Wearing proper protective equipment for welding is of utmost importance and having top quality welding gloves will keep your hands safe. The most common injury while welding is burns caused by molten metal fragments and sparks that land on the skin.
More than 25% of the accidents that take place at the workplace involve the fingers and hands and burns account for 25% of the total number of serious burns that need hospitalization. Almost 70% of those who suffered hand injuries, said they were not wearing gloves to protect their hands.
What temperature can welding gloves withstand?
The purpose of welding gloves is to protect you by covering your hands and forearms. They should be used only for short exposure to extreme temperatures. Some gloves can withstand temperatures of 800F/427C for a longer period, but can also protect you at 1000F/538C or even 2000F/1093C for shorter periods.
What kind of gloves do you use for welding?
Now that you understand how important it is to have the best welding gloves to avoid a possible injury, let’s see which are the best options on the market.
Among the best welding gloves we can also include the ones made by John Tillman and CO. The Pearl Top Grain Cowhide Gloves are manufactured from grain goatskin and are fitted with a 4” cuff for increased protection.
They have been created for MIG welding but can be successfully used for TIG welding too. They weight 2 lbs and are very durable thanks to the Kevlar® Lock Stitching. The enhanced sensitivity is given by the seamless forefinger and dexterity by the wing thumb. The colors available for this model are gold and white.
One of the drawbacks mentioned by those who tested these gloves is that they are unlined.
Another great option from John Tillman and Co is the Top Grain Pearl Kidskin TIG Glove. The gloves weigh 1.8 lbs and the only color option is white.
The gloves are manufactured from high-quality top grain goatskin and the extra strength is given by the Kevlar Lock Stitching. This model is great for TIG welding and the gloves have extra padding on the fingers and palm for extra protection.
They have an excellent fit and grip thanks to the 2” cuff fitted with straight thumb.
Similar to the other model, some reviewers complained that the glove is unlined.
If you are looking for the best stick welding gloves or the best mig welding gloves, you should consider this model made by Lincoln Electric. Their weight is 12.2 ounces and come in black and red.
These gloves have been designed for MIG welding and come with a cuff and full sock lining for added comfort. The glove will last for a long time thanks to the high wear pads and padded thumb.
The material used for these gloves is shoulder split cowhide which is flame and heat resistant. More durability is added by the welted seams and the Kevlar stitching.
These gloves are made from top-grain leather, which is supple and soft, making these gloves flexible, durable and comfortable. These welding gloves are heat resistant and because they are extra-long, your forearms will also be protected from slag and sparks.
You can use them for plasma, stick and overhead welding. Extra durability and comfort is given by the internal liner and the reinforced frictional areas. The gloves weigh 3 lbs and come in gold and white.
On the downside, these gloves are not suitable for fine detail work and they can get hot in high temperatures due to their thickness.
These 10.4 ounces welding gloves are made from top quality cowhide and pigskin, which makes them cool and comfortable to wear.
They are insulated with wool, which is flame resistant and on the back and palm you will find reinforced double layer areas for protection. The dexterity and comfort is given by the wing thumb design, pre-curved fingers and ergonomic fit.
The gloves come in black and blue and some customers complained that the sizes run small.
The 1 lb welding gloves in black and gold are made from Genuine American Deerskin leather. This model has a split palm and the sewing is done with Kevlar thread for extra durability.
The gloves have been created for plasma, stick and overhead welding and the fact that they are 21 inches long will keep your forearm protected too.
This model has pre-curved fingers and a form-fitting shape to make them more comfortable and the special strap will keep them fixed on your hands, preventing them from slipping down. Extra protection is also given by the reinforcement and extra padding, which will keep you protected from splatter, sparks and heat.
Some customers complained that the gloves get quite sweaty and hot due to their thick padding and that they are not efficient if you need to work with fine details and precise movements.
How to choose the best gloves for welding?
As we already mentioned, wearing welding gloves specifically designed for cutting and welding is of utmost importance. They do not only protect your hands, but also enhance your welding abilities and speed.
Although employers have an obligation to make sure their employees are wearing the protective gear for welding, it is also your responsibility to wear good quality welding gloves.
What materials are used to manufacture welding gloves?
Manufacturers use leather as main material for welding gloves, for the protection and flexibility it offers. Leather protects from molten metal spatter, hot metal, sparks and arc rays.
Another reason for which leather is used is its thickness. A glove should be thick enough not to get worn quickly, burn or shrivel. There are different types of leather that can be used for welding gloves to provide different levels of comfort, durability and protection.
This material is flame and heat resistant and very durable. It is perfect for welding gloves which have to withstand very high temperatures. Cowhide is known for its dexterity, durability, comfort and abrasion resistance. It is most commonly used for MIG gloves.
Elkskin offers a high level of comfort and resistance to abrasion, flame and heat. The material is perfect for stick welding gloves.
This material is very resistant to oil and water. On the downside, it does not resist to heat as well as the other types of materials.
Welding gloves made from deerskin are the most comfortable and with the highest dexterity. Deerskin resists in high temperatures and it is very comfortable because it takes the form of your hand.
Goatskin is usually used for TIG welding gloves because it is flexible, water resistant, oil resistant, light and easy to use to pick up and feed the filler rods.
What gloves are the best for each type of welding?
Each type of welding is different, therefore requiring gloves with certain characteristics. But let’s see which are the differences between stick, MIG and TIG welding and which are the requirements for the gloves you should use.
For stick welding, you will need heavy-duty and stiff gloves, that can withstand high heat and temperatures. The best stick welding gloves are made from goatskin and elk skin.
For MIG welding you will need gloves with thick padding on the back of the hand to protect your hand when you need to stabilize the torch. The padding will offer a stable place and help you with more control.
A MIG welding glove should fit loosely so you can take it off quickly when it overheats. The fingers should be rigid because the dexterity should come from the wrist. MIG gloves are usually made from top-grain goatskin, cowhide or deerskin.
For TIG welding you need thinner and softer gloves so you can properly hold the welding tool. They should fit more snugly, and the fingers should have freedom of movement for more precise control of the torch and filler.
TIG gloves are usually made from thinner and softer leather such as goatskin and deerskin combined with a fire-resistant material such as Kevlar.
Although you should wear complete protection equipment while welding, the hands are the ones that are the most exposed because of the welding torch. That is why having the best welding gloves will keep you safe and prevent painful burns and accidents that can happen during welding.