When it comes to work involving intense heat and different kinds of metals, your safety should be of paramount importance. Making sure that you are safe as you work with heavy equipment and power tools is simply non-negotiable. Even a tiny slip-up can cause accidents that may irreversibly change your life.
Before heading to your workbench, you should gear up. Among the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE), long welding gloves should never be neglected or
scrimped on. Low prices may be attractive, but don’t be tempted by substandard welding gloves! Instead, you should only consider the best options available in the market.
But how do you choose the perfect welding gloves? What things should you look out for when buying a pair? Which brands make the best ones?
Read more and discover the answers to these questions, and more!
Why Do I Need Welding Gloves?
Whether you do metalworking as a hobby or as your livelihood, you need welding gloves to keep your fingers safe. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to keep your workplace safe and secure, none of us can really guess when and where the next accident might occur. Thus, the best way to mitigate the chances of you being seriously hurt is by wearing PPEs.
Aside from your helmet and coveralls, you should also wear welding gloves to achieve the best protection possible against injuries. The most common injuries that you hopefully never encounter while at work include burns, abrasions, and small cuts. The worst possible thing that can happen is accidentally dismembering yourself.
What Kinds of Welding Gloves Are There?
As you might have already guessed, there are numerous kinds of welding gloves out there. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In addition, they may differ in size, material, purpose, and quality. So when you’re shopping for a pair of welding gloves, be sure to nail down what specific kind of gloves you need.
Generally, there are three types of welding gloves in the market. Each type corresponds to a specific welding process. Different welding processes involve various materials and ways of doing things. As a result, you should only use your welding gloves during the kind of welding they are specifically designed for.
Here are the three types of welding gloves appropriate for each type of welding:
- TIG welding gloves: These are usually made of thin and flexible animal skin such as goatskin. Flexibility is crucial so that a TIG welder can pull off precise welds that TIG welding is capable of despite wearing gloves. TIG welding gloves don’t usually offer protection for much higher temperatures that other welding processes generate.
- MIG welding gloves: MIG welding processes generate more spatter, thus resulting in hotter temperatures. As such, your hands need protection from intense heat. MIG welding gloves are made of thicker and higher-quality goatskin lined with heat-resistant materials.
- Stick welding gloves: Compared to TIG and MIG welding processes, stick welding produces the most heat which means that you’ll need the best heat protection for your hands and arms. Stick welding gloves are usually made of thick animal skins like elk skin and pigskin.
What Things Should I Consider Before Buying?
Hobbyists and newcomers to the metalworking field tend to downplay how important welding gloves are. As a result, they go for the cheapest ones they can find without ever considering their quality and durability. So what should you exactly look for when buying a pair of high-quality welding gloves?
Here are some of the things that you should consider before buying welding gloves:
- Comfortable fit: As you will be working for long periods of time, you should make sure that your hands are comfortable. Otherwise, you might develop joint problems stemming from poorly fitting welding gloves. Your performance can also be affected by a pair of compromising gloves.
- Appropriate material: As discussed in the previous section, there are different types of welding processes. Each welding process requires specific kinds of welding gloves that are most suitable for it. Some gloves are thicker but prevent movement. Others allow precise movement but offer less heat resistance.
- Flexible digits: Wearing welding gloves will significantly reduce your freedom of movement. Depending on the material, gloves allow varying degrees of movement. You have to consider the trade-offs you will be making. For example, a more flexible pair of gloves might be less effective in protecting you from cuts.
1. Kim Yuan Extreme
Specs at a Glance:
- Priced at $20.99 on Amazon
- Feels lightweight at 10.5 ounces
- Made of premium quality cow leather
- Has a thickness of 1.0mm to 1.2mm
- Comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee
- Designed with a built-in hook for fast removal
- Provides resistance to oil, punctures, and cuts
- Offers heat protection for temperatures as high as 662° F
- Features kevlar threads that are highly heat resistant and durable
- The cuff is made of a denim material that feels comfortable to the touch
- Maintains your strong grip while absorbing sweat with its 100% cotton lining
As you work with power tools and heavy materials, you are constantly facing the risk of accidents that can result in serious injuries. Your welding gloves should have only the best materials that can withstand the demands of an accident-prone work environment. In addition to the sturdy cow leather material, this pair of welding gloves also feature durable kevlar threads.
