Workman's Gear

Firm Grip Work Gloves - Heavy Duty (Review : Conover)

Whenever Mike (Oklahoma from #ARP15) and I are out on a job, we obviously find ourselves needing gloves. Whether it be to simply keep dry and warm, or to really get a good grip on a tool, we need gloves. Period. The Firm Grip Heavy Duty gloves are absolutely fantastic. Not only do they hold up to some seriously hard back-breaking, blister making, callous hardening work; their dexterity does not waver. You may think being such a heavy duty glove you can't use your phone, get into your pockets and whatnot, but you can with these gloves. In my opinion, that is the trick to good work gloves, they need to be durable, but flexible. Another plus is that these gloves, along with the rest of the Firm Grip gloves, have the “tech-tips” so you can use your touchscreen phone without removing the gloves. And they're on every finger so if one has a little mud, you can swipe away on your phone with another finger. These gloves also have what Oklahoma and I call the “knuckle-bustas.” On the back of the gloves, at the bottom of the fingers lie hardened plastic domes to protect your knuckles. These are officially my favorite work gloves, but I can honestly say, any firm grip glove from the general purpose on up are the best.


Mission Enduracool Headband (Review : Conover)

Let me tell you something about working outside in Jersey in the middle of a heat wave when the “RealFeel” temperature is 105 degrees...IT SUCKS. All summer I found myself sweating like a whore in church. Not only did this make me completely uncomfortable, but I found myself having to constantly wipe sweat from my brow and forehead; and most of the time with my job, I either have gloves or chemicals on my hands so it is a tad dangerous or simply a pain in the ass to do so. The Mission Enduracool Headband absolutely keeps the sweat out of your face, but wait - there's more! The main objective of this product actually, is to keep cool while busting your back in the heat. Whether you're working out, or you're outside working, this head-wrap KEEPS YOU COOL! All it needs is a quick soak in cold water, wring out the excess water, and wear it however you like. It will keep you cool for quite a pleasantly surprising amount of time. Of course, you'll need to wash it out, and re-soak it every so often, but even a half hour of not feeling like your head is going to melt is plenty appreciated when you're stuck out in the heat. While 30 minutes is admittedly not too long - there were days that I would soak it, and it was not until hours later that I would notice my head was getting warm again. There are more than just headbands made by Mission Enduracool, but this one is definitely my favorite. (Other colors available through same link.)

Big Wipes Industrial Wipes (Review : Conover)

Wet Ones for the working man – enough said, but I'm going to tell you about them anyway. The Big Wipes are wonderful for any blue-collar, working with your hands type of job. A lot of times I find myself needing to wipe chemicals or just mud off of my hands because gloves just aren't in the cards for one reason or another, and tissues or rags aren't cutting it. They simply don't hold up to the scrubbing, or get my hands clean. That's when I reach for my Big Wipes. They are an industrial strength wipe in the sense that they don't rip or fray as your using them, and you can really scrub all the nastiness off your hands without going through ten wipes just to do so. Don't get me wrong, having any wipe is essential when working with your hands, but just as with Shop Towels (the mechanic's paper towels), Big Wipes trumps all other brands in terms of durability, cleanliness, and Eco-friendliness due to the lack of necessity to use a bunch just to get the gook of your fingers. If you're in the business of working with your hands, or you just want a good, strong hand wipe – Big Wipes are the cream of the crop.

Carhartt Bib Overalls (Review : Conover)

When I got a job as a poolboy I never imagined I'd need to use these for work because I didn't think we'd be working in extreme cold. Well, as it turns out, Oklahoma and I were on a job and it was absolutely freezing, literally less than 32 degrees for about 4 days straight, yet we were still expected to work on a pool. Needless to say, I broke out the Carhartt Bib Overalls. I originally got these as a gift years ago and had used them mostly in the snow and just for such. However, over time, I've used these more and more for work, whether personal or professional. They're extremely warm, and much more comfortable to work in than one may think. When I brought them to the jobsite the first day, I was concerned I wouldn't be able to move freely, but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to bend over, kneel down, hunker over deep ends of pools all while remaining warm and comfortable. These are much less cumbersome than I originally expected. What I thought would be used for just playing in the snow and keeping warm when plowing the driveway, has turned out to be a real game changer for cold weather working. These overalls sport exactly what you would expect from a quality brand like Carhartt. Durable, flexible, comfortable, warm, strategically-place pockets and spots for tools; a win all the way around. Wear them over everything else, or if you don't like the look of overalls, sport a hoodie on top and it just looks like you're wearing pants. Carhartt is just one of those brands that knows what their customer wants, and more importantly needs.

