What is a welding glove?
Welding gloves are manufactured to protect the hands from heat, flames and electric shock. ANSI Standard Z49.1 requires that all cutters and welders wear protective gloves. The types of gloves vary by the welding process.
Why do you need welding gloves?
Electric shock, injuries, and skin burns are but a few mishaps that welders do experience when they lack hand protection. Others include the hand getting smashed, being crushed between two objects or getting cut accidentally. Sparks, hot metal, hot flying objects, dust, grime, grease, and chemicals are dangers that welders get to face too. This is why it is important to ensure protective hand gloves are worn at all times during welding operations.
When you know what your hands need, then you can finally provide the much-needed protection. Here is why hand protection is vital if you are planning to perform any welding job
What features are best for a welding glove?
Specific welding glove requirements vary based on the process. Here are some general welding glove features to look for.
- Electrical insulation
- Heat insulation
- Moisture resistant
- Ability to keep the hands dry
- Flexible when working for a full range of motion
- Comfort: size and fit
- Quality materials: edges and seams that do not interfere with work
- Puncture and tear-resistant
Which Welding Glove Material To Choose?
Welding gloves are mostly made of leather as this material is durable, non-conductive, flexible and dissipates heat well. However, there are different types of leather, and each one provides a different level of protection, comfort and durability. So depending on the welding process you'll be using, gloves of different leather types will have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Choose gloves that are made from materials selected for the specific application.
- Gloves should provide dexterity, flexibility, comfort (and of course, safety).
- Inspect gloves for wear and tear
- To get the right fit, measure around your dominant hand
What are the purposes of a welding glove?
Prevention of Burns
The hands are vital not only for performing welding jobs but also for other jobs and chores at home. Welders get to handle the arc when welding. During this process, sparks, molten metal spatter, and hot metal gets to fly around. If they were to come into contact with the skin around the hands, it would result in severe burns. This would cause one to be damaged as the burns will prevent one from handling the arc welding equipment well.
There are several gloves designed with the right thickness that would prevent burns. Furthermore, they will not shrivel when heats come into contact with them and won't burn through or wear out quickly. The leather is said to be one such material. Another material that can provide protection to the hands is aluminized gloves which provide reflective and insulating protection.
Prevention of Scratches and Cuts
When handling metal pieces, there are high chances of being cut and getting scratches. While the cuts may not seem deep, the area may get infected, leading to further damage to the hands. This is why it is paramount to wear hand protection.
The one thing you need to know is that the right welding gloves can make a huge difference, especially how you work. It affects your welding speed, ability, and safety. To prevent scratches and cuts, gloves made of leather are highly advantageous.
In the market, you can find a wide variety of leather gloves perfect for welding. They are designed into many layers which assure the user of safety at all times when at work. Top grain leather is of high quality, and many welders have been found to prefer this. It enables one to have better control and movement when working. Split leather is also available, which is much thicker and provides better protection without sacrificing flexibility.
Welding gloves are typically part of a welding ensemble (helmet, coveralls, etc.), but have particular care taken for their design considering the proximity of the gloves to the welding process. Gloves are worn over the hand with individual sheaths for each finger and thumb. It should be presently noted that welding mittens do exist, but are generally less useful. No matter, the functional principle remains the same: these garbs are composed of materials that are durable, electrically non-conductive, and dissipate heat well. Additional materials will be incorporated to enhance the glove's protection. Many gloves feature oversized cuffs to provide vambrace-like protection against splatter on the forearm.
A good heavy-duty welding glove with aramid reinforcement of the glove's articulation is by picking up coins. Over time, gloves may dry out from the exposure to high heat. The most common point of glove failure is along the hand's trapezium bone, where welders grasp and apply pressure to the weld gun. To combat such a high rate of failure, well-designed welding gloves incorporate additional leather on the index finger, thumb, and across the metacarpus area of the hand. Additionally, double-stitched Kevlar® seams will also increase the lifespan of the welding glove. These stitches usually follow the natural profile of the hand to increase flexibility.
Aftermarket anti-spatter spray will help prevent the leather from burning down to the insulation. Insulation is commonly made of fleece, foam, or an aluminized liner to protect the hands better, but this liner is also very flammable. This liner may have properties to enhance perspiration wicking, and to prevent the build-up of bacteria inside the glove.
In this instance of personal protective equipment, comfort and safety are not anonymous. While some welding gloves may be universally-sized or one-size-fits-all, these are rarely the best option when selecting welding apparel. Comfortable, well-sized gloves provide the wearer with the best control of the tool; many welding gloves come in sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large.
Finally, some glove manufacturers produce models that are moisture-resistant, dust resistant or are brightly coloured for high visibility. These gloves are specifically manufactured for hostile or atypical workplace environments. Underwater welders wear standard diving equipment as well as linesman gloves for underwater welding, though this is mainly to prevent electric shock.
