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You can ignore a lot of things – your mother’s phone call, your buddy’s texts to help him move, the baby monitor in the middle of the night (just kidding). But, if you’re buying leather work gloves, there are some basics you can’t ignore.
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:
Here are the best styles of leather gloves, ranked in order of highest to lowest dexterity:
Driver (sometimes called roper) gloves are designed for holding steering wheels. These gloves conform to the shape of the driver’s hands to allow them better feel of the road. Driver gloves are meant to be worn snug and not interfere with hand movement. See more driver and roper leather gloves here.
Leather palm gloves have several advantages compared to tradition full leather gloves, including breathability and comfort. Since leather is not itself cut resistant, a liner must be sewn into the glove, adding an extra layer. This way, leather palm gloves also reduce bulk. See more leather palm string-knit gloves here.
The clute-cut pattern is one of the most cost-effective options for leather gloves. Using a leather palm and nylon back, clute cut refers to the placement of the seams along the back of the glove for a seam-free palm. See more clute-cut leather gloves here.
Safety cuff leather gloves have a longer, two-inch cuff to keep your wrist protected. These gloves are constructed in a similar fashion to driver gloves.
In general, the leather with the best combination of dexterity and durability is goatskin. It is very thin and flexible but surprisingly abrasion resistant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click the picture below to read The Bad-Ass Guide to Leather Work Gloves:
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.