The Best Work Gloves of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

We put these durable gloves to the test chopping firewood, doing car work, and more
We tested the best work gloves.

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Work gloves only have one purpose: to protect your hands. And, as someone who has been an aircraft and diesel mechanic, a construction worker, cleaned power plants, and procures their own firewood to heat their home, I have gone through my share of work gloves. Work gloves come in many forms and can be designed to protect your hands from cuts, chemicals, splinters, cold or heat, and some even absorb shock from impacts. I tested out the best work gloves to find out which offers superior protection while maintaining dexterity.

How I Tested the Best Work Gloves

To test these gloves, I simply put them to work. I hand split and stacked firewood to evaluate their grip and splinter protection. I had to do some digging in partially frozen dirt, which wasn’t fun, but a good test. After that, I spent a few days snowshoeing with poles in the Adirondack High Peaks to check for blister protection, which can happen fast on the steep descents. I shoveled plenty of snow, did some work on my wife’s SUV, and tested the best folding saws until I thought my arm would fall off. A friend and I did some winter deer scouting and serviced treestands. I also did a bunch of smaller tasks, like cutting up fallen limbs at a neighbor’s house and dragging brush. After a few months of use, I’m ready to share my experiences with these gloves. 

Best Work Gloves: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Wells Lamont HydraHyde Leather Work Glove

Key Features

  • Material: HydraHyde leather
  • Fit: True to size
  • Slip-on, no closure
  • General purpose glove
  • Price: $18


  • Water resistant
  • Comfortable with no break-in needed
  • Leather is more durable than synthetic materials
  • Very good grip


  • Leather gloves can be too hot in the summer
  • Water resistant treatment used makes them less puncture resistant than untreated leather

The Wells Lamont HydraHyde gloves impressed me the moment I put them on. The leather is soft and pliable and not stiff like others, which made them very comfortable. The water-resistant treatment does its job, and I didn’t get wet despite working in rainy and snowy conditions. Leather is more durable and longer lasting than synthetic materials, and that is part of the reason I chose the Wells Lamont as the best work glove. 

They will last a long time, and work well in a wide range of uses. The only reinforcement is in the palm, and the split side is faced out for better grip. The Wells Lamont gloves worked well for every task. The only issue I had was a large thorn piercing one thumb as I walked through some briars. It barely got through, and I didn’t bleed. 

The Wells Lamont gloves were my favorite, and the ones I wanted to grab most often. I had to restrain myself to make sure all gloves got equal testing time. For a comfortable, durable, general-purpose work glove, the Wells Lamont HydraHydes are my top choice. 

Best for Cold Weather: Ironclad Tundra Work Glove

Key Features

  • Materials: Mixed synthetics including Cryoflex insulation and Duraclad reinforcements
  • Fit: True to size
  • Slip-on gauntlet style with hook and loop closure
  • Extreme cold weather work glove
  • Price: $38-$43 depending on size


  • Fully waterproof
  • Touchscreen-compatible fingertips that actually work
  • Padded knuckles and extra grippy reinforcements 
  • Reflective stripes for safety


  • Insulated gloves will always lose dexterity for detail work

The Ironclad Tundra gloves were awesome for shoveling and plowing with my ancient ATV. I was out in single-digit weather and was toasty warm with them on. Although they were a little stiff at first, they broke in after an hour or so, and have been great since. The touch screen fingertips are actually accurate enough to put in my phone’s passcode on the first try, and easily swipe through texts or answer calls. It’s so nice to not have to remove your gloves in cold weather and freeze just to answer a call. 

The Ironclad Tundra work gloves are great for any outside work in the coldest months. I couldn’t help but think how handy they would have been back when I plowed taxiways for six hours with no heat in the loader. I took these on a backpacking trip in the Adirondacks, but it wasn’t cold enough to wear them. They were in the bottom of my pack when I ended up sliding on my rear end for hundreds of yards in wet snow because it was too slippery for my snowshoes. The pack was soaked, and I figured the gloves would be after 6 hours of being wet. But, to my surprise, the inside of the gloves stayed bone dry. For cold weather, it would be tough to beat the Ironclad Tundra Gloves. 

Read Next: Best Jackets for Extreme Cold 

Best for Hot Weather: Mechanix Wear Original Glove

Key Features

  • Materials: Synthetic leather palms and fingers and mesh top
  • Fit: True to size
  • Hook and loop closure
  • General purpose glove
  • Price: $18


  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Comfortable with no break-in needed
  • Mesh top keeps hands cooler
  • Thinner material allows for better dexterity, especially the fingertips


  • Not warm when the temperature drops
  • Thinner material wears out prematurely

I have owned several pairs of the Original Mechanix gloves over the years, and I always like wearing them. When I was working on trucks and buses, they were great for brake jobs, and they worked well around the house. They’re comfortable, and sweat and heat escape through the mesh tops better than other gloves. 

However, my experience is always the same. The thin synthetic leather provides good grip and feel, but it doesn’t last all that long. Some would only last a few weeks in the shop before I started getting little holes in the index and middle fingertips and on the thumb. When not in the shop, they lasted quite a bit longer, and when I’m cutting several cords of wood with a chainsaw in the summer, these things are great. I’m going to sweat in the summer heat no matter what, but these are noticeably cooler than other gloves I’ve used.  

