I’ve been packing sandstone rocks into gabion cages now for longer than most convicts were transported to New South Wales. Or so it seems. And have I been through some landscaping gloves. Mostly leather pairs with promising sounding names like ‘Landscaper’, ‘Demolition’ or ‘Tough Gloves’. And all have lasted about 10 hours maximum once I start giving them the punishing treatment of handling sandstone rock or cut concrete. Until my latest find!
All of the gloves that I’ve tried on this project have ended up looking like these ones below after about 8-10 hours of rock work. One pair lasted less than 4 hours. (And yes I’m right-handed and have a bucket-load of lefties to give to someone…)
I’m not saying they’re designed for rock and concrete work but they were all that was available to buy. So buy them I have and I’ve spent over $40 on some of those pairs, thinking that would do the trick. But sadly, no.
When my husband was making another weekend trip to the local hardware store – it’s a very well travelled road – I asked him to buy me yet another pair of gardening or landscaping gloves so I could keep on working, as there’s no way I’m going to do it without gloves. First, I’m working with rocks that are sitting in piles so who knows what biting beasties are lurking in there and, secondly, these pieces of broken concrete and cut sandstone are so rough, they would rip the meat off your body in a very short space of time. No point in literally working your fingers to the bone even if your back does feel like it’s breaking.
He came back with these.
“Oh great, you drongo, you bought rubber gloves? They’re going to last about 5 minutes!”.
I said, smilingly, “Thanks darling! I’ll try these out right away”
Well I have to admit it, he was RIGHT and I was WRONG. (Can you hear my pain as I say that….)
These MADGRIP OMG2F1 Pro Palm rubber-coated landscaping gloves have outlasted every other pair of ‘tough’ leather landscaping gloves I have tried by about 10:1. It’s weeks now since they came home and they’re only just now starting to show a tear in the right hand thumb – a critical spot but I’m hopeful I can eek them out a bit longer. They fit snuggly around the wrist so I don’t end up with tiny pieces or grit inside them (ouch! – and a flaw of some of the other gardening and landscaping gloves I’ve tried for this job) and the knitted fabric back means they breathe much better and stop my hands getting hot and sweaty. The fabric has snagged a couple of times on the sharp edges of the gabion cages and torn a hole but it hasn’t enlarged or run.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that my hands aren’t getting nearly as tired after several hours of sorting, picking up and placing (and re-re-re-replacing) rocks. I think it’s because these MADGRIP gloves do grip so well, you need to exert less pressure to hold something heavy, and also because the rubber is more cushioning than leather so there’s less low-level repeated impact bruising. As the MADGRIP tagline says “We won’t let go unless you do”.
Even better, the MADGRIP gloves are made in XS, S-M, L-XL and XXL so there’s a size for everyone too. So many landscaping glove manufacturers overlook the fact that women have smaller hands and they do hard work too. This close fit and the fact that they’re also quite thin means you can still pick up fairly small objects, like this allen/hex key.[Another girlie plus is that with the knitted back, I can comfortably keep my rings on when I’m working as they don’t get squashed against the back of my fingers like they do in leather gloves.]
And the price I hear you ask? Having paid nearly $40 for some of the super-dooper leather gloves I’ve tried I was amazed to find that MADGRIP Pro Palms cost about $10-$15. My S-M sized ones came from Bunnings in Australia** and I’m not sure they carry all sizes but they should! Mad Grip gloves are readily available in the USA from Home Depot or Lowes and through Polyco in the UK for £7.00. You can also order them online through Amazon.
So if you’re not just looking for ordinary landscaping gloves but the toughest of all glove mudders get some MADGRIP gloves. Having personally tried 7 other types of gloves from various manufacturers, I can say definitely say they are the best gloves for landscaping, rock and concrete work. And I believe those crazy, real ‘Tough Mudders’ love ’em too.
**Update November 2016 – Bunnings in Australia currently sells MadGrip Knuckler gloves for AU$15.95