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Choosing to not wear gloves for hand protection while playing with knives seems counter-productive. At worst, they get in the way, but at best it can seriously save your ass, and time. Accidents happen and will require a healing period before you’re able to carve again, even for minor injuries. Whether you choose a thumb guard, the best wood carving gloves, or combining the two for maximum protection, you’ll want something that ensures protection against sharp and dull knives.
Whittling Gloves or Thumb Guard?
Some prefer just a glove, others lean to the thumb guard, and the rest use both. I, myself, implement both. While this could come off as overkill or just my being too cautious, in actuality the glove and the guard serve the same yet alternate purposes.
A wood carving glove is worn on the same hand that supports the object you are carving. This goes on to imply that wearing a glove on the hand that holds the knife is obviously counter-productive, and just flat out wrong. The knife hand bares the least amount of risk of getting cut while the hand that holds the object being carved yields the most possibilities of injury. Any number of digits attached to your hand can get easily sliced without adequate protection, and securing your work properly. Simply put, the glove’s purpose to protect the hand and fingers from cuts, and tightly secures the object you are carving.
Two types of gloves dominate the wood carving world: Kevlar and Steel Mesh. However, one important detail about both of these materials is that they are cut and slice-resistant, but do not protect against punctures. Material resistant to punctures are much more tough. Even the best wood carving gloves won’t protect you from being stabbed, but fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the majority of carving injuries are cuts.
The thumb guard is worn on the hand holding the knife. This primarily offers protection for the thumb when using whittling methods like push or pull stroke. Both have the potential to cause harm to your fingers and require protection to avoid injuries. Some might argue that it is harder to cut the same hand wielding the knife, making a glove more valuable. However, I would make the argument that having both a glove and a thumb guard is the best route to go.
Best Wood Carving Gloves
Any craftsmanship involving knives is no doubt going to require a pair of resilient gloves to combat all possible cuts. Below we have comprised a list of the best wood carving gloves available that will protect against the sharpest of blades.
- Tough and durable high quality material
- Highest cut protection rating available, CE EN388 Level 5
- Covered in silicon dots for gripping awkward objects easily
- Perfect gloves for wood carving, woodworking, roofing, glass handling, etc.
Injuries with wood carving knives can be few and far between if you are careful enough. Eventually, that luck will run out, and when it does you’ll wish you had NoCry protective work gloves. They utilize a mixture of high quality materials which results in an incredibly tough and durable product. However strong the material is proven to be, it is still delicate enough to be breathable for your hands, and completely comfortable while offering a full range of motion.
NoCry’s CE EN388 level 5 cut protection is the highest possible grade available in the market. It can withstand, but not limited to, sharp edges, objects, and blades. Silicon dots run along the palm and fingers of the gloves for a better grip on your work, allowing you to completely focus on the job at hand. The quality build and diverse field of use make these one of the best wood carving gloves available.
The only real problem these particular gloves face is discoloration, but that is purely a cosmetic issue. They can easily be washed and reused like new with no damage to its effectiveness.
- Highest cut proof material
- Protects against cuts and punctures
- CE qualified and meets ANSI Cut requirements
- Premium elastic knit wrist cuff for easy usability
Gloves like DEX Fit are built for diverse applications, and using them for woodworking or woodcarving certainly are not out of the question. In fact, the FDA approved nitrile coating along the palm and fingers make it optimal to use for firm griping. The coating itself does not take away from the glove’s unique air ventilation and remains dry and cool.
Dex Fit protection capabilities exceed the industry standard with CE EN 388: abrasian level 4, cut-resistant level 5, puncture resistance level 4. The combination of materials used are kevlar, dyneema, fliament yarn, and spandex for great dexterity. Its intended application stretches over a wide range of objects like handling sharp steel material, knives, rotary cutter, chain mail, chain saw, iron, carpentry, and ax. It is preferable to use these gloves for the bulk of your work whether you need it for gripping a slippery surface or protecting your hands and fingers from cuts.
