Reviews

Best Work Gloves: Protect Your Hands While Working

Protect your hands from work-related injuries with these high-quality work gloves.

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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON July 19, 2021

It's important to protect your hands from dirt and injuries, especially if you spend a lot of time working on your vehicle in the garage or have a woodshop or an auto repair shop. Not just any gloves will do; you need a set of professional gloves that are guaranteed to promote safety in your work environment. Our buying guide below will help you get the best work gloves.

Best Overall
Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves
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Summary
Summary

A pair of well-engineered gloves that are suitable for all work environments.

Pros
Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Resists tears
  • Absorbs high-impact energy
  • Includes fingertip reinforcements
  • Machine washable
Cons
Cons
  • May have an unpleasant smell if your hands get sweaty
  • Can feel too thick for small detail jobs
Best Overall
Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves
Best Value
G&F Seamless Work Gloves
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Summary
Summary

Six pairs of gloves with twin material construction at an affordable price. 

Pros
Pros
  • Offers maximum flexibility
  • Feels light on the hands
  • Made of breathable material
  • Promotes full hand movement while protecting against minor injuries
Cons
Cons
  • No extra padding for comfort
  • No cold weather protection
  • Contain bug repellent smells
Best Value
G&F Seamless Work Gloves
Honorable Mention
CLC Custom Leathercraft
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Summary
Summary

A pair of synthetic leather gloves that make it easy for your hands to pick up small objects.

Pros
Pros
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Shrink-resistant
  • Great dexterity, excellent grip
  • Warm in cold weather
  • Can be used on touchscreens 
Cons
Cons
  • May feel tight during the first use
  • Inadequate knuckle padding
  • May have poor stitching at the palms
Honorable Mention
CLC Custom Leathercraft

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Work Gloves

  • Protective. First and foremost, work gloves protect your hands. And that’s a benefit that you simply can’t ignore. Sliding on a pair of gloves allows you to cover your hands with a shield of thick material. No matter what kind of gloves you choose, any good pair of work gloves will keep you protected from potential dangers like cuts, burns, and a loss of grip. They can protect in a variety of temperatures, and they can also offer critical grip that keeps your hands and the rest of you safe while at work.
  • Secure grip. Like we mentioned above, work gloves offer great grip. This is especially beneficial if you’ve been struggling to get a secure, comfortable hold on the items you work with most often. Work gloves can provide grippy palms, fingers, and fingertips (depending on the kind you buy) that’ll help you get a better hold on all types of items and materials.
  • All-weather comfort. Whether you’re working outdoors in the heat of summer or in a chilly garage during the freezing winter, a good pair of work gloves can keep you and your hands comfortable. Available in a variety of different materials for different types of weather, you can find gloves that wick away sweat to keep you cool when it’s hot and gloves that offer layers of thermal protection for increased warmth. Year-round, in any and every season, your gloves will keep you at just the right level of comfort.

Types of Work Gloves

Light-Duty Gloves

Light-duty work gloves are lightweight and made from relatively thin, flexible material. These gloves aren’t meant to be used in seriously rugged or rough settings, but they’re perfect for tasks that require good dexterity. If you need to keep your fingers as close to glove-free performance as possible, light-duty gloves are just the right pick. Their thin construction makes it easier to move, grip, and flex naturally, and they’re also a good choice for more detail-oriented work settings.

Heavy-Duty Gloves

If you need extra protection, more warmth, or serious outdoor rugged-ready construction, then you’ll want to opt for a pair of heavy-duty work gloves. These gloves are thicker, sturdier, and built for seriously heavy-duty use cases. They’re often made from tough material with extra-tough details like reinforced stitching and grip pads that are strategically located. These work gloves are best for situations where you’re concerned about potential injuries or where you’ll be working with items that could rip or create problems with light-duty gloves.

Top Brands

Mechanix 

Founded in 1991, Mechanix is a leader in producing hand protection for tactical, industrial, construction, and automotive industries. Based in California, the company distributes its products worldwide. The Mechanix Wear - Original Work Gloves are a great example of the company’s durable gloves. 

Ironclad

This performance wear company was founded in California in 1998. Today, the company has its headquarters located in Texas. The company focuses on producing innovative gloves for industrial and consumer applications. Check out the IRONCLAD Work Gloves Impact Protection Gloves for a protective pair of tactical gloves. 

Carhartt

Founded in Dearborn, Mich., in 1889, Carhartt began as a small sewing company with two sewing machines and five employees. The company has grown to be a world leader in producing durable work clothes, fire-resistant clothing, and hunting gear. The Carhartt Men's System 5 Work Glove with Safety Cuff is both durable and protective. 

