When we thinking PPE for welding we usually think of helmet, gloves, pants or coveralls. Special boots often rate a mention. But knee pads? They’re a staple of many sports and recreational activities — hockey, skating, etc. — but what about the trades? Let’s take a look at my Favorite Welding Knee Pads!
This is what reader George wanted to know.
Table of Contents
- 1 A Question From A Reader
- 2 The 5 Best Welding Knee Pads
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Final Thoughts
A Question From A Reader
Knees are one of the joints you can pretty much guarantee are going to fail to some extent by old age. They get so much use, walking, running, jogging, kneeling, playing sports, or even just standing around.
Dong whatever you can to protect them as much as possible is always a wise decision, and it’s no different for welding.
You might think that surely you don’t need pads — you mostly sit and stand to weld, right? Pads aren’t going to protect your knees when you’re standing.
But really take a moment and consider: how often do you kneel to get down to a level to work on a piece? How often do you drop to one knee to just touch up a spot you missed, or weld something low to the ground?
The more you think about it, the more you’ll probably realize it’s actually quite a lot.
And if you’re like me and you have a tendency to drop to your knee when you kneel, well…
So that’s why I thought I’d write up this list of the best knee pads for welding. I spent quite a few hours on it and culled a good 85% of the list to get to this point.
How I Chose These Knee Pads
Tempting as it is to pick five products out of a hat, I had some standards to uphold when comparing them all. Here are the criteria I judged these welding knee pads by:
Brand: If you’ve been reading these reviews you should be well aware of why I have brand as a criteria. A “name” brand item can reasonably be expected to have better quality assurance and materials than a no-name product.
Even if the item came from the same factory, the “name” brand item will have likely needed to pass a more stringent quality assurance regime.
Reliability: This is PPE we’re talking about. It’s here to protect you. Obviously we’re going to want it to be reliable and robust. Since most people don’t spend that long on their knees, you also want to get a lot of use out of it, not kneel and break it immediately.
Price: And, of course, we don’t want to break the bank. We don’t want to spend too little and risk a cheap, poorly made product — but we can reasonably expect to replace these in the future, and don’t want to bankrupt ourselves each time.
As always, these products are suitable for welders of all experience levels, from the most novice amateurs to the most dedicated professionals.
The 5 Best Welding Knee Pads
REXBETI Knee Pads for Work
These heavy-duty kneepads are designed with comfort and protection in mind.
Straps around your thigh and shins keep the pads securely in place, even if you have to go from kneeling to standing with some regularity.
These REXBETI knee pads sit squarely where I want them to in the price range; at $25.99 they’re not the cheapest, but also far from the most expensive. They’re right in the middle, and provide superior comfort and support to many of the dearer models.
Klein Tools Pro Knee Pads
The Klein Tools Pro Knee Pads are robust and sturdy, offering great protection — but with a few cons.
Firstly, the good.
Your knees are never going to be more protected.
There are also fewer complaints about stitching on the straps on these pads than with many of the others, which is another plus.
Well, the first is the price. These are over twice the price of the REXBETI knee pads above. They do offer excellent protection, but maybe not that extra.
My other con is that this only has a single strap. Some people actually prefer this, which is why I decided to add it to the list. Personally, I prefer the double strap design for stability, but if you’re happy with a single strap this is excellent.
Recoil Knee Pads for Work
Halfway through the list and we find our most expensive choice, the Recoil Knee Pads for Work.
$85 for knee pads? Surely they’re joking?
They’re not. And here’s the thing — I actually don’t think this price is too outrageous.
Most other knee pads are rigid and only move as much as their foam padding allows. This means they end up digging into shins or thighs uncomfortably — or just shift pressure from your knees to your shins.
The Recoil design avoids all of this discomfort — and has the double strap I like.
Troxell USA Supersoft Kneepads
The Troxell USA Supersoft Kneepads are a simple, no-nonsense pad. Made of polyurethane, with either a polyurethane or leather cover, they don’t get much simpler than this. There are no hard shells, no gel layers, and yes — only one strap.
As comfortable as they are, I have two reservations:
They are quite expensive.
The lack of a hardshell outer layer removes a level of protection from your knees. These are great to kneel in, but you really need to go down gently or you can injure yourself over time.
Professional Knee Pads for Work
Rounding out our list with the cheapest pair is the Professional Knee Pads for Work.
I do try to avoid no-name brands as I say, but these just ticked a major box in the price category.
And at the price, you can kind of afford to go through pairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Welding Knee Pads Work?
The same way any knee pad works!
As you (hopefully) know, we have knee bones. These small bones make bending our knees so much easier. However, when we kneel down, they also become a relatively small, hard, centralized source of contact with the ground. That means a lot of pressure going through a small space.
Knee pads basically help distribute this force over a wider area. Doing so relieves the knee bone of pressure, and puts less strain on the joint overall. The gel and foam paddings of the knee pads help absorb and distribute the force, keeping your knees safe.
Not everybody will need welding knee pads — but they’re definitely worth considering. Grab one of the more affordable pairs to keep handy for your PPE, make sure they fit in your welding cart and you’ll never need to worry about destroying your knees (at least, not while welding).