Best Mechanic Gloves: Protect Your Hands While You Work
Protect your hands with our top picks for the best mechanic gloves
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BY Rebecca Henderson / LAST UPDATED ON July 22, 2019
Mechanic work is all about using your hands, so there’s no way to avoid scratches, tears, and other kinds of injuries. To prevent long-lasting damage and preserve your working hands, choose mechanic gloves that will take the brunt of the abuse. Check out our buying guide for the best mechanic gloves on the market.
These shrink-resistant gloves from Custom Leathercraft are tough, stretchy, and feature three touchscreen fingertips so you can work and stay connected at the same time.
- Custom Leathercraft makes its gloves from synthetic Syntrex and durable microfiber for a form-fitting, quality product that will protect your hands while still providing the grip you need
- Though these mechanic gloves will keep your hands warm during the winter, they won’t necessarily keep them cool during the summer months
These sleek and stylish gloves help to protect mechanics from hurting their fingers and knuckles. It’s reinforced with leather at the palms and secured at the wrist with a strap.
- Breathable mesh keeps your hands cool. Comes in an inexpensive, medium to extra large selection
- Leather provides a firm grip
- Can be used as winter gloves
- Provides a comfortable, snug fit
- The mesh part isn’t as durable as the other parts of the glove
- Not durable under heavy-duty work
Mechanix Wear gloves are well known for comfort, breathability, and style. These affordable mechanic gloves both protect and strengthen your hands as you work.
- Synthetic leather construction allows for a thick barrier between your skin and harsh environments around it
- A breathable microfiber fabric and nylon carrier loops make these gloves versatile and comfortable
- No additional knuckle protection means an increased chance of injury when sustaining impact to the back of the hand
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Benefits of Mechanic Gloves
- Protection. Whether it’s from impacts, scrapes, or any other situation that can tear the skin from your hand, mechanic gloves will protect you. Removable gloves are much easier to replace than any body part.
- Chemical barrier. Working in the garage means you’ll likely come into contact with a number of chemicals. Though some types of mechanic gloves won’t act as a solid barrier against chemicals seeping through to your skin, they will lessen the amount of chemical that contacts your hand.
- Gripping power. Your bare hands can easily become saturated as you work, and grabbing onto objects and handling them may become difficult. The finger pads on mechanic gloves will give you extra gripping power to grab and hold onto things.
- Callous prevention. Calluses form when your hands see constant contact with rough objects. If you add a layer between your hands and the objects you’re handling, you can significantly reduce the number of calluses your hands sustain.
- Reduction in hand fatigue. Along with protecting your hands as you work, mechanic gloves can also help support them. After wearing the gloves for a few hours, you won’t feel as much fatigue as you would without the gloves.
- Multiple use/applications. Though they’re called mechanic gloves, these protective gloves can be used in a variety of situations. Examples include working in the yard, picking up trash, cleaning up the garage, etc.
Types of Mechanic Gloves
Mechanics who work in the field typically have a box of gloves designed to be thrown away after use. These disposable gloves typically protect from fluids such as oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, etc. Disposable gloves obviously won’t last as long as reusable gloves, but they will typically hold up against most commercial chemicals. Depending on the brand and material of the gloves, the ability to withstand continued exposure to chemicals may increase or decrease accordingly. Most disposable gloves are made of nitrile, while some are made from latex.
If you wear reusable gloves, you can easily invest in better gloves and spend less in the long run. Reusable gloves are made from stronger materials than nitrile, such as synthetic or real leather. You can often wash reusable gloves, but depending on how much you use them they will likely need replacing after some time.
Founded in 1991 and headquartered in California, Mechanix Wear is a brand you’ve likely seen in your local automotive store. If you are a fan of the brand and don’t quite like the other types of gloves we include in our buying guide, check out The Original Coyote Gloves.
Vgo has been serving working hands with its innovative glove solutions for over 20 years. Do your hands multitask? Then check out the High Dexterity Heavy Duty Touchscreen gloves from Vgo. They’re perfect for getting the job done and then sharing your accomplishments with your friends on social media. Vgo is headquartered in California.
Adenna calls the great state of California home and has done so since 1997. If you’re looking for a disposable mechanic glove solution, check out the Adenna Handy Guard.
Mechanic Gloves Pricing
- $5-$15: At this entry-level price point, you should be able to purchase a 100-count box of nitrile gloves in a variety of colors. You can also pick up synthetic leather work gloves for around $10-$15.
- $15-$30: Look to this price point if you want a glove that will last a bit longer. You should be able to find some tactical and more durable mechanic gloves in this price range as well.
- $30 and up: For about $30, you’ll find gloves that are capable of manipulating touchscreens and resisting impacts to your hands. However, anything more than $30 is typically for hands that see a lot of abuse, such as construction workers, road flaggers, etc. These gloves are the hardiest you’ll likely be able to find.
Longevity can mean a lot of things when it comes to mechanic gloves. When it comes to disposable gloves, the material shouldn’t tear easily. The best disposable mechanic gloves should withstand extended exposure to chemicals, and even reusable gloves should share this characteristic. Reusable gloves that are durable won’t tear either and should hold together even after they’re frequently washed.