Yes, you can use these gloves for touchscreen purposes which is somewhat convenient. The water based rubber coating that allows you to do that still receives a good amount of ventilation, surprisingly. The rubber is non-slip making it better with wet objects, but unless you are staining your woodcarving pieces or making use of its versatility, you won’t need to worry about that.
- High performing protective cut resistant material
- Conveniently comfortable and optimal dexterity for easy work-ability
- High elastic nylon is blended for ideal fit
Dowellife straight and simple gloves utilizes level 5 high elastic nylon for a tight, snug fit. They provide the widest variety of sizes from small to XL, with a discounted amount for buying 2 pairs. Protects against cuts and abrasians, but is otherwise helpless against punctures. Still, it has a flexible yet firm range of motion with no sliding.
Eventually, the gloves will get dirty from the work you’ll put it through, and when they do they’ll be easy to sanitize. Keeping them clean doesn’t require an extensive process, but they are machine washable, and best to hang dry. You can even find a fixed ring along the wrist that you can use to hook and let dry.
The Dowellife’s pair of safety gloves is marketed to kitchen equipment handling, but they apply to sharp objects as a whole. They exceed their target application niche by creating an inexpensive safety tool for woodcarving. These particular gloves don’t have the silicon or rubber gripping material added, but it is an inexpensive option if you have not concern for slippage.
- 100-percent DuPoint Kevlar cut resistant fiber
- PVC dots on front and back
- Essential for cutting work and glass handling
One thing that certainly stands out from first impressions of G & F’s gloves is the pvc dots meant to maintain grip are on both sides of the glove. Somehow this is suppose to provide super grip, but I fail to see the purpose. However, I will note that it is clever to leave enough space between the dots in order for the glove to ventilate efficiently.
Additionally, the DuPont Kevlar material is perfect for resistance against being sliced and diced. Like other options recommended here, the best wood carving gloves have a multi-purpose functionality. They operate as work gloves capable of handling glass and sharp objects. Kevlar takes a little bit of the elasticity you would typically see in other options, however its durability increases comparatively.
- Level 5 cut resistant fiber
- Heat resistant material
- Food grade safe
- Protects against scrapes and cuts
G & F gloves are of standard regulated cut resistance requirements which ensures 100% fiber protections. Of course this makes it a breeze for extra sharp objects, but its the heat protecting silicone block palm coating technology that sets it apart from the others.
It is effectively one of the best wood carving gloves on the market today. It’s similar in functionality to the others, but surpasses their usability significantly. It even meets FDA standards for food contact safety requirements making it applicable to carving eating utensils and kitchen operation. It’s a pleasant surprise seeing unique features applied to the best wood carving gloves, even if its use is null with wood carving. It still proves to be a leading force among other options that might be comparatively sub-par.
Washing and Drying
Fabrics on most of the best gloves for wood carving have a bad habit of getting easily discolored due to the nature of cloth type fabrics. They are easily washable and is best to let hang dry to avoid shrinkage.
To be perfectly honest, you won’t always have access to your best whittling gloves every time you carve, but it is important to focus on minimizing the potential for harm. Cutting yourself occasionally is an inevitable reality for everyone, regardless how careful they are, and that simply comes with the territory. Modern styles of cutting are beneficial for carving efficiently and safely. However, if you’re a bit of a beginner, there is a learning curve during the familiarity process. During that time, I would suggest using hand protection and give yourself enough experience to become acquainted with your knife and your work.
Something that helped me was using several cutting techniques that significantly reduce the risk for potential injury. The style of cuts that are consistent with minimizing those risks help sustain knife control while slicing away your wood.
- Push cut
- Stop cut
- Pairing cut
The most used cutting techniques are these four, so utilize them with caution and a high emphasis on keeping control of the blade. This will help tremendously by limiting yourself to minor scratches and little nicks.
Being able to safely carve is a necessary part of learning and patience. The best gloves for wood carving: NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves because they most reliable achieves that goal by tightly securing the work, and helping the carver focus on their cutting techniques for knife control.