We tested the top work gloves on the market during home improvement, gardening, and automotive projects. Ahead, find out the top performers in our hands-on tests.
Best fitting gloves money can buy.
A good pair of work gloves can help DIYers get tough jobs done
without suffering through painful reminders of the day's labor.
Whether shoveling snow off a walkway or building a new deck,
many DIYers are more comfortable during the project and
afterward when protecting their hands with a high-quality pair
Dozens of brands of work gloves are available from a variety of retailers, but we don't want to settle for just any pair of work gloves. We wanted to find the real standouts. After researching the most popular brands, we tested them for durability, quality construction, hand protection, and more.
As there are gloves designed for specific tasks, choosing the right work gloves can be challenging. This handy (pun intended!) guide outlines what you need to know about finding the right pair. Ahead, learn what it took to qualify for this lineup of the best work gloves and how to find the right pair for a user's needs.
BEST OVERALL FOR MEN: Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves
BEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN: Ironclad Tuff Chix Work Gloves
BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Wells Lamont PU-Coated Gripper Gloves, 3 Pack
BEST SUEDE: Carhartt Synthetic Suede Fencer Work Glove
BEST INSULATED: Wells Lamont Deerskin Full Leather Winter Work Gloves
BEST WATERPROOF: Wells Lamont Winter Grip Gloves, Waterproof Coating
BEST TOUCH-SCREEN TIPS: Custom Leathercraft Flex Grip Handyman Work Gloves
BEST FOR MECHANICS: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Gray Work Gloves
BEST FOR GARDENING: Skydeer Deerskin Suede Ladies Gardening Gloves
The Best Work Gloves Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor
Types of Work Gloves
Work gloves come in a variety of materials and styles, each suited to different tasks. In fact, it's often worth owning an array of work gloves so the user can tackle a variety of projects around the house and yard. The best outdoor work gloves for each task protects hands from the elements, abrasions, and blisters. The following are the most common types of work gloves.
There's no such thing as indestructible gloves, but when it comes to heavy-duty jobs such as metalworking, cutting lumber, or electrical repairs or installations, hands need the protection of leather. All-leather work gloves protect against temperature extremes, absorb minor electrical shocks, resist punctures, protect against abrasions and cuts, and keep paint, oil, and chemicals off the skin.
The best leather work gloves are often made of cowhide, although there also are pig and deerskin gloves. Plus, there are vegan and synthetic leather options, too. There are also two basic categories of leather gloves. There's split leather, the heaviest duty and the most resistant to water and other liquids, and there's grain leather, which is softer and smoother, giving users more dexterity.
Leather-palm gloves have natural or synthetic leather across the palm and fingers but heavy fabric around the back of the hand. They allow hands to move more easily than all-leather gloves do, yet they still provide good protection from blisters, temperature extremes, and abrasions during less demanding tasks such as moving wood, doing yard work, using power tools, or simple construction jobs.
Lightweight knit work gloves, generally made of cotton or a cotton/poly blend, are very stretchy for comfortable wear. These gloves are useful while painting, doing light yard work, and carrying out simple household repairs. They'll help prevent blisters or minor scrapes, but they don't offer the rugged protection of leather or canvas gloves.
Latex and Nitrile
Latex and its synthetic version, nitrile (suitable for those with latex allergies), are very lightweight and allow easy movement of fingers and palms. Both materials also offer a slightly tacky grip that makes it easier to hold onto wet or smooth surfaces.
However, neither offers very good protection against blisters or scrapes, so they are best suited for messy but easy-on-the-hands chores such as painting, pulling weeds, potting plants, or working with potentially irritating cleaning chemicals.
The Best Work Gloves Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Work Gloves
Work gloves must meet a whole set of requirements to prevent discomfort and injury during landscaping, DIY projects, and everyday tasks. Here are some important things to consider when shopping for the best work gloves.
Women's vs. Men's Work Gloves
No matter the task at hand, there is no difference between men's and women's work gloves other than size and fit. Women's sizes are traditionally smaller, whereas men's sizes run slightly larger. With most brands, women's glove sizes come in sizes S to L, while men's sizes typically come in S to 3XL.
However, when it comes to unisex sizing, it can be hard to know what size is optimal. Most brands that offer unisex sizing will size their gloves slightly larger to accommodate men's sizes, so women should often size down to make sure their gloves fit properly. Kids sizes are also something to consider, as most brands offer one size for children younger than 8.
Work gloves that are too tight are uncomfortable and don't allow for a full range of motion. Gloves that are too loose slip and slide, which can be dangerous, in addition to being annoying. Ideally, gloves fit snugly around the fingers and the palm without squeezing, rubbing, or pinching.
