Don’t buy a pair of Axus painters trousers – buy 2 pairs!
Professionals in the market for painters trousers in the £20-£25 price range, this review of Axus painters trousers is worth a look.
Englebert Strauss kind of guys, read on.
If you are a lady decorating, I think workwear is probably an area that the trade hasn’t given much thought to? There is something for you in this article.
Homeowners, a question at the end. Your answers may re-shape future discussions between decorators across the land about overalls in general!
What’s these white Axus trousers all about?
I had a good chat with James Graham about his trousers, not the glitzy sequinned ones he wears to the clubs on the weekend, but the Axus painters trousers he wears, while earning the money to go clubbing.
– How long have you had a pair?
I bought my first pair March/April time, and a second pair shortly after. Been wearing them to work every day since, alternating with washing. So I have been wearing them for 4 or 5 months now, decorating flat out, sanding, spraying, painting inside, outside, rolling, paperhanging.
– Out the packet, how do they feel for quality, weight of cloth?
They feel well made, especially compared to Fathog, Shield and the sort of trousers you can get for around £25. They are not so heavy as Blaklader, which personally, is an advantage, as I find them too sturdy. The Axus trousers are more like Engelbert Strauss for weight and quality. Strauss aren’t £25 a pair!
– How are they like for size? I recall it being an event (and quite depressing) sizing up for Swedish workwear the first time.
Sizing is accurate, as in I am a 32″ in trousers from Brewers, Shield etc and these are 32’s and fit the same. Having said that, to be fair, if there is one place to improve the design – maybe more elasticated around waist. Too many pies hasn’t helped, but really, if there were just a bit more give when you bend and stretch, they would be a perfect fit.
– Getting down to the business end – what pockets and pouches and loops have you got?
There is loads of storage. A couple of scraper pockets and scissor/rule pocket on left side.
And a phone pocket and wallet pocket on the right with velcro closer. Back pockets too.
The kneepad pockets seem to accept any type of pad – you would need to trim down Red Backs on the sides, if you wear them. Personally, I think they are great pads for protecting knees, but they are too bulky.
Is nobody wearing a belt these days?
Yes. And braces.
I thought RedBack had a lightweight version coming. That might mix it up a bit in the kneepad world.
The trousers also have all the fancy trim, like reflective bits for being seen in the dark. Black material on the knees.
What’s with black knees?
Looks, I suppose. The fabric is tough.
So, you have plenty of storage, Batman. How practical are they when you are actually working?
Plenty practical enough for prep and painting – all good, scraper, couple of brushes, abrasives.
For paperhanging – good for holding scissors, seam roller, olfa knife, plumb bob, if you had one. There is no pouch, but apart from when hanging textured papers, I mostly use a spatula and sponge, which are either in my hand in use, or sitting on top of the steps. So for me, I don’t have a need for a pouch with these trousers.
Have they shrunk in the wash?
No, after repeated washes
Any threads let go, poppers popped off?
No. I’m afraid the same can’t be said for the other £25 painters trousers I have got through. Seriously, the build quality of these trousers really is high for the money.
Everything can be improved. How could they be improved?
As I said, the elasticated waist could do with a look.
On the back pockets, the velcro is too strong, and in fact I have removed it because it was too hard to get into the pockets.
The biggest issue, if it is an issue, is the fact that the scissors pocket is on the left. Right handers will go for scissors and get a phone. But I soon got the hang of it.
Maybe the designers were told that painters and decorators spend more time on the phone than paperhanging?
What about pouches? Axus trousers and a cheap pouch, most angles of decorating covered for not a lot of money?
With Shield etc I would need a pouch, because they can’t really hold what you need, but I have not found the need for a pouch with these Axus trousers.
Anything else that caught your eye with this purchase?
One eye-catching thing, out the packet, they seem to have a slight toxic green tinge! What’s that all about?
Indeed, what is that all about! No cheap shots at Lincolnshire, please.
Would you buy again?
Definitely. Still going strong, and I would buy them again
Thanks James, very interesting. We have been waiting for a long term report on these trousers from someone using them on the coal face.
I don’t think anyone can argue that 4 or 5 months is a good run out and these £17.99 +VAT overalls used daily for painting and paperhanging – and washed regularly – seem to be still going strong.
I’m never sure about the difference between a feature and a benefit, but based on usage, we can say:
- Quality – very well made
- Weight – light compared to Blaklader, similar to Englebert Strauss
- Comfort – hard to beat till you get to the £50 trouser brigade
- Number of pockets – plenty
- Practicality – short of a couple of tweaks, they seem to be an all-round very smart design for prep, painting and papering.
