NoCry Professional Knee Pads
KneePro Tactical Ultra Flex III
CLC Custom Leathercraft 313 Heavy Duty
Troxell USA Supersoft Leatherhead
As a welder, your knees take a beating–up, down, up down and crouched in the most uncomfortable positions ever. How many times a day do have you have to kneel to get in a good position to make the weld. Not only that, your work area is never totally spotless or fla–lots of stuff around just waiting to reach out and smack your knees.
As I have aged, I have come to swear by my knee pads. Not only can I work longer, but I don’t feel as worn out at the end of the day. After trying out a great many sets of knee pads both strap on and built-in knee pads, here are my top 5 recommended knee pads.
Our Picks for Best Welding Knee Pads
NoCry Professional Knee Pads — TOP PICK
If you’ve ever knelt down on a hard and/or uneven surface for more than 10 seconds, your knees know what hell feels like. However, on just about any surface, kneeling with these pads is a little slice of heaven.
They are like pillows for your knees. Why? I swear by the soft gel core and durable EVA foam in each knee pad. You can kneel for hours with none of the pain.
They have a tight, secure fit. These pads feature flexible neoprene straps that are adjustable to fit just about any knees (circumference of 10-22 inches). Secured with sturdy slip-buckle clips, the straps are long enough you can even criss-cross the straps for an even better fit!
They don’t roll or slip. Made with abrasion-resistant PVC caps, they are flat at the center and have a unique textured design to prevent rolling/slipping.
They are durable. The heavy-duty solid construction is in part due to the double-stitching with an extra strong nylon thread.
They’re actually safe. These knee pads have the highest, CE EN14404, safety certification. Used properly, they will not damage your work surface while protecting your knees with high penetration resistance.
Don’t believe me, check out this little test:
KneePro Tactical Ultra Flex III
The KneePro Tactical Ultra Flex II are made with a tough, hard plastic outer shell. The hinged joint allows you to flex and move with ease. These knee pads remind me of a suit of armor. The outer shell is chemical-resistant and can withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures.
The built-in pad is about a ½” thick, and made from closed-cell foam. So far, it’s durable and has not break down over time with heavy use. As well, the pads are super comfortable and protect the knees from most heavy impacts. Luckily for us, these pads repel sweat and water, which helps keep them stay cleaner and last longer.
The only concern I have with these is the hard plastic isn’t as flexible as I would like. So if you have larger legs, they may be a bit uncomfortable for you as they do not flex as much.
These KP Industries knee pads include a limited lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship for the normal life of the product. They will either repair or replace the item if you contact them.
These knee pads come in a range of colors: black, green, tan and gray.
CLC Custom Leathercraft 313 Heavy Duty Leather Knee pads
Custom Leathercraft 313 knee pads are made from high quality, top-grain leather and have a ½” thick water-repellent felt lining. The rivets all around the edges provide some heavy-duty strength that will hold up in even the harshest environments.
They are a one size fits all. They fit most knee sizes as the leather cups can flex. The straps are adjustable and you can always punch a hole in the leather strap to get a more granular fitting. The straps secure in place with a nice steel buckle.
Like most knee pads, the CLC Custom Leathercraft 313’s include a limited lifetime warranty for defects in material and workmanship for the normal life of the product.
If you are looking for a rugged kneepad that will provide all-day comfortable wear while you work, the Custom Leathercraft 313 is an excellent choice.
Troxell USA Supersoft Leatherhead Knee pads
These knee pads are of 100% washable neoprene and come with an extra large super-soft contoured 3/4″ thick foam rubber insert pad for even greater comfort. A tough durable leather covers the front and securing strap of this knee pad.
Putting on or taking off these are quick and easy due to the single 3″ wide front fastening Velcro® strap. The non-binding strap sit just below the knee and prevent chafing. Because of this, these knee pads go will with shorts and that makes them a favorite of mine for summer work.
Why Use Knee Pads When Welding?
When I was young, I never even thought about them. However, there are plenty of situations that require you to kneel for the right weld or cut out a piece of metal.
This can be extremely taxing on the old knees. Extended stress applied to the patella and the patella tendon results in knee-specific injuries. This is common in the outdoors where we are working on hard rough cold surfaces. There are days after kneeling all day, I felt like my grandfather.
My last work site was all rocks, glass and other lovely objects that wreaked havoc on my knees. My favorite knee pads with their hard, protective outer area that is also flexible was just what I needed to make the longs hours kneeling bearable in this type of welding environment. They allowed me to maintain my welding speed, position, ability and safety. Also, because of the snow, it is nice not feeling the full force of that frozen ground. So now, I consider them part of my arsenal like my welding jacket or welding helmet.
So knee pads that are flexible and do not bind or slip are a requirement now days for having a long and profitable career in welding.
The Three Types of Kneed Pads
Knee pads come in three basic types: strap-on, built-in and kneeling pads.
Strap-on Knee Pads
Strap-on knee pads are just as their name implies. They have padding for the knee and upper shin and are secured by either elastic or elastic velcro straps. These straps allow for precise adjustment and can fit any size. For a welder for fabricator’s purposes, they will typically be made of a hard plastic shell. Since they are removable, they can be worn over your work pants and removed when not needed. I have even worn them over my insulated coveralls when working in extreme cold temps.
Built-in Knee Pads
Built-in knee pads are a bit of a misnomer. Basically, your pants include pockets around the knees were you can slide in a protective pad that is held in place while you kneel. I will work up a longer review after I try a few more pairs of work pants.
Welder Kneeling Pads while these technically aren’t like traditional kneed pads, they are nice to have for your knees. The best part is you can use them for your other parts as well–back, butt, shoulders, hips and elbows. Boom! Just place it where ever you need it to go.
Knee pain is a common in our welding trade. There are a variety of choices that will work for your type of work environment.
Built-in knee pads offer the simple convenience of not having to constantly adjust the knee pads but they do make the pants heavier and hotter to wear.
Strap-on knee pads give the option of putting them on only when you need them but often, they can ride up or down and require some adjustments from time to time.
Remember, proper knee protection can make your work day more comfortable and prevent long-term knee damage.