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How to Choose Heat Resistant Gloves

school of safety supplies | Posted: 8/25/2021

We all know that cut, puncture, and chemical risks are prevalent in the workplace, but what about the one danger we always seem to forget? Let’s get into the dangers of heat and how heat-resistant gloves can make a difference.

Heat-resistant gloves are work gloves that are designed to protect our hands from burns or other heat-related injuries. These can occur due to contact with extremely hot objects, working near sparks and flames, or being exposed to high temperatures in the workplace. Heat hazards can be low level, like in the food preparation industry or extremes, such as the forging or glass industries. Depending on the application or industry, certain heat-resistant gloves are better suited to one workplace over another. The amount of heat protection you need is determined by your working conditions. However, there are a few factors you should think about to be sure you’re getting the best glove for you, and for the job.

Measuring Heat Ratings

Let’s start by taking a look at how heat ratings are measured. In North America, the standard test for thermal protection is the American Society for Testing and Materials (or ASTM) F1060. This test measures the conductive heat resistance of a material to determine its thermal insulation properties for contact with hot surfaces. Simply put, this test tells you the maximum temperature at which you can hold an object for more than four seconds before feeling pain and for more than 15 seconds before getting a second-degree burn. This test rates the glove material between level 1 (under 80°C) and level 5 (320°C). For example, an ASTM heat level 4 glove holding a 260°C object would have time to the pain of greater than 4 seconds with a time to second-degree burn of 15 seconds.

Heat-Resistant Rating European Standard, EN407 Symbol
European Standard, EN407

The other type of heat rating standard is the European Standard, EN407. This standard includes six thermal tests: burning behavior, contact heat, convective heat (airflow or liquid flux), radiant heat (flame, sun), and the small and large splashes of molten metal. The results of these tests are shown by a numerical value, from 0 to 4, beneath the image of a shield with a flame in it.

How to Choose the Right Gloves?

To choose the right glove for your specific application, you first need to determine the temperature of the object you’ll be working with. To do so, use an infrared thermometer. It’s important to be accurate with the reading, so using an infrared thermometer is the best way to do this. This step is critical for two reasons:

  • If you overestimate the heat of an object to “play it safe,” you may get a glove that has too much insulation. This makes the glove bulky and will limit dexterity.
  • By underestimating the heat of the object, you’re putting yourself at risk for burns.

Your glove selection will vary drastically if you hold a heated object for 60 seconds or only 5 seconds, and this will affect the amount of insulation you need. Knowing this, and the temperature of your workplace will help you to determine the type of material you need your glove to be made from.

Common Heat Resistant Gloves

Some of the common materials heat-resistant gloves are made of include Kevlar, terry knit, neoprene, or a combination of them.

Kevlar Gloves

Kevlar Gloves are a popular choice for heat-resistant gloves because they can withstand extreme temperatures (up to 425°C) without melting, it’s flame-resistant and extremely cut-resistant. Kevlar is great for pipe handling, service and supply duties, chain and cable handling, and pumps and pressure line work.

Terry Knit Gloves

Terry knit gloves provide both heat resistance and insulation since the “looped” knit traps air to create an excellent insulator. They’re great for heat resistance below 230°C. The terry cloth may not seem like it offers much in the way of protection, but who hasn’t used a dishcloth to take something out of the oven after misplacing an oven mitt? A dishcloth and the terry glove use the same material, making this inexpensive glove a great option, so long as you’re not worried about cut or puncture risks.

European Standard, EN407

Neoprene Gloves

If you're working in an environment where steam or hot liquids are your biggest concern, look for Neoprene Gloves. This synthetic rubber resists degradation and has a burning point of 260°C. Offering chemical resistance and flexibility, these gloves are perfect for plating operations, circuit board manufacturing, steam cleaning, bulk chemical handling, and transport.

Flame-Resistant Utility Gloves

Most heat-resistant glove styles feature a combination of these high-performing materials. This combination gives you a glove that protects a worker against heat, as well as other common workplace hazards, such as cuts, abrasion, or puncture risks. For instance, the Flame-Resistant Utility Gloves offer flame resistance, cut protection, and static dissipation properties. The Kevlar fiber and neoprene coating on the palm and fingers help to make this glove a real workhorse. There’s even additional padding for impact protection!

Key Takeaways

Once you’ve narrowed down your material, it’s time to choose a glove that not only fits your hand best but also fits the job. Before selecting a glove ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you handle the tools required on a day-to-day basis?
  • Do you have a good grip?

Remember, when it comes to getting the best heat-resistant glove, it’s a balancing act between dexterity and insulation. You have to make sure you are not getting one so thick that you can’t do your job, or so thin that you’re compromising safety. So, know your tasks, and your requirements, before shopping for the perfect heat-resistant glove.

Now, if you have any other “burning” questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here, and make sure to subscribe to our email list so you can keep up to date with the latest offers, flyers, new products, and giveaways here at!

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