Gloves are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment for blacksmiths. Whether you’re new to blacksmithing or you want to upgrade a pair of old gloves, you’ll need to know what are the best blacksmith gloves.
I’m going to run through some recommended gloves, and then cover some important safety tips, such as which blacksmith tasks require gloves and which don’t, and much more. When you’re done reading this article you’ll have all the information you need to find your perfect pair of gloves.
Here is a list of all the products mentioned in the article below (click for quick navigation):
- 🏆 Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves [Top Choice]
- 💎 Lincoln Electric Roll Cage Welding Gloves [Premium Choice]
- 💰 WZQH 16 Inch Leather Forge Gloves with Kevlar Stitching [Best Overall]
Bear in mind, there are many blacksmithing activities, and not all of them require wearing safety gloves.
As a matter of fact, most blacksmiths recommend not wearing them for certain tasks, such as when using power equipment because they can easily snag on gears.
What Are The Best Gloves for Blacksmithing?
Here are some of my recommended blacksmithing gloves:
1. Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves
(*Amazon Affiliate Link)
- made from nylon and leather
- velcro strap to secure them to your wrist
- breathable, comfortable, and durable
- helpful for certain blacksmithing related activities
These tight-fit Ironclad gloves come in a variety of sizes and are made from nylon and leather.
They are not full-size gloves and offer no cuff protection, but there is a velcro strap to secure them to your wrist.
There’s also a conveniently placed rubber logo across the knuckles to offer more protection.
The main reason people buy these gloves is that they’re breathable, comfortable, and durable enough for most blacksmithing work.
Bear in mind, these don’t provide much heat protection, so it’s best not to use them as your grip-hand for forge work.
While these are not specifically categorized as blacksmith gloves, they can be quite helpful for certain blacksmithing related activities. For example, for use on your hammer-hand when hammering an anvil, and other general tasks.
2. Lincoln Electric Roll Cage Welding Gloves
(*Amazon Affiliate Link)
- high quality materials
- reinforced leather
- kevlar seems
- cut resistant material
These are a little pricier than my other recommendations, but they make up for it in quality.
Rated for impact protection, these are perfect for heavy-duty blacksmithing work.
The palm of these gloves is made from reinforced leather and stitched kevlar seems. There’s also a cut-resistant material on either side of the glove.
On the outer layer, on the back of the hand, the gloves have silicone rubber stitched into the fingers and knuckles, offering plenty of protection. On the inside, you have a 100% cut-resistant cotton liner.
Overall, a very impressive pair of blacksmithing gloves. One reason people prefer these gloves is that the fingers aren’t thick, so your hands have much more mobility than when using other work gloves. So if you’re looking for a flexible pair of gloves, these are worth a look!
3. WZQH 16 Inch Leather Forge Gloves with Kevlar Stitching
(*Amazon Affiliate Link)
- best for foge work
- full sleeve gloves
- offer cuff protection
- kevlar stitching
These are a solid pair of gloves, mainly designed for forge work. They are full-sleeve gloves that offer cuff protection too. While not the fanciest, they have plenty of decent features.
Most of the glove is made from leather, specifically, cowhide split leather and the outer layer can withstand temperatures of up to 930°F (500°C).
As for the interior, it’s 100% cotton and sweat absorbant, so you’re hands will always be comfortable. Another bonus feature is the kevlar stitching which is very durable.
The cuff (the area of the glove above the hands) is made from denim jeans, which is not as durable as leather, but it does protect your forearms from sparks and other debris.
Overall, a very well-rounded pair of safety gloves.
Do Blacksmiths Wear Gloves?
You might have heard some blacksmiths saying that they never wear gloves.
At first, that might sound like they’re boasting about their skill, but there are several good reasons.
There are also specific situations where wearing no gloves is better, and I’ll cover some of those in the next section.
One thing to consider when wearing gloves is heat transfer, which is the heat that the glove absorbs and holds.
When you’re working at the forge, you need to make sure you can quickly remove gloves when they get too hot. Ideally, throw them off in one quick move.
There are some situations where hot objects can burn through them, and you don’t want to be struggling to remove the gloves when that happens.
The heat from the metal or forge will remain in the glove and continue burning your hand until you remove them. Even if it’s a matter of seconds, that burn can be severe. It could also lead to steam burns.
Heat transfer varies from glove to glove, depending on the material and style.
Ideally, what you want is a glove that gives you a good enough heat warning so that you can remove them before it starts burning you.
In some cases, you only feel the heat when it’s already burning you and that can lead to some terrible burns.
For this reason, blacksmiths, in some cases, recommend not wearing gloves at all. The reason is that you can tell an object is hot and have a faster reflex to pull away when you’re not wearing any hand protection. You’ll react faster with bare skin, usually within a matter of milliseconds.
Another safety concern is gloves being pulled into machinery. There have been a number of horrific accidents where a glove snagged on a machine and the machine pulled the person’s whole hand and even arm into the gears.
Most of the time, blacksmiths will have to wear gloves, but it’s either only on one hand, or a mismatch on each hand.
Another pointer to keep in mind is it’s recommended to hold a hammer with your bare hand because your grip will be stronger, and you’ll be less likely to develop issues like elbow tinnitus.
One of the main reasons to wear gloves is to protect your holding hand from prolonged exposure to heat. Usually, that hand needs to be close to the forge to hold the metal in place and it can get very hot.
When it comes to the issue of wearing gloves, you should consider the type of forges.
For small work, such as a coal fire with less heat, then you might not need to wear any gloves at all. On the other hand, larger forges, such as gas ones, a glove is probably needed to hold your metal in place.
So when it comes down to it, you need to try out various pairs of gloves to find the ones that suit you the best.
You probably don’t need to always be wearing them in the workshop but you need to be aware of when they’re appropriate and when they can be a hazard.
Always be careful and alert, especially when it comes to the heat levels. If you have to choose between a minor burn and a prolonged severe burn, I think most people would opt for the minor one.
Be sure to check my other articles about blacksmithing safety equipment:
Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading, be safe and good luck with your projects!
Cheers tools owners!