A must have for the shop

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Review by Zuki posted 03-14-2010 08:35 PM 4086 views 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A must have for the shop No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Mechanix Wear Gloves

When I am out in the shop I always wear gloves to protect my hands from bangs, bumps, scratches, cuts and anything else that can happen. I have tried various types of snug fitting gloves, but the ones that I reach for most often are the Mechanix Utility All Purpose.

This is what their site says . . .

For a work glove that features quality and value, step up to the ?all-purpose Utility Glove from Mechanix Wear. It is perfect to have on hand for a wide variety of small and large jobs. This glove is constructed with a two-way form fitting stretch Spandex top and stretch panels between fingers for extra dexterity, along with reinforced Clarino Dura-Fit™ Synthetic Leather thumb and index fingertips for improved strength and protection. Slip them on, fasten up the hook and loop closures, and you’re ready to handle almost anything.

Most of the gloves I have tried are way to big and do not offer a snug fit. These gloves, while offering excellent protection, also offer good dexterity. The palms are super long wearing and the mesh back allows cooling for those warm days. Conversely, they do not offer a substantial amount of warmth on the cold days in the shop . . . they just take the bite out of the cold.

Recently while working with the band saw the blade kissed my middle finger. The cut was deep, however in my opinion could have been much worse if I had not been wearing these gloves. You can see the glove . . . not even cut. Talk about tough.

These gloves will remain a staple in the shop . . . however I will be exploring other models of Mechanix, with a little more armour, to use around the really sharp power tools.

Note: Main product picture borrowed from the manufacturer’s site.

-- BLOG -

View Zuki's profile


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29 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3983 days

#1 posted 03-14-2010 08:58 PM

I’ve also enjoyed wearing my ‘framing gloves,’ for the extra dexterity they provide (eg, grabbing a single screw or nail off the floor)....


-- -- Neil

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3845 days

#2 posted 03-14-2010 09:53 PM

I’m not here to start an argument, but it is my understanding that one should never wear gloves when operating any kind of powered shop saw. The potential is too great that the blade will catch the glove and pull your hand into the blade.

Depending on the weave and strength of the fabric/material of your gloves, you may have gotten lucky that it tore and didn’t catch and pull. I suspect it had something to do the the bandsaw blade, as well.

I use a course tooth bandsaw blade to cut the ends off the legs of denim jeans—it is perfect for giving an age-worn, frayed look to the jeans. (stage wardrobe—has to look “cool”) :-)

The blade pulling on the denim fabric is pretty violent. As it tears, it pulls the fabric towards the blade quite hard.

I have seen what a table saw does to a glove, too, and it ain’t pretty.

I would encourage you and anyone reading this to PLEASE leave the gloves off when using your saws and routers… basically any power-tool with a spinning blade.

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3846 days

#3 posted 03-14-2010 09:55 PM


Wearing gloves while working with power tools is a recipe for getting a hand pulled into a rotating blade! I have NEVER heard anyone authoritative advocate wearing gloves while machining parts in power saws or drill presses! I HAVE, however, seen someone get a pretty nasty injury when a glove got caught in a bit on a drill press! If this person were not wearing gloves, the chances are pretty good he would have gotten a knick, but the fabric of the glove wrapped around the bit and dragged his hand into the bit. To add difficulty to the situation, the gloves were well made, which created a ton of difficulty cutting the gloves off of the drill bit before the person could get his hand free!

Wearing anything on your hands while making cuts with power tools is generally a very bad idea!

I tried to find the OSHA recommendations on this, but I hit the Canadian version first, so I will just quote them instead.

”Do not wear gloves, loose clothing or jewelry while using revolving power tools. Tie back long hair or wear appropriate hair protection to prevent hair from getting caught in moving parts of equipment.”

Zuki, you are very lucky your gloves did not get caught, pulling your hand the rest of the way through the blade! You could very well be missing a digit or two FROM wearing those gloves. I love wearing gloves for assembly and work where I am not using power tools, but with ANY powered machine, the risk of having a glove caught on a moving part and drawing your hand into a cutting blade is much greater than any protection offered.

I don’t doubt that these are good gloves (I have a similar pair myself), but I must emphasize to anyone reading this review that they SHOULD NOT be worn while working around moving bits or blades!

(Looks like Mike beat me to the punch by less than a minute!)

