Welding is a beautiful process of amalgamation and production, but it can be quite a dangerous job when it comes to the hazards and risks involved in it. It is a job that requires a great deal of skill and protection too. Being able to protect yourself while welding different products is of the highest priority. Here, welding protection equipment comes in.
A welder worth his weight in tungsten would tell you that each form of welding has its specific glove requirements. The first factor to consider is the required heat resistance per the type of welding you do. When you take stock of that, you will narrow your choices and make it easier to consider other factors.
Using a pair of best stick welding gloves while performing stick welding can do one immense favour. This blog highlights factors that you should contemplate when looking for the best stick welding gloves. First, let’s take a look at what exactly is stick welding.
What Exactly is Stick Welding?
Stick welding may also be called Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). It is one of the world’s simplest and most popularly used welding processes. Stick welding creates the most heat, sparks and spanners, basically suggesting a thicker glove is a must. Stick welding is quite versatile as you can perform it inside and outside and even in remote locations.
In stick welding, a consumable rod or electrode is short-circuited at the end to cause intense heat. The end of the rod melts into small molten droplets that produce the weld pool, melting into the base or parent metal. The rods may penetrate or fuse deeper into the metal than others.
Stick welding is preferred for working on pipelines, refineries or ships. It is generally used to weld iron, steel and stainless steel, but can also be used to weld aluminium, nickel and copper alloys.
Advantages Of Stick Welding
- Very manageable, the welder only needs to carry leads to wherever the welding is required.
- Affordable and simple equipment.
- Usable in all positions, and can be used indoors or outdoors as the wind doesn’t usually affect the weld pool.
- No need for auxiliary gas shielding or granular flux.
- Less sensitive to wind and draft.
Points To Ponder While Choosing The Best Stick Welding Gloves
When working with stick welding, you expose yourself to added heat and spark, which means the thickness and protection of the gloves is critical. Opt for thicker quality leather.
Considering the stick welding process is simpler compared to other ones, the flexibility of the gloves is not as important.
The main features instead are:
- Thick and sturdy gloves.
- Heat resistance.
- Not too flexible.
Radiant heat is a primary concern for stick welders because of the tremendous amount of sparks and heat that’s produced.
For this reason, one should always consider wearing the best stick welding gloves with an aluminized backing.
Weld arcs are so bright that they can lead to a condition called “arc eye” if the proper precautions are ignored. Wearing PPE like welding helmets with dark face plates is very crucial for reducing exposure.
The eye is the most obvious part of the body that we protect when welding. However, did you know that UV rays from weld arcs can affect our skin in the same way as a day outside under a blazing sun? You presumably won’t want to stop welding every twenty minutes to reapply your SPF 60. Instead, choose heavy leather gloves and a leather welding jacket as they have the added benefit of shielding your upper body from spark and spatter.
The temperature of a welding arc varies from approx. 3000°C to 20,000°C hence why an aluminized backing becomes so important. But, those high temperatures will also be affecting the metal involved.
Search for gloves that are protected with cotton or fleece to impede consumers from warm contact. The office isn’t as a very remarkable worry with stick welding for all intents and purposes with TIG, so some additional cushioning must be useful.
Due to the high heat given off by arc welding, it’s not rare for cotton stitching to burn up and gloves to fall apart. Kevlar® will not burn or melt even at higher temperatures, boosting the lifespans of the best stick welding gloves.
Key Fact About The Best Stick Welding Gloves
Consider how you use your hands for welding and cutting metal. For construction welding which primarily uses stick welding, you deal with large, heavy metal beams and pipes. Here, a tough thick glove will be better because the primary concern is heat protection.
In the case of stick welding, you don’t need to worry about dexterity.
Stick welding uses thicker wire or welding sticks as the material you work on is tougher. The welder operates at a higher temperature so molten droplets are larger and potentially more dangerous. Also, lifting and cutting thick metal increases other risks. So the best stick welding gloves will offer more protection to deal with large and heavy metal.
Better Grip And Comfort:
The best stick welding gloves improve your ability to hold material securely. So they will provide non-slip texturing. However, they still offer comfort.
They have sufficient padding from using soft materials, like wool or cotton. The gloves provide a cushion to the hands and prevent discomfort due to chafing. They also use breathable materials to negate the issues of working at higher temperatures.
The Bottom Line
Stick welding is one of the world’s oldest and most popular styles of welding because of its simplicity — both in operation as well as equipment. It is a portable process and equipment that isn’t too sophisticated or expensive. This form of welding is best suited for beginners while still teaching them necessary skills for welding. The only thing you need to do is make sure you’re wearing the proper protection including the best stick welding gloves! For more information, RP ComTrade will guide you further.