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Often I spend the time before my morning coffee kicks in browsing the Harbor Freight website. (Think of it as a shorter, more-virtual version of the classic Saturday morning Harbor Freight trip, but with less danger of returning home with a $35 trunk-full of cheap tools.) This morning I came across the above pictured item: a set of mittens.

Yes, mittens. Now my first thought was to fire up the editor and write a post about how crazy it is that the ‘Freightster sells $2 leather mittens. (Insert lame S&M joke here.) But then I remembered that all you incredibly-bright Toolmongers hand me my ass every time I do so, because there’s usually a use for tools like this of which I’m unaware.

So help me out: When are mittens better than gloves for work?

Split-Leather Mittens [Harbor Freight]


12 Responses to Help Me Out: Mittens?

  1. Mark says:

    When you need to use your hands and gloves are too thick; you can remove and replace mittens quickly. Occasionally you might wear gloves and mittens; removing the mittens for whatever hell you have to work in.

  2. Shalin says:

    Just to add to @Mark’s comments – these would help for low temperature equipment testing chamber work…

  3. BigEdJr says:

    They are also nice because your fingers help warm eachother, instead of relying on a glove to retain the heat.

    I have found that gloves are usually so bulky that for most jobs that mittens work just fine.

  4. Robert says:

    Mittens are the only thing that works for farm work at -40

  5. Mike says:

    Right, mittens are way warmer than gloves. More trapped air to act as insulation, less surface area to give up heat, and fewer seams to leak. I have a pair of mittens that I use when plowing. The tractor doesn’t require finger dexterity once it’s started and when it’s really cold, the increased warmth is welcome.

  6. Pete says:

    When its very cold, for me colder than -25 celcius, mittens like these are the only way to keep fingers moving.
    Back when I was a carpenter, in the dead of winter I would wear oversized leather mittens with thin gloves underneath for times when I needed to do something more dexterous than mitten allow.
    I also keep a pair handy around the BBQ and Campfire in the summer for handling hot stuff,…

  7. jeff says:

    Any gloves that keep your hands warm enough in winter are usually thicker than mittens anyway. I wear my mitts for everything. It seems like the controls for winter items might be designed with mittens in mind. Snowmobile, ice auger, snowblower all have mitten friendly controls (thumb operated or large buttons).

    I would suggest leather mitts that have replaceable liners though. I go through at least one set of wool liners a season but I’ve had the same mitts for 4 seasons. I’ve found that deer/elk hide is superior to cowhide when it comes to mitts also.

  8. aaron says:

    nice to see that there’s love for mittens. I realized this a couple years ago and now all my winter gloves have become round the year work gloves – for things like yard work (brush removal, etc). mittens are the way to go for warmth.

    i do like the idea of thin gloves inside large mittens. Ill keep that in mind in case i ever need it. thanks!

  9. Chuck says:

    At military surplus and supply places, as well as on American Science and Surplus http://www.sciplus.com you can get trigger finger mittens and old school leather ‘shell handling’ mittens, the former being rather effective as a liner for the latter. and cheap!

  10. Dan Lyke says:

    I’ve got some big heavy welding gloves I also use for other things occasionally where I may need to get out of them quickly. Large quantity of something extremely hot (melted metal?) or cold (liquid gases?) inexorably making its way through the leather towards my delicate fingers? Mittens are an “open my hand and shake my arm” thing, gloves might even require me to grab something I *really* don’t want to grab with another hand.

  11. Cameron Watt says:

    Do leather mittens get leather mitten strings?

    Here’s a thought to consider: It seems to me that two light pairs of mittens are just as warm as one heavier pair but dry out in 1/4 the time.

    What I use a lot in cold weather are knit glove liners. When combined with my welding gloves they are nice and cozy….the liners also grip some things better than bare hands, like greasy shafting. Where they really excel is for polishing jobs where you don’t want fingerprints on the work.

  12. Chuck Cage says:

    As always, you folks rock. Thanks so much for the education!

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