Today’s guest post is by Mark Williams of John Tillman Co.
Trying to decide which Stick welding glove is right for you? When selecting a stick welding glove there are four important things to consider:
- What type of leather will work best for your project?
- How is it lined?
- What additional features are important to me?
- How much am I willing to spend?
Types of Stick Welding Glove Leather
Top Grain is the leather from the top layer of the hide and is the toughest and longest lasting. Because the surface of the leather is smooth, sparks and spatter generally roll off easier than with split leathers discussed below. These leathers are generally found in premium priced welding gloves. Top grain leathers are available in elkskin, cowhide, and pigskin. Elkskin is the softest and best for heat resistance; it also doesn’t harden as quickly due to its fiber structure. Cowhide is the toughest and most durable, and in many cases an “affordable” alternative to elkskin. Pigskin is naturally breathable and the best option for those who work in wet and oily welding conditions.
Cowhide Split Leather is the most popular and most affordable leather for stick welding gloves. Split leather comes in three grades: side, select shoulder, and standard shoulder. Side split comes from the side of the cow and has the least muscle fatigue, thereby making it the strongest. Select shoulder split comes from the shoulder of the cow. It’s not as strong as side split but is taken from the best of the shoulder area. Standard shoulder split is used for economy oriented welding glove models.
Lining- Insulation/Dexterity for Stick Welding Gloves
Wool lining offers the most heat protection for stick welding gloves. It’s designed for both higher heat and colder weather applications. Due to its thickness, dexterity is limited, and it is typically more expensive than other linings.
Cotton/foam lining consists of a cotton layer for moisture absorption, laminated to a foam layer for heat protection. Dexterity is still somewhat limited, but it’s usually the most popular choice for medium to higher heat stick welding applications because of its excellent value.
Cotton lining is the thinnest and its key feature is moisture absorption and to maximize dexterity.
Additional Stick Welding Glove Features
Kevlar® stitching compared to cotton stitching is one of the most important features for a welding glove. Kevlar® thread resists heat and is significantly stronger than standard cotton thread. This can be vital in maintaining the life of the glove. When sparks and spatter land on the stitching, cotton will burn immediately; Kevlar® will resist these elements, lasting longer.
A reinforced thumb area is designed to protect the glove from the wear and tear of handling torches and welding guns. Thumb straps can be single or double reinforced.
A pull strap is a small but convenient feature. This added piece of leather is sewn onto the base of the wrist, on the palm side of the glove, allowing an extra “pull point” when putting the glove on. It also gives the user an extra layer of leather to protect the glove while dragging a welding gun.
Welted fingers protect the stitching against burning and abrasion, lengthening the life of the glove.
How Much Should I Spend on Stick Welding Gloves?
Super premium gloves are typically made from top grain hides, lined with wool or cotton/foam, and loaded with key features, making them high quality gloves. These would be the highest price typically costing $15 and up.
Premium gloves are just a step under super premium gloves. They are made from side split leather and usually contain additional features. Many of these models can be found from $11-$15.
Standard gloves can vary in their insulation type and features, but generally they’re made of shoulder split leather. Pricing on these models runs between $8-$10.
Economy gloves are made with a budget in mind, so they are made of shoulder split leather, lined with cotton, use cotton thread, and stripped of most additional features. These welding gloves are typically priced in the $5-$7 range.
About Today’s Guest Blogger
Mark Williams, VP of Marketing John Tillman Co.
Mark Williams has been John Tillman Co.’s V. P. of Marketing for the past 12 years. During this time he has been involved in product development, product testing, key end user field application work, as well as distributor salesperson product training.