BLACK FRIDAY WELDING DEALS

Best Welding Gloves

Our hands are one of our most precious parts of our body. We use and depend on them more than we realize. Technically, opposable thumbs gave humans (among other primates) a real step ahead of the competition, evolutionary speaking, along with the opportunity to create and wield complex tools.

Needless to say, our hands need the best protection possible when engaging in potentially dangerous activities such as welding.

Welding can be hazardous and there are many health risks in this line of work. Our eyes can get affected by UV and IR radiation, our lungs can get damaged from the emission of fumes, and our skin can get burned from radiation, flying sparks, spatter, and hot, sharp pieces of metal.

Because our hands and forearms are most exposed to these hazards, a good, reliable pair of leather welding gloves is a must-have for any welder. Along with a welding helmet, they are the first piece of protection you must buy if you’re interested in this art form.

Best Welding Gloves

I will guide you through my picks for the best MIG/stick and TIG welding gloves. Bear in mind that these two types of gloves feature completely different designs, so different criteria must be fulfilled when choosing them.

There are different types of leather used for making welding gloves. Cowhide, deerskin, and pigskin are preferred for MIG and stick welding because they’re thick and provide protection from spatter.

Goatskin and horsehide are used for TIG welding gloves because they’re thinner and softer.

Best MIG/Stick Welding Gloves

Both MIG and stick are welding processes that disperse spatter. Spatter will burn through all types of fabric and even through thin leather. That’s why this type of gloves should be made of thick split leather that won’t let spatter burn through and get to your hands.

Another factor to look at when choosing the right pair of gloves for you is the length of the gloves. While most gloves are 13 to 16 inches long and only protect your lower forearm, you can also go for a pair that goes all the way up to your elbows. Before choosing the long type, keep in mind that this thick leather is unbearable in summer.

So, let’s take a look at my favorite work gloves that will protect your hands during the welding process.

Overall Best: RAPICCA – 16 Inch

I really believe this is the ideal length for a MIG/stick welding glove. It covers more than half of your forearm which is all you really need. This glove provides safety, comfort, and functionality when working.

The RAPICCA gloves have a reinforced second layer on the palm and fingers to protect you from sharp metal while remaining very flexible. They’re soft and easy to work with, yet sturdy and durable.

The cowhide makes these gloves very soft and breathable so they can be worn for hours, providing comfort all the while. Beneath the cowhide, there’s a layer of aluminum foil to protect your hands from the heat. The inside is lined with a breathable layer of soft cotton.

A great feature these gloves possess is the color. The fact that they’re blue and yellow will make them stand out in your shop so you can easily spot them whenever you forget where you dropped them.

The biggest drawback of this pair is that it’s “one size fits all”. If you have small hands, they’ll probably be too big. I’ve also come across complaints about the stitches breaking. The stitching is actually made from Kevlar thread so it’s very durable and heat resistant. Nevertheless, the stitching will break eventually because it’s constantly exposed to sparks, extreme heat, and sharp metal.

Some welders have complained about the lining coming out when they take the gloves off, but these are isolated cases and they probably just received a faulty pair. In such cases, you can contact the seller and possibly send the pair back in exchange for a new one.

To sum it up, if you have medium or large-sized hands and work with MIG or stick welding, I would recommend these gloves.

Pros:

  • Durable and backed by a return policy;
  • Comfortable and breathable;
  • High-quality design (cowhide and cotton);
  • Ideal for medium-sized and large hands;
  • The bright-colored design will allow you to spot them easily.


Cons:

  • Some concerns about the durability of the stitches;
  • In rare cases, the inner lining may come off;
  • Not suitable for smaller hands.

Runner Up: Revco – GM1611

Although in my opinion, the cuffs are a bit short for MIG welding gloves, the rest of this glove was very well designed. The Revco GM1611s provide protection where it’s most needed, yet remain soft and flexible.

The way the reinforcing patches are designed is very clever and ergonomic. There’s one on the index finger, on the thumb, and one on the palm, which is very useful for grabbing sharp or warm metal. The patches, cuffs, and backside of the gloves are made from split cowhide, while the rest of the gloves is made from top grain leather to keep them soft and flexible.

This pair of gloves includes 2 more clever features: a slide patch on the side and a rest patch for the wrist. The glide patch is very useful for when you’re sliding your hand on the surface you’re welding. The rest patch is designed to decrease the strain on your wrist when you have to weld horizontally for long periods at a time.

