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Protecting your manly hands

Or “What kind of work gloves should I wear?”.

I always hated wearing work gloves because all I ever had were those big, thick, giant, rawhide, leathery gloves that barely allow you to bend your fingers. They usually have a gauntlet safety cuff and horsehide. You know the kind, the ones you might wear if you were going bronco busting.

Well not any more baby. One fine day I walked past a display that looked something like this:

‘ello, what’s all this then? (say that with an english accent)

I know right? You mean all work gloves aren’t made of rawhide that over the winter somehow attracts wasps to climb into the fingertips and build little nests? NO. These gloves actually FIT YOUR HANDS. They BEND. You can hold a nail or a screw deftly with your fingertips, not like you’re wearing the gloves from a mickey mouse costume.

Look, they even have them for your lady friend:

Lady work gloves

So I got these.

Well the above pictures are from Lowes and I bought mine at Home Depot, but that’s not important right now. What IS important is that here they are:

My gloves

I pretty much wear them on every project I do that involves wood, hammers, nails, screws, and screw guns. Like I said, they are tight and fit so it’s like having super tough skin. Ever drill a hole, go to wipe away sawdust, and get a splinter? Not anymore. Have you had the screw gun jump off the screw while you’re putting a lot of pressure on it and go through your thumb yet? Don’t worry, you will. If I had these gloves when I was building a treehouse, this wouldn’t have happened:

Hole drilled in finger

Sorry the picture’s blurry, I just DRILLED A HOLE THROUGH MY FINGER. Maybe soon I’ll do a post on worksite first aid. Normally it involves duct tape.

Worksite First Aid


  • jb @BuildingMoxie

    Big fan of all the Firm Grips. I actually like having two sets around — one with middle, index and thumb cut out… or just make the modification yourself. ha! great topic, thanks!


    • Pete Fazio

      Yeah, at $10 for a pair you can have multiple sets around. I like the fingers intact for now, but I’m sure a project will come along that will require an instant modification, like cutting the glove fingers off with my utility knife.


  • John Poole

    Hate to be the guy with a dissenting opinion, but I’ve already sliced a few of those FG gloves open with pointed things (fortunately, not hurting myself too badly). I still use them for relatively light duty, but will wear my battle worn Carhartt leather gloves for handling stuff that’s likely to really hurt me. Nice blog here, btw. Count me a follower(found you via buildingmoxie) ~John


    • Pete Fazio

      Thanks John. I don’t mind dissenting opinions and I agree with you. I believe there’s a time and a place for different grades of gloves. For me, chopping up a tree with a chain saw and dragging limbs around… HEAVY DUTY. Building a deck or work that needs dexterity I prefer light duty.


  • Drew

    Oh, the soft hands of a white-collar man….

    FWIW, with me being a tradesman for a living – I don’t wear ‘work gloves’ except for warmth when outdoors or for *serious* hard handwork (jackhammers, chainsaws, etc).

    In general they interfere with your sense of touch, and in my opinion often introduce more dangers than they prevent in doing so.

    Splinters? Part of it, my friend. And they heal fast enough. And that splinter in your hand will be felt as it goes in, not after the hunk tapers large and damages the workpiece in a visible way as it rips off.
    I have had gloves catch in other things as well, nearly pulling my hand into a blade a time or two – far better to suffer a bare-handed nick than to have the cloth drag a whole hand in…

    And the bulk of my hand injuries have come from razor-knives, anyway, which just go right through the light gloves and into the skin, adding the pain of the bloody glove removal to the process…

    And as far as that ‘sore skin’ thing goes (blisters, callous building) – let them wear and build. Our hands are *meant* to build callous, it then becomes the very protection you wish to provide with the gloves….

    So, ‘man up’, as they say. Or ‘chick up’, if that suits for the women out there. They call it “work” for a reason!

    Your curmudgeon pal,

    PS- Please DO a post about carpentry first-aid.. don’t forget the ‘palm-injury-masking-tape-and-swath-of-one’s-t-shirt’ style bandage!


    • Pete Fazio

      Drew, first let me say WELCOME as our first visitor from New Zealand. Second, you GOTTA have manly-looking hands as a tradesman. If I hired a guy to build me something and he had pretty, soft hands I’d immediately question his experience. But trust me, I’m no wuss, sometimes I put nails through my nails just for fun.


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