Welding gloves are a must in undertaking any type of welding activity. Whether a person is doing it for a living, or as part of a hobby, it is important that adequate protection is ensured for the welder through the use of a high-quality pair of welding gloves.
But with the vast number of choices in the market today, it is easy to get confused as to which pair to purchase, and what features to look out for. How does one really determine which product is superior in terms of safety, quality, comfort and durability?
This buying guide aims to help in selecting the best pair of welding gloves for you, in accordance to your preference, usage requirements, and the type of welding project you will be working on. We will be enumerating the many benefits of owning a trusty pair of welding gloves, and why you should not engage in welding activities without wearing one.
Moreover we will be guiding you on what features to look out for when purchasing welding gloves. To make everything easier for you, we came up with the list of the best three welding gloves that we recommend.
Reasons to own a good pair of best welding gloves
- 1 Reasons to own a good pair of best welding gloves
- 2 Here are the top reasons why you should never forego wearing a pair of welding gloves when working:
- 3 What to look for in welding gloves
- 4 Lincoln Electric Traditional MIG/Stick Welding Glove
- 5 QeeLink Cotton Lined and Kevlar Stitching Leather Welding Gloves, 14-Inch, Orange
- 6 Welder’s Trust Heavy Duty Leather Welding Gloves with Kevlar
The US Centers for Disease Prevention has announced that over 1,000,000 workers sustain hand injuries on an annual basis. That same study found out that 70% of those that have been injured were not wearing gloves or any hand protection equipment at the time of their accident. The remaining percentage on the other hand were wearing gloves but it was not able to fully protect them because of issues on quality, safety features, and durability.
And while there are existing laws that mandate employers to ensure that personal protective equipment be provided to their workers, not all employers comply, and not all workers are willing to wear these protective equipment.
Some workers may reason out dexterity, as the gloves may not be as ergonomic enough for them to comfortably wear it while doing their job. Some on the other hand may argue that some brands are not as high quality as they claim to be because, and that the protective features are not as effective as advertised. In spite all of these, workers and hobbyists should all be conscious about donning personal protective equipment like welding gloves in undertaking their welding chores.
Here are the top reasons why you should never forego wearing a pair of welding gloves when working:
- To avoid injuries like cuts and abrasions. This is one of the primary reasons why workers and hobbyists should wear a pair of welding gloves. Injuries like abrasions, cuts and punctures are prevalent in the workplace, and a trusty pair of welding gloves will protect your hands from these types of hand injuries.
- To prevent burns. Preventing burns is one of the major reasons why every welder should wear a reliable pair of gloves while working. The arc produced during welding can burn the hand and the arm when it is exposed to it.
- To avoid getting electric shock. A durable and high-quality pair of welding gloves can help ensure that the worker will not sustain electrical shock while working on his project. Welding equipment require electricity, and accidents can happen anytime. Electric shock related to welding activities could even be fatal, so protective equipment is indeed critical when working. Protection from electric shocks are usually determined by the type of material or thickness of leather used in manufacturing the gloves.
- To protect the hands from dangerous chemicals. A good pair of welding gloves protect the hand from being exposed to dangerous chemicals that could either be a by-product of the welding activity, or are simply present in the work area.
- To help protect against radiation. The welding arc produces radiation that can be likened to the sun rays. The arc is so intense it can emit radiation of full-spectrum ultra violet rays that can harm the welder’s skin.
- To protect from long-term illnesses. The UV Rays that are emitted by the arc can live long term damage to the welder’s skin. This skin damage can even cause skin cancer if the welder is consistently exposed from welding radiation, and that which is reflected from surfaces and other areas that the welder is working on.
What to look for in welding gloves
It is important to keep in mind that welding activities may differ and that would mean a special requirement for protection. For instance MIG Welding involves a lot of heat and sparks and so it will require a heavy duty, and thicker welding gloves that can help insulate the hand and the arm from the dangers. TIG Welding on the other hand requires a lot of dexterity hence it has to allow the wearer a better grasp of the material it is working on. Stick Welding on the other hand comes with intense heat but does not require a lot of manipulation of the materials the welder is working on so thick and heavy duty welding gloves will do the job well.
