Multi-task Welding Gloves Offer The Protection And Dexterity Welders Need

BLOG ARTICLES
Paul Sung

If you’re well-versed with the welding trade, you’ll know that a welder spends the majority of their time not necessarily welding.  In fact, welders only spend approximately 25% of their time using their welders to fuse metal together. If you’re not all that familiar with the welding trade, you might ask, what are they doing with the rest of their time?  The answer is simple, preparing and finishing – what takes place before and after the actual welding process.  These tasks require the most time and vary greatly from the welding application.   

During the preparation and finishing phases, a welder might use tools such as a cutting torch, angel grinder, magnets and other various hand tools such as a wire brush, chipping hammer, pliers and clamps, to name a few.  Not only are welders using these various tools but also handling materials like metal that can have raw edges that pose cut, laceration and impact hazards.  PPE requirements can vary depending on the tool being used or the material being handled but overall, dexterity, tactile sensitivity, cut resistance, impact protection and durability are the standard attributes desired by welders during the preparation and finishing phases.   

Heat hazards are obvious for welding and torch cutting, so the proper hand protection requires heat resistance.  The level of heat resistance depends on the type of welding, MIG, TIG or Stick.  Please note, there are additional factors that determine the amount of heat resistance needed, but for the purpose of this blog, we’ll keep things simple.  MIG and Stick welding require a moderate to high level of heat protection whereas TIG welding will typically require a lower amount of heat protection.  For most welding gloves, heat resistance comes from the use of insulation.  Insulation packages can vary but the more insulation that’s used, the more it impedes on the dexterity and tactile sensitivity of the glove.  During the welding phase, a welder requires dexterity, tactile sensitivity and some level of heat resistance from their hand protection.

So, as you can see, finding an insulated welding glove to perform at a high level during the preparation and finishing phases is very challenging.  As a result, most welders will use a different type of glove, like a traditional leather driver’s glove or leather palm glove, for the preparing and finishing phases.  This two-glove approach is quite common,  but in recent years, welders have been asking for a more high-performance glove in all phases of the welding application. In other words, a multi-task welding glove. 

Due to the various requirements, designing this type of glove is no easy feat.  While incorporating materials to provide cut, impact and heat resistance as well as durability is easy to achieve but if done inaptly, it’s just as easy to sacrifice dexterity, tactile sensitivity and comfort.  These are the most common pain points of traditional welding gloves expressed by welders. 

PIP® has addressed these demands with highly improved, innovative welding safety products including leading brands such as Caiman® and Ironcat® .  To enhance dexterity and fit, Caiman® utilizes Kontour™, a 3-dimensional form-fitting pattern that closely matches the outer leather shell of the glove to the natural curves, shapes and angles of the hand for an exceptional ergonomic fit.  Kontour™ is the foundation of most Caiman® gloves but provides the most value in multi-task welding styles.  You’ll also find external reinforcement patches cut in specific shapes and strategically placed to enhance durability in high-wear areas without negatively effecting dexterity.  Some styles provide insulation only on the back of the hand, where heat builds up, but not on the palm side, providing heat protection where it’s needed while ensuring maximum pliability in the palm. 

Ironcat® also delivers a variety of welding protection innovation in their welding glove line.  Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR) is commonly used to provide impact protection on the back of the hand, but the TPR used regularly in many non-welding gloves today will easily melt when exposed to heat.  To prevent hazardous melting, Ironcat® uses a flame and heat resistant TPR on multi-task welding gloves that can withstand up to 500 F and provides ANSI/ISEA 138 Impact Level 2 protection.  Further, to prevent gloves from absorbing oils and liquid in the workplace, Ironcat™ uses Oil Armor™ technology, a permanent treatment that won’t wash-off and lasts the life of the glove.

To reiterate, the typical pain points of traditional welding gloves make them very difficult to use before and after the welding process.  Simply put, they’re just too bulky, ill-fitting and clumsy to handle objects and tools with any precision or control.  However, PIP® has a variety of styles that provide the protection welders need without sacrificing performance in all phases of the welding process.

The Caiman® 1521 is an ANSI Cut Level A5 multi-task welding glove with a heavily reinforced palm.  At first glance, a very capable heavy-duty glove with a lot of durability but once donned, the dexterity and comfort are undeniable due to the Kontour™ pattern and the premium goat grain leather.  Goatskin has an exceptional combination of resiliency and suppleness and is ideal for MIG & Stick welding, preparation and finishing work and material handling.  

The Caiman® 1541 is an ANSI Cut Level A5 multi-task welding glove that’s extremely versatile and user friendly.  The lightweight feel provides exceptional dexterity and tactile sensitivity.  Made with premium goat grain leather with Kontour™ pattern technology, it’s ideal for TIG and low amperage MIG welding, preparation and finishing work and material handling.  

The newly designed Ironcat® IC993KOAB is an ANSI Cut Level A4 multi-task welding glove that’s ideal for metal handling applications.  The TPR impact protection is not only flame and heat resistant, but also provides ANSI/ISEA 138 Impact Level 2 protection and is arc rated at ATPV 43 cal/cm2.  It’s ideal for TIG and low amperage MIG welding, preparation and finishing and material handling.      

The newly designed Ironcat® 6147 is an ANSI Cut Level A7 multi-task welding glove that’s not only the highest rated cut resistant welding glove offered by PIP®, but also comes with an ANSI Puncture Level 4 protection and is arc rated at ATPV 36 cal/cm2.  It’s ideal for TIG & MIG welding, preparation and finishing and material handling. 

To learn about other welding gloves that are designed to do more than just welding, check out PIP® Caiman® and Ironcat® styles.

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