How to Choose the Right Apron for Your Project

Any craftsman worth his salt knows that aprons aren’t just for homemakers in the ‘50s or chefs in Michelin-starred restaurants. The best aprons not only protect you from oil, dirt and spills, but also have just the right number of pockets to keep your tools on hand.

But how do you choose? Whether tinkering on weekends or heading into the shop for another hard week’s work, your apron needs to be durable, comfortable, functional and stylish. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

Length: From full-length to just-around-the-waist models, your apron’s length depends on the type of work you do. If you’re squatting and bending, try a shorter style. But if maximum protection is the name of the game, go long.

Material: Cotton, leather, and canvas are the main base for shop aprons. Cotton aprons are lighter, washable and cost less. Leather aprons generally have a longer life but are more expensive while also requiring a little more care. Waxed canvas protects against splashes, sparks, and splinters, is breezy to tend and doesn’t carry the hefty price tag — that’s why we use it.

Pockets: You’ll also want to consider the style and number of pockets you’ll need. For makers needing a plethora of tools to get the job done, go for an 11 pocket model that can hold just about anything. For backyard BBQs, perhaps three or four is all you need.

Price: Shop aprons can range in cost from $10 to upwards of $200. But while the nicest apron might have a few more bells and whistles, it won’t get the job done if your budget doesn’t afford it. Order’s Up: Versatile Cotton Gear

When it’s hot as heck and a thick canvas apron will make you feel like you’re suffocating, it’s time to go with something a little lighter. Sturdy without being too heavy, our non-waxed, machine-washable apron is ready to do the trick.

Plus, protection and breathability mean you can use it as a workshop apron for outdoor projects in blistering heat just as easily as the apron you wear in front of the grill during backyard BBQs. Of course, the strategically placed pockets and dual towel loops mean that else you need is within arm’s reach no matter what you’re working on.

Wax On, Wax Off: Rugged Waxed Canvas Protection

When it’s time to pull out the big guns, our handsome, heavy-duty waxed canvas apron is up for the job. In fact, it’s such a dream to wear, we bet you’ll want to keep on, even after you’ve finished work. Creating a tough, full-length barrier against sawdust, grease, metal shavings, spills and sparks, this is the apron you need to protect yourself, your clothes and your tools.

But protection doesn’t do much if you can’t get the job done. That’s why we’ve outfitted this edition with more pockets for more tools. Their smart configuration means that everything you need is right on hand — plus unique tuckable pocket flaps keep out dust and debris. Add in comfortable cross-back straps that evenly distribute weight across your shoulders, and you’ll be ready to go for hours in the shop.

DIY Dream: Do-Everything Workhorse

A great shop apron is something you should hardly think about — the behind-the-scenes necessity that keeps the focus on the job at hand. When that job is a little of everything, our 11-pocket tool waist apron is the gear you need.

It’s built for maximum mobility for crouching, kneeling and working in hard-to-reach spaces. And with so many pockets, you have enough room for every nail, hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape and grabber you need. That means that from DIYers to technicians, gardeners to carpenters, everyone has the versatility and customizability needed to get the project finished and look the part.

Just Enough: No-Frills Sidekick

Tough enough for heavy-duty conditions but stylish enough for customer-facing situations, our 5-pocket waist apron is on your side. A little longer than the 11-pocket tool waist apron, this apron is made for maximum maneuverability for standing and climbing work. Deeper pockets allow for stowing more tools, but not too many as to get out of hand.

With a metal clip for your tape measure and quick release buckle for easy on-off wear, it provides streamlined utility without sacrificing design. Add in tough durability without the weight and just enough pockets, and whether you’re working in the shop or on an electrical pole, you have exactly what you need where you need it.

It’s been said that a worker is only as good as their tools. When it comes to shop aprons, there are plenty of options to pick from — just make sure that you choose the one that’s right for the job and that keeps your great tools within reach.