-- David from Indiana --

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4887 days

#4 posted 03-14-2010 10:34 PM

I do agree that I was lucky.

I too have read that one should not wear gloves when using power tools . . . however there are many types of gloves and many types of power tools. I would never wear loose baggy cotton gloves or those universal one-size-fits all leatherish gloves. These are just asking to be caught by a moving object. I wore a pair of cotton gloves ONCE when using a hand drill . . . the loose finger wrapped around the drill bit quicker than you can say ouch. The gloves that I wear are tight fitting . . . like a second skin. . . noting loose to catch.

Good information David . . . but the same section states the following . . .

What should you do while using powered hand tools?
Wear or use personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing that is appropriate for the work you are doing; this may include items such as safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, dust mask, gloves, safety boots or shoes, or rubber boots.

So in some cases gloves are considered PPE.

All I can say is that they have saved me personally several times from getting nasty scratches using the TS and BS . . . this time they saved me from something REALLY nasty.

You know what . . . there will be others who will weigh in on the subject . . . I’m gonna contact the company and get their $0.02.

Cheers. :-)

-- BLOG -

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3846 days

#5 posted 03-14-2010 10:45 PM


The rule of thumb is pretty simple: If you are holding the tools, then you can wear gloves. If you are holding the work piece, you should NOT wear gloves. So, for any stationary tool, you should never be wearing gloves!

The section of the recommendations you are looking at regarding PPE does indeed talk about gloves being appropriate when using powered hand tools (IE tools you hold—circular saws, hand drills, reciprocating saws, hand held routers, etc.), but the next section talks about powered stationary tools, even if it isn’t as explicit as it could have been. You should NOT wear gloves if you are getting your hands anywhere near a blade or bit (IE drill press, table saw, band saw, router table, miter saw, etc.)

I am very interested to hear what the glove manufacturers say regarding using your gloves with circular saws and band saws. If they say to use them, be sure to get that recommendation in writing so that you can use it in exhibit A when you sue them for reckless endangerment of your hands. :)

-- David from Indiana --

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3845 days

#6 posted 03-14-2010 11:31 PM

Zuki, I don’t want to sound like I’m on your case, here, but a lot of people read this forum, so I think it’s worth the risk.

I will contend that the looseness/tightness of the gloves is irrelevant and that the gloves didn’t save you from anything. You are riding on luck and luck always runs out.

I can’t stress enough that if you continue to wear gloves using the table saw, in the future… sooner or later… we’ll be reading a post from you, in which you lament the trip to the emergency room and show us pictures of the stitches on your remaining four fingers.

View Newfounlandwood's profile


63 posts in 3844 days

#7 posted 03-15-2010 01:27 AM

I use the same gloves offshore Zuki, I was planning on getting a pair after my Dovetail saw bit me the other day.
Just my two cents:
I work on an oil rig and I would be wrote up and maybe fired if I was caught NOT using gloves during any kind of work, including using industrial machinery such as the lathe, drill press, band saw etc. It was always my thought that I should be using gloves when using any power tools. That fact was practically beaten into my head with the positive safety culture offshore. I’m sure someone much more educated than me has done a study on this subject but I always assumed that wearing gloves with stationary machinery was safe, and so does the company I work for. This is very interesting topic, I will have to bring this up when I go back offshore. Usually when there is a safety concern such as this, or a number of accidents occur due to some unsafe practice our company is all over it. I look forward to hearing what the manufacturers of the gloves have to say.


-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

View JasonIndy's profile


189 posts in 4245 days

#8 posted 03-15-2010 01:51 AM

(Throwing two pennies onto the pile):

I could understand using fitted gloves, though I’ve never heard of it. I would think, regardless of how strong a material may be, even if a saw blade didn’t penetrate it could still pull the glove itself and crush a few fingers.

We occasionally wear cut and slash resistant gloves at work, but they’re marketed exclusively as knife-resistant, not knife-proof, and they are thick enough that I don’t like to wear them. I’ve never heard of anybody marketing a fitted glove for using woodworking power tools. I’m curious to hear what the manufacturer says as well.

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 03-15-2010 05:30 AM

For hand tools, I would not hesitate to recommend a glove on the hand near the blade if it makes you feel more comfortable, especially when carving hand held small objects. The benefit there is cut resistance, and the risk associated with power machinery pulling a glove into the machine does not exist.

