This particular review will be focusing on the 511 hard-knuckle gloves
, which are the result of a magnificent partnership between 5.11 Tactical and Ironclad. 5.11 named these beauties the "Hard Time Gloves." Get it? No? General Beauregard says, "Shame on you." Even he
gets it and he only speaks German!
Despite their rugged nature, I don't feel like I lose a whole lot of dexterity when I wear them. I will say up front, however, that these gloves DO require a break-in period.
I have owned three pairs of these lovelies (lost the first pair of blacks, replaced them with the tans, then got a third pair because I loved them so much, but wanted a set in black cuz I'm a borderline Gear Whore.
I've had the coyote pair of hard-knuckle gloves for well over a year now and, pardon my French, beaten the fudge* out of them. Yet they keep coming back for more. They have me convinced that their makers intended them to be gluttons for punishment. I'll get into the details of just why I've come to believe that in a bit.
*only I don't mean "fudge."
For now, let us simply gaze upon their beauty just a bit more before things get ugly.
Tell me these 511 hard-knuckle gloves don't look good and I shall tell you to seek a mental health professional's counsel.
I'd like to point out with this next image, that the material used on the back of the hand and below the hard-knuckle plates, is, in fact, slash-proof Kevlar.
While I haven't been in a situation where someone is trying to cut me with a knife while wearing these gloves (or while not wearing them), I have heavily scraped the back of my hand numerous times on various surfaces and not only did my hand avoid so much as a mark on the skin, but the Kevlar just laughed.
The photo to the right is obviously of the Coyote version of the 511 hard-knuckle gloves. However, what may NOT be so obvious in this pic is that the image itself was taken after well over a year's worth of abuse has been brought upon them, yet they still look good.
Obligatory two-hand, opposite-palms shot.
You knew I couldn't do this review without at least one cliche', right?
Alright. So I've had the 511 hard-knuckle gloves for awhile now, like I've said. So lets see the damage.
When I took these shots, I was trying to be efficient in show both sides of the glove in each shot because the wear and tear was consistently the same on each hand and on each side of each hand. So assume that for whatever side of the glove is not being shown that it looks like the opposite hand's side that is being shown. Does that make sense? No? Well, shame on me this time.
You can see that on the palm and fingers of my 511 hard-knuckle gloves pictured above and below, there is obviously some wear, but it would be important to note that even after using them for everything from moving heavy wooden furniture with rough edges, to pulling several hundred large weeds & plants in my backyard to climbing through windows of abandoned buildings with shards broken glass waiting to tear some flesh open, these gloves currently have ZERO tears in them. Not so much as a stitch in the seams has come loose. That, in my opinion, makes these a damn-good glove.
The surface is obviously worn, but there is still plenty of material left. It's primarily the coloration of the material that has been worn off, not the material itself. While we're up close here, note the excellent condition of the seams, in that none are showing signs of coming loose or open anytime soon.
The backside of the fingers reveal that they've certainly seen some action, but nothing they couldn't handle.
Now here is where I typically see my gloves fail: in between the thumb and index finger, particularly right in the corner where the material gets stretched the most. Yet, as you see below, no tearing has occurred, no seems coming loose and no signs that these are anything but fantastic gloves.
Perhaps the most damage on the palm side of the glove is probably going to be here below. There is a small section of the seam at the wrist cuff where the threading has come loose. Not really a big deal. Usually, I take a lighter and singe the thread so that it