Anti-vibration gloves aren’t designed to be fashionable or keep your hands warm, but rather anti-vibration gloves are engineered to protect your hands and arms from a very serious condition known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS), also known as white finger syndrome. It’s categorized as a secondary form of Raynaud’s phenomenon.
If you’re someone who frequently operates power tools and equipment with high frequency vibration or high impact then you’re at risk for developing hand-arm vibration syndrome and you need to protect yourself.
Anti-vibration gloves are an essential accessory if you’re at risk. Examples of of power tools and equipment that cause hand-arm vibration syndrome are:
- Impact Wrenches
- Pneumatic Drills
- Power Drills
If you work in any of the industries listed below as a laborer then you’re likely at risk. If you’re a manager then don’t worry, telling other people what to do and watching them won’t put you at risk.
hand-arm syndrome is a serious problem born from the industrial age as heavy-duty power tools have become more prevalent in the workplace. It’s a condition that affects the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and joints in your hands, arms and wrists. Injuries typically occur at frequencies somewhere between 5 and 2000 Hz but the most critical risk is when the frequency is between 50 and 150 Hz.
What are the symptoms and signs of HAVS?
The first signs of hand-arm vibration syndrome are tingling (pins and needles) in your fingers. It will start off in the tips of your fingers and will likely come and go but as the condition progresses and if you continue to work without protection then it will move down to throughout your entire finger, which may also become white.
If you allow it to progress then eventually all feeling will be lost. Over time your manual dexterity will be greatly diminished and your nerves and muscles will be affected. Cold weather will make the condition worse, causing an immense amount of pain. If left untreated this condition can be debilitating. Fine motor tasks such as buttoning up your shirt or holding a coil will become difficult. The severity of your symptoms will ebb and flow throughout the day, bouncing around from varying degrees of symptoms.
If you have any symptoms of hand-arm vibration syndrome you should immediately stop using any power tools and go see your doctor. Don’t ignore these symptoms. They won’t go away unless you change your behavior. If you continue to use your power tools then your symptoms will get worse over time. Prevention is the key.
How can you avoid HAVS?
The first thing you can do to avoid this problem is simply to buy better power tools. It starts with the quality of the tools you use. Spend the money to buy tools that have anti-vibration technology built into the tool. You have to start there — with the tool.
It costs more money to buy a well-made tool but what’s your health worth? We’ve written many articles on chainsaws and the one thing I always recommend is that people spend their money on a chainsaw with anti-vibration technology. Don’t even think about it. Your health is the only thing you truly have in this world. Protect it.
Anti-vibration power tools significantly reduce the amount of vibration transmitted through the handles of the tool and onto the operator. This Makita Jackhammer (HM1810X3) is a good example of a tool engineered to protect you.
The anti-vibration feature is front and center as one of the main selling points of this tool. Makita has excellent anti-vibration technology.
Anti-vibration technology simply reduces the amount of vibration transmitted through the machine by using dampeners and other innovative engineering tricks. The lower the vibration then the longer you can use that tool safely and your risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome is significantly reduced. Besides buying quality power tools with anti-vibration technology you can also buy anti-vibration gloves to give you and extra layer of protection.
Anti-vibration gloves won’t compensate for buying a cheap tool without anti-vibration technology so don’t expect any of these gloves to protect you from a bad tool. Even if the vibration is minimal from your tools I would still highly recommend the use of anti-vibration gloves to eliminate the risk completely. Why risk your health?
Luckily, all of these gloves are relatively inexpensive. Anti-vibration gloves coupled with quality tools will make your work experience far more comfortable, but more importantly, much safer.
One last thing you should be aware of when buying a quality pair of anti-vibration gloves: There are established standards and regulations that determine if the gloves you are buying have been tested and approved for anti-vibration protection. These are the two main organizations that you should know about:
These gloves meet all the required standards for anti-vibration, including: EN ISO 10819 and ANSI S2.73-2002 (R 2007) / ISO 10819:1996 Impacto is a Canadian glove manufacturer. The BG40840 are made from ultra suede synthetic leather, using their patented air glove technology.
It has a mesh backing which provides ventilation and cooling to the gloves. It has a protective urethane air bladder that acts as a protective barrier between you and your tools, protecting your palm, fingers and thumb. These anti-vibration gloves will protect your hands while allowing you work as you normally do. Available in small to XXL.
These DeWalt gloves are very comfortable and provide an extra layer of protection against vibration. They have a foam palm and knuckle padding with a stretch nylon gusset that prevents debris penetration. DeWalt has added a convenient terry cloth at the top of the thumb that allows you remove brow sweat as you work.
Superior is a company focused on making gloves so they know what they’re doing. These Vibrastop gloves have a vibration-dampening polymer for padding. Coated with formed-chloroprene, these gloves will protect you against repetitive impact and pneumatic vibrating tools. Comfortable and flexible, these gloves meet all EN ISO/ANSI standards for vibration reduction.
