Protect your hands and fingers from cuts, splinters and dirt and grime with work gloves

Gloves - Gloves

Gloves are a great tool to keep in your tool box, but they often are overlooked. There are several types available that can protect your hands while you work on various projects. There are different jobs for different types of gloves, so you may opt to keep more than one type on hand.

This buying guide highlights the different types of work and safety gloves available, along with the materials that comprise them, their sizing and fit and uses and safety.

Types of Gloves

Gloves can be made from a wide array of materials, each with different properties and uses

  • Some of the common materials used to make gloves include, leather, cotton, latex, canvas, metal mesh and more.
  • Beware if you are allergic to latex and other materials that can cause irritation to your skin.
  • Properly sized gloves provide greater dexterity than oversized and are more comfortable than gloves that are too small.
  • Poor fitting gloves can also cause blisters and can potentially contribute to injuries.
  • If you are working with chemicals or pesticides, it is important to clean your gloves or dispose of them properly afterward.

Material Application Points to Consider


  • Welding
  • Furnace work
  • Protect against intense heat


  • Yard work
  • Concrete and roofing applications
  • HVAC applications
  • Prevent blisters when working with long-handled tools

Cotton / Jersey / Fabric

  • Painting
  • Installing insulation
  • Light-duty yard work
  • Gardening
  • Allow skin to breathe
  • Improve grip
  • Offer some protection against heat and cold
  • Cotton / polyester mix provides greater durability

Full Leather

  • Construction
  • Heavy-duty yard work
  • Landscaping
  • Woodworking
  • Electrical
  • Tough and durable
  • Protect against abrasions
  • Offer some cut and puncture protection
  • Protect against sparks
  • Use in conjunction with an insulated liner when
    working on electrical applications


  • Painting
  • Handling some chemicals
  • Food processing
  • Often disposable
  • Offer excellent dexterity
  • Protect against mild irritants
  • Powdered type may irritate skin

Leather Palm

  • Handling lumber
  • Construction
  • Working with power tools
  • Yard work
  • Carpentry
  • Protect against abrasions
  • Provide good flexibility

Metal Mesh

  • Cutting
  • Working with sharp tools
  • Protect against cuts
  • Protect against abrasions

Rubber / PVC / Neoprene

  • Applying pesticides
  • Working with chemicals
  • Gardening
  • Offer excellent dexterity
  • Oil-resistant

Sizing and Fit

Having gloves that fit is essential to comfort, and in many cases, safety

  • Poorly fitted gloves restrict motion and can cause muscle cramps, aches and blisters.
  • Gloves with seams across the palm are often more comfortable.
  • Gloves with seams across the back may provide more of an exact fit.
  • Inside seams last longer, but may rub or chafe your skin.
  • Outside seams are more comfortable, but tend to wear out more quickly.

Usage and Safety

While working with prickly vines or thorns, it is best to have gloves with long cuffs to protect your arms

  • Gloves that come in contact with hazardous chemicals should be taken off inside out to avoid exposing your skin.
  • Avoid wearing gloves near machines, such as grinders, drill presses and lathes as they can get caught and cause injury.
  • Tuck sleeves into your gloves to prevent chemicals from contacting your skin.
  • Replace gloves when they become visibly worn out or frayed.
  • Look for gloves with rubber dots on the palms and fingers for a better grip.
  • If you work outdoors in the cold, look for gloves with heating system options.