I get asked all the time to recommend a great, everyday work glove. We all know the standard pipe fitter’s glove that’s still a top seller in the workplace, but it’s old tech and hasn’t changed all that much over the years. I call them ‘Grandpappy’s Gloves.’
The truth is, those fitter’s gloves are boxy and don’t fit the hand very well, which gives them low dexterity. They also have a ton of stitches so they fall apart easily and offer no cut resistance without a Kevlar liner. Plus, they’re heavy with no breathability leading to hot, sweaty hands. Sounds comfy, right? All this leads to taking the gloves off, which is when our old friend Murphy’s Law kicks in and you end up with a hand injury.
I have to give Grandpappy’s gloves some credit, though. Leather gloves offer great abrasion resistance…but that can be gained with palm-coated gloves, as well.
With all that being said, here are my current top picks for moving your hands into something that was designed after the turn of the century.
Nitrile Palm Dip: Superior Glove GSS15NT
These gloves are form-fitting to your hand, so you have great dexterity. The nitrile coating means you have abrasion and puncture resistance, along with great grip (as long as you stay away from wet or oily surfaces).
Top that off with them being 100% biodegradable, and you’ve got a great general duty glove. Every green thumb should have a pair!
Cut Protection: Ansell HyFlex GA11939
Ansell’s HyFlex glove comes with unbelievable dexterity that makes the glove feel like a second skin. Coming with a double nitrile drip also means that it has fantastic durability. This version is fully dipped, so it’s best for working in oils, but the Ansell HyFlex is also available in half dipped and palm dipped versions. It also features a reinforced thumb crotch for further durability, resulting in a level 4 abrasion resistance.
The A2 cut rating means this isn’t a heavy-duty cut resistant glove, but it’s hard to go wrong with this baby for general industrial work.
Driver’s Style Leather Gloves: Superior Glove GS378GOBK
If you just can’t let go of the idea of your leather gloves because of the feel, grip, and abrasion resistance, consider moving into a roper’s or driver’s style. These kinds of gloves are much more form-fitting, so they have higher dexterity. Because they have fewer stitches, they’ll also last a lot longer.
This particular glove is also treated with Superior Glove’s patented ‘Oilbloc’ that prevents water and oil from soaking through the leather, which is how most leather gloves get destroyed.
These Driver Style Leather Gloves are also available with cut resistant or winter liner.
Back of Hand Protection: ActivArmr GA97125
Back of hand protection is gaining more and more traction these days, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Sporting an ANSI A4 cut level and a double nitrile dip for abrasion resistance and grip and topped off with an HPPE string knit construction to keep your hands cooler while you work, it’s one of the most high-tech gloves on the market.
This style isn’t for everyone though due to its cost, but it’s a massive leap forward in protection factor over a pipe fitter’s style.
I know hand protection is a difficult topic to get into. If you need any help finding the perfect glove, let us know by requesting a glove review or by shooting me an email. I look forward to giving your hands a makeover.