Sewer Rodding Gloves

Personal Protective Equipment for Plumbers and Drain Cleaners
Plumber’s and Drain Cleaner’s hands are vital to the job, protect your most valuable tools with the right glove.

Being in the sewer and drain cleaning industry ourselves. We have used a few different styles of gloves when handling spinning sewer and drain cables, and the style mentioned on this page is our #1 pick when it comes to handling spinning drain cables. Hopefully, our explanation will help you to decide, if you are in the market for a good pair of drain cleaning gloves.

Keep in mind there is not one drain cleaning glove on the market that doesn’t have at least a few bad reviews. This reason being is perhaps the user is not experienced enough in the trade and/or doesn’t really know the principle behind proper drain cleaning techniques.

Professional drain cleaners and plumbers understand that using a professional drain cleaning machine such as Spartan, Ridgid, Electric Eel, Trojan and General to name a few is no joke. These machines use different sized and thick cables, unlike some other brands. For example, the Spartan 300 uses a 5/8″ cable and the 1065 or 2001 uses a 3/4″ cable. Handling these types of cables takes a durable and superior glove.

Getting back to the principle of drain cleaning and how to properly use a drain cleaning machine. When snaking a drain line the machine actually does all the work. We the operators hold and control the cable to prevent it from feeding out on its own (if operating in reverse, which we hardly do and can be very dangerous if you are inexperienced), or to prevent the cable from slowly feeding itself back into the drum ( which sometimes happens when running in forward), which is the natural mechanics of most professional drain cleaning machines.

When feeding a cable into a drain line it is recommended not to have too much cable out of the drum between the machine and the drain opening. Our job as the operator is to control and guide the cable into the line and when we feel a stoppage then we easily work the area back and forth until the snake clears/passes the obstruction. When working the cable back and forth or guiding it we are not gripping the cable super tight, we are holding it with just enough grip to have control over what we are doing. It’s not a tug of war.

If you are a veteran in the business like us. We hardly use the automatic feed that comes with our machines. We won’t use it to feed the cable into the line to clear a stoppage because drain cleaning is all about feel. But we may use the automatic cable feed when pulling the cable out once the job is done. We will gradually pull the cable out of the line by hand, helping the machine in feeding the cable back into the drum. Helping the machine alleviate stress from excessive pulling especially on long runs.

When an operator is either putting a cable into a drain line or removing it and feeding it back into the drum. You are still not gripping the cable super tight. Gripping the cable tight is a mistake that many drain cleaning novices and some seasoned drain cleaners make, especially when they are in a rush or if they are inexperienced. Drain cleaning is a slow and controlled process. No need to rush, as doing so may cause injury.

Keep in mind that using a style of drain cleaning glove is by user preference. The first glove we ever used were leather double palm cowhide gloves which we would wet before using to handle a drain cleaning cable. Wetting the gloves would help prevent the glove from getting caught in the cable. This wasn’t a foolproof solution because as careful as we were the cable still grabbed the glove on occasion, and it was very dangerous if you didn’t stop the drum from spinning on time. I heard of a few colleagues back in the day that broke their fingers or sprained their hands and arms from getting a glove entangled in a spinning drain cable.  But what could we do, that was the only option at the time.

Now we have options.

In the past, we offered a similar type of glove that I am about to mention but we stopped selling the brand that we had because the quality wasn’t good anymore and if we wouldn’t use it ourselves. We surely wouldn’t offer it to our customers. All the products that we offer or discuss on our website we have tried and tested and some we continue to use regularly.

As for the best drain cleaning gloves on the market today we have narrowed it down to two and they are both from the same brand.

The Shubee Ugly Glove. These gloves aren’t pretty, but they are built tough. PVC coated canvas outer shell designed for durability and dexterity with enough give to reduce hand fatigue. and will keep your hands dry while working. Also, they have a jersey-lined interior for comfort. They are also embedded with PVC chips on the fingers and palms allowing drain cleaning cables to rotate smoothly in your hands.

This glove is the #1 pick for most plumbers and drain cleaners. We use this glove. It allows the user to grab the cable properly without fear of getting caught in the spinning cable. They are absolutely the best gloves to use for pulling sewer cables! They are also easy to clean and are reusable.

The ShuBee Ugly Glove 12″ Gauntlet Cuff (which has no cuff) This gauntlet style glove has the same benefits as the safety cuff glove. The gauntlet glove is good for a little added protecting in keeping your forearms clean and dry when working in deep pits. This glove is also a user preference.

When we use these two styles of gloves we do not grab the drain cable super tight. Because doing so may create some friction and the glove may get entangled in the cable or tear causing injury. Let the machine do most of the work, all we do is control and guide the cable and feel for the blockage. Same with pulling the cable out we don’t grip the cable super tight, we use just enough pressure to pull the cable out of the drain line to assist the machine’s automatic feed, and not to damage the machine’s motor with excessive pulling.

In our early days of drain cleaning we mentioned using leather double palm cowhide gloves, we also used the leather cowhide glove with the metal staples. This glove was a step up for us back in the day. We graduated from the leather double palm cowhide glove to the gloves with the metal staples. Although some drain cleaners and plumbers still use the double palmed gloves today. Sometimes you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and why fix a system that’s not broken if it works for you.

Anyway, if you are using this style of glove that has metal staples. If you’re experiencing heat from friction that means that you are gripping the cable too tight. Keep in mind what we discussed above about cable gripping. Also, when using these gloves it is recommended to wear a pair of rubber gloves underneath to keep your hands dry while working. Another drawback in our opinion with these gloves was if your drain cleaning machine wasn’t grounded there was a possibility of getting an electric shock while handling the drain cable. This happened to me on a few occasions.

The metal staple glove was our glove of choice for many years until the Yellow Ugly Glove came to market. Now we and most professional drain cleaners prefer using the ShuBee brand.

Hope you found this information helpful and keep safe out there.


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