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Types of Work Gloves

Protecting your hands while on the job starts with finding the right glove. Different materials and coatings provide different types of protection against injuries, so determining the best work glove for your needs is incredibly important. In order to find your perfect fit, be sure to consider what it is you really need your work glove to provide.

Anatomy of a Work Glove

Glove Materials

Work Glove Shell Material

The shell material on your gloves will determine not only how protective it will be, but also how much dexterity and comfort it will provide. Different shells also provide different levels of breathability and durability. Many gloves also feature combinations of different shell materials, providing added versatility for a variety of functions.

Work Glove Shell Material Benefits and Usages

Benefits

material
abrasion and cut protection
low-linting
heat protection
flexible fit
absorbs perspiration
chemical and liquid resistant
strong grip
provides warmth
     
     
     
   
   
   
HPPE
   
   
       
   
   
   
   
     
     
 
 
 
   

Usages

material
Construction/Warehouses
Inspector
Mechanic
Driver
Landscaping/Garden Work
Painting
Handling Chemicals
Electrical Work
     
 
     
     
 
   
HPPE
 
   
       
     
         
       
   
     
   
 
   
   
 

Work Glove Palm Coating

There are various types of palm coatings which you may find on a glove, each providing a different type of additional protection for the user. These coatings serve as additional layers to ensure safety while maintaining the flexibility traditionally found in the glove shell’s material.

Canvas

• Provides added durability
• Protects against cuts

 

 

Latex

• Provides superior strength and excellent grip in dry conditions.
• Resistant to liquids and chemicals for even better hand protection

Leather

• Pigskin - allows for maximum breathability for comfort and also remains soft and pliant when wet for ease of use. 
• Cowhide - offers great protection against abrasions while remaining flexible for easy movement.
• Goat skin - provides maximum tactile sensitivity while still remaining soft and pliable

Nitrile

• Protects against abrasions, snags, punctures, and cuts
• Resists against oils and solvents

Polyurethane

• Provides great protection against abrasions while providing excellent grip without being sticky 
• Resists oils, solvents, gasoline, and oxidation

PVC

• Provides excellent flexibility 
• Allows for a firm grip in wet or oily applications

Work Glove Cuff Types

There are various types of cuffs to protect and support your wrists while working. For your safety and for your ease of use, it is very important to determine if the cuff on your glove is designed for the task you are working on.

Safety Cuff

• Loose cuff
• Allows more ventilation and airflow into the glove
• Can quickly and easily be removed in the case of an emergency
• Often found on leather gloves

Knit Wrist Cuff

• Provides firm grip on wearer's wrist
• Prevents dirt from entering the glove
• Reduces glove movement or chance of slipping
• Found on a variety of gloves, such as sting knits, leather, or cotton

Gauntlet Cuff

• Loose cuff
• Allows more ventilation and airflow into the glove
• Can quickly and easily be removed in the case of an emergency
• Longer than safety cuff, providing additional wrist and forearm protection
• Often found on leather gloves

Slip-On Cuff

• Seamless design between glove and cuff
• Can quickly and easily be removed in the case of an emergency
• Often found on leather gloves or jersey-lined gloves

Hook and Loop Cuff

• Allows you to tighten to your wrist
• Provides firm grip on wearer's wrist
• Prevents dirt from entering the glove

Band Top Cuff

• Loose cuff
• Allows more ventilation and airflow into the glove
• Can quickly and easily be removed in the case of an emergency
• Often found on cotton gloves

Thermo-Plastic Rubber on Work Gloves

work gloves with thermo-plastic rubber
In addition to the glove shell and palm coatings, thermo-plastic rubber (TPR) is an additional form of protection which you may find in certain gloves, which offers further cushioning during tough jobs. It has added advantages of being more flexible and not cracking, and lasts longer than solid plastic. TPR is applied to the glove along the back of the hand, therefore providing coverage for both sides of your hands. TPR should extend to the back of the fingertips to ensure proper protection for your hands.

Finding the Best Work Glove

Before buying your work gloves, be sure to measure your glove size to ensure proper usage and safety with gloves. To determine the correct glove size for you and your employees, simply measure the circumference of your hands, just under your knuckles. The chart below is an approximation, so to verify that your glove size is correct for any gloves that you purchase, be sure to check that manufacturer's sizing. To use our chart to find your approximate glove size, click here.

Winter Work Gloves

Freeze Beater Russet Premium Split Leather Double Palm Mittens with Tricot / Thinsulate / Foam Lining - Large - Pair
When working in a colder environment, having proper winter work gloves is a necessity. The correct type of glove can be determined by the environment you are in, as well as the amount of time spent in that environment. The best winter gloves feature an outer layer with a sturdy grip, an insulated inner layer, and a layer to wick away moisture. Insulation should wrap around each finger, not just in the front and back.

If you’re in need of the best winter work glove to keep your hands warm during the colder months, look for a glove with a relatively thin layer of insulation to ensure warmth while providing flexibility. Liners are great for cold weather work gloves, as they replace insulation and are removable in case midday temperatures don’t require a warm glove. Like thin insulation, liners are a great winter work glove for dexterity, but they allow you to have the flexibility to remove them when necessary, making them a great fit for regions with milder winters.

Work Glove Protection and CE Standard EN 388

To determine if the glove you purchase will provide the industry standard of protection against abrasions, cuts, tears, and punctures, and to determine the difference between the different levels of protection, the CE Standard EN 388 provides a ranking system. The CE mark essentially rates four types of threats to determine how protective the glove may be against the threat. The four types of threats are:

  • The Abrasion Test – 180 grit sand paper is rubbed in a circular motion over the surface of the glove, and the number of cycles taken to break through the material determines the ranking on a scale of 1 – 4.
  • The Cut Test – A circular blade rotates forward and backward over the material, and a ranking on a scale of 1 – 5 is determined based on the number of strokes taken across the fabric. An additional test may be given if the material tests above a ranking of 3, in which a straight blade is run along the fabric. This rating system is ranked on a letter system, from A – F.
  • The Tear Test – A tensometer machine pulls a sample of the material apart, providing a rating on a scale of 1 – 4 to determine how much force was required before the material tore apart.
  • The Puncture Test – A rounded stylus is forced through the glove material at a regulated speed. The amount of force taken to break through the fabric determines the rating on a scale of 1 – 4.

The higher the score on any test, the more protective the glove is. A glove will show its rating as a series of the four numbers; for example, if a glove showed a CE rating of “3542”, it would have gotten a rating of 3 on the abrasion test, 5 on the cut test, 4 on the tear test, and 2 on the puncture test. To ensure your glove is fitting the safety standards needed for your daily tasks, be sure to pay close attention to the CE ratings, as well as any ANSI level information.

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