LAST UPDATED: September 06, 2018

The Best Work Gloves (Review) in 2020

Best Choice clc 125m CLC 125M Flex Grip Work Gloves
Premium Pick mechanix Mechanix Wear The Original Black
Best Value seamless gloves G & F 15196L Seamless Work Gloves

Power tools, cutting blades, sharp edges and hazardous chemicals like motor oil and gasoline are all par for the course for home mechanics, and your hands can really pay the price.

Work gloves are a great way to protect your precious digits from all the things that want to do them harm. More than that though the best work gloves will offer the ideal mixture of protection whilst also allowing you to carry on working with minimal impact. In this guide we’re going to help you to find those ideal gloves. Trust us, your hands will thank you for this.

The Best Work Gloves

We’re kicking off our list with these gloves from CLC which are packed with useful features. First off the main construction material is of synthetic leather. This means they are bringing a number of the features of leather work gloves – toughness mixed with a high degree of dexterity – whilst also being moisture resistant, which is one of the big drawbacks for leather as a work glove material.

Speaking of dexterity, this is further enhanced by the provision of Lycra panels in the glove sides. This helps them stretch a bit more, providing a close but comfortable fit. The gloves are held in place by safe and secure wrist straps.

The gloves also have a decent level of internal padding. This helps to make them a good option if you are on the lookout for a pair of cold weather work gloves. They may be a little too thick for very fiddly jobs like changing out fuses or LEDS, but all in all these are very good quality work gloves.

Key Features
  • Synthetic Leather Construction
  • Cold Weather Insulation
  • Lycra Panels for Added Dexterity 
Specification
  • Brand CLC
  • Model 125M
  • Weight 3.04 Ounces
PROS

Won’t Shrink in Moisture

Secure Fit with Safe Wrist Strap

Strong, Tough and Protective

CONS

Too Thick for Very Small Detail Jobs

Our next gloves have a very interesting twin material construction. The body of the gloves are made of Nylon, with a Nitrile coating added to the inner palm and fingers. This combination gives you a pretty good mixture of protection and high flexibility and dexterity. If you need a glove that allows you to perform smaller, intricate jobs then this could be the one.

On the other hand (pun intended) don’t expect these gloves to provide much protection from, for example, tools or from the weather. This is very much a summer glove, with no internal padding. That does mean they are more breathable than winter gloves though, and should help keep your hands dry even during prolonged wear.

Still, for a good price you are get 6 pairs of gloves per pack. We’re no rocket scientiests or mathematicians, but that’s a very good value for the money.

Key Features
  • Seamless Construction
  • Nitrite Coated Palms 
Specification
  • Brand G&F
  • Model 15196L
  • Weight 4 Ounces
PROS

Great Value for Money

6 Pack of Gloves

Comfortable & Breathable

Very Flexible

CONS

No Padding for Cold Weather

First things first these gloves are not made of coyote skin. Boo. What you do have however are the perfect work gloves if you need to work on your car whilst it is parked in the middle of a war zone. That’s because whilst these gloves may sacrifice a degree of flexibility and dexterity compared to some others, they replace it with a very high level of protection.

You can see a lot of the protective measures in the image of the gloves. The big stand out is the knuckle protectors. Made of thermoplastic rubber, they are a godsend to anyone who has the habit of rapping their knuckles on bits of the car. There are also double layer protection points to the tips of the thumb and forefingers, and the palms have extra tough padding.

They are also very easy to clean too, a feature that should not be overlooked. Simply pop them into the washing machine and they come out as good as new. If you are looking for extremely practical, highly protective gloves these could be the ones for you. 

Key Features
  • Thermoplastic Rubber Knuckle Guard
  • Dual Layer Fingertips
  • Machine Washable
Specification
  • Brand Coyote
  • Model MPT-72-010
  • Weight 5 Ounces
PROS

Very Protective

Easy to Clean

Very, Very Tough

CONS

Very Thick

Not Made of Coyote

Our next entry comes from Wells Lamont who is bringing us out first pair of genuine leather work gloves. With a price point of a bit over 10 bucks, these gloves are excellent value for 100% genuine cowhide.

They are worn with a very simple wrist closure device that secures the gloves to your hands. The palms are reinforced with a strip of leather and the thumbs are an ergonomic keystone design. That’s really about it as far as features go, these are pretty simple work gloves really. Of course, when they are made of such a naturally awesome material as 100% cowhide, they don’t need to be bursting with features.

