Checked and updated on March 10, 2021 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
Best woodturner’s 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.
How woodworking aprons were made?
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 when buying woodworking aprons
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 heavier amount of tools needed as a builder 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.
Choosing the top woodworking & woodturner’s apron
#1 Best waxed canvas woodworking apron
The best-waxed apron goes to the Texas Canvas Wares. The premium materials of wax are handcrafted and mixed delicately to the natural cotton fiber, a meticulous process that leaves not compromising the fabric’s breathability. The 16 oz waxed canvas, makes a lightweight apron and is still able to hold a variety of tools from its four pockets and can even take a hammer that not many woodworking aprons can. It also has two dustproof capped pockets, a pencil pocket, and a phone pocket with an anti-slip strap.
And if you thought the tools are gonna weigh you down, the cross-back straps will save the day. They hold pretty well to give a stronghold and still remain comfortable with their breathable pads. So if you like putting in more tools, go ahead because the steel rivets on grommets fasten securely to avoid tearing.
#1 Best leather woodworking apron
The best leather woodworking apron comes from Qeelink it promises value alongside extra protection from heat and flames. With 6 pockets including a roomy kangaroo pouch, plus specific pockets for pens and your mobile phone, you can bring in all the tools you need with you.
With a very soft texture using thick cowhide leather, it boasts edge stitching with US Kevlar thread used all throughout the apron.
It has cross-back straps that reduce neck and shoulder strain. And the straps are long enough to accommodate larger waist sizes.
The apron is also perfect for female wood crafters. The 36-inch length gives enough protection down the knees even when seated.
While this apron seems to look expensive, it gives more value than its price.
#1 Best woodturner’s apron
This 41-inch leather apron from Rockler is ideally-suited for woodturning woodworking jobs. The heavy-duty leather material keeps you protected from sharp debris and prevents sawdust and fine particles from getting all over your clothes.
The apron also has a removable “hook-and-loop” collar that keeps wood debris from getting under your shirt. The crisscross straps keep most of the weight off your neck as it rests comfortably on your shoulders so you could use this apron for hours without any discomfort.
This apron is sized to fit everyone and has two inside pockets and outside pencil pockets.
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.
And 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 woodturning 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.
It is also a good idea to go for a long apron that covers your torso and most of your legs for even more protection.
Comparing woodworking apron
|Texas Canvas Wares||Qeelink||Theodore||Gidabrand||Briteree||Fightech||Tipkits||Aaron Leather Goods||EcoZen||Readywares||Rikivt|
|Verdict:||Best woodworking apron||Best value||Most affordable|
|Material:||Waxed canvas||Leather||Leather||Waxed canvas||Waxed canvas||Leather||Waxed canvas||Waxed canvas/ leather||Waxed canvas||Waxed canvas||Waxed canvas|
|Number of pockets:||4 pcs||6 pcs||2 pcs||5 pcs||9 pcs||6 pcs||9 pcs||7 pcs||7 pcs||12 pcs||11 pcs|
|Shoulder straps:||Cross-back (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Cross-back (nylon webbing)||Cross-back (leather)||Cross-back (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Cross-back (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Cross-back (leather/ nylon webbing)||Cross-back (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Cross-back (nylon webbing)||Strap on (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Strap-on (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)||Strap-on (waxed canvas/ nylon webbing)|
|Size||27 x 34 inches||24 x 36 inches||22.5 x 30.5 inches||27 x 34 inches||27 x 33 inches||24 x 36 inches||27 x 33 inches||26 x 35 inches||27 x 34 inches||26 x 26.5 inches|
Comparing woodturner’s apron
|Rockler Leather||Craftsman by PIEL||Rockler Denim|
|Verdict:||Best woodturner apron|
|Pencil pockets:||2 pcs||2 pcs||3 pcs|
|Inside pockets:||2 pcs||2 pcs||Na|
|Collar:||Hook and loop||Lycra removable||Soft cloth|
|Size||41 inches||41.5 inches||41 inches|
Texas Canvas Wares offers the best quality and value for the money when it comes to waxed canvas aprons. With a meticulous process of blending wax into the fabric, you’ll get a mixture of softness, strength, breathability, and protection.
And if you’re looking for the best leather apron for wood-crafting, the Qeelink is a good option. It fits most sizes and is also unisex. It makes a wise investment, especially when you are new to wood crafting. This one is good to start with.
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.