You have been welding for so long that you are already immune to sparks, burns, and scratches. That's why it took you so long to notice that you were wearing a pair of tattered gloves. Even so, it helps if you never disregard your safety while working and replace the old gloves with the best welding gloves that you can find.
In this article, we will discuss why it is essential to use welding gloves, the various types of gloves, and what are the best welding gloves to buy.
Do you need to wear welding gloves?
Welding gloves take beatings from heat, burns, sparks, punctures, abrasions, cuts, electric shocks, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. That's why it is necessary to wear welding gloves during work. Or else you will be risking your livelihood and life.
Wearing a pair of welding gloves is an SOP you must adhere to at all times when you are operating inside your workspace. Never forget the basics, no matter how experienced a welder you are.
But it would help if you were mindful when choosing a pair because you cannot use just any gloves that catch your fancy. It should match what type of welding process you will be performing.
Why are there different gloves per welding process?
Nope, it is not a marketing tactic pushed by welding glove manufacturers. Each welding process requires specific glove features. How is that so? Let us explain based on the welding applications:
In MIG welding, you are exposed to heat, spatters, and sparks—you should buy a pair of welding gloves to protect you from all three. Your glove must be made from cowhide, elskin, or pigskin, as these hides are thicker and offer more protection.
You don't have to worry about the glove's flexibility because it is not a primary concern with MIG welding, since you are only using your wrist and not your fingers to move the equipment.
Meanwhile, when you are TIG welding, you need a glove that provides you a significant amount of dexterity because this process requires using two hands. You know the drill: one hand holds the welding machine, and the other holds the filler metal. What makes it more difficult is that you are wearing gloves while you weld.
It would be pointless to say that it should "fit like a glove" or you should be able to wear it like "second skin", as if you are not wearing gloves at all. That's why in this type of welding, the glove's material should be goatskin, horsehide, or deerskin.
But how can you tell if a glove provides dexterity? Perform the "dime test." Here's how to do it. First, wear the gloves you are going to buy. Then, pick up a dime. If you successfully pick it up, congratulations, you've found the suitable TIG welding gloves for you.
Stick welding is a versatile and popular welding process because you can do it inside and outside your workshop. The problem with stick welding is that it generates more heat, sparks, and slags than MIG welding.
For this reason, you need a heavy-duty welding glove with very high heat resistance. The glove materials you should be looking for are deerskin, cowhide, or elkskin.
For added protection, wear a welding jacket made from leather to shield you from spatter and spark. Plus, find a glove with aluminized backing to block the heat, as recommended by the Industrial Safety & Hygiene News.
Now that you understand why welding gloves are designed explicitly for TIG, MIG, and stick welding, let us discuss some good welding gloves you can buy.
The Best Welding Gloves By Welding Procedure
High-quality welding gloves are tough to find. That's why we made this best welding gloves review for you. We’ve also divided it into three categories according to the type of welding process you’re doing.
Best MIG Welding Gloves
RAPICCA Extreme Heat-Resistant Leather Gloves
The maximum temperature the RAPICCA Extreme Heat-Resistant Leather Gloves can handle is around 932°F or 500°C. While the glove's exterior protects you from extreme heat, its inner layer, which is made from 100% soft insulated cotton lining, absorbs the sweat.
This RAPICCA glove, which is one of the best welding gloves for MIG welding, is made of cowhide, a durable and flame-resistant leather. Also, its palms, fingers, backs, and elbows are stitched and padded with Kevlar. No wonder it can withstand intense heat!
This heat-resistant glove's excellent specs don't end there. Its intermediate layer consists of an air-isolated aluminum foil for extra heat protection and cotton cloth for flame protection. Moreover, RAPICCA is 16 inches long which provides absolute forearm protection. This is why it can be an excellent stick welding glove, too.
Lincoln Electric Traditional Welding Gloves
When it comes to MIG welding gloves, comfort is not your primary concern, but Lincoln Electric made sure to include it with this glove. It is an added "special" feature on top of the high-quality materials used for this glove.
The glove is made from high-grade cowhide leather on the outside with a cotton liner inside. Kevlar stitching and reinforced seams enhanced its durability to prevent punctures or tears.
Although the Lincoln Electric Traditional MIG Welding Gloves are large in size, it still sits snug around your hands, and even a person with a smaller hand can use them. In addition, the glove has a padded thumb and high-wear pads to protect you from heat and puncture.
Revco Black Stallion Welding Gloves
Another welding glove that is made of sturdy yet flexible cowhide leather. However, it is only 12 inches long, so you will need a welding leather jacket to protect your forearms from sparks and slags.
Like Lincoln Electric, it has sweat-absorbent soft cotton lining. That's why you will never have a problem wearing it for a long time. In addition, it has a drag patch side padding and rest patch wrist padding that lessens hand fatigue for reinforcements.
Revco Black Stallion Gloves are ambidextrous. It means you can maneuver it without difficulty. It is also available in five sizes: small, medium, extra-large, large, and XX-large.
BEETRO Welding Gloves
You may think that an $11 welding glove doesn't exist. We’re here to prove you wrong; it is called the BEETRO Welding Gloves. But is it a good buy? Let's find out.
BEETRO gloves are made of cowhide, which provides resistance against heat, abrasion, cuts, tears, and punctures. It is also flame retardant because of its DP-KEV stitching.
