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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

When it comes to protecting your hands, do your work gloves actually work?

After all that epic stuff the last few weeks about buying/not buying Lotuses, then learning that I'm losing my five rented storage spaces, this week we're going to talk about something more simple. Gloves. For decades, I was a bare-handed do-it-yourselfer. I plunged my unsheathed skin into just about anything.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/the-hack-mechanic/when-it-comes-to-protecting-your-hands-do-yo...
84 REPLIES 84
PFCDexter
Pit Crew

A very helpful article for those of us who do use gloves.
Truax
Intermediate Driver

And drink coffee
Stradakat
Intermediate Driver

Yep, 6mil nitrile is how I roll. Can usually reuse them for several small jobs.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

As someone who loves to wrench on my own car, in recent years I have developed an allergy to oils and greases. My hands will often break out in small blisters, therefore I have come to rely on thick nitrile gloves when working on cars. I also reuse them, as long as I can, I can usually use the same pair for about 5 oil changes or more, so I try to be as conscious as I can about loading up the landfill. I do not just dispose of them after one use.
hyperv6
Racer

Just never used gloves. My hands over the years were so toughened up I could survive burns and many cut. Years ago no one wore gloves either. 


The only time now I use gloves is if I am using something like Por15 or something that will not come off.  Or on a rare occasion if I have to remove hot headers at a race. 

 

I don’t begrudge only one yo use them but I just work better with a direct touch. 

JTSpeedy
Pit Crew

Never ever liked the palm coated gloves, if I need a liquid-resistant glove it's gonna be all around, I can't stand diesel and gasoline soaking through the back.
90% of the time, I just use my padded Mechanix M-Pact fingerless gloves, they've saved my hands from a bench vise falling on them (long story), keep me from cutting my palms up, and leave my fingers to be dextrous (I know from experience you do NOT want a bolt falling into the supercharger on an A-26 Invader). If I really want to keep grease/oil off my hands I grab some heavy duty disposable gloves. I own some leather palm/synthetic back unpadded Mechanix full fingered gloves but I almost never use them.

Truax
Intermediate Driver

So what gloves do you recommend for drinking k-cup coffee?
Tomcat59
Intermediate Driver

For initial set up, a simple latex glove is recommended for positioning the brewer, opening the K cup box, and grabbing a mug.   At PVC coated waterproof cloth glove is recommended for filling the tank on the brewer with water.   Then, select the K cup using a disposable 5 - 8 mil nitrile glove and place in the brewer.   Initiate brewing bare handed so as to get proper tactile feel on the buttons.   Once the coffee is brewed, don welding gloves to protect hands from heat of the cup and remove the cup.   Remove and switch to PVC coated cloth and remove creamer from refrigerator. Add creamer to coffee.   Switch to a cloth jersey glove and stir the coffee.   Switch back to welding gloves and enjoy!  

DUB6
Specialist

Now that's funny!  😆

DUB6
Specialist

Now that's funny!

Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

Sometimes you have to barehand it like to start turning an oil filter and other times the glove goes on because otherwise I'm going to be coated in Oil. I hate the sweaty hands but I hate OIly hands more. Work gloves definitely have their applications too. It is a personal thing for sure.
Truax
Intermediate Driver

Rubber gloves are really great for getting a grip and removing oil filters!
Tinkerah
Engineer

The rain gutter on my garage drains into a 5 gallon bucket behind the garage that I use as a slop sink. Most of what I do is rusty so a douse in the bucket, a sprinkle of Boraxo, some hand wringing and a final rinse is perfect. Only if I'm facing something especially oily do I pull on cheap disposable gloves and when they tear, oh well - I suffer through a few oily fingers.
JonMiller
Intermediate Driver

I think my doctor uses blue 6mil gloves.
JSievers
Instructor

What's up with the "finger style" P-Grip glove photo? Isn't the urethane supposed to be on the palm side of the glove?
TimK
Detailer

I'll turn 72 next month and still have my hands in it. I'm in good health for my age, been earning money working on vehicles since 1966 making it full time work in 1971 and completing a 3 years apprenticeship in 1977. I pumped a lot of leaded gasoline during the first few years to the point doing it for a fleet my hands were grey from the lead not having time to wash until the morning rush was over. I've had my hands in all sorts of greases, oils, solvents and parts cleaners working in large fleets and flat rate. I still use the petroleum distillate solvent in my parts washer to clean the grease and then Dawn dish soap with no adverse effects. Of course when I shower at night I use a hand brush for a final cleaning. The skin on my hands is soft and pliable and when I get cuts or scrapes they never get infected. I actually had dry skin problems using cream hand cleaners. I have never used gloves while working except when handling wire rope or when working with sheet metal and I'm not going to start wearing them now. But I believe in freedom so if others want to wear them, that's up to them. However I do admit to wearing latex gloves for a short time only while servicing light sets and generators during a contract in Afghanistan only because there was no way to wash my hands in the field.
Panamericano
Pit Crew

