Many people look at fireplace gloves and welding gloves and can’t tell the difference. Some even use fireplace gloves for welding. But that is not the best approach. As two different pieces of equipment intended for two different things, they are quite different in many ways. So, fireplace gloves vs welding gloves – what’s the difference.
There are many differences between fireplace gloves and welding gloves. From the more obvious ones such as size and design to smaller ones such as material and texture. Ideally, you should not be using one for the other.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. In this article, I will be going over all the specifics of each of these pieces of equipment. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what they are for specifically and how to use them. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
Let’s start with fireplace gloves. What are they? Well as the name suggests; fireplace gloves are gloves you use when working on a fireplace. You are to use them while heating your home with a fireplace. Working at a fireplace is much easier and safer when you use a pair of fireplace gloves.
Fireplace gloves are usually much less form-fitting than other kinds of gloves. They are loose-fitting and a bit rigid, most of them are “one size fits all”. You can easily slip them on and off at a moment’s notice.
They have layers and a bit of padding to help protect your hands from heat and scuffs from firewood. Fireplace gloves are designed mainly to protect your hands from open flames, and to help you carry firewood. They have longer sleeves than most other kinds of gloves to provide extra protection for your forearms
Fireplace gloves are made with primarily heat-resistant materials. But, you cannot just have any heat-resistant material, you need to have materials that won’t burn or char off when exposed to open flames. The most popular material for fireplace gloves is leather. Leather gives both protection and comfort and even a premium feel to the gloves.
There are other materials used in fireplace gloves too. Some of the other popular materials are lining, polyester, cowhide, carbon fiber, etc. Many manufacturers opt-in to make gloves with a mixture of a few materials too.
Once again, you should use them while working on a fireplace. Your home fireplace or any other kind of wood stove or oven where you need to work with open flames is a good place for these.
The two huge functional goals of a good pair of fireplace gloves are; to protect your hands and forearms from open flames and heat and to protect your hands when you are carrying firewood. These gloves are more rigid and loose-fitting. This helps you carry firewood without getting scratched or hurt.
The long sleeves covering your forearms are also there to protect you from flames and help carry firewood. On any stove or fireplace where you are dealing with both open flames and firewood; fireplace gloves are the way to go.
Welding gloves are protective gloves you need to wear while doing MIG or TIG welding. These are designed more industrially and have a more “professional” look and feel to them. These are also there to protect you from heat and fire.
Welding gloves in general have a much more industrial design. They have a more snug and flexible fit to them. You are to wear these for long periods so they fit and conform to your hands much better and don’t slip off. They also have textured surfaces that help you grip on to equipment much better.
Welding gloves are there to help you get better accuracy and precision while welding. They have much shorter sleeves and are usually a tight fit. However, not all welding gloves are the same. MIG and TIG welding use different kinds of gloves.
MIG welding gloves are much thicker and a bit loose than TIG welding gloves, which are much thinner. MIG welding gloves are there to help you protect your hands better while TIG welding gloves have a focus on precision.
Welding gloves are almost always made with a mixture of materials. A very popular and premium base material is leather. Lining and other fire-resistant materials are added to enhance the protective capabilities of the gloves.
There’s also cowhide or pigskin used to make durable gloves made for higher durability. Materials like goatskin can be used to make a more affordable average durability pair of welding gloves.
Welding gloves don’t have very universal use cases. They are very specific. In fact, you shouldn’t be using the same types of welding gloves to do all types of welding. As I have mentioned before, MIG welding gloves are thicker and more protective while TIG welding gloves are more precision-based and thinner.
In welding cases where you need a lot more control yet less physical effort; you should use TIG welding gloves. However, if you are welding with heavier equipment and there is the risk of a lot of heat and sparks flying out, you should use MIG welding gloves for extra protection.
Welding gloves are a very professional and specific kind of equipment. If you are a professional or hobbyist welder, it is advisable to have multiple welding gloves each suiting better to a certain scenario.
Fireplace gloves and welding gloves are very different but their major differences boil down to four sections; padding, texture, form factor, resistance. These make up their key functional differences.
In this section, I will be discussing the four different sections so you have a much easier time understanding their structure and design. It might seem complicated at first but in reality, the design choices are very simple and seem obvious once you know why they were made.
These gloves are not single-layer gloves. They are made with multiple layers. The many layers are there to protect you from the hazard of either working on a fireplace or while welding. The many layers add resistance and protection. According to the hazards, the layers and their structure is different to fit the job description.
Fireplace gloves have a softer inner layer to protect your hand from scuffs and scratches. They have many layers of similar materials that put away the heat of the open flames. Welding gloves on the other hand have mixed layers of protection.
Welding gloves are both heat resistant and protective against metal sparks. Some metal sparks might fly onto your glove but they won’t melt through and reach your hand. The inner layers are more heat resistant. Welding gloves are also more breathable and have smoother inner layers that keep your hands from sweating.
Fireplace gloves and welding gloves are both working gloves. They are designed in a way that helps you handle what you are working with. Metal and firewood are very different so the texture on these gloves is different too.
Welding gloves are more grippy and form-fitting. They have a matte rubberized finishing on their outer layer which helps you handle metal parts more easily. Welding gloves grip onto the equipment so you do not lose control while handling them. They are also focused a lot more on precision than fireplace gloves.