- Durability – Still in good shape after several months, and haven’t shrunk
- Availability – Easy to get a hold of.
- Price – £17.99 + VAT
- Other – The sales spiel seems to match the experience. Good value start.
What next? At £17.99 a pair, it’s time for a pair of pairs!
Mypaintbrush are selling a pair, for 17.99 + VAT. Think 2 pairs. 2 pairs to work with, (plus a little trick I mention towards the end of this article) means you can stay looking the part longer.
We will keep our eyes open for how the Axus trousers that are sold over the next few months perform.
Yes, I’ve been trying them out. I like them so far – they haven’t torn anywhere, decent pockets, good price. I’ve tried lots of brands, from the cheapest… which don’t last, to the most expensive… which are expensive! The Axus ones are just the right blend of quality and price – I’ve finally stopped trying other brands. Charlie Budd
If the manufacturers keep up the good work, buyers can all look forward to similar results to what James and Charlie have experienced, going forward.
Back up to the top. Highest price, best value?
What about the very best painters trousers on the market? They must be better value than standard trade wear?
The Swedish Work wear companies seem to have turned UK painters from bags of white spuds tied in the middle, into tailored craftsmen, and followers of fashion. At Traditional Painter we do try to advocate the very best, so it should be Scandi clothing all the way, but maybe there is a case where ultimate super sturdy workwear isn’t for everyone, even if the budget allows?
James, these Axus painters pants seem to be a big quality jump from the usual £25 painters trousers, but going back to the super pants like Blacklader, Snickers, Engelbert Strauss and co, we must be getting something special for our £50, £60 and more?
£60-£70 Blaklader’s main advantages seem to be those pop out pockets, and they are really durable thick protective material. But I used to sweat just standing still, I don’t find them comfortable.
ES Motions are lighter than Blaklader, to be fair they are a bit more comfortable than the Axus, however they are £50 compared to £18+VAT.
Can we not work on the usual Traditional Painter premise that the more expensive ES Motions from the proven company are built to last and will work out cheaper i.e. If a £50 pair last 3 times longer than the £20-ish Axus, they are better value?
I can’t really say that, no. I throw my trousers away based on the amount of paint ingrained in them. On past experience, the ES trousers wouldn’t outlast the Axus by a factor of 3, if used and washed the same way.
I must admit I do like the Blaklader and Snickers myself, for those pocket pouches, (as you can see, good for keeping biscuits in!)
And when ferreting around on my knees, and in general use, I find the “sturdy canvas” is very comfy and protective. (I obviously don’t move fast enough to sweat.)
They are pricey, but if they are indestructible, and if you like the cut and feel of “the best”, and you don’t use them as a mobile colour card, they are good for years, not months of use. Our own knees will wear out before the trousers’ Cordura knees go! That sort of tough 🙂
But that long term value is irrelevant, if you don’t find the trousers comfortable and prefer less rugged workwear.
Painters workwear for lady decorators
Chickens teeth are easier to find than nicely tailored workwear for lady painters and decorators. Kim Teasdale who decorates in London area said she has tried the blokes clothing, but no joy.
I have searched. There is very little decent women’s workwear out on the market
So she prefers to wear dungarees.
Just throwing it out there as an idea – Axus kilts – a lighter version of the Blaklader kilt.
A question for homeowners about pro painters’ overalls
If you are employing decorators, what do you expect to see your decorator wearing when they turn up for work?
The reason I ask, there are massive debates between tradesmen about overalls, almost philosophical and usually quite heated!
Assorted trade chat ranges from do you even need whites, what’s wrong with jeans?, through to dirty overalls are a sign of a hard grafter, so what does that say about painters in clean overalls!
My question, therefore:
If professionals only get one chance to make a first impression with their workwear, what should it be?
It would be interesting to hear from someone in the Axus design team for the reasoning behind the left-sided scissors pocket.
Also, is there a market for trousers designed specifically with scissor and rule pockets for lefties or righties?
If you look at the dirtiest part of a painters trousers, it is where one wipes one’s hand on one’s thigh! How many have a 50p rag tied through their belt to take the brunt of that dirtying action on their expensive trousers?
If you have given the Axus trousers a run out, have you got a suggestion for alternative painters trousers in this price range that score over these Axus pants?
Mypaintbrush are selling a pair of Axus painters trousers, * for 17.99 + VAT.
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