What Is a Woodworking Apron For?

If you’ve recently gotten serious about woodworking and have started setting up your workshop, you might have noticed the woodworking apron on most buying guides. While it is by no means mandatory for woodworking, it is highly recommended for professionals and hobbyists alike.

A woodworking apron is mainly for holding tools and keeping one’s clothes from accumulating sawdust. It is easy to clean and is kept in the workshop, which means it doesn’t need to be washed often. Having the apron saves time and energy, and it is often recommended because it isn’t too expensive.

In this article, you will learn five surprising benefits of a woodworking apron. You will also find out whether you can use a standard kitchen apron in your workshop and our favorite carpentry apron in 2022. But first, we must return to the initial question regarding the use of a woodworking apron.

Why Should You Wear an Apron in a Workshop?

Even if the apron might have a strong connotation with baking, you should wear one in your workshop because it does more than keep your clothes clean. Here are the five surprising benefits of a carpenter’s apron.

It Protects You From Sawdust.

If you have a passion for woodworking, you already know that breathing in sawdust is dangerous and that sawdust can be harmful to the eyes as well. What you may not know is that it can irritate your skin as well. Reports of skin irritation aren’t uncommon, while there have been instances of dermatitis and skin ulceration because of extended exposure to sawdust. 

A woodworking apron creates a layer of defense that is by no means airtight but is better than nothing. You should use a thick woodworking apron, safety glasses, and a decent dust collection system to minimize the adverse effects of sawdust.

It Keeps Your Clothes Clean.

Sawdust can be deceiving to the novice, who assumes it can be washed from clothes like regular dust. While a standard washing cycle will rid your clothes of sawdust, your washing machine will be lucky to survive. Sawdust can get collected in your washing machine’s filter and create a blockage. An apron can be hosed down without putting your washing machine at risk.

Aside from protecting your washing machine from sawdust, it also protects your clothes. Even the most gentle washing cycle results in wear and tear. Without an apron, you need to wash your clothes more often. 

With the apron, you can hang the apron in the workshop and call it a day. Since the apron rarely leaves the shop, you don’t even need to wash it when dusting it, and turning on the dust collector can do the job.

It Can Help You Store Tools

What sets apart a workshop apron from a baking apron is the former’s storage capability. A woodworking apron often comes with pockets and tool holders that can carry handheld tools you might need to access. Wearing the apron allows you to quickly get these tools without having an assistant or having to move back and forth between the workspace and the storage shelf.

It Can Prevent Injuries

While a woodworking apron’s ability to guard against workshop injuries isn’t anything to write home about, it is still worth noting. These aprons are made from durable material and can protect your chest from random chips flying your way. While these aprons aren’t strong enough to neutralize a kickback, they can dampen its effect.

It Feels More Professional

Finally, the most underrated advantage of a woodworking apron is that it makes you feel professional. If you’re serious about woodworking, investing in a workshop apron is crucial because it forms a uniform of sorts. 

Wearing it can become a physiological signature that helps you switch into “workshop mode,” so you can mentally tune out all the worries outside the workshop. Whether you want to show off your work on YouTube or simply want to feel professional without an audience, it is surprising what wearing an apron can do for your image.

Can I Use a Kitchen Apron in My Workshop?

Having established that a workshop apron makes you look professional, let’s discuss your options if you do not care for the professional image and simply want sawdust protection. You can use a kitchen apron in your workshop, but it will not have the same storage capacity. 

Wearing a tool belt or even a waist bag over the apron can help. Still, it will not have the same utility and convenience as a woodworking apron. Woodworking aprons are not that expensive, which is why creating a makeshift apron with a kitchen apron and a tool belt isn’t economical. 

It costs more to get a new kitchen apron and a tool belt than it does to get a woodworking apron. The only instance where it makes sense to DIY a woodworking apron with a waist bag is if you have these items at home and are waiting for your professional apron to arrive in a week.

The Best Aprons for Woodworkers: Armored Gear Waxed Canvas Work Apron

This apron is the best because of its durability as it is wax-infused and can carry weighty tools while also protecting your torso. It features seven front pockets and two pockets at the sides, alongside multiple loops for small-and-slim tools. If you’re just getting started with woodworking and consider it a hobby, this is an ideal purchase because it translates to other DIY hobbies and can be used for metalwork, painting, and even butchering, barbering, and coffee brewing. It has an adjustable back strap that can be clasped and unclasped easily. Above all, it fits well and looks good, making it equal parts professional clothing accessory and style statement.

Final Thoughts

A woodworking apron is a great purchase that helps you carry tools, keep your clothes clean, and avoid minor injuries. It is easy to clean and doesn’t require cleaning as often as your working clothes. While most woodworking resources consider the aprons’ physical benefits only, we find the workshop apron to be helpful in one other major way: it makes you feel professional, which counts a lot when you’re first getting started.

Damien Madeira

Damien has been doing woodworking for the last 5 years. He began as a hobbyist with hand tools and slowly worked his way up to own larger machines and mill rough wood into beautiful creations. While still considering himself a hobbyist, he has a passion for woodworking and enjoys working with epoxy as well.

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