Thumbs Up: The 8 Best Work Gloves

Humankind has gone to the moon – if you believe the government – plumbed the depths of the ocean, and even made a reduced-calorie beer for anyone watching their girlish figure. While these feats are impressive, none of them could have been accomplished if it weren’t for our hands. Our hands are a large part of what separate us from the beasts of the field and without them we’d have long ago been food for any predator roaming the prairie. This means they must be protected at all costs. For that, you need a good pair of work gloves.

There is no exact formula for choosing the right gloves. If you work with metal, you need some that will protect you from cuts and scrapes. If you are gardening, you need something that will give you both protection and dexterity for plucking roots or handling thorns. For those whose pursuits are truly rough, you need hardy gloves that don’t chafe as you swing an axe, hang drywall, or pull ore from the living earth. Whoever you are and whatever you do, one of our 8 best work gloves will keep your hands safe and sound.

Carhartt Grain

Carhartt Grain

Does it All: If you need a work glove for around the house or out in the field, the Carhartt Grain model will keep your hands safe from general scrapes, splinters, punctures, blisters, and abrasions. The body is 100% cotton duck fabric making it pliable with an easy range of motion. The palm is full grain leather reinforced with suede. The lining is polyester and has a safety cuff and full side vent for easy removal and to prevent slipping. Not ideal for warm weather or times when you need precision with your fingers but perfect for general DIY duties. [Purchase: $19]

Epica Cut Resistant Gloves

Epica Cut Resistant Gloves

A Cut Above: Epica had managed to make a glove that is more than 4 times better than leather at preventing cuts without sacrificing manual movement. These are great for industrial work, machining, metal handling, and even chopping, grating, or cutting in the kitchen. The gloves have Level 5 EN388 cut resistance so you know they will stand up to slicing and dicing by the biggest butterfingers out there. They’re also great for handling glass. [Purchase: $12.50]

Bionic Rose Gardening Gloves

Bionic Rose Gardening Gloves

For the Ladies: If you know a woman with a green thumb or are a woman with a green thumb, these gardening gloves from Bionic Rose are meant for you. They are made from Cabretta Leather that stands up to the most brutal pruning or shearing while allowing you the flexibility to pick a single daffodil without mauling it. They come with a gauntlet cuff to protect your arms and a reinforced thumb that fights off any burrs that seek to find their way through. Oddly enough, Bionic Rose does not make decent products for men so unless you are a gentleman with dainty hands, these will most likely be too small to suit you. [Purchase: $30]

Gold Leaf Soft Touch Gloves

Gold Leaf Soft Touch Gloves

Gardening for Guys: Guys that like to tiptoe through the tulips agree that when it comes to supple work gloves that offer protection and dexterity, Gold Leaf has no peer. The palm is deerskin which is thinner than leather for better touch sensitivity but tough enough to stand up to the most vicious hedges. The body is made of a Lycra and nylon combination that is flexible and breathable so your hands won’t make your gloves smell like a locker room during extended use in the summer sun. [Purchase: $43]

Duluth Carpenters Gloves

Duluth Carpenter’s Gloves

Touchability: When you’re on the job site you’ll waste time if you are constantly having to remove your glove to set screws and nails. To avoid that irritation, Duluth devised these work gloves specifically for carpenters who need great protection but the tactile ability to deal with small objects while keeping the gloves on. The tips of the middle finger, index finger, and thumb are slightly exposed for handling, while the other fingers are comfortably protected by Duraclad reinforcements. The palm is synthetic leather with flexible, comfortable nylon and spandex ribs. The gloves also have a surgical grade hook-and-loop wrist cuff that will keep sawdust and other flotsam from sneaking in. [Purchase: $20]

Mechanix Wear MG-05-010

Mechanix Wear MG-05-010

For the Gearhead: This is the OG glove made by Mechanix for anyone that wants to spend their time laid out on a creeper rebuilding engines or slamming some NOZ into their ride. They have a synthetic leather palm and fingertips, but the rest is two-way stretch spandex with an interior seam that prevents snagging even when you are elbow deep in an engine. The thin fabric gives you the ability to hold nuts and bolts in place by touch and slip your hands into the most enclosed spaces without getting caught. They’re strong enough to take to the track but better for strictly protecting your hands during repairs to avoid leaving too much blood under the hood. [Purchase: $17]

Memphis N9690 Ninja Ice Gloves

Memphis N9690 Ninja Ice Gloves

Sub-Zero Win: Finding a really good work glove is hard. Finding a good work glove that can also keep your hands warm in freezing temperatures is nearly impossible. This is why the Ninja Ice Gloves were invented. They are a combination of 100% Nylon exterior for flexibility and PVC acrylic terry interior for comfort and heat retention. The palms are coated with Hydropellent Technology (HPT) to provide slip-proof grip that works in ice, snow, and rain. Best of all, they won’t get stiff even if you are working well below zero. [Purchase: $11]

Ironclad TOG-04-L

Ironclad TOG-04-L

Tactical Choice: You’re job might be a little more than pulling weeds, pounding nails, or bolting down a chassis. Maybe you need something that you can thread through the trigger guard of an AR-15. Then you’ll want the TOG from Ironclad. They have a single piece of synthetic leather at the palm which has a Teflon treatment for fighting off oil. They are usually chosen by hunters, police, military personnel, and probably assassins, though they rarely give reviews. The body is a combination of Airprene, Terry, and Nylon that won’t snag or reflect light so your stealth is never compromised. They work equally well for mechanics and carpenters who need protection and sensation with their fingertips, though they are a little pricey if that is your only goal. [Purchase: $44]

Stainless Steel Mesh Hand Glove

Stainless Steel Mesh Hand Glove

Honorable Mention: It’s unlikely that you are going to get into a sword fight with the Mountain Who Rides any time soon, but if you feel like having your own Game of Thrones Fantasy as you dig up roots or do home repairs, then the mesh work gloves are chainmail for your hands. They are more than just costuming, they are actually very functional when you need not just cut-resistance, but cut proofing since they are 100% stainless steel. The metal makeup also means they won’t hold bacteria the way cloth will so they’re very good for hygienic gardening. They’re expensive, but if you think that at some point you will need to slap someone across the face and challenge them to a duel then you want a glove that is up to really do it. [Purchase: $98]

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