The Best MIG and TIG Welding Gloves – 2018 Buyers Guide

Welding involves a wide range of tasks and a wide range of health and safety hazards. Burns are the most common hazard and injury for a welder due to sparks and molten metal fragments landing on the skin.

Here are some important facts to keep in mind if you are ever tempted to skip proper protection:

  • More than 25% of all workplace accidents involve hand and finger injuries.
  • Work-related burns account for 20-25% of all serious burns requiring hospitalization.
  • 70% of employees with hand injuries reported not wearing gloves at the time of the injury.

Protective Welding safety gear is just as important as the equipment you are welding. The two most important things to protect for a welder are his eyes and hands.

That is why it is essential to wear the proper welding safety gloves and the best welding gloves you can find.

The best welding gloves protect your hands from exposure to sharp metal edges, jagged surfaces, red hot metal, sparks and other hot flying metal. Gloves can also protect hands from the ultraviolet radiation that is emitted in arc welding.

Reviews of the Best Welding Gloves

1. Lincoln Electric Traditional MIG/Stick Welding Glove

Pros

  • Made of heat and flame resistant shoulder split cowhide
  • 100% Kevlar stitching and welted seams add durability
  • Full sock lining and cuff for comfort
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    Padded thumb and high wear pads increase glove life
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    Designed for MIG welding

Cons

  • This unit does not come with a spool gun.
  • If you plan to mount this welding machine on a cart, take care because the gas hose connection can interfere with the tank.
  • While the TIG and stick functions work fairly well, operators have stated the plasma cutter has difficulty starting the pilot arc. Some have reported that they were only able to get it to cut up to 3/8 inch thick despite manufacturer claims that it can handle ½ inch.

Manufacturer: Lincoln Electric
Weight: 12.2 ounces
Sizes: 13 x 6 x 1 inches, large
Colors: Black and red

2. Tillman Medium Pearl Top Grain Cowhide Gloves

Pros

  • Made of top grain goatskin
  • Kevlar® Lock Stitching for added strength
  • Features a seamless forefinger for enhanced sensitivity
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    4” cuff for added protection
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    Designed for MIG welding
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    Wing thumb for added dexterity

Cons

  • Gloves are unlined

Manufacturer: John Tillman and CO
Weight: 2 lbs.
Sizes: S, M, L, and XL
Colors: Gold and white

3. Tillman 24D Top Grain Pearl Kidskin TIG Glove with 2" Cuff

Pros

  • Made of premium top grain goatskin
  • Excellent fit
  • Extra padding inside the palm and on the fingers
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    2” cuff with straight thumb for best grip
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    Kevlar® Lock Stitching for added strength
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    Designed for TIG welding

Cons

  • Gloves are unlined

Manufacturer: John Tillman and Co
Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Sizes: 6 x 1 x 1 inches, S, M< L<
Colors: White

4. Caiman 1878-5 21-Inch One Size Fits All Genuine American Deerskin Welding Glove

Pros

  • These welding gloves are 21 inches long and will protect from fingertips all the way up the forearm.
  • Very comfortable with a form fitting shape and pre-curved fingers
  • Extra padding and reinforcement at the wrist and palms protect against heat, sparks and splatter.
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    Special strap prevents the gloves from slipping down while working.
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    Designed for overhead, stick and plasma welding.
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    Sewn with Kevlar thread
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    Genuine American Deerskin leather with split palm

Cons

  • Due to their thickness, gloves can get hot and sweaty in high temperatures
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    Gloves are not suiting to work that involves small, precise movements and fine detail.

Manufacturer: Caiman
Weight: 1 lb.
Sizes: 22 x 8 x 12 inches, one size fits all
Colors: Black and gold

5. US Forge 403 18-Inch Extra Length Welding Gloves

Pros

  • Comfortable, durable, and flexible
  • Extra long length keeps sparks and slag off the forearms
  • Heat resistant
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    Made of soft, supple top-grain leather
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    Designed for overhead, stick and plasma welding.
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    Reinforced frictional areas and an internal liner add to the comfort and durability

Cons

  • Due to their thickness, gloves can get hot and sweaty in high temperatures
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    Gloves are not suiting to work that involves small, precise movements and fine detail.

