Metal mesh gloves and knit gloves are two kinds of safety gloves with vastly different purposes. Choose the right gloves for the task you need to complete.
What Are Metal Mesh Gloves?
Mesh gloves are made exclusively to protect your hands. These gloves are created with hundreds of tiny metal loops and look a lot like medieval chain mail.
Mesh gloves need to meet OSHA and food safety regulations to be suitable for professional use. The rings need to be strong enough to withstand accidental knife cuts. The gloves also can’t include any fabric, or they will risk bacterial contamination.
The Benefits of Metal Mesh Gloves
Metal mesh gloves protect your hands from accidental cuts while you’re using a knife. They don’t provide perfect protection, but they do greatly reduce your risk of injury.
Any industry that uses knives or slicers should provide employees with mesh gloves. Food production is the most common use of these gloves; most mesh gloves are made from stainless steel for easy cleaning and sterilization.
Choosing a Good Pair of Mesh Gloves
A good pair of metal gloves will be breathable and flexible. You want to be able to use your hands to complete your work, but you also need to be protected from a falling blade. Make sure there are no gaps in the rings large enough for a knife to pass through.
When Not to Use Metal Gloves
Mesh gloves can only offer you so much protection. If you’re working with power tools, understand that a pair of metal gloves will not be able to block a moving blade.
Metal gloves are not appropriate for extremely cold temperatures. These gloves offer no insulation. If you wear steel gloves in a below freezing environment, your hands might actually stick to the metal.
What Are Knit Work Gloves?
A knit glove is intended to provide insulation or protection. These gloves can be made from a variety of materials, but cotton and polyester are both extremely common.
The Benefits of Knit Work Gloves
Knit work gloves are used when you do not want your skin to come into direct contact with the material you are working with. This could be to protect your skin, but it could also be to protect the materials.
Cotton gloves are often worn when working with electronics or when inspecting materials. They don’t leave fingerprints and can be washed when needed.
Choosing a Good Pair of Knit Work Gloves
Look for a pair of seamless knit gloves that fit your hands well. You want to maintain manual dexterity; you should be able to work as if you were using your bare hands.
Make sure the gloves are washable. If it’s relevant to your occupation, see if the gloves have been treated for heat resistance.
When Not to Use Knit Work Gloves
Some cloth gloves are suited for food service, but many are not. Knit work gloves do not offer cut protection. They also offer only very minor heat resistance.
Don’t use knit work gloves when dealing with particularly wet or dirty substances. The gloves are washable, but they will still be damaged by large amounts of moisture. In these circumstances, plastic or even disposable gloves will be a safer bet.
Mesh gloves are best used to protect against knives and slicers. Knit gloves are used to protect electronics or other materials from the oils on human hands. Understand the purpose of each type of glove and choose the one that’s right for you.