That’s because the leather itself is the big selling point. It’s extremely tough, very durable and surprisingly supple. Owing to that low price point, the leather is not treated in any way to provide any water repelling features – so do try not to get them too wet.

Key Features
  • 100% Leather
  • Simple Wrist Adjust Closure
  • High Abrasion
Specification
  • Brand Wells Lamont
  • Model 1132L
  • Weight 1.27 pounds
PROS

Tough and Long Lasting

Low Price for Genuine Leather

CONS

Ugliest Gloves Ever Made

Don’t Get Them Wet

From a very traditional design, we’re back to a more modern, heavy-duty work glove style. Again, it is the mixture of materials that are the stand out with this product. Nylon makes up 55% of the construction material and provides the body of the glove. This is backed up by synthetic leather, mainly on the palms and fingers, which brings the advantages of this material that we talked about earlier.

These are relatively tough gloves and Ironclad has worked hard to beef up the design where possible. So for example you will find that double stitching has been used at stress points like the fingers and around the palms.

There are some useful practical features too, including rubberized knuckle protectors and a secure wrist closure. There is no insulation however, so don’t expect them to keep you warm in winter. 

Key Features
  • Synthetic Leather & Nylon Construction
  • Double Stitched Palm & Fingers
  • Padded Inner Palm
  • Machine Washable
Specification
  • Brand Ironclad
  • Model GUG-04-L
  • Weight 3.2 Ounces
PROS

Tough Design

Easy to Clean

Good Material Mix

CONS

No Insulation for Winter Wear

If you are looking for a glove that provides more of a tactile feel, along with outstanding grip, then this product from G&F could be the one for you. What they have done here is to create a glove whose body is made of tough cotton and rubber composite. On the inside of the glove, so the palms, fingers and thumbs, they have added a Latex layer.

This is designed to provide a glove that is really well designed for allowing you to work almost as if you aren’t wearing them. The cotton and rubber blend is nice and flexible, whist the latex provides a lot of grip.  The knit is also pretty thick, so you do get a certain degree of protection from sharp objects and the elements.

There’s no actual insulation or padding though so this protection is pretty minimal. They will however help keep your hands clean when working on the car, whilst allowing you the dexterity to easily complete most jobs. They also come in a pack of 12 and are a great value too.

Key Features
  • Latex Coating
  • Cotton & Rubber Construction
Specification
  • Brand G&F
  • Model 3100L-DZ-Parent
  • Weight 1 Pound
PROS

Great Value for Money

Excellent Grip

Very Tactile

CONS

No Padding or Insulation

Very Bright Color

Not Waterproof

Quick question – what do mechanics wear? Well for over 20 years it has often been Mechanix Wear, and this glove here, as the name suggests, is The Original. This design has been around for a while, and is part of Mechnix Wear’s line up of specialized gloves.

These work gloves stand out due to its 100% Nylon construction. That is quite a departure from most other gloves on the market today, making these gloves something of a unique design. You see, on the one hand (ha ha) an all Nylon construction makes for a glove that is very tactile. This work glove is designed to allow you to do the smallest task easily – unscrew small bolts, switch speed on your power tools – and do all of that with almost the same ease as if you weren’t even wearing gloves.

The downside of this is the fact that they provide very little protection. There is no rubberized knuckle guard, there is no synthetic leather palm patches or double stitching. It’s very much a trade off, and if you need a pair of work gloves that still allow you to have a high degree of dexterity then you should definitely take a look at these bad boys.

Key Features
  • Designed for Mechanics
  • 100% Nylon Construction
Specification
  • Brand Mechanix Wear
  • Model MG-05-010
  • Weight 1.6 Ounces
PROS

Tried & Tested Design

Extremely Flexible

CONS

Not Cheap

Low Protection Levels

CLC Custom Leathercraft is a manufacturer who we’ve seen on quite a few lists here at Car Bibles. They have a reputation for producing top quality leatherwear items, though here they have chosen to work with synthetic leather with this model.

So the body of the gloves are synthetic leather, so they are both tough but also, unlike real leather, shrink resistant. That makes them easier to clean too, as well as being resistant to water damage. They are also very tough, with the leather present at all parts of the design considered high abrasion – so the fingers and the palms. That protects you but also makes for a glove that should be a little longer lasting.

