Best welding gloves 2018: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the best welding gloves are not an easy task. If you’ve ever worked a day in a garage or a workshop, you’d know how much of a dangerous environment that can be. There are a number of ways you can get injured. You could be shocked, you could be exposed to UV radiations, you could break something, you could just simply cut yourself or if you’ve seen every part of the Final Destination, you might have a bit of an extended imagination on how many ways things can go wrong in a workspace.

Whatever the case might be, you need protection. Especially when we talk about welding, you need optimal protection otherwise you might end up scarring yourself for life. Welding involves a certain amount of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that is designed to eliminate the chances of injuries. It usually consists of a hat, protective goggles, a UV Jacket and gloves. This is the most basic safety that is vital if you frequently weld, but there is also some other safety equipment that you can use. The hat is just there for formal purposes and the jacket is to protect the body from excessive exposure to radiation. Even if you don’t wear either of them, you might not be affected at all.

However, the goggles and gloves, if not worn, could be a serious health hazard. They could sever your health for years to come. The sparks from the welding machine and the metal could cause temporary or permanent loss of visibility. Not wearing gloves could cause burns, scars and melanoma lesions. These might not show any sudden effects but after a few good years, your hands will make your grandpa’s hands look as smooth as a baby’s butt. However, we’re not here to talk about goggles because they are a conversation for some other time. We’re only here to discuss some of the best welding gloves.

We already talked about how important it is to wear gloves, but which one should you wear? There are literally hundreds of gloves out there that you can choose from. There is no knowing which gloves might suit you best or which gloves can prove out to offer the best protection for your hands. Once you start doing your research, you might find out that you need to know exactly what you need before you buy the gloves. However, you don’t need to worry. Because we are about to compile a list of 10 of the best welding gloves out there that are sure to protect your hands for years to come…

Top 10 Best Welding Gloves Comparison Chart

Product Name

Weight

Dimension

Material

CTA

Miller Electric Welding Gloves

10.4 ounces

6 x 1 x 1 inches

Leather, Wool

Lincoln Electric K2979-ALL Welding Glove

12.2 ounces

13 x 7 x 1 inches

Split cowhide, Full Sock Lining

Caiman 1878-5 American Welding Glove

16 ounces

22 x 8 x 12 inches

Leather

Hobart 770440 Premium Form Fitted Welding Gloves

(Editor's Choice)

10.4 ounces

17 x 7 x 1.5 inches

Leather

US Forge 403 Welding Gloves

4 ounces

10 x 7 x 2 inches

Leather

US Forge 400 Welding Gloves

13.4 ounces

13 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches

Leather

Steiner 21923-L Welding Gloves

17.6

6 x 1 x 1 inches

Cotton

Revco Industries BM88L BSX BM88 Welding Gloves

3.2 ounces

6 x 4 x 1 inches

Split Cowhide

Welder's Trust WT1 Heavy Duty Welding Gloves

14.4 ounces

16 x 6 x 1 inches

Leather

Lincoln Electric K3109-M Welding Gloves

14.1 ounces

6 x 1 x 1 inches

Leather

1. Miller Electric Welding Gloves

Miller Electric produces some of the best looking welding gloves out there. These gloves are affordable and people with a really small pocket could also buy them without making a dent in their wallet. They are also extremely comfortable for anyone that will be spending an extended period of time in a workplace.

The premium stitching on the gloves makes them ten times tougher than regular welding gloves. They ensure durability and reliability for years and years to come. The Kevlar stitching ensures that the gloves don’t tear into two pieces.

The gloves generally come in a cowhide type of color with a black/blue thumb style that gives it sort of a biker-gloves type of finish that, honestly, looks cool as heck.

These gloves are generally MIG gloves. There is a thick pad at the back to provide a support for the welder’s hand when they might rest it on their workplace. The torch is placed across the index finger. This way you can get complete control of the torch. These gloves aren’t really a tight fit and there is place for your hand to move around a little. This small modification makes sure that you can quickly get your hand out in case the gloves heat up. You can easily remove the gloves with just one hand. Oh, and don’t worry about them catching fire, these gloves are flame resistant.

