Pros and Cons of Different Palm-Coating Materials
With so many different materials and options to choose from when looking at coated work gloves, the decision on what kind of material might seem impossible to make. Just because a work glove is palm-coated doesn’t mean that it is a catch all for any application though. Just like any other tool in your shop, each type of coated glove serves a set of specific purposes with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at a few of the different options currently available, and how they stack up to different elements.
Nitrile is a great material for palm-coated work gloves. It is extremely resistant to a wide range of temperatures, from 25-300 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very puncture and cut resistant, and highly durable in most conditions. While normal nitrile coatings, or “flat nitrile” coatings, are a good choice in both wet and dry conditions, foam nitrile coatings reign king in wet applications. The nitrile is whipped before application, giving the coating a sponge-like texture that is phenomenal at maintaining grip in wet conditions. Nitrile in general also holds up well against oil, making it a great choice in metal stamping and even some automotive applications.
The defining characteristic of polyurethane coated gloves is their superb grip when dealing with sticky materials without actually becoming sticky themselves. In addition to being inexpensive, they are also very durable, and offer moderate protection against cuts and tears. One drawback of polyurethane is its weakness against water and heat. However, gloves coated in this material stand up great to oil and grease.
PVC is one of the most common materials used for coating work gloves. This is due to the fact it is relatively inexpensive and 100% synthetic, meaning it won’t cause any allergic reactions. PVC does not provide superior protection from cuts and punctures, but holds up extremely well to abrasion. There is one area where PVC is unrivaled: adhesives. PVC is unique in the sense that adhesives will not stick to it, making it a great choice for woodworking, furniture building, and assembly work.
When looking for dexterity, flexibility, and comfort, latex is an excellent choice for palm-coated work gloves. Latex is very elastic and durable, making it a great choice for grip and dexterity. Additionally, latex is extremely temperature resistant and does not tear easy. While they do not provide great protection from punctures and cuts, latex-coated gloves offer good protection against alcohol and some ketones, making them a good choice for finishing applications. One drawback to latex is the possibility of an allergic reaction, making it a poor choice for large scale operations with lots of people.
So Which Glove Fits Best?
When it comes to palm-coated work gloves, there are a number of materials to choose from. Making the right choice for your gloves means knowing exactly what kind of application and elements you will be operating in before deciding which material is best for you.