Kevlar is widely known as a very strong material that has applications in a variety of industries, including bulletproof vests. But how do kevlar threads provide additional strength to the Kim Yuan Extreme welding gloves? Kevlar has an internal structure that looks like tightly interwoven threads of extra strong plastic. As such, it can endure strong impacts and pressure.
Strong Grip With No Sweat
While working in extremely hot temperatures, you will definitely sweat a lot. Sweating inside your gloves can reduce your grip which can lead to injuries. Fortunately, the Kim Yuan Extreme has inner linings that absorb sweat and moisture, keeping your hands dry as you work.
The 100% cotton lining provides moisture absorption and improves the air circulation around your hands. In addition, people with sensitive skin can also comfortably wear these welding gloves without experiencing irritation from abrasions. As a result, you can simply put these welding gloves on without any fuss.
Some customers complain about the lackluster heat resistance that the Kim Yuan Extreme welding gloves are able to provide. If you’re working with metal pieces in intense heat, your hands might feel uncomfortably hot despite having these gloves on. That’s why these gloves are hard to recommend for those who prefer the stick welding process.
Some customers report using their welding gloves in less heat-intensive applications. Despite being used in lower temperatures, customers say that the heat seems to pass through the gloves as if they weren’t there. Other customers report having blisters due to the Kim Yuan Extreme’s poor heat resistance.
2. Tillman 50L Top Grain
Specs at a Glance:
- Priced at $24.95 on Amazon
- Palm made with durable top grain cowhide
- Further reinforcements of cowhide split leather for extra strength
- Provides comfortable and secure fit using elastics
- Offers heat insulation with linings made of fleece
- Suitable for both hot and cold applications
- Seamless construction on the forefinger for excellent feel
- The cuff extends to 4” for extra protection on the wrists
- Uses kevlar materials to reinforce its seams
- Made specifically for the MIG welding process
- Offers reliable hand protection from cuts and abrasions
- Comes in a high-visibility mustard yellow color
High-Quality Top Grain Leather
When working with metals and intense heat, you should be able to move your fingers without any difficulties. Some materials are uncomfortably rigid, making it hard for the wearer to work with their hands. This situation could introduce risks and hazards to the already accident-prone working environment.
The Tillman 50L welding gloves are made of long-lasting top-grain cowhide leather. As top grain leather is thinner and more flexible, these welding gloves lend the wearer dexterity and freedom of movement. Thanks to its leather material, you don’t have to sacrifice safety for dexterity and ease of use.
Comfortable and Secure Fit
As you move around your workshop, you might handle different materials and use numerous tools. While you switch from one tool to another, your welding gloves may come loose. Loose gloves might result in accidents and injuries, such as losing your grip on your metal pieces or reduced control over your powerful metalworking equipment.
The Tilman 50L welding gloves provide a comfortable and secure fit to avoid such unfortunate situations. The welding gloves incorporate elastics to ensure a tight but comfortable fit. As a result, these welding gloves feel firmly secure in your hands and wrists, giving you peace of mind as you work.
As with other protective gear, having a tailor-made fit is crucial for your comfort and safety. With the Tilman 50L welding gloves, a good fit seems to be a hit or miss. There were some reviews saying that the gloves’ digits were too long for their fingers. This problem introduces a safety hazard, which can be a dealbreaker.
Other customers complain about the inside liners’ durability. After daily use over the span of a week, the inside liner became loose, making it easy to be ripped out of the gloves themselves. However, this problem could be attributed to defective units as there were only an insignificantly small number of such cases.