PROS

  • Cheap and affordable.
  • Kevlar Stitching makes them extremely durable.
  • Black/blue thumb style gives a stylish finish.
  • You can get complete control of the torch.
  • The gloves are usually really loose.
  • Extremely flame resistant.

CONS

  • Even though the Kevlar stitching is meant to make it durable, some people have complained that a finger ripped out within a few weeks of purchase.
  • Some people claim that these gloves are only suitable for the “occasional” welders and that people who weld more than 10 hours a day shouldn’t buy these fancy gloves.
  • The gloves might be a little too loose for some people.

2. Lincoln Electric K2979-ALL Welding Glove

Well, the first thing you notice about these gloves is that they are literally the most affordable gloves out there. With a price that is half of what other manufacturers are requesting for the same quality gloves, Lincoln’s gloves are really a huge bargain. You don’t even have to do much to get them, these gloves can easily be found at your nearby hard store or Home Depot.

The gloves are also manufactured purely from cow hide that offers optimal heat resistance and fire resistance (up to some extent). The main color of the gloves is black and they have a red flame pattern that gives it a really stylish finish.

The glove itself contains sock lining for extreme comfort. The Kevlar stitching provides an extra support and durability to the glove to prevent it from tears and ripping.

The glove only comes in a large “L” size. However, the glove is an extremely loose fit and so you can move around a little and take them off instantly if you need to. Even though they are large, they can fit most people even with XL or medium size.

The glove also contains extra pads. Just like any other MIG Stick Gloves, these pads prevent strain and pain when the welder lifts something heavy or rests their hand against the work bench. Double padding can also add a few years to the life of the glove.

PROS

  • Extremely cheap and affordable.
  • Heat and Fire Resistant.
  • The Red Flame finish gives off a stylish look.
  • Kevlar Stitching to extend life time.
  • OSFM (One Size Fits Most).
  • Double Padding.

CONS

  • The interior linen is not stitched with the inside of the glove and it might come out frequently.
  • Double Padding provides comfort, but apparently not enough. Some people complain that the gloves are little bit uncomfortable.
  • Too heavy and you might not have that much control over the torch.
  • The fingers are all the exact same length.

3. Caiman 1878-5 American Welding Glove

The Caiman 1878-5 are specially designed for overhead welding. Other gloves aren’t exactly optimal for overhead welding because of their short size. The 1878-5 gloves are 21 inches so they can go up to your elbow and offering the best protection for overhead welding.

These gloves are also available in only large size. But, just like some of the best welding gloves out there, the Caiman is also OSFM (One Size Fits Most).

The general body of the glove is made with pure Boar hide leather and lined with a Genuine American Deer Skin split palm. The gloves are reinforced with heavy duty padding beneath the boar hide. The glove is stitched with Kevlar thread that increases durability and strength of the glove. These gloves might be expensive, but they can be considered a bargain when you think about the actual quality of the product.

These gloves can be used for other applications as well. The Caimans are extremely fire proof and they can used to handle open fire as well. You can easily use them when at a barbeque or at a campfire. You can easily move burning logs without feeling a thing.

Primax Manufacturing covers all defects in the gloves in their one-year warranty. However, they don’t cover damage done to the gloves at the hands of the buyer and only cover manufacturing defects. The company encourages its users to thoroughly check the product when they take it out from the packaging and send it back if there is any damage to the product in the process of shipment.

PROS

  • Large size is perfect for overhead welding.
  • OSFM (One Size Fits Most)
  • Boar’s hide leather and American Deer Skin for increased durability.
  • Kevlar Thread to strengthen the gloves.
  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Extremely comfortable.

CONS

  • People claimed that the Deer Skin part doesn’t hold up very well and it can be burned right through.
  • Really expensive.
  • Single Kevlar stitching can offer some durability, but they can still rip due to extended use.

4. Hobart 770440 Premium Form Fitted Welding Gloves

Hobart is one of the top-tier glove manufacturers out there. Known for its quality and supreme comfort, Hobart’s products are definitely a good use for your money.

