces a lot of wood debris.
But generally, carpenter’s aprons are designed to take a heavy amount of tools needed as opposed to the long smocks used by woodworkers that extend down to the knees.
Work aprons help protect and keep you clean from wood shavings but don’t have room for many tools as they should be close in the workshop.
A carpenter’s apron is made and designed to take all the tools needed for walking around a big building site.
Carpenter’s aprons are also usually made of leather or nylon, and woodworking aprons are made of canvas or leather.
Waxed canvas vs. Leather aprons
Woodworking aprons are usually made of canvas or leather. Both are strong and durable materials that are very resistant to wear-and-tear. But each has its advantages and drawbacks for woodworking.
Canvas tool aprons are fairly low-maintenance material that doesn’t require any special treatment and you could simply pop your unwaxed canvas work apron into the wash when it gets dirty.
However, it does tend to collect fine wood particles and smaller wood chips. Canvas tool aprons also tend to get stained pretty easily.
The best leather woodworking aprons don’t stain easily and won’t retain wood debris. However, you do have to season the leather on occasion with oil to prevent cracks and creases.
Leather will also look worn over time, although this isn’t usually considered a drawback, Ultimately a leather apron has more protection, and is more professional for any serious woodturner, or carving enthusiast.
What makes the best woodworking apron?
The best woodworking apron should provide protection against splinters and sharp wooden debris that often come off the work surface during sawing, planing, or chiseling.
They should be durable enough to withstand the rugged conditions of a typical workshop or construction site, which is why they are usually made of canvas or leather.
A utility apron with large pockets for holding essential woodworking tools is also useful. This keeps you from having to run back and forth to your workbench to get what you need.
A shop apron should also be comfortable enough to wear for long periods. This is especially important considering the weight of the materials typically used for woodworking aprons plus any tools you may have in the pockets.
Whether or not you choose the flexibility of a waxed canvas apron or the smell of a leather apron, it will be nice to add that layer of protection between you and flying wood chips coming from your best biscuit joiner, and Jigsaw tool or other woodworking tools of course.
What makes a good wood-turning apron?
Many woodworking aprons can be used for woodturning work as well. But you might find a lighter woodturners apron better suited for your needs. Woodworking aprons are usually thick and heavy, which makes it a bit difficult to move around if you have to do a lot of intricate work.
Woodturning also usually produces smaller and finer particles than general woodworking. For your purposes, you might better off with a leather or nylon apron that doesn’t pick up or retain wood particles as easily as a canvas woodworking apron.
Top woodworking apron comparison
Leather Woodworking Apron
Waxed Canvas And Leather Apron
|Material:||Leather||Canvas And Leather||Leather|
|Size:||21” x 27”||S to XXL||One-size-fits-all|
The Pinnacle Leather Woodworking Apron is a good all-around choice for most woodworking jobs. The heavy, full-grained leather does an excellent job of keeping away most debris, and it is surprisingly lightweight despite its thickness and durability.
If you prefer an even lighter apron, Loftbrook’s Versatile Genuine Leather Woodworking Apron combines the best qualities of canvas and leather in a convenient design. The waxed coating is water-resistant and immune to most stains, although it can be cleaned pretty easily with a brush or a sponge.
Rockler’s Woodturner Leather Apron is a simple yet well-designed model that provides excellent value for the money. The leather material is hardy enough for most purposes, and a removable “hook-and-loop” collar is provided for keeping debris from getting into your shirt. It can also be worn comfortably for long periods due to the adjustable shoulder strap design.
Sounds like this can be improved for the next reader.
Please share how this article can be improved?
My name is Aaron, and welcome to Bangingtoolbox.
As a qualified builder and DIY’er, my goal with Banging Toolbox is to provide the #1 building and DIY resource on the internet for my readers.
I’m here to show people how to start DIY, and to help qualified professionals take building to the next level.
Feel free to have a look around, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions, you can find out more about me here.