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How to Choose Welding Gloves

The right welding gloves can make a tremendous difference in your welding speed, ability, and safety. As you consider the right welding glove for your work, look for the right balance of flexibility and protection. Here are some general guidelines to use when matching a glove to a welding process.

Below our glove guidelines and top-selling welding glove list, you'll find some recommendations for general use work gloves for your workplace or home shop.

Understanding Types of Leather

The top grain is a high quality leather taken from the "top" of the animal hide. Many welders prefer to pay a little extra for this smooth, soft, thin material. The grain leather enables welders to have more control and movement while working. Split leather, also known as suede, is much thicker and provides more protection while sacrificing flexibility.

According to the American Welding Society, the various types of leather provide the following advantages and disadvantages:

Elk Skin

This leather is the most heat, flame, and abrasion resistant while also providing a great deal of comfort. It is available in heavier cuts and provides excellent protection for stick welding. Elk skin stick welding gloves are among the bestselling stick welding gloves at Baker's online store.

Cowhide

Cowhide is durable as well as heat and flame resistant for welding at high temperatures. It is versatile and is known to provide a balance of durability, dexterity, abrasion resistance, and comfort. Many MIG welding gloves are made from top grain cowhide or cow skin.

Deerskin   

Provides the most comfortable fit and a great deal of dexterity. Thick deerskin is good for resisting high temperatures, and it provides the advantage of taking the form of your hand over time, which makes it a very comfortable glove option.

Pigskin

Made of thin material, pigskin gloves are the most oil and weather resistant, but not as strong for heat resistance. 

Goatskin

The favorite gloves of TIG welders or made from goatskin since they are very comfortable and light. They are oil and weather resistant, while providing the flexibility required to pick up filler metal rods and feed them with ease.

Sorting Gloves According to Welding Processes

While some welding gloves can be used for multiple welding processes, thin TIG gloves are unsuitable for stick welding and some MIG gloves may not provide the flexibility required in order to effectively TIG weld.

Gloves for TIG Welding

The glove of choice for most TIG applications is goatskin or another thin, pliable material. They provide excellent movement for the precise welds made with a TIG torch. Since the process creates less spatter, TIG gloves won't provide as much protection for hotter processes that create more spatter.

Some of Miller's TIG gloves provide extra padding inside the palm or on the outside of the hand. They have performed well in reviews, but simple goatskin gloves by Tillman remain one of the stop selling gloves for TIG welding because of their excellent fit. Welding Tips and Tricks recommends using a Tillman glove with some added padding on the fingers that can rest alongside any hot surfaces.

Another feature to consider is whether you want to be able to "sling" your glove off if it gets too hot. Gloves with a Velcro strap make it impossible to quickly remove it should it become uncomfortable from too much heat during the welding process. 

Other important features to consider include heat-resistant Kevlar thread and either a wool or cotton-foam lining for additional protection.

Gloves for MIG Welding

Though some welders use high quality goatskin gloves with a heat-resistant lining for some MIG welding applications, the higher amounts of heat and spatter created during the MIG process make a thicker glove desirable for some welders. Top-grain cowhide, goatskin, or deerskin are all common leather choices you'll find in MIG welding gloves.

A top-grain deerskin glove that molds to your hand offers the protection and flexibility that MIG welders need.

Gloves for Stick Welding

Stick welding calls for a thicker cut of leather such as the split grain of elk skin, pigskin, or goatskin. The simplicity of the stick welding process means that you won't need a very flexible glove. Thickness and protection will be critical since stick welding gives off the most heat and sparks compared t any other welding process.

Top Sellers at Baker's

Tillman 1350 Heavy Duty Top Grain Cowskin 4" Cuff MIG Gloves

These top grain MIG gloves offer Kevlar thread and a comfortable fit that doesn't compromise on safety.

Black Stallion - 25G - Quality Grain Goatskin TIG Welding Gloves

Goatskin is the most popular leather for TIG gloves because it is both comfortable and provides an excellent "touch" when you need to pick up a filler rod. These long cuff, Kevlar threaded gloves provide excellent protection and dexterity for TIG welding.

Tillman 24D 2" cuff TIG Gloves

With longer cuffs and Kevlar thread, these gloves offer excellent protection along with the flexibility of top grain kidskin--a particularly soft grain of leather made from young goats.

General Use Gloves

Some of the best-selling gloves at Baker's aren't necessarily welding gloves. These general use work gloves are great for wearing on the job, around the factory, or while hauling tools around. Welding gloves are too valuable an investment to risk damaging them while remodeling your shop or hauling equipment around the job.

Rather than putting your welding gloves in harm's way where a nail or blade could pierce them, pick up one of these popular work gloves for your projects around the shop and save your welding gloves for welding. Some of the advantages of these gloves include:

  • Top grain goatskin for  abrasion resistance.
  • Nylon spandex on backside for precision fit..
  • Rough side out reinforced palm for better gripping and longer life.
  • Reinforced thumb gives extra protection.
  • Elastic cuff with hook and loop closure for secure fit and less bulk.

Listed in order of sales performance, the best-selling gloves are:

  1. Tillman 1470 TrueFit Performance Work Gloves, Goatskin
  2. Tillman 1490 TrueFit Ultra Performance Work Gloves, Goatskin
  3. Tillman 1475 TrueFit Performance Work Gloves, Cowhide

Browse more Welding Gloves

Next in the Buying Guide: What to Wear When Welding

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