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10 Work Gloves for DIY Projects, Gardening, and Odd Jobs

No matter the task, keep your hands protected and comfortable.

pair of tan work gloves
Staff, Courtesy of Carhartt

A good pair of work gloves can be the unsung heroes of any job site or workshop. Often underappreciated or taken for granted, work gloves can be the key to working comfortably, and in some cases, might even save your skin—literally.

Materials and Sizing

The main thing you should consider when choosing work gloves is their material. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario: No single material works well for every purpose. A thick, tough material like leather is a smart pick for messy or dangerous tasks performed outdoors, whereas a sheer and lightweight latex-style would likely be more effective for intricate tasks or cleanup.

When shopping for work gloves, review the sizing information carefully. Work gloves tend to come in standard sizes, usually small to extra-large, but sizing isn’t necessarily consistent from one brand to another. Also, gloves that have any sort of thick lining might fit more tightly than thinner gloves in your normal size. Keep in mind that pricing can vary depending on your size selection.

How We Evaluated

In assessing a broad variety of work gloves, we considered how well particular gloves performed their intended function. As a hardcore DIYer and the former owner of a construction company, I have worn many types of work gloves. Living in a cold-weather area with rapidly fluctuating weather conditions, I especially look for gloves with insulating or water-resistant properties (sometimes, both). My tendency towards nicks and cuts also makes me a fan of gloves that protect against sharp edges. But for delicate projects requiring fine motor skills and precision, I typically opt for sleeker gloves made from a lightweight material. So, I drew upon my firsthand knowledge (no pun intended) in this area and also reviewed feedback provided by hundreds of Amazon users for good measure.

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Great All-Purpose Choice
Ironclad General Utility
$15.53 (26% off)

Material: Synthetic leather
Best for: Mechanical work and general construction

These gloves are shrewdly engineered to help you get work done in a safe and comfortable manner, with strategically placed reinforcement in areas where your hands need it most. The flexibility and secure grip make them an ideal choice for jobs involving intricate tasks or delicate machinery. The layer of fortifying thermoplastic serves as a buffer that helps absorb impact and save your knuckles.

  • Reinforced in high-wear areas
  • Flexible and grippy

  • Some task might require more protection than this pair offers
Best Carhartt Model
Carhartt Men’s System 5 Work Glove with Safety Cuff

Material: Cotton with leather palms
Best for: Working outdoors in harsh elements

Carhartt is a name that immediately conjures up visions of durable, well-made apparel designed for harsh and challenging conditions. These gloves certainly live up to the expectations you have from the brand. Amazon users rave about the gloves’ endurance and long life span. The shell is made from a strong cotton duck fabric while the palm is crafted from synthetic leather accentuated with suede cowhide palm patches. It also features a safety cuff for added protection.

  • Durable materials
  • Longer safety cuff for added protection

  • Suede patches are less breathable than woven fabrics
Magnetic Convenience
Ozero Leather Work Gloves with Flex Grip

• Material: Leather
Best for: Construction and mechanical work

These gloves are thick and strong but with a mesh lining that keeps you cool. They also have an extra grip capability—in the form of a removable magnet—so you don’t need to worry about dropping things. The magnet can be attached to the cuff on either glove and is great for picking up nails or other small metal items.

  • Removable magnet keeps small metal items handy
  • Mesh lining wicks sweat

  • Leather exterior isn’t as breathable as woven fabrics
Breathable Comfort
Handlandy Flexible Yard Work Gloves

• Material: Spandex shell and synthetic leather palm
Best for: Lawn work and home repairs

If there’s one material that seems to be synonymous with stretchability, it’s spandex. These gloves let your hands and fingers move comfortably so you can get your work done without unwanted strains and restricted motion. The touchscreen-friendly fingertips are a nice touch and come in handy if you need to take a quick call or look something up on your phone.

  • Stretchy
  • Touchscreen compatible

  • Not as grippy as some models
Lightweight and Effective
G&F Products Double-Coated Work Gloves
G&F Products

• Material: Rubber and latex
Best for: Cleaning and maintenance jobs

These reusable knit gloves, sold in a pack of 12, are so modestly priced that you can afford to keep many pairs on hand anywhere you might need them. Stash a few pairs in your toolbox, the trunk of your car, or wherever else you find yourself tackling quick repair jobs. The double-dipped latex coating keeps messy substances away from your skin.

  • Very affordable
  • Latex coating prevents hands from getting into muck

  • Less robust protection than some models
Excellent Grip
Midwest Gloves & Gear Max Grip
Midwest Gloves & Gear

• Material: Nylon spandex
Best for: Work in wet or slippery conditions

These gloves are among my personal favorites, and I have several pairs in my home and shed right now. I recently used them for a masonry project and was impressed with how well they protected my hands from scrapes and scratches without interfering with gripping ability. They would also be a good pick for landscaping and yard maintenance.

  • Protection that doesn’t sacrifice dexterity or grip

  • Thinner construction isn’t best for the cold or more dangerous tasks
Nearly Weightless
KAYGO KG15P Nylon Lite Work Gloves

• Material: Nylon and polyurethane
Best for: Assembly and light-duty tasks

If your favorite type of gloves is one that lets you forget you’re even wearing gloves at all, these are for you. So light and flexible, the KG15P lets you work comfortably without distractions or restrictions. This 12-pack is a smart choice for tasks that involve fine motor skills and require manual dexterity.

  • Comfortable
  • Affordable

  • Some projects demand more protection than these provide
Great for Mechanics
Mechanix Wear The Original Glove
Mechanix Wear

• Material: Synthetic leather
Best for: Automotive work and general repair

As you can probably guess from the name, these gloves are ideal for mechanical repairs but work well for a wide range of tasks. The moisture-resistant TrekDry synthetic material is breathable, comfortable, and keeps your hands from overheating. Ensuring a sure and sensitive grip, the construction of these gloves make them perfect for driving or intricate assembly jobs.  

  • Breathable

  • Some customers report durability issues
Wells Lamont 1132S Work Gloves
Wells Lamont

• Material: Leather
Best for: Tasks involving sharp materials

These gloves are puncture-resistant to keep your hands safe when you are working with sharp objects or abrasive materials. The durable, reinforced leather means these gloves will last, despite regular use in strenuous conditions. The ergonomic design prevents strain and discomfort, while the snug wrist closures keep debris out and away from hands.

  • Comfortable and protective

  • Some people report problems with the stitching durability
Ultimate Protection
RAPICCA Animal Handling Gloves
$22.99 (12% off)

• Material: Cowhide split leather and Kevlar-insulated cotton
Best for: Jobs involving pets and wildlife

Handling wildlife or unpredictable animals of any type can be a hazardous job that requires purpose-built gear. These Kevlar-reinforced gloves help protect your hands from bites and scratches, and the 16-inch long sleeves keep your forearms covered. The gloves are also heat-resistant and can prevent chemicals from coming in contact with your skin.

  • Long cuffs protect forearms

  • Burly materials are more prone to cause overheating
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