Guide to Welding Gloves

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Identifying Type

Welding gloves typically break down as follows, in order of thickest to thinnest:

  • Stick
  • MIG
  • TIG

This is because stick welding requires no manipulation of filler metal or gun trigger but involves plenty of spatter; MIG welding requires gun trigger manipulation and involves some spatter; and TIG welding requires the most dexterity and has the least spatter.

These are conventions, not necessarily standards.

Recommended Purchases

Revco recently introduced an Anglefire "stick/MIG" glove, which adds to their existing TIG glove offering.

The overwhelming majority of MIG welding done at Asylum is done at under 150A. At such low current levels, a TIG glove is generally perfectly adequate, and some stick gloves are much too thick and cumbersome.

Some recommend these TIG gloves. Tillman's quality has gone down in recent years, and their sizing is less consistent than it once was, though these effects are observed least in their Onyx line. A TIG glove has the added benefit that it work great for, well, TIG, if and when you decide to learn that process (which you totally should). Plus, black leather gloves look cool.

Welding Glove Sizing

Take 10 seconds and measure your hand before buying welding gloves online. Life is too short for poorly-fitting gloves.

  • The Angelfire TIG gloves run small, at least in my limited sample size (n=1).
  • Sizing is not necessarily consistent between brands, or even between product lines--e.g. Angelfire sizing is different than Revco's other brands, and Tillman's Small is not the same as Revco's Small.
  • Most importantly, it's better to buy gloves that are slightly too large than slightly too small--leather shrinks when exposed to heat, so welding gloves tend to shrink over time.

Another Option

If TIG welding, the Asylum also has a large and regularly renewed supply of woven cloth gloves - lightly used for titanium, which requires regular glove changes to prevent contamination. These are fine for steel or aluminum welding at all but possibly the highest power settings. Skunk suggests these during his TIG classes. My limited experience is that they work pretty well. They are stretchy enough, and have different sizes in the bin, to fit a wide range of hand sizes. I found they gave me more "feel" for what I was doing than any of the leather gloves I've tried, and they give surprisingly good thermal protection, although care is still needed. Since the supply is regularly renewed, it is OK to throw out gloves that get excessively dirty or have holes.

I would not use these gloves for MIG welding. They might be OK for oxy-fuel (especially on the torch hand) or plasma cutting. As with any gloves, they should not be used with power tools like grinders, etc...

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