There are a plethora of ESD-safe products on the market, but ESD-safe gloves are one of the most efficient products available.
Workers usually wear gloves to protect the electronic items they are building from ESD but the gloves also serve as a barrier to protect the products from finger prints and scratches.
There are several types of ESD-safe gloves that are commonly used including nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves and fabric gloves.
Nitrile gloves are made from synthetic latex which is a great option for workers who are allergic to latex, plus they are inherently anti-static. Nitrile gloves are also much more puncture resistant than rubber gloves and offer resistance to many types of solvents and chemicals. These gloves are usually more expensive than latex or vinyl gloves.
Vinyl gloves are another option for latex-sensitive workers. Vinyl gloves usually fit baggier than latex gloves, but the material is very soft. These gloves are less durable and less puncture resistant than nitrile and latex gloves.
Latex gloves are the gloves most people think of when rubber gloves are mentioned. These gloves are affordable, fit well, durable and very elastic. The major disadvantage with latex gloves is that they cannot be worn by workers with a latex allergy.
There are many variations when it comes to fabric gloves. Some hot gloves are used when handling “hot” circuit boards; the gloves dispel ESD while providing comfort for the worker. Some fabric gloves have a non-slip material on the palm and fingers for superior handling. Nylon gloves are another option. These gloves can be found in stretch, low-lint and lint-free varieties. Fabric gloves are also reusable and many times they can be washed without losing their anti-static properties. The reusable quality of fabric gloves makes them cost-effective compared to disposable gloves.
Finger cots are another option for ESD protection. They come in a variety of materials and provide ESD protection with more mobility than gloves.
Your company’s process requirements are the first place to check when shopping for gloves, because some work places do have glove requirements.