How to Choose the Best Heat Resistant Gloves
If you have a wood burning stove but haven’t yet invested in a pair of heat resistant gloves, you’ll be surprised by how much easier they make everything. Instead of nervously throwing logs onto the fire, causing sparks and the occasional landslide, heat resistant gloves allow you to carefully load the fire.
They’re also useful for opening the metal doors of wood burners, tending to BBQs, and preparing fire pits.
If you want to know how to choose the best heat resistant gloves, the following information should give you a better idea of what to look out for (and what to avoid!).
This is naturally one of the most important considerations when it comes to heat resistant gloves. Wood burning stoves generally burn at between 260 and 460°C, which is much hotter than your standard oven. Therefore, they need to be equipped for higher temperatures than regular oven gloves.
Furthermore, you may wish to use the gloves for other things, like welding, so the temperature resistance needs to be good.
A lot of fireplaces come with a coal mitten of some description – a lot of the time, these are made of fabric/felt. Whilst these will allow you to pick up cold coals and logs, they’re unlikely to make it easier to get closer to the flame.
Gloves that offer real protection from heat will be designed to withstand temperatures of around 350°C. They may still only allow you to be in contact with hot metal grills and fires for a few seconds, but they should stop you from getting burnt.
Size and Flexibility
When choosing your gloves you’ll need to decide whether you want a short pair of gloves, or a pair that protects your forearms.
Longer gloves are more protective, keeping your hands and forearms safe when you open the stove door and load logs. They can feel a bit less comfortable than shorter gloves, as they may not allow for quite as much movement. Long gloves can also protect your arms whilst you do jobs like weeding – avoiding scratches and getting stung.
Shorter gloves may be more comfortable and practical to put on and take off. However, they’re not as protective as longer gloves and exposed forearms may get burnt.
A lot of leather gloves can feel stiff initially, and get more flexible over time. Flexibility can help with grasping tools for the fire, as well as logs and the handle. For the most part, using gloves that are too big won’t matter too much when carrying out these simple tasks. Many heat-resistant gloves come in ‘one size’ and this tends to be large or extra large. However, those with very petite hands may find it difficult to work if the gloves are very bulky.
If you want to find gloves that are a better fit, you’ll need to know your glove size. To find this out, you’ll need to take a measurement in inches. Take a tape measure and wrap it around the palm of your hand, just below the knuckles of your fingers (excluding the thumb). Make a fist, and record the measurement. This number is your glove size. Round up, not down, if necessary.
Choosing the Right Material
The material the gloves are made from will dictate their heat resistance, comfort and durability.
Leather is one of the most popular choices when it comes to heat resistant gloves. Leather is very durable with a high puncture resistance (also great for gardening), and a high temperature resistance as well.
The downside is that leather gloves are usually more expensive than other materials. Also, pure leather gloves aren’t always the most comfortable of choices, so many come lined – this can increase how stiff they initially feel, until the leather becomes more supple. Leather can also dry out and crack if it is left too close to a hot fire for too long – so be careful where you hang the gloves.
Kevlar is another material that’s often used to make heat-resistant gloves. This material has a relatively high heat resistance and it’s very durable. Kevlar gloves tend to be comfortable and flexible to wear, and they can also be washed (which isn’t the case for leather gloves). Kevlar gloves are either purely Kevlar or blended with another fabric.
Standardised Heat Testing
Although some gloves can have good heat resistance without being subjected to heat testing, standardised testing can help give a better indication of the glove’s heat resistance.
When it comes to heat resistant gloves, the EU/UK standard is ‘EN 407’. This code will be displayed on the back of the gloves, along with a flame symbol.
Whilst this is evidence that the gloves have been subjected to standardised testing, the most vital piece of information is a six digit code underneath the flame symbol. This will reveal how well the gloves performed against different tests.
For the EN 407 standard, the tests are as follows:
- Contact heat
- Convective heat
- Radiant heat
- Small splashes of molten metal
- Large splashes of molten metal
The gloves are scored from 0 – 4 for each test. 4 is the highest score. If the gloves were not subjected to a certain test, this will be marked by an ‘X’.
The six-digit code under the flame symbol shows these test results in order. For example, if the six-digit code is ‘423X3X’ this means that the gloves have scored highly for burning resistance. They have also performed well against convective heat and small splashes of molten metal. They have not scored very highly against contact heat. Also, they have not been tested against radiant heat or large splashes of molten metal.
Gloves with a lining can be much more comfortable than unlined gloves – they won’t leave you desperate to take them off after a couple of seconds. Whilst this isn’t so important when quickly loading fuel onto the fire, it can make the whole experience generally more pleasant. Plus, if you end up wanting to use the gloves for any gardening work – like removing brambles – you’ll be wearing them for longer.
Look out for gloves that feature hanging loops. This can make them easier to hang up than gloves without. Given that heat-resistant gloves can often get pretty grubby – coming into contact with plenty of soot and ash – you generally want to avoid having to store them in a drawer.
Finally, some gloves come nicely presented in a gift box. Heat resistant gloves are often well-received as a present by people who own log-burning stoves or firepits. If they come well presented, all you have to do is wrap them.
Heat Resistant Gloves FAQs
What are the benefits of heat resistant gloves?
A pair of heat resistant gloves will allow you to put your hands near, or even partway into, the stove in order to stock the fire without burning yourself. If a log rolls out of the fire while you are stoking it, you can simply pick it up and put it back in.
The door of a wood burning stove can also get exceptionally hot, so it’s worth having a pair of heat resistant gloves to hand to help you open it without burning your hands.
They can also be used for BBQing and stocking fuel in firepits. However, bear in mind that they have their limitations – most heat-resistant gloves will still let the heat through from a hot metal grill after a couple of seconds.
What is the standard for heat resistant gloves?
Heat resistant gloves should be made to a specific standard, known as the EN standard.
If the gloves you purchase have an EN 407 rating, this shows that the gloves are resistant to some level of heat. The gloves will have been tested against burning, contact heat, convective heat, radiant heat and molten metal splashes. Then they are given a score for how they performed against each hazard. Even if gloves have a EN 407 rating, they are likely to score differently to other gloves with an EN 407 rating in each test category.
Seeing that gloves have en EN 407 rating is an indication of some heat resistance, but it does not mean that they performed to a level of maximum heat protection in each category.
Can I just use my oven gloves to open the door of my log burner?
Whilst standard oven gloves should offer some protection against heat, and will likely allow you to quickly open the door of your wood burner, there are several benefits of purchasing other heat resistant gloves for this job instead. Firstly, the door of your log burning stove will get extremely hot, it will likely burn standard oven gloves over time, making them less protective when removing hot pans from the oven,
You may also get dirt and grime on the oven gloves from the log burner, making them less hygienic to use around food. Finally, you won’t want to use your oven gloves for any other jobs around the log burner – like picking up hot logs or coals. Therefore, it’s better to have specific gloves for this purpose, so that you don’t burn yourself or ruin your oven gloves.