15 Best Welding Gloves and Buying Guide
Did you know that more than 50% of the products in the US require welding? That is how important welding is to our existence. However, the welding process requires the right gear for safety and better performance. Welding gloves are among the vital protective gear that you need. They will protect your hands from rough equipment and burns.
How do you select the best welding glove? The answer to this question can be puzzling especially if you are new to welding. However, I have outlined insights, reviews and vital tips that you can consider while choosing the best welding gloves.
Note: Besides wearing gloves, you also need to equip welding helmet and welding boots for safety. Read more:
Top 15 Best Welding Gloves Reviews
Steiner gloves are ideal for heavy-duty welding. Their features are best suited for MIG and Stick welding.
RAPPICA welding gloves are some of the best gloves around. They are perfect for MIG and TIG welding and also perform well in stove, fireplace or oven. The gloves are crafted from thick flame-resistant leather.
The John Tillman welding gloves are designed to endure extreme welding conditions such as MIG.
The glove is ideal for arc and MIG welding. It is made of premium Gunn leather grade which makes it thicker for proper heat insulation during welding.
This pair of welding gloves is designed for super heavy duty. They are made from pure grain leather and cowhide split which makes the glove strong and tough.
I have used the Upgrade Welding BBQ gloves in my oven and their performance was remarkable. They remained intact despite extreme heat conditions. Here are some of their features:
TIG welding does not produce much splatter, sparks or heat. This is why the Lincoln welding gloves are not so thick. They are made for top grain goat skin leather and fit perfectly in addition to being comfortable.
I can tell from firsthand experience that Dekopro welding gloves will give you quality for your money. The gloves provide the best comfort, dexterity, and protection during welding. Listed below are more pros and cons of these gloves:
Miller gloves are known for their comfort and durability. They are mostly made of cowhide or pigskin which makes them tough and enduring to extreme welding conditions. Below are some of their advantages and disadvantages:
I love these welding gloves because of their sensitivity to heat. You can keep working regardless of the temperature. This makes them ideal for TIG welding. Kidskin leather makes them firm and flexible. Here are the pros and cons
I have used the caiman 1878-5 21-inch one size fits all genuine American deerskin welding gloves a couple of times. I loved their performance in hot flames. The only downside that I noted is that they tend to be bigger and lack perfect dexterity. Here are more pros and cons:
This is another set of excellent performing welding gloves. I have used them in place of oven mitts to keep my forearms safe while reaching into the oven. They bear remarkable insulating qualities. Below are more pros and cons:
This pair is designed for extreme heat welding conditions. The gloves are an excellent choice for TIG welding.
I boast of more than ten years of experience in the welding industry. One of the key aspects that I consider for the best welding glove other than safety is the durability of the glove. This pair of welding gloves is made from pure cow leather making it very long lasting. Here are its features and downside:
This pair of welding gloves has superior insulation properties and is comfy too. They will effectively protect you arms and forearms during welding.
Types of Welding Gloves
Glove for Stick Welding
Stick welding also known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). It is the most common welding process. A lot of heat is produced in stick welding which is accompanied by spatters and sparks. You will need to get thick gloves to protect from burns or abrasion due to heat and puncture.
Stick welding produces heat between 3000-20,000 degrees Celsius. Use aluminized gloves to reflect most of the heat away from the gloves. Aluminized backed gloves are able to reflect up to 95% of the radiant heat produced.
I would recommend thick gloves with internal cushioning. I prefer cotton cushioning for insulating the interior from heat transmitted through the aluminum. The insulation protects the fingers from the excess heat that penetrates the aluminum. However, thick and aluminized gloves leave little dexterity.
You will need to find gloves that provide a balance between protection from heat and sufficient dexterity while welding. Stick gloves are normally thick, less flexible and mostly customized with cotton insulations.
Glove for TIG Welding
TIG welding does not produce much splatter, sparks or heat. Hence, you need to look for something flexible but with maximum protection for your hands from metal heat. TIG welding is often used for precise welding processes such as structural design and fine-works.
When purchasing TIG gloves you need to get gloves that provide ample touch sensitivity as well as enough protection from bruises and heat. The gloves should offer enough touch sensitivity.
Although heat and burns are not common in TIG welding, radiant heat from the metal can be intense. So the material should be very tough and considerably thick.