These gloves are imported from manufacturers in China. The 770440 is made from pure grain leather with cowhide split. The glove itself is stitched with pure Kevlar Threading to ensure that the product doesn’t rip for years and years to come. The size is XL “Extra Large”, but the glove fits most people and is extremely comfortable as well. The glove is 13 inches in size from finger tip to collar which is much greater than other welding gloves. This makes it suitable for overhead welding, but you might consider buyer longer gloves if overhead welding is all you do. They are also perfect for stick welding.

These gloves don’t come off easily. They’re a tight fit for most people and have to be removed using your other hand as well. So, if you work in an environment where your gloves heat up often and you have to get them off ASAP, then you might consider buying some other gloves.

These gloves have the perfect ratio between thickness and working ability. What we mean is that, unlike some other gloves, they aren’t thin. Their thickness offers heat protection even at high temperature. Also, they aren’t too thick and don’t hinder your working capability. You can easily handle the welding stick and torch without any trouble.

PROS

  • Comfortable and feel really good.
  • Imported gloves.
  • Pure Grain leather and cowhide split for heat protection.
  • XL size that fits most people.
  • Good thickness for heat protection.
  • Allow complete control of the torch.

CONS

  • The leather is thick but really soft.
  • If you use the gloves to over 8-10 hours per day, the Kevlar might end up tearing.

5. US Forge 403 Welding Gloves

US Forge makes the toughest gloves out there. Another one of their models, the US Forge 400 is categorized as the best selling welding gloves out there. But, the 403 isn’t far behind either.

The tan/mustard colored gloves are made of top quality grain leather. The leather is soft but offers premium heat protection. The soft material makes the gloves really comfortable as compared to some of the other hard and blunt gloves that can cause a ton of pain. The glove is reinforced in the palm and knuckle areas with double padding to prevent damage to the glove and increase durability.

The price might be expensive to some, but if you take the time to compare the quality and price to some other best selling gloves, you might feel that you lucked out with the 403.

These gloves are also imported from China. The item weights a little over four ounces which is really light for such high quality gloves. The warranty on the gloves isn’t as pleasing as you want it to be. The manufacturer only covers defects due to workmanship within the first three months (90 days) after the purchase.

The size of the gloves is also a sight to see. The gloves are measured 18 inches from fingertip to collar. They can easily go beyond the elbow which can protect your entire arms from damage due to extended periods of welding. The large size also makes these gloves suitable for overhead welding. You could be welding more than 10 hours per day and six days a week, these gloves will still hold up just fine.

Welding isn’t the only place you could use these gloves. These gloves can work fine with a barbeque grills and campfires. Blacksmiths can also use gloves to handle hot metal easily. You could also use these gloves to move around burning logs in a fire place and they still won’t heat up!

PROS

  • Made from top quality grain leather.
  • Soft but offer perfect heat protection.
  • Really comfortable due to soft leather.
  • Extremely light weight.
  • The huge length of the glove can go beyond the elbows.
  • Perfect for overhead welding.
  • Work fine in other heated environments as well.

CONS

  • Might need extra insulation to prevent heat from penetrating due to extended exposure.
  • Online shipping often messed up the deliveries and sent an electric blue color instead of the tan color.
  • You should make sure that these gloves will fit before ordering them. These are insanely huge gloves and if you have small hands then you should try some other welding gloves.

6. US Forge 400 Welding Gloves

We mentioned in the other US Forge’s glove review that the 400 is considered to be the one of the best gloves out there. According to Amazon, US Forge 400 is the best-selling and the best-rated welding glove available on the website. This might seem like a small feat but against competitors like Miller, Lincoln and Hobart, this is anything than a minor challenge.

Yes, we know what you are thinking. If you’ve looked at these gloves, you might take them for oven mitts instead of premium welding gloves. The electric blue color doesn’t really help and makes the gloves look even feebler. Well, looks can often be deceiving because these are literally the best gloves money can buy.

The gloves are made from premium leather and the inside is cotton lined for extreme comfort. Unlike other Kevlar stitched gloves, these gloves are locked stitched for added strength and durability so the gloves don’t rip for years to come.

