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Workshop Gloves

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Dr_GMJN30/05/2020 08:25:00
1225 forum posts

All, I’ve started wearing gloves for lathe and mill work because I’m fed up of pulling chip fragments out of my fingers and/or constantly washing my hands with swarfega. I’ve got an old pair of red Skytec gloves, which have been ok, but are now worn through.

Any recommendations for a pair of light gloves that retain feel?

When working on cars, or painting models I use latex gloves, but I find them too ‘sticky’ when, for example turning a smooth handwheel on a lathe, or adjusting the 4 jaw Chuck with it’s keys; the polished metal doesn’t slide like it does on skin or cloth.


Gray6230/05/2020 08:44:37
1053 forum posts
16 photos

It is highly inadvisable to wear gloves of any sort when working on or near rotating machinery, this includes but not limited to lathes, milling machines, drill press etc. Wearing gloves while working on these types of machine increases the risk of being caught and pulled into the machine, the consequences can be grave.

On a lighter note, if you are cleaning down a stationary, power isolated machine or fitting/removing chucks etc, then gloves can be worn to advantage, have a look at the site range of gloves from screwfix, reasonably prices and as good as you will get.

not done it yet30/05/2020 08:45:19
6438 forum posts
20 photos

I wear thin nitrile gloves, as they would tear easily, if snagged, and are a fair bit better than latex. Nothing heavier, unless away from the machines.

I have to be careful when winding a hand-wheel with fixed handle - replacing the handle with a rotating one is advantageous, or winding with a sliver of material around it helps to avoid ‘wind-up’.

Andrew Johnston30/05/2020 08:50:28
6316 forum posts
677 photos

Do NOT wear gloves when operating machinery. If they get caught on something you'll be dragged in before you know it. I use brushes and scrapers for cleaning up swarf and rarely have problems as I don't touch the swarf.


Dave Halford30/05/2020 09:03:42
1818 forum posts
19 photos

I've found food prep. vinyl gloves better than latex, they last a lot longer. Hot swarf still stings and those splinters from milling still get through.

ChrisB30/05/2020 09:07:32
649 forum posts
207 photos

I don't normally use gloves on the lathe, but on the mill I occasionally do wear disposable nitrile gloves. The needle type swarf gets everywhere even tho I use a shopvac to clean most of it away. Like ndiy says, you will not get caught and dragged with disposable gloves as they will tear off instantly. I prefer nitrile to latex as they offer better chemical resistance. If you find yours too sticky oil them.

Brian Wood30/05/2020 09:20:11
2475 forum posts
39 photos

Hello Dr.

I can recommend Nitropalm gloves.

These are nitrile coated in the palm and fingers, thin enough to allow decent dexterity while at the same time giving a good grip in workshop use, with a woven cotton back and elasticated wrist.

They are comfortable wearing and make working on cold materials and machines in the winter rather more pleasant as an added bonus

Central Sales Marketing, Unit 1, Shaw Lane Industrial Estate, Stoke Prior, BROMSGROVE B60 4ED

Phone 01527 832092 Web:- centralsalesgloves, Email:-

Regards Brian

Mike Clarke30/05/2020 09:21:13
94 forum posts
7 photos

You might find barrier cream useful. I don't use it very often but is a handy addition to the workshop. Gloves are a big no-no and simply not worth the risk given the results are only dirty hands.

Essm30/05/2020 09:25:48
28 forum posts
8 photos

For a number of years before I retired it was mandatory for all trades in the water and wastewater construction industry to wear hand protection and so I have continued the practice in the workshop.

I use "Polyco Matrix P Black" gloves which are readily available thro' the internet.

I wear them all the time - except when trying to fit 10BA nuts! - even when working on the lathe.

Chris Evans 630/05/2020 09:31:43
1977 forum posts

I wear gloves a lot when working on the cars or old bikes. I never wear them on the lathe or mill and can't subscribe to the theory that they will tear and not do harm.

Ron Laden30/05/2020 09:42:00
2253 forum posts
446 photos

I never wear gloves except for chemicals/adhesives etc and I wouldn't be so certain about nitrile gloves tearing off instantly. That may happen 9 times out of 10 but if a spinning tool grabbed part of the glove and spun it into a cord it could pull your fingers in, it may not but I wouldn't risk it. Take a nitrile glove twist up just one of the fingers and see how strong it is, you may be surprised.


Edited By Ron Laden on 30/05/2020 09:49:12

SillyOldDuffer30/05/2020 09:47:55
7690 forum posts
1697 photos
Posted by Dr_GMJN on 30/05/2020 08:25:00:

All, I’ve started wearing gloves for lathe and mill work because I’m fed up of pulling chip fragments out of my fingers and/or constantly washing my hands with swarfega. ...