Made from 50% cotton. 42% nylon. 8% spandex. These gloves have allow you to grip to almost anything. I wouldn’t recommend these gloves is you need anti-vibration protection, but if you need an excellent grip when working then these are a great choice. They also have excellent protection for the back of your hand.
- Good dexterity
- Vibration dampening
- Back of hand protection
Ironclad has been around since 1997. Their mission is manufacture gloves specific to the job you do. They have a great line of products which incorporate their proprietary Advanced Glove Technology. Ironclad is a company to watch going forward as they attempt to disrupt the glove industry.
The Ironclad Vibration Impact WWI-05-XL is an excellent anti-vibration glove. This glove has silicone gel padding in the most important palm areas. Designed to reduce fatigue and protect you against the damage that comes from power and impact tools.
The patented gel padding used in these gloves do an excellent job at absorbing vibration, and unlike foam padding, it won’t degrade over time. Clearly this is a superior technology. Also, these gloves are washable. Machine wash and then hang to dry.
The Ergodyne ProFlex 9002 Vibration-Reducing gloves meet the following standards: ANSI S2.73/ISO 10819. If you want solid protection these gloves have got you covered. They’ll protect you against vibration, impact, and shock hazards with patented polymer technology and durable pigskin, These gloves are made to protect you.
- Certified: ANSI S2.73/ISO 10819:1996/EN 388/EN 420
- Proprietary Nu2O2 polymer pad
- Pigskin leather palm and fingers
- Low-profile closure with woven elastic cuff
- Neoprene knuckle pad
- Treated with anti-odor technology
Carhartt has been around for over 125 years but so what, they make quality products. These C-Grip Knuckler gloves are best suited for work that requires high dexterity. Designed to provide minimal vibration protection, while allowing you to work productively on tasks that require a full range of motion.
They have excellent grip and knuckle protection. Made from thermo-plastic rubber. These aren’t good enough for anti-vibration protection.
These Youngstown Anti-Vibe XT gloves are made to protect you from pneumatic and vibrating tools. Made with memory foam strategically placed on the palm and thumb. Youngstown has incorporated their unique 360 degree wrist wrap for excellent wrist support while simultaneously relieving stress and tension in your forearm, elbow and shoulder.
These aren’t intended for heavy-duty vibration dampening but for low to mid-level vibration they’re good. Machine washable. Air dry.
Radians has been making protective gear for over ten years. These gloves are good for general maintenance and light duty tasks but they’re not the best gloves for vibration dampening.
- Padded leather knuckle for extra protection
- Terry cloth thumb allows to wipe off sweat as you work
- Strengthened thumb crotch
- TPR molded panels
- Reinforced gel padded palm provides added protection and comfort.
- Reinforced fingertips
These Mechanix made M-Pact 2 gloves are excellent for anti-vibration protection. They fit very well with a touch exterior to protect your hand from abrasions, impact and general fatigue. Made with accordion knuckles with EVA foam padding and thermal plastic rubber (TPR) to protect you against blunt force impact.
They’re made with properly fitting palm padding with a 4mm XRD impact pad that greatly minimized the shock and vibration from power tools. On top of all of those features it also provides excellent gripping power in dry, wet and oily conditions.
These are one of the best gloves on the list for overall protection but not necessarily the best for vibration dampening. As you can imagine, it’s difficult to engineer gloves that protect you under demanding conditions but for general protection these are a good choice. Read more about the technology behind these gloves on the Mechanix website.
The Ansell ProjeX 97-975 gloves are comparable but perhaps better overall as far as general protection goes.
These are excellent gloves to protect your hands from vibration. They’re very similar to the STIHL vibration dampening gloves so you know this particular design is proven to minimize vibration exposure.
- Chloroprene rubber palm pad
- Approved for these standards: ANSI S2.73/ISO 10819/EN388/EN420
- Chloroprene rubber palm pad
- Lightweight, breathable 7-gauge cotton/nylon seamless knit construction
- Pre-curved design provides comfort, dexterity and flexibility with elastic cuff for secure fit
Revco Industries makes these Black Stallion ToolHandz gloves. The jury is still out on these gloves. In theory they sound good but the information is scarce on this product. They are made with excellent features and look great but until more data is revealed I can’t recommend them…yet.
- Titan2 synthetic leather with reinforced contact zones for extra durability
- Streamlined design with spandex back for better comfort and a snug fit
- Excellent extended general protection
- Wash separate cold; hang dry
If you like the look of camouflage then you’ll probably love these stylish gloves. These are well-suited for doing work around the yard. A nice balance between protection and mobility.
- Heavy-Duty, Anti-Vibration, Hi-Dexterity work gloves.
- Synthetic Leather With Reinforced Gel Padded Palm
- Reinforced PU Thumb Saddle For Extra Protection
- Protection in all the right places.