Cactus plants are beautiful, diverse succulents, but if you have to touch them, they can be a real pain—literally.
Maybe you’ve got cactus growing wild in your yard, and you want to remove it. Or perhaps you’re creating a succulents bed as part of a landscaping project. You might even be transplanting small cacti to keep as houseplants. Whatever your reason for handling these prickly plants, it’s important to have a sturdy pair of work gloves to protect your hands.
While few gloves, if any, are truly puncture-proof, some gloves are much more heavy-duty than others. If you’re looking for the best gloves for handling cactus, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of some of the toughest gloves on the market.
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These elbow-length, gauntlet-style gloves are made of 100 percent goatskin leather and cowhide suede. These Exemplary Gardens gloves are specifically marketed to rose gardeners, but they will work just as well at protecting your hands and arms from cactus spines.
The natural, quality materials are not entirely puncture-proof, but they are more durable than many “heavy-duty” gloves on the market. If you use proper caution, these gloves will handle most types of cacti without allowing a scratch.
The gloves are flexible enough to perform fine-motor tasks with ease. They have a soft, smooth texture that makes them perfect for sensitive skin. The unique thumb design makes them a comfortable choice if you have arthritis.
These gloves come in five sizes and four different colors so you can customize them.
- Heavy-duty, natural materials
- Gauntlets extend to elbow for complete hand and forearm protection
- Ergonomic design makes them ideal for arthritic hands
- Gauntlet fits a bit tight if you have large forearms
The Nocry Long Leather Gardening Gloves are also made of goatskin and cowhide leather. They have a shorter gauntlet than the Exemplary Gardens gloves reviewed above, which is ideal if you don’t need the full-arm protection or want something less bulky. The gloves are reinforced with an extra layer of leather over the palm and fingers, making them twice as prickle-proof.
These gloves are extremely versatile, so you can use them while handling several different types of spiky plants, including cacti. They are, however, not impenetrable. Smaller spines, especially, may become embedded in the thin, single-layer parts of the glove, possibly working their way through to the inside. Some users recommend wearing skin-tight rubber gloves underneath. If you take the necessary precautions and handle the cactus with care, these gloves should do quite well.
- Double layer on palms and fingers
- Red dye of the gauntlet may bleed, causing stains
- Provides extra protection but not fully puncture-proof
Similar to the previous two products reviewed above, Fir Tree Leather Gardening Gloves are gauntlet-style gloves. They come in six sizes and keep your arms protected to the elbows.
The goatskin leather is thicker than expected but still soft and flexible. The thicker material is more successful at keeping thorns out, as this product appears to be one of the more puncture-proof gloves of its kind. It is rated to keep you safe from cactus spines, citrus, rose and blackberry thorns, and lots of other painful plants.
These gloves are washable and come with instructions on caring for them properly. They are comfortable and breathable, making for a more pleasant gardening experience.
Some users have experienced problems with the seams coming unraveled after heavy use.
- Thicker material than other gloves
- Comfortable to wear
- Low-quality stitching
- Gauntlet sleeve thinner than similar gloves
If you prefer normal gloves that end at the wrist, these sturdy work gloves may be just what you’re looking for. OZERO Leather Work Gloves are made of cowhide leather and are between 1.0 and 1.2mm thick, making them a dependable puncture- and cut-resistant choice. They are a durable, efficient glove for everything from construction to carpentry to gardening.
An elastic band at the back of the wrist tightens the glove, keeping dirt, debris, and stray cactus spines from finding their way inside. The cowhide leather is breathable and sweat-absorbent, so your hands stay dry and comfortable.
While these gloves are not completely puncture-proof, the leather’s thickness keeps most cactus spines from poking through to your hands. As long as you use them carefully, these gloves are useful for trimming and transplanting cactus plants.
The gloves come in three different sizes and tend to run large.
- Thick and durable
- Perfect for those who don’t like gauntlet gloves
- May have a strong chemical smell when new
- Tend to run large
The Magid Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves come in different sizes and colors for both men and women. They are made of synthetic leather and spandex, which is great for those who don’t want to use leather gloves for humane reasons.
These are similar in appearance to regular leather gauntlet gloves. They have reinforced fingertips and padded palms, as well as knuckle guards on the back for extra protection.
As with any other glove, they are not completely puncture-proof, but the additional padding on the palm and fingertips really helps to keep most of the spines from poking through. This is a good choice if you work with cactus a lot, whether transplanting or removing—just remember to always handle with care.
- Reinforced and padded at the fingertips, palms, and knuckles
- Several size options and styles
- Good value for the price
- Not very breathable
- May run large
And there you have it—our guide to the best cactus gloves on the market. These are some of the most durable, dependable gardening gloves you’ll find. If you use one of these pairs of gloves and handle your cactus as carefully as possible, your cactus-handling project is sure to become a more pain-free experience!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get cactus spines out of gloves?
- Take off your gloves as soon as you notice spines in it.
- Put it in bright light to examine carefully. If possible, stretch the gloves to see where the spines entered in.
- Use the magnifying glass to better examine the gloves.
- Take the tips of the spines with tweezers. Pull gently but firmly to completely detach them from the gloves. Be careful not to damage them while pulling.
- Place them on a piece of white paper so that you can see them easily when you remove them. Be careful not to lose sight of the spines to prevent them from re-entering the gloves or skin before they are thrown away.
- Continue to examine the gloves. This process can take some time as there can be many spines. Remove whatever you find.
- Wrap the tape with the sticky side facing out. Press it against your gloves to remove the tiny spines. Continue this process to remove as many spines as possible.
- Examine the gloves again with a magnifying glass to see if there are any spines left. Run your hand over the gloves as well. Continue until there are no more spines on the gloves.
- Gently fold the paper to wrap the spines. Carefully dispose of it and the tape if you remove it.