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The 5 Best Work Gloves (2021 Review)

Every homeowner needs a pair of work gloves that they can wear while using power tools or potting plants. Read our review below to learn about the five best work gloves on the market. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Work Gloves

Work gloves protect your hands from blisters, puncture wounds, and soreness during a variety of home improvement projects. However, not every pair of gloves works for every task and each pair varies in terms of what material they’re made of and their intended use.

To help you determine what type of work gloves you need, the This Old House Reviews team researched some of the best work gloves on Amazon and tested them on factors like durability, protection, dexterity, and comfort. Read on to learn more.

Most Customizable: Mechanix Wear The Original Work Gloves

Mechanix Wear The Original Work Gloves

These gloves come in a variety of sizes and colors to fit the needs of every customer. They range from XXX-small to XXX-large and come in six colors. Regardless of the size or color you choose, you’ll get a pair of durable and breathable gloves made of mesh-like material on the back of the gloves and leather-like material on the palms.

Key Features

  • Made of synthetic leather
  • Ranges from XXX-small to XXX-large
  • Comes in black, blue, brown, gray, red, or yellow
  • Has a strap around the wrist

What Customers Are Saying

These work gloves have over 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon. Of those 5,000 reviews, 94% of customers have given the work gloves a 4- or 5-star review for an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.

Customers said these gloves worked well for light and medium tasks, like handling tools and gardening. They also said that the size chart that Mechanix provided was accurate. However, some customers said that holes developed around the seams after several uses.

Our Experience

Durability

These work gloves didn’t show any signs of wear after handling tools, brick, wood, and other materials. For the second part of the durability test, we washed the gloves on a gentle cycle in the clothes washer and let them air dry. After the test, they still looked like they had never been used.

Protection

After handling dirt with these gloves on, our hands were clean and none of the dirt made its way into the gloves. We also ran a knife over the gloves once they were off of our hands and it didn’t leave a mark, proving that the gloves protect against both debris and puncture wounds.

Dexterity

While we purchased a glove size that would normally fit our hands, the gloves we received were slightly too large. This affected our ability to move our hands and handle tools with them on.

Comfort

Our hands didn’t have any blisters or scratches on them after using the gloves, and they didn’t feel sore like they normally would have after doing manual labor.

Our Score

These gloves received full points for durability, protection, and comfort because they lasted during our tests and protected our hands from injury. However, we deducted a point for dexterity because the improper sizing affected their ease of use.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Durability 5/5
Protection 5/5
Dexterity 4/5
Comfort 5/5
Overall score 4.8/5

Most Versatile: Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

These Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves are thick enough to provide protection and flexible enough to accommodate movement. This balance makes them good, all-purpose gloves that can be used for everything from potting a plant and handling tools to lifting heavy machinery.

Key Features

  • Made of nylon, synthetic leather, and leather
  • Ranges from X-small to XX-large
  • Comes in a black color
  • Has a strap around the wrist
  • Features padding on the palms

What Customers Are Saying

With over 7,500 reviews on Amazon, this pair of work gloves has an average rating of 4.6 stars. Ninety percent of reviewers gave the gloves 4 or 5 stars. Customers liked these gloves because they had close to the same durability as pure leather ones, but they didn’t leave their hands hot and sweaty since they’re made of more breathable material. However, there were some customers that felt like the gloves couldn’t withstand constant, heavy-duty use.

Our Experience

Durability

After completing the durability tests and washing the gloves on a gentle cycle, the gloves looked the same as they did when we first started our tests, proving that they’re durable and can last for more than one use.

Protection

After handling dirt with these gloves, we removed the gloves to find dirt-free hands. We then took the gloves off and ran a knife over the palms, which didn’t leave any marks or cuts.

Dexterity

While the gloves felt fairly thin, they had extra padding on the palms that made our hands difficult to bend—this affected our ability to pick up and handle different objects like a hammer and pliers.

Comfort

After the tests, we noticed that our hands were free of scratches, blisters, and soreness.

