Making a mess in the garage is inevitable. Factors contributing to getting dirty include used oil, slippery antifreeze, stinky gear oil, and our personal favorite, transmission fluid that you can’t ever really wash off your hands. If only there was a product to create a barrier between you and the mess. Thankfully, nitrile gloves are an easy-to-use, relatively inexpensive, and disposable solution to spending 15 minutes over the kitchen sink with a tub of GOJO. If you’ve slipped on a pair of these gloves and jokingly told your buddies to turn their head and cough, then you’ve most likely experienced tears against rough surfaces, sweat-drenched palms, and even ripped and deformed gloves right out of the box. For this month’s Truckin Tough, we got down and dirty testing several different nitrile gloves so you can avoid the mess and reach for the best.

Typically, we put the tools for Truckin Tough through a gauntlet of tests, but for the nitrile glove shootout, we simply used them like you would and compared strength, flexibility, thickness, texture, breathability, and overall value.


1. Western Safety Heavy-Duty Disposable Gloves 50 ct.
$9.99 ($0.40 a pair) www.harborfreight.com

Strength, puncture-resistance, and good sweat defense are what you want from disposable nitrile gloves, and the Western Safety Heavy-Duty Gloves deliver exactly that. At 7 mil thickness, the Heavy-Duty gloves were comfortable and tough without being too thick for usable feel. We used them for a variety of tasks and they always performed well. The blue color may not be for everyone, but we care more about how well they work and not how they look.


2. Venom Steel Industrial Gloves 50 ct.
$9.98 ($0.40 a pair) www.lowes.com

If packaging alone were enough to win, the Venom Steel gloves purchased at Lowes, with the UV-coated high-gloss box would take top honors. Quality packaging aside, the Venom Steel gloves were in fact a solid product with textured fingertips, weremostly tear-resistant, and for less than ten bucks, they are a great value. At 9 inches long, the “one size fits most” gloves weren’t as long as many and the lack of a nice cuff dropped them to Second Place.


3. Western Safety Extreme Heavy-Duty Disposable Gloves 50 ct.
$11.99 ($0.48 a pair) www.harborfreight.com

At a full 9 mil thick, we went into the test thinking these Extreme Heavy-Duty gloves would run away with the test. Once the tests were concluded, we found that though they were thick, the puncture resistance wasn’t as good as the Heavy-Duty gloves from Western Safety. For heavy use around chemicals and solvents, these may be the ideal choice, but for all-around automotive use, the Heavy-Duty gloves work best.


4. Microflex Black Dragon Zero 100 ct.
$15.99 ($0.32 a pair) www.autozone.com

Available through Auto Zone, the Black Dragon Zero gloves worked well despite their 5 mil thickness. Textured fingertips helped when grabbing wrenches, screwdrivers, and sockets, but we did tend to sweat more while wearing these gloves. At $0.32 a pair, the Black Dragon Zero gloves are a good value, just be ready to swap them out quite often when wrenchin’.


5. RoadMaster Nitrile Disposable Powder-Free Gloves 100 ct.
$15.99 ($0.32 a pair) www.autozone.com

It takes a simple glance to instantly recognize the light blue RoadMaster gloves. We’ve probably all used them and we’ve all felt the frustration from one tearing without much of a struggle. At 5 mil thick, the light-duty gloves don’t handle suspension or engine work very well, but they make do for oil changes and such.