Apart from keeping the above in mind, there are general features to look out for to assess whether the pair of welding gloves are of good quality and can provide maximum protection and comfort. Here are the features to look out for:
- The Gloves Should Have Passed Safety Standards. Any protective equipment should meet the safety requirements set forth by the law and industry regulations. In the United States the American Welding Society promotes the implementation of the ANSI Z49.1, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes which details the safety requirements in undertaking welding and welding-related jobs.
- Superior Quality of Material. Safety experts cannot over emphasize the importance of purchasing welding gloves made of high quality materials. High quality materials will definitely prevent a user from getting into an entirely preventable accident. Usual materials used in gloves are either goat, cow or combination leather, stitched using heavy-duty thread (which can be made of Kevlar for some brands), plus some components that will ensure durability amid heavy duty use.
- Protects from UV Rays. The material should be capable enough to protect the hand and the arm from radiation. It should also be resistant from flames to avoid burn injuries.
- Thick and insulated enough to protect from electrical shocks. Welding equipment, as well as the materials involved in a welding project can be an electrocution hazard, hence all welding gloves should be capable to provide protection against such type of hazard.
- 5. The gloves should be ergonomic. Welders wear the gloves for safety, but all safety features should complement ergonomic features. The gloves should be comfortable enough to wear, such that it will not hinder the welder from holding materials and equipment related to the project at hand. It should also promote dexterity to further avoid injuries such as cuts and abrasions brought about by slips and inability to fully grasp the material or the welding equipment. And while protection will always be the priority, a pair of gloves can all the more provide the protection if the worker can freely go about his job while wearing it.
Top Three Recommended Welding Gloves
To make choosing easier for you, we rounded up the top three best welding gloves in the market today, and present to you the pros and cons of these products.
Lincoln Electric Traditional MIG/Stick Welding Glove
The Lincoln Electric Traditional Welding Glove is hands-down one of the most popular welding gloves in the market today. It has earned a great reputation in terms of protecting welders working on MIG and Stick Welding because of its heat and flame-resistant features.
This pair of gloves is actually a general purpose welding protective equipment that promises durability and dexterity. It comes with a thumb pad to ensure its heavy-duty qualities, and at the same time it is made of flame and heat resistant cow leather. This pair of gloves is further made stronger by its Kevlar stitching.
It is also very comfortable to wear because of the internal sock-like lining. Dexterity will also not be a problem as it comes with an enhanced finger-tip sensitivity surface.
QeeLink Cotton Lined and Kevlar Stitching Leather Welding Gloves, 14-Inch, Orange
This pair of gloves is multi-functional that it can be used in any type of welding activity. It has topped best-seller list because it had been successful in combining durability, protection, and manual dexterity. The wearer will never feel the hassle of wearing gloves when using the QeeLink Cotton Lined and Kevlar Stitching Leather Welding Gloves because it fits well and it fits comfortably. Worthy of a special mention is its reinforced wing thumb design that allows better movement and grip to the wearer.
Apart from being made from superior quality full split cow leather, this pair of gloves is held together by US Kevlar thread that is very resistant to heat. The main material used in the glove also insulates well from flame and heat because of the canvas used in this protective equipment.
It is also very comfortable to wear because it has a cotton lining that provides softness as well as great sweat absorbency.
Welder’s Trust Heavy Duty Leather Welding Gloves with Kevlar
If you are looking for an all-around welding glove for any type of project you are working on then it will be wise to purchase the Welder’s Trust Heavy Duty Leather Welding Gloves with Kevlar.
This pair of protective equipment is made of top-of-the-line cow leather that protects the skin in the welder’s arms and hands from being exposed to too much heat and radiation. It is also made of very durable material which is further reinforced by Kevlar Sewing making it last longer than the usual welding gloves in the market today.
More importantly it comes with longer sleeves to provide a better coverage and protection from the harmful radiation and intense heat that is produced while welding.
When buying a new pair of welding gloves, it is wise to keep in mind the safety features, as well as durability, comfort, and ergonomic characteristics. These factors will determine the safety protection, as well as usability of the protective equipment for both professional and home welders.