Work Gloves Pricing

  • Under $20: These are affordable gloves that tend to have a simple construction and lack features. They work well if you need a basic pair of gloves for occasional work. 
  • $20 to $45: Most work gloves fall into this price category. They’ll use quality materials and have a few nice features. If you regularly wear work gloves, you’ll be happy with a pair from this price range. 
  • $45 and up: These are high-end gloves that are full of features, use the finest materials, and are often meant for specific uses. 

Key Features

Size

The gloves you buy need to fit your hands. Otherwise, there’s no point in buying them because you won’t be able to get them on. Most gloves come in a basic set of sizes, such as small, medium, and large. You’ll want to look at the manufacturer’s size chart to determine your size. 

Most gloves have you measure across your palm to determine what your glove size is. It’s smart to read the reviews before you buy the gloves as some run small or large. 

Dexterity and Flexibility

If you can’t grab onto objects, move your fingers, or open and close your hands easily in a pair of gloves, they’re pretty much useless. Your work gloves should move like you move — and they should feel more like a second layer of skin than a loose, bulky covering. That’s why it’s important to choose gloves that offer dexterity and flexibility.

Dexterity gives you the freedom to move and use your hands normally. A high level of dexterity means your hands feel pretty natural inside your gloves. And flexibility, whether achieved through stretchy material or a close-to-skin fit that moves with you, will also help ensure you have just as much range of motion with your work gloves on as when they’re off.

Palm Grip

Palm grips range from being a roughed-up material to provide extra friction to full padded patches for impact protection. The amount of palm protection and grip you need will depend on your intended activities. 

Suede is the most common material used to line work glove palms. It’s both durable and improves grip. Rubberized material works well for providing grip in wet environments. Tactical gloves will have additional patches that provide impact protection. 

Other Considerations

  • Stitching. The stitching on your gloves needs to be durable. This tends to be a weak point for work gloves. Pay attention to the stitching that extends the length of each finger. You should also look at the stitching across the palm. Hidden and double stitching are the most durable. 
  • Durability. Not all leather and synthetic materials are the same. You need to pay attention to the durability of the material used for the main construction of the gloves. If the material is too thin, it will wear through. If the material is thick, it will protect your hands, but also reduce your dexterity. Look for reinforcement in the stress points of the glove. 
  • Warmth and Breathability. If you plan to wear your work gloves in hot or cold weather, then you’ll want gloves that will keep you comfortable. Warm weather work gloves will have breathable fabric. The sweat and moisture should get wicked away from your hands to help keep you dry. Cold weather gloves should have insulation to retain your body heat. 
  • Material. Work gloves come in all kinds of different materials. The most common are leather, synthetic material, and rubber (or PVC). The right material for your needs depends on how, exactly, you’ll be using your gloves. Leather, for example, is a traditional choice that’s nicely thick and protective; however, this material isn’t able to get wet. Synthetic work gloves can be even more durable, as well as breathable yet warm; however, they aren’t always well-suited to every type of work. Rubber or PVC gloves are really best for extra grip, though they can crack and peel as they see wear and tear.
  • Uses and Applications. Before you settle on any pair of work gloves, make sure you consider your most common uses and applications. Not every pair of gloves is suited for every situation or type of work. Leather, for example, will pose problems if you work in wet environments. However, rubber can prevent slipping and is perfect for damp environments. If you’re in need of protection, synthetic materials with added protective perks or features might be the best choice. Think about how you’ll use your gloves most often to decide.

Best Work Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves

This rugged tactical glove comes in brown, black, and gray. You can choose from small through XX-large. The gloves have breathable material on the back and durable suede on the palm. There’s a thermoplastic guard on the back of the glove to protect your knuckles from impact and abrasion. The fingertips have an internal dual layer for extra protection. On the palm, there is a D30 protect pad to help dissipate energy throughout the palm. At the wrist, there’s a hook and loop closure for a secure fit. 


This glove stands out because of the additional creature comfort features. The breathable TrekDry material conforms to your hand and keeps you cool. The synthetic leather on the palm is 0.8mm for dexterity and durability. There’s also an impact guard on the first knuckle that allows for easy trigger guard entry.


One problem with these gloves is their authenticity. Make sure the gloves you receive are the true product and not a cheaper quality knock-off. Pay attention to the shape of the knuckle guard, the structure of the palm padding, and the quality of the stitching. The gloves also run large, so if you have smaller or more feminine hands, these gloves won’t fit well.

Best Value
G&F Seamless Work Gloves 

You get six pairs of gloves in this package. They come in men’s medium, large, and X-large or women’s medium. This glove is lightweight and flexible. The construction of the glove is 100 percent nylon material, while the palm of the glove is coated with 100 percent microfoam. The gloves are light gray with black palms. 


You’ll like wearing these gloves while working around the house because of their slim fit. This enables you to have dexterity in your fingers. The nylon material is breathable and keeps your hands cool when you're wearing the gloves all day long. 


