What are Rigger Gloves Used For?

Rigger gloves are the perfect solution for anybody who requires hand protection when handling unsafe materials. These reinforced gloves are used worldwide by professionals and non-professionals alike, for a wide range of purposes.

As the name suggests, rigger gloves were originally designed for sole use by riggers requiring protection while working in their trade. The rigger profession involves a handful of tasks that puts precious hands into harm’s way. The gloves act as a barrier between the skin and the hazardous conditions.

Rigger gloves are now a firm favourite across numerous groups, from building and construction workers to gardeners and DIYers. If you haven’t heard of rigger gloves before, you’ve probably seen plenty of them before without knowing their name.

In this blog post, we discuss everything you need to know about rigger gloves, including what they are used for, the variations available and which kind to shop for.

What are rigger gloves?

Rigger gloves are seriously strong gloves constructed for tasks that require protection of the hands. Most are leather rigger gloves, with leather and cotton materials merged together to create tough attire for handling rough materials, chemicals or other heavy duty equipment.

Their hardwearing nature including resistance to abrasion, cutting and impact make them the safety glove of choice for many tasks. As they are perfectly durable, one pair will last a long time before a replacement is needed.

What are rigger gloves used for?

Understandably, you might assume that rigger gloves are simply for riggers. However, rigger gloves are used by multiple people for performing a great deal of tasks. Lots of industries use rigger gloves as a form of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). You’ll frequently see gloves on the hands of those in industries such as;

  • Building
  • Boating and fishing
  • Cable pulling
  • Forestry and timber
  • Construction
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Industrial cleaning
  • Packing
  • Mechanics
  • Rigging
  • Transport
  • Warehouse loading

It’s not just industry professionals that rely on them either. They are incredibly versatile, and there are lots of alternative uses for rigger gloves.

Homeowners and DIY fans opt for these safety gloves when carrying out work around the house and garden. Because they fight off abrasion, they’re a no-brainer for use with work that will cause friction and irritation to your hands. Tough gardening jobs like digging and weeding, or lifting heavy furniture and structures can cause painful sores and injury.

They’re a handy piece of equipment to store in your home that can be used time and time again. You never know when you might need a tough defence for your hands.

Types of rigger gloves

If you’re in the market for a sturdy pair of safety gloves, always consider the special features that come with each. Depending on what you plan to use them for, there are several variations and brands available, from Bollwerk Forcefield rigger gloves to Dirty Rigger womens gloves.

Sizing is fairly standard, with many brands offering only a one-size fit. Some come with individual sizes, such as large, small or rigger gloves medium.

Here are some of the most popular styles

Thermal rigger gloves

Also known as insulated rigger gloves, these types are constructed with an added layer of insulating fabric for withstanding cold temperatures. Your hands are prone to numbing in certain conditions, particularly during continued exposure.

This option will keep your hands warm and mobile while working in cold warehouses and other chilly settings or while working outdoors in colder climates and during the winter season.

Insulated rigger gloves are also referred to as thermal rigger gloves. Fur lined rigger gloves are another style that promotes warmth. Regardless of the name, all offer protection to your hands in cold environments.

Heat resistant rigger gloves

Quite the opposite to thermal rigger gloves, heat resistant rigger gloves are designed for use in high temperatures. They are fashioned from fabrics which are resilient to heat and flames.

These are perfect for conditions which require you to get hands-on with heat, to protect your skin from burns or simply to keep your hands cool in warm atmospheres.

The materials used for heat resistant gloves can vary depending on the heat hazard in question.

High visibility rigger gloves

When working in dark conditions, it can be difficult for you and others to see clearly. This puts you at risk of workplace accidents or external danger. It’s important that you, your workmates and passers-by are able to see your hands.

High visibility rigger gloves come in fluorescent or reflective colours and materials, or otherwise feature high-vis patches which are sewn on. In using these gloves as well as other high visibility clothing, the wearer is made as visible as possible.

These gloves are mostly used by construction workers, road workers, rail workers and some emergency responders.

Impact rigger gloves

Impact gloves are heavy duty rigger gloves purposely crafted for impact protection from hazards, usually in unpredictable surroundings where there is a high level of risk.

They have extra protection built into areas where your fingers, thumbs and knuckles are. Generally thicker with extra padding, impact gloves keep your hands secure while still ensuring ease of movement.

Double palm rigger gloves

The double palm rigger gloves are reinforced with additional padding to the palms and other areas such as under the thumb. Lined rigger gloves are better suited to low-impact situations, but where the chance of friction and rubbing to the most sensitive parts of your hands is high.

You would opt for these if handling materials which put excessive pressure on the skin, such as rugged materials or handles that require a tough grip.

Choosing the appropriate safety gloves

To get the most out of a pair of protective gloves, you should choose the style that has been specially constructed for the purpose you require. There are lots of options, from everyday general use around the home to highly hazardous work conducted by skilled workers.

A general safety glove might do the trick for dabbling in garden work, while more heavy duty work calls for serious protection and prolonged use.

If you’ve never used rigger gloves before, the task of purchasing a pair can be straightforward with a little knowledge. Stick to the basics of establishing the environment first, before finding the perfect pair to keep your hands as comfortable and safe as possible.

While all rigger gloves are protective garments, each feature different safety elements to focus on the job at hand. The best riggers gloves are made with both comfort and safety in mind.

To keep things simple, consider these key factors;

  • Breathability
  • Comfort
  • Protection
  • Durability
  • Versatility

In making a conscious effort to check out the unique features of each rigger glove, you’ll be able to locate the ideal pair for your tasks. As safety should always be the number one priority when it comes to any sort of work, purchasing the most suitable PPE gloves will ensure your hands remain shielded.

Now you know what rigger gloves are and what to look out for, you can use your expertise to source the best set, even if searching for cheap rigger gloves. Once you get the product type right, you can start considering other style factors such as colours and prints, as your new gloves will be around for a long time.


How do you wash rigger gloves?

The best way to wash most rigger gloves is to hose or rinse away dirt and grime before applying saddle soap and washing them in cold water. Afterwards, lay them out flat to air dry.

What are rigger gloves made of?

Rigger gloves are reinforced with a combination of tough leather and cotton materials. They are designed to be durable for prolonged use and protection of the hands.

Are rigger gloves heat proof?

Not all rigger gloves are heat proof, but there are heat-resistant rigger gloves which are constructed with heat and flame resistant materials for use in conditions where temperatures are high.