Whenever you are working with your hands in the workshop or garage, it’s essential to keep in mind the possible repercussions of severe injuries and take steps to protect hands from cuts, scratches, abrasions, burns, and corrosive chemicals. One of the best ways is to use a pair of mechanic gloves designed for flexibility, functionality, and protection.
You can get a set of disposable nitrile gloves for quick work, like oil changes, or invest in a reusable pair of goatskin or synthetic leather mechanic gloves that will keep your hands safe during any maintenance procedure or repair. If you aren’t sure what features you need, take a look at the top products below and read on to learn about the important factors to take into consideration in order to find the best mechanic gloves to wear while working on your vehicle.
- BEST OVERALL: Mechanix Wear Black And Gray M-Pact Synthetic Leather
- BEST BULK: GLOVEPLUS Industrial Black NitrileGloves Case of 1000
- BEST INSULATED: Vgo -4°F or Above Winter Waterproof High Dexterity
- BEST DISPOSABLE: GLOVEWORKS HD Industrial Orange Nitrile Gloves
- BEST LEATHER: Superior Clutch Gear Grain Goatskin Leather Mechanics
Types of Mechanic Gloves
Mechanic gloves, like many types of work gloves, fall into two broad categories based simply on whether the gloves are disposable or reusable.
There are many different repairs and maintenance procedures that can get hands covered in oil, grease, and other chemicals. For this reason, disposable mechanic gloves are frequently used in professional automotive shops, marine repair workshops, and industrial equipment repair garages where it is much easier to throw out a pair of gloves than to clean them between appointments.
Depending on the frequency with which you would use these gloves, it may be more beneficial to have a box of disposable nitrile or latex mechanic gloves sitting in the garage instead of a single pair of reusable ones. Keep in mind that disposable gloves are appropriate only for light maintenance tasks because they are more vulnerable to cuts, burns, and corrosive chemicals than reusable mechanic gloves.
Reusable mechanic gloves are made with strong materials like goatskin leather, synthetic leather, rubber, and vinyl that are resistant to the common elements encountered when working on vehicles. These include extreme heat, abrasions, cuts, intense cold, water, oil, gasoline, and other corrosive chemicals.
Even if you use disposable gloves in your garage, it’s a good idea to invest in at least one pair of reusable mechanic gloves that are better capable of keeping hands safe while you work. This increased durability isn’t essential for minor maintenance and repairs like replacing the wipers or changing the headlights. Still, it may mean the difference between a bad cut and a little bruise when working inside the engine or under the car.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mechanic Gloves
Dependable protection and durability are top considerations when shopping for mechanic gloves, but it’s also vital to consider the grip, comfort, and functionality. If a pair of gloves is too stiff, it will be challenging to work with smaller parts. They should also be comfortable, adapting to activities while resisting burns, abrasions, and contaminants, like motor oil.
Whether using disposable or reusable mechanic gloves, you should rely on them to protect your hands while you work.
- Disposable mechanic gloves usually feature either latex or nitrile. Latex gloves are best for light-duty maintenance, like changing the oil, refilling fluids, and replacing the windshield wipers. Nitrile gloves are more durable than latex, capable of protecting you from minor abrasions and scratches as well as common corrosive fluids.
- Reusable mechanic gloves are durable, so even the most basic pair will perform better than disposable gloves. They are typically resistant to water, cuts, tears, scratches, oils, gasoline, and other corrosive materials. Some reusable mechanic gloves will also help protect you from extreme heat or provide insulation for winter work. If you expect many sharp edges, extreme heat, or hours of winter work, then a set of reusable mechanic gloves is the best option for durability.
Keeping your hands protected is about more than just covering them in thick, durable materials. Gloves need to be functional, allowing hands to move around freely instead of getting caught on sharp edges and dropping tools. Reusable gloves will take some time to work in, but disposable gloves are more flexible than your hand, so your movement is completely unrestricted.
This flexibility helps you grip tools, parts, and fasteners because your hands are better able to move as they would without a glove. The material also affects the grip on the fingers and palm of the glove. Some gloves include a specialized layer to help increase your control and dexterity and may even allow you to operate a touch screen without removing your gloves.
The hand is a surprisingly sensitive part of the body that needs to be cared for properly to not lose mobility in your wrists, hands, and fingers due to repetitive strain. To help decrease hand fatigue, a set of mechanic gloves should fit comfortably and provide a flexible grip to prevent constantly straining against the glove as you work. Soft material, like goatskin leather and synthetic leather, is easy on the skin and quickly becomes pliable after one or two uses.
Cold temperatures can decrease the mobility of the hands and fingers, making it more difficult to work. If working in cold-weather conditions, consider finding heated or insulated mechanic gloves to keep hands from freezing.
One of the more important features of a pair of mechanic gloves is the tear resistance of the material.
- Latex mechanic gloves tear easily if caught on a sharp edge. Once this occurs, the glove is essentially useless and should be replaced.