What are the different types of welding gloves?
Welding involves a wide range of potential safety hazards—the most common of them being burns since the process produces a lot of sparks and spatter. Moreover, while working with molten metal, you're also dealing with high levels of heat. So in order to prevent dangerous skin burns, it's important to be prepared with proper protection. The two most important parts of the body that need protection are the face and hands. So make sure that you've got a good auto-darkening welding helmet and high-quality gloves, though other safety gear is also advised. In this article, we'll look into what are the best welding gloves that will provide the highest quality of protection and comfort while you work.
US Forge 400
These blue welding gloves from the US Forge brand are the best sellers in 2019. They are premium welding gloves that are designed to provide complete protection from ultraviolet rays and molten metal.
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These heat resistant welding gloves are made from soft and supple top grain leather, so while being strong and durable, they also offer lots of dexterity and comfort. They also feature internal cotton lining, which provides even more comfort for long hours of welding. The locked-stitches design gives even more strength, so you can focus on your work and not worry about these gloves coming apart.
The US Forge 400 heat protection gloves are one-size-fits-all. So if you have small hands, keep that in mind as you mind them a bit large. They measure 1.5 x 7.5 x 14.5 in and weigh 0.8 lbs.
- Heat resistant.
- Great comfort and pliability.
- Strong and durable design.
- Great for plasma cutting and welding.
- Not recommended for stick and overhead welding.
- They're designed as a one-size-fits-all so that they might be the perfect fit for all hands.
- They are a bit bulky, so they are not recommended for welding that requires small and precise movements.
The Lincoln K2979-ALL are general purpose welding gloves, meaning they are suitable for all types of welding. They are made from shoulder split cowhide, which gives them heat and flame resistant capabilities. They are very comfortable to work in, offer sufficient protection and are made for long-lasting durability.
In addition to being of strong material, the gloves also feature Kevlar stitching and welted seams. So while getting extra strength, it doesn't sacrifice on the flexibility. For comfort, it includes full sock lining and an additional thumb pad, which also protects this high wear area. Moreover, the 5-inch cuff provides extended coverage of your arms.
These metal fabrication gloves also come only in one size. They will fit medium to large-sized hands but might be too big for smaller hands.
- Very comfortable to wear.
- Made of strong material and durable stitching.
- Heat and flame resistant.
- Attractive design with a red flame pattern.
- Affordable price.
- No selection of sizes and they might be too large for smaller hands.
- The inner lining has no stitching, so some people have commented that it tends to come out sometimes when taking off the gloves.
- All the fingers of the gloves have the same size, which affects the dexterity.
- The gloves are a good choice for MIG welding. However, if your welding requires a lot of precision and working in tight places, you might find it uncomfortable working in these loose-fitting welding gloves.
The Steiner 2193-L is also one of the best MIG welding gloves that offer a high quality construction and reliable protection. These are heavy-duty welding gloves that built with all the features to make the user experience in them the most comfortable and safe.
The manufacturer uses select shoulder split cowhide, which is a durable leather material that has good heat protection capabilities. It features extra protection with the foam insulated back and palm reinforcement. The lock stitching is made using the Kevlar thread, which is used in most of the good welding gloves because of its strength and flame resistant properties. Also, the welted fingers and seams are designed to prevent burnt stitches. Both the foam insulated back, and full cotton lining contributes to the comfort and feel of the gloves.
These long sleeve welding gloves are available in two sizes. The length of this particular model is 23 inches. However, Steiner also has a 19-inch 21918 model.
- Made from heavy-duty materials.
- Offers good resistance to high temperatures.
- Long sleeves provide forearm protection.
- Soft and comfortable fit for flexible movement of the hands.
- Good reinforcement in high wear areas.
- Stitching is not of the best quality.
- There's no option for smaller hands.
The Caiman 1878-5 makes another great option if you're looking for extra long welding gloves. They measure 21 inches in length, providing protection for both the hands and the forearm. This is one of the best leather work gloves that are designed for overhead, stick and plasma applications.
They are designed with comfort and safety in mind. The form-fitting shape of the gloves and pre-curved fingers are made to provide proper finger alignment and a comfortable fit for the natural shape of your hands.
These are Genuine American deerskin welding gloves that also include the boarhide leather heat shield for protecting the wrist area. The gloves feature heavy-duty padding for the fingers, forearm and elbow. Moreover, there's palm reinforcement for extra durability.
- 3-dimensional design that makes the gloves extremely comfortable.
- Extended protection all the way up to the elbows.
- Heavy-duty padding.
- Superior protection against sparks, spatter and high levels of heat.
- Stitched with Kevlar thread.
- Features lots of reinforcements for durability.
- You can choose between 21″ and 23″ length.