Choose gloves which provide enough hand coverage. Unlike stick and MIG gloves, TIG welding gloves do not create slag. Therefore, you will need to find breathable hand sleeves which run to the wrist to protect the arms from the UV light.
TIG gloves are susceptible to wear and tear because of the increased metal contact. You will be safer by purchasing goatskin or other tough leather. The lifespan and safety of the gloves are highly dependent on the toughness of the material used.
Glove for MIG Welding
The MIG welding is common for its universal use in a wide range of welding processes. MIG welding processes produce less heat and spatter. Nonetheless, MIG gloves need to be protective. The gloves also need to provide sufficient dexterity and heat/burn protection.
I prefer my MIG gloves to be made from goatskin. Goatskin is thick in addition to offering ample touch sensitivity. Choose gloves with thin internal insulation lining from heat build-up.
The choice of thickness is dependent on the amount of expected heat and spatter. Therefore, deerskin, goatskin, and cowhides are some of the most common leather are some good options available.
To seal the deal, only choose welding gloves made from top-grain leather. They should be tough, flexible and if possible oily and water resistant. This is to provide the required dexterity and heat protection.
The wide range of application of the MIG gloves predisposes the gloves to damages as you haul equipment around. Therefore, go for gloves with anti-abrasion protection and nylon spandex to improve grip as well as reinforced thumb protection.
Gloves for Flux Core
Flux cored welding produces a lot of heat. It’s by far hotter than Stick welding. Flux core has many welding positions including vertical and horizontal welding. The welder requires a shielding armor to stay protected from the huge amount of heat produced as well as spatter and sparks.
The high heat of up to 40,000 degrees Celsius requires multilayered aluminized back layer gloves. The rayon design aluminum backing reflects over 95% of the radiant heat.
Metal heat and the un-reflected radiant heat that build-up may result into the burning of fingers. Therefore, I recommend you to ensure the gloves are thick enough and have quality heat-absorbent materials. Gloves for flux core welding don’t require high dexterity. The thicker the welding glove the better.
Look for gloves with flame-retardant foam. They reduce the impact of the spatters produced by the welding process. The flame retardant foam is heat resistant and will also improve comfort for the welder.
The gloves should be properly reinforced to ensure high grip and protection. You should ensure that flux core gloves have thumb straps and are uniquely stitched to match the heavy duty quality.
Benefits of The Best Welding Gloves
Welding is associated with many risks such as burns, cuts, corrosion from reactive liquids, electric shock, high heat radiation, sunburns, and can also lead to long-term illnesses due to spatters or falls.
Gloves are therefore a principle safety gear since they will eliminate such dangers. Below is a detailed list of their benefits:
- Gloves protect the welder from injuries such as cuts and abrasion. Metal sheets, welding wire and the welding gun itself can cause serious injury in the cause of the welding process.
- Gloves limit the chances of sharp objects hurting your fingers.
- They eliminate the chances of touching a live wire which can cause electrocution
- The welding gloves are specially made to protect your fingers from radiant heat and spatter
- It’s the only way to avoid burns associated with welding.
- Gloves protect from a possible major hazard, long-term hazards, and accidents associated with welding
- The welding gloves offer the required grip and touch sensitivity to improve the comfort of the welder while making the welding process comfortable
What Materials Are Used for Welding Gloves?
Welding gloves are made from different materials bearing different properties. The leather is the most common material for welding gloves although cotton is also used:
Cotton and Fabric Gloves:
Although not so common, welding gloves that are made of cotton or fabric are known to have soft interiors which are good for abrasions. Their inner linings are hygroscopic to keep hands dry and comfortable. The only downside of cotton-made welding gloves is that they are not strong enough to handle sharp objects or rough material.
Leather Welding Gloves
There are several reasons why leather is the most preferred material for welding gloves. The leather is firm and flexible. It is also fire resistant, firm, comfortable and durable. There are six types of leather that are used in making leather welding gloves. All the six types of leather feature unique qualities and exhibit different capabilities in terms of performance. There are listed below:
Welding gloves made of goatskin possess good tensile strength and abrasion as well. Goatskin is ideal for TIG gloves since it provides the appropriate dexterity. Gloves made from kidskin - which is the hide from young goats – tend to have soft interiors and enhanced dexterity.
