Hand injuries cost over $2,000 on average. If reading our newsletter helps you prevent even one injury, isn't that worth it?
You can unsubscribe at any time
No thanks, I don't want to prevent hand injuries.
Thanks to recent advancements in the glove world, welding gloves are nothing like they used to be. These days, glove manufacturers have access to higher performing materials and better sewing patterns. Because of this, nowadays, there’s a much wider selection of welding gloves to choose from than a few years ago.
But if there are so many welding gloves on the market, how are you to know which ones are the best welding gloves for your application?
Well, that’s where we come in: here are five questions you should ask yourself when choosing your next pair of welding gloves.
The number one factor in choosing the right welding glove for the job is asking yourself what kind of welding you’ll be doing: TIG, MIG, or Stick. Since each type of welding requires varying degrees of dexterity and heat protection, if you choose a glove that was designed for another type of welding, the gloves you’ve selected might not provide the right amount of protection you need to safely complete the task at hand (pun intended).
So, what are the key differences?
Although TIG welding produces the lowest amount of heat, it also requires the best touch sensitivity. For both of these reasons, we recommend that you choose a goatskin welding glove with a Keystone thumb for this type of application. Out of all of the different types of leather, goatskin offers the best combination of dexterity and durability. The 398GLGB TIG welding gloves provide a tactile feel, and are flame resistant. Learn more about TIG welding here.
Expert tip: When you’re choosing a pair of TIG welding gloves, a good test that you can use to determine how dexterous the gloves are is by checking to see if you can pick up a dime or a thin rob off of the floor while wearing them. If you’re going to be using them to do heavier duty work, patches on the fingertips and palms can help make the gloves last a bit longer – just make sure that they won’t affect your dexterity too much.
While it may not come as a surprise, MIG welding products a lot of sparks and heat. For this reason, welders generally go with two different variations of hand protection: goat or cow grain gloves with a lining or lined, heavier weight cow split gloves. The 505ALB has a unique sowing pattern, they’re sewn with Kevlar®, so they’ll last longer and the aluminized back reflects up to 95% of radiant heat.
These days, more often, welders are choosing lined goat grain gloves (like the ones pictured above) for MIG welding simply because they have better touch sensitivity. However, if you’re going for the cow split option, I’d recommend choosing a pair with a reinforced thumb crotch, since it’ll make your gloves last a lot longer.
Unlike TIG and MIG welding, Stick welding produces really high heat and a lot of splatter, but doesn’t require a lot of dexterity. Because of this, when it comes to hand protection, if you work in this kind of field, your best bet is a heavyweight cow split leather glove with a really good lining – like our 505BUWS style.
If you’re going to be doing TIG or MIG welding, we suggest choosing goat grain gloves. As we’ve already discussed, when it comes to durability and touch sensitivity, goatskin offers the best of both worlds. It’s kind of like the Goldilocks of welding gloves, if you will: it’s not too thin (like sheep skin), and not too heavy (like cow grain). It’s just right. Our handy infographic about how to choose the right leather glove.
However, if you know you’re going to be doing Stick – or Oxyacetylene – welding, go with a lined cow grain or cow split glove. Trust us: you won’t regret it.
This, thankfully, is a pretty easy question: whenever you have the option available to you, always choose a glove that features Kevlar® stitching. While cotton or nylon threads will burn when they’re hit with sparks and degrade under high temperatures, Kevlar® won’t!
Some other blogs we’ve read claim that Kevlar® thread will actually improve the overall heat resistance of the glove. Of course, that isn’t the case: the Kevlar® will simply improve the seam strength and durability of your welding gloves over time. To put it in other words, skimping on stitching is like buying a sports car but neglecting to buy car insurance: either way you slice it, it’s a terrible idea.
Though it usually comes down to personal preference, we tend to prefer a wing or keystone thumb. Most people find them to be more comfortable and ergonomically-shaped, in comparison to straight thumb styles.
A lot of welding jobs involve serious cut risks, since moving sheet metal and handling large pieces of metal with sharp, rough edges goes hand-in-hand with a lot of welding tasks. So, if you find yourself working in one of these applications, your best bet is to choose a glove with a Kevlar® lining – like our 399GKGL5.
If these gloves sparked an interest, click the Get My Sample button now!
We like to make sure the information you’re getting is current and up-to date so we keep our blogs updated.
Updated – July 25, 2017. New product photos and information.
*After signing up, this page will refresh and you’ll be able to download.
Download the Definitive Guide to Hand Protection for FREE.
Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.