Agree with everyone else about not wearing gloves when using machine tools. Anything that could get caught is to be avoided - ties, loose clothing, rings, and long hair (not a risk here now it's all fallen out!)

I wear Nitrile gloves for gear changing and more rarely for dirty work like cast-iron, but otherwise avoid skin contact with swarf and dirt as much as possible. Swarf is nasty stuff, Brass in particular. Constant washing and picking swarf out of fingers suggests a change tack is advised. Instead remove swarf with a brush, magnet, or anything else that reduces skin contact, and keep the controls and adjustments clean with a fresh rag used only when the motor is off.

I decided eye-protection was a must after my lathe chuck flung a clump of swarf into my face. It hit me just below my left eye and drew blood. A little higher and I'd have been off to A&E.

Although small machine tools can and do inflict painful injuries, Model Engineering isn't a dangerous hobby. A few simple precautions keep me safe, perhaps the most important is the need to stop when tired. My concentration goes to pot!


Clive Foster30/05/2020 09:48:24
2885 forum posts
104 photos

As I understand it its not so much the proper, around your hands, glove part thats the real hazard.

More the cuff.

Even with a fragile nitrile or whatever glove, due to the directions of rotation and normal hand orientation, if that gets caught up its likely to roll up into several layers and become much harder to tear.

Generally hate working in gloves on mechanic or other appropriate jobs myself. If they are thin enough to let you feel whats happening they are too weak and tear all the time. Sweaty too.

I'm lucky. My hands are naturally dry and the skin toughens quickly.

For clean up, sweep up et al duties I buy the cheap work gloves from LiDL 'cos they have proper sizing not just S-M-L-XL. They keep changing the design but all, so far, have been fine.


IanT30/05/2020 10:01:22
1917 forum posts
185 photos

I've started using 'Gloves in a Bottle' - purchased in Superdrug before the lockdown. Not cheap (about £9 a bottle) but I only use a little each time - so it should last a while. I think a barrier cream is a very good idea. Someone here recommended it and I thought it was a good idea in my particular case (as I suffer from minor skin irritations)

I don't wear gloves when actually working on the machines but certainly do wear gloves routinely at other times.

I have some cotton backed ones with some form of rubber face on the palm/fingers for any really dirty/oily handling work - like when rummaging in the scrap heap or cleaning down machines. But most of the time I wear some well made (Lidl) woven ones with reinforced finger/palm areas (not rubber) that are good for general manual work and more importantly help keep my hands warm - arthritis being a problem in the colder weather down the Shed.



Dr_GMJN30/05/2020 10:05:30
1225 forum posts

Thanks guys - The main issue is after the work is completed and I'm either removing it from the chuck, or cleaning swarf off it, or the machine - No matter how careful I am, there's always a shard of steel or brass somewhere.

While using the handwheels, I've been using latex, but it's hopeless, so I tried the Skytec ones, which are better, but I appreciate it's not a great idea, hence the question. I want something light (and that will tear off) - like latex, but latex that doesn't stick...

Paul Lousick30/05/2020 10:31:41
1868 forum posts
666 photos

As well as not wearing gloves near rotating machinery, I was also taught to not wear loose sleeve long sleeves, jewelry, neck ties and long hair.

If a ring catches, it could rip off a finger, a neck tie will strangle you and long hair will give you an instant haircut.


Edited By Paul Lousick on 30/05/2020 10:32:53

ega30/05/2020 11:02:30
2324 forum posts
190 photos

One use for gloves which I don't think has been mentioned is as an aid to heavy lifting; I sometimes use in addition a waist brace rather like the ones that Stirling Moss used to wear.

When it comes to barrier cream I know nothing better than PR88.

Philip Burley30/05/2020 11:03:21
198 forum posts
1 photos

I was wearing some thin rubber gloves ( not nitrile) while polishing with some emery tape on the lathe , suddenly caught up and pulled my finger in , Glove wrapped round the bar , tightened on my finger , luckily the belt was slack. but I had a job reaching the off switch , Made a mess of my skin but no broken bones .

Motto never wear gloves and be VERY careful using emery tape


clogs30/05/2020 11:19:38
596 forum posts
12 photos

the only time I wear gloves is when I dye my wife's hair.....

yes we live in the boonies....also it's b €100 to get it done and an hours drive.....dont ask about the parking.....

Cant believe all these NANCY boy's wearing them.......

mind it all stems from the blokes wearing make up, special hair gel and high heeled shoes.....


ega30/05/2020 11:44:36
2324 forum posts
190 photos
Posted by clogs on 30/05/2020 11:19:38:

Cant believe all these NANCY boy's wearing them.......

They probably wear them in Besançon, too!

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