2.Horse skin gloves
Horse skin gloves are tough and long-lasting. Welding gloves that feature horsehide also have soft inner linings and provide the necessary dexterity. They are ideal for working under mild welding temperature.
Pigskin hide performs better for TIG, MIG and stick welding. The hide is wet and oily which give comfort to the welder. Pigskin gloves are naturally breathable in addition to providing sufficient grip.
Cowhide is preferred due to its superior qualities like toughness and durability. There are two types of cowhide that are categorized depending on where it is extracted. Shoulder split leather comes from the hide that is extracted from the shoulder area of a cow. On the other hand, side split leather is extracted from the sides and it happens to bear more strength and uniformity. Cowhide is ideal for MIG and STICK welding gloves.
Deerskin welding gloves are known for their dexterity as well as comfort. Their soft feel provides hygroscopic properties to keep the hands dry and enhance gripping capabilities. Its thick surface provides adequate insulation in high temperatures. Thick deerskin is good for resisting high temperatures, and it provides the advantage of taking the form of your hand over time, which makes it a very comfortable glove option.
Elkskin gloves are known for their exceptional performance, softness, and comfort. It is more flexible compared to cow or deerskin which results in more dexterity. It is also preferred because it does not harden easily under excess heat. Welding gloves made from elkskin are ideal for STICK welding conditions due to their ability to endure extreme temperatures.
How to Choose The Best Welding Gloves
Choosing the ideal kind welding glove will not just enhance your safety, it will also improve your pace and ability. As much as people have different taste and preferences, there are certain aspects that you should consider while buying welding gloves.
The ultimate gloves should be durable, heat resistant and flexible. You can also use the aspects below for effective selection:
The perfect material for welding gloves should not only be flexible but also have the capability to protect your hands from excess heat or debris that may fly off the workpiece.
Additionally, the material should not burn, shrivel or wear out easily. This means that the material has to be thick.
Leather turns out to possess all these features and that might explain why most welding gloves are made of the material. It is also an insulator, comfortable and long-lasting.
Dexterity of a welding glove dwells on the flexibility of your fingers or hand movement while wearing the glove.
The best welding gloves should give sufficient rooms for the movement of your fingers depending on the task being done. Dexterity is determined by the thickness of the gloves. It is also dependent on the material used.
While wearing the gloves, you should also be able to move or rotate your finger in order to perform other functions such as operating the welding gun. This is why the dexterity of a glove is important. Thus, it is wise for you to first try out a welding glove and confirm its dexterity before purchasing it.
BUCKLE AND STRAP
Welding requires one to have the right gloves for protection against hot metal particles and sparks that fly off the workpiece.
Ideal gloves should cover your hands and remain intact at all times during the whole welding process. That is why you should choose welding gloves which have a buckle and strap at the end to shield you from such harm.
There are several ways of stitching welding gloves. Lock stitch - which uses two-strand stitching - stands out as the best and most durable. It is preferred due to its durability and sturdiness.
THREAD FOR STITCHING
When welding gloves are exposed to high levels of heat for long, their stitching threads are likely to experience thermal damage. Therefore, it is wise to buy a welding glove with flameproof thread.
Most welders prefer gloves with Kevlar threads due to their superior flameproof capabilities. I always avoid gloves made with nylon strands because nylon can barely withstand extreme heat.
It is advisable for you to wear welding gloves that fit perfectly. Loosely fitting gloves may fail to cover the gap between the inner lining of the glove and your hands. This can be unsafe as space might allow debris to slip into the glove.
Such a glove will also make gripping objects difficult. On the other hand, if a glove fits tightly or is smaller, it might result in discomfort and also temper with dexterity. Hence, you have to ensure that your hand measurements match with the side of glove you intend to buy.
The inner lining of welding gloves provides comfort to the user.
The comfort you get from a glove is dependent on the softness of the material used to make the interior.
Cotton is mostly used for the inner lining as well as other cushiony material.
A good glove should have long sleeves to offer protection when welding is done overhead. One way to help you get the right glove is to compare your arm length with the specifications of the glove you intend to buy.
The main idea behind having your gloves on while working is to insulate or protect your hands from the excess heat that comes from welding. The best welding gloves are more efficient at insulating heat.
The heat insulation of a glove is determined by the type or quality of material it is made of as well as its thickness.
