Welding gloves protect the hands of the welder from any dangers of welding. Wearing one will prevent any burns on your skin, it will intercept any spatter or debris to fall on your skin. Some welding gloves cover entire forearm for protection during welding. To make things a whole lot easier welding gloves will also enable you to hold the extremely hot workpieces.
Chances are high that you will be wearing one of these all the time during welding. So, you have to know that you are getting the “ONE” for you. Here, I will repatriate you from any sort of discrepancies and skepticism on your quest to find the best welding gloves for you.
Why Wear Welding Glove?
Welding is a hazardous task. Sparks keep flying around, spatters get projected, hot debris comes shooting at you during welding. To prevent any harm on the hands of the welder, welding gloves came to reality. It is recommended by every welder that a newbie in this field uses one.
Apart from the bodily harm that welding might cause, the Ultraviolet radiation changes the skin tone of the welder as if he/she got tanned. Welding gloves prevent such occurrences.
Understanding Welding Type and Welding Gloves Required
Welding is a process of creating a permanent joint between metals. This is done by infusing two metals at a temperature which is above their melting points.
With the influx of different technologies, this simple process has become quite complicated and has created different categories with specific advantages and disadvantages. Superior security for each type of welding requires certain features in the welding glove. In this portion of the article, I will clear you of any skepticism regarding this issue.
Gloves for TIG Welding
TIG welding requires rotating the thumb wheel on the torch and holding thin rods of filler metal precisely on the welding spot. These activities require a lot of dexterity. So, it’s better to make sure that the material of your glove has enough flexibility.
Are you thinking about compensating for dexterity with thickness? Then I’ll have to let you know that TIG welding works by melting the base metal i.e. the metal of your workpiece. So, you will be needing enough thickness for heat resistance too. To achieve such criteria many manufacturers, give extra patches or padding that is most exposed to heat.
To serve these purposes welding gloves made out of goat, pig or cow hides are preferred by welders for TIG welding.
Gloves for MIG Welding
MIG welding works by melting the filler metal electrode and the base metal simultaneously by the electric arks. So, you can only imagine how much heat is radiated. That’s why MIG welding requires high heat resistant welding gloves. But that does not mean that you can compromise dexterity for the thickness of the glove.
It is better to have gloves made from pig, cow or deer hides for MIG welding. Elkskin is a has a unique characteristic of not hardening even under the high temperature of MIG welding which is helpful for MIG welding gloves.
Gloves for Stick Welding
Stick welding is used for the construction of heavy-duty steel structures. The process is a bit similar to MIG welding and creates a lot of sparks and high temperature.
You need your gloves to be strong for stick welding that is why most of the time the gloves for stick welding are made out of cow or elk hides.
Durability is again a key factor here. Cowhide is the most popular leather for stick welding glove for its durability and greater bulk.
Glove for Overhead Welding
Overhead welding is not a process rather it’s a sort of set up or position you are welding at. Over the head, welding is claimed to cause the most accident and requires the most safety by professional welders. You will have all the sparks, spatters, hot debris falling on you and your sleeves.
Professional, hobbyist or any welder recommends having gloves with elongated sleeves.
MIG Vs TIG Welding Gloves
MIG welding gloves have a bulky padding on the back of the hand since that region is most exposed to heat. MIG gloves are usually loose so that you can take it off with one hand during welding if it gets too hot. During MIG welding you will be moving hour wrists a lot so dexterity at wrists is focused by manufacturers. A little stiffness in the fingers is not an issue because you will not have to move your fingers much.
Unlike MIG gloves TIG gloves are thin and soft. They are usually made out of leather or fire-resistant fabric and they are quite tight. Dexterity is an issue for TIG welding for controlling filler metal rods and torch’s knob. So, it will be a wise decision to not even attempt TIG welding wearing MIG welding gloves.
Finding the Best Welding Glove for You
Different types of people each with individual want, perceptions, preferences, and buying criteria are seeking to buy the best welding glove for them. So, to make it easier for you to choose among various choices I have listed down numerous aspects, attributes, and features that would be wise of you to check and ensure before you buy a welding glove.