Manufacturer: US Forge
Weight: 3 lbs.
Sizes: 10 x 7 x 2 inches, universal
Colors: Gold and white

6. Miller 263343 Arc Armor MIG/Stick Welding Glove

Pros

  • Made of premium grade pigskin and cowhide
  • Comfortable and cool to wear
  • Strategically placed reinforced double layer patches on palm and back
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    Made of soft, supple top-grain leather
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    Ergonomic fit with pre-curved fingers and wing thumb design for comfort and dexterity
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    100% wool-lined flame resistant insulation

Cons

  • Gloves run a little small

Manufacturer: Miller
Weight: 10.4 ounces
Sizes: 13.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches S, M, L, and XL
Colors: Black and blue

What To Look For in High Quality Welding Gloves

During welding and cutting operations, having the best welding gloves for the job enhances your welding speed, ability, and safety.

Most employers will make sure welding operators are wearing the best protection for the welding operation in order to reduce injuries and downtime and ensure optimal performance.

ANSI Z49.11 standards require all welders to wear protective flame-resistant gloves that provide the heat resistance and hand protection needed for welding. They must have the following features:

  • Capable of providing protection from electric shock by the welding equipment
  • Must have insulated linings to protect areas exposed to high radiant energy
  • Must provide sufficient hand coverage and be made of suitable materials to minimize skin burns, ideally leather or flame resistant materials.

Just as important is the fit and comfort. If the protection is comfortable, has a good fit and provides the necessary protection, welders are more likely to want to keep it on.

Materials Used for Welding Gloves

The preferred material for welding gloves is leather, to provide the appropriate flexibility and protection from arc rays, molten metal spatter, sparks, and hot metal.

The gloves should be thick enough to not shrivel, burn or get worn out quickly. Various types of leather are used for welding gloves, providing different levels of protection, durability, and comfort.

According to the American Welding Society, the various types of leather provide the following advantages and disadvantages:

Elk Skin

The great level of comfort provided by elk skin does not take away from its heat, flame, and abrasion resistance. It comes in heavier cuts and provides great protection for stick welding.

Cowhide

Cowhide Material

Cowhide is another durable, heat-resistant, and flame-resistant material for welding at high temperatures.

It is known for versatility, durability, dexterity, abrasion resistance, and comfort. It is common in MiG welding gloves.

Deerskin

The most comfortable fit, along with a lot of dexterity, comes from deerskin welding gloves. Thick deerskin is good for resisting high temperatures, and it provides the advantage of taking the form of your hand over time, which makes it a very comfortable glove option.

Pigskin

Pigskin is highly resistant to both weather and oil. However, it lacks much of the heat resistance provided by other types of gloves.

Goatskin

TIG welders generally prefer goatskin gloves. They are comfortable, light and flexible, which is important for picking up and feeding the filler rods. They are also oil and water resistant.

The best welding gloves are made from top-grain leather, which is the high-quality outer layer of an animal's hide.

Welding gloves balance flexibility with heat protection and will vary depending on the welding process used.

Best Types of Gloves for Different Kinds of Welding

Each kind of welding process requires a specific type of glove appropriate for the job. Knowing what your hands will be exposed to helps you in selecting the best welding glove for each application.

Stick welding creates the high heat and requires stiff, heavy-duty gloves that can withstand high temperatures. The best stick welding glove options include top-grain pigskin, elk skin, or goatskin.

Particular factors in each type of welding mean that gloves also call for special features. For instance, the best MIG welding gloves offer a thick pad at the back of the hand.

This is to protect the hand during a typical position where the non-dominant hand is used to stabilize the welding torch. It creates a stable brace and allows more precise control and the ability to find the plane of workpiece more easily.

Welding Gloves

To help get the gloves off when they overheat, MIG welding gloves generally fit loosely. The fingers are more rigid, but it’s not a major factor because most of the dexterity required in MIG welding comes from the wrist.

Top-grain cowhide, goatskin, or deerskin are common leather choices you'll find in MIG welding gloves.

The best TIG welding gloves are usually made of a softer, thinner leather. At times they may be leather combined with Kevlar or another fire-resistant fabric. Since both palms face the welding tool in TIG welding, there’s no need for the pad on the back of the gloves.

These gloves generally fit more snugly and allow more finger mobility. These design factors allow for the more precise control that TIG welding requires for the torch and filler.

TiG Gloves

TIG welding produces the least amount of heat but requires precise movement for precise welds with the TIG torch. A lighter and more flexible glove.

Goatskin leather gloves are quite popular and are typically ideal for TIG and MIG welding. However, Deerskin gloves offer the advantage of shaping themselves to a welder's hand over time and make for an extremely comfortable fit.

Conclusion

The whole body must be protected when welding due to the potentially dangerous nature of the craft, and the hands have special safety needs due to their closeness to the welding torch and material being welded.

That’s why it’s so important to have a really protective pair of welding gloves, to keep your hands cool and burn-free while you work.

This post was last updated on September 12th, 2018 at 01:40 pm

About the Author Gregory

Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!

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