Most manufacturers indicate the maximum temperature that welding gloves can protect you. You can confirm the insulating details of your gloves from the description. Otherwise, you can follow up on reviews.
Safety should be your top priority while welding. Welding without the right gloves is risky. You are likely to hit a sharp corner as you work.
The results from such a scenario can be devastating if you are wearing a pair of gloves that is inferior in terms of puncture resistance.
Puncture resistant gloves can be selected based on the thickness. This makes it hard for sharp edges or material to penetrate thus guaranteeing ultimate safety.
I always go for durability when it comes to selecting the best welding gloves. A glove with double stitching is firmer, stronger and more durable.
It is easy to verify whether a glove is double stitched by checking the manufacturer’s description. Similarly, you can check out for reviews and insights from other customers.
WELTING OF SEAMS
Welts refer to the material or the piece of leather joined between two pieces hence making them durable. Welting is the whole process of strengthening welding gloves.
In most cases, seams are the first parts that succumb to mechanical damage on a glove. Welts are used to hold seams firmly in place. If you want welding gloves that will last longer then go for a pair that is fortified with welts.
You can look at reviews or check the gloves out the description to select the right pair.
HYGROSCOPIC INTERIOR LINING
Naturally, hands produce sweat after working for some time. Thus, you need to have a glove that will remain comfortable and maintain a proper grip even after sweating.
This can be achieved using welding gloves with hygroscopic inner living. Such gloves absorb sweat from your palms leaving you a firm, comfortable grip.
Keep your eyes on the manufacturer’s description to ensure that you get a pair with this feature.
Price is an important element that you should put in mind while choosing a welding glove. Most hardware and stores prefer to stock cheap gloves that do not last.
Such gloves get worn out very easily and need to be replaced after a very short duration. You should not really focus on price; it can dupe you into buying a low-quality pair of welding gloves.
I would rather go for a well-made costly glove that can endure extreme working conditions for a longer period.
Therefore, I would advise you to do some comparative shopping while at the store and find a pair that is comfortable and durable.
How to Care for Your Welding Gloves?
Your work gloves are bound to get dirty if you use them regularly. I find it imperative to clean my welding gloves every time I am done working to maintain the durability and life.
Caring for your gloves is crucial to maintaining the life and longevity. Cleaning is not only good for the gloves; it prepares them for the next time you may need to use them.
There are several basic cleaning rules for gloves depending on the material with some tips cutting across all materials although leather is the most common.
Washing welding gloves?
There are so many things that you should consider when washing leather Regardless of how enthusiastic you are about washing your favorite leather gloves, avoid getting them overly wet. Use a sponge, cold water and mild soap to tidy up your gloves. Leather gloves should be laid flat to dry rather than wring the water out after washing.
On the other hand, cotton work gloves should be rinsed off a hose to get rid of any glass or other dirt particles that may be caked on. They can be dried using a drier or wringing.
Preserve welding gloves?
Avoid storing your gloves in damp areas or closed plastic bags. I would recommend storing them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
This prevents the growth of mildew and also ensures that the natural oils in leather remain intact.
Question and Answer
To make you work easier while choosing any top rated welding glove I would like to share basic questions you should ask yourself alongside their answers that will guide you.
What Is The specialty Of Top-Grain & Split-Leather Gloves?
Split-leather is known to have high abrasion resistance which is linked to dense fibers. It is also more flexible compared to other materials used to make welding gloves. Moreover, gloves made from his split-leather are thick and can withstand high heat.
Can welding gloves be used as winter gloves?
Welding gloves can be used as winter gloves since they have some properties that are ideal for the winter conditions. Most welding gloves are lined with wool or cotton which can provide warmth during winter.
Besides that, welding gloves are long for forearm protections which are an added advantage during winter.
High-temperature welding gloves?
The ideal welding gloves for high temperatures should:
Some of the best high-temperature gloves include:
The best welding gloves should offer effective protection against any hazards that you might encounter while working. Some of the common features of top-notch welding gloves are comfort quality material, heat resistance, fire resistance; adequate insulation, and good dexterity. Price should not be the main factor to be considered while buying welding gloves. You should rather consider the performance and durability. Keep your eyes on customer reviews as well as details of the manufacturer to make the best choice.
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