The downside of these gloves is their offensive odor that is reminiscent of pesticides. Not only do the chemicals smell bad, but they can also cause reactions for those with sensitive skin. The coating also makes it challenging to feel through the glove, which can make more detailed or technical work challenging.

Honorable Mention
CLC Custom Leathercraft

These durable tactical gloves are black and gray with yellow accenting. You have a choice of small through XX-large. The material is shrink resistant, which helps when it comes to choosing an accurate size. The material is synthetic leather to give you durability and protection. The interior of the glove has insulation for warmth during cold weather. The wrist has a wing closure to prevent slippage when wearing the gloves in wet conditions.


What makes this glove stand out are the spandex and Lycra stretch panels. This makes the glove more flexible, comfortable, and increases your dexterity. Another standout feature is the concealed inner stitching. This prevents them from getting snagged on rough surfaces while you’re working. The pointer finger has a touchscreen tip to make using your devices easier while wearing the gloves.


Unfortunately, while the stitching may not get snagged, the material will. This will result in rips across the fingers and palm. This glove also lacks durability for heavy-duty use.

Honorable Mention
Hardy Pigskin Leather Work Gloves

Not all leather work gloves provide you with easy dexterity, a close fit, and excellent durability — but the Hardy Pigskin Leather Work Gloves do. These gloves are a slim, streamlined spin on the traditional leather work glove, and they allow you to have as much freedom of movement as possible in a protective leather sheath.


Made out of tough, smooth, and soft pigskin leather, these gloves actually conform right to your hand. This allows you to bend, grip, flex, and move like you naturally would, all without a whole lot of extra material or bulk. They’re also quite durable; the pigskin is resistant to abrasions and punctures. It’s a fantastic all-purpose choice if you need gloves that can handle many different types of work. 


As an added bonus, these leather work gloves will also offer all-weather protection and warmth. They can protect against cold weather and moisture, all without getting stiff or damaged. The elastic wrist on each glove also helps lock out cold, debris, and dirt.

Honorable Mention
Ironton Split Cowhide Palm Work Gloves

With a pair of Ironton Split Cowhide Palm Work Gloves, you’ll get some seriously dependable protection. These highly durable and nicely thick gloves will have you covered from the tips of your fingers down past your wrist, thanks to their extra safety cuff.


Crafted out of a breathable canvas base, these work gloves are great for warm weather (or anyone whose hands get sweaty). However, they’re tougher than canvas alone — they feature patches of strategically-placed cowhide over the palms, fingertips, and knuckles. That leather offers extra protection and reinforces some of the most vulnerable points on any pair of gloves. The safety cuff of each glove is also designed to be heavy-duty for your safety, ensuring you won’t expose your wrists to unexpected dangers. 


These work gloves are specifically meant for use in construction, equipment operation, and general around-the-house tasks. The biggest drawback? They’re one-size-fits-most, which means you may not get a perfect fit.

Honorable Mention
Superior Winter Work Gloves 

This insulated work glove is made from 15-gauge nylon and is lined with soft fleece material. The palm and fingertips have a micropore PVC palm coating. It’s rated to keep your hands warm in temperatures as cold as negative five-degrees Celsius. The glove comes in a bold red color with the grip coating in black. Choose from sizes small through XX-large.


You’ll like wearing these gloves because they dry quickly and are lightweight. The grip coating on the palm is formulated to stay flexible in cold temperatures. This glove is also puncture-resistant and rated ANSI 2, and for abrasion resistance, it’s rated ANSI 3. This will keep your hands safe while working.


Unfortunately, the inside fleece lining can shrink, which makes the gloves uncomfortable or impossible to wear. The fleece won’t stretch back out either. The grip coating on the palm can crack and peel away from the nylon material. They also lack adequate insulation to really keep your hands warm.

Honorable Mention
Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves RWG2

This tough work glove is designed to fit snugly to give you full dexterity. It comes in sizes small through XXX-large. There are Kevlar reinforcements throughout the glove to reinforce the areas that experience high wear. The cuff has thermoplastic rubber to make the gloves secure as soon as you pull them on. The leather is goatskin and won’t dry out or shrink when it gets wet.


This glove stands out because it has patented rolltop seamless fingertips. This increases your dexterity and provides you with a double layer of protection. Another unique feature is the terry cloth sweat wipe on the back of the thumb. This makes it easy to wipe your brow while you're working.


The downside is that the leather isn’t very durable. It will start to wear through on the palm and fingertip pads. The sizing runs very small, so be sure to size up when ordering. The sizing is also off because the palm will fit your hand, but the fingers will be too big and long. If the fingers fit, then the palm may be too small.

