Gloves are an essential part of any well-equipped garage, even if the thought of working on a car gives you hives. Your hands encounter all sorts of nasty stuff under the hood of a car while cleaning and when working in the shop. A good pair of gloves keeps your hands clean and can prevent nasty smashed fingers and bloody knuckles.
Using a combination of our own experience dealing with wounded knuckles and extensive research of product reviews, we’ve gathered our three favorite pairs of mechanics gloves. We chose the gloves for quality, durability, and features, and we think you’ll find a pair here that fits your needs.
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Mechanix Wear is one of the best-known work gloves brands, and the company’s Durahide Fastfit Leather Work Gloves are some of the toughest, most comfortable products on the market. Mechanix uses a proprietary leather material that offers excellent protection, long life, and water resistance. The synthetic leather is also CE Level 4 abrasion resistance rated.
The insides are made from a quick-drying moisture-wicking material that offers excellent padding and comfort while helping keep hands dry. Unlike some brands, the Durahide Fastfit gloves use flexible, stretchy elastic wristbands, providing security and better wrist flexibility.
- Comfy elastic wristband
- Durable, water-resistant synthetic leather palms
- Moisture wicking interior
- Some buyers report poor quality
- Fit can be awkward for some
Carhartt’s The Dex II glove is a great option if your work requires a glove that doesn’t kill your sense of touch. They offer excellent padding around the knuckles, fingers, and palms, but the tips of the fingers are flexible and thin. This lets the wearer feel and grasp small objects while maintaining good protection in other parts of their hand.
Parts of the Carhartt gloves are made from cowhide, and other parts are made from spandex, so they flex and stretch with hand movements. The wrists offer elastic for security and Velcro closure. While they’re more expensive than some work gloves, Carhartt’s quality and the unique construction of The Dex II glove are enough to make them worth the coin.
- Thin finger coverings allow better dexterity and grip
- Long life and excellent durability
- Good temperature regulation
- More expensive than many rivals
- Many people report factory defects
Alpinestars is a big name in motorsports, as the company makes all manner of protective gear for motorcyclists, auto racing, and other areas. Its Engine Gloves offer robust padding on the back of the hand and fingers while offering excellent feeling and dexterity in the palm and fingertips. The gloves come in two color combinations and five sizes that range from small to XX-large.
Though they’re more expensive than most other gloves, many buyers love the Alpinestars Engine Glove because they allow great feeling and flexibility when you’re wrenching. There’s enough protection to keep your knuckles safe from immediate harm, but not so much that you can’t feel small parts or grasp tools.
- Excellent flexibility and dexterity
- Breathable and lightweight
- Sizing and fit are accurate to the advertised size
- More expensive than almost everything else
- Not for heavy work
Mechanic Gloves Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of glove is most commonly used in an automotive shop?
A: Many mechanics wear simple nitrile gloves. They protect against dirt and oil but offer feeling and movement close to a bare hand. They’re disposable, so the wearer can grab a new pair when the old ones get too dirty.
Q: Do I have to wear gloves when I work on my car?
A: You do not, but you’ll need to be comfortable having dirty fingernails and a bloody knuckle or two. Even if you’re careful, there will be times when your hand slips, or you misjudge an angle and bang your hand. Gloves are an easy way to keep your hands clean and intact.
Q: Can I just wear regular work gloves?
A: Sure, if you’re just turning a wrench or moving tires around the garage. That said, heavy work gloves aren’t your best friend if you need flexibility and the ability to grasp small objects.
Q: How thick should mechanic gloves be?
A: You should look for gloves that offer decent thickness and protection in the palm and back of hand areas. At the same time, you’ll want thinner material on the fingertips so you can feel and pick things up.