Stuff We Use: Isn’t That Just Just Glovely

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

On our never-ending quest to improve this place by listening to feedback from the B&B, we are taking a new tack with these product posts, choosing instead to focus on items we use and have purchased with our own meager income. After all, if we’re giving you the truth about cars, we ought to give you the truth about car accessories.


One of the great common threads that helps hold this place together is the fact that both our writers and readers tend to work on their own cars. Even if a few don’t currently live in a spot that provides a spot in which to wrench, the desire exists, and just about all hands have spun sockets in the past.

This means, of course, a decent set of gloves generally comes in handy (pun firmly intended). It’s easy to fall into the trope that REAL MECHANICS don’t need gloves, content instead to sear the flesh off their hands and grow potatoes under their fingernails. That’s fine, and there’s been more than one occasion in which yer author has surfaced from a field expedient repair with a set of filthy mitts. Still, hauling on a set of gloves saves a lot of hassle and can actually be helpful in some situations.


Given the marketing machine behind the Mechanix brand, it’ll surprise exactly no one that a set of these things lives on this writer’s workbench and has done so for more than a decade. Basic black and from the so-called ‘original’ line of gloves, they do the job of keeping grime at bay thanks to a synthetic (read: fake) leather construction that’s breathable so my hands don’t look like prunes at the end of a day. There is extra reinforcement at the index finger and thumb, a sensible addition since it’s usually those two digits receiving the most abuse whilst spinning fasteners or violently torquing on a breaker bar. Yes, I have overtightened far too many bolts in my life – note to self: Make the next Stuff We Use post about the proper torque wrench I just bought the other day.


Range of motion with these gloves is more than acceptable, though extra materials for finger protection and knuckle padding are exchanged for a slimmer design. This is a trade-off one needs to make in order to still be able to slide a hand into that vanishingly small space where that last bolt is hiding. Mechanix offers different styles of its gloves with more impact surfaces but they are obviously not as form-fitting. A small Velcro strap lives on the cuff, helping to keep the glove in place instead of sliding off into oblivion. As a real-world note, it’s not a bad idea to buy one size up from what you think you’ll need, as a set of size L gloves from this brand barely covers the bottom of my palm. Most of us with decent-sized gams will need an XL; this 6’6” writer in his size 13 stocking feet finds XXL to work best. My next set is going to be bright red, if you care.


Speaking of cuffs, this pair from a company called Kong somehow found their way onto my workbench (a Christmas gift a few years ago, I think) and I am glad that they did. Unlike the original-style Mechanix gloves, these brutes have enormous finger and knuckle guards for great impact absorption and are hewn from a cut-resistant material. The palm has four layers of material, treated for oil and water resistance with a rough and almost sandpaper-like surface. The latter makes it great for gripping oil filters and the like, as an example. Mine are this precise green-and-red color scheme, meaning they’ll never get lost. Unlike some reviewers on Amazon, my pair have not suffered unraveled fingers or loose threads.


Why did I bring up cuffs at the start of that paragraph? Because the ones on these gloves are high and fitted, meaning they go well up over my wrist and fit very comfortably. Since these units are designed for workers in the oil and gas industry, this design decision makes a lot of sense; even though this particular type of Kong gloves wasn’t intended primarily for use whilst working on cars, they are great for that task. The extra finger and back-of-hand protection precludes them from practical use in tight spots but my experience proves they are great everywhere else. They’re also my go-to when riding on ATV, curiously. Perhaps that’s just out of habit. Mine are XL, though I believe that the link above goes to an L size. Choose yer own adventure.


As planned, this series of posts will continue to focus on items we actually use and have bought with our own money. We hope you found this one helpful.

[Images: Manufacturer, the author]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 9 comments
  • CEastwood CEastwood on Sep 30, 2023

    Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !

    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Oct 01, 2023

      Just bought a box of those 7 mil gloves from Harbor on Saturday. They are great, and they don't rip so easily. I don't like using fancy gloves for a lot of work because they either get soaked in oil, rob me of the ability to properly hold small screws, nuts or fasteners or just get in the darn way but those nitrile gloves may just be a game changer.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 02, 2023

    I use the black Venom Steel nitrile gloves. They're 6mil, and if I don't tear one during a task, I'll wash them before taking them off, dry them, take them off and turn them inside out to dry.

    I have a pair of the basic Mechanix gloves, but I don't wear them too often; usually when it's a job where it's just dirt involved, and not grease, like pulling off tires to inspect brakes.

  • ChristianWimmer Yes, but with a carbureted 500cid V8. None of that fuel-injection silliness. 😇
  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.