They are also another design that includes Lycra and spandex panels along the sides. Again, this allows the gloves to stretch to meet your hand movements better, making for a design that is more dexterous. There is very limited padding inside, so whilst it provides good protection from abrasion, it does not guard against impacts very well. All in all, it’s a bit of lightweight heavy duty work glove, kind of a halfway design.

Key Features
  • Synthetic Leather Construction
  • Lycra and Spandex Panels
  • Elastic Cuff with Straps
Specification
  • Brand CLC Custom Leathercraft
  • Model 124X
  • Weight 1.15 Pounds
PROS

Shrink Resistant

Very Flexible

Great Design

CONS

Limited Internal Padding

Poor Grip

Our penultimate item, and we’ve had to wait this long for a Kevlar work glove. Saying that however is kind of unfair to this glove. Yes, it contains Kevlar, which is cool. But this is a very well thought out design that is packed with other features.

For example, the bulk of the glove is actually of leather construction. It is treated leather though, which resists shrinking from moisture contact. It’s fear of the water is leathers big let down as a glove material, so it’s great to see Ironclad tackle it here. In addition, they have a patented design to the fingertips that essentially rolls the material over them for extra tough reinforcement.

Speaking of reinforcement, that is where the Kevlar is deployed. You’ll find it in the fingertips and palm, the areas where it is most needed. Leather and Kevlar are of course going to combine for a glove that is extremely tough! The cuff is elasticized and made of softer material, helping to make the glove very flexible and also surprisingly lightweight given the high levels of leather and Kevlar used.

This is a premium glove with a premium price tag to boot, but you are getting a seriously well-designed work glove for your money here.

Key Features
  • Machine Washable
  • Patented Roll Top Fingertips
  • Kevlar Reinforcement
Specification
  • Brand Ironclad
  • Model RWG1-04-L
  • Weight 4 Ounces
PROS

Well Though Out Design

Great Mix of Protection and Dexterity

CONS

Expensive!

If you are the kind of person who needs a lot of pairs of work gloves, this value pack of five gives you plenty of protection for all manner of tasks including construction, gardening, and DIY work. The palms of the gloves are made of synthetic leather for added durability. But this also helps in terms of comfort as well, which is important if you are completing time-consuming tasks when you will be wearing the gloves for hours on end.

At the back of the gloves is stretchy spandex material to offer enhanced dexterity and plenty of breathability. Since you have five colors in the pack, you also have the option of keeping them separate for different tasks if you would like. When you want to wash the gloves, you can simply throw them in the machine, which means that they will be ready to go again in no time at all.

Key Features
  • Synthetic leather palm
  • Stretchy spandex back
  • 5-pack of gloves
Specification
  • Brand Vgo
  • Model AL8736P5-5C-L
  • Weight 8.5 ounces
PROS

Highly lightweight

Excellent dexterity

Machine washable

CONS

May not be suitable for ‘tougher construction tasks

Best Work Gloves Buying Guide & FAQ

That is our list of the best work gloves on the market today, and there is real variety on that list! This is mainly because there is a huge range of circumstances and environments that you may need gloves for, and each one will have different features. Heavy duty work gloves for example, will be better suited for different requirements – and so will have different features to leather work gloves.

In this section we’ll go over all the features of different styles and types of glove. We’ll also help you find the right material for you and also answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about work gloves.

You could say this is a very handy part of the article.

Get it?

best work gloves

What to Look For in the Best Work Gloves

Probably the biggest choice you will make will revolve around the material you select. Because this is so important, we go in depth a little more about this below.

  • Secure Fit: You don’t want the gloves to be flapping around and you certainly don’t want it to fall off and get lost somewhere in the engine block. Look for elasticized cuffs or, even better, button or Velcro sealed cuff straps.
  • Protection: Different glove designs will offer different levels of protection. The highest levels will be provided by thick gloves with tough materials like synthetic or real leather used in high abrasion areas.
  • Dexterity: At the same time, you don’t want to take your gloves off every time you need to do any task that requires more dexterity than swinging a hammer or holding a drill. Finding a middle ground between protection and dexterity is not easy, but it is important.
  • Easy Clean: A car can be a dirty environment to work on. Dirty gloves are going to be a pain so you do need to keep them clean. Choose a material or design that is easier to clean – especially ones that are specifically labeled as machine washable – and glove maintenance will be far easier.

