Electrician's and Carpenter's Gloves

Kyle Wurtz

Hi everyone!

This my first time posting so bear with me. I'm a college freshmen lighting designer who had been working in theatre since freshmen year high school. But now that I'm freelancing over the summer I'm starting to buy a lot of my own gear to take to load-ins and things of the like.

I'm currently hoping to find a singular pair of gloves that meets all my needs. I am primarily an electrician and lighting designer but I also do carpentry and work in the shop on campus. If I can't find a good pair of gloves that would work for both I am open to buying two pairs as long as we keep in mind that I am a starving college student and would like the least expensive option possible but am not afraid to save up for quality if that's what is needed.

If we could find 1 pair I would want them to be heat resistant enough for focusing and operating a follow spot but also thick enough that I could use them in the shop for safety and loading and unloading wood as well as heavy lifting during load-ins.

I am also curious what people like the fingerless gloves for as I've never tried one before. Any direction as to what you guys like would be great!


I prefer to go gloveless in the wood shop, and keep a tin of O'Keeffes Working Hands nearby.

For lighting I have a pair of Setwear Hot Hands, but they never got as much use as I thought because Source 4's and LEDs have gotten so common, and in the professional world you bring up instruments one at a time so they usually don't have time to get too hot. YMMV

For general protect, while they're more expendable than leather gloves, I've really become a fan of nitrile dipped nylon gloves. The dexterity is what makes them great.
I dont' normally use gloves, but during a thousand cable build this weekend in me doing the outer jacket stripping part of the assembly line build, I found after a day of it my hands starting to get close to a blister because I don't strip cable these days normally in bulk.

Have leather gloves when working on old rigging or sharp metal handling, have a pair of silicone coated gloves for high heat or handling glass, have a pair of very clean welding gloves for installing xenon lamps in follow spots, have a pair of thin gloves with a slight texter for when the shop is a little cold I used for the cable build, and many other pairs of gloves.

First, never use gloves when using a powertool. That powertool if it latches onto the glove will do seriously more damage to you than if you didn't have a glove on which draw that glove with your fingers into it.

Next, such glove you can use universal - unless you was it a lot is not existing. Some oil you picked up from a non-cleaned sch.40 pipe you do not want transferred to wood or lights.

One purpose per glove type, and remember training your hands for using tools in if the glove gets hot, you still have to develop calis in the hand without the glove to get it done. Train your young hands in getting hard perhaps before turning to gloves to add padding.

I even have a pair of gloves for working live electric and another for working with MEK solution. Lots of gloves in use when I need to use gloves. Mostly over the years I have not needed gloves, my hands grew hard to the work required.
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I love my dirty rigger gloves. they seem to last the longest.

*Disclosure time. They sponsor the Total Structures Roof class I teach at, so I usually get a pair as swag.

I keep buying the garbage ones from the Harbor Freight everytime they go on sale. I don't wear gloves as often as I ought to, but when I do I tend to wear out the expensive ones just as bad as the cheap ones so it makes money sense to just buy the cheaper ones at the same interval. I love nitrile gloves with a thick mil rating for soldering or any work that involves something sticky getting on my hands. Again, HF has a nice selection.

As an aside- from my personal experience the road guys seem to always have the coolest looking gloves. Is that a prerequisite or something? :dance:
the road guys seem to always have the coolest looking gloves. Is that a prerequisite or something? :dance:
I sometimes wonder if this is the classic form vs function concept. Are they functional workwear or fashion accessories?
I generally forget my gloves when I make lumber runs to Menards, so once I'm there I pick out a middle of the road pair and get to work. I generally lose them before I wear through them, except when I was flying a performer for a show. In that instance I burned through about one pair a week, but I was burning through the expensive ones at the same rate, so the cheaper gloves got the job done for me. My coolest looking pair have knuckle protection on them, which helps them stand up while loading, but makes it a pain to reach into my pocket. The price we pay for vanity :D
I love my dirty rigger gloves. they seem to last the longest.

*Disclosure time. They sponsor the Total Structures Roof class I teach at, so I usually get a pair as swag.

I'll second the Dirty Rigger gloves. I have three pair- Standard, fingerless, and a cold-weather pair. Standard gloves for the average Theatre show, fingerless for outdoor summer shows (also handy for tying/untying drapes), winter for those long winter load in/outs.
Buy a pair of decent old fashioned leather work gloves use them for the shop work. I prefer to buy a pair, stick 'em on my hands, stick my hands in some hot water, then do some work that doesn't get them filthy, like moving a unit of lumber. In a little while they'll conform to your hands and fit... like a glove. For lighting, electric work I always prefered a cheap set of finger-less gloves. Now you can buy the padded, anti-vibe kind at Harbor freight stupid cheap. < the Yellow leather ones will turn your hands yellow BTW>
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I think I'm going to go with the dirty rigger gloves for now and see if I like them. Thanks again everyone!
Roadies are just as confused or not as you are.

So I a week ago had a pair of gloves which were not silicone dipped but instead some light texture to them of some sort. Was using them for a cable build, and before that, light enough in weight when a little cold, could still use for lap top. Left for half a day, someone was using my work table, and apparently someone cleaned off what was left from their work including one of the gloves. Long gone into the trash.

I note there is light winter keeping warm gloves which let you use your cell phone but normally a little too bulky to use as work gloves. There would be a goal for me now that I'm in the search. I have gloves for broken glass, gloves for handling dirty pipe, and another for heat or another pair for high heat but clean for xenon lamps. And another set for handling MEK solvent.

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