The ability to grip is a critical characteristic of mechanic gloves. Mechanics work with objects as large as an entire engine and as small as nuts and bolts. Being able to grip and maintain that grip plays a large part in how effective mechanic gloves are. Whether it’s padded on each fingertip or just raised ridges along the inside of the fingers, having a strong gripping surface can make or break a pair of mechanic gloves.
Gloves are only effective if they cover a large part of your hand. Tears greatly decrease a glove’s effectiveness, even if the glove is disposable. The best mechanic gloves, if they are reusable, are woven in such a way as to strengthen the glove itself to prevent tears. Even disposable gloves are designed to prolong tearing for extended use.
If you’re a mechanic, chances are you’re probably working quite a few hours each day. That could mean wearing the same pair of gloves for eight to 10 hours at a time. The best mechanic gloves will stay comfortable even after the first few hours have passed. Comfort can mean a lot of things to different people, but generally speaking a soft, flexible material and breathable fabric are desirable.
Though this applies more to reusable mechanic gloves than disposable ones, it’s important that you are able to wash your gloves. The chemicals that may have soaked into the fabric should be removed so that the next time you wear them those fluids don’t soak into your skin. Each pair of gloves will have its own washing instructions, and being able to freshen up your gloves is a key feature of the best mechanic gloves.
- Breathable: Gloves are often associated with cold weather, and mechanic gloves certainly fall into this category. However, having an extra layer of material on your hands in weather above 75-degrees Fahrenheit isn’t all that desirable, especially if it’s for hours at a time. The best mechanic gloves will allow your hands to breathe just as much as they insulate your fingers from freezing.
- Touchscreen Sensitivity: Whether your job requires it or you’re just concerned about staying connected, having the ability to use your smartphone as you wear mechanic gloves is a characteristic to consider. Most mechanic gloves of any merit include this feature in some way, from outfitting just a few fingertips with touchscreen-sensitive materials to outfitting all five digits.
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- Keep an extra pair of mechanics gloves on hand in case you need them. That means you could store one in your toolbox and one in your car, or keep a pair in your locker at work.
- Unless your gloves are not meant to be washed, clean them often to maintain their appearance and protect your hands from chemicals that may soak into the fibers. You can wash them with your dirty garage work clothes or simply hand-wash them.
- Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when machine washing your gloves. Failure to follow the specified instructions could result in shrinkage, disrepair, and/or the need to buy an entirely new set of gloves. Save yourself the time, stress, and money by taking a few minutes to read the instructions before washing.
- If you’d like to have both disposable and reusable gloves on hand, use your disposable gloves for smaller projects and reusable ones for heavy lifting. For example, you could use nitrile gloves when staining your deck railing, but make sure to have reusable gloves for picking up fallen tree branches.
- If you’re not sure whether to choose the size you think you need or a larger one, go with the bigger size. That way you’ll still be able to use the gloves. Otherwise, especially with disposable gloves, you could rip or damage the gloves and render them useless.
- Before deciding on whether you like your reusable mechanic gloves or not, give them a few days to break in. Sometimes the material needs to be worked in a bit in order to fit your hand better. Also, your hands may take some time to get used to the feel of your new mechanic gloves.
Q: Are mechanic gloves one size fits all?
A: No, not necessarily. Sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from one glove type to another. People with the same hand size may prefer different glove sizes. Materials make a difference as well.
Q: What are mechanic gloves made from?
A: Mechanic gloves are made from a number of materials, such as Kevlar, goatskin, Velcro, and/or cowhide. Leather gloves are a popular but expensive solution. Latex gloves can be cheaper but aren’t necessarily as durable as nitrile gloves. Safety gloves are much more heavy-duty as they’re designed to protect and withstand extreme circumstances.
Q: Will mechanic gloves protect me from harmful chemicals and in high-heat applications?
A: This varies from glove to glove. Nitrile and other types of disposable gloves are designed to protect your hands from harsh chemicals but not for extended periods of time. Intense heat is not conducive to disposable gloves, and in some cases the same goes for reusable gloves.
Q: How long do mechanic gloves last?
A: This depends on a lot of factors, including the type of glove, what the glove is made from, how often the glove is used, etc. Most disposable mechanic gloves are good for the length of time they stay together. Reusable gloves follow the same requirement, though they tend to stay together much longer in most cases.
Q: Will mechanic gloves protect against needle punctures?
A: Not all mechanic gloves will. Disposable gloves, unless they’re heavy-duty, will not hold up against needles. Reusable gloves may deter needles, but it really depends on the material the glove is made from and how close the stitching sits.
Q: Are mechanic gloves water-resistant?
A: Disposable gloves can be water-resistant as long as the water doesn’t reach the wrist opening. Reusable gloves often have ways of wicking away moisture but aren’t necessarily waterproof. There are, however, ways you can waterproof your gloves if you so choose.
The Custom Leathercraft Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves won our top pick for the best mechanic gloves because they’re a capable glove at an affordable price. They’re comfortable, high-quality, and styled for versatility.
Choose the RevHeads Work Safety Gloves if you’re looking for a budget pick. They’re sure to keep your hands protected and are not very expensive