- Nitrile mechanic gloves are a more durable option if you want to use disposable gloves. They resist abrasions, scratches, and minor cuts and tears. Once they’re pierced, however, individuals should also replace them.
- Leather and synthetic leather mechanic gloves are difficult to scratch, cut, and tear. The material resists tearing even when the gloves are already damaged. These gloves may also have additional protective layers made with rubber, plastic, and nylon, ensuring that you would need to try very hard or be very unlucky to cut through to your hand.
Our Top Picks
These top-rated mechanic gloves were selected for their quality, price, customer satisfaction, and the important product factors mentioned above.
Disposable gloves are a great choice for light- to medium-duty work. Still, when high-quality protection from cuts, abrasions, vibration, impact, and pinching is required, this pair of reusable mechanic gloves is a better option. The cut-resistant synthetic-leather gloves are comfortable and ergonomically shaped for better mobility. The material is ideal when working with touch screen devices and eliminates the need to remove gloves to answer a call or return a text.
These mechanic gloves have several safety features to help protect hands, including anti-vibration palm padding that absorbs and dissipates high-impact energy. The gloves fasten with a hook-and-loop cuff that allows you to customize the fit to your hand. They also have thermoplastic rubber knuckle guards that keep hands safe from impact and pinching injuries.
Disposable mechanic gloves are a necessary item in any home or professional automotive shop. They allow individuals to quickly and safely perform many minor repairs without damaging hands or ruining a reusable pair of gloves with oil, grease, and other harmful fluids. However, you can quickly run out if you don’t remember to restock. This bulk case of 1,000 disposable mechanic gloves eliminates the worry about running out of gloves for a while.
These gloves are made from durable 5-mil nitrile. A mil is equal to 1/1,000 of an inch, and 5-mil gloves are appropriate for medium-duty work. The nitrile mechanic gloves have a polymer coating that makes them easy to put on and take off without the messy powder found in latex gloves. They are also resistant to punctures, tears, oil, gasoline, grease, and other corrosive chemicals.
Working in a cold garage can quickly become uncomfortable. However, this pair of insulated Vgo mechanic gloves provides waterproof insulation that withstands temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit while protecting hands. The flexible thermoplastic rubber knuckle guards absorb impact damage to the back of your hands, while a dual-layer palm is reinforced with neoprene to improve durability and dissipate vibration.
The mechanic gloves are made with premium-quality goatskin leather that is soft to the touch, durable, and resistant to cuts and abrasions. The fingertips of the thumb, index finger, and middle finger are compatible with touch screens, and the gloves close with a hook-and-loop closure that allows you to customize the fit to your hand.
This box of 100 disposable mechanic gloves is a great addition to a home garage that helps keep you safe while you work on your vehicle. The gloves are made with nitrile that is 8 mils thick (1 mil is equal to 1/1,000 of an inch). A glove made with 8-mil nitrile is considered a heavy-duty disposable glove because it can effectively protect hands from cuts, scratches, abrasions, punctures, and harmful chemicals.
These disposable mechanic gloves have excellent elasticity, and they aren’t coated in the messy powder commonly used for latex gloves. The glove’s high-visibility orange color helps when working in dim conditions and also keeps hands in sight for anyone else working on the vehicle. The gloves feature a diamond textured grip that increases the friction coefficient between the surface of the gloves and the tools, parts, or fasteners you are holding so that there is less chance they will slip from your grip.
Reusable mechanic gloves are an investment that accommodates more than one job, and they are better able to keep hands safe while at work. These Superior Clutch mechanic gloves have wide elastic cuffs with adjustable Velcro closures to ensure the glove fits comfortably on the hand. They also feature an ergonomic shape that matches the hand’s natural state, reducing hand fatigue.
The mechanic gloves are made with goatskin leather, which is lightweight and very soft to touch. It’s also known to have a very high tensile strength, which is why these gloves can protect hands from abrasions, cuts, scratches, and punctures. The back of the glove is made with stretchable and padded nylon that absorbs impact damage, while the palm and thumb are double-layered to reduce vibration damage.
FAQs About Mechanic Gloves
Mechanic gloves have been around for decades, but they have become more popular as glove construction has improved to incorporate better stitching, different materials, and cold weather protection like that found in insulated or heated gloves. Take a look below at some of the most commonly asked questions about mechanic gloves when selecting a new pair.
Q. Are mechanic gloves one-size-fits-all?
It depends on the specific product. Some disposable mechanic gloves are made with one fit for everyone, but most reusable mechanic gloves have a range of sizes so that you can find a pair that fits properly.
Q. What are mechanic gloves made of?
Mechanic gloves are made with a variety of materials including Kevlar, Velcro, neoprene, rubber, plastic, nylon, latex, nitrile, synthetic leather, goatskin leather, and cowhide leather.
Q. Are latex gloves or nitrile gloves better for mechanics?
Nitrile gloves are more durable and have better chemical resistance, but they cost more than latex gloves. So, if safety and quality are your only determining factors, then nitrile gloves are better.