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We keep boxes of latex gloves around the shop because they’re great for keeping grime and crap from getting ground into your skin and fingernails. (Just be careful of heat sources. Get latex gloves too close to a hot exhaust header once and you’ll never do it again.) I also keep a pair or two in the car — at least when I remember to replace them — to facilitate quick (and clean) repairs on the side of the road. But packaging them in a dispenser like WetWipes seems like an even better idea. These are a whopping $4.25 at Northern Tool. I’m going to grab a can or two.

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What other quick solutions do Toolmongers use for grime-free hands in the shop or vehicle?

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Latex Gloves in a Can [Northern Tool]

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What you see pictured above are Ringers Gloves’ model R-21 “heavy-duty Kevlocs,” and they look like some of the most badass gloves for heavy automotive work I’ve seen. Seriously, with crazy-tough puncture resistance, high-tech padding in all the right places, and specially-designed grip surfaces, these put the scores of low-buck work gloves I keep around the shop to shame. Then again, they MSRP for $45 freakin’ dollars.

What do you get for $35 more than your average pair of work gloves? To start with, you get a specially-sewn palm that meets the European “CE 4342 EN388 Level 2 standard for cut and puncture resistance.” WTF-BBQ? Yeah, I had no idea what that was, either, so I did a little digging, and here’s how it works:

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We’ve covered boots here on TM before, and we definitely have additional boot coverage coming. But TM reader Joel needs some boots right now, and he needs some help finding the right pair for his budget. He writes:

For about 12 years I wore a pair of black Dr. Martens cap-toe boots. They were tough as hell, reasonably waterproof, super comfortable, and they shined up nice to make for great dressy shoes as well. But they’re more cheaply made now, and they no longer have the classic work-boot tread pattern, opting for a pavement-loving design. I suspect the material will not last as well, either. So I’m looking for a new boot, but I’m having a hard time finding anything I like except some really expensive boots from Wolverine and Red Wing.

So what might work for him?

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It’s a rare occasion that we have a need to wear a tool belt around the shop — because, well, we’re around the shop, the very base of all our tool power. However, working at other people’s houses or doing plumbing or electrical work can make tool belts a necessity.

On this topic, reader Haglered writes us and asks:

What do you think about using tool belts? Some say you have to have one so you don’t have to set your tools down when working on a job or around the house. What do you think and where can you get a tool belt big enough for us big guys?

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Last year at the Milwaukee event when the M12 powered heated jacket was unveiled, everyone was very excited about everything but the color. Our friend Hal from Extreme How-To.com was the first to ask if it came in any color other than red, like camo. They promptly said no: Red is good, that’s what you get.

Hal and others pressed on, with statements similar to “…but what you’ve designed here is a perfect hunting coat; why not just go all the way with it?” Fast forward about a year and enough testing and user feedback flows under the bridge, and Milwaukee did just that. The Milwaukee M12 powered heated jacket now comes in Realtree branded camo pattern. Milwaukee’s press release gives us the skinny:

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Think of it as mid-2000s industrial. Or jobsite chic. Kidding aside, we checked out the Blaklader pants a few years ago, and besides their love-it-or-hate-it look, they are pretty damn durable and practical, assuming you choose some more durable footwear.

The pants you see in the photo are what Blaklader calls their “heavy worker” pants, made of a poly-cotton blend reinforced with Cordura. They’re heavier than they look, too, and they look pretty heavy.

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Your eyebrows are supposed to keep sweat out of your eyes, but sometimes we perspire so much they can’t divert all the sweat streaming down your forehead. You could wear a sweatband, but not everyone wants to rock the 1980s Richard Simmons look.

The Sweat GUTR from Glove Guard is the hip new way to keep sweat out of your eyes. How do we know it’s hip? Because they leave out the E between the T and the R (not to mention the second T) just like pop photo-sharing site flickr.

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Do you ever get the inclination to look really silly in your shop? Wearing a pair of Shoe Bibs will satisfy that urge and then some. Just make sure that nobody sneaks a picture while you’re wearing them or you’ll be the laughing stock of the Internet.

Seriously though, you wear the shoe bibs around your ankles to prevent sawdust and other debris from falling into your shoes and socks. Personally, I don’t really notice any  sawdust or swarf getting into my socks or shoes — somehow it finds a way into my shirt or jeans pocket, but fortunately these won’t help. The bibs stay in place thanks to hook-and-loop fasteners, otherwise known as Velcro.

Available only in Desert Camo (Really? What are you trying to hide from in your shop?), fashionistas can pick up a pair at WoodCraft for $20 before shipping.

Shoe Bibs [WoodCraft]

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I had the pleasure of stomping around the neighborhood yesterday in ten-degree weather, -4 with wind chill. To put it rather mildly it’s not fun. However, flannel-lined jeans I got for x-mas a few years ago lessened the shock quite a bit.

I donned no less than two pairs of socks, my trusty boots, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt jacket, shop coat, wooly hat, fur-lined gloves and of course, these flannel jeans. Surprisingly enough my legs were fine. Eventually the wife’s car was chipped out, the neighbor’s vehicle jumped out of its winter slumber, and “Ebay,” the dog from down the street, was found rooting about in the field across the way.

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We get lots of crazy press releases here at TM, and a lot of ‘em go right in the circular file. This one, however, caught my eye. Looking past the AS SEEN ON TV feel, it seems to address a real problem: your hard hat can only protect you if you’re wearing it.

The Hat Grabber site claims that on job sites, workers often take off their protective headgear because “they won’t stay on your head, they’re uncomfortable, and they fall off when you bend over.” Their product — a grippy pad — fastens to your hat’s suspension gear, adding a little bit of padding to make it more comfortable and to allow you to crank it down tightly enough to stay on your head.

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