- These well-insulated work gloves are quite thick, which might make it tough working in them during processes that require precise movements and fine detail.
- The fleece lining can make your hands get hot and sweaty when working in high temperature conditions.
- These are one-size-fits-all welding gloves. So this might not be the best choice for you if you're looking for small welding gloves.
John Tillman And Co 50L
John Tillman and Co 50L are one of the best MIG welding gloves that are strong, have great protection and feel very comfortable.
The gloves are made from top-grade cowhide leather with cowhide split reinforcements on the palm and back. All this makes the gloves extremely durable and safe. The Kevlar thread also prevents the stitching going on fire, and the 4-inch cuff offers extended protection for your forearms.
The fleece lining and seamless forefinger design make it more comfortable to work in these gloves. The elastic back of the gloves is one more feature of this model, which is quite unique for welding gloves. It provides a more secure fit and making it safer to work in them.
- Comfortable fit.
- Good heat protection.
- Features plenty of reinforcements.
- Good dexterity.
- Affordable price.
- Not designed for overhead welding.
- The cotton padding tends to come off.
Miller 263343 Arc Armor
The last one on our list of the best gloves for metalworking is the Miller 263343 model. This is an ergonomically designed welding glove that can be used for stick and MIG welding.
These gloves provide a double layer of insulation with strategically placed patches on both palms and back. This gives better insulation and extends the life of the gloves.
They also feature an ergonomic design, providing a nice fit and a strong grip for the user. The pre-curved finger design and the wing thumb add to the comfort and dexterity of these gloves. The material used is pigskin and cowhide leather, which can withstand heavy-duty applications such as MIG and stick welding.
- Designed for heavy-duty applications.
- Ergonomically constructed.
- Are surprisingly cool to wear.
- 13 inches glove length.
- The ample padding in the palm area can make it difficult having a proper grip of the gun.
- Not suitable for TIG welding.
What to consider in buying welding gloves?
Welding gloves are usually part of a combination of welding safety equipment (welding helmet, work boots, overalls, etc.). However, considering the proximity of the hands to the welding process, special should be taken when choosing the right welding gloves. The main features should include a material that is durable, electrically non-conductive and offers protection against heat, ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Below we'll go into more detail about the considerations you should take into account before deciding to buy a certain pair of gloves.
What are the various types of leather?
Elk Skin. Elk skin welding gloves come in heavier cuts and provide optimal heat, flame and abrasion protection without sacrificing on comfort. All this makes them a great choice for stick and MIG welding.
Cowhide. Cowhide is often used for MIG welding gloves. It's also very durable and provides good protection against flames and heat, making these gloves a popular choice for welding in high temperatures. Cowhide work gloves offer a balance of bulkiness and dexterity.
Deerskin. Deerskin is the softest leather, which provides more comfort and dexterity. Deerskin leather welding gloves take the form of your hands, providing the user with more flexibility and making it a perfect choice for the TIG welding process.
Pigskin. Pigskin is also a tough material. Pigskin work gloves perform well in oil and wet conditions but don't offer sufficient heat resistance.
Goatskin. Goatskin is used for lightweight welding gloves that are mostly used for TIG welding. They are comfortable and flexible, making it easy to maneuver the filler metal rods and make perfect welds. The material is also oil and weather resistant.
Leather Category Types
It's also important to understand the difference between top grain leather and split leather. Top grain means that the leather was taken from the top of the animal hide. This is high quality leather that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, which is also soft, smooth and thin. All this allows the welder to have more control and movement while working in such gloves.
Split leather comes from the side or shoulder of the animal. It's is usually thicker, so it's better for situations when more protection is needed. However, the thickness of the gloves also means there's less flexibility, so it's not the best choice for processes that require a lot of precision.
Length of the gloves. For those involved in metalworking, it's important to have sufficient hand and forearm coverage.
Lining. For extra protection, look for gloves that have wool or cotton lining. Cotton lining provides more dexterity and sweat absorption. Wool lining, on the other hand, provides less mobility but instead offers more heat resistance.
Kevlar thread. Such stitches are heat-resistant and robust. It's one of the strongest and most heat resistant threads. It has little stretch and does not melt. All this makes the gloves more durable and helps them to withstand wear and tear over time.
Thumb style. Some welding gloves offer a wing thumb style. It's an ergonomic shape, and most people find it more comfortable than a straight thumb style.
Size. A lot of the work gloves come in a one-size-fits-all. So read the product details to understand if the size would fit you.
So when choosing the best welding gloves, remember that not all gloves will fit your particular application. Choose the right type of welding gloves, depending on the welding process you'll be using. Also, make sure that the gloves have sufficient protection and offer a comfortable fit. The products that we have chosen in this welding gloves review have picked based on their popularity, ratings, quality and outstanding performance.