Dennis, I really appreciate you sharing your company’s policy with us, though I am quite surprised that their policy requires you to use gloves when working with the machinery you mentioned. By all means, keep using them least you get fired! However, there is a fully staffed machine shop in the basement of my building with a few machines available for walk up use by the folks in my department. The guys in charge of our shop always beat it into my head that no sleeves, rings, or even latex gloves are allowed near the mills or lathes. That being said, there may be a superseding risk associated with the your materials/work that I am not aware of. I know that sometimes people will wear gloves when generating very sharp shards of something, or when sharpening a long edge with a grinder to protect themselves from cuts. In these cases the most pressing safety issue is contact with the work piece, therefore there is an argument to be made for wearing cut resistant gloves, even if the risk of getting them caught in the machinery may be there as well.

Fortunately, there is no such issue with wood—the worst thing you may get from handling wood is a splinter! Like Mike, I really don’t want to offend anyone, but wearing gloves around stationary woodworking power tools really is a major safety risk, and this MUST be pointed out. The risk of getting a glove caught on the tooth of a saw blade or the bit of a router or drill press and the ensuing risk of having your hand pulled into the blade or bit before you have ANY chance to react far outweighs any benefit of wearing gloves while working with stationary woodworking power tools!

-- David from Indiana --

View Newfounlandwood's profile


63 posts in 3844 days

#10 posted 03-15-2010 05:58 AM

Hey David,
The statistics for hand injuries on the work site world wide are crazy. Fleet wide statistics within our company for hand injuries are quite high as well. I don’t see them changing this policy anytime soon due to the movement of the rig in harsh weather and such. We are working with very heavy machinery and mostly steel on a platform rolling around in the sea, it’s a different situation than working with a slab of lumber in my basement. Thanks for the info, I will take this into consideration before I put on a pair of gloves when working with power tools.


-- My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

View LSJ's profile


91 posts in 4162 days

#11 posted 03-15-2010 01:15 PM

I have to feel the tool, that way I control it not it does not control me. The only time I use a glove is on my left hand while turning a bowl, but I do not wear it on my control hand. If you do not use a glove on that hand it the chips will beat your hand up. Even in that case I use a weight lifters glove without all of the finger covers.

-- I like to turn

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4458 days

#12 posted 03-15-2010 04:45 PM

I use gloves like Neil’s posted above – it’s called framers gloves, and leaves the fingers and thumbs uncovered for better feel and control over workpieces, tools, and hardware. it really does help in the freezing temperatures here in the winter



I think you were lucky your hands didn’t get pulled into the blade.

now, if this has happened numerous times to you already where the ‘gloves saved you’ – I think you need to reconsider your methods of operating with your power tools, sounds like you’re a bit too close to the blades with your body parts.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Salty's profile


76 posts in 3856 days

#13 posted 03-15-2010 05:32 PM

Great post and topic. I am no longer confused about when these kind of gloves are appropriate PPE. I watch a lot of DIY network and it doesn’t take long to see a host or two wearing gloves while ripping some stock or using gloves while using a chop saw. These people are supposed to be professionals and set good examples for us weekend warriors. Instead they are creating a lot of confusion about safety; at least they got the eye protection thing down. I’m glad that I joined LJ because I’ve been learning a lot from the comments of wise and experienced LJ’s. Excellent discussion.


View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3836 days

#14 posted 03-15-2010 06:18 PM

My two cents: As stated before, I was always told not to wear gloves around big machines. That having been said, on mechanics jobs when i am turning a lot of wrenches, those things can save your hands from the side of the wrench, and your knuckles from the inevitable slip. I can pick up washers with them on and get better grip when doing things like my oil changes. I wouldn’t give them up for the world, though aside from using them to prevent splinters while moving lumber, I don’t see many uses in the wood shop.

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View Builder_Bob's profile


161 posts in 3869 days

#15 posted 03-15-2010 06:53 PM

In the cold months I wear rubber (nitrile) gloves. They provide noticable warmth and enhance the grip.

I think that these form fitting gloves minimize the chances of getting caught, and they are so weak they would tear out easily.

What do you guys think about latex or nitrile gloves?

-- "The unexpected, when it happens, generally happens when you least expect it."

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