The price doesn’t go any lower than this. There is only one other glove that is more affordable than this glove and considering the track record of the 400, you do not want to miss the chance to get one of these bad boys.

Just like the US Forge 403, the 400 is also manufactured and imported from China. Both gloves are made from almost the same leather and both have the same warranty time period. You can get a return or repair for these gloves within the first three months of purchase.

PROS

  • Considered the best gloves available today.
  • Made from Premium Leather.
  • The Cotton lining makes them really comfortable.
  • Locked Stitching prevents it from ripping in any way.
  • Really cheap.
  • Large “L” Size with OSFM guarantee.

CONS

  • Electric Blue color doesn’t really look too nice.
  • The stitching outside the glove holds up nicely but the inside lining may rip off.
  • Product might shrink if you hold something hot for too long.
  • The fingers are too short for most people.
  • Color might fade away.

7. Steiner 21923-L Welding Gloves

Steiner was founded in 1975 and since then they have been creating some of the best welding safety equipment, accessories and parts in the market. Steiner products are some of the most heavy-duty gloves out there. We can’t really speak for all of their products but we can make sure that you won’t regret spending money on a Steiner product.

There’s not much special about the Steiner 21923-L, but when you look at their length, that is the fact that really stands out. The welding gloves are really really LARGE. We don’t mean the usual type of large; we mean 23-inches large. The large size doesn’t really please everyone. So, that is why Steiner was polite enough to introduce a smaller size by the name of “Extra Large”. That might seem like a joke in front of the 23 inch version of the glove, and it technically is. But, nonetheless, the smaller version is perfect for fellas with small hands. The smaller glove is easily the size of any typical welding glove.

The 23 inch glove can go much higher than the elbow and is perfect for full arm protection. It offers the best protection in any type of welding especially overhead welding.

The glove is made of shoulder split cowhide leather for heat protection and lasting durability. The back of the glove is completely insulated for added protection. The inside is lined with cotton for added comfort and dexterity. The thumb is padded with extra layers to give a good base to the glove.

The weight of the glove is as unbelievable as the size. With a weight of just 1.1 lbs, they may just be the lightest gloves out there. The light weight means that you could wear them for a long time but your arms would barely feel the weight.

The manufacturer’s warranty isn’t that pleasing. They only provide a warranty for defects made during the process of production and packaging. They don’t care whether you rip the gloves on the first try; they won’t exchange the glove or give you a money-back.

PROS

  • Extremely large size that can go way above the elbow.
  • In case you don’t like the huge size, you can buy the shorter version.
  • Made from cow hide leather for heat protection.
  • The back of the glove is double insulated.
  • The thumb of glove contains extra padding.
  • Really light in size.
  • They never tire the hand.

CONS

  • Poor stitching quality. The stitches might come out.
  • The glove might shrink due to high temperatures.
  • The thickness is too much and it might decrease control of the hand.
  • The color might not come out as advertised. Instead of a brownish orange, it may come out as pure orange, which honestly looks sort of stupid.
  • Orange dye might come off.

8. Revco Industries BM88L BSX BM88 Welding Gloves

Revco Industries seriously outdid themselves with these gloves because they are a sensation to look at. These MIG Gloves are made from pure soft grain pig skin. The back of the glove is made from cow hide leather. The two different leathers provide the finest protection against fire and make them genuinely heat proof. The palm of the glove contains extra padding to add durability and reliability.

The glove itself contains state-of-the-art flame resistant Kevlar knitting that is the best thing out there to prevent the glove from ripping. The sides are reinforced with Rest Patches that prevent strain from resting your hand on a bench or a work table.

The glove is completely water proof and it can easily be used in moldy areas without any decrease in durability.

There are two sizes that are available for the BM88L BSX BM88 gloves; Large “L” and Extra Large “XL”. The large size is usually meant for people with small hands. It is also the better choice for women. The extra large size is for the people with large and bulky hands. If you’re unsure about your size, then just get the extra large size because that size usually fits most people and it’s better to have slightly larger gloves than slightly smaller ones.