I have SEVERAL types of gloves. Depends on the hazard, but they are all cheap insurance. Heavy Leather, lighter Mechanic gloves, Better Mechanic gloves with leather parts, Nitrile, Chemical handling heavy rubber gloves, Latex for small dirty, Glass Handling gloves for traction, Vibration gloves for bigger tools and maybe a couple I forgot. That's what 30+ years in the Safety business and free samples can do for you.
MustangJim
Technician

Man, after reading the comments here , I am a low life. I occasionally wear nitril gloves, if I have to do something messy and don't have a lot of time.. usually I just get my hands dirty. I do have protection gloves when doing exhaust work or something heavy and not delicate.. but can damage me. And, to make matters worse I use my Kurig K cup for a quick cup of coffee in the morning, not the best but better then instant. I guess I should be more aware.
As far as asbestos brakes, painting without a resperator, etc... glad we learned better. A lot of those guys died younger then they should have or would have if they knew better
TG
Technician

I have been a gloveless wrencher for many years. In my days of doing it professionally, I have learned how to keep the digits out of harm's way and how to scrub them up to respectable standards after the fact. Gloves get dirty and greasy while hands are washable - and I just can't live without the dexterity
Uniquecoaches03
Intermediate Driver

Big fan of the 3ml nitrite gloves.I restore cars for a living and these give me protection when using things like wax and grease remover or reducers, instead of soaking into my skin and attacking my liver. I spent years using bare naked fingers and they would crack,peel and bleed. Thin leather gloves for welding.stops the burn.
Duramaxriley
Intermediate Driver

I teach industrial maintenance, safety, and manufacturing. I have tested and looked at dozens and dozens of work gloves. These are the end all be all of work glove. I personally buy them and keep pairs in vehicles and tool boxes. They are Kevlar cut proof, abrasion resistant, and coated palms and fingers for greasy oily dirty messes. Ansell 11-931. Here's a link and description https://www.rshughes.com/p/Ansell-HyFlex-Intercept-11-931-Gray-9-Cut-Resistant-Gloves-ANSI-2-Cut-Res...

72stang
Pit Crew

I have found the 9 mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight ($21.99 for 50) to be the best for general work. They are sturdy enough for wrenching but thin enough to handle huts and bolts.
ZZZPR
Intermediate Driver

Surprised nobody has mentioned Dura Flock gloves. They're 8 mil nitrile with a fuzzy flocked coating inside. That helps solve the sweat problem by absorbing some of it. Not a total solution, but a lot better than regular nitrile gloves. Plus, the flocking allows them to slide on more easily. They also have an extra long cuff that extends the protection up the forearm somewhat.

My biggest problem with nitrile gloves is that the fingers are usually a bit too long, presumably to fit long-fingered people better. For the rest of us, that leaves a floppy "reservoir tip" that seriously hampers dexterity when doing fiddly jobs. I know that golf gloves are available in "cadet" sizes that have shorter fingers than their regular size counterparts. Has anybody heard of nitrile gloves that are sized that way? One would think that surgeons would need such gloves since dexterity is so critical for them, but I've never been able to find any at retail.
Jnick
Detailer

I work on a little tankship in the Far East, the Asian workers have now and have had for years the best solution to the glove situation namely knit cotton gloves. These gloves are not impervious to liquids, however they don’t impede dexterity, they keep the vast majority of liquid off your hands and fingernails, they are washable, and they offer some protection from cuts and burns not to mention they are dirt cheap,(at least in Korea). Some of the more expensive ones available from Grainger or McMaster Carr are even dipped in rubber, but still breathe through the back, try ‘em out you might become a believer too!
Ark-med
Detailer

Project Farm did a fairly interesting comparison test on work gloves, testing for grip, wear resistance, cut resistance:
https://youtu.be/rsFca4h_7L0
DaveP
Intermediate Driver

Just be careful with some gloves - especially cloth "work" gloves - when using any machinery (drill, grinder, etc) The glove can catch and pull your hand or fingers into the works (speaking from experience years ago when I was a young whipper snapper, who still can count to 10).
Oldsmobile1988
Intermediate Driver

Are we talking about protecting our hands from being demmised while working on our vechials?? Or drinking **bleep**y cups of coffee. I never use those Styrofoam cups but when it comes to protecting my skin then that's a different story.
Thanks for the information on where to order on line. At $4 Bucks a gallon I try to stay at home that in itself will have less of an impact on our fragile environment.
xrotaryguy
Pit Crew

I finally got tied of slicing my hands a few years back. I've decided that Mechanix gloves are my favorite. But you need something tougher as soon as you pick up a grinder.