Honorable Mention
West Chester Protective Gear Double-Leather Palm Work Gloves with Safety Cuffs

If you’re looking for gloves that can handle tasks like putting up fencing or roofing — or even excavating rough materials — then you’re going to want to choose a pair of West Chester Protective Gear Double-Leather Palm Work Gloves with Safety Cuffs. These hardy gloves are a fantastic option when you’re hoping to protect your hands in unpredictable or danger-prone settings. And they’re built to last a long time.


These highly durable work gloves offer superior protection via reinforced double palm patches made from leather. The patches cover both palms as well as your index fingers and thumbs, giving these points increased durability and keeping you protected from scratches, abrasions, and more. A rubberized safety cuff has you covered down past your wrist, and it’s gathered with elastic at the wrist to block out dirt and debris while you’re hard at work. 


The only potential drawback to these gloves is the lack of warmth. Because they feature only leather patches, you may not have enough coverage in cold climates.

Honorable Mention
Carhartt Men's Insulated Suede Work Glove with Knit Cuff

These work gloves are a combination of leather, polyester, and duck fabric. The shell and palm are 100-percent leather, the lining is 100-percent polyester, and the back is 100-percent cotton duck fabric. At the wrist, there is an elastic cuff. Inside of the gloves is G100 3M Thinsulate insulation to keep your hands warm. Choose from size small to XX-large.


What makes these gloves stand out is the suede cowhide palm patch for increased durability. The insulation will make these gloves useful during the winter when you're working outside.


Unfortunately, the stitching on these gloves isn’t durable and can come apart. When this happens, the insulation will come out. The suede material on the palm is thin. The insulation isn’t very effective at keeping your fingertips warm in cold weather.

Honorable Mention
Tactical Gloves with Touch Screen Fingertips

These flexible microfiber work gloves are made from lightweight polyester material. They come in sizes small, medium, large, and X-large. You have the option of choosing between black or black and green. The palm and two of the fingers have anti-slip silicone particles to give you a better grip. The wrist has a hook and loop closure to provide a secure fit.


What’s nice about these gloves is that they have touchscreen capabilities, so you can work your phone or tablet without taking the gloves off. They also have stretch material on the back of the gloves to make them more comfortable. The palm is a reinforced single piece of synthetic leather for comfort.


Unfortunately, these gloves aren’t durable enough for heavy-duty daily use. You’ll find that the touchscreen tips aren't very effective and the seams can also give out.

Tips

  • Consider washing your gloves at least twice every month. Dirt stains tend to weaken most gloves, which can expose you to more injuries. 
  • Wear other protective gear, including eye goggles, ear muffs, and a face mask for extra precaution when working on projects in your garage.
  • If you plan on working with chemicals, ensure that the gloves can resist corrosion. Otherwise, the chemical will burn through the gloves and damage your skin. 
  • Inspect your gloves regularly for any signs of wear. If you notice any holes in the palms or fingertips, then it may be time to replace them. 
  • If you notice that your skin gets irritated or you experience a stinging sensation when using the gloves, discontinue use since you may be allergic to the material. 

FAQs

Q: What kind of hand injuries can you expect at a workplace?

Most work-related hand injuries include skin lacerations caused by blunt objects such as screwdrivers. Puncture and burn wounds are expected when you are working on your engine. You can prevent a worst-case scenario such as cutting your finger with a table saw by wearing heavy-duty work gloves. 

Q: Are leather gloves machine-washable?

Most aftermarket synthetic and genuine leather gloves are machine-washable. If the leather gloves you buy aren’t machine washable, you can clean them with a wet cloth lathered in saddle soap. Massage the soap into the gloves, and wipe them dry with a clean towel. Then leave the gloves to air dry. 

Q: Will my gloves weaken from constant washing?

If you can’t stand having dirty gloves, then you need to buy premium quality gloves with tough construction. Then all you have to do is follow the manufacturer's recommendations on cleaning the material and avoid using a scrubber to get rid of stains. Soaking them in soapy water overnight usually helps to lighten tough stains. 

Q: What are high dexterity gloves?

High dexterity work gloves are designed to give you as much flexibility and functionality as possible. Your dexterity is your ability to move your fingers and hands, flexing and gripping like you normally would. A pair of gloves with high dexterity means you’ll face less restriction or reduced functionality than you would in an average pair of gloves.

Q: What are the most durable work gloves?

While plenty of work gloves made in all kinds of materials claim to be durable, leather work gloves are typically the winners in this category. With proper care, leather gloves tend to last longer than synthetic materials and rubber or PVC. Just make sure you’re maintaining your leather gloves regularly, and they’ll be in your life for the long haul.

Final Thoughts

We chose the Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves as our top pick because of their highly durable and dexterous thermoplastic rubber construction. The gloves are also resistant to wear. 

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of work gloves, consider the G&F Seamless Work Gloves.