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Mechanics gloves are a popular glove style because of the great fit and comfort that they offer. First popularized by Mechanix Wear in the 1990s, today there is a large variety of styles – from impact-resistant to touchscreen compatible – that can make them even more desirable in the workplace. But, with so many different styles available to you, how do you know which pair of mechanics gloves is right for your application?
Here are the six main factors you should consider when choosing your next pair of mechanics gloves:
The most common mistake people make when choosing a cut-resistant mechanics glove is assuming that they’ll automatically be protected on both the palm and the back of the hand. Many mechanic glove styles incorporate cut resistance on the palm only. Sometimes this is okay; for example, if the cut hazard isn’t too high and the glove has rubber padding on the back of the hand to protect against back hand lacerations. Just make sure you double check with the glove manufacturer so you know for sure which kind of protection you’re getting. If the glove manufacturer isn’t clear or upfront about this information, look elsewhere.
Certain cut-resistant mechanics gloves offer both puncture and cut resistance, while some only offer cut resistance. This is why it’s crucial that you know what kind of protection you require for your specific application before you select a glove style.
For example: for extrication, you’ll need both puncture and cut resistance. Because of this, it’s best to choose a glove that was specifically designed for this type of application.
We preach this a lot, but we recommend choosing a glove that has been tested to the ANSI cut standard, since it’s reliable and does a great job at replicating real world hazards. The EN standard (often referred to as CE) is really a flawed cut test that produces results that favor materials containing fiber glass; it’s problematic since it doesn’t accurately represent real world results. Be on the safe side: look for ANSI cut standards.
This is probably the most important part of the selection process. We can’t stress how critical it is to choose a glove that fits well, and, of course, still meets your cut resistance criteria. It’s a fact that comfortable, form-fitting gloves are the ones that actually get worn; ill-fitting gloves stay in the tool box.
Unfortunately, high quality cut-resistant mechanics gloves aren’t cheap. Too often, we see heavily marked up pairs of mechanics gloves that are crafted with the cheapest possible palm materials. Helpful hint: a plain synthetic leather palm is probably not durable enough for a cut-resistant glove. The manufacturer should be able to provide you with abrasion tests to make and apple to apple comparison.
Make sure you test the grip of the glove in the real world. One really common example is dotted palm gloves in the oil field. We’ve done numerous tests that show these perform poorly in oily conditions: they actually perform 24% worse for grip in oil than other synthetic leather palms and even worse for genuine leather.
Poor grip is not only an annoyance; it can be a major safety hazard as well. Remember: no one likes a flying wrench!
Looking for a pair of tested and true mechanics gloves for your workplace? Request a free pair of one of our Clutch Gear® styles to see for yourself what a difference the right glove can make.
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.