The best welding gloves combine flexibility, durability, and heat resistance, with certain designs specializing in one of these over another depending on the project. Naturally a thicker glove will offer more protection, while compromising flexibility.
The best-selling gloves at Baker’s Gas and Welding are the Tillman 1470 TrueFit Performance Work Gloves and Tillman 1490 TrueFit Ultra Performance Work Gloves. Both are made from goatskin, offering flexibility and earning reviews from welders who rave about their comfort, while still offering enough protection for most welding jobs–especially for TIG and MIG welding.
While it’s important to look for top-grain leather that comes from the top of the animal hide, there are plenty of other things to keep in mind. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider before spending anywhere from $7 to $20 on a pair of welding gloves.
Use Welding Gloves for… Welding
Most welding gloves are designed to be comfortable and to take a beating at high temperatures, but they aren’t designed for moving machinery with sharp edges or other handyman projects around a shop or garage. The leather of many welding gloves can resist heat, but not an errant nail. Welding gloves will last the longest when used for the correct jobs.
Gloves for TIG Welding
TIG welding produces the least heat, and is typically used for precise welding projects and thin metal. This produces far less spatter. Goatskin gloves are especially ideal since TIG welding relies on gloves that permit dexterity when handling the filler rod while the other holds the torch. A good TIG glove should provide enough flexibility that you'll be able to pick up a coin.
Perhaps the most important feature in a TIG glove is Kevlar thread that provides additional heat resistance. In addition, a glove lined with wool or cotton-foam can provide more protection than a glove lined with cotton.
Gloves for MIG Welding
While MIG welding doesn’t produce as much heat as the stick welding process, it still creates a moderate amount of heat and spatter. For this reason goatskin gloves, like the Tillman gloves listed above, are among the most popular gloves, especially those with fleece lining.
When heat protection is a slightly higher priority, thAn a thick, yet pliable glove with a thin lining will be ideal. In this case top-grain cowhide, goatskin, or deerskin are good choices. Top-grain deerskin is both very comfortable and offers the added advantage of molding itself to your hand over time.
Gloves for Stick Welding
Thick gloves that provide the most protection from heat and spatter are the preference for stick welding since it produces the most heat, sparks, and spatter. Top-grain pigskin, elk skin or cowhide split gloves are among the leading recommendations for this particular process.
Perhaps the best way to find a good welding glove is to ask other welders, try out their recommendations, and learn which kind of leather makes it easy for you to work. Welders will prefer certain materials over others, and ultimately you need to find the glove that fits your work style.
For those who need more comfort in their glove but don’t want to sacrifice safety, some welders recommend adding a “TIG finger” to their gloves in order to provide maximum protection to the finger that is most exposed to the heat.
Learn More about Welding Gloves
- Welding Supplies for Any Job
- Love Your Gloves, by The Fabricator