As for its form, it has an elastic wrist to keep away debris and dirt. Also, a wing design so your thumb can move better. Finally, you can quickly slip it on and off, thanks to its flexible construction.
Best TIG Welding Gloves
Caiman White Goatskin Welding Gloves
You can use the Caiman White Goatskin Welding Gloves on TIG and MIG applications. It only means you will be getting a glove with high resistance to heat and one that possesses excellent dexterity. This product is undoubtedly a worthy steal.
The Caiman is made from resilient and flexible white goatskin leather. It has four different sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. But no matter what size you choose, you can still take advantage of its high cuff, which provides complete forearm protection.
Endura Superior Welding Gloves
When you are wearing the Endura Superior Welding Gloves, you can endure long hours of holding a hot filler rod without sacrificing your nimbleness as you weld. For extra dexterity, its hand orientation is ambidextrous, so you won't have a problem getting a better angle regardless if you are left- or right-handed.
The exterior of the Endura Superior Welding Glove is made of goatskin leather. At the same time, the interior has strong Kevlar stitching and lining, which makes it cut- and puncture-resistant.
Endura Superior Welding Gloves also pass the industry standards. It has the safety ratings as follows:
- ASTM ANSI Heat Level 3
- ASTM ANSI Puncture Resistance Level 3
- ASTM ANSI Cut Level A2
What are ASTM ANSI standards? According to the ANSI Webstore, the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute Rating) employs a ranged scale that rates how resistant hand protection like welding gloves are to heat, punctures, and cuts.
Revco LG Tigster Welding Gloves
Revco LG Tigster welding gloves are a lightweight and highly dexterous pair, perfect for TIG welding. You can easily pick up filler rods without having to take them off.
These high-quality welding gloves are made of soft kidskin (or goatskin) with flame-resistant Kevlar stitching. Its inner lining is made from 100% soft cotton, which offers snug-fitting wear.
For extra dexterity, Revco LG Tigster has a seamless index and ergonomic keystone thumb. However, it is only available in two sizes, namely, large and extra-large.
MAGID Inferno Series Welders Gloves
MAGID Inferno Series will not only protect you from the heat but also from impacts and abrasions. In addition, its high-grade goatskin exterior offers excellent mobility to help you create precise arcs.
The manufacturer stitches it with a para-aramid blend knit fabric liner to create a form-fitting glove. Furthermore, MAGID Inferno Series is truly ergonomic because of its Gunn cut pattern.
MAGID Inferno Series has the following ANSI ratings:
- ANSI Level 4 Abrasion Resistance
- ANSI Level A4 Cut Resistance
- ANSI Level 4 Puncture Resistance
Best Stick Welding Gloves
Caiman American Deerskin Welding Gloves
Besides stick welding, you can use the Caiman American Deerskin Welding Gloves for overhead welding and plasma cutting. It is a 21-inch glove made from genuine American deerskin.
Even though you will not need dexterity for this welding process, Caiman perfectly resembles a human hand's natural shape—all thanks to the application of three-dimensional Kontour architecture, which is a groundbreaking technological advancement in the world of glove construction.
How does it handle scorching temperatures? Caiman takes it swimmingly. It is one of the best welding gloves out there that is mainly designed for stick welding. It means the manufacturer made sure that it can withstand extreme heat. Plus, it has this gold plating that helps block radiant heat and long sleeves for forearm protection.
Kim Yuan Extreme Heat & Fire Resistant Gloves
Based on its name, it is evident that this is indeed a stick welding glove. Kim Yuan Extreme Heat & Fire Resistant Gloves are made of full cow split leather with a thickness of 1.2mm.
Its palm's interior is made of breathable, sweat-absorbent cotton. Besides, its cuffs are made from denim for additional heat protection.
It is durable too because of Kevlar stitching which makes it difficult to break. Moreover, Kim Yuan is cut- and puncture-resistant because of its reinforced patches from palm to cushion.
Olson Deepak Heat-Resistant Welding Gloves
Another pair of gloves gives away its intended use for stick welding. Olson Deepak Heat-Resistant Welding Gloves have a top-notch construction that can put up with multiple heavy tasks.
It is made from high-grade cowhide leather with a soft cotton lining. Although it does not have Kevlar stitching, the manufacturer made sure that the seams are of high quality and can resist extreme heat and fire.
Unlike other stick welding gloves, the Olson Deepak is very soft and flexible to maximize comfort and dexterity. Despite the thickness of the glove, you can still freely move your fingers while working.
Tillman Top Grain Leather Stick Gloves
The Tillman Top Grain Leather Stick Gloves are manufactured in the USA. Its exterior is made from durable top grain cowhide leather with cowhide split reinforcements.
Among the other gloves in this list, the interior of Tillman Top Grain Leather gloves is made from full cotton fleece lining. It makes the gloves moisture-absorbent and adds a layer of protection from heat.
The entire glove is Kevlar stitched to make it more durable and fire-resistant. Likewise, it has an ergonomic design because of its seamless forefinger and elastic back (for a snug fit).
As a welder, you should never take your safety for granted. It is all right to invest in high-quality welding gloves to protect you from the dangers of welding.
But it doesn't mean it should be expensive! Consider different factors like the glove's material, dexterity, size and length, stitching, insulation, and the type of welding project you’ll be doing. More importantly, it must be a good fit. So go ahead and use this guide in your quest to find the best welding gloves for you.