Whether it’s to save money on maintenance, learn what makes an engine tick, or just simply for the joy of tinkering, wrenching on a car or motorcycle can be a fantastic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Of course, even the most rudimentary mechanic work still requires a specific set of gear, namely in the form of a solid mechanic toolset, though there are a number of other peripherals that are incredibly helpful to have on hand.
Among these are mechanic gloves, which provide numerous benefits when spinning a spanner. Like work gloves, mechanic gloves need to be durable and hardwearing, providing protection and added grip, though what sets these wrenching mitts apart is their special need for added dexterity. So, to help you hone in on the best available offerings currently on the market, we’ve put together this guide to the 10 best mechanic gloves.
Marks of a Good Mechanic’s Mitt
Creating a quality mechanic gloves is a bit of a balancing act, as it needs to be thick enough to provide protection from scrapes and impacts without compromising the tactile feel often necessary when turning a wrench. Similarly, a solid mechanic glove also has to afford its wearer grip, without it coming at the cost of dexterity.
Most regular gloves will eventually have the seams at their fingertips start to fail over time after prolonged use, which is why many mechanic gloves offer reinforced, pinched, or internal seams and construction. The materials that are utilized play an equally important role, needing to provide an impressive strength (and abrasion-resistant) to weight ratio.
Padding is another area worth delving into when talking about gloves for wrenching. While not necessary for fine-tuning-type jobs, foam and TPU padding can be a lifesaver when working on old, rusted-out Craigslist and barn finds with stiff, decayed hardware that requires some serious elbow grease to work and often lead to busted or cut up knuckles.
Muc-Off Mechanics Gloves
If you don’t plan on taking on valve adjustments and transmissions rebuilds and the like, and you simply need a pair of gloves for quick road-side jobs like flat-tire changes and dead-battery jumps, then Muc-Off’s Mechanics Gloves may be just what you’re looking for. Offered in a variety of sizes, these lightweight gloves protect your hands from cuts, scratches, and road grime, and feature polyurethane-coated palms for bolstered durability and grip. Additionally, these gloves are machine-washable, 100% latex-free, and can easily be tucked away under a seat, in a glove compartment, trunk, or roadside tool kit where they can be readily available when needed.
Mechanix Wear DuraHide FastFit Leather Work Gloves
From the original name in mechanic gloves, the DuraHide Fastfit improves on the California-based outfit’s classic offering with two-piece palms made from Mechanix Wear’s proprietary DuraHide Performance Leather: an ultra-rugged water-resistant material that’s CE Level 4-rated for abrasion resistance and was originally developed for hard labor. The thumbs are also reinforced using DuraHide inlays and the ends of the fingertips are pinched for added strength. The regular Velcro cuff on this modern set of synthetic leather gloves is also swapped out for a quick-fit stretch-elastic wrist opening, while inside, the glove sports the company’s form-fitting and cooling TrekDry material.
MCR Safety Memphis Kevlar Gloves
Versatile, rugged, inexpensive, and widely available, knit-construction nitrile-dipped gloves are incredibly popular amongst hobby and professional mechanics alike, offering solid protection without overly mitigating dexterity. This pair of gloves from MCR Safety replaces the traditional nitrile-dipped item’s construction with high-visibility orange-colored, DuPont Kevlar yarn, affording them a Level 4 ANSI Cut-rating. Making these gloves all the more attractive is their ultralight weight of only 0.1lbs and touchscreen-compatibility with smartphones and tablets.
Park Tool MG-2 Nitrile Mechanic’s Gloves – 100-Pack
While protection is an important aspect of mechanic gloves, some jobs simply require more dexterity and tactile feel, which is why you find disposable gloves on hand at pretty much any shop you’ll ever visit. An absolute must for carb work and other delicate under-the-hood jobs that require finesse and fine-tuning, this is as close as it gets to working with your bare hands, while still being shielded from grease, oil, dirt, grime, and harsh chemicals or solvents. Comprised of 100-pairs, this particular box of surgical gloves is made from MG-2 Nitrile: a more hardwearing, anti-snag version of the durable synthetic rubber that’s thicker and more resistant to tear. And, while these are disposable, these Park Tool gloves were made to be worn multiple times before ending up in the trash.