All of the stitching on the Revco gloves are made from Kevlar so they are very durable. The fact they have a soft cotton lining inside makes them very comfortable and breathable but not bulky. The best part about this pair of welding gloves is that you can choose a size between small and XXL.

There’s nothing wrong with this pair other than the usual issues that may come up with welding gloves. Stuff like stitches tearing after a while or the inside lining coming off, but this probably won’t happen immediately. Some users have noticed that they aren’t too good for heavy-duty construction use, but that makes sense because that’s not what they’re designed for anyway.

Honestly, there isn’t a single pair of gloves that will last more than a few months, so don’t expect your gloves to last forever when you constantly expose them to extreme heat, sparks, and spatter. The Revco 1611 is a pair of gloves that’s ideal for stick and MIG welding.

Pros:

  • Reinforced in all the right places;
  • Comfortable and breathable;
  • Different sizes to choose from;
  • Bright color design will allow you to spot them easily;
  • Durable Kevlar stitching.


Cons:

  • Some concerns about the durability of the stitches;
  • In very rare cases, the inner lining may come off.

Most Budget-Friendly: Lincoln Electric – K2979

Just like the Revco, these Lincoln Electric MIG welding gloves are a bit too short for my taste. It has a very straightforward design (except for the flames), but it’s quite enough.

Made from heat-resistant, split cowhide, this pair of welding gloves is super comfortable and flexible. The inside is lined with cotton to provide heat resistance and breathability, while the cuffs are lined with cotton twill to absorb moisture from your hand and wrist.

The entire stitching is made from Kevlar thread for durability. For extra reinforcement, the seams are made from leather so they won’t rip easily even if you tried. There’s also a reinforced leather patch around the thumb to prevent ripping and increase the thumb’s mobility. Simple, yet practical.

The biggest drawback of this Lincoln Electric pair of gloves is also the most common one when it comes to MIG/stick welding gloves: “one size fits all”. No, it doesn’t. More than a few welders have complained that the gloves are too big. There are also a few that have complained about the glove being too tight. So this could be the right pair for you only if you have medium or large hands.

Some users have complained about inconsistency in manufacturing. Some have reported that one glove is stiffer than the other, others have reported the inside lining ripping off after a few days of mild use. Lincoln Electric is a serious brand name and should take these complaints very seriously.

The silver lining is that if something like this occurs, you can contact the seller and they might send out a new pair.

Pros:

  • Very cool design;
  • Comfortable and breathable;
  • Kevlar stitching;
  • Durable and backed by a return policy;
  • Super affordable.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for small or XL hands;
  • Inconsistent manufacturing.

Best Design: Caiman – 1878-5, 21 inch

Caiman has put serious thought into designing these gloves: they are ergonomic and comfortable, and they provide all-around protection and dexterity at the same time. The fact that they’re so long makes them ideal for pipe and overhead welding.

The palm is made from deerskin while the reinforced patches and cuffs are made from boarhide. The patches are used on the backside of the hand, the inside of the index finger, and the outer side of the pinky, so they cover the most crucial spots without decreasing dexterity. The fingertips are reinforced with Kevlar stitching.

There’s a little belt for tightening near the end of the cuffs to prevent sparks and spatter from entering the glove and burning your arm. The cuffs are designed to adapt to the natural curvature of your arm and provide great mobility. The inside is lined with cotton for heat resistance and for absorbing moisture.

The reason I said the Rapiccas have an ideal length for MIG/stick welding is because they cover most of your forearm, which is usually enough. Wearing leather gloves can get annoying very quickly because of the heat and sweat. With Caiman’s 21” gloves your entire forearm will probably be soaking in sweat after a couple of hours. In the summertime, I would never wear gloves this long.

A few welders have also complained about the durability of these gloves. Some of them have reported the gloves to tear apart after only a few days. Of course, as I’ve said before, they can’t last forever, but a good quality glove should last at least several weeks before ripping open.

And of course, the usual problem, “one size fits all”. Caiman does also offer a large size, but both are too big for people with smaller hands and too small for those with extra-large hands.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic design;
  • Ideal for pipe and overhead welding;
  • Kevlar stitching.

Cons:

  • Too long for summertime;
  • Not suitable for small or XL hands.
  • Questionable durability.

