Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves
Yes, Spandex has arrived in the metal shop!
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted – 9-9-2011
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the good folks at Miller Electric had developed a glove and used part of my www.newmetalworker.com domain name in the product name. OK, they did no such thing but for a just little while my grandiose side basked in a fleeting bit moment of glory. Despite returning to reality, the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves remained very cool looking, well made and useful all at the same time. We don’t often see all of those qualities in one product these days. Did I mention that they also brought Spandex to the metal shop with a legitimate reason for it being there?
I should note that the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves are not designed to replace full-on welding gloves for the ultra-high temperatures those processes produce. However the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves do offer considerable protection for most other chores in and around the shop without sacrificing the dexterity that can help us stay safe and efficient.
Materials & Design
Not many of us ever thought that real top grain leather and Spandex would find their way into metal shops – together or individually - with legitimate reasons for being there. The Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves use those widely diverse materials along with neoprene and Velcro to serve a single purpose – protect the user. The way those materials are applied not only enhances protection but allows their properties to make these gloves comfortable and easy to work in.
The leather provides durability in the appropriate areas while the Spandex lets your hand move comfortably and without restriction so you retain a surprising amount of dexterity. The way the pieces are cut and how the double-row stitching is applied gives the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves a built-in form that fits the shape and movement of the hand better. The area around the palm and thumb where lots of pressure and abrasion typically happen have been given a bit of padding and reinforcement that adds protection, wear resistance and comfort all at the same time.
If you are still wondering about the neoprene it is used in the cuff to add stretch that maintains a snug fit but with a comfortable fit. Naturally the Velcro is used for a closure that keeps the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves in place while you are working. A nice touch is that the closure runs up over the wrist rather than under where it is harder to reach.
In the Shop
When I first got the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves I was a little surprised at how snug they fit despite my ordering (and getting) the XL size. I used the Miller-prescribed formula in the side bar to measure my hand but the gloves still seem snug. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves fit closer to my hand in more places than any other gloves I have owned. The shape of the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves really does mimic the shape of the human hand which appears to be responsible for the snug feeling.
What is not typical of the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves is that despite the close fit, moving your hand and fingers is very easy as is handling most things in the shop. The use of the Spandex and quality leather makes a welcome difference in how the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves feel while working. Perhaps it is better to say how they “do not feel” because you really do forget they are on you hand after a while.
Something that nearly got past me is how the double stitching in the palm area mimics the normal creases in the human hand. I noticed that I was not feeling the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves bunching up in my palm when I gripped a piece of small tubing or made a fist. I was looking at the stitching patterns in the palm area when I pulled the glove off and noticed the similarity to the creases in my hand. I didn’t know that ergonomic design could be applied from the inside out on a glove but apparently Miller found out how to do it.
I didn’t try picking up freshly welded pieces of metal with the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves because they are not meant for that. However, picking up pieces that I just cut with a power saw did not elicit bad words or cause the piece to be tossed across the shop. The sharp edges of cut pieces of metal were also held at bay so I am making fewer trips to the first aid kit for Band-Aids these days.
The Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves are thoughtfully designed and well-made pieces of safety clothing that do a good job of protecting without restricting movement or making you look like a total klutz. These gloves are very comfortable and surprisingly cool thanks to the breathable fabric sections.
Another surprising aspect of the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves is the street price that hovers between $17 to $20.00. (9-9-2011) I recently purchased a large box of Band-Aids and the similarity in the number of the dollars spent on that and those invested in the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves make not wearing these gloves downright dumb. I still have that box if Band-Aids but with the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves I think I will be buying replacement boxes at a much slower rate. That means that the Miller Electric Metalworker Gloves should pay for themselves before too long.
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