Best Gloves For Forklift Drivers in 2024

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Forklift driver wearing work gloves

This is our review of the best gloves for forklift drivers in 2024. 

As a forklift driver, your hands endure a lot of wear and tear. Proper gloves protect your hands from injuries and keep them warm and dry in cold weather. 

We spent hours researching to help you find the ideal handwear for your specific needs. 

The original Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves are the best overall choice for forklift drivers.

But every forklift operator is unique. Therefore, we’ve included glove reviews tailored to various categories of drivers. 

Let’s get started!

Best Waterproof

G & F Waterproof Work Gloves

Good dexterity

Highly water-resistant

Strong grip

Best Overall

Original Mechanix Wear Gloves

Generally durable

Good hand protection

Excellent dexterity

Best in the Cold

RefrigiWear Convertible Gloves

Excellent cold protection

Open finger convertibility

Good durability

Our Best Gloves For Forklift Drivers

  1. Original ‎Mechanix Wear Tactical Work Gloves (Best Overall Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  2. PIP MaxiFlex Ultimate™ Nitrile Gloves (Best Semi-Disposable Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  3. OZERO Cowhide Leather Work Gloves (Best Cowhide Leather Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  4. Wells Lamont 847M Fingerless Gloves (Best Fingerless Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  5. HANDLANDY 5972 Work Gloves (Best Touch Screen Gloves for Forklift Driver)
  6. RefrigiWear 0504R Convertible Mitten Gloves (Best Cold Temperature Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  7. Vgo… SL8849 Work Gloves (Best Gloves with Back-of-Hand Protection for Forklift Drivers)
  8. ThxToms S770R Latex Gloves (Best Battery-Acid Handling Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  9. Ideal Warehouse Innovations, Inc. “On Hand” by Dan (Best Propane Handling Gloves for Forklift Drivers)
  10. G & F Products Waterproof Work Gloves (Best Waterproof Gloves for Forklift Drivers)

10 Best Gloves For Forklift Drivers

Original Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves

Pros

Generally durable

Good hand protection from sharp objects

Excellent dexterity

Cons

Perceived decline in brand quality

May fail quickly under heavy use

Might not size right

The original Mechanix Wear work gloves are an excellent all-around glove for forklift drivers. 

They are made of 0.8mm synthetic leather with thumb and index finger reinforcement. This makes the gloves suitable for handling rough materials.

Many users confirm that the gloves are durable. But some note they may only last briefly under heavy labor, especially at the fingertips. 

These gloves feature TrekDry material on the back of the hand. TrekDry offers evaporative cooling. Users say their hands stay less sweaty, even after wearing the gloves for a long time.

A significant advantage of these gloves is their touchscreen capability. Users can operate smartphones, tablets, and other capacitive touchscreen devices without removing them.

Moreover, the gloves are machine washable. This makes them easy to clean and reuse, saving money over time.

PIP MaxiFlex Ultimate™ Nitrile Gloves

Pros

Excellent hand protection

Firm grip

Comfortable

Cons

Not true-to-size

Not good for cold temperatures

Don’t hold up to heavy use

The PIP MaxiFlex Ultimate™ 34-874 gloves are versatile and have several advantages.

The design of the gloves is unique. They are 25% thinner than typical foam nitrile gloves. This reduces bulk and fatigue. It also helps with moving hands and fingers quickly. 

These gloves are also strong, with EN388 4131 certification. This means they resist abrasion and tears well. Users say they could handle planks, rusty nails, and knives.

Users also appreciate their micro-foam nitrile coating. This provides excellent grip. That makes the gloves great for handling boxes and small objects like nuts and screws.

You won’t have to remove these gloves to use a smartphone or computer screen. But you’ll need to give the gloves time to break in before they work with touchscreens.

On the downside, these gloves may not be warm enough in cold weather. Also, some people reported having sizing problems with the gloves fitting too tight.

