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Leather Work Gloves: Which Ones Are Right for You?

by Tony Geng on August 18, 2014

Comments (2)


You can ignore a lot of things – your mother’s phone call, your buddy’s request to help him move, the baby monitor in the middle of the night (oh, wait, no not that). But, if you are considering leather work gloves there are some basics you should not ignore.

Here are six tips for choosing the right leather work gloves:

1. Is Leather the Right Choice for Your Application?

When it comes to work gloves, many people don’t like change. Many people use leather work gloves because that is what they always used.

But like Ray DiBello wrote in Confessions of a Leather Glove Addict, in many cases palm coated gloves are a better option for protection, comfort and price.

That being said, there are a few exceptions to the rule where leather gloves perform better:

  • Applications that need flame resistance, like welding or oil and gas because leather is flame resistant.
  • Heavy-duty abrasive applications such as lumber handling.


2. Consider the Style:

Here are the main styles to choose from in order of highest to lowest dexterity:

“Drive and Roper Style Gloves.”

“Leather Palm String-Knit Gloves.”

“Clute Cut Leather Work Gloves.”

“Safety Cuff Leather Gloves.”

 

3. Which Leather is Best?

In general, the leather with the best combination of dexterity and durability is goatskin. It is very thin and flexible but surprisingly abrasion resistant.

COW-GRAIN at 5,644 rotations before wear-through

GOAT-GRAIN at 13,000 rotations and no wear-through

If your application requires exceptional durability go for cowhide, horsehide or even water buffalo, with water buffalo being the most durable.

Sheepskin is a good choice for ultra-fine dexterity required for some welding gloves, but the durability is not generally suitable for work gloves.

4. Split or Grain?

Split leather is less expensive and good for application where oil absorption is an advantage (metal stamping). Grain leather is better for working outdoors and is more durable.

Split Leather

Grain Leather

 


5. Do You Need a Cut-Resistant Lining?

Leather is not cut resistant. A cotton glove is more cut resistant than a leather glove of an equal weight. That’s why it is a good idea to choose a glove a leather glove with a cut-resistant liner for added protection.

 

6. Can Your Gloves Be Laundered?

A lot of times people don’t even think about laundering leather gloves, but a good launderer can help you get multiple uses out of a leather work glove.

Want to learn more about leather gloves?

Click the picture below to read The Bad-Ass Guide to Leather Work Gloves:

bad-ass guide to gloves


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Reader Comments

matthew1drayton@gmail.com'

Hi i currently have a drill crew working in south america. They are having a hard time finding a durable work glove that holds upto bentonite soil/clay do you have any products that can withstand the humidity, heat and soil type of that environment? Thanks in advance for any help

Reply Matthew - September 14, 2017



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