GripOX gloves are sturdy, comfortable gloves that are well designed for use in processing firewood. The WoodOX sling is an ingenious, ergonomically designed sling for carrying firewood.
I am pretty hard on gloves, usually wearing out several pair each year. My wife, “Kari” suggested that if I was going to review anything, I should review some gloves since I would be able to give them a true test of their durability.
With that in mind, I contacted LogOX to see if I could test a pair of their GripOX gloves. I had previously reviewed the LogOX Forester Package in an article that was published on Survivalblog on July 24, 2021. I was so impressed with the Hauler component of the package that I purchased a second Hauler at my own expense so that I could use two at the same time to carry a balanced load. My previous positive experience with LogOX made me eager to try another of their products.
When I contacted LogOX General Manager Austin Roberts to inquire about testing the gloves, he suggested testing their WoodOX Sling at the same time. I gratefully accepted this generous offer.
Mr. Roberts recommended that I preview some videos from a playlist that he provided. There were more than a dozen different videos on the playlist. I found out some interesting things from those videos:
- I discovered that Mr. Robert’s father, John, designed both the LogOX hauler and the WoodOX sling. I was very impressed with his ingenuity.
- I learned that the WoodOX sling received positive reviews from users as diverse as Mother Earth News, homesteaders, and a nine-year-old boy.
- I found out that Mr. Roberts is originally from Vermont. For some reason, I had the impression that he was from the state of Washington.
The package was shipped USPS Priority from Arlington, Vermont. I eagerly opened the package to get my first look at the gloves and sling.
The gloves are made for LogOX in the USA by MidWest Quality Gloves, Inc. Of Chillicothe, Missouri. They have a leather palm, and a high visibility yellow back made of 93% polyester and 7% spandex. The gloves are well-cut, and fit quite comfortably, right out of the package.
The sling is made of heavy-duty cotton canvas with durable nylon straps and includes a replaceable LED flashlight. It is used by inserting one’s head and non-dominant arm through a cross-body strap, and then putting one’s non-dominant arm in a sleeve on the opposite side of the sling. The strap can then be adjusted so that when the non-dominant arm is at a 90 degree angle, the portion of the sling supported by the shoulder strap is even with the portion supported by the arm. Like the gloves, the sling is made in the USA.
Initial Glove Testing
I began using the gloves while splitting wood for eventual use in our outdoor wood boiler. I found that the leather palms make the gloves quite durable, while the synthetic backs make them more comfortable and improve dexterity. The dexterity was sufficient that I was able to comfortably tie contractor bags shut while wearing the gloves.
In addition to splitting wood, I also used the gloves for putting away outdoor Christmas decorations, cleaning up fallen branches around the yard, and a host of other tasks. I was extremely satisfied with their initial performance.
Initial Sling Testing
I first used the sling in conjunction with a mission conference at our church. We were holding a “campfire” gathering with a missionary in one of the rooms of the church, and wanted some firewood to serve as part of the decorations. I used the sling to haul some wood from the woodshed to my truck, and then from the truck into the church building. I was amazed by how well the sling worked. I had expected it to make carrying wood slightly easier. Instead, the highly ergonomic design made carrying firewood dramatically easier.
About a week later, we began to have some trouble with our outside wood boiler and needed to shut it down for some maintenance. While the outside boiler was shut down, we heated our home with the inside wood stove instead. This required carrying significant amounts of firewood into the house.
My initial good impression of the sling was strongly reinforced. The WoodOX sling made carrying firewood into the house dramatically easier than carrying firewood with a traditional sling. The cross-body strap bears most of the weight of the wood, and holds that weight closer to one’s center of gravity than a traditional sling. The firewood is also held higher, at hip level, rather than down at knee level where it bounces against the side of a leg with every step. I was very impressed.
Although the flashlight holder looks like it will be a useful feature for many users, I did not utilize it. Instead, I wore a headlamp when I was bringing in firewood in the dark.
“In Everything Give Thanks”
After several weeks of regular use, I was once again wearing the gloves one day while outside splitting wood.
I was working with two 24 inch rounds on ground level. Each was about a foot apart from the other. With somewhat larger rounds like this, I generally work my way around the outside of the round, splitting pieces off the side until I get to the middle.
One of the pieces that I split from the side of the one round was still attached at the bottom of the round. I grabbed the top of the loose piece with my right hand, and wrenched it away from the round. In the process, I smashed the tip of the ring finger of my right hand between the piece I was wrenching off and the un-split round next to it.
I immediately realized that this was not my best move of the day. I put my right hand under my left armpit, and danced a vigorous jig around the woodpile. I then removed my right glove to survey the damage.
Blood was quickly filling the area between the nail bed and the nail, while the pad of the finger was already showing signs of swelling and bruising. It is possible that if I had been wearing a heavier leather glove, it might have saved the nail, but I don’t think so. There is only so much protective equipment can do to protect against carelessness.
I am sorry to admit that my first thoughts in the moments following the incident did not include the words “Praise the Lord!” My sanctification is still woefully and pitifully lacking. But in the days following the incident, I did reflect upon 1 Thessalonians 5:18. In that verse, God’s word instructs us to give thanks in everything. I meditated upon the difficulty of obeying that command under certain circumstances.
At first, I paid particular attention to prepositions. I noted that the verse commands us to give thanks “in” all things but not necessary “for” all things. And so I wondered if it was okay to not be thankful “for” smashing my finger as long as I was thankful for other things “in” the midst of smashing my finger.
But then my attention was drawn to Ephesians 5:20, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. I could not find any loopholes there. So I ultimately concluded that I needed to interpret the verses in light of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I can thank God for a smashed finger because He will use even that smashed finger to bring about my good. And so I do thank God for a smashed finger, even though I was not very enthusiastic about it at the time.
More Glove Testing
It was a gray April morning with rain drumming steadily on the roof. I had the outside wood boiler running again, and had recently fed the last of the wood from the woodshed into the boiler. I now needed to move wood from my oldest round wood stack into the woodshed. Two hours of steady work in the rain left my hands stained yellow with dye that ran from the leather of the gloves. Other than the pigmentation challenge, the gloves performed well in the rain.
Five days later found me moving wood again, this time in the snow. The gloves performed well in that context, also.
At $19.95 for the gloves, and $79.95 for the sling, these tools provide excellent performance at an accessible price. The GripOX glove and the WoodOX sling are excellent tools for processing and moving firewood. I highly recommend them.
LogOX was kind enough to provide me with GripOX gloves and a WoodOX sling for testing and evaluation. And aWoodOX sling is now offered as one of the prizes for the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. I tried not to let their kindness influence my evaluation of these products, and believe that I have succeeded in remaining objective. I did not receive any other financial or other inducements to mention any vendor, product, or service in this article.