Welders must take special care to protect themselves when conducting their daily tasks, including securing the appropriate PPE. Having the proper personal protective equipment, like welding gloves, ensures welders stay safe on the job and protect themselves from burns, electric shock and other dangers.
But what are welding gloves, and what makes them different from any other glove suitable for any project? If you're unsure of the answer to these questions, you're in the right place. At Trade Warehouse, we make it our mission to help you understand your protection to ensure you're covered for your important DIY tasks.
Today, we'll discuss the ins and outs of welding gloves, including what makes them different from other gloves, their uses, benefits and what you should consider when searching for your next pair!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's discuss some basics. So, what are welding gloves? Welding gloves are a particular type of glove that protect the user's hands from cuts, sparks, burns, electric shock and any other hazard or abrasion while handling power hand tools like soldering irons, welding equipment or different types of extreme heat tools.
These gloves are made from a non-conductive material that allows heat to dissipate quickly from the fabric, ensuring no extreme heat reaches the user's hands. This is an essential piece of safety equipment as the welder's hands are constantly within very close proximity to sparks and extreme heat.
Most of the time, welding gloves are made from high-quality leather or another highly durable fabric like kevlar, a heat-resistant synthetic fibre.
So you want to know the difference between your standard gardening gloves and welder's gloves? Well, it mostly comes down to the material, uses and durability. Welding gloves are usually made from cow, pig, or deer hide or strong synthetic fabrics, whereas typical gardening gloves are made from low-grade leather, cotton or even rubber.
You cannot use the two interchangeably, as low-grade leather, cotton, or rubber wouldn't be able to withstand the extreme heat from the white-hot flame of a welding machine or soldering iron. If you use rubber or plastic gardening gloves, the heat from your tools will break down the plastic or rubber, causing the heat to travel to your hands and potentially causing severe burns. Likewise, cotton poses a significant fire hazard as untreated natural fibres ignite and burn from the slightest spark.
The second differentiating factor between standard gloves and welding gloves is thickness. Welding gloves are very thick, offering multiple layers of protection from heat, sparks or exposed flames.
This ensures that the user can't feel the full extent of the heat that they're working with, reducing the chances of burns or abrasions. Standard gloves like gardening gloves are only designed to protect against thorns, splintering and getting dirt onto your hands are very thin and will quickly cause severe burns if used when operating heated tools like welding machines or soldering irons.
Another differentiating factor between welding and standard gloves is that they're non-conductive and, therefore, shockproof. Non-conductive refers to a material that doesn't conduct electricity, protecting the user against electric shock from their machinery. However, it's essential to note that wearing welding gloves is only a small part of protecting yourself against electric shock during welding, so professionals must wear the appropriate clothing, like the right shoes and helmet.
Although all welding gloves provide significant protection against heat, cuts and shock, there are different types of welding gloves depending on the type of welding you do. Understanding the type of welding you do will ensure you select the correct protective equipment for your welding. Here's a guide to the different kinds of welding gloves:
Metal inert gas welding, also known as MIG welding, uses metal to join metal by melting materials. This type of welding requires precision and skill to work safely with electrical equipment. MIG welding tends to produce more sparks and heat, resulting in more chances for injury to the user. Because of this, MIG welding gloves mostly use heavy-weight cow split to provide more durable protection against sparks and heat.
Tungsten inert gas welding uses an electrode to weld steel, copper, gold, brass and other hard materials. TIG welding requires a lot of skill to work safely with the electrode, as it produces a significant amount of heat. To protect against burns, TIG gloves commonly use goat skin and provide the user with much more manual dexterity.
Stick welding is commonly used for repair and maintenance work on iron and steel structures, thus using the highest amount of heat to weld structures. Therefore, stick welding requires a very durable glove that protects against heat transfer and splattering. Stick welding usually requires elk hide as it doesn't harden when exposed to high heat.
When buying a pair of welding gloves, it can be challenging to figure out what kind to go for within your ideal price. To help you find suitable gloves for the job, here's what you should consider:
Insulation is one of the first things you need to consider when buying a pair of welding gloves. Suitable insulating materials include kevlar liners, cotton or aluminium.
Of course, this will mean that your hands will get warm from your body heat, but paired with the appropriate outer material like cowhide, this will protect your hands from burns. You should consider what type of insulation you need based on your working conditions.
Suppose you're likely to be working outside during the winter or in colder working conditions. In that case, you should choose welding gloves with suitable insulating material on the interior to keep your hands warm and mobile.
While it is tempting to opt for the biggest pair of welding gloves you can find to protect your hands and your forearms as much as possible, a good fit will ensure you retain as much manual dexterity as possible.
Manual dexterity is essential for working safely with welding equipment, and without complete control of your fingers and grip, you could cause significant injury to yourself and others. When trying welding gloves, ensure that you can still perform tasks like picking up small objects.
Another essential thing to consider when buying welders' equipment is to ensure that the necessary risk assessments have been completed. These tests ensure that the glove can withstand high temperatures, shock, sparks and any other hazards that welding equipment throws at them.
As a glove is exposed to extreme heat for prolonged periods, it's common for them to become worn in areas like the thumb, index finger and palm. One of the best ways to ensure you buy the correct pair is to invest in a pair with a reinforced palm. A reinforced palm will ensure your protective glove stays durable for longer.
If you're searching for the perfect welder's equipment to keep your hands safe, look no further than Trade Warehouse. We have a range of stock ideal for keeping you safe while retaining your manual dexterity for precision tasks. We also offer nationwide delivery for all products, so shop with us now to find out how we can protect you!
Welding gloves are very thick and made from non-conductive material that protect against shock, burns and abrasions.
Welding gloves ensure that welders can work with extreme heat without the danger of being severely burnt, shocked or cut with sharp materials. They're also insulating, making them ideal for working in very cold conditions.
You should consider the following before investing in a pair of welding gloves: