How to Select a Leather Work Glove

Which is better: split or grained leather? Is it better to have a Clute or a Gunn cut? Is it safer to wear a gauntlet cuff or a safety cuff? Is it better to have a lined or unlined bag?

Because there are so many options in leather work gloves, virtually always one is “ideal” for any particular purpose. Finding that glove, on the other hand, may not always appear to be that simple. You can restrict the field and make an informed selection by knowing the distinctions between accessible features.

You’ll be out on your way to choosing the ideal leather glove if you follow the five steps below:

Step 1: Select a Leather Type

Tanned skins of different animals are used to make leather. Because leather is a natural substance, its quality fluctuates. The following are the most prevalent varieties of leather used in work gloves:

Cowhide Leather

The most frequent and popular kind of leather used mostly for gloves is cowhide. It results in a reasonably priced, comfortable, and durable glove with high abrasion resistance. It is warmer and much more heat resistant than pig or goatskin.

Pigskin Leather

Due to the porous nature of the hide, pig skin has the best breathability. With usage, it softens and resists moisture without becoming rigid. You may also wash the fabric without losing its form or functionality.

Deer Leather

Cowhide is stiffer and less flexible than deerskin, softer, more pleasant, and lasts longer. It’s also the warmest leather you’ll find.

Goatskin Leather

The toughest and most durable sort of leather is goatskin. The glove is exceptionally soft, waterproof, and abrasion-resistant resulting from natural oil in the skin. The material is ideal for activities that need a high level of dexterity.

It would help if you also considered where they hide originates from the animal’s body and which part of the skin is treated.

The exterior side of the hide is where the top of full-grain leather originates from. It’s usually smooth, but it may be softly sanded or treated to feel like velvet or suede after tanning. The durability of the hide is determined by the location where it is cut:

The most durable leather is that which is cut from the animal’s sides and shoulders.

Neck and Belly cuts are less durable and are often employed in “low-cost” gloves and trimmings.

The underbelly of the hide is where split leather or suede originates from. This leather is not as robust as grain leather since it lacks natural grain. Durability and dexterity are determined by the region where the glove is cut:

The most cost-effective leather is belly split, but its texture and look are inconsistent. It is the least long-lasting.

Shoulder split leather is less expensive than side split leather. Still, it is less durable due to the greater movement in the shoulder region, which results in fewer thick fibers and more noticeable textural changes.

The rib region is the source of the side split. It has thick fibers that are exceedingly durable and uniform. This is the highest-grade split leather available.

Choose grained leather gloves if you want your gloves to last a long time. Split leathers will most certainly “perform the job” and save money for temporary employees or intermittent, incidental tasks.

Step 2: Select a Pattern

The versatility and comfort of a glove are determined by how it is cut.

Gunn Cut

A seamless, single-piece back with tiny seams located away from the palm’s working region. The middle two fingers are sewed individually into the palm to assist reduce bulk and increase dexterity in those fingers. This style is more durable and comfortable to wear. The design also reduces stress on the glove, allowing it to last longer and providing a natural gripping motion for tool handling.

Clute Cut

A straight thumb and a one-piece palm without any seam just at the base of the fingers. Each finger has seams on the inside. The design provides the glove a more roomy fit and saves money over gloves with more sewed seams.

Step 3: Select a Thumb Design

A seemingly little factor, such as thumb design, significantly impacts the comfort and usefulness of a glove worn all day.

Straight Thumbs

Designed for activities that aren’t too strenuous. They’re the least effective since they don’t allow for natural thumb movement, but they’re the most cost-efficient since they don’t need much stitching.

Winged Thumbs

The angled design offers more efficiency and flexibility than straight thumbs. Excellent for pulling or pushing tasks, these gloves are often seen on mid-priced mittens and may be used for long periods of time.

Keystone Thumbs

Designed to provide you more freedom of movement and overall comfort. Handling wires or manipulating tiny pipes are two examples of situations where the thumb webbing region is subjected to a lot of wear. Because of the considerable stitching, this is the most costly thumb option.

Step 4: Select a Cuff Style

When it comes to picking a cuff style, the application is crucial. You may use cuffs to improve warmth, reduce abrasion from particles dropping into the glove, boost safety by allowing sleeves to be tucked, and enhance safety by doffing when stuck in a machine.


A knitted cloth that is generally 2′′ to 3′′ length. Designed to keep particles out of the glove while also protecting the wrist.


There is no cuff, and the sleeve ends only at the wrist. It’s simple to put on and take off—the most cost-effective option.


Usually around 2′′ long, giving for wrist coverage. The gloves include a slot on the side that allows the user to fling them off if they become trapped effortlessly.


The safety cuff has the same qualities as the wrist cuff, but it is longer (usually 4′′ vs. 2′′). The forearm is protected, and You may tuck the sleeves inside the glove.

Shirred Wrist

Assist in gathering the leather around the wrist for a much more snug fit. Gloves with security cuffs are a common sight.

Step 5: Select a Lining

Linings, which are often included for warmth, may also assist in making gloves more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

  • Cotton and Jersey prevent chafing.
  • Pile and Wool –  More long-lasting than jersey or cotton or and much warmer.
  • Thermostatic – Best option to use in lower temps.

The Ideal Glove

Like other personal protection equipment, Gloves will wear out and need to be changed over time, but picking the right glove for the job can help you get the most out of your investment and save money.

Further Reading:

craig sandeman

Meet Craig, the leather guru behind a store and blog that helps you find the best leather products. When he’s not curating lists of top-tier leather items, he’s hiking Table Mountain or walking his dog. Trust his picks, and you’ll never feel leather regret.

I’ve carefully chosen each and every product on this site. And if you happen to make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive  a commission. – thanks! :)

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