3.1 – Anti-Vibration Gloves

The Best Anti-Vibration Glove

designed specifically to help reduce some of the low frequency, high amplitude vibration to your hands, when hanging onto a weed whacker, brush cutter or chain saw.

These gloves are made to my design and years of trial and error, to get the most reduction of vibration possible from a glove. They are custom made, for me to the highest standard, by a company that specialises in making high quality Military and Special Forces gloves.

Model-18 Anti-Vibration Glove

The model-18 glove, may look very similar to the Model-17 glove, but thanks to some customer feedback and hundreds of hours hanging onto a brush cutter. While testing the BrushDestructor Blade, has led to a number of improvements.

WHATS NEW

there are a number of subtle changes, that make this glove even better, than the previous model.

The 1st. major difference, is the colour. Although the red and black colour scheme looks smart, the tan colour leather should not leach colouring dye onto the skin. 

The 2nd. major difference, is the redesign of the thumb, to improve the contact when picking up and moving branches and other obstacles.

This change in design means that a high abrasion pad can be fitted to the tip of the thumb, to reduce thumb tip wear.

The 3rd. major difference, is the increase in thickness of the silicone gel from 4 to 6mm, to better absorb the low frequency high amplitude vibration your hands are subjected to when hanging onto the end of a brush cutter, weed wacker or chainsaw.

What makes these anti-vibration gloves stand out from an increasing range of these gloves, is the thickness, softness and location of the silicone gel pads.

The location of each gel pad has been worked out through lots of trial and error, to get the best reduction of vibration possible when gripping a handle bar or trigger control handle like that found on a brush cutter, chainsaw or any vibrating hand tools requiring a firm controlling grip.

Unfortunately, as the soft gel pads gets thicker, it becomes much more difficult to restrain these pads from moving. Yet still give them the freedom to move, so they can do their job of absorbing vibration.

Why You Need Anti-Vibration Glove

The biggest problem with a brush cutter, is that you have two sources of vibration. Those coming from the gearhead and those coming from the engine. Separating these two sources of vibration is an aluminium shaft, that behaves like a guitar string. Where different frequencies of vibration run up and down the tube and interacting with one another to create much larger rouge waves, that can even be seen with the naked eye. As you can see in the moving picture below, where a 28mm shaft is visibly flexing like a guitar string. What you can see below, is the very low frequency high amplitude vibrations, what you cannot see is all the other range of range of frequencies, running up and down the shaft.

And of cause, the handle bar that you hang onto your brush cutter with, is fitted to the middle of that shaft. What makes matters worse, is that these frequencies are continuously changing as the revs change and how hard you are pushing the blade into the job. A glove is only able to absorb some of these frequencies, others just go straight through a glove. But being able to nullify some of them is better than nothing, so until brush cutter designs improve, a good anti-vibration glove is a good investment. And you thought your cheap Chinese made, eBay brush cutter was a good investment. If this is you, you are not alone, I have made a couple of these great investments in the past as well.

To find out more about the harmful effects of vibration, read this page about brush cutter vibration and the effects on the body.

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How to get the longest life from your gloves

After doing a lot of research and talking to manufacturers, it seems that no man made material at this time, can better good quality leather when it comes to gloves. But leather being a natural product needs some care, to get the longest possible life from them. If you live in a hot climate like I do, after the end of a couple of hours brush cutting, the gloves get soaking wet just from sweat. And because I was so hot, I would jamb the gloves in the helmet to carry home. Often those gloves would stay crunched up in the helmet and when I went to use them the next time, they were still wet and smelt something awful.

If the gloves are left stored in this condition for any length of time, the leather will rot where they stay the wettest and that is where two bits of leather are sawn together. The result is, gloves that will tear apart at the seam, long before they have worn out.

After doing some research, it seems the best way to look after leather gloves is to somehow hang them up so they they can dry and air out after each use. To do this I made a drying frame from a scrap bit of ply and some fibreglass rods that came from an old pop up beach tent. I can assure you, that it is so much nicer to put on dry fresh gloves, then wet smelly gloves. So I suggest that if you want the same and to get the longest life from your gloves. That you also make some sort of drying frame, to keep your gloves dry and fresh as well. You can make it from any scrap material and some short lengths of timber doweling would work just as well, just make sure that you round the top of so that it does not catch and tear the inner lining as you slip it on the pegs.

If you live in a more seasonal climate, where they are put away for the winter. I recommend rubbing some leather conditioner into the leather once they are dry. To do this, pour some leather conditioner into the palm of one hand and rub it into all bits of leather, just like you are washing your hands with soap and then leave them on the rack to dry.