Carhartt Rain Defender Zippy (Review : Conover)

My dad purchased this hoodie for me knowing the type of work I do and knowing that just because its raining, doesn't mean I have the day off. Usually it can be difficult to find a warm sweatshirt that also keeps you dry. Warm clothing usually means wet clothing in the rain. However this particular sweatshirt sports a fabric that literally beads the rain off. I have physically seen rain drops bead up on the fabric and roll off. Virtually never does a raindrop seep through the sweatshirt. Above its rain defense, the sweatshirt is quite warm with a thermal lining on the inside. As with pretty much everything Carhartt produces, its a working man's sweatshirt while remaining comfortable. Its durable, having resisted rips and tears numerous times already in the the short period I've owned it. As warm and as dry as it keeps the worker, its not super heavy and just as the overalls by Carhartt, are much more comfortable and less cumbersome than expected. Added bonus, its comfortable and even nice enough to wear as a jacket when you're going out but know you only need it for the walks to the car or train etc. As always, Carhartt nails it and continues to push the envelope of the working man's attire.

Gorrila Tape Duct Tape (Review : Conover)

This is a review that I could probably say, “duct tape made by Gorilla Tape, need I say more?” However, the fact of the matter is there is plenty more to be said. Arguably the strongest everyday adhesive tape made by arguably the strongest adhesive company certainly proves its merit and lives up to its expectations that come with the product itself let alone its name. We could have put this product in the household items section, hell I think the first time I used Gorilla's duct tape was at Lutch's last place, but I wanted to review it as Workman's Gear because I definitely use it mostly at work. Practically every problem that doesn't have the necessity of a specific tool, can either be solved with duct tape, or a tool to solve the problem can be built with duct tape. That's something most workman know as is. Gorilla's take on duct tape just takes it to the next level. The tape itself, adhesive aside, is super tough and durable, yet still easy to rip. All you workman know the nuisance it can be when you've got one thing in one hand, the other hand occupying and handling the tape, and the tape won't rip. You want the strip, again the tape itself, to be strong enough to not fray once used, but it can really be a pain when you can't rip it. Whenever I run into a problem at a job, and don't have the specific tool I need, I'm presented three options. Find the tool on the van (how often do you think I actually do...?), go buy a tool at the local hardware conglomerate (get reimbursed with paycheck), or create a tool that will do for the time being. Plenty of my jobs are not close to the office, so fingers are always crossed that I can just find the tool on the van. But we workmen know, this often is unfortunately not be the case. Now do I run out to the nearest hardware/tool supply house? Nope, closest place is just as far as the office, and the local 'mom and pop shop' closed early or they don't have the tool in stock. So here we go, create a tool. One specific example is when I had to build a run of pipe out of a telescoping pool pole to run a dry-well pump for ground water. We had the pump, and the trash-line of hose, but we had no pipe for a suction stretch. Took the pool pole apart, shoved it down into the main drain of the pool, used the single two inch scrap piece of pipe I DID have to fit over the fitting on the suction side of the pump and just wrapped that sumbitch like crazy with this specific duct tape. I do believe the bulk “PVC Tape” we get would have sufficed but only if I had about 3 rolls of it...The Gorilla Tape, I still chose to wrap it like crazy, but didn't even use a third of the roll. Needless to say, story has a happy ending, the contraption worked, tape held, no leaks, full head of prime in the pump the whole time. I know this is a very specific example of its utility for such a general use product, and not necessarily the most relative to most, but again, that's why we put this in the Workman's Gear section. If you consider yourself a blue collar, work with your hands, get the job done right kind of guy, you NEED this specific duct tape on your belt...or at least your truck.