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How to Pick the Best Gloves for Welding Safety

Kevin replies to an "insulting" email by kindly answering the fan's question about why Kevin has so many pairs of gloves. For MIG welding, which has lots of sparks and lots of heat, he prefers Praxair's ProStar insulated cowhide gloves, which he's set on fire but which protected his hands nonetheless. He likes them for MIG welding, oxygen-acetylene welding and bending, and for use with the forge so he can reach into the fire. For women and smaller men, he recommends Tillman's cowhide leather gloves for MIG welding, even though they're not insulated like the ProStars. For TIG welding, he shares several options, including Tillmans, which you can get at most welding supply stores. He talks about the goatskin 1470 model that gives you great tactile feel, allowing you to pick up a rod from the floor with no problem, although they're not as good for other fabrication uses. The mesh backs, though, can be a problem when doing tasks like grinding, since the sparks can go right through the mesh. He explains that goatskin provides a better fit and tactile feel, as well as the fact that it doesn't crack makes it great for TIG gloves, but it's too thin for MIG welding. The Tillman 1490 model, which is a little more expensive, features some cowhide on the palm and fingertips for a little extra protection from heat and sharp edges, but provides a little less tactile feel. These gloves also have the mesh back and good fit, and are about $2-3 more. He then shares his favorite, Stanley's Weather for Leather gloves. He likes the loose cuff, which fits over sleeves to protect his arms a little better, although they're a little hotter since they don't have the mesh backs. Kevin also says you have to have at least two pairs of gloves. If he could only have two, he'd have the ProStar and the Leather for Weather gloves. Kevin also talks about how he uses latex surgical gloves when working on patinas and times that he uses two different types of glove at the same time.

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