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3 Factors for Choosing the Right Welding Gloves

by Joe Geng on September 6, 2016

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Any welder worth their weight in tungsten knows one article can’t cover all the important welding facts. Just like not all styles of welding are the same, not all styles of welding gloves are the same. Here are some of the basic factors to consider when choosing the right glove for the job.

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1. The Type of Welding:


MIG welding uses electricity to join the metal by forming an arc between the electrode and the metal. When compared to TIG, this style of welding is less precise but works well for long runs. Meaning there will be more sparks flying and could mean more of a mess to clean up when grinding down the weld.


This style of welding is one of the most popular and is used in the construction of heavy steel structures. Like MIG welding, stick welding uses electricity to create an arc to fuse the metals together, so expect high heat and a lot of sparks.


Tungsten Inert Gas welding (now do you get the reference from above?) is a highly technical style of welding requiring a lot of precision. If welding was karate, TIG welding would be Mr. Miyagi. To master TIG requires a lot of practice to produce a top notch weld.

Welder welding


2. The Glove Material

Leather is the preferred material for welding because it’s durable, non-conductive and dissipates heat well. But just like there are options for the type of welding, each hide has its proper purpose:


Offers great abrasion and tensile strength but remains soft and supple. Works perfectly for TIG welding where dexterity is essential.


Tough and durable yet comfortable, this less-popular leather is preferred for TIG welding for its good dexterity.


 A tough hide that performs well in wet and oily conditions, pigskin is great for TIG, MIG and Stick welding but is not recommended for throwin’ around on break.


Cowhide is the most popular leather due to its wide range of quality and uses. Durable and comfortable but with a bit more bulk, cowhide is typically used in Stick or MIG welding

cow behind fence


Deerskin is a soft, supple hide and provides good feel and nice dexterity because of that this leather is typically used in TIG welding gloves.


Elkskin won’t harden as fast as cowhide when exposed to high heat, which means less hand fatigue. This type of leather is typically used in stick or MIG welding due to the high heat that is used.


3. Hand movement:

When it comes to a glove, good dexterity is subjective. Choosing the proper dexterity in your hand protection depends on the task being performed. A baseball mitt will allow you the freedom to catch a ball, but try changing the oil in your car while wearing one. For welding, being able to move your hand is important to efficiently perform a task, but the level of dexterity needed changes depending on the style of welding. In short, for stick and MIG welding, higher heat protection will be the key to getting the job done right. For TIG welding, fine motor skills are essential for easily completing the task like in our Endura® Premium TIG Welding Gloves.

Still have questions about choosing the right leather glove? Download our handy infographic to help you decide which one is right for you.

welding gloves
welding gloves

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