Our Score

Like the Mechanix Wear gloves, these gloves received full points for durability, protection, and comfort and a one-point deduction for dexterity.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Durability 5/5
Protection 5/5
Dexterity 4/5
Comfort 5/5
Overall score 4.8/5

Best for Gardening: DEX FIT FN330 Nitrile Work Gloves

DEX FIT FN330 Nitrile Work Gloves

The main purpose of these gloves is to prevent your hands from getting dirty. The fabric material used is form-fitting and flexible, allowing you to bend your fingers and handle tools while you garden. The fingers and palms are also dipped in a latex coating for an extra layer of protection.

Key Features

  • Made of nylon, spandex, and rubber
  • Ranges from X-small to XX-large
  • Comes in a dark or light gray color
  • Features a rubber coating on the fingers and palms

What Customers Are Saying

With close to 5,000 reviews on Amazon, these work gloves have an average rating of 4.5 stars. Eighty-nine percent of the reviews were 4- or 5-star reviews, with the remaining 11% of reviews being distributed among 1, 2, and 3 stars.

Customers said these gloves were good at precision work and gripping because of the tight fit and rubber coating on the fingers and palms. Satisfied customers also said they could work a touchscreen with these gloves on and didn’t have to pause their projects to check their phones. Some unhappy customers said that the gloves fit tighter than expected, but that was easily remedied by purchasing a size up.

Our Experience

Durability

After using and washing the gloves, they looked just like they did when we first pulled them out of their package.

Protection

Our hands remained clean and free of dirt while wearing these gloves. However, a small puncture formed on one of the gloves when we ran a knife over them.

Dexterity

These gloves fit snugly around our hands, and it didn’t even feel like we had gloves on during the testing process. This made it easy for us to move our fingers and handle tools.

Comfort

After testing, we didn’t have any blisters or scratches on our hands, but our hands felt slightly sore after lifting the 2x4s.

Our Score

These gloves held up well considering they’re the thinnest ones in this review. However, we deducted points for protection and comfort because of the knife puncture and sore hands, which suggests that these gloves aren’t meant for heavy-duty projects.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Durability 5/5
Protection 4.5/5
Dexterity 5/5
Comfort 4.75/5
Overall score 4.8/5

Best Protection: Custom Leathercraft Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

Custom Leathercraft Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

These gloves offer the most protection compared to the other products in this review. While some of the other gloves are made out of leather or leather-like material, none of them match the thickness of this pair. These gloves also have extra padding on the fingers and palms to further protect your hands.

Key Features

  • Made of synthetic leather
  • Ranges from small to XX-large
  • Has a gray color
  • Features a strap around the wrist
  • Contains padding on the palms

What Customers Are Saying

These gloves are a customer favorite, with close to 11,000 reviews on Amazon. Eighty-five percent of customers gave this product 4- or 5-star reviews, accounting for the average rating of 4.4 stars.

Satisfied customers said these gloves were comfortable and soft to wear. While the gloves aren’t waterproof, they keep most moisture from reaching customers’ hands and quickly dried out. However, there were repeat customers who had bought these gloves in the past and said that the newer version wasn’t as durable as the older version.

Our Experience

Durability

Aside from some dirt on the exterior of the gloves, these gloves looked like they did when we first received them. After we put them through a wash cycle, they came out looking as good as new with no fraying or seams coming apart.

Protection

These gloves protected against debris and puncture wounds during testing. We didn’t notice any dirt inside of the gloves and the knife failed to slice the gloves open.

Dexterity

While these gloves fit our hands well, the thick pads on the fingers and palms affected our ability to handle tools during testing.

Comfort

Because of the extra padding on these gloves, our hands didn’t feel sore or have blisters or cuts after testing.

Our Score

The thick material used to make these gloves makes them comfortable to wear, helps them last for a long time, and protects against debris and puncture wounds. However, the thick material made it difficult to handle tools, which is why the gloves lost two points for dexterity.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Durability 5/5
Protection 5/5
Dexterity 3/5
Comfort 5/5
Overall score 4.5/5

Best Value: G & F Products Rubber Latex Work Gloves

G & F Products Rubber Latex Work Gloves

This product comes in a pack of 12, but it costs about the same as what one pair of the other gloves in this review costs. Additionally, the gloves are dipped in latex to help them last longer than one use, so you can use this pack of work gloves for months before needing to purchase more.

