Should You Wear Gloves When Using a Bench Grinder?

As you press the metal to the grinding wheel, you create a lot of sparks. These sparks are hot and can cause you some burns if you are not careful. Using hand protection is a smart move to make.

Should you wear gloves when using a bench grinder? It is always a very good idea to wear gloves when you are working around a bench grinder. Gloves keep your hands protected and safe from any possible burns. The only thing to watch out for is not to get the gloves caught in the spinning wheels.

There are other reasons to wear gloves when working on a bench grinder other than protecting your hands against burns. Just continue to read our article to find out those reasons and some bench grinder safety rules.

Bench Grinder and Gloves


You are going to find contradictory opinions on this subject. Some people think that gloves should not be worn while working with a bench grinder and we will get to those reasons later.

Other workers have had their employers make it mandatory for all people using that bench grinder to wear gloves. One reason for this is that worker’s compensation claims can cost the company a lot of money and a lot of lost working time.

Hands can get injured at a bench grinder if you are not careful. Another reason to wear gloves while working at a bench grinder is that if they are strong enough, the gloves will cut down on the hand/arm vibration syndrome.

Then the gloves will protect your skin from the dust that comes off of the metal as you grind. If you are allergic to these different materials, gloves can spare you from an allergic reaction.

Finally, gloves should protect you from flying metal pieces. Grinding is not always a perfect job and small chunks of metal can be torn off and sent in the direction of your hands. Wearing gloves can protect your hands from the burns that come from these hot metals.

They also protect your hands from any possible cuts that can come from the sharp, flying metal shards.

Bench Grinder Safety Gloves

There are differences between work gloves. Each style has its own purpose and one does not automatically transfer from one risky job to another. Bench grinding has so many different elements that just any safety glove will not do.

Here are some characteristics to look for when searching for a good safety glove:

  • They need to be durable - thin gloves will not do here as they can wear out very fast. You want thicker gloves which last you a long time.
  • They need to be flexible - stiff gloves just add to your bench grinding risks. You want to be able to move your fingers easily so you can change positions without worry.
  • They should not be flammable - the material used for these gloves should not be able to catch fire very easily. Sparks are hot and the possibility of fire is always present.
  • They should be able to absorb - by this, we mean that the gloves absorb a lot of the vibration that comes with grinding. The gloves should provide a layer of protection from hand-arm vibration syndrome.
  • They should not be loose-fitting - the last thing you want to do is get your glove caught in the spinning grinding wheel. The gloves should be tight but still flexible.
  • They should be long - when you work on a bench grinder the sleeves of your shirt may rise up exposing your wrist and lower arm. Good bench grinding gloves should be a bit longer to protect those exposed areas.

The Other Side of The Glove and Grinder Story


As we mentioned earlier, there are those people who are very much opposed to using gloves when working on a bench grinder. Their main reason is that you could make the wrong move and the grinding wheel will catch the glove.

When this happens, you do not have the reaction time to pull your hand away and save yourself from injury. Your hand can be badly damaged as it is drawn into the grinder.

One workman’s compensation board requires that if gloves are worn around a bench grinder, the material being ground needs to be long enough to keep your hands far away from the grinder. The distance between your hands and the grinder should be several inches.

You need to keep in mind that most bench grinders rotate at very high RPM. One example is a 12-inch grinding wheel traveling at 3600 RPM is equivalent to traveling in a car at 120 MPH.

This high speed is their reason why gloves should not be worn around a bench grinder.

Some Bench Grinder Safety Rules

We should take the time to discuss some of the safety rules that apply to bench grinders. Being aware is as near as being prepared as you can get:

  • Do not use a bench grinder when tired. You need to be alert.
  • Make sure the grinder is turned off before plugging it in.
  • ​Do not wear loose clothing or gloves.
  • ​Do not wear jewelry and tie your long hair back, keeping it out of the way.
  • ​Keep your balance and do not try to reach too far. Watch your footing to make sure you won’t slip.
  • ​Wear safety glasses or a face shield to protect your eyes and face.
  • ​Keep the proper grinding wheel guard in place and use it.
  • ​Manage the flying sparks.
  • There are a few more safety rules you should learn but these are the basic ones that will help you get through your grinding task safely.

Some Final Comments

As you can see some people like gloves when using a bench grinder and others do not. The reasons to wear them certainly outweigh the reasons you shouldn’t. Even without gloves, you run the risk of having your hands get caught in the grinding wheel. Accidents do happen.

A lot of employment companies are making it mandatory for you to wear gloves so you may not have a choice in the matter. But whether you do wear gloves or not, you still need to follow the safety rules and be careful.

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