Product Test: Nitrile and mechanics’ gloves
CM selects the best available.
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.