May 25, 2012

Ansell ActivArmr Gloves - Review

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We've gotten enough of those massive vertical grain fir splinters (the ones that look more like large toothpicks) to be really in favor of gloves. For finish work, we'll sometimes bypass the hand protection, but with framing work, we've gotten to the point now where we feel naked if we don't have gloves on. It's slowly ingrained itself in our mind the same way safety glasses have. They're just part of the fabric now.

So we were pretty happy when Ansell sent us a pair of their ActivArmr Gloves to beat on. That was months and months ago (sorry Ansell and thanks for the patience), and we've worn them quite a bit and have come to our final conclusions on the gloves.

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First, the pair that we used were the Heavy Laborer Gloves. They also have a number of other models, each tailored to a specific trade. They've got ones for electricians, HVAC guys, plumbers, carpenters, and masons. Ours were a good testing ground because they're designed for general smash, crush, and carry jobs. Info on all of the gloves is here.

The gloves are made of a fiber blend that actually has Kevlar woven into the fabric for added cut protection. The palm and fingers have been dipped in a foam nitrile, and the palms have added padding where it counts. The wrist has a tightening strap (velcro), and there's even a small name tag area.

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We have to admit to not being fans of knit gloves. While they do have benefits, they don't seem to afford enough protection for our more aggressive days. We also have to say that the ActivArmr gloves completely blast that idea out of the water. For being as lightweight as they are, these gloves dispense a ridiculous amount of hand protection.

At first the padding was a little stiff and bulky, but in short order it had loosened up to the point where we forgot it was even there. Our favorite part of the gloves has to be the dipped nitrile fingers because along with the added protection comes a little water resistance. We're not suggesting dipping your hand in a 5-gallon bucket of water, but your fingers won't get damp if your mixing grout, waterproofing a shower or handling damp PT.

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The knit is nice because it let our hands breathe. Like we said, we've been constantly wearing these gloves for months now and they've only just begun to take on that distinctive musk that indicates a new pair is not too far in the horizon.

So these are really nice gloves. If you're like us, and you tend to lean towards the leather ones, we really suggest giving these a try; they'll completely change your opinion on what a knit glove is capable of.

They go from anywhere between $20 and $30.

At Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at May 25, 2012 5:23 AM

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