Woodworking is an enjoyable activity that can produce outstanding results and give you a sense of accomplishment by looking at the work that you have created. But as fun as it is, there are risks involved with the equipment and machinery. One question that may come up is, should you wear gloves while woodworking?
You should not wear gloves while woodworking with power tools. It is a dangerous practice because the gloves can easily get placed in the path of the tools you are using and pull your hand in. You can, however, use gloves with manual tools to reduce the risk of splinters or contact with chemicals.
This article will look at times when you should not wear gloves while woodworking, some of the machinery you should avoid wearing gloves by, and cases when it is acceptable or even advised to wear them while woodworking.
When Should You Not Wear Gloves While Woodworking?
There are some circumstances when it is acceptable to wear gloves while woodworking. There are even cases when it is an excellent idea. But there are also times when it is not and should be avoided at all costs. So when should you not wear gloves while woodworking?
You should never wear gloves when dealing with heavy machinery. Avoid wearing gloves if you are working with power tools because the risk of pulling the glove into the blade is much higher. This added danger can lead to severe damage to your fingers and hand.
You should never wear gloves while woodworking when working with specific power tools and heavy equipment. Not only does wearing gloves make it less safe, but the risk of getting hurt actually increases when you wear gloves with certain machinery. Some of the tools that you should never wear gloves with while woodworking include:
- Electric saws
- Power drills
It is a good idea to be familiar with what tools are more dangerous when using gloves and why this is. When you are using tools that move around at a fast rate, you are not only at risk of cutting your fingers but also of your hand being pulled into the machine, causing much more severe injuries.
This danger of being drawn in is why many professionals and medical experts advise avoiding wearing loose clothing or gloves while operating heavy machinery.
Using Gloves With Electric Saws
There are many different kinds of saws that you may be using while performing woodworking jobs. These saws can help you complete various tasks and produce great results when properly used.
Here is a list of power saws that you should not use with gloves on because the fast-moving spinning blades can be an easy place for the loose fabric in your glove to catch and be sucked into the saw causing severe injury:
- Table saws. Table saws are one of the more common tools you will use with woodworking. They are also extremely powerful, and it is advisable never to have extra clothing anywhere near the machine. The list of clothing includes gloves. Here is one person’s first-hand account of why you should never use gloves with a table saw.
- Miter saws. Miter saws are a popular tool for carpenters and hobbyist woodworkers that are handy for numerous tasks you need to do while working with wood in your home, garage, or at your job. But you should never wear gloves because the space you need to keep your fingers away from the blades is at least six inches (15.24 cm). Wearing gloves makes this harder to do and can easily get caught in the path of the blade.
- Bandsaws. One primary reason you should not use gloves with bandsaws is that it might give you the feeling that you are safer than you are. But in reality, you are not as coordinated when you have gloves on. Using a bandsaw requires good movement with your hands and fingers that you will not be able to have while wearing gloves.
Using Gloves With Power Drills
Another electric tool that is not advisable to use with gloves on are power drills. Similar to using certain kinds of saws, using a power drill while wearing gloves is not wise. The drill spins so fast that you do not want to wear anything that could potentially be sucked into it.
For example, if you are using an electric drill and it caught the glove that you are wearing, it would pull the glove and your hand into the path of the drill. This risk of being drawn in is the same precaution you must consider for power saws. If the gloves get caught in the line of the drill bit, they will pull your entire hand into that path of the drill, and it could injure more of your hand than without gloves.
This video from TKOR shows why it is dangerous to wear gloves around power tools like the ones that you would use for woodworking:
The problem with wearing gloves with a drill is that what could have been a minor injury becomes a major one. Or, in cases that you usually would not make contact with the drill, the tiny bit of loose fabric could catch the bit and pull your hand in. This damage won’t stop at your hand and can continue to work up to your forearm.
What if I’m Woodworking in a Garage or Shop and It’s Cold?
There are many factors to consider when you are woodworking, not least the weather. Safety is paramount, but there are times when you need to get work done, and the conditions are so bad that you feel like you may need to bend the rules to perform your job. So what if you’re woodworking in your garage and your hands are cold? Should you wear gloves?
If your garage or workspace is cold, you should still avoid using gloves with heavy machinery. You could explore other options like using a heater in your shop to have safe working conditions while using electric or power tools.
Staying warm is essential when you are woodworking because you need skills and dexterity when working with the equipment, but wearing gloves is not a safe option. You do not have control over your fingers the same way you do without gloves, so resist the temptation to wear them and bring a space heater into your workspace.
What Are the Times When You Should Wear Gloves While Woodworking?
Even though some tools are dangerous while woodworking, there are some that you can benefit from using gloves with. Specific considerations like the type of tool or the type of work that you’re doing can influence what equipment and clothing you want to use. So what are the times when you should wear gloves while woodworking?
You will want to use gloves while woodworking during the finishing stages of the process. Wearing gloves when staining is advisable to avoid contact with harsh chemicals. Many professionals also recommend wearing gloves when carrying heavy lumber to prevent splinters.
Wearing Gloves While Carrying Wood
One common reason to want to wear gloves while woodworking is when you are carrying wood from one place to the next. It can save you a lot of pain in your hands when you wear gloves. Some common nuisances that you can avoid when you wear gloves while carrying wood include:
- You will not get as many splinters. Wearing gloves while moving pieces of wood around your shop can help reduce unwanted pieces of wood from getting in your hands.
- Get a better grip on the wood without getting blisters. You may limit the number of blisters you get while wearing gloves when transporting large pieces of wood.
- Help ensure that your fingers don’t get pinched. You can save your hands some pain and discomfort if you’re stacking wood by reducing the risk of your hand getting pinched between pieces.
Using Gloves in the Staining Process of Woodworking
Finishing your woodworking frequently involves staining. This process requires different chemicals, which can be pretty harmful to your skin if you make direct contact. So, wearing gloves while finishing woodworking is a wise choice that could save you trips to the dermatologist in the future.
Some of the best gloves you can use for this are designed to protect your hands from harsh chemicals.These include:
Woodworking should be a rewarding activity that you do for work or for fun that can impress your friends, family, or customers. It requires careful attention to detail and the highest regard for your safety and those around you. One critical consideration is the clothes that you wear while working.
Wearing gloves is sometimes necessary while woodworking, but there are times when you must know that you should not use them. Be familiar with the tools you should not wear gloves with while woodworking, and you can stay safe on the job.