General Advice

How to Select the Right Gardening Gloves

Tony Matson - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Where do we start with gloves?  There are so many types and so many uses for them in the garden.  Quite simply, working or gardening without gloves or the right gloves can be a pain.

I'm going to concentrate on hand gloves rather than gauntlets.  Although a number of us want or need arm protection in certain circumstances or for health reasons so gauntlets or removable sleeves are an option.  I'm also not going to discuss disposable gloves such as those that might be used for propagating.

Why Do We Need Gloves?

  • Keep hands clean (particularly under the finger nails)
  • Protect hands against rough objects, thorns, prickles, insects and other nasties (eg. stink bugs), diseases and the sun.  In terms of disease it is worth noting that a number of infections (some unfortunately resulting in death) have occurred in the Northern Territory.  Melioidosis infections is caused by a bacteria in the soil during the wet season.
  • Keep your hands dry
  • Minimize blisters
  • Absorb perspiration
  • Prevent dry and cracked skin
Purposes:
  • Potting and seeding
  • Handling cuttings
  • Weeding
  • Pruning - roses vs others
Types of Gloves:
  • Cow Leather
  • Deep Leather
  • Goat Skin
The above three offer good protection, however need to be wiped with a damp cloth and treated with leather cleaner to keep them soft.  Can be expensive!
  • Cotton
  • Nylon
  • Bamboo
  • Rubbert
  • Nitrile
The latter are more economical.  Cotton and nylon gloves are light and cool, can be washed and dried however may not offer enough protection and durability.  Bamboo is relatively new in gloves but eco-friendly and the product has been used in other clothing for a while.  Rubber gloves offer good protection against chemicals and can be rinsed off.  Nitrile gloves are typically cotton or nylon backed gloves with the palm and finger tips dipped in the nitrile.  Nitrile is three times more resistant to cuts and tears than normal rubber.

What to Consider When Purchasing Gloves:

There are four main things to consider when selecting gloves:  flexibility, comfort, durability and price.

Flexibility - a good sense of touch is important so gloves need to be flexible, correctly chosen for their purpose and correctly sized.  Correctly fitting gloves will make those potting and weeding jobs much easier.  It will also make holding and handling your tools easier.
Comfort - if you're wearing your gloves for long periods they do need to be comfortable.  In summer, ones that breathe will be a little cooler for extended use.  Remember by putting gloves on you are adding another layer.  In winter great, but in the Australia sun it can be quite hot.  Gloves also need to fit you snugly.  I don't believe one size fits all.  When fitting gloves, pull them on until the fingers into the webbing.  Your fingers then should just be touching the inner tips of the gloves.
Durability - apart from being flexible and comfortable, gloves need to be strong and tough to be effective.  Are they going to protect you against the thorns and nasties lurking in the garden?  Are they going to last for a reasonable amount of time, especially the finger tips?  If you're working with chemicals and water, you will want to keep your hands dry so select a different style of glove.  Can they be easily washed?
Price - the range in pricing is quite significant.  If you pay more than $20 for a pair of gloves you need to look after them as much as your tools.

In summary, consider what you are using your gloves for and thus what type will be most suitable for the job.  If you are not in a position to look after them then perhaps don't consider the more expensive varieties.  Try them on if possible prior to purchasing to ascertain fit.

What does CutAbove Tools sell?  Garden gloves are part of a wide range of gardening and pruning tools that we sell.  So we have selected one type of glove and that is Nitrile Gloves.  These are suitable for most chores in the garden, are thorn resistant, washable and there are five sizes available - from small, medium, large, XL, XXL.  The gloves are widely known for their durability and suitability to garden work.




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