Welding gloves are an important piece of safety apparel that provides protection against the heat, sparks, electricity, molten metal, and flames that commonly occur during welding. Protecting workers from this heat is especially critical since temperatures, depending on the metal, can exceed over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Most online retailers offer a selection of welding gloves that are designed to meet and/or exceed the extreme conditions a worker may encounter while also providing dexterity and comfort.

Since the protection of the welder is of the highest importance, the majority of welding gloves are created using a heavy insulated material like canvas, metal mesh, or leather. Welding gloves can also be created using polyimide fibers like Kevlar. According to Dupont, “Kevlar thread is a thermally-stable organic material that is lighter and stronger than steel”.

Choosing the Right Welding Gloves

To find the welding gloves that best fit your needs you’ll first need to analyze the application and then take a look at the available features of each particular glove type. Certain applications require specialized attributes and each glove is rated for different environments, materials, and processes. Good welding gloves must balance comfort, heat resistance, and control. Too much insulation will dramatically drop the amount of dexterity you’ll have.

According to OSHA “The work activities of the employee should be studied to determine the degree of dexterity required, the duration, frequency, and degree of exposure to the hazard, and the physical stresses that will be applied”.

Here are a few specific items to consider when selecting a welding glove:

  • What type of protection is needed for the job?
  • What type of welding will you be doing?
  • Is the welding glove comfortable?
  • What is the outer material of the glove made from?
  • If leather is used on the glove, what type of leather?
  • Are there inserts added for heat protection?
  • What is the interior insulation of the glove made from?
  • Does it have a seamless design? Is it comfortable?
  • Are the materials in the glove flame retardant?
  • Does the glove allow a full range of motion?
  • Is the glove durable? How long will it last?
  • Price should also be a consideration but not before safety.

Welding Glove Materials

Welding gloves are typically manufactured using a number of different materials that can be either natural or synthetic or a combination of both. Each type has properties affecting its performance and use. See the list below for commonly used welding glove materials:

Natural Materials

  • Cowhide
  • Calfskin
  • Pigskin
  • Goatskin
  • Deerskin
  • Treated Cotton
  • Wool

Synthetic Materials

  • Kevlar threading
  • Nomex
  • Rubber
  • Aluminized

Before making any purchase, the user should always request documentation from the manufacturer to make sure the gloves have been given taken through the appropriate testing standards.