Whether on the job or taking care of chores, everybody who relies on their hands to get the job done knows gloves matter. It’s key to find a pair that is durable, comfortable and reliable.
But every job - and every hand - is a little different. The variety of gloves available reflect this. Gloves differ by material, fit, style and added safety features.
With so many choices available out there, how do you find the right gloves? Use this guide to find the best work gloves.
Know which glove material is best for your work
Work gloves come in many different material types. Each material has its own properties that make it more suitable than others for specific tasks.
The most common glove materials are leather, cotton, latex, canvas and metal mesh. And there are plenty more, too.
Construction, landscaping, woodworking, electrical or serious yard workers should choose a highly durable glove material, such as leather.
Full leather gloves are tough. They also can protect against abrasions, as well as some cuts and punctures. You can also find gloves that feature leather palms but incorporate other materials to cover other parts of the hand, adding a little more flexibility.
For lighter yard work, or when working concrete, HVAC and roofing projects, you can choose a lighter, breathable glove material, such as canvas, cotton, jersey or fabric. Canvas gloves prevent blistering. Cotton, jersey or fabric gloves have good grip and can protect your hands from hot or cold temperatures.
If you’re working with chemicals, food or medical items, latex gloves are commonly a go-to. They’re also good for painting.
However, if you’re allergic to latex, there are other material options, including rubber, PVC, neoprene and vinyl.
Should chemical resistance be the primary concern, PVC, neoprene and nitrile gloves work well.
Find the right size for maximum comfort
A glove that doesn’t fit well is more hassle than they’re worth. So, once you have identified the best material, make sure to find your glove size.
To do this, use a tape measure to find the width of your palm. On your dominant hand, measure around the fullest area of the palm. Then, measure from the middle finger tip to the base of your hand.
Take the largest of those measurements. That’s your glove size.
Here are typical men’s work glove sizes:
- Small: 7-7.5 inches
- Medium: 8-8.5 inches
- Large: 9-9.5 inches
- XL: 10-10.5 inches
- XXL: 11-11.5 inches
And here are women’s work gloves sizes:
- XS: 6-6.5 inches
- Small: 6.5-7 inches
- Medium: 7-7.5 inches
- Large: 7.5-8 inches
- XL: 8-8.5 inches
- XXL: 8.5-9 inches
These sizes are typical for many brands, however, some glove manufacturer’s sizes may vary.
Pick gloves that aren’t a pain to work with
Some jobs require gloves that are versatile in how and when they’re used. Industries where hands are used heavily but under many different circumstances - and using many different tools - need gloves that can do a lot.
Make sure you find a pair of gloves that fit your hands no matter what you are doing. Gloves that offer greater sensitivity, excellent grip and flexibility can also be incredibly strong, long-lasting and affordable.
If that sounds like the type of glove you’re looking for, then Ripit Gloves could be the perfect fit to help you tackle your next project.
Keep an eye out for wear and tear
No matter the glove, wear and tear happens. No glove lasts forever.
Even the best work gloves can break down over time, especially if they’re used frequently in demanding conditions.
When your gloves suffer punctures, tears or simply stop fitting well, it’s time to find a replacement.
Some glove materials, including latex and nitrile, are meant only for single uses. That’s because they are not designed to protect against chemicals and other sensitive materials long-term. Not only can these gloves break down and become ineffective in protecting your hands if worn too long, but also the materials typically handled while wearing these glove types shouldn’t be mixed or have cross-contamination concerns.
Take care of your work gloves
When you have found a great pair of work gloves, you know it. They fit well, your hands have the right amount of moveability and you aren’t overly worried about exposing your skin to harmful chemicals or painful cuts.
If you aren’t careful, though, those gloves won’t last as long as they should. You need to know how to take care of and clean your work gloves to get the most out of them.
Many people make the unfortunate mistake of letting their work gloves sit dirty between projects and jobs. That is a really great way to decrease the lifespan - and quality - of your gloves.
With knit and cotton gloves, as soon as the job is done, pre-wash them with under a hose. Knit gloves can then be put in the washing machine and washed with warm water. They can also be tumble dried in the dryer.
Cotton gloves, on the other hand, can be washed with cool water in the washing machine and should be hung up to dry to prevent shrinking.
Rubber, nitrile, neoprene and PVC gloves should be washed with soap and water before taking them off your hands. Hang them up to dry and be sure to wash your hands, too, especially after working with chemicals.
Leather gloves are a different beast. You can rinse them off using cold water, but make sure to use a soap meant for washing leather, such as saddle soap. Don’t wring out leather gloves; lay them out to dry. When dry, store the gloves in a cool, dry place that doesn’t get sunlight.
Check out Ripit Gloves to find your favorite
Ripit Gloves are designed for people who rely on their hands to accomplish a wide variety of projects. They’re affordable, super-sensitive, super-gripping and are ready to work just as hard as you do.
If you are ready to find your favorite new pair of gloves, check out our gloves that are built to help you get the job done.