LAST UPDATED: October 23, 2019
Best Welding Gloves: Keep Your Hands Safe From the Heat
Here are the three best welding gloves to keep your hands protected during welding
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON October 23, 2019
Welding generates tremendous amounts of heat. Performing a hazardous activity like welding requires gloves that provide special protection. To keep yourself safe, choosing the right welding gloves is a crticial step to take before you start the welding job. When selecting gloves, it is important to pick the right balance between flexibility, durability, and protection. Among the wide variety of welding gloves that are available on the market, we discuss the top picks to help you choose the best.
The gloves combine Kevlar padding with air-insulated aluminum foils. They can withstand temperatures up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them suitable for MIG and stick welding. The inner layer of soft cotton enhances the comfort factor.
The 7.5-inch long sleeve length protects the forearms. The outer layer of cowhide leather is resistant to heat, punctures, and oil. The unit is stitched by Kevlar stitching for added durability.
The gloves tend to get dirty easily. They are prone to damage from prolonged contact with hot surfaces. They are not suited for TIG welding processes.
The reinforced areas on the palms tend to wear away quickly. The gloves are also on the heavier side. The sizing runs on the smaller side.
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Benefits of Welding Gloves
- Enhanced protection. The best welding gloves are built better than standard gloves and have the ability to dissipate heat well. They ensure your hands are protected as you carry out welding tasks. Extra-long welding gloves protect your entire hands, including the wrists and palms.
- Comfort. Welding gloves usually have an inner lining such as cotton. This absorbs sweat and keeps your hands comfortable. For proper hand cushioning, the palm areas have reinforcements. The reinforcements make sure the gloves can withstand heavy and frequent use.
- Versatility. Welding gloves are designed for different types of welding processes. You can also use them for other non-welding jobs such as carpentry, mechanical work, gardening, and barbecuing.
Types of Welding Gloves
MIG stands for Metal Inert Gas. These gloves are designed to offer maximum protection and are ideal for welding tasks with low heat levels. They make it easier to complete long welding runs, such as 10-15 foot runs. MIG welding gloves are thicker because the welding process is less accurate. There’s a bigger mess to clean up because more sparks fly around.
These are the thickest and toughest welding gloves. This is because stick welding generates plenty of heat, sparks, and spatter. Stick welding is the most widely used welding process. The process is simple and can take place indoors, outdoors, or in remote areas. It’s commonly used by workers in refineries, pipelines, or ships.
Also known as Tungsten Inert Gas welding, this kind of welding is highly technical and calls for extreme precision. A good example is structural welding. Because of the high level of precision needed, the gloves are usually made of thin, pliable material to enhance finger sensitivity and movement. Since TIG welding creates less heat and splatter, TIG gloves only offer adequate protection. Some TIG welding gloves have extra padding to protect the palms from heat.
With a headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin, Miller Electric Mfg. LLC is a cutting equipment and arc welding manufacturer. The company was established in 1929 when Niels Miller invented a lighter, cheaper, and smaller arc welder than the DC rotary units that were previously available. In 1993, after the company's heir died, Illinois Tool Works (ITW) purchased it. For MIG welding, try the Miller Lined Welding Glove.
The Tillman Company was founded in 1928 in Signal Hill, California, by John Tillman. It was initially formed to offer industrial workers personal protection solutions. It is now the top manufacturer for leather protective garments and its products include quality welding gloves. The original Tillman 750 gloves have inspired numerous stick welding gloves made from elkskin, pigskin, deerskin, and cowhide. The Tillman Top Grain Leather Gloves are some of the company’s top-rated gloves.
A subsidiary of the Messer World Company, US Forge manufactures and distributes MIG wire, electrodes, brazing rods, and other accessories. It is located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The company started producing welding products in 1979. It produces premier products for DIY and professional use. If you are a DIY welding enthusiast, check out the US Forge Welding Gloves.
Welding Gloves Pricing
- $5-$15: These gloves are generally short and don't cover the entire arm. Most of them are made from cow hide or faux leather. They don't have an inner lining and if they do, it's usually made from cotton.
- $15-$25: In this price bracket, you’ll find a mix of short and full arm welding gloves. Many are multipurpose and not just limited to welding. Some of the gloves are specially designed for a specific type of welding, while some have Kevlar stitching.
- $25 and up: These welding work gloves are thicker, of higher quality, and made from different types of leather. They usually have an inner lining for extra protection and comfort. Some are sold in a set of four.
Welding work is dangerous as there’s a lot of heat and sparks generated. You must be well protected as you go about your work. When buying welding gloves, choose those that are ideal for the specific type of welding you’ll be doing. For instance, running long beads requires thicker, more comfortable gloves than simple tacking work. The best welding gloves have an absorbent lining that removes moisture from your hands to prevent burns.
Whether you perform TIG, MIG, or stick welding, there’s plenty of heat created. The metal being welded becomes very hot after some time, while the torch’s heat and sparks make your hands hot. The type of insulation needed is determined by the amount of heat produced. Cotton is an effective and cost-effective insulator for moderately-high temperatures but may be bulky. Aluminized backing is ideal for high-heat welding since it deflects heat away from the hands.