Black nitrile is good as well but they still dissolve in brake fluid (doesn't everything).

Whether wearing breathable gloves or nitrile, I'm always careful to prevent holding chemicals against my skin, whether from a ripped nitrile glove that I didn't notice or from soaked Mechanix gloves.
scootertrash750
Pit Crew

Oh boo-hoo my hands got dirty. I am 79 yrs. old and I spent a lifetime building Cummins diesel engines of the 855 and 1000 cube type. If my hands got dirty i washed them in the parts washer. I am retired now but still wrenching. I am building a bb454 for my 82 silverado. I have had my hands into every kind of crud you can think of, if they get dirty i clean them with dawn dishwashing soap. worlds best handcleaner. I have used my hands for a hammer and my thumbnail is .004 thick, the amount of liner protrusion you want on a NTC 855. ( I do mic. it to be sure.) You can't wrench with gloves on. Gloves are for building a barbwire fence or keeping your hands warm in the cold. We are creating generations of babies. Down with wokeness! One more thing, Coffee out of a percolator Camels, and classic rock are a must!
Tomcat59
Intermediate Driver

I like your style.   Dawn is awesome stuff.   I'll pass on the Camels but with you on the classic rock! 

JBaguley
Intermediate Driver

While riding my bicycle a couple years ago, I came across a ripped open bag of around 100 black gloves that had fallen onto the road and been run over a couple times. I don't know where they originated, the specific material, or the thickness. But they are currently my favorites.
Waterboy1KHY80
Detailer

I do virtually all my own mechanic work (no painting) currently doing an LS / trans swap / upgrade. My brother has been in the auto-parts sales business for 30 years, he got tired of not having good mechanics gloves available (he does strictly commercial sales at a large chain now) so he personally went out and found some "good gloves" to sell his customers, and I started using them last year, they are still thin enough to give you feel and control for nuts / bolts, but take a beating and I have been pretty impressed. They are a multi-layer Nitrile glove black in color, and go by the name "Black Mamba" and come 130 to a box. When doing heavy work transmission / engine / tires handling etc, I still use a good ole pair of leather gloves, but I have been happy wrenching in the crud / solvents with these black mambas. The box says www.blackmambagloves.com Keep on wrenching!
DanJReed
New Driver

Side note:

Brake fluid will eat Nitrile gloves. It happens very slowly, but they will feel slimy and start to break down. They do offer good protection but absolutely get “thinned out” the longer they are exposed to brake fluid. Still better than on your skin.

I really prefer the fabric backed / thick Nitrile coated style. They last for weeks day in and day out, do a reasonable job at protecting your hands, and are affordable.

My current favorites are the ones made by Milwaukee. The fabric on those is very durable.

Worst gives are the “Mechanic” style, these are good gloves for “work”, like hand tool use, but not once they get soaked in a fluid, toast.

Fingerprints everywhere on everything, those chemicals now seeping into your hands. No thanks.


bba1
New Driver

Hey Rob,
It's nice to know that there are other fingerstyle guitar players, other than myself, who are also gearheads. When you use your fingers to play an instrument, a time comes when you realize that you need to maintain and protect the health of your hands. I've come to realize that folks that don't play guitar don't understand how it is. For years, I worked on my autos without protecting my fingers, and it wasn't until I sliced one of my fingers on my fretting hand open that I really considered gloves. I had a gig that evening, and fortunately, I was playing bass. I don't think I would have been able to fulfill that duty if I had been playing guitar. Your pic of your thumbnail sticking through the glove is familiar to me as well, and maintaining fingerpicking nails is another story in itself.

The Liberty P gloves look similar to the "Gorilla Grip" gloves that I often use, but I have not been able to find them in packs of more than 3 pairs in several year. So, I plan to try out the Liberty P-grips next time around. I use the thin nitrile at times, but those guitar nails cut through in a hurry. So, I'll probably try the thicker ones that you mentioned as well as the "Dura Flock" that someone else mentioned. Still enjoying working on my old Camaro as well as playing some Chet Atkins fingerstyle guitar. Thanks for the story, and keep on pickin'!
SAG
Instructor

Gloves, hello!
Remove any 'Rings'. 1st thing, unless you want to lose that finger in a bad situation.

Unless your working next to "hot exhaust" & your "On Track"?
? why deal with the issues.