The gloves are completely manufactured within the United States. The gloves weigh a little bit over 3 ounces which is a suitable size for welding gloves.

The gloves are a loose fit. They’re thick enough to the point that there is perfect heat resistant, but Revco also made sure that you can easily move your fingers around and maintain complete control of your hands.

PROS

  • Made from pure soft gain pig skin.
  • The back is made from cow hide for increased durability.
  • The palm is double padded for a bulky base design.
  • The flame-resistant Kevlar threading is pretty tough.
  • Rest patches for extra comfort.
  • The gloves are completely waterproof.
  • Two available sizes so people can choose the one best suited to their needs.
  • A good weight for such bulky gloves.
  • The gloves fit most people.
  • You can get good control of your fingers even though they are thick.

CONS

  • Not good for constant use for over 8-10 hours.
  • Heat might penetrate through if you hold something hot for a long time.
  • Some people might have issues due to the pig skin from a religious point of view.

9. Welder's Trust WT1 Heavy Duty Welding Gloves

Well, obviously as the name suggests, Welder’s Trust products are heavily appreciated by welders around the world. With their consistency and precision in PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) manufacturing, they are one of the most famous companies out there and make some of the best welding gloves available.

The WT1 is made from pure premium cow leather that offers optimal heat protection even under high temperatures. The sleeves are lined with white linen and the inside of the glove is lined with much softer fabric for added comfort and dexterity. Every component of the glove is sewn with top quality Kevlar thread that ensures strength and durability.

The gloves are 16 inches in length. This means that they can go up to the elbow length of any average person. These types of gloves are perfect for overhead welding because they can protect almost the entire arm from all types of radiation and burns.

The gloves are only available in grey color. The only size for these gloves is extra large “XL”. But, if you’re hands are smaller, then you can still buy these gloves because they are generally called OSFM (One Size Fits Most) gloves.

The warranty on the gloves is quite pleasing honestly. Unlike some other companies, Welder’s Trust doesn’t just offer you a replacement. They can completely return your money within the first three months (90 days). Oh, that’s not it. They don’t just cover manufacturing defects, even if you feel weird wearing the gloves, they will give you a full money refund.

PROS

  • Made from top quality cow leather for heat protection.
  • Premium Kevlar Threading for added strength.
  • The inside is lined with soft white fabric for comfort and dexterity.
  • The size makes them perfect for overhead welding.
  • OSFM (One Size Fits Most).
  • Manufacturer provides money back guarantee if the customer doesn’t like the gloves.

CONS

  • The linen inside might not be stitched as well as the glove itself and it might come out.
  • Every time you pull your hand out, the linen comes out.
  • Heat might penetrate if you hold something hot for an extended period of time.
  • The fabric is difficult to put back into the glove.

10. Lincoln Electric K3109-M Welding Gloves

These gloves are the second ones from Lincoln Electric that made our list. That just begs the fact that Lincoln is one of the best welding glove manufacturers out there. The first thing all of you will probably notice about the K3109 is the design on the glove. That stylish red detail on the black gloves makes it look more like motorcycle gloves as compared to welding gloves. So, even if you’re not the stud of the workplace, you will definitely look insanely cool in these gloves.

The gloves are made from pure cow leather that gives a shiny black finish to the glove. Just like any other welding glove, the glove is stitched with Kevlar threading that makes it durable and extremely reliable.

One unique thing about these gloves is the Silicon under the knuckles. The gloves are reinforced with silicon under the knuckles and fingers that is used to protect the hand in case of hard impact. The silicon makes sure that your hand remains safe and sound even in the harshest of environments. The inside of the glove is covered with soft fabric to add comfort and reduce the chances of cuts and bruises.

The size of the glove isn’t as good as you’d want it to be. The glove only measures about 12.2 inches from finger tip to collar. This means that if you’re looking for complete protection, then you’re going to have to buy welding sleeves as well. To be honest, that isn’t going to be light on your wallet. The cost of the gloves, mind you, the gloves are also pretty expensive, and the leather sleeves combined will probably make you miss your morning Starbucks coffee.

