Your hands are arguably one of the most important parts of your body. Without them, there are very few things you can do on your own—including welding! Think about all the different things you do with your hands in a day. So it goes without saying that when you’re completing dangerous tasks, you want to make sure you keep your hands as protected as possible.
Depending on the welding operation, your welding gloves are the only thing protecting your hands from a flame that can be anywhere from 3500 to over 6300°F.
Unfortunately, you cannot just throw on any old pair of gloves to keep your hands safe. Your BBQ gloves or oven mitts can’t be used as an alternative to a quality set of welding gloves!
Welding gloves are a specialized piece of personal protection equipment that every welder needs to have. This type of glove protects your hands from high heat, electrical shock, infrared and ultraviolet radiation, and even the sharp edges of the metal you’re working with.
A quality pair of welding gloves will provide all the protection you need while also providing finger dexterity making it easier to move your fingers and ensure a secure grip of the welding torch.
6 Best Welding Gloves
There are several different factors you’ll want to consider before buying a pair of welding gloves. Comfort, material, and cost should all be considered. This guide will cover everything you need to know about purchasing welding gloves and help you find the right set for your needs.
Here are 6 solid choices to get you started:
6. Caiman 1878-5 Welding Gloves
These Caiman gloves offer an ergonomic and comfortable design with all the all-around protection you want from a good set of welding gloves. The longer cuffs on them provide forearm protection and are ideal for overhead and pipe welding. The cuffs even have a small belt near the end to help prevent errant sparks and spatter from falling down the cuff and burning your arm.
The glove is made up of different materials to provide you with comfort, mobility, and protection. The palm is made with deerskin and the cuffs and patches on the gloves are boarhide. The inside of the glove is lined with cotton to offer heat resistance and absorb moisture. Overall, these are an excellent set of gloves for both amateur and professional welders.
5. Rapicca Leather Forge Welding Gloves
Rapicca is one of the only manufacturers that offer double-reinforced kevlar padding on the fingers, palms, backs, and elbows of their gloves. This gives your hands added heat protection and makes these gloves one of the most heat-resistant options on the market. These gloves have no problem protecting your hands and forearms from extreme heat. The gloves can protect you from temperatures as high as 932°F.
The gloves also have extra-long 16-inch cuffs that extend up the forearms without limiting mobility. Inside the gloves is a flame-resistant liner that is made up of cotton and high temperature-resistant aluminum foil.
Even though these gloves are great at protecting your hands from the heat, it doesn’t mean they’re invincible. They are not designed for prolonged contact with hot surfaces. To avoid any burns, the maximum time you should be in contact with anything extremely hot is about 15 seconds give or take.
4. NKTM Heat/Wear Resistant Welding Gloves
If you’re looking for versatility in a welding glove, look no further than NKTM’s Heat and Wear Resistant welding gloves. Seriously, these gloves offer the protection you need and can do it all.
They provide quality protection during welding operations, but can also be used as safety gloves when completing other work around your shop. You can even use them for camping, gardening, and completing yard work around the house.
These gloves have reinforced shielding on the back of each hand as well as a double-layer of leather on the fingers and palms. While they’re durable and heat resistant, they don’t offer the same protection as other options on this list. Make sure to avoid any prolonged contact with hot surfaces or you could end up burning your hands.
What’s great about these gloves is their versatility. If you’re a work-from-home welder that wants quality gloves you can use for more than welding, these are a great choice.
3. US Forge 400 Welding Gloves
If you’re looking for an affordable pair of welding gloves that still offers quality protection, US Forge 400 welding gloves are a quality choice.
What we like about these gloves is the durability and comfort they offer. These gloves stand up well to heavy-duty work and provide good shielding from heat and plasma. They’re built very well and with quality stitching. These gloves can be used day in and day out. They’re durable and it takes a lot for them to rip or tear at the seams.
If there is one drawback to these gloves, it’s the cuffs. At 14 inches they are slightly shorter than your standard-sized welding gloves which means they don’t offer the same protection as other options.
However, some people prefer the shorter length because the gloves offer more mobility and can be used to complete other tasks around the shop while protecting your hands.
2. Miller 2633343 Arc Armor Welding Gloves
If you’re just getting into welding and looking for a quality entry-level pair of gloves, these Miller gloves are highly recommended.
Not only are these welding gloves affordable, but they’re also reliable. Miller is known for offering quality products and these gloves are the perfect example of that.
The gloves have strategically placed patches on the back to offer greater hand protection. They also have double-layered insulation on the palm and back of the glove to help with heat resistance. The premium cow leather ensures protection and durability no matter what task you’re completing.
