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Finding the perfect TIG welding glove can be difficult. It’s a balancing act between touch sensitivity and heat protection. TIG produces the lowest amount of heat and spark of any welding style. But radiant heat and heat build-up on metal can become quite intense. Today on the blog, we’re highlighting characteristics to find your perfect TIG welding glove.
“Photo courtesy of Cynthia Gauthier“
TIG welding is the best option when you’re looking for precision like on a structural weld. If you are looking to create a clean, precise bead that needs little or no grinding or smoothing. These highly technical welds work great for short runs and on a variety of metals including aluminum, stainless steel and zinc anneal. Not sure if TIG welding is right for your application?
Read our blog 5 Questions to Help You Choose the Best Welding Gloves.
Touch sensitivity is crucial because TIG welding requires a light touch and a lot of coordination. Look for a glove that has a snug fit that allows for high range of hand motion. Leather is the preferred material for welding gloves because it can take handle heat but won’t easily catch fire. Look for leather with a soft feel like pig or deerskin.
TIG may not create as much heat as MIG or stick welding, but heat build-up can still transfer to the welder. While you want a glove that is thin enough to provide dexterity, you need the glove to be thick enough to protect you from the heat. If you find that you have to take a break while welding a line due to heat build-up then you need to find a new glove.
A welder’s glove with a Kevlar® liner will help. Kevlar® has an excellent reputation for heat resistance but it won’t noticeably increase the bulk of the glove. The Kevlar® lining will also give the glove cut resistance, while can be beneficial dealing with sharp metals.
Due to its precision, TIG doesn’t create slag the way that MIG or stick welding does. But arm coverage is still something worth considering. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety identifies the risk of radiation and its effects on the skin:
“UV radiation in a welding arc will burn unprotected skin just like UV radiation in sunlight. This is true for direct exposure to UV radiation as well as radiation that is reflected from metal surfaces, walls, and ceilings… Long-term exposure to UV radiation can cause skin cancer.”
Our TIG welding gloves come with a gauntlet cuff for protection just past the wrist. But rather than applying sunscreen every 30 minutes for your forearm, a breathable flame-resistant sleeve will provide protection from UV rays without causing overheating.
The lifespan of a glove changes drastically depending on how much welding you do. Wear and tear is pretty common due to heat, and abrasion from metal handling. If you find your gloves are wearing through faster than expected, it may be a good idea to invest in a higher-end pair of gloves. Consider a tougher leather like goatskin and Kevlar® sewing through the seams to increase the lifespan.
It’s not uncommon for a piece of metal to be hot after being welded. Finding a glove with a high heat rating can help to reduce this issue. Choose a glove with Nomex® lining to insulate the hand from heat. Nomex® is also flame-retardant to prevent dripping or melting even if exposed to direct flame.
While you won’t necessarily require all of these characteristics when selecting a TIG welding glove, now you’ll be a pro at knowing what to look for when finding your perfect pair.
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.