MUC-OFF MECHANICS GLOVES
48g Medium (as tested) £6.99
The Muc-Off Mechanics Gloves are designed to combine protection and dexterity. A month’s daily use (primarily on bikes but also cars and other vehicles) suggests they’re comfortable and durable. Enthusiast home mechanics, especially those with sensitive skins should recoup their investment very quickly, compared with disposable examination gloves. The fact they’re touch screen compatible is another plus. However, best to avoid/prolonged exposure to some solvents/chemicals and its good practice wash hands regularly afterwards.
Pros: Lightweight, rugged and comfortable.
Cons: Fabric slowly absorbs water/ solvents/chemicals.
The Shell is made from blended, cut resistant HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), which is commonly used since it’s inexpensive and doesn’t induce allergic reactions. The palms are made from Polyurethane for grip and dexterity. Obviously, PTFE and other petrochemicals are not good for us. However, there are situations-disc brakes specifically, where our bikes need protecting from our own oils.
Now, while these will resist solvents - such as those found in maintenance sprays, degreasers etc. However, if you’re doing intensive work with solvents - say penetrant sprays/degreasers in a strip and rebuild context - and the fabric gets soaked, it will still seep into your skin. For these reasons, be very careful around DOT type brake fluids and steer clear of caustic agents, including over-the-counter paint strippers.
Provided you’ve measured correctly, according to Muc-Off's sizing guide, you shouldn’t have any issues. Our medium fitted me like the proverbial, in every respect. I have long, willowy digits and there’s been plenty of room. The cuffs extended to the balls of my wrist and though snug (as they need to be) there’s been no issues with bunching or slippage. Ours have also been easy to peel on/off, say when going to the toilet or dashing indoors to answer the phone.
I’ve used these for everything, save for roadside tune-ups/mechanicals and have found them very comfortable and convenient-even for long periods. Despite being very thin, the material has protected my hands from scuff and scratches-say when removing weathered cassettes, track sprockets, quill stems and crank bolts. Situations where tools can also press painfully into the palms.
Again, though the padding density is low, the polyurethane palms still offer good protection and allow greater force to be employed, without discomfort. To date, there’s been no issues with slippage, even when the palm side has been exposed to chain lube, PTFE/similar maintenance sprays and residual grease.
I’ve often relegated older, liner type gloves with silicone detailing (such as these) to workshop duties. While their grip is good and some cushioning is provided, it’s not comparable with the Mechanic’s gloves. To be expected, given they’re designed for riding, not wrenching.
In my experience, they also absorb solvent products-penetrant/PTFE based maintenance sprays, baste-on solvent degreaser splashes, super runny chain lube etc faster than the Muc-Off Mechanics gloves.
Now, to some extent, an experienced home/enthusiast mechanic will make less mess and even splashes of potent degreasers, such as Green Oil Agent Apple have either made no impression. I’ve Waxoyled the underside of my cars (a notoriously messy job!) without any seeping through. Expect to get a little damp if your servicing also includes a sudsy bucket wash.
Otherwise, they don’t become clammy and uncomfortable, like the cheap PU coated electricians’ gloves, let alone the ubiquitous disposable examination type.
While I’d expect to wash my hands, before dinner/preparing foodstuffs (let alone, given the present pandemic) removing them when coming inside has avoided that tell-tale patina on door handles, light switches and similar surfaces.
A month down the line, it’s a little early to comment upon their longer-term durability and indeed, a pro-mechanic is going to place much greater demands upon their kit. Thus far, despite weekly machine washing and constant exposure to oily/greasy, dirty stuff, abrasion etc, there’s only very minor sign of wear.
I’ve tossed ours in with bike-specific wash loads at 30 degrees. Drying times vary but bargain on 15 minutes on the line with a moderate breeze. Oh, and swerve the drier unless you want to find them welded to the drum.
There’s not a great deal of direct competition. Their closest rivals are Finish Line Mechanic Grip Gloves which are £4.99 and come in a choice of small/medium and large/extra-large. Yes, you can purchase the PU coated “electricians” type for 69p or so apiece and that might be the most cost effective solution for a shop, but as I’ve said before, these can feel quite uncomfortable, worn for longer periods.
Ultimately, I’ve found the Muc-Off Mechanics gloves comfortable additions to the workshop. Not only are they pleasant to use and offer improved grip, but they save time in terms of clean up and have less environmental impact than single use products.