The Barehanded Guide to Gloves
Nothing starts my morning off quite like sitting down at my computer with a cup of coffee to check Superior Glove’s social media presence.
We’ll have a few kind comments on Twitter, some content sharing on LinkedIn, a tumbleweed rolling across Google Plus… Then I visit Facebook to see what fresh hell of complaints people have come up with about safety gloves.
These comments range from the misinformed:
“I’ve been [in] sheet metal for 17 years, and some of the worst cuts I have gotten on my hands were after wearing gloves. Your hands get soft, and you get used to grabbing sharp edges. Plus you can’t pick up screws, and bolts and nuts.”
To the poetic:
We’ve joked on the site before about the macho resistance to wearing PPE. About the workers who take pride in the calluses that have built up on their hands. The ones who wrap their safety gloves in duct tape so they can still be worn long after the expiry date has been met.
We can present the statistics yet hand injuries are still the second most common injury on job sites.
I get it, you don’t like gloves. But what I don’t get is why you would sacrifice the use of your hands to save your pride. I never want to hear someone say the sentence “it’s part of the job.”
Preventable injuries are not a part of the job
They are the reason that jobs are delayed and come in over-budget.
Real Men Don’t Wear Gloves…
We set out to hear from real people about why they hate safety gloves so much.
Then we used the feedback to find solutions to their complaints.
Not only for their own sake but the sake of their exhausted safety managers who want 100% compliance rates.
Since most of the dissent came from Facebook, that became our social media of choice. To inspire Facebook users to comment, we posted this picture:
Here’s some of the feedback we received:
1. Sizing Concerns:
Randy W. commented:
“I have big hands. I very much do not like wearing gloves. They are too tight in all the wrong areas. Even with a 2XL or 3XL glove. Very rarely do I find a pair I like.”
This is a common complaint and a valid complaint — who wants to wear something that’s uncomfortable?
Avoid leather gloves; look for string-knit options.
Leather gloves are good for many things, but conforming to the shape of your hand isn’t one of them.
Compared to a string-knit, they are bulkier, hotter and more constricting.
If you’re having an issue finding a glove size to fit your hand, string-knits are the best option.
The smiling man pictured below has the same problem and can never find gloves that fit, he takes a 4XL leather glove. We brought him a pair of our S18TAFGFN in size 3XL and they fit him perfectly because 18-gauge yarn will conform to your hand.
2. Lack of Dexterity:
David S. said:
“Usually gloves prevent the ability to do a certain task. Your sense of touch isn’t the same as if you weren’t wearing gloves, it’s tough to handle small objects, which prevent you from doing a job at a steady pace [while] providing protection at the same time.”
Dexterity is pretty subjective.
The range of motion needed to carry lumber will be different from that needed to work on circuit boards.
But workers in both applications will want their version of the best dexterity. Twenty years ago the only safety glove option was leather fitter gloves or a bulkier string-knit glove.
Today, we have a lot more options:
- Different glove gauges from a 7-gauge up to a slim 18-gauge
- Glove coatings for different uses like polyurethane for assembly or micropore nitrile for handling oily metal
- Engineered yarns that can increase cut resistance without increasing the bulk of the glove
Look for a finer gauge glove — between 13 and 18 — and choose a coating like polyurethane which is great for tactile feel. Our Emerald CX® 13-gauge Kevlar®/Stainless-steel Knit with PU Palms which combines good tactile feel with ANSI level A5 cut resistance.
3. Too Constricting:
Aaron P. said:
“I hate wearing gloves. I’m a steel flame cutter by trade. I find [gloves] too constricting… My hands and arms always have burns on them. I only put gloves on when I’m handling something very hot or heavy!”
When it comes to heat-resistant safety gloves, it’s not uncommon for people to over-estimate how much heat protection they’ll need — selecting a glove that protects against 500°F when they’re only handling parts that are 350°F.
Consider 4 Things When Choosing Heat-Resistant Gloves:
- How hot is the item?
- How heavy is the item?
- Is there cool down time?
- How long will you be holding onto the item?
Learn more on the subject by reading our post The Beginner’s Guide to Heat Resistance.
How to Find the Right Safety Gloves:
Without knowing the applications and the hazards associated with it, it’s difficult to suggest the perfect pair of work gloves. However, we manufacture over 3,000 styles of hand and arm protection. So it’s safe to say that we have a style that will match your needs.
You could go to a hardware store to buy generic gloves but these inexpensive options may lack protection and consistency in sizing.
Instead, look to a reputable glove manufacturer when selecting safety gloves… Might I suggest selecting Superior as your glove manufacturer of choice.
Then you can be as happy as Charles L.
“I really hated [gloves]! But then my company started to buy Superior gloves… And now seriously I only removed them for break”
Ready to find your perfect pair of gloves?
Explore our Glove Selector to search gloves by industry or hazard.