OZERO Leather Work Gloves

Pros

Thick leather protects hands

Decent dexterity despite the thickness

Comfortable fit

Cons

Fingertips wear out

Performance suffers when wet

Thicker leather means less flexibility

The OZERO Leather Work Gloves are a top choice for heavy-duty forklift driver gloves.

They are made of cowhide leather, between 1.0mm and 1.2mm thick. This thickness provides decent oil, puncture, tear, and cut resistance. It’s perfect against metal burrs and sharp edges. 

The gloves have a Gunn cut, keystone thumb design, and reinforced palm patch. These provide a balance between durability and dexterity. 

Users also say they’re generally comfortable to wear for long periods. But they can be too cold in the winter because they lack insulation and water resistance.

On the downside, some reviewers say the fingertips develop holes after being used for a long time. Also, the leather may need time to soften before the gloves become pliable.

Wells Lamont 847M Fingerless Gloves

Pros

Excellent finger dexterity

Palm material protects hands from steering wheel wear

Pull tabs make removing gloves quick and easy

Cons

Limited grip

Thin material may wear out quickly

Not water-resistant

The Wells Lamont 847 M’s are our top choice for fingerless forklift driver gloves.

The fingerless style of the gloves offers excellent precision and flexibility. This enables users to do tasks that require full dexterity. For example, tying knots.

The gloves are durable thanks to the synthetic leather palm. This material resists abrasion, punctures, and tears well. It’s also great for gripping things like a forklift’s steering wheel.

The gloves also fit comfortably and securely. They have spandex on the back for a lightweight, breathable stretch. This helps the gloves contour the hands and keep them cool. 

The Wells Lamont 847M gloves are easy to take off. This is because the patented KwikPull finger pulls on the backs of the middle fingers. Many users like this feature.

One drawback is that some users say the gloves last only briefly. This is especially true when they are used for heavy-duty jobs. Others say the gloves could have a better grip.

HANDLANDY 5972 Work Gloves

Pros

Touch screen fingers work well

Excellent comfort

Convenient wrist closure

Cons

May fail quickly

Not good in the cold

Subpar grip

The HANDLANDY 5972 gloves are our top choice for touchscreen use.

The touch screen fingertips allow users to use their phones, tablets, or computers without removing the gloves. This feature works well for most touchscreen devices.

The gloves are also double-stitched. This makes them more resistant to damage and longer-lasting. However, some users report wear and tear after a few weeks of regular use.

Additionally, they have foam padding on the knuckles and palms. The knuckle protectors are effective, according to users. They reduce impacts and prevent pain and injury during work.

The wrist closure system features adjustable hooks and loops. This ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Users report that the gloves are easy to put on and take off. 

However, the gloves could be better for cold weather as they lack insulation.

Also, some users say the grip could be better for specific tasks. For example, gripping a steering wheel or heavy boxes can be difficult.

RefrigiWear 0504R Convertible Mitten Gloves

Pros

Excellent for cold temperatures

Excellent dexterity with open-finger design

Good durability

Cons

Sizes run too small

Velcro finger holder is annoying/wears out

Palm could be grippier

The RefrigiWear 0504R gloves are excellent for forklift drivers working in cold weather. 

These gloves have 180 grams of fiberfill PLUS foam insulation and a soft tricot fleece lining. This insulation makes the gloves suitable for chilly environments. 

Users find them suitable when driving forklifts in cold conditions, like in refrigerator warehouses. They say the gloves provide the needed warmth for long periods in 10-20°F weather.

These gloves are also convertible. They can transform from mitts into open-finger gloves. This is useful when handling small objects or feeling forklift levers with your fingers. 

Moreover, they feature a polyester polyurethane microfiber softshell outer shell. They also have a micro-suede reinforced palm. This construction helps them withstand harsh conditions. 

On the downside, some warn that getting used to the convertible feature can take time.

Also, some users report that the gloves run small. They recommend ordering a size larger, especially if you plan to wear liners with them.

Vgo… SL8849 Work Gloves

Pros

Padding to keep hands safe

Warm and comfortable

Balanced dexterity

Cons

Deteriorate quickly

Absorbs water quickly

Poor touchscreen functionality

The Vgo… SL8849 gloves are a top choice for hand-protecting forklift driver gloves.

