Buying welding gloves might sound like a pretty simple thing to do but when it comes down for someone like me who’s worn a bunch of them over the last few decades their is a big difference in what what you get. When it comes down to it I think it’s well worth the time to take a good look before you buy a pair.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve found a lot of welding gloves just don’t hold up to the heat and stress of every day. Over time I’ve found that every glove at some point is going to fail whether its the seams coming apart or the gloves just not being insulated well enough. However, there are some welding gloves on the market I can recommend. My favorite gloves are the RAPCIPPA Leather Forge Welding Gloves.

I personally like these gloves because they have an extra layer of leather on the palm fingers and back of the glove and will stand temperatures up to 932 degrees. These are some awesome gloves.

A Welding Glove That Will Protect Your Hand

One of the most important functions of a welding glove is to protect your hand from the heat as you weld and with the extra layer of leather stitched on the back, palm and fingers it will hold up.

These gloves are rated to handle up to 932 degrees but I should point out that just because it says that does not mean you should necessarily do that.

I also like how comfortable these gloves are with the soft cotton lining and also does great for absorbing sweat.

Another positive is the price. I find for the price they aren’t cheap enough where the stitching will rip but not to costly to break the bank. I bought a lot of gloves over the years and most of them haven’t held up as great as this pair.

Finally, these gloves are 16 inches long which go a long way to protecting your forearms from getting burnt. A lot of my welds are typically close together and if your not paying attention you burn your arm real easy but these gloves tend to fix that issue.

3 Common Issues to Look For in Welding Gloves

However, I’m going, to be honest, you’re never going to find a welding glove that doesn’t have at least one or two issues. In fact, at some point, every welding glove is going to fail.

Whether its the stitches the heat or that they’re just plain worn out they won’t last forever. Below are 3 of the most common issues I find with most welding gloves.

#1 Stitching

One of the biggest issues I’ve found with most welding gloves is the stitching coming apart. For most gloves I find that right between your thumb and pointer finger tends to come apart the most.

This can happen for a lot of reasons. If you get the stitches hot it can melt the stitching. If you get them wet it can soften the leather and cause it to tare.

I find almost every type of stitching including Kevlar will come apart at some point but the real question is how long? I answer this in more detail below.

#2 Heat Protection

Next i heat protection and these gloves are rated to withstand 932 degree heat. Your typical welding glove will do 662 degrees. However this doesn’t mean that you can pick up a piece of metal at 932 degrees and hold it for long period of time.

I’ve also found that once a glove gets hot it will stay hot and take some time to cool down.

When it comes down to it these gloves are meant to protect your hands from the heat not to be held on it for long periods of time.

Typically what I find is that if you are right handed your left glove will take all the abuse when welding since it will be the closest to the heat and if you’re left handed vise versa.

This is because your right hand will be holding the welding gun and your left will usually be holding the front of the welding gun to steady it so you can lay a good bead.

Doing this for long periods of time will cause the leather to shrink and become deformed. Over time the glove will become harder and harder to wear.

In fact some welders will go through twice as many left gloves than right gloves because of this issue.

#3 Agility

Finally, the last issue is agility, being to easily and quickly with a bulky glove on your hand. I’ve found over the years that most gloves can be very stiff at first and will take some time to break in.

Usually this isn’t a big problem if you’re welding something bigger but if you’re welding small parts it may make it harder for you to hold them in place as you tact them.

I’ve used other gloves such as the Tillman 50XL gloves but I typically don’t recommend them since they don’t do as well withstanding the heat.

Brands of Welding Gloves

When it comes down to it there are a lot of different brands of welding gloves avaiable. Most of which I’ve tried . Below are several of the major brands avaliable.

  • RAPICCA is my go-to glove of choice for it double layer leather outside and high-temperature limits for solid protection and safety.
  • NKTM has a similar glove to the RAPICCA but doesn’t hold up as well.
  • Tillman has been a close second for me but I’ve just found them to be a bit more expensive for about the same quality.
  • Steiner is a brand I have yet to try but one thing I don’t like about them is that some of there gloves are fairly and will come all the way up to my elbow.
  • Miller is a high-quality brand and will certainly do the job but you will likely pay more than double for them if not more.
  • Lincoln Electric has quality pairs of gloves like the K2979-ALL but they don’t have the extra layer of leather like the ones I recommend.
  • Revco is another glove I haven’t tried yet but I do plan to. They look solid but some of there gloves are meant more for TIG welding and not MIG welding.
  • QeeLink – This glove is like most other gloves and will work for most situations but it doesn’t have the double layer protection but it does get higher marks for a more favorable price.
  • Caiman – I’ve had gloves similar to this brand but they are a bit more expensive and many of there gloves are meant more for TIG welding.
  • DEKO is a very plain and generic type of glove meant more for light duty work and not reenforced in the palms to protect your hands from the heat.

How Long Does a Pair of Welding Gloves Last

The big question on almost everyone’s mind is how long will pair of welding gloves last, and what I’ve found is that most pairs if used everyday will last anywhere from a month to two months or longer if you really take care of them.

What I’ve found from running my welding business is that some of my welders who use and abuse there stuff will typically only last a month.

Whereas others will take care of what they have and can make a pair of gloves last forever or at least until they get a hole in it or the seams come apart and cause them to get burnt.

If you don’t use your gloves very often then they’ll likely last you a year or longer.

In the end it all comes down to how you use them and who is using them.

How To Know if Your Welding Gloves are Rated Safe

The last thing most people what to know is if your gloves are certified safe and the great part of about them is that it’s stamped right on the glove. In fact the RAPICCA gloves meet three major requirements.

#1 EN 420:2003 covers basic general requirements such as length and size, the level of pH value and Chrome IV levels. Most importantly it shows that the glove is safe to wear and won’t cause injury.

#2 EN 388:2016 was created by the European Standard for Protective Gloves which tested in 3 major areas to see how well the gloves would uphold to a cutting, impact, and carry the symbol 4442cx

#3 EN 407:2004 was created to test if the gloves would meet requirement against thermal risk. This would include testing for fire properties, contact heat, connective heat, radiant heat, and small and large splashes of molten metal.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the RAPICCA gloves are probably rated as one of the safest well-made gloves at a fairly decent price.

Over the years I’ve used many different pairs of welding gloves and I will continue to test more gloves to see what else is out there but for now, this is the welding glove I recommend.

Side Note: Make sure to check back as I tend to update things as I gain more insight to the products I use.