The glove itself comes with a fastener so you can secure your hand inside the glove. But, don’t worry; you can quickly take your hand out if the glove over heats.

Another good thing about the glove is the size. Well, the size itself is medium and it would be pretty tight for most people. But, the good thing is that the glove can stretch very well. This means that even if the glove is really tight, just wear it for a day or two, it might be really uncomfortable for a little bit of time, but it will expand to your size with the course of time.

PROS

  • The red detail makes the gloves look really cool.
  • Pure cow leather for heat resistance.
  • Kevlar threading for strength and durability.
  • Silicon padding to keep the knuckles and fingers safe.
  • Soft fabric on the inside for added comfort.
  • The fastener makes sure your hand is secure inside.
  • The glove will eventually adjust to your size even if it is really tight in the start.

CONS

  • Small length. You might have to spend some extra money of welding sleeves.
  • The fitting can be tight but it will adjust after a day or two.
  • Much more expensive than your average glove.

How to choose the best Welding Gloves: Buyer’s Guide

No matter what people tell you, buying welding gloves is never an easy task. If you look at the market, there are literally so many types of welding gloves out there that you have to know what you want; otherwise you might just end up with the exact opposite of what you need.

So, you’re probably wondering how you can get the best welding gloves out there. Well, don’t worry, because we are going to make a list of the things you need to keep in mind before you go ahead and buy the welding gloves.

Types of Leather

Back in the day, cow leather was the only thing that was used in welding gloves. But, today there are a number of materials that are being used to make welding gloves. Those materials and their unique abilities are listed below:

Elk Skin

Elk skin provides the best heat resistance out there. Surprisingly, it is even better at heat resistance than cow hide leather. Elk Skin is also much softer so it provides an extra amount of comfort as well. Elk Skin is mostly used in Stick Welding Gloves. However, elk skin might wear out quicker than other types of leather.

Cow Hide

Cow hide leather offers the best durability in welding gloves. They also provide heat protection but it might not be as good as elk skin. Cow hide is delicate and it is known for its dexterity and comfort in welding gloves. Most MIG Gloves use cow hide as the primary leather.

Deer Skin

Deer Skin has the unique ability to adjust according to the shape of your hand. Deer skin gloves might be uncomfortable for the first week or so, but after that, they will start shaping according to your hand. When that process is complete, they will be the most comfortable gloves ever. Deer skin also offer better control than any other typical glove.

Pig Skin

Pig Skin gloves have extreme oil and weather resistance. They are perfect if you’re going to be working in moldy areas. But, some people might have issues working with pig skin due to religious reason.

Goat Skin

Goat Skin makes the thinnest and the lightest leather out there. Goat skin is extremely comfortable. Just like the pig skin, they are oil and weather resistant. But, they offer incredible dexterity and complete control of the welding torch.

Glove Sizes

Glove sizes are usually pretty easy to figure out. But, even if you get your size wrong, you can easily get the gloves exchanged, but that might cost you some money.

Welding Gloves usually come in three different sizes; Medium, Large and Extra Large. Some gloves might have two or more sizes available but most gloves come in only a single size.

When you talk about the size you also have to consider the leather type as well. As we discuss a little earlier, some leather types automatically adjust to the size of the person’s hand. So, it doesn’t matter whether the size is small, the glove will adjust to your hand size.

Glove Length

You also need to consider the length of the glove. Different types of welding can require different glove lengths. For instance, stick welding requires a regular sized glove. A 12 inch glove will do the job perfectly. However, for overhead welding, you need a pretty large glove size, like 18-21 inches. So, you need to make sure that you think about the type of welding you usually do and purchase the gloves accordingly.

If you don’t have one specific type of welding, then just buy about 16 inch gloves because they usually do the job no matter what.

The Bottom Line:

So, if you follow the above instructions, then you will easily be able to choose the best welding gloves for your needs. You might even be able to save a ton of money, because if you think about the gloves before you buy them, you might not have to send them back to the manufacturer…

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Mark Peterson
 

Mark Peterson is 25 years old Blogger and IT Engineer from the United States. Recently he is pursuing Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School. Click here to know more.