Best Protection: Steiner – 21923-L

With 23 inches, these Steiner welding leather gloves will cover your entire forearms and about half of your biceps. Although I believe this is a bit too much, some people just prefer serious protection and don’t mind getting too hot in the leather.

Unlike the Caimans, these gloves are made from split cowhide which makes them quite a bit thicker but softer. Even though the design of these gloves is very simplistic, they work great. The fact that the leather is soft means it’s also very flexible so your hands and arms can move freely.

There’s a reinforcing leather patch around the thumb to increase the durability of a spot that is usually the first to rip open. All of the seams are also reinforced with high-grade leather to extend the life of the gloves. The backside of the hand features foam under the leather for insulation and the entire glove is lined with breathable cotton to increase comfort.

However, some welders have complained about stitches breaking after a few weeks. The thread is not made from Kevlar, so constant exposure to heat and sparks will take its toll. And if only a few stitches on your hand rip apart, you would still have to throw away the whole glove. Quite a waste, if you ask me. Perhaps you can turn them into welding sleeves?

These particular MIG and stick welding gloves are a size L. However, I can’t find a different size on Amazon, so I guess they are sold as “one size fits all”.

Pros:

  • Full arm protection;
  • Soft and comfortable;
  • Insulating foam on the backside.

Cons:

  • Stitching is not from Kevlar;
  • One size fits all;
  • Too hot for summer.

Best TIG Welding Gloves

TIG welding is a process that requires a lot of dexterity, skill, and precision, and therefore, the gloves should be thinner to provide your hands with greater mobility. Goatskin is the preferred leather used for TIG welding gloves for two reasons.

Cowhide tends to harden when exposed to heat so it will limit the mobility of your hand. However, the cuffs can still be made from thicker leather-like pigskin or cowhide.

Another reason is that goatskin is thinner and softer, so it can provide a more “gloveless” feel and allow you to make a strong, exact, and aesthetically pleasing weld.

Overall Best: DeWalt – DXMF03051

This is by far the best-designed welding glove out of my picks on this list. DeWalt advertises these as “premium TIG welding gloves” and they’re worthy of that title.

First of all, they look amazing, and although the fabric used for the top side of the gloves and cuffs doesn’t look like much, it’s actually heat and flame-resistant so your hands will be safe. The long cuffs include a velcro strap for an adjustable fit to make sure they don’t slide down. The wrists are elastic, sewn for a snug fit.

Unlike the rest of the TIG gloves which use goatskin, DeWalt’s gloves are made from grade-A buffalo leather for greater abrasion resistance, but without sacrificing mobility. The most vulnerable spots, like the thumb saddle and side of the hand, are reinforced with an extra layer of the same tough leather to extend the gloves’ longevity.

The palm is also double layered to give you extra protection when grabbing sharp objects, but it doesn’t affect your dexterity. To really maximize mobility, the index finger is seamless. Everything is sewn together with resilient Kevlar thread to make this glove close to perfect. The fact that you can choose a size between S to XXXL means you can find the right fit for your hands.

On the wrist of the glove there’s a stamp that says “Guaranteed Tough”, and I can vouch for that. DeWalt is one of the biggest brands in the business, and this product is proof of why that is. The price is the only issue I have with these welding gloves, but if they are as durable as they appear, then they’re worth every cent.

Pros:

  • Breathable, flame resistant fabric;
  • Very strong and durable grade-A buffalo leather;
  • Reinforced in all the right places;
  • Adjustable fit;
  • Wide size range.

Cons:

  • Pricey.

Runner Up: Lincoln Electric – K2983

Although I prefer the Tillman - 1338, the shop owner where I worked swears this is the best pair of TIG welding gloves you can get. Let’s see why this is the favorite for some welders.

They may seem similar to the Tillmans, but more thought was put into designing these. Even though both pairs are made from top grain goatskin, with 4” cowhide cuffs, the Lincoln Electric K2983s have reinforced palms suitable for grabbing metal pieces.

Lincoln Electric has implemented a great feature for these gloves: three different finger pieces. The thumb is sewn separately, the index finger is sewn separately, and the last three fingers are also a separate piece. This really improves mobility in your thumb and index finger, which are the most used digits in TIG welding.

As reinforcement, the fingertips have an extra layer of leather on the outer side with stitching made from Kevlar. The top part of the glove has a cotton lining for heat protection from the arc, while the backside is left without lining for improved dexterity. The outer side of the welding glove has a gliding patch similar to the padding on the palm.