These gloves include 10.5MM of material across multiple layers. They also have rubber guards over the knuckles. These make the gloves excellent at protecting hands against abrasion.

The gloves use synthetic leather for the palm base. They also have knitted and laminated fabric layers underneath. These materials provide insulation, breathability, and sweat absorption. 

The thumb and index fingertips are touchscreen-compatible. Users report they work well for basic tasks like answering calls. However, it’s less effective for detailed tasks like texting.

Additionally, they offer decent water resistance. However, some users have reported wet hands after being in the rain for extended periods.

On the downside, some reviewers have noticed quick wear and tear, especially in the grip area. This could affect the gloves’ longevity.

ThxToms S770R Latex Gloves

Pros

Withstands acid and oil

Length protects up to the elbow

Good value for the money

Cons

One-size fits all

Smooth rubber offers little grip

Degrades under sunlight

The ThxToms S770R gloves are great for electric forklift drivers exposed to battery acid. 

These gloves are made of natural latex. This material provides excellent resistance to acids, alkalis, and oils. Users find them helpful when cleaning batteries, for example.

The ThxToms S770R gloves range in arm lengths from 14″ to 22″. The various sizes allow for extended reach and protection up to the elbow. Users like this feature in particular.

These gloves also have a waterproof design. They feature crimped cuffs. This design prevents water from entering or backflowing. It keeps hands and arms dry. 

The gloves are one-size-fits-all. This simplifies sizing. But buyers may find the gloves either too big or too small.

There are some other downsides, too. For instance, the gloves may degrade if exposed to direct sunlight. 

Also, some users wish the gloves had a cloth lining. This is especially true in colder conditions, as the gloves can feel hard. Conversely, they can become too hot in summer.

Ideal Warehouse Innovations, Inc. “On Hand” by Dan

Pros

Protects against dangerously cold propane gas

Good quality

The chain ensures gloves stay with the forklift

Cons

Reports of pairs shipping with lower-quality chains

Single-purpose gloves

Limited dexterity

The “On Hand” by Dan gloves are our top pick for forklift propane tank handling. 

These gloves feature a rubber construction with a PVC coating. This design effectively resists frigid temperatures operators are exposed to during a propane tank swap.

One key feature is the metal wire and chain wrist linkage. This allows the gloves to be easily attached to the overhead guard of a forklift. This ensures the gloves are always available when needed. 

However, some customers said the gloves they received did not have the chain as advertised. Instead, they came with VELCRO straps or retractable lines. These may be less practical.

Another feature is the high-visibility orange rubber. This makes the gloves easier to spot. That’s particularly helpful if they become detached from the forklift.

G & F Products Waterproof Work Gloves

Pros

Good dexterity

Highly water-resistant

Strong grip

Cons

Not as warm as advertised

Palm can wear out quickly

Hard to dry if water gets inside

If you’re a forklift driver needing waterproof gloves, G & F Products Winter Work Gloves are an excellent choice.

These gloves’ palms, back, and fingers feature a double-coating of water-based latex and microfoam. These are designed to provide waterproofing and windproofing.

The materials balance thickness and dexterity well. This allows you to handle various tools and small objects without removing the gloves.

Moreover, the gloves offer a secure grip to prevent objects from slipping. However, some reviewers say the gloves’ grip is too firm. They say it causes everything to stick to the gloves.

The gloves meet EN388 2131X and ANSI safety standards. They resist abrasion, cuts, and punctures. This protection shields your hands from injuries. 

On the downside, some users say the black coating starts to peel off quickly after use. 

Other buyers report their hands freezing in low temperatures for extended periods. For example, when operating a forklift at higher speeds in 35°F weather.

Buying Guide for Forklift Driver Gloves

There isn’t a single perfect glove for forklift drivers. When choosing the best glove for the job, you must consider trade-offs. Let’s look at the factors involved in making a balanced decision:

Durability

Forklift operators face heavy loads and rough surfaces that challenge the durability of their gloves. Because of this, durability is a crucial factor. 