Most work gloves come in various sizes typically small, medium, large, and extra large. These sizes correspond to the measurement across the palm at the base of fingers, without including the thumb. Sizes aren't standard, so be sure to measure and double-check the manufacturer's description of its sizing practices.
Whether they are needed for doing yard work, shoveling snow, or cleaning out the garage, having work gloves that are durable enough to protect hands is a top priority. In most cases, heavy-duty tasks will require gloves that will not wear and tear easily but will cushion hands enough to prevent abrasions, vibration, harmful materials, and cuts. For example, mechanics gloves are typically resistant to cuts, tears and scratches as well as water, oils, gasoline, and other corrosive materials. Plus, top-quality gloves can protect hands from extreme heat or provide insulation for winter work.
To protect hands, many work gloves come with nitrile (a latex alternative) exteriors, real and faux-leather constructions, protective shells for waterproofing, reinforced palms and fingers, and double stitching in the seams.
Dexterity and Comfort
The best fit possible is ideal for maximizing comfort and functionality. Trying to complete a project wearing gloves that are too large is often an exercise in futility. And because insulation can trap body heat, gloves that don't breathe can cause hands to sweat, which can be uncomfortable or downright cold during winter.
Many manufacturers offer sizing charts to help shoppers choose the best work gloves for their hand size. This is helpful because sizes can vary among manufacturers. One person may need a large size in one brand and a medium in another. Use the various size charts available to measure hands and decide whether a small, medium, or large size is best in a particular brand.
Protecting hands is about more than just covering them in thick, durable materials. Gloves need to be functional, allowing hands to move freely instead of getting caught on sharp edges or causing the user to drop tools.
Flexibility helps users grip tools, large objects, and other items because hands are better able to move as they would without a glove. The material also affects the grip on the fingers and palm of the glove. Some gloves include a specialized layer to help increase the control and dexterity, and there are gloves that even allow users to operate a touch screen without removing the gloves.
In addition to the most essential material matters, consider the following other features when choosing work gloves.
Cuffs: Most canvas work gloves have a knit or stretchy fitted cuff that helps keep out moisture and dirt. Heavy-duty leather work gloves often have open cuffs, making it easy to slip them on and off. Lighter leather gloves typically have an open cuff with a bit of elastic running around the base of the palm, which protects from moisture, sawdust, dirt, and other grime while allowing the wearer to remove the gloves easily.
Coating: Fabric gloves with a coating of nitrile or polyurethane across the palm and fingers are excellent for muddy gardening projects, painting, and light landscaping.
Padding: Leather gloves with extra padding in the palms are a must for jobs that include a lot of vibration or shock to the hands, such as extended periods of hammering, using a chainsaw, digging through hard or rocky soil, or using a jackhammer or similar tool. The padding helps absorb shockwaves that otherwise could lead to wrist or hand injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves were impressive right out of the package. They come with a lot of little extras, such as multiple rows of overstitching for durability. We pulled on the Ironclad gloves, and they fit well, although the fingers seemed slightly narrow compared with other gloves of the same size. Overall, they were comfortable, especially at the tips of the fingers, because they do not feature interior seams as some gloves do. As a result, there were no seams to irritate our fingertips
Ironclad Ranchworx Work Gloves
The women's version of our best overall pick comes with many of the same features, but Ironclad Tuff Chix gloves are designed for smaller hands and don't offer knuckle guards or Kevlar strips. However, they offer a padded leather palm and an absorbent terry-cloth thumb strip to wipe away forehead perspiration on hot days. Plus, the breathable nylon fabric on the back of the gloves kept our hands from getting sweaty.
Ironclad Tuff Chix Work Gloves
Carhartt's Fencer work gloves come from a manufacturer well known for its rugged work clothing. We were impressed by the quality of these gloves the leather is thick but flexible. The overstitching that reinforces the palm and connects the fingers is strong and we could find no snags.
JCarhartt Synthetic Suede Fencer Work Glove
Made of traditional materials and with a classic look, the Wells Lamont Deerskin Full Leather Winter Work Gloves offer abrasion resistance and multiple layers of protection from the cold, making them the warmest work gloves on our list. The deerskin exterior is tough but flexible and relatively lightweight compared to rawhide gloves.
Wells Lamont Deerskin Full Leather Winter Work Gloves
Who said protective work gloves have to look dull? The Skydeer gardening gloves come in a host of pretty designs, yet they offer serious hand protection. The Skydeer gloves are made of flexible nylon and soft deerskin, and when we pulled them on, they fit perfectly. They feature reinforced stitching for durability, and although they do have seams inside the fingers, they're so soft that they're barely noticeable.
Skydeer Deerskin Suede Ladies Gardening Gloves
Contact us today and tell us what we can do to help you make a better tomorrow. We are eager to hear from you.
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