When you don’t have much experience with TIG welding, you want to feel gloveless because of how precise this type of work is. This pair of welding gloves may be a bit too bulky if you’re a newbie to TIG welding, but for the more experienced welder, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Some welders have reported the top hand lining coming off after only a few days of use, others have complained about the stitching ripping apart way too quickly. However, it appears that these cases occur very rarely, so they are probably manufacturing mistakes for a specific pair, and not an issue with the product in general.

A lot of people seem to complain about the size though, they appear to always be a size smaller than advertised, so keep this in mind before choosing the size. Unfortunately, if you have extra-large hands, no size will be right for you.

Pros:

  • Reinforced palm and fingertips;
  • Sturdy but flexible;
  • Top hand lining for heat resistance.

Cons:

  • A bit bulky;
  • Inconsistent quality.

Most Budget-Friendly: Tillman – 1338

This is my top pick for TIG welding gloves for more than one reason. They are very affordable, super comfortable, and no other pair of welding gloves will make you feel as “gloveless” as these.

The top grain goatskin used for this pair of welding gloves is top class. It’s as smooth as it gets and extremely light. For the cuffs though, Tillman uses split cowhide for extra protection in case you lean your wrist against a hot surface, which is a pretty common mistake. There’s also a glide patch on the outer side of the gloves for sliding your hand on the surface when welding.

This is the lightest pair of TIG welding gloves I’ve ever owned and I promise you, you can forget you’re wearing gloves. They are designed for a snug fit so if you get the right size, they will feel like surgeon’s gloves.

The fact that the glove is reinforced around the thumb, and the entire stitching is made from Kevlar thread, means they are more durable than they first may appear.

However, they have a big drawback: there’s no inside lining so you can’t grab anything hot with them. Your index finger could also get too hot from the arc, so a specialized TIG fingertip might be the next product to look for if you decide to go with this pair of TIG welding gloves.

Top grain goatskin is extremely thin, so these gloves could tear open from the first sharp object you grab. I alone have sliced through more than one pair, but if your job doesn’t require you to grab sharp metal pieces, you should be fine with these.

Overall, this is a great pair of gloves for TIG welding, but should not be used as an all-around pair for work around the shop. For that purpose, you need something that’s more heavy-duty.

Pros:

  • Super light and soft;
  • Reinforced thumb and a glide patch;
  • Perfect for professional TIG welders;
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • No inside lining;
  • Not good for other work around the shop.

Best Quality: Defiant Metal – TIG welding gloves

There isn’t much difference between these gloves and the Tillman – 1338s. They’re both made from goatskin with cowhide cuffs. The biggest difference is actually in the price.

The top grain goatskin is super thin and soft to provide a gloveless feel and maximum dexterity. However, they are reinforced in the most critical spots. There’s an extra layer of leather around the thumb, and there’s a padded glide patch on the outer side of the glove.

These TIG welding gloves are double stitched all around with Kevlar thread for extra reinforcement. The thumb, fingers, and palm are all different pieces of leather that have been sewn together to provide mobility in all five digits but remain snug.

The 4” cuffs are made from thick, split cowhide for protection from heat and sharp objects in case you need to rest your wrists against the surface when welding.

The only drawback of this pair of gloves is that because there’s no inside lining, they’re not very heat resistant so your fingers will get too hot from the arc when performing longer welds. But that can be solved by getting a special TIG fingertip. Another drawback is that this pair is a bit more expensive than the Tillmans.

Pros:

  • Super light and soft;
  • Reinforced thumb and glide patch.

Cons:

  • No inside lining;
  • A bit pricey.

Most Ergonomic Design: Miller – 263349

When you see “Miller” on a welding product, you always expect quality, and this pair of welding gloves does not disappoint.

Although at first glance they don’t look much different from the Lincoln Electric pair, these gloves are designed to provide a more ergonomic fit. The seams are very thin and don’t affect the dexterity at all. They are also less bulky than the Lincolns, which I really like, because that was their biggest disadvantage.

The glove is made of top grain goatskin with split cowhide cuffs, which seems to be the right recipe for a good pair of TIG welding gloves. Even though there’s no inside lining, the palm is padded to provide a firmer grip and better protection when you have to grab a sharp or warm piece of metal. There’s also some extra padding on the side of the glove for the glide patch.

Like most welding gloves, these Miller gloves feature Kevlar stitching for extra durability.

