Work Glove Information, Tips, & Advice

Work gloves have changed significantly over the past half century. Modern work gloves are not only available in a variety of different styles, but also a number of different materials, grades, and sizes that are precisely designed to protect the user in a number of work environments and conditions. The attributes of the work gloves you choose will ultimately depend on how you use them. Hand protection of some kind is a necessity at virtually all construction and industrial job sites.

Work Glove Materials and Types

Work gloves will typically be offered in a variety of materials to suit the user and the conditions they may work in. You will often find leather, cotton, vinyl, neoprene, latex, nitrile, and Kevlar or a mixture of these elements used in different areas of the glove to protect the user from abrasions and punctures. Foam padding can also be added in certain areas depending on the needs of the user, job, and protection required. Here is a list of the most common work gloves attributes.

  • Disposable
  • Cut Resistant
  • Heat Resistant
  • Flame Resistant
  • Cold Resistant
  • Chemical Resistant
  • Vibration Resistant
  • Palm Coated
  • Padded
  • Fingerless

Though each type of work glove has its advantages, they also have limitations based on their primary function. For instance, a welding glove, although great at protecting your hands from heat will often lack flexibility and give the user less dexterity. Before choosing a work glove you’ll have to determine the type that best fits the task at hand.

Leather Work Gloves

Since leather is a very versatile, strong, and durable material it is often implemented in work gloves the most. Leather is a perfect insulation that can protect the user from cold and heat but at the same time a very breathable
fabric. Leather work gloves will often be mixed with other materials in different parts of the glove to ensure maximum comfort and durability. Below is a list of the different types of leather that is often used in work gloves.

Cowhide – Cowhide leather is the most frequently used leather due to its abundance and versatility. It is very comfortable, durable, and offers exceptional abrasion resistance, and breathability.

Pigskin – Pigskin is a soft and flexible leather that can withstand moisture without hardening. It has exceptional abrasion resistance, durability, and breathability. Pigskin can also become softer and more flexible over time.

Goatskin – Goatskin leather is naturally high in lanolin making it one of the softest leathers you can find. It is highly recommended for applications requiring tactile sensitivity and dexterity.

Deerskin – Deerskin leather is often recognized as one of nature’s softest leathers that will provide the user with all day comfort, sensitivity to touch, and dexterity. Also known as elkskin.

Horsehide – Horsehide is soft and comfortable, yet very durable and abrasion resistant. It also resists punctures better than most types of leather.

Synthetic – Certain synthetic leathers have recently been developed to imitate natural leather such as cowhide and pigskin. They are inexpensive to produce but will normally not last as long as a natural material.

One excellent trait of leather is that it shapes itself to the contour of your hand as it is being worn. So once a pair of leather gloves has been used a few times, it remembers.

Work Glove Construction

Clute Cut GlovesClute Cut Gloves are seamless on the palm side of the glove and designed and cut for a more generous fit. There are seams along the fingers on the inside which makes it better for lighter weight gloves like cloth, cotton, and thin leather. It is not recommended for heavier gloves.

Gunn Cut GlovesGunn Cut Gloves are seamless on the back and designed to resist wear and for comfort. They are also built to be more durable since the seam is reinforced with a welt that gives additional resistance and a longer glove life. This cut is ideal for heavier gloves.

Work Glove Cuff Styles

The cuff on a work glove is not only designed for comfort but for safety as well. There are a variety of cuff and wrist options to choose from but the style will ultimately depend on the function of your work gloves.

Knit Wrist Cuff Gloves
Slip On Cuff Gloves
Band Top Cuff Gloves
Safety Cuff Gloves
Guntlet Cuff Gloves
Knit Wrist
Band Top
Safety Cuff

Work Glove Thumb Styles

The thumb style on a work glove should also be considered if they will be used for certain activities. There are a variety of thumb options to choose from, but again, the style will ultimately depend on the use of your work gloves.

Straight Thumb Gloves
Reversible Thumb Gloves
Keystone Thumb Gloves
Wing Thumb Gloves
Continuous Thumb Gloves

If you work with your hands for a living, work gloves should be a necessity and of utmost importance for the protection of your livelihood. And since today’s work gloves come in a full array of types and at nominal cost, you
really don’t have any reason not to have at least one pair.

Work Glove Sizing – Sizes

Glove Measurement HandProperly fitting protective equipment is essential for the safety of all employees. Correctly measuring your work gloves to get the correct fit will increase the safety and productivity of user. If the glove fits properly, it will provide the worker with maximum protection without compromising dexterity.

To find the appropriate glove size, use a tape measure to measure around the knuckles of the dominant hand. The chart below will give you the approximate glove sizes based on your hand measurement.

Men’s Glove Sizes Women’s Glove Sizes
Inches Inches
X – Small 7 X – Small 6
Small 7 1/2 – 8 Small 6 1/2
Medium 8 1/2 – 9 Medium 7
Large 9 1/2 – 10 Large 7 1/2
X – Large 10 1/2 – 11 X – Large 8
XX – Large 11 and up XX – Large 8 – Up

If you work with your hands for a living, work gloves should be a necessity and of utmost importance for the protection of your livelihood. And since today’s work gloves come in a full array of types and at nominal cost, you really don’t have any reason not to have at least one pair.

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