The Best Gloves for Stick Welding
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
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
Lining- Insulation/Dexterity for Stick Welding Gloves
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,
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
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
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