Prod­uct Test: Nitrile and me­chan­ics’ gloves

CM se­lects the best avail­able.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

Many of us have waved good­bye to bar­rier cream, hand cleaner and a nail brush in favour of us­ing dis­pos­able gloves. How­ever, gloves are not al­ways the best so­lu­tion. Many peo­ple have al­ler­gies to la­tex or have found their hands get­ting sweaty be­cause the gloves are not made from a breath­able ma­te­rial. In ad­di­tion, some gloves can eas­ily get snagged on sharp edges and will in­stantly tear open.

This Prod­uct Test ex­am­ines a wide range of dis­pos­able nitrile gloves and a smaller range of work gloves de­signed for car main­te­nance. We’ve de­cided to omit la­tex gloves be­cause so many peo­ple are al­ler­gic to them, and those that do use them of­ten find the cheap­est prod­ucts are best, even if they get through 10 pairs a day! Nitrile gloves are gen­er­ally more ex­pen­sive and are de­signed to ap­peal to the home me­chanic who wants a longer-last­ing pair of dis­pos­able gloves. As we dis­cov­ered, how­ever, some last longer than others.

Nitrile gloves ap­pear to be colour­coded ac­cord­ing to qual­ity. At the cheap end of the scale (usu­ally about £6 for a box of 100), blue seems to be the en­try level. Black is a step up, of­fer­ing thicker ma­te­rial and more re­sis­tance to oil and other chem­i­cals. At the top end of the scale are red and or­ange gloves, which seem to be made from the thick­est ma­te­rial. Some in­clude a tex­tured fin­ish to help the fin­ger­tips to grip small ob­jects, such as a nut or bolt, which is an ad­van­tage if they get oily and slip­pery. Their ex­tra thick­ness of­ten means they can be washed and wiped clean of any chem­i­cals, then reused.

Note that some nitrile gloves con­tain sil­i­cone, which can be a prob­lem for bodyshops where sil­i­cone con­tam­i­na­tion needs to be avoided.

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