Store them in a cool place out of the sun, to prevent the leather from drying hard. But more importantly, to stop the silicone gel from loosing moisture. And yes, just like the nylon line you use on a trimmer head, silicone gel has a high percentage of water, which it can lose if stored in the wrong conditions.

I have seen the large piece of silicone gel I had purchased to wrap around the loop handle, wet a piece of paper it was sitting on for a few days. I have not been able to find any out details on how much water can be lost, before it affects its vibration absorption ability and at this stage wether it can re-absorbe it back from the air.

If you should decide to invest in a pair of these gloves, than have paid a lot of money for them. Spending a little bit of time to care for them, will see you get many years of use from your investment.

I would also like to point out here, that as a general rule, anti-vibration gloves, due to the thickness of the absorption material, can only provide a limited amount of protection. True vibration reduction, should come from clever design to isolate the vibration at the source and within the gripping handles themselves. But until there is enough of a demand from the public, for lower vibration ratings from the tool itself, there will be a demand for any protection a glove can offer.

How to determine your hand size

Glove sizes seems to have been pretty much standardised, but this is still no guarantee of a perfect fit. BrushDestructor Anti-Vibration Gloves are made to comply with this standard.

The following sizes are available at the moment;

MEDIUM,      LARGE,      EXTRA LARGE,     EXTRA EXTRA LARGE.

Because of the high stretch breathable fabric to the top surface of these gloves, that has a high degree of stretch. This makes these gloves very forgiving of hand circumference and the most important dimension the the length from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger as shown in the sketch below.

Price of gloves;

Australian Buyers – AU$49.00

New Zealand Buyers – AU$54.00

International Buyers – US$45.00

Postage is included in the price of the glove, but you can save $10.00 off that price, if you option the glove, when you purchase one of the following Model-17 blade options below.

All profits from the sale of these gloves and future related items will go towards the development and manufacturer of the BrushDestructor Clearing Machine.

If you are thinking about getting a pair of these gloves, I do recommend ready below, about past models and development of this Anti-Vibration Glove.

Model-17 Anti-Vibration Glove

What makes these anti-vibration gloves stand out from an increasing range of these gloves, is the thickness, softness, but especially the location of the silicone gel pads.

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The location of each gel pad has been worked out through lots of trial and error, to get the best reduction of vibration when tightly gripping a handle bar or trigger control handle like that found on a brush cutter, chain saw or any vibrating hand tools requiring a firm controlling grip.

There is also a wide stretch wrist support strap, to give extra support to the wrist when working for long periods. The leather is of the highest quality A grade pigs hide, for flexibility, hard wearing and long life. The upper surface is the best quality breathable stretch fabric, with the largest possible surface area to help wick away and evaporate sweat off from your hands on those hot gruelling jobs.

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Although these gloves can be used for picking up rubbish, this is not what they are designed for and it is recommended that cheaper gloves are used for this purpose.

WHATS NEW

Better location of gel pads, allows the gloved hand to make a firm contact with the handle bar, with the least amount of effort and absorb as much vibration as is possible that can be achieved from a glove. This was one of the problems with the MODEL-15 gloves with its large surface area of gel on the palm and fingers, taking more effort to curl up the glove and maintain a tight grip.

The additions of outer side strips to the fore, little and thumb, to allow the glove fingers to roll up without rotating.

Below are the fingertips of the MODEL-17 gloves.

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This strips of gel, to better allow the hand to roll up around a hand bar and yet still retain so flexibility to absorb vibration. To achieve the best anti-vibration results, sometimes less is more.

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Testing MODEL-17 Anti-Vibration Glove

I ended up accidentally trialling out these gloves while using an angle grinder for whole days at a time sanding tree trunks. Below is a couple of photos of building the new deck for the Billabong building at our local showgrounds here in Comboyne. This deck was made from locally sourced tallow wood. The vertical columns were about 400 diameter tree trunks with most, but not all of their bark removed and were very rough.

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I suggested the columns needed to be sanded to make the deck look more in keeping with the existing building it was attached to. That was a big mistake, as everyone said, your idea, you own it. This was a job I had not expected to do on the day, as I had no dust mask, ear muffs or gloves. Only an angle grinder with a course sanding disc.

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At the end of the first day, my hands were ringing like a tuning fork. Anything I touched, would make my fingertips ring. It is hard to describe, but anyone who has experienced it will know what I mean. The next day I came prepared with all the gear, including my new anti-vibration gloves. Well after the first half hour, I though these gloves were a waste of time, I could still feel the vibrations of the sanding operation through them. However, at the end of a long hot day, I was aching all over from holding the weight of the angle grinder and for long periods above my head. I wasn’t till I was driving home that it occurred to me that my finger wasn’t ringing as they were the day before, so obviously, the gloves made a did make a big difference.

