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5 Ways to Keep Glove Costs Down Without Sacrificing Quality

by Joe Geng on July 26, 2017

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Are you looking for good, cheap gloves? 

Well I have good news and bad news for you

Bad news: Good and cheap aren’t synonyms

Good news: This blog will explain how you can keep glove costs down without sacrificing quality.

top quality gloves

Every division of a company has a budget and your safety department is no different. But going for the cheapest gloves you can find isn’t the smartest way to protect your bottom line.

Here’s some perspective:

In its 2017 edition of Injury Facts, the National Safety Council (NSC), reported that the average total incurred cost per claim in 2012 for hand, finger and wrist injuries was $22,384.

Let that sink in — that’s $22,384 per claim.

Suddenly a few extra dollars for a pair of gloves doesn’t seem that much, does it? Especially when you realize that 70% of hand injuries happen when gloves aren’t being worn.

But understandably, if you’re going to buy top-quality gloves, you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Here are five ways you can do that:


1. Only Choose the Features You Need:

The first thing you should do when you’re looking to buy top-quality gloves is to decide what hazards your employees are facing on a regular basis.

Do your employees work on an oil rig or are they in a warehouse moving boxes?

These jobs need drastically different types of gloves and failure to choose a glove that addresses those specific hazards can be costly is two ways:

  1. The glove under-protects from hazards; meaning employees are more susceptible to the costly injuries mentioned above.
  2. The glove over-protects from hazards that are unlikely in the workers’ department; meaning you’re paying for things that aren’t being used.

Let’s take the glove below as an example.

Clutch Gear® Fully-Lined Anti-Impact Oilfield Glove with Armortex® Palm Product ID: MXVSBAFL

This is the Clutch Gear® Anti-Impact Oilfield Glove with Armortex® Palm, and it’s one of the most requested gloves through our sampling program. 


Because it looks cool!

For anyone working in the oil and gas industry, this glove is a dream:

  • Hi-viz backing keeps you aware of your hand placement.
  • Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) across the fingers, back of hand and wrist area protects from impact.
  • Red Armortex® palms are incredible for abrasion resistance.

Most people who want to sample this glove don’t work in oil and gas, they work in manufacturing, electronics or automotive and it’ll be overkill… But it catches their attention.

Not only will it be overkill for protection, that glove won’t fit the PPE budget of a manufacturing facility.

Like I said above, cheap and good aren’t synonym, but there’s also no direct correlation between paying more for a glove and being safer.

You need to choose a work glove that protects your team from the hazards in your workplace.

I.e. Working in tight panels, splicing wire together? Ditch the TPR and save some money.

If you don’t need the feature, don’t buy that glove.
top quality gloves


2. Consider Your Material:

Leather has been the material of choice for the better part of the history of glove making. That’s because it’s available, it has some great protective properties and it’s part of the tradition.

But in the last quarter century, string-knit gloves using high performance yarns like Kevlar® and Dyneema® have made hand protection headway.

A basic leather glove will be two to four times the price of a basic Kevlar® string-knit option and once cut resistance is factored in, a cut-A4 Kevlar® glove will cost the same as a basic leather glove.

This isn’t to say that leather is outdated, it still has its time and place. But technological advancements in engineering are creating string-knit gloves that are more cost effective than ever before.

Along with being friendlier to your wallet, high performance yarns:

  • Are knitted to shape to your hand for a more comfortable fit.
  • Can be made with a steel or fiberglass cores for high cut resistance without losing dexterity.
  • Are more breathable than leather.


3. Wash Your Gloves Regularly:

Regardless of the material you choose, regularly washing your work gloves is an excellent cost-savings measure to increase their lifespan.

How to clean leather work gloves:

There are hundreds of blogs on the internet that will tell you to clean your leather gloves with a toothbrush and saddle soap and hang them to dry.

That’s fine when it’s your personal pair of leather gloves that you only use on the weekends for yard work.

But when you’re responsible for a team of 50 people, there’s no time to inspect each individual glove.

For industrial purposes, dry cleaning is the best way to clean leather work gloves.

Remember that leather is just skin so avoid using soap and water.

Just like soap strips away the natural oils in your skin, it’ll do the same to leather. But unlike your skin that can regenerate those essential oils to prevent dry skin, leather can’t. This means that your leather work gloves will become stiff and brittle.

How to Clean Kevlar® gloves:

Kevlar® gloves are easy to clean because they can be machine washed or dry cleaned. The most important thing to remember with Kevlar® gloves is that they cannot be bleached or else they’ll fall apart.

how to clean kevlar gloves

How to Clean Dyneema® Gloves:

Dyneema® is a versatile fabric and can be washed, dry cleaned and bleached without affecting its properties. The major limitation of Dyneema® is temperature. It will not withstand temperatures — wet or dry — over 291°F/144°C.

Regardless of the fabric your safety gloves are made from, a regular laundering program will keep your gloves from looking and feeling gross.

This translates to cost savings because employees won’t throw them out prematurely.

Download our full guide to Laundering Gloves and Sleeves by clicking here.


4. Avoid Rogue Glove Buying:

Rogue glove buying is the result of having a non-standardized glove program.

It arises when purchasing agents and environmental health and safety managers are not on the same page. It’s buying four different styles of glove for the same hazard or job when a single glove could do the job.

The best way to avoid rogue glove buying is through simple steps like:

Have a Plan:

  • Itemize the glove and sleeve SKUs being used in your workplace.
  • Create a list for the purpose of each SKU. I.e. What hazard does it protect against? Are there specific jobs that require this SKU?
  • Pay attention to overlap between SKUs. If two items serve the same purpose, chances are that one can be eliminated.

Create a Dialogue:

  • Safety managers and purchasing coordinators should discuss opportunities and concerns with the current hand protection SKUs.
  • A test group of employees should be involved in trialing the new SKU.
  • Collect the feedback from the group for positives and negatives on the SKU

Learn the other steps by reading The 7 Dangers to Rogue Glove Buying.
cheap leather gloves split at the seams


5. Wear Trials:

You can search Google results for hours looking for “good cheap gloves” but like I said at the beginning, good and cheap aren’t synonyms.

Our European sales manager, Graham, explained it this waylike with everything else, you get what you paid for.

The difference between a two-dollar pair of gloves you buy at a hardware store and a six-dollar pair of gloves you purchase from a quality manufacturer is longevity.

Using high-quality materials is how we create the best gloves and, in the long run, pass those savings on to you because you’re getting five uses out of the gloves instead of two.


The Bottom Line:

Manufacturers that specialize in any one product need to be sure that their product exceeds expectation. For us at Superior Glove, this means:

  • Using high performance yarns like Kevlar® and Dyneema® for cut resistance and seam integrity.
  • Selecting the highest grades of leather.
  • Never accepting ‘satisfactory’ as the benchmark for success.
  • Always improving to create the best products.

Experience Superior Glove’s top-quality work gloves with our FREE sampling program.

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