That’s a mouthful. Let me break it down for you.
The ease with which you can move your fingers while wearing the glove refers to the dexterity of the glove. It depends on the flexibility of the material used and the thickness of the glove.
Too less dexterity will create disturbances during welds. It becomes almost impossible to press the trigger or to rotate the knob of the welding gun wearing gloves with very little dexterity.
The best way to verify the dexterity of the glove you will have to wear the glove and test it out before you buy it. But most of the time it’s not feasible. So, it’s better to depend on the insights of other users and reviewers.
Buckle and Strap
Sometimes during welding, hot minute particles capable of causing bodily harm comes flying off the workpiece. At times sparks are also created. Gloves should be able to prevent them from getting in contact with your hands.
Gloves which remain closed at the ends can easily prevent such activities. Some gloves have a strap and buckle at the ends to create a proper encasement to intercept such objects.
Among the various types of stitching, lock stitch is the most popular and ensures the durability of the stitching and the product as a whole.
Locked stitch utilizes two strands of stitching threads to make the stitch more study.
Thread for Stitching
Stitching of welding gloves is exposed to extreme heat and flame. So, it’s more appropriate to choose a welding glove that uses flameproof threads.
Kevlar threads being flameproof and durable nowadays it’s popular among the welders and manufacturers for their welding glove. Some cheap or less durable welding gloves nylon strands for their stitches. Nylon strands can’t withstand much heat.
Having a welding glove that is looser than what you should be wearing will leave gaps between your hands and the inner lining of the glove. This phenomenon will allow debris or spatter to get inside the glove. Meanwhile, it will also become difficult to get a proper strong grip on objects.
On the contrary, if you wear a glove that’s smaller in size for you, it will hold on to your hands too tightly. It will make things very uncomfortable for you and compromise the dexterity too.
To prevent such occurrences, you will have to cross check the measurements of your hands and that of the glove which you are willing to purchase.
How comfortable you feel wearing a welding glove depends upon the softness of the interior lining of the glove. Cotton or cushiony interior make the lining soft and comfortable for the user.
To facilitate over the head welding and better security against spatters and hot debris some gloves come with long sleeves. These sort of gloves does the work of welding sleeves too.
So, it’s better to cross check the length of your forearm and that of welding glove from the specifications, if you want these types of gloves.
The primary reason for wearing a welding glove is to prevent the extreme heat due to welding. The more the heat resistant a glove is the better it is at serving this purpose.
Heat resistance mainly depends on the thickness of the glove and the type and quality of the material used for making the glove. From the description of the product given by the manufacturer, you can find the temperature up to which the glove can protect you. In case the info is not given there it is better to rely on customer insights and reviews.
Sooner or later you will hit a sharp corner wearing you welding glove. Some gloves can withstand such effects i.e. they are a but puncture resistant.
How do you know that you are getting one with sufficient puncture resistance? The primary idea of puncture resistance of the glove can be obtained from the thickness of the glove. But it’s more appropriate to rely on what users and reviewers have to say about it.
Few welding gloves have double stitching to make the joints firmer and sturdy. This makes the gloves last longer than usual.
You can verify if a glove is double stitched or not from manufacturer’s description, customers insights or reviews.
Welting of Seams
At times the extra piece of leather or other material used to make joining of two pieces more durable is referred to as welts. This process makes the seams of welding gloves stronger.
The first thing that gets damaged in a welding glove most of the time is the seams. To make the seams more durable some manufacturers use welts. So, it’s better to get a welding glove with welts.
You can understand if it’s there on a welding glove just by looking at it or from reviews.
After prolonged exposure to heat when leather welding glove starts to cool off it shrinks. This causes the glove to get smaller and hard to fit in.
Welders prefer gloves that doesn’t shrink too much that the glove becomes uncomfortable to wear. It would be a wise decision to know how much a glove shrinks from previous users or reviewers.
