Get a Grip: Top Materials to Consider When Purchasing Gloves


From considering the temperature and materials you normally handle, to overall qualities like strength and durability, there are many variables to keep in mind.


Grip and coating are two of these variables. Having the right type of glove with the wrong grip or coating can significantly impact efficiency and safety. Just think about what would happen if you drove a car in the snow with bald ties; while the tires might be right for the current weather conditions, the grip might be lacking, increasing the possibility for accidents and injuries to occur on the road.


Whether it’s a first-time purchase or you’re looking for a better fitting, higher quality, and more job-appropriate pair, we’ve broken down the types of coatings and grip properties you should look out for, along with some details about each to help you make a more informed decision:


Coatings – Used to enhance the glove's grip and improve resistance to snags, abrasions, punctures, and tears, along with liquid or contamination protection.

Grip – Different pattern types or finishes that enable stronger or more secure handling on specific items.



Types of Coatings


Nitrile – Offers excellent dry grip and a thicker coating that resists snags, cuts, punctures, and abrasions. When enhanced by a foam coating, nitrile offers strong grip that stands up well to chemicals such as oils, petrochemicals, fuels, and most acids.


Latex – Offers good dry and wet grip when working with aqueous-based liquids, animal fats, caustics, acids, and alcohols, as well as resistance to snags, cuts, punctures, and abrasions.


Neoprene – Offers good dry and wet grip when handling heavy oils, acids, caustics, grease, and solvents, as well as excellent resistance to snags, cuts, punctures, and abrasions.


Polyurethane (PU) – Offers good abrasion resistance and dry grip, and fair grip in slightly wet conditions. PU properties allow for a very thin coating, which results in excellent tactility and dexterity.


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – Offers durable resistance and barrier protection against petrochemicals, oils, and grease. While flexible, PVC does not provide the tactile sensitivity associated with most rubber products.



Types of Grip


Smooth – Available in a variety of polymers such as latex, nitrile, PVC, neoprene, and polyurethane. Smooth coatings provide the wearer with an excellent dry grip. Plus, smooth coatings can resist liquid absorption, helping keep the hands dry.


Micro Finish/Micro Surface – This material is created when using a soft and flexible compound, such as latex or nitrile, filled with thousands of tiny suction cups. As these suction cups come into contact with a surface, they create a vacuum that disperses fluids away from the object, allowing a clean contact. Works well in handling wet and dirty applications.


Foam/Micro Foam – Available in nitrile, latex, and PVC, this coating is designed to channel away liquids, allowing better handling in wet and dirty conditions. Also provides excellent grip and tactile sensitivity in dry applications.


Pattern – Patterns such as dots, blocks, and palm coatings in a variety of polymers provide enhanced grip, performance, and durability. String knit/ambidextrous gloves have the ability for the pattern to be screened on both sides, helping extend the life of the glove.


Crinkle – Latex crinkle coatings are designed to channel away liquids to allow better handling in heavy-duty wet and dirty conditions. The thicker coating provides additional protection against cuts and punctures.


Rough – Rough finishes provide an economical choice for cut and abrasion resistance while providing good protection in wet and dry applications.


Sandy – Premium sandy finishes enhance cut and abrasion resistance while providing excellent dependability in wet and rugged applications.


Raised Diamond – Diamond patterns are typically relied on in food handling and processing applications and provide added grip on wet and dry surfaces.


Honeycomb – Honeycomb patterns are typically relied on in janitorial, sanitation, and general maintenance applications and provide added grip on wet and dry surfaces.


When purchasing gloves, take the time upfront to scope the usage and determine the right coating and grip for the job. To view available options that incorporate the types covered in this article, visit: Gloves and Hand Protection


The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will Global Industrial® be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.


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