Introduction to Gloves

In an earlier post I made a point of how daunting it can be to look at the sheer variety of safety products available on sites like ours. Our work gloves category features 689 products. The first time I saw it I thought “how can there be that many different kinds of gloves.” Oh, but there are. There are so many gloves. For every task in the labor world that you don’t want to do with bare hands, there’s a glove precision-engineered for that particular application. There’s gloves for welding, labwork, construction, lumber yards, oil rigs, truck driving (those steering wheels can cause wicked blisters), gloves for extreme heat, for extreme cold, dry environments, wet environments. Any work situation you can think of, there’s probably a glove for that.

 

A popular synthetic material in both disposable and reusable gloves is nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), usually referred to simply as nitrile. Its versatility of application means nitrile gloves can be found in janitorial closets and nuclear labs. They can endure heavy and prolonged use, but are flexible enough to allow for dexterity in operations. This varies according to how much nitrile is present in the polymer, but nitrile’s overall convenience has made it a huge hit since its introduction during World War II.

 

The University of Iowa’s EHS (Environmental Health & Safety) department outlines four basic factors to keep in mind when selecting a glove: what will the gloves come into contact with (and under what circumstances), what kind of work will the gloves be doing, what does the manufacturer test data say, and what is your budget?

 

Are the gloves for prolonged and expected contact with a chemical, or are they there in case of accidental contact? The answer will determine the extent of chemical protection that you need with the gloves. At the furthest extreme of chemical handling, you’ll want something like MCR’s shoulder-length gloves (MCR6950), which are basically rubber sleeves equipped with bacteria-resistant Actifresh treatment, extreme resistance to industrial chemicals, and (somewhat humorously) brass rings on the end that clip to your clothes. If that’s what you need, then that’s what you need. If a splash of chemical here and there is all you have to worry about, then there are less intense options.

 

Do you need the gloves to do precise work handling small parts, or are you lifting heavy objects and only need an abrasion-resistant buffer between the surface and your hand? We have gloves specifically designed to address those very different needs.

 

A crucial factor in choosing a glove is its protection rating. These ratings often come courtesy of ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. The glove is placed in a machine that applies precisely measured pressure to the glove to determine its capacity to resist cuts, abrasions, and punctures. For example, a blade is pressed to the surface of the glove with a particular weight and slid over it. If the glove resists the cut effectively, the weight is increased. The point at which the glove is cut determines its score (between A1 and the extremely rare A9), which is printed on the glove itself.

 

You know better than anyone what kind of money you’re looking to spend on gloves, and we do our best to sell them at unbeatable prices so you shop with us again and again.

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