Hygroscopic Interior Lining
Sweat will come out of your hands when you are welding, this makes things uncomfortable and difficult to get a proper grip. To resolve this issue some manufacturers gave welding glove inner lining capable of absorbing moisture or sweat i.e. a hygroscopic inner lining.
To ensure that you are buying a welding glove with this feature you can check the manufacturer’s description of the product.
Sort of Welding You are Doing
For better welding experience it’s good to choose glove depending on the type of welding that you are doing. I have previously discussed, how to choose welding glove for a particular type of welding above.
Understanding the Material of the Gloves
A key element of a welding glove is the material used to make them. They are usually made out of cotton or leather.
Cotton Welding Glove
Cotton welding gloves are not made completely out of cotton. About 30% to 40% of the material is cotton and the rest is polyester. Cotton welding gloves are super flexible, dexterity is off the chart but has a few cons.
Cotton welding glove can’t resist too much heat. Hold a TIG welding workpiece with this glove on will cause it to burn or melt. You can’t rely on it to protect you from spatters since they get perforated due to spatter.
Leather Welding Glove
Superior and most popular material for welding gloves is leather. Advantages of leather welding gloves like high heat resistance don’t get perforated due to spatter, puncture resistance makes it the material of choice for most welders.
Hides of animals are usually too thick to be turned in to leather. So, they are split into two portions thus creating two major types of leather.
Also known as suede, it’s made from the lower portion of the hide. Split leather is used largely for safety purpose equipment due to some of its traits listed below
- High abrasion resistance
- Puncture Resistance
- Stunning flexibility
- Relatively water resistant than top grain leather
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is classier looking than split leather but not an economical choice. If you are the thing that price isn’t an issue then let me tell you this. Top grain leather does not consist of much fiber which makes it way less durable than split leather.
It’s more preferable to choose a glove with split leather instead of grain leather sue its attributes I have previously listed.
Few of the Best Welding Gloves
1. The US Forge 400 Welding Gloves Lined Leather, Blue
A premium quality welding glove which you can count on to protect your hands.
Features and Benefits
Ultraviolet Ray Prevention: Ultraviolet ray causes skin burns. Even if it doesn’t create skin burn it changes to skin tone as if the welder got his hands tanned.
This welding glove serves for both of these causes by preventing the Ultraviolet rays get in contact with your hands.
Heat Resistance: The welding glove intercepts heat flow to prevent any discomfort. Let alone getting to the point where you can’t withstand the heat.
It‘s thick enough to move around burning coals while wearing this. Can be used up to 1500 degrees without any distress.
Non-Penetrable: Doesn’t get perforated even if it is stung by sharp edges or corners.
Double Stitching: The durability of the product is increased by double stitching on the sides. The double stitching wears off either.
Substantial Seams: Seams are also well built for enhanced longevity.
Locked Stitch: US Forge uses this method of stitching and ensures that the pieces of the material do not come off from the lines of stitching. Thus, reinforcing longevity.
Enhanced Dexterity: Due to very little rigidity of the material used it has a very good dexterity.
Comfortable Inner Lining: Having a soft inner lining, it’s suitable and comfortable to welders for using a long period of time.
Unavailability of Different Sizes: Manufactured for only one size and that is L. So, it is suitable only for a small range of people.
Mismatching of Color: The color of the gloves does not match with what the manufacturer showed. The color is bright royal blue.
Substandard Interior Stitching: Exterior Stitching is fine but the interior ones come off easily. Making it difficult to put on the glove especially during welding.
Nylon Strands for Seam: At times the seams come off too and the seams are done with nylon. Usually, the cheap welding gloves use Kevlar too.
2. Caiman 1878-5 Genuine American Deerskin Welding Glove
The glove extends all the way to your sleeve making sure the whole of your hand is protected not only your palm.
Features and Benefits
Usable for Stick welding: Can be used for stick welding due to its length which covers up to the elbow and heat resistance.
Feasible for Over Head welding: Covering the sleeves fully this welding gloves works nicely for over the head welding. All of the sparks and spatters that might fall on the sleeves is prevented due to its length.