Key Features

  • Made of rubber and latex
  • Ranges from small to XX-large
  • Comes in a gray and blue color
  • Has a rubber coating on the fingers and palms

What Customers Are Saying

Eighty-six percent of the 5,000 customers that reviewed this product on Amazon gave it a rating of 4 or 5 stars, contributing to its average rating of 4.5 stars. Satisfied customers were pleased with how affordable this product was for the number of pairs that came in a pack and said one pair of gloves lasted several weeks. One common complaint was that the rubber coating on the gloves peeled or melted over time.

Our Experience

Durability

These gloves held up after being used during our testing and being washed, proving that they can be used more than once before having to switch to another pair in the pack.

Protection

We liked how these gloves went past our wrists. Not only did this keep dirt off of our hands, but it also prevented any dirt from getting on our forearms. During our knife test, the knife failed to cut through the rubber on the gloves, proving that the gloves can handle sharp objects.

Dexterity

The rubber on these gloves was thicker than the rubber lining on the DEX FIT ones, which made handling the tools and 2x4 difficult. Every time we bent our hands, the rubber wrinkled up in a funny way and made it awkward to use the tools during testing.

Comfort

The rubber coating on these gloves added an extra layer of protection and kept our hands from getting injured.

Our Score

This product received full points for durability, protection, and comfort, but it lost two points for dexterity because of its thick rubber coating that made handling tools a challenge.

Scorecard

Metric Score
Metric Score
Durability 5/5
Protection 5/5
Dexterity 3/5
Comfort 5/5
Overall score 4.5/5

Buying Guide

In addition to durability, protection, dexterity, and comfort, you’ll want to consider fit, grip, material, and designed use when looking for a pair of work gloves.

Fit

Work gloves often come in different sizes to fit a range of hand sizes. We recommend purchasing the size you usually wear for mittens. If the work gloves you’re eyeing come with a size chart, you can also measure your hand and choose the pair of gloves that best fits true to size before making a purchase.

Grip

The work gloves you choose shouldn’t hinder your ability to grip objects. If you’re going to be handling hand or power tools, look for gloves that have a rubber coating around the palms or on the fingertips. This will allow you to pick up tools without worrying about dropping them. If you’re doing demolition work or gardening, rubber coating isn’t as important.

Material

Work gloves are made of leather, Kevlar, cotton, or fabric. Leather works gloves are typically thick and durable, making them good for protection and longevity. However, they have limited dexterity because of their thickness.

Kevlar protects against cuts and extreme heat, offers some hand movement, and is semi-durable, making it a good option between leather and fabric. Cotton and fabric gloves are the most affordable, but they really only keep dirt off your hands, making them best for light tasks around the home like gardening.

Designed Use

Some work gloves are better suited for certain projects. For example, if you’re a welder and are exposed to extreme heat throughout the day, you’ll want a pair of Kevlar gloves. If you want gloves that are long-lasting and will protect your hands from a variety of tasks, you may want to consider investing in a pair of leather gloves. If you only plan on using your gloves to keep your hands clean, a pair of fabric gloves will suffice.

Review Standards

We started our search for work gloves on Amazon, paying particular attention to a product’s Amazon superlatives, like #1 Best Seller and Amazon’s Choice, Prime shipping eligibility, price, number of customer reviews, and average customer rating.

We then looked at glove-specific factors, like material and designed use, to help narrow down our options. From this research, we picked five products and tested them on the four metrics mentioned below.

Testing Metrics

To compare work gloves, we tested the products on durability, protection, dexterity, and comfort.

Durability

Work gloves should last more than one use and hold up against normal wear and tear. We recommend reading the product description before purchasing a pair of work gloves to ensure they’ll last a while. Additionally, pay attention to the wash instructions. If you improperly wash your gloves, like putting leather ones in a washing machine, you could wear them down faster.