Fireplace gloves on the other hand are smoother and have a fabric-like finishing. They have a lot less grip. Firewood can cause scratches and scuffs very easily so you need them to not grip on and glide off easily. This is why these gloves have a smoother surface and a softer finish.
This is the biggest visual difference between the two types of gloves. You have them side by side and this is the first thing you will notice. Fireplace gloves are much larger than welding gloves. Fireplace gloves also have their sleeves much longer than welding gloves.
Welding gloves conform tightly to the shape of your hand and offer a ton of flexibility and control. You can work extensively on these and they are not meant to be slipped on and off instantly. The sleeves are much shorter so they do not get in the way of working. You need your welding gloves to fit perfectly to the shape of your hand.
Fireplace gloves are on the other hand much looser. You are to take these gloves on and off instantly so they are much less tight around your hands. They are also quite rigid so they offer a lot less flexibility. Fireplace gloves have much longer sleeves so your forearms are protected from the open flames and firewood.
You might be thinking that because they are both meant to resist some king heat their resistance might be similar. But, that is not correct. Their resistance is in different places. Fireplace gloves are much more resistant to open flames while welding gloves are resistant to direct heat and metal sparks.
A pair of welding gloves might burn when exposed to direct flames but they will resist a lot more heat from other heat sources. They can withstand the immense heat from welding equipment and molten metal sparks even if they are weak against open flames.
On the other hand, fireplace gloves do not have that much resistance against high heat or metallic sparks, they resist direct flames a lot more. They are very hard to burn off. They get damaged easily when exposed to sparks or very high heat, but against open flames, they work like a charm.
They are built with very specific use cases in mind, and you should be careful about what glove you use for what kind of task. There are a few tasks that can be done with both gloves but those are very few.
Fireplace gloves are resistant to open flames a lot more than they are to direct heat and metal sparks, and welding gloves are the exact opposite. You shouldn’t weld with a pair of fireplace gloves on, and you shouldn’t work on a fireplace with welding gloves on.
If you are doing something else you should carefully consider if the gloves are fit for the task or not. In most cases, you will be able to tell by assessing the risks. Do not expect to do everything with the same pair of gloves and be ready to get specific pairs for specific tasks.
I have already mentioned how different fireplace gloves and welding gloves are. We have also discussed their specific differences. They are not interchangeable and you should not expect one pair of gloves to do everything. You should always assess the risks of what exactly you are working with to decide which glove would work best.
In this portion I wanted to talk about their individual use cases and what else could you use them for. I will be going through a few specific use cases and discuss the viability of both of them in that scenario. Hopefully, this will help you make better safety decisions.
Welding gloves obviously have the advantage in this situation. You can use welding gloves for welding and a few other metalworking jobs. But there is something you need to take note of in this case. A lot of metalworking situations require very specific gloves so welding gloves might or might not fit the bill. You should look into it beforehand to be safe.
Fireplace gloves are a bad idea to use in metalworking. Direct exposure to heat and hot metal can melt and burn off a fireplace glove very easily. This is a major safety hazard and you should not try this.
If you are making and managing a campfire or bonfire or anything similar; you will be handling a lot of firewood and open flames. This area is where a pair of fireplace gloves will help you a lot. As we have already discussed; fireplace gloves can help you carry firewood and protect your hands from open flames.
Any kind of outdoor fire is a situation where a pair of fireplace gloves will fare much better than welding gloves. Welding gloves have poor resistance against open flames and you will get hurt trying to carry firewood in those. So you should stick with fireplace gloves for this one.
If you are working with a household stove then any kind of glove should do the trick. Household stoves do not emit that much heat or even have big flames so you will be okay with both. But fireplace gloves are better as they give you much more coverage over your forearms.
However, if you are working with any other kind of stove then it depends whether it has open flames or not. If it has then gone with fireplace gloves, and if it does not then you can use welding gloves.
Whether you are cooking at home, outside, or even working on a grill; the added coverage and flame resistance of fireplace gloves are more suitable for the task. Welding gloves do not offer enough protection for you to use in cooking scenarios.
The tighter fit and minimal forearm coverage can even add risks when cooking or working on a grill. Welding gloves are not suitable at all for these kinds of work. Oven mitts and cooking gloves are much better than both of these but your fireplace gloves are viable here.
None of these gloves are capable of handling sharp objects. You should definitely consider using other kinds of work gloves that are built to handle sharp objects. These gloves excel in heat resistance and not cut resistance.
Fireplace gloves are especially risky in this situation as they have very little cut resistance. The flame-resistant material used here cuts very easily. You could sustain a massive injury very easily if you were to make this mistake.
Welding gloves are a bit better in this regard. The texture and grip of a welding glove provide better protection against sharp edges so you will be able to avoid injuries to a certain extent. But even then, they are not ideal. You will end up damaging your welding gloves if you keep using them to handle sharp objects.
Fireplace gloves and welding gloves are very different. You can sometimes use one to do the job of the other. But in almost every situation, the gloves are better off in their respective use cases. For both better protection and a more efficient work process.
Thanks for reading till the end. I hope you liked this comparison of fireplace gloves vs. welding gloves. Hopefully, I was able to answer all of your questions regarding their differences. Thanks for stopping by. And until next time, farewell, and remember to stay safe.