A box of decent disposable gloves can make mucky workshop tasks a lot less unpleasant. We shopped around for some that wouldn’t fall apart when put through a series of farm workshop tasks.
Our workshop tests found that, if you want a box of disposable gloves that won’t let you down, nitrile are the ones to go for. They are tough, flexible and were the only gloves in the test that didn’t give up the ghost during normal workshop tasks.
See also: 4 battery-powered ratchets tested
Watch out for any that are suspiciously cheap, though – they will probably disappoint.
For very quick jobs that don’t warrant wasting an expensive set of nitrile gloves it is probably worth having a cheap-and-cheerful set of latex ones on hand, too.
Read on to find out how each set of test gloves fared when we put them through their paces.
Box size 100
Features Textured fingertips, fairly long cuff
Price £13.13 plus VAT a box / 26p a pair from Mole Valley
Comfort, feel and durability Perfect length fingers makes them the most comfortable on test. The cuffs are shorter than the Grease Junkie’s, but the wrist area stays pretty tight to keep the glove on.
Grippy, stretchy fingers are perfect for intricate tasks and the gloves are tough, only giving way when we deliberately tried to rip them. They also stayed in shape when drenched in paint thinner or slathered in grease and oil.
Verdict The winner. These are top-quality workshop gloves that laugh off grease, oil, thinners and don’t rip or puncture easily. They were the best fitting and are considerably better value than the Grease Junkies.
Grease Junkie Extra Length Powder Free Nitrile Gloves
Box size 50
Features Extra long cuff and textured fingertips
Price £11.94 plus VAT / 48p a pair from www.greasejunkie.com
Comfort, feel and durability Came a close second for comfort. You can tuck your sleeves into the extra-long cuffs to stop them getting mucky, and textured fingertips improve grip and feel. However, they were a bit baggier than the Ansells.
Good-quality material prevented shrivelling when we drenched them in paint thinner, and they didn’t split or rip under normal use.
Verdict Fans of car show Wheeler Dealers will be familiar with these bright-orange beauties used by wild-haired mechanic Edd China.
They stood up to our abuse just as well as the Ansells, but they’re very expensive and we didn’t think the fit was as good. On the plus side the long cuffs mean your wrists stay clean – even if you look ready to the washing-up.
Warrior Nitrile Examination Gloves
Box size 100
Features Textured finish all over
Price £8.25 plus VAT a box / 17p a pair from Basingstoke Bolt and Tool
Comfort, feel and durability Short wrist sections means arms can get. They are not as stretchy as the other nitrile gloves on test and the fit wasn’t as good either.
A textured finish all over means no shortage of grip. The material felt cheap, though the gloves proved pretty tough compared with vinyl and latex. However they split immediately when doused with thinner. They also ripped more easily than the other nitrile gloves.
Verdict A much better glove than anything made of latex or vinyl, but not a patch on the Grease Junkies or Ansells. Though they are are a bit cheaper, we think it is worth spending the extra cash.
True Touch Latex Gloves
Material Natural latex rubber
Box size 100
Features Lightly powder-coated inside and a hint of texture on the fingertips
Price £6.95 a box / 14p a pair from Basingstoke Bolt and Tool
Comfort, feel and durability Tight fitting, but stretchy. However, the fingers are too short which causes a loose fit on the palm. They are also sloppy around the wrist and the powder inside sticks to sweaty hands.
Thin enough to perform intricate tasks, but we struggled with grip despite the texture on the fingertips.
Ripped fairly easily and, like all latex gloves, are likely to get more brittle with time. They also started to get baggy and sticky after being dipped in oil and disintegrated at the sight of paint thinner.
Verdict Not really suitable for workshop duties and will probably fall apart during an average spannering session. These are nice and cheap, though, and ideal for really light duties.
Click 2000 Latex Disposable Gloves
Material Natural Latex rubber
Box size 100
Features Powder coated inside
Price £5.79 a box / 12p a pair from Mole Valley Farmers
Comfort, feel and durability Spookily similar to the True Touch latex gloves; it was impossible to distinguish between the two.
Verdict Almost identical performance to the True Touch – they ripped too easily and didn’t like the oil or any paint thinner tests.
Clean Grip Vinyl Gloves
Box size 100
Features Powdered coating inside
Price £6.49 a box / 13p a pair from Screwfix
Comfort, feel and durability The most unpleasant to wear by some margin. Vinyl isn’t anywhere near as flexible as nitrile or latex, so they only fit where they touch. It is uncomfortable to clench your fist, they have heaps of powder inside, and get sweaty and sticky very quickly.
Fiddly jobs are difficult because fit is poor and the gloves are slippery.
Vinyl gloves feel thicker and stronger than the latex ones, but they actually rip more easily. They fared better than the latex when dunked in oil but melted as soon as they saw the paint thinner.
Verdict Bottom of the pile. Least comfortable to wear and not that tough either. However, they are a budget alternative for anyone allergic to natural latex rubber.