The curved finger design is both ergonomic and comfortable thereby making it easier to get work done quickly and precisely.
Overall, this is one of the best pairs of entry-level welding gloves on the market today. You can work all day and keep your hands safe whether you’re welding, grinding, handling sharp materials, or doing just about any other job around the shop.
1. DeWalt DXMF03051 Welding Gloves
If you do a lot of TIG welding, these gloves by DeWalt are one of the best options on the market.
DeWalt promotes these gloves as “premium TIG welding gloves” and they definitely live up to that claim. A lot of TIG welding gloves today are made from goatskin but DeWalt uses Grade-A buffalo leather instead. This offers the wearer greater abrasion resistance without having to sacrifice any mobility.
On the most vulnerable spots of the hand, like the thumb, there’s an extra layer of buffalo leather to reinforce the area and provide added protection. Even the palm of the glove is double-layered so you have protection when handling sharp pieces of metal.
Unlike other gloves on this list that are one-size-fits-all, DeWalt gives you options. These gloves are available in sizes S to XXXL so you can find the perfect fit for your hands.
The only negative of these welding gloves is the price. They are premium gloves so you’re going to pay a premium price for them. But can you really put a price on safety?
5 Key Things to Consider When Buying Welding Gloves
As you can see, there are a number of welding gloves to choose from. But, before you go out and buy a pair, make sure to compare your options and pick the right set for your needs.
Here are five key things you should consider before buying welding gloves:
A lot of the welding gloves you’ll find are one size fits all. The problem is, that one size fits all rarely is the case.
Welding requires precision and wearing the wrong size glove can impact that. If you have smaller hands, you might find that certain gloves don’t fit as snug as you would like them to.
Make sure to try on different sets of gloves and go with the ones that provide your hands with the most natural fit. This will ensure you have the proper finger dexterity to complete precision welds.
You’ll also want to factor in the length of the cuff. Most gloves will have a standard cuff of 4 to 6 inches long. However, some gloves offer extended cuffs that cover your entire forearm. Consider the type of welding you do most often. For instance, if you do a lot of MIG or stick welding, a longer pair of cuffs can provide your arms with more protection from spattering.
Most welding gloves have one of three main types of insulation fabrics: cotton, wool, and fleece. Each material offers its own benefits and drawbacks.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what type of insulation fabric is best for you. Wool is a very good heat insulator and helps your hands feel less of the heat when welding or handling workpieces. Cotton is soft and offers great mobility, but it doesn’t insulate as well as wool. Finally, fleece offers a mix of mobility and extra insulation. The only drawback with fleece is that as your hands start to sweat while working, it won’t absorb any of the moisture.
Stitching is often one of the most overlooked parts of choosing the right welding gloves. The material used for the stitching will be different from the rest of the glove. Most of the time it is kevlar or a similar fiber that stands up well to the immense heat.
Getting a set of gloves with the right type of stitching fiber is important. Most of the time, the stitch will be the first thing to rip and cause tears or holes in the glove. As such, you’ll want to make sure you inspect the gloves for quality craftsmanship and ensure that your gloves have kevlar stitching. If they don’t—start looking for a different set of gloves.
The last thing you want is a pair of welding gloves that make it difficult to use your hands. A stiff or rigid pair of gloves can make it difficult to complete quality and precise welds. Yes, protection is an important factor when choosing a pair of gloves, but you’ll also want to consider finger mobility.
Finding the right pair of welding gloves is all about getting a set that keeps your hands safe while still allowing the flexibility to make controlled and smooth movements with the torch in your hand.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to consider the cost. While you can’t put a price on safety, there is no need to break the bank on a pair of welding gloves either.
One of the biggest things to consider here is how often you’ll be using the gloves. If you find yourself welding regularly, every day or week—spend the extra money to get a more professional and quality set of gloves. If you’re planning to get a lot of use out of them, it makes sense to invest in a more expensive set that will stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
But, if you’re a DIYer, and just pull out the welding machine for home repairs as needed, you can get by with a more affordable set of gloves. The biggest difference is they likely won’t last as long as a more premium set. But, if you only use your welding machine now and then, they should get the job done just fine.
Finding the Right Gloves
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a pair of welding gloves. But, there are also a lot of quality options to choose from. It all comes down to finding the right set for your needs.
Think about the factors listed above and how and where you plan to use the gloves. Once you know that, you can start looking online or visiting your local hardware store to find the right pair of welding gloves for you to get the job done.