The best welding gloves are made from leather because it’s heavy-duty, disperses heat well, and has high resistance to abrasion. The most popular material, cowhide, is versatile, durable, heat-resistant, and flame-resistant. Goatskin welding gloves are light, economical, comfortable, and durable.
Gloves made of pigskin are tough and have a high resistance to oil and weather elements. Those made of deerskin are soft, comfortable, flexible, and fit well. Elkskin gloves are very comfortable and highly resistant to heat, flames, and abrasion.
- Protection from Ultraviolet Radiation. Bright welding arcs can affect your skin the same way as too much exposure to the sun. Welding arcs and flames produce intense ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer. The gloves you get should block out UV and visible light frequencies and also provide thermal insulation. They should completely cover your hands and wrists.
- Fit. It is very important to ensure that your gloves are a perfect fit for your hands. Avoid gloves that are too bulky, stiff, or feel awkward. Gloves that don't fit well can be the cause of accidents that could have been prevented. The best welding gloves allow you to easily bend your fingers, wrists, and hands.
- Extra Features. Welding gloves should have a reinforced, flexible palm and a solid non-slip grip so people can safely use grinders and chipping hammers. Since they are used by both right-handed and left-handed people, glove supports and pads should be available for both hands. The gloves should also have built-in pads or ridges to enhance their firmness.
Best Welding Gloves Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Your search for high-quality welding gloves may end here. The RAPICCA welding gloves are specially designed for high temperatures and can withstand up to 932-degrees Fahrenheit. They are reinforced with double-layer Kevlar padding around the fingers, palms, elbows, and on the back of the hands.
The gloves are 16-inches long and have 7.5-inch sleeves. They ensure your forearms are well protected from steam, debris, sparks, and open flames. They are made from split natural cowhide that’s 1.5 mm thick and are resistant to cuts, oil, and punctures. The gloves are extremely versatile. Not only can you use them for MIG, TIG, and stick welding, you can also use them for other high-temperature activities. To enhance your comfort, the gloves are air insulated with aluminum foil and fitted with a soft cotton liner.
Unfortunately, the gloves can easily get damaged after prolonged exposure to burning surfaces. They also get dirty quite quickly because of their color.
Durable and comfortable are two words that best describe these welding gloves. They are made of a soft, premium leather and are lock-stitched to last longer. The leather material also enhances the gloves’ dexterity and suppleness. The cotton lining inside the gloves makes them super comfy.
The blue color ensures the gloves don’t get dirty easily. Reinforcements around the palms and fingers enhance grip and ensure the gloves stay in place. They are lightweight and can be used for prolonged welding work. You’ll also love the fact that they are reasonably priced. They perfectly balance quality and functionality. There’s no need to worry about ultraviolet rays, sparks, or heat. These gloves are specifically designed to protect you from molten metal and skin burns.
The downside is the gloves are only available in one size. If your hands are small, you may find them too big. The gloves’ bulky nature also makes them unsuitable for TIG welding.
Made from premium split elk skin leather, these gloves are designed to be used in environments involving extreme heat. They are specifically manufactured for stick welding but are also ideal for heavy industrial welding. They are available in four different sizes to fit a variety of hands.
To withstand wear and tear, the gloves are reinforced with split cowhide. They also have welted seams reinforced with Kevlar thread. The cotton lining and foam insulation increase comfort and make the gloves more heat- and fire-resistant. Their backs have safety cuffs made from 10-inch split cowhide leather. The gloves are designed using Ironclad’s unique 16-point measurement system. It ensures they are the best in their class in terms of function and fit.
These gloves have one big shortcoming: they are heavier than other welding gloves. They may also be too small for larger-sized hands. Additionally, the reinforcement around the palms wears out rapidly.
- Welding gloves can be made from elk skin, cowhide, deerskin, pigskin, and goatskin—each with different properties. The choice of leather will depend on the type of welding you are performing.
- Thin materials like goatskin can be used for TIG applications as the process involves less spatter. In the case of MIG welding processes, thicker gloves with a heat-resistant lining are a better choice.
- It's essential that the glove fit properly if you want a comfortable experience while welding. Make sure that your fingers have enough space to move freely inside the gloves and your hand movement does not feel restricted.
Q: Do welding gloves need to be shockproof?
A: Gloves that are resistant to electric shocks provide an additional layer of safety apart from protection from heat. Many gloves are built from materials that are tested to provide an effective electrical resistance for arc welding.
Q: How long do welding gloves last?
A: This depends on the overall quality of the gloves as well as the working environment. Gloves used daily for several hours in high heat conditions will only last a few months. The lower the heat levels in which you work, the longer the lifespan of the gloves.
Q: How do I pick the right size of welding gloves?
A: The circumference of your hands around the knuckles is the measurement that can be used to select the right size. Go through the size chart of the particular brand to check the sizing. Some of these gloves need a breaking-in period and tend to get looser with time.
With its good build quality and resistance to high temperatures, theRAPICCA Leather Forge Welding Gloves are the top pick in this category.
The pocket-friendly price and good durability make theUS Forge 400 Welding Gloves a worthy choice for buyers on a budget.