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We put the new Mechanix M-PACT Gloves to the test.
Down on the Vibes!
OK, let's get one thing straight, right from the start. Nothing - and I mean nothing - is going to make it so you can't feel the torque and vibration of an impact wrench going full-tilt. With that said, though, I was curious to check out the new M-PACT gloves from Mechanix. I have very bad repetitive strain in my right wrist from so many years of geeking out on the computer. For those of you who are unaware of what that means, I'll explain. I get very bad tingling, pain, and stiffness in my hands, wrist, and all the way up past my elbows. It's very similar to carpal-tunnel syndrome. So, using an impact wrench is probably not exactly what my doctor would be ordering.
Enter the M-PACT gloves from Mechanix. When I spoke to Mechanix directly, they said they would send out a sample pair of the M-PACTs for me to try out. By now you are probably familiar with the original Mechanix gloves. The M-PACT takes the original idea and takes it a step further by adding special double layers of padded palm, thumb and index finger panels. The knuckles are also padded with Neoprene and the fingers feature a seamless design which gives a more tactile feeling when trying to handle those smaller truck parts. The tops of the gloves are both Spandex and reinforced Clarino®.
So what does all that have to do with my repetitive strain? Well, you have to realize that every little bit helps. Simply using any gloves would probably help a bit. However, by using the M-PACTs I did notice a reduction in vibration, due to all the extra padding. Not that the wrench didn't still want to go flying out of my hand! But, it did reduce the vibes and give me a nice grip on the handle. If you look at the photo on the right, you can see how the padding is strategically placed to catch the handle of the impact wrench.
The M-PACT gloves look a bit like motorcross gloves and come in several sizes and have a size-chart on the side of the package to get one close to your hand size. There is also a Velcro wrist-band to keep the wrist snug around any size. My fingers were a wee bit too short for mine but the smaller size wouldn't have fit. Like a pair of shoes, it is impossible to fit everybody perfectly. I'm used to it and it isn't a big deal. The gloves worked great as regular work-gloves, as well, giving me good tactile feel of any small parts I was working with and kept my hands warm during the colder days. They make good driving gloves too! What's also great about these gloves is the fact that they are machine-washable in cold water. Mechanix gloves are available at many auto parts stores and direct from the manufacturer. Retail price is $34.95 and they are availble in several cool colors.
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