Ask the Experts

Your Guide to Glove Coatings

30 March 2020

When it comes to work gloves the coating that you choose is important. If you want good grip, thermal protection, chemical resistance, abrasion safety or anything else, then choosing the right glove coating can make the world of difference.

Choosing the right glove coating is important
Choosing the right glove coating is important for your safety and productivity

Of the thousands of reusable work gloves that we sell, you can expect that the majority will either use a latex, nitrile or polyurethane palm or three quarter coating. This short guide gives you all the information that you need to know before purchase, ensuring that you choose the right coating for your job.

Why Does Glove Coating Matter?

Glove coatings will change how a glove protects you and change how you do your job. For example, the below points all change depending on the coating that you choose:

  • Grip: Some tasks don't require grip. However those that do will require a special type of coating to enhance your productivity.
  • Cost: More durable work gloves tend to use a nitrile coating, something that tends to come with a greater price tag.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is crucial because it can improve your productivity and safety.
  • Resistance: Whether it's cut, chemical, heat, oil or more, your coating will determine your protection.
  • Durability: If you're after durability, then choosing the right coating is key. A lighter coating simply won't last as long.

Coating by Coating

To make it as clear as possible, we analyse each coating below, before giving industry recommendations. We score each coating out of five for different factors, to help you make your choice easier.

Nitrile Coating

  • Grip: 5/5
  • Cost: 3/5
  • Flexibility: 3/5
  • Chemical Resistance: 3/5
  • Water Resistance: 5/5
  • Dry Handling: 4/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Oil Resistance: 5/5

Nitrile tends to be a bit more resilient than other coatings, and as such we would recommend it for tougher jobs that requires a bit more mechanical resistance. A nitrile coating usually offers a bit of water and oil resistance, while providing the durability needed for tougher working tasks. They aren't as flexible as other options, and their extra resilience does come at an extra cost.

Key Industries: Oil and gas, rigging, engineering, wet handling.

Top Tip: If you are working with oil, try using a foam nitrile coating for that extra level of grip.

Where to Buy: Nitrile Coated Gloves

Polyurethane Coating

  • Grip: 5/5
  • Cost: 3/5
  • Flexibility: 5/5
  • Chemical Resistance: 5/5
  • Water Resistance: 5/5
  • Dry Handling: 3/5
  • Durability: 3/5
  • Oil Resistance: 5/5

Polyurethane is the cost-effective choice, however that doesn't mean that it doesn't offer its own excellent properties. Polyurethane usually offers quite a good level of grip in oily and wet conditions, while the flexibility and dexterity offered as higher than that of nitrile and latex. Polyurethane gloves tend to be a little less durable than other types, yet the all-round design is ideal for tasks such as mechanics and construction.

Key Industries: Timber handling, mechanics, construction, warehousing.

Top Tip: Don't be fooled by the cost-effective nature of PU gloves, they are still perfect for many tasks.

Where to Buy: Polyurethane Coated Gloves

Latex Coating:

  • Grip: 5/5
  • Cost: 3/5
  • Flexibility: 3/5
  • Chemical Resistance: 1/5
  • Water Resistance: 3/5
  • Dry Handling: 5/5
  • Durability: 5/5
  • Oil Resistance: 1/5

Latex coated gloves have stood the test of time, with fantastic grip, durability and handling abilities perfect for most general use workplaces. Latex doesn't react well when faced against the elements, with poor chemical, water and oil resistance when compared to their counterparts. Latex is however reliable, ensuring that you'll definitely get your money's worth when it comes to purchase.

Key Industries: Glass handling, assembly, metal handling, scaffolding, roofing

Top Tip: For dry handling tasks, we would always recommend that latex is your first port of call.

Where to Buy: Latex Coated Gloves

Choosing the Right Glove Coating

Choosing the right glove coating is crucial to your experience at work, to increasing productivity and to improving safety standards. To find the coating for you, you can access our Gloves by Coating category for further information.

If you have any questions or something to add, please call us on 020 7501 0597 or leave a comment in the comment section below.

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