But not everything about their design is perfect: the thumb can be too tight even if the rest of the glove fits perfectly. Along with the index finger, the thumb is the most used digit when welding, so this can be a big issue. Of course, it’s possible that the top grain leather loosens up after a while, but by then the rest of the glove may wear out.

The biggest issue I have with these welding gloves is the price. They cost twice as much as the Tillman – 1338s, but I doubt they’ll last twice as long.

Pros:

  • Soft and comfortable;
  • Reinforced palm;
  • Very ergonomic.

Cons:

  • Thumb may be too tight;
  • A bit expensive.

Best Gloves: Conclusion

That was a lot of information to process. Let’s quickly go through my favorite picks.

I chose the Rapicca - 16” as the overall best MIG/stick welding pair of welding gloves for a few reasons. For me, they’re the perfect length for this type of welding, they’re very sturdy, and well worth the price.

If you’re looking for something to protect your whole arm, the Steiner - 21923 would be the perfect pair for you. They’re completely made from split cowhide which is very durable but breathable. The only issue about them is the fact that the stitching is not from Kevlar thread.

The lightest pair of TIG welding gloves is the Tillman - 1338s, and it’s also my favorite pair of gloves that I’ve used. No other glove will make your hands feel as gloveless as these. Unfortunately, they do let heat through, so they’re not great for longer welds. The Lincoln Electric K2983 are a close second because they’re a bit bulky for my taste.

DeWalt's TIG welding gloves are by far the most impressive gloves on this list. The thought and quality that was put into designing these are unbelievable and if they last as long as they seem to, I’d really give them a shot.

How to Choose the Best Welding Gloves: A Buyer’s Guide

Stitching

Although the glove is made from leather, the stitching isn’t. For this reason, the stitching is usually made from kevlar or a similar fiber that can withstand heat. Even with strong fibers like kevlar, however, the stitching is still the first thing to rip on a glove.

Insulation

The most common fabrics used for insulation are cotton, wool, and fleece. Cotton is very soft and improves mobility, but it’s not that good of a heat insulator, unlike wool. Because fleece is made from polyester, it will make your hands sweat without absorbing any of the moisture.

Size

It’s a sad thing that most welding gloves are made as “one size fits all”. Even two men with a similar height can have very different-sized hands. Because welding takes precision, you want a snug fit for your gloves. If you happen to have smaller hands, look for a product where you can choose the size.

The length of the cuffs is another size factor when choosing a pair of gloves. You could go with a regular, 4-6” cuff or a long one that covers your entire forearm. Personally, I can’t stand the long ones because I get too hot in them. If you already have a welding jacket or just leather sleeves, then you’ll be fine with shorter cuffs.

Dexterity

As I’ve mentioned before, welding is an art form, and to make a better art piece, you need your hands to be able to move more freely and precisely. That’s why your gloves have to be soft and flexible.

Price

Due to the fact that most welding gloves won’t last more than a couple of months of heavy use, not everyone can afford the highest-grade gloves. Of course, the more carefully you use them, the longer they’ll last, but this is not an easy task when you work with extreme heat and sharp objects.

FAQ

How long should a pair of welding gloves last?

Depending on how much time you actually spend welding, your gloves can last between a couple of weeks up to a few months. Heavy use that involves handling sharp objects all the time will result in your gloves ripping apart very quickly.

Professional welders usually get prepared pieces of metal and only use their hands for welding without actually grabbing and holding sharp edges. This way, the gloves may last up to 3 or 4 months.

What is the difference between TIG and MIG welding gloves?

As I said before, MIG and stick welding gloves need to be thicker and provide protection from spatter. This also makes them better at handling sharp metals.

TIG welding requires more dexterity in the hands. For this reason, thinner, softer, leather-like goatskin is used, but they will rip quicker with heavier use.

Are welding gloves electrically insulated?

Leather welding gloves do not conduct electricity, which technically means that they are electrically insulated. Additionally, they also protect you from UV and IR radiation. Some include an aluminum lining for extra protection from radiation.

What temperature can welding gloves withstand?

Most welding gloves can withstand anywhere from 500 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


About Pierre Young

Photo of author
Hey, I'm Pierre Young a qualified AWS Certified Welder. I got into welding in 2009 as a side hustle. Ever since then, I've been doing all kinds of welds - both for business and pleasure. While immersing myself in this wonderful hobby, I've learned from hands-on experience what welding gear works and what doesn't. Welding Headquarters is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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