Almost Impenetrable: Sufficiently thick enough to stay in perfect condition after being stung by a sharp edge after a couple of times. Enough that a macaw won’t be able to take a chunk of your flesh. Even if you try to prick it with a needle no damage will be done.
Heat Protection: Allows very little heat to pas to pass through. Can even be used for grilling and moving coal.
Serves as Welding Sleeve: Because of its length, it blocks UV radiation, heat, spatters or debris to get in contact with your sleeves. Also prevents any flash burns thus serving the purpose of welding sleeves properly.
Cushioned Interior: Has a soft padding in the interior to make it comfortable for users.
Paddings: Padding on the palm ensures proper heat resistance when the welder is lying his hand on the workpiece. Also has heavy duty paddings on the palm and the forearms.
Sewn with Kevlar: Having used Kevlar for sewing, it can be assured that the sewing won’t be coming off any time soon.
Strap and Buckle: Just before the elbow on the forearm, there is a strap and buckle to close the ends of the glove completely. Thus, preventing any spatter, debris or slags to get in.
Deer Split Leather on Palm: Authentic American Leather from split deer is used on the palm for enhanced heat insulation. The black portion of the palm is made out of deerskin.
Perforation on Forearm: The forearm is made out of perforated boar hide which makes room for breathability. Enabling the built-up heat to pass out of the gloves.
Heat Shield with Boarhide: Has an extra layer of leather from boarhide on the hand to act as a heat shield.
Flexible from Beginning: Don’t have to break them in because they offer sufficient dexterity from the very beginning. This feature prevents your finger from hurting when you use them while they are new.
Free Carabiner for Hanging: Caiman provides a free carabiner along with the pair of gloves. At the end of each glove, there is a hole in which the carabiner can fit in easily. Walla! There you have a way to hang it in your workshop.
Less Durable Stitching: Even though Kevlar threads are used for stitching, the stitches start to come off after a couple of months of use. Especially the stitching on the finger sides come off and ruin the gloves.
Can’t Endure Flame: Not as much as flame resistant as you want it to be. There appears a lot of burn holes on the gloves pretty much quite soon after you start to weld with this.
3. Steiner 21923-L Welding Gloves
Steiner is quite confident that you will get the same service from this glove as you would get from any other gloves with a large price tag.
Features and Benefits
Works as Sleeves: Due to its ginormous length, the welding glove goes all the way past the elbow and covers half of the upper arm. So, not only does it serve the purpose of a welding glove perfectly but also a welding sleeve.
ThermoCore Foam Technology: Having thermocore foam on the back, it intercepts the passage of heat into the glove more efficiently.
Two Different Sizes: Available in two different sizes, 23 inches, and 18 inches.
Enhanced Heat Insulation: A cotton lining all over the glove makes it more of a heat insulator. It’s not made solely from leather but has a lining over the leather making it thicker and more heat resistant.
Increased Durability: Canvas like the lining of cotton makes the glove much more durable. The lining takes on a lot of damage before the leather is injured.
Welt: All the seams are properly welted for greater endurance and longevity.
Fire Proof: Completely fireproof, that means you won’t be getting any burn holes any time soon. You can put the whole of your hands in the fireplace and move the woods and coals and not feel a thing.
Nothing Can Get In: Since it extends to the upper half of the arm there is absolutely no chance of any debris to get in the glove. Thus, repatriating you from a lot of irritation during welding. At times flaming hot debris gets within the glove causing hazards.
Thumb Strap: Steiner gave a reinforced thumb strap on the glove to increase the heat insulation on the thumb region. The thumbs are most prone to danger because of their very close exposure to the welding spot.
Abrasion Resistance: Doesn’t easily wear off even due to rough use and a bit of scraping due to the high quality of leather.
Poor Stitching: Quality of stitching is below average. It comes off sometime after you start to use it. Reinforcing of the palm comes loose at times and also the crotch between the fingers come out.
