Welding gloves are an important part of any welder’s arsenal. Welding gloves protect the wearer against all the byproducts of welding, including heat, sparks, molten metal, electricity, and flames.
Welding temperatures regularly exceed 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Wearing welding gloves isn’t an option: it’s a necessity.
But choosing the right welding gloves is important. Some gloves feel overly restrictive, while other gloves don’t offer adequate protection.
So how do you choose the right welding gloves for any job? Here are some tips and tricks that will help you pick the perfect pair of welding gloves:
Identify your application: Welding gloves come in all different varieties. Why? Well, welders work in all different environments with all different types of materials. For that reason, the most important part of choosing your welding gloves is identifying the application.
All good welding gloves have some common characteristics: Different welding gloves are suited to different applications. However, there are still plenty of common traits shared between welding gloves. All good welding gloves, for example, balance comfort, heat resistance, and dexterity. They don’t have too much insulation, nor do they have too little.
Ultimately, identifying the perfect pair of welding gloves comes down to asking yourself:
-For what application will you be using the gloves?
-What level of protection do you need?
-What is the material of the glove made from?
-Are the gloves both heat resistant and flame retardant?
Welding gloves are made using a diverse range of materials. Here are some of the materials you can expect to find on welding gloves along with the unique characteristics of each material:
-Cowhide: Cowhide is a very popular choice for leather welding gloves. Cowhide welding gloves feature a good balance between durability, comfort, dexterity, and abrasion resistance. It’s a versatile brand of leather that can be used in welding gloves, welding jackets, and other welding accessories.
–Pigskin: Pigskin is a lightweight leather. It is moderately supple and resilient and found in medium thickness performance gloves. Although slightly thinner than cowhide and not as dense, pigskin welding gloves hold up well against abrasion and do not stiffen when exposed to moisture.
-Elkskin: Elkskin is characterized by its soft, comfortable leather. It provides a high degree of natural insulation and dexterity.
-Deerskin: Deerskin is suppler than elkskin, which makes it a popular choice for applications that require a high degree of dexterity. Deerskin welding gloves have a medium-thick weight and provide a good blend of comfort and insulating protection.
-Goatskin: Durable, supple, and thin, goatskin welding gloves are suited to tasks that require a high degree of dexterity. They are ideal for applications that require only light to medium protection.
-Kevlar: Kevlar welding gloves have excellent cut resistance and offer high levels of protection and dexterity.
-Rubber: Rubber welding gloves are ideal for welding in wet or moist conditions. Rubber gloves are moisture proof and offer superior electrical insulation.
-Aluminized: Aluminized welding gloves are unique because they reflect heat radiation, making them particularly well-suited to applications that require a lot of heat resistance.
Different welding gloves are suited to different applications. However, that doesn’t mean welders can’t own one good pair of gloves. For general welding jobs, a good pair of abrasion-resistant and heat-resistant gloves should provide adequate protection.
Some welding gloves provide additional protection in areas of heavy use. Some welding gloves, for example, have added support in the thumb area along with a heat shield towards the back. Welding gloves may also feature padded palms with heat resistant patches.
Some welding gloves also combine multiple materials to make a glove that is durable, heat-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and supple. These gloves generally combine leather with Kevlar threading. This gives the glove the protection rating of a bulletproof vest and the flexibility of a piece of high-quality leather.
No matter which welding tasks you’re performing, there’s a pair of welding gloves designed to perfectly fit your needs – and your hands.