Protection

Work gloves can be worn during a variety of home improvement tasks, including gardening, painting, and woodworking. For these tasks, your gloves should prevent injuries like cuts, punctures, burns, abrasions, and splinters while also keeping debris on the outside of the gloves.

Dexterity

Work gloves should be thick enough that they offer protection but flexible enough that you’re still able to perform tasks comfortably while wearing them.

Comfort

If you’re wearing work gloves for long periods of time, you’ll want to invest in a pair with a comfortable fit. Your pair of gloves shouldn’t give you blisters and should provide adequate cushioning to prevent soreness or tired hands.

Testing Process

We performed a variety of tests that allowed us to score each product on the metrics mentioned above.

Durability

To test how well the gloves held up against normal wear and tear, we carried 2x4s and handled different tools, including a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers. We then examined the gloves to determine if handling the items left any marks on them. After, we followed the instructions on how to wash them and determined how well the gloves held up against a single wash.

Protection

To determine how well the gloves protected our hands, our team performed two tests. First, we handled mulch and dirt for 10 minutes, took off the gloves, and determined if there was any debris on the inside of the gloves or on our hands. Once the gloves were off, we ran a knife over them to determine if a visible cut or puncture was made.

Dexterity

Our team tested dexterity by first putting the gloves on our hands and determining how easy it was to move our fingers. While wearing the gloves, we picked up tools like a hammer and screwdriver and performed a variety of tasks, like fastening screws and hammering nails, to determine how easy it was to use tools with the gloves on.

Comfort

After we performed the tests, we tested abrasion resistance by taking the gloves off and determining if there were any blisters or scratches on our hands. We also rated how sore our hands felt on a scale of 0–5.

Scoring

Each metric was rated on a scale of 0–5, with the final score being an average of all the metric scores.

Durability

Each durability test was worth 2.5 points. For the first test, we awarded full points to a pair of work gloves if we didn’t notice visible scratches or marks after handling the 2x4s and tools. If we noticed visible scratches or marks, we deducted points depending on how severe the scratches were. For the second test, we awarded full points to a pair of work gloves if it held up after a single wash. If the gloves showed signs of wear and tear, like fraying, we deducted points.

Protection

Each protection test was worth 2.5 points. For the first test, we deducted a point if we noticed dirt or debris on the inside of the gloves or on our hands. If there wasn’t debris or dirt inside of the gloves, we awarded the full 2.5 points. For the second test, we awarded 2.5 points to a pair of gloves if there weren’t any marks or cuts left by the knife. We deducted points if a visible cut or puncture was made.

Dexterity

In the first test, we awarded 2.5 points to a pair of gloves if it was easy to move our fingers while wearing them. We deducted points if it was difficult to move our fingers. In the second test, we awarded 2.5 points to a pair of gloves if it was easy to use a hammer and screwdriver while wearing them. We deducted points if it was difficult to perform tasks with those tools.

Comfort

If there weren’t any blisters or scrapes on our hands after performing the above tests, we awarded a pair of gloves 5 points for the first test. If we noticed blisters on our hands, we docked points. Additionally, we determined how sore our hands felt after wearing the gloves and rated that feeling on a scale of 0–5. The overall comfort score was an average of the two ratings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do work gloves cost?

There are three price points for work gloves:

  • $20 or less—In this price range, you’ll typically find fabric or disposable gloves. You’ll also find gloves made of synthetic materials that are meant to mimic leather gloves.
  • About $50—This is where you’ll find more tactical gloves that have reinforcements like knuckle and thumb guards.
  • About $100—Gloves in this price range are made of Kevlar or other flame-resistant materials. You can find some work gloves that also have a layer of leather for extra protection and durability.

What situations are work gloves good for?

Work gloves are useful for gardening, plumbing, construction, metalworking, carpentry, painting, and other projects, and they protect against the following:

  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Electricity
  • Chemicals
  • Cuts or punctures
  • Bruises or blisters

Can I buy work gloves in bulk?

Yes. In general, inexpensive, fabric work gloves come in a pack with two or more pairs. The DEX FIT and G & F Products work gloves in this review come with more than one pair.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.