Perforation Due to Extreme Heat: When you are welding at really high temps this glove might not be able to endure all that heat. This causes pores on the glove.
4. Miller 263343 Arc Armor MIG/Stick Welding Glove
It’s manufactured by Miller in China.
Features and Benefits
Kevlar Stitching: The most popular strands used for stitching nowadays are Kevlar. It ensures the durability and longevity of the stitching.
Doesn’t Constrict: The leather doesn’t shrink due to long exposure to heat. After welding with this glove, you can soak it in water and it would still fit.
Proper Insulation: There is no path through which any debris or spatter might get inside the glove.
Awesome Dexterity: Has enough dexterity to offer since it is quite flexible which a lot of customers have praised.
Fully Functional In the Cold: Even when you are welding outside in the snow you will not feel like your hands are freezing because of the low temperature because this will keep your hands warm enough.
Blocks Heat: The welding glove doesn’t let much heat to get the gloves. Thus keeping the user in their comfort zone.
Applicable for MIG and Stick Welding: This glove offers enough heat resistance and sturdiness due to its thickness. Making it functional for MIG and stick welding.
Low Flame Endurance: The flame endurance of the glove is not up to the expectation. It gets burned and worn out quite easily and quickly.
Heat Passage: Some buyers have claimed that the heat resistance of this is not enough, you can feel the heat in your fingers. This will cause disturbance during welds.
Not for TIG Welding: The thickness of the glove bought a disadvantage along with it. That is it can’t be used for TIG welding.
5. Revco BM88XXL Black Stallion BSX Cowhide Back Welding Glove
It’s a glove full of features.
Features and Benefits
Top Grain Leather Palm: The palm is made from Top Grain leather of pigskin for increased comfort, protection and durability.
Reinforced Padding: The padding on the palm ensures greater heat insulation. Also prevents the user from feeling much vibration i.e. acts as an anti-vibration medium.
It keeps the side of your hands cool while you are welding.
Abrasion Resistant Drag Patches: Drag patches on the back of the thumb prevent abrasion due to dragging of the glove while welding.
Rest Patches: Decreasing the pressure and heat on the wrist bone of the user, rest patches makes it even more comfortable to wield.
Back Scot Lining: An extra layer of material, scot lining, is used on the back side of the glove to intercept heat flow. Thus acting as a heat shield in the area which is most exposed to heat radiation.
Dexterous Palm: Palm is softer than the rest of the glove to enhance the dexterity of the user.
Flame Resistant Stitching: Stitching is durable and flame resistant due to Kevlar threads.
Functional for Acetylene Welding: Dexterity is a crucial factor for acetylene welding. So, these gloves work nicely for acetylene welding due to its dexterity.
Numerous Size: Revco manufactured their BM88 in five different sizes. Ranging from small to 2XL it also has medium, large and extra large too.
Non-Penetrable: The thickness of the gloves is sufficient enough to endure pokes of the strong spikes or thorns.
Since these gloves glove contracts due to heat, it’s hard to fit in after welding for a while. While MIG welding if you hold these close to the welding area then you can feel some heat passing through the gloves.
Heat Gets Through: Despite its thickness, the heat gets inside the gloves creating slight discomfort for the welders.
Improper Dimensioning: Some buyers have claimed that even the XL size is small, the fingers are held tight by the gloves. Large ones are for those who use Medium.
6. Hobart 770440 Premium Form Fitted Welding Gloves
Sumptuous and comfortable gloves for heavy-duty welding.
Features and Benefits
Decent Stitching: Utilizing Kevlar threads the Hobart 770440 is manufactured with heavy duty welding gloves.
Substantial Leather: A majority portion of the glove is made with top grain leather and some portion with split cowhide. Tip grain leather adds to the durability of the glove. Leathers being thick and heavy makes the gloves more stout.
Lenient Interior Lining: Feasible for long time use due to its soft interior lining.
Heat Shield: An extra layer of cowhide leather on the back of the gloves increases the heat insulation of the glove.