Benefits of Using Work Gloves

To our minds there are to big reasons to wear work gloves, for protection and to improve your work.

Work Improvement

This mainly works on two fronts. Firstly the gloves will work to keep your hand comfortable, especially in colder weather. Now, some products work better as cold weather work gloves than others, and we’ve tired to highlight the ones with extra padding and insulation that are especially suited to that task.

The other way a good pair of work gloves helps is that it can increase your grip strength and endurance. That is helpful for using tools that require good grip pressure such as wrenches and spanners.

Protection

The other big benefit, and probably the main reason to wear gloves, is protection. Think about it, when you are working on your car, your hands are doing pretty much all the physical work, right? They are swinging tools, they are gripping dirty vehicle components and they are carrying heavy loads back and forth. It’s easy to damage them in these circumstances, whether a burn or abrasion, a laceration or a puncture. Gloves can be a useful protective layer between sharp and hot things and your delicate skin.

leather gloves

Choose the Right Work Glove Material

Work gloves are made of a range of materials, sometimes just one and often a mixture of many. The most common materials are:

  • Leather – Strong and supple and extremely protective against abrasion. Unless specially treated, they must be kept as dry as possible.
  • Synthetic Leather – Has a lot of the properties of real leather, whilst also being able to handle moisture a lot better. It’ll never be quite as tough as the real thing though, and it can lack grip.
  • Nylon – Mainly used for the body of a glove, with a tougher material like leather, synthetic leather or Terry cloth added for extra protection. Some gloves are made of all Nylon, and whilst they are very flexible and allow you to perform dexterous tasks like working on small components, they also provide only limited hand protection.

Best Work Gloves FAQ:

Q: How should I wash my work gloves?

A: Because the answer to this question broadly depends on the type of materials used in your gloves, the best advice we can give you is to read the label. Sorry, that’s not the most innovative answer, is it? But every material has a different washing cycle and temperature that will best suit it. We’ve also done our best to highlight products above that are machine washable, as they are of course going to be that bit easier to clean.

One material that you must take extra care with is leather, which requires it’s own cleaning routine.

Q: What are the most common hand injuries in the workplace?

A: By far the most common type of injury is laceration, which accounts for well over half of all workplace hand injuries. That’s true when we’re working on our cars too – how many injuries are because of a slip with a screwdriver blade or catching our hand on the sharp edge of a vehicle component or a tool?

Other common injuries include puncture wounds and burns and again, these are all injuries that can affect us when we are working on our vehicles. The other thing that they all have in common is that a good pair of safety gloves can go a long way to protecting against a lot of those injuries.

Now, we should note here that even the best pair of work gloves is not going to give you invulnerable, Superman hands. They will however provide a little extra protection, and many times that protection can be enough to minimize a potential injury and sometimes prevent it completely.

Q: What causes latex allergies and what can be done to prevent an allergic reaction to latex?

A: A latex allergy is an allergic reaction to the natural proteins found in Latex, which itself is made from rubber. Only about 1% of the US population has a latex allergy, but for those who do suffer from an allergy it can be an uncomfortable and debilitating condition. Typical allergic symptoms of a reaction can range from extremely itchy skin, all the way through to anaphylaxis. This potentially life-threatening condition can cause sufferers airways to swell, making breathing extremely difficult.

The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to latex is to simply stay away from it! The vast majority of the work gloves we looked at in our list are latex free, and those products that do contain this material are clearly labeled as such.

protective gloves

Our Top Pick 

It’s quite a hard task to pick the top product when it comes to work gloves. As we mentioned above, different gloves are better suited for different uses and situations, so it really does depend on the use that you have for them as to which will provide the features you need for that specific task.

To that end, we decided to give top pick to the gloves that were the best overall gloves with the widest use and that has to be the CLC 125M Flex Grip Work Gloves. They are very well built and designed for one thing, whilst also providing a great middle ground between heavy-duty protection and the dexterity to be useful in a range of situations. They are, to our mind, the best work gloves on the market today if you are looking for the glove that can be used in the widest variety of uses.

Sources:

  1. Hands – The New York Times
  2. How to Clean and Care for Leather Gloves – Hunker