Best Budget: G&F Products All Purpose Textured Latex Coated Work Gloves

Key Features

  • Material: Cotton and polyester glove with latex coating  
  • Fit: True to size
  • Slip-on, stretch fit
  • Lighter duty glove
  • Price: $15 per dozen


  • Water and oil proof palm and fingers
  • Crinkle latex pattern for extra grip
  • Great for group projects/volunteers
  • Economical


  • No real protection for the back of the hand
  • Less durable than other gloves

The G&F Products gloves are great for light jobs and gardening. Latex covers the tops of the fingertips, which keeps dirt out of your fingernails, while providing solid grip, even on wet surfaces. I was refinishing an old cast iron pan and sanding some rust out with an air grinder when I slipped and hit my fingertip with the sanding diss. The grinder took off the latex but left the glove underneath mostly untouched, which was a relief. 

G&F Products work gloves come in a 12 pack, which is great for things like volunteering events where you can give them out. The other place these shine is when you are handling different solvents or chemicals because the latex keeps them off your skin. They are no good if submerged, but they work very well for handling dirty/oily materials or tools. G&F Products are by far the best budget option for work gloves at around $1.50 a pair. 

Best Features: Ironclad General Utility Work Gloves

Key Features

  • Material: Synthetic leather with nylon, padding, and rubber
  • Fit: True to size
  • Slip-on with elastic and velcro closure
  • General purpose glove
  • Price: $16


  • Padded palms to absorb shock
  • Comfortable to flex in with stretchy nylon top and armored knuckles
  • Reinforcements in palm, thumb, and index finger
  • Touchscreen compatible


  • Not very warm in cooler temps

The Ironclad General Utility gloves look pretty standard at first glance, but the more you look, the more features you find. They have flared rubber grips at the bottom of the wrists to pull the gloves on easily, and they also have terry cloth sweat wipes on the thumbs. Add to that the accurate touchscreen fingertips and padded palms, and these gloves really start to stand out. 

I also like the stretch panel next to the closure strap because it means I can leave them fastened and still pull them on. A rubber knuckle pad rounds out the features on this glove, and I’m left wondering how it costs less than other gloves that deliver less. These gloves were great, and I almost chose them for the best work glove overall, and would have if the Wells Lamont weren’t so comfortable. 

Read Next: Best Tactical Gloves

Best for Detail Work: Dex Fit FN330 Work Gloves

Key Features

  • Material: Nylon and spandex glove with Nitrile coating
  • Fit: Slightly small
  • Slip-on, no closure
  • Light duty, detailed tasks
  • Price: $14 for three pairs


  • Water and oil resistant nitrile coating
  • Snug fit for best feel
  • Nitrile provides excellent grip
  • Light and thin for tight spaces


  • Least durable gloves tested

When I was an aircraft mechanic, I was frequently reaching into blind areas trying to get a bolt, nut, or screw started. Many times, I was dealing with hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, or solvents, and I wore latex gloves to keep that stuff out of cuts and cracks in my fingers. If only I had these gloves back then. 

Latex and nitrile gloves tear easily, but I like their feel and dexterity over most work gloves. The Dex Fit FN330s are a perfect marriage of a thin nitrile glove with great feel, and a much tougher work glove. I changed the brakes and lower control arm in my wife’s car while wearing them, and they were great. When things are oily and greasy, and fine motor skills are needed, the Dex Fit FN330 will keep you from having to scrub your hands raw to get them clean again. They won’t hold up to heavy-duty work like firewood or construction for very long, and they don’t offer much at all in terms of protection, but they are the perfect light-duty work glove. 

How to Choose the Right Work Glove


Your first consideration for choosing a work glove should be what you plan to use it for: chopping firewood, construction, demolition, storm clean up, car work, etc.

The reality is that a general-purpose glove will be good for the majority of jobs that you would want a glove for. But you may want a glove for a more specific task, such as a thin glove for feeling something in a blind spot, or working with small, slippery parts. In that case go with something like the Dex Fit. If you’re working outside and if it’s below freezing, grab a pair of the Tundra gloves. 


None of these gloves were very expensive, but price is still a factor when buying. For me, I like to buy one nice thing and keep it for as long as I can. It tends to be less expensive in the long run that way. But if things are tight, or you need more than one pair, the G&F 12 pack is a great option. 


Part of the reason I chose the Wells Lamont as the overall best was the fact that they are leather, and in my experience, leather lasts longer. I have leather work gloves that are pushing 10 years old. With a light coat of leather conditioner once a year, they just keep going. Synthetic gloves have their own benefits, but they just won’t last as long as a pair of leather gloves will. But if touchscreen compatibility and armored knuckles are needed (or just desired) then a synthetic glove might be best for your use. 

Final Thoughts

While there isn’t a need to wear work gloves for every job, there are certainly times when it just makes sense. As I get older, and all the scars and bumps, skinned knuckles, and broken bones pile up, I find myself appreciating a good work glove that much more, knowing that it might save me from some future aches and pains, even if my hands don’t “need” gloves in the moment. There are times, though, when you plain need a good work glove, and the good news is there are a number of good choices. So, pick a glove and get to work.


Drew Conover Avatar

Drew Conover


Drew Conover is a contributor at Outdoor Life. He writes mostly gear reviews and how-to articles on survival and navigation. He lives in Upstate New York with his wife, two daughters, and a goofy dog.