Finger Patchings: Patchings on the backside of the fingers make it easier for the welder to endure the extreme heat during welding.
Feasible for MIG and Stick Welding: Heat insulation of the glove is sufficient for comfortable MIG and Stick welding experience.
Commendable Dexterity: Has enough dexterity for a comfortable welding experience even with a proper thickness to withstand the heat of welding.
Proper TIG Welding Glove: Packs sufficient dexterity and heat resistance to be used comfortably for TIG welding.
Not for Overhead Welding: Isn’t long enough to prevent the sparks and spatters of overhead welding to get inside the gloves and protect the arms.
Only One Available Size: Not a glove for everybody since it comes in at only one size.
Unreliable Protection: Melts down a bit due to the heat of welding. So, you might not be able to rely on the kind of welding protection this glove has to offer.
Short-Lived: Lasts only for a couple of months. So, the durability is not too much to rely on.
Shrinks: This glove shrinks down due to a bit of heat. Can’t withstand the heat of a wood stove without shrinking.
Can’t be Used As Welding Sleeves: Covers less than half of the forearms. So, unlike many another welding glove out there it doesn’t serve the purpose of welding sleeves too.
7. RAPICCA Leather Forge Welding Gloves
A durable and multi-purpose welding glove.
Features and Benefits
Hygroscopic Interior Lining: The inner lining of the glove absorbs moisture and sweat. Making it convenient to get a proper and stronger grip.
Fore Arm Protection: Being 16 inches in length covers most of the forearm with its 7.5 inches long sleeves. Thus protecting the forearm from hot flying debris, spatter and flash burns.
Different Colors: RAPICCA manufactured this glove in two different colors. One is grey and the other is a combination of blue and yellow. But the two of them have a slight difference in price.
A Multi-purpose Glove: Serves numerous purposes e.g. barbecue, grill, oven, fireplace etc.
Endures Extreme Heat: Can endure heat up to 1600F temperature. Thus enabling the user to grip extremely hot objects such as burning coal, wood or hot cookware.
Kevlar Stitching: Flame resistant and heavy duty Kevlar stitching enhances the longevity of the glove.
Heavy Duty Welding Glove: Highly abrasion resistant so it does not wear or tear easily or any time soon.
Cushiony Interior: Due to the cotton lining, the cushiony interior makes sit conveniently for the user to grab extremely hot stuff.
Hanging Loop: On the side of the sleeves, each glove has a loop attached for hanging the gloves in your workshop. So, it doesn’t easily get lost.
Superb Leather: Leather for the glove has been cautiously chosen so that it is soft and thick and serves the purpose to the fullest. Type of leather used is shoulder split cowhide leather.
Puncture Durable: Doesn’t get ripped being poked by sharp corners or edges. So it can even be used by gardeners.
Palm And Finger Padding: Palms and the fingers have paddings on them to increase heat insulation and protection. Making the glove more comfortable and possible for long time use.
Substandard Dexterity: Dexterity is an issue with this welding love. It’s not possible to pick up a pen or a pencil and write with this.
Unavailability of Sizes: RAPICCA manufactured only Xl and XXL of this glove. A huge number of people who uses L or M can’t use this glove.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I Use Welding Gloves as Electrical Gloves?
Even though welding gloves are made of leather most of the time and leather is a good electrical insulator but it is better not to use it of electrical purposes since it is not being sold as electrical gloves.
Q. Will Welding Gloves prevent getting shocked while welding?
Welding gloves will prevent the shock to some extent but it is always a wise choice to ground your welding table and workpiece.
Q. Are leather welding gloves waterproof?
Some leather welding gloves are water resistant to some extent but none are waterproof. Gloves manufactured using top grain leather are a bit water resistant.
Welding gloves are used for the purpose of protection from a lot of probable hazards that might occur during welding. The best welding gloves have some common features like fire resistance, heat resistance, good dexterity, and comfort. Welding gloves can also be used for all sorts of purposes like grilling, petting a macaw etc. The fact that it can endure heat up to a high temperature is utilized in a lot of places.