3. Miller MIG 271888
Specs at a Glance:
- Priced at $34.95 on Amazon
- Made of durable pig split leather
- Provides moisture, puncture, and abrasion resistance
- Foam material absorbs moisture for better insulation
- Fleece linings provide comfort over a long duration
- Features comfortable and curve digits for ergonomics
- Resists flame and extreme temperatures
- Comes in a low-profile black and white color
- Available in different sizes, from XS to XXL
- Specifically designed for MIG welding applications
- Has naturally moisture-resistant exterior material
- Both interior and exterior are breathable
- Has kevlar threads for heat resistance and added durability
Keystone Thumb For Dexterity
Because of the physically demanding nature of metalworking, you need protective gear that can withstand the hazards of the field. Aside from reliable protection, your welding gloves should allow your digits to move freely as you work with the metal piece and your welding equipment. Different glove designs offer varying degrees of dexterity.
The Miller MIG 271888 features a keystone thumb design which allows for greater flexibility and dexterity. In this design, the thumb is a separate piece that is sewn to the glove, unlike seamless designs. As a result, this design is deemed the most ergonomic because it is based on the natural position of your thumb.
Superior Flame Resistance
Whether you’re pursuing it as a hobby or a source of livelihood, metalworking is rife with risks and hazards. Some of these hazards come from working with intense temperatures and open fire. To avoid running into fire-related injuries, you should not compromise on heat-resistant protective gear.
Adding a layer of heat resistance, the kevlar threads found in the Miller MIG 271888 can save you from heat-related accidents—from minor burns to life-changing injuries. Due to the inter-chain bonds found in kevlar material, the Miller MIG 27188 is incredibly strong and durable. Thanks to kevlar, these welding gloves are extremely resistant to flame, cuts, and punctures.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded pair of welding gloves, then the Miller MIG 27188 might be the right fit for you. Even customers who have reviewed the product can attest to how these welding gloves lived up to their expectations. However, they still come with a few downsides.
Some customers have reported experiencing unbearable heat inside the gloves while working. This issue can result in lost productivity as wearers have to spend some time cooling down while recovering from enduring high temperatures. Another issue that was commonly reported was mismatching colors from the product photos.
4. Lincoln Electric Traditional
Specs at a Glance:
- Priced at $16.47 on Amazon
- Made with durable exterior and interior materials
- Lined with soft cotton on the insides for comfort and good fit
- Features high-grade leather with reinforcement points
- Constructed with kevlar threading for heat and spatter resistance
- Has fully lined interiors for a snug and comfortable fit
- The cuff is lined with moisture absorbent twill cotton
- Works best with stick, MIG, flux-core welding processes
- Comes in a stylish red and black color scheme
- Improves fingertip sensitivity with its full sock lining
- With seams lined with kevlar material for added strength
Designed To Fit Everyone
When it comes to protective equipment, you should always make sure that every gear you have has a good and snug fit. Poorly fitting gloves can be anywhere from a mild inconvenience to a serious safety hazard. That’s why you should always aim for the best fitting pair of welding gloves to protect your hands as you work.
The Lincoln Electric Traditional welding gloves make the fitting process faster and more convenient for you. You don’t have to worry about getting the wrong sizing option because these welding gloves come in only one size. Taking the one-size-fits-all approach, they are designed to fit almost everyone’s hands.
Great Heat Resistance
Every welder faces intense temperatures every day. This daily dance with open fire and sparks is a constant risk to your well-being. As you yield your welding torch, you need to make sure that your welding gloves can be relied on when things go awry.
Taking advantage of the heat-resistant properties of kevlar threads, the Lincoln Electric Traditional provides extra protection from heat and flame. In addition to heat resistance, the kevlar threads improve the gloves’ resistance to cuts and abrasions.
While the one-size-fits-all approach might have saved the company in manufacturing costs, it can be a hit or miss for customers. Customers whose hands are at the extreme ends of the sizing scale won’t have a pleasant experience. Before you make the purchase, make sure that these welding gloves are a good fit for your hands.
Before your next welding job, ensure that you have the best protective gear at your disposal. Your safety is simply non-negotiable and of the utmost importance. Spending a few more bucks for welding gloves made with premium materials can spell the difference between losing your digits and surviving the shift with all your fingers intact.
Remember: Don’t set foot in your workshop without the perfect long welding gloves for you!