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How do I know these gloves help reduce vibration, I don’t have the scientific skills, or equipment to test them, or prove it. All I can say is that I spent two solid days shaping and sanding this solid hardwood timber bar. With and angle grinder, with no tingling or numbness to my hands or fingers.

PROBLEMS

If you are working in hot weather and your hands sweated enough to saturate the leather with sweat. The black die comes out of the leather and stains your hands.

The amount of vibration reduction was not as good as I had hoped when using a brush cutter, this is due to the low frequency high amplitude of the vibration found with a brush cutter, which is much greater than that found when using other electric power tools such as an angle grinder where they do worked extremely well.

IDEAS TO IMPROVE GLOVE

To try and reduce the vibration to the hand even further, I decided to push the limit of fabrication and see if the manufacturers can work with 6mm thick gel pads.

Model-16 Anti-Vibration Glove WHATS NEW

As you can see, the gel pads was reduce to smaller segment on the palm and fingers. This made it easier to roll the gloves up around a handle bar and reduced the amount of effort to hang onto that handle bar for extended periods.

Increase the thickness of the gel from 3 to 4mm thick, to improve vibration reduction from the much higher amplitudes found when hanging to a brush cutter.

PROBLEMS

The 1st. problems of using thicker gel, is that if it is not retained properly, it can creep, as can be seen in the pictures above.

The 2nd. problem, was that the standard design of the thumb as used by the manufacturer, did not allow good pick up contact between the thumb and fore finger.

The 3rd. problem I had with the MODEL-15 gloves, which had not been address by the manufacturer, is that there is no outer side of the index, little fingers and thumb which causes the glove thumb and fingers to rotate as you squeeze up your hand.

IDEAS TO IMPROVE GLOVE

Below is the inside of another prototype glove that took almost a year of trial and error playing around with the size and location of the gel pad to achieve the best result of vibration reduction from a tightly clenched hand around the handles of a brush cutter or chainsaw.

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Below you can see how the palm of the hand can more easily roll up around a handle to give a large support area of gel and without compressing the gel to reduce its vibration absorption ability.

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In this prototype the gel pads were sewn in place, to give me the flexibility to cut and move them about and play with the shape until I was happy with the result.

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Below you can see the silicone gel on the trigger finger, to isolate that finger from vibration.

Model-15 Anti-Vibration Glove

As I was putting in a lot of hours testing my blade, I started to notice that my finger were getting numb, especially after using the 92cc two stroke Chinese monster that I had nick named Brutus Maximus. So I decided to invest in some anti-vibration gloves. After trying a number of different brands, some coming from overseas as the range in Australia at the time was very limited, I decided to design my own gloves.

WHATS NEW These gloves were the first on the market to have large areas of 3mm thick silicone gel, to the whole area of the palm and the first to have gel pads to fingers and thumbs.

If you have been through my web site, you will know by know that a believe that one photo is worth a thousand words, below are some more close-ups of the glove holding a brush cutter.

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Even though this moving picture shows that it is easy to squeeze up the hands, the biggest problems of the large gel pads to the fingers and thumbs, was the extra effort required to grip the handle bars for long periods of time.

IDEAS TO IMPROVE GLOVE

I had one Model-15 Glove specially made for myself in light tan leather. This colour which shows up dirt and rub wear more quickly, allowing me to see exactly where the contact points are.

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This would allow me to put thicker gel exactly where it is needed and no gel where it is not needed, as real high quality Silicone Gel is very expensive. It cost around $110 for a piece 300×300 square. (about 1ft square) As I found out when I purchased a sheet to wrap around the “D” and trigger control handle of my brush cutter, to try and reduce vibration that way.

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Better location of gel pads, allows the gloved hand to make a firm contact with the handle bar, with the least amount of effort, and absorb as much vibration as is possible to be achieved from a glove.

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Another problem with the MODEL-15 gloves and most other gloves for that matter, is that there is no outer side piece to the index, little fingers and thumb which you can see in the photo below if you look closely.

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This causes the glove fingers to rotate as you roll your fingers up, meaning most of the gel in these finger tips is off to the side and not doing its job. The shaded areas on the glove below show the high contact areas and how the index and little fingers rotate and where the gel should be on these finger to do its job.

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Like the BrushDestructor Blade, these gloves will continue to evolve over the next 4 or 5 years, to do the best possible job of isolating vibration to your hands. To keep these gloves as the best of their class in the world, your feed back will play an important part in this evolution process.

I believe that bottom up design is the best way to improve a product, after all, who knows the faults of a product better than the end user.