Look for gloves made from materials that have good wear and abrasion resistance. For example, cowhide leather is known for its rugged durability.

Additionally, consider the construction. Well-made gloves will last longer with reinforced stitching and secure material bonding.

But, there is a trade-off to consider with durability. Gloves with extra materials for strength can restrict how much your hands and fingers can move. 

So, think about the specific tasks you do in your job. Find the right balance between durability and flexibility in your gloves.

Protection

For forklift drivers, protection is essential. This is especially true when handling materials that can cause cuts, punctures, or abrasions. Or expose you to harmful substances.

Features like padding on the fingers, knuckles, or palms can offer extra protection.

Evaluate your work to figure out how much protection you need. When choosing gloves, look for features such as:

  1. Abrasion resistance
  2. Cut resistance
  3. Tear resistance
  4. Puncture resistance
  5. Impact resistance

Certification of meeting EN388 or ANSI standards shows that the gloves can withstand certain levels of abuse in each of the above categories.

Grip

Forklift drivers need a secure grip to handle loads and operate equipment safely. Gloves use different materials and technologies to provide this grip. 

Many gloves combine materials like leather, rubber, latex, or PVC. This combination aims to balance grip and dexterity.

But there are some things to consider. A glove with a thicker or stronger grip might make it harder to move your fingers. This is especially true in cold weather. 

If your job involves using touch screens, look for gloves with touchscreens. 

Alternatively, you might consider fingerless gloves. These are good for tasks that require precise finger movements.

Comfort

Comfort is vital for forklift operators. It enables a higher level of focus since there’s less distraction from discomfort. This can impact both productivity and safety.

Think about how breathable the gloves are. Especially if you work in hot or humid conditions. Gloves that are well-ventilated can stop your hands from overheating and sweating too much.

Also, think about how the gloves fit your hands. They shouldn’t be too tight. They shouldn’t be too loose either, especially at the fingertips.

Some gloves have features like adjustable closures or ergonomic shapes. These can make the gloves more comfortable, especially during long shifts.

Dexterity

Adding more material makes gloves more durable, protective, and grippy. However, it can make it harder to do tasks requiring more freedom of movement.

Think about the specific tasks you do while wearing gloves. Then, pick gloves that meet your hand movement needs.

If your job includes tasks like picking up screws and nails or writing, choose gloves that let you move your fingers precisely. For example, fingerless gloves work well in these cases.

Our Verdict

As a forklift driver, taking care of your hands is crucial. 

You need to ensure they’re adequately protected against injuries. At the same time, they must offer the grip, dexterity, and comfort required to do your job effectively.

Forklift operators have different needs based on their specific tasks. Therefore, the gloves you choose should meet your particular requirements. 

Despite this variety, we suggest the original Mechanix Wear Tactical Gloves as a great overall option. They offer a balanced mix of protection, dexterity, durability, and comfort for forklift drivers.

FAQs About Forklift Driver Gloves

What are OSHA requirements for gloves?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers provide gloves for employees when hand injuries occur. These risks include cuts, harmful substance absorption, abrasions, punctures, or burns.

Should you wear gloves while operating a forklift?

Gloves can be helpful for some forklift operators. For instance, those working in cold storage facilities might need gloves to keep their hands warm. Warehouse pickers operating forklifts may need gloves with hand protection and lots of grip. For example, to handle boxes and packages.

What are the best men’s gloves for forklift drivers?

Mechanix Wear Original gloves are highly recommended for male forklift operators. They provide a good mix of protection and dexterity. These gloves are also suitable for using smartphones and screens. Plus, they are machine washable for easy reuse.

What kind of gloves do you wear to change propane forklift tanks?

Specific gloves are necessary when changing propane tanks. This is to protect against frostbite from the subzero temperature of propane. For instance, neoprene or PVC-coated handwear like the “On Hand” by Dan gloves are effective choices.

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