The day after a F4 tornado cut a 15-mile trail through the heart of our hometown of Tuscaloosa I teamed up with a volunteer crew waded into the wreckage with a Husqvarna 372 XP chainsaw. To protect my hands I pulled on a pair of Black and Decker anti-vibration gloves. I didn’t think much about it until noon when I switched to another pair of gloves that lacked the anti-vibration pads. But after an hour or so with the unpadded gloves my hands were tingling—not a good sign. I went back to the anti-vibration gloves and voila, I sawed until sundown with no more tingling.
The anti-vibration pads were shaped and positioned in all the right places for protection but also didn’t make it hard to move curl my trigger finger or flex my hand. And my hat’s off to whoever convinced B&D to sew a piece of soft, absorbent terrycloth on the topside of the glove so you wipe the sweat from your eyes and brow. The Velcro wrist closure tabs are elastic so they can be pulled tight preventing sawdust and debris from crawling inside the glove.
I wear the anti-vibration gloves now anytime I’m working with a motorized hand held tool—lawn mower, string trimmer, hammer drill, random orbit sanders, etc. Even though these other tools don’t put out near the vibration of my chainsaw I still wear the gloves. Why? Long term hand exposure to mechanical vibration can compound over time and permanently damage the nerves in your fingers and hands.
In 30 years of construction I’ve never had a serious accident. But I find myself increasingly concerned about subtle forms of damage that sneak up on you over time, like vibration and progressive nerve damage. I suggest you think likewise and get yourself and crew some of these anti-vibration gloves. If you’re a real craftsman, your hands and your sense of touch are some of your most important assets—so protect them.