Carharrt The DEX II Glove
Though the company has grown massively, Carhartt in many ways continues to operate today just as it did in 1889 when it first opened its doors: producing rugged and dependable American workwear out of its Dearborn, Michigan headquarters. And in its expansive history, Carhartt has been able to serve a growing number of segments in the workforce, providing gear designed to excel in specific applications, such as the DEX II Glove. Made from spandex, the glove is backed by palm, knuckle, and finger reinforcements made from cowhide and the company’s proprietary System 5 synthetic leather. And, while the palms are padded, the fingers are textured and thin enough to provide a more-than-sufficient grip and tactile response when spinning a spanner.
Mechanix Wear Specialty 0.5mm High-Dexterity Work Gloves
Trusted by NASCAR pit crews and race teams around the world for approximately 30 years, Mechanix’ Original Glove is almost-certainly the single most popular individual model of glove in the segment. And over its many years on the market, Mechanix Wear has introduced a bevy of specialty-variants of its legendary Original Glove such as versions focused on maximizing grip or breathability. The most noteworthy of these specialty items, however, is the 0.5mm high-dexterity model. Fitted with a thermoplastic rubber wrist closure and form-fitting TrekDry material, this glove boasts an ultra-high-dexterity AX-suede palm and hourglass-shape-designed fingers that minimize fingertip bulk and overlap (at the seams) to deliver a glove that’s less than 0.5mm (or 0.02”) thick, providing stellar levels of tactile feedback while still affording decent protection and grip.
Oakley Si Lightweight Glove
Oakley’s Si (Standard issue) Lightweight Glove was technically designed for tactical applications, though its breathability, rugged construction, grip, lightweight, and dexterity all make for a glove that lends itself particularly well to turning a wrench. These all-black mechanic mitts are constructed from nylon and AX suede which is a synthetic material made recycled water bottles. Furthermore, the Si Lightweight also sports a printed pattern for added grip on the middle and trigger fingers — the latter of which is removable, too, for those jobs when having bare touch helps out.
Alpinestars Engine Gloves
Bestowed with the same thoughtful design, solid materials, and quality construction that goes into the Italian brand’s motorcycle gear, Alpinestars’ Engine Gloves deliver a thoroughly modern take on the genre of mechanic gloves. This pair utilizes a breathable stretch fabric and mesh construction supplemented via synthetic suede palms and thumbs to provide adequate protection from busted up knuckles without coming at the expense of finger dexterity. Fully-compatible with touch-screens, this short cuff glove calls on a hook and loop wrist closure for a secure fit, as well as 2mm of foam padding on the fingers and advanced TPR-knuckle inserts for impact protection — not unlike Mechanix’ M-Pact gloves.
MCR Safety Forceflex FF2931 Mechanic Gloves
Benefitting from a host of advanced technologies and materials, MCR Safety’s ForceFlex FF2931 is a wildly sophisticated and robust glove. Built around a suede synthetic palm with a two-way spandex back and Hypermax lining, this glove features motorcycle gear-style D30 armor on the front and back of the hands, providing unparalleled levels of impact protection while also soaking up vibration. But it doesn’t end there, as these gloves boast ANSI Level 5 puncture and A5 cut protection. Other noteworthy elements include reinforced thumb crotches, and a special grid pattern on the palm and fingers for added grip, even in wet or oily conditions.
Sparco MECA RMG-7 Mechanic Glove
Arguably the most advanced dedicated mechanic glove on the market, Sparco’s MECA RMG-7 was developed by the noted Italian outfit in collaboration with the world-famous M-Sport and Aston Martin racing teams. The gloves feature internal seams — including a pre-curved, deviated seam between the index and thumb to lessen the likelihood of blisters — and FR silicone reinforcements on the back, wrists, and palms that protect against abrasion, impact, and even from extreme heat. And, like most of today’s latest and greatest auto racing helmets, these Sparco gloves are FIA-Homologated/certified. All of the fingertips are thoroughly reinforced, as well, ensuring this glove will stand up to years of abuse.
The 8 Best Mechanic Tool Sets
Mechanics gloves are incredibly helpful in the garage but are practically useless without a proper set of spanners to spin. And if you’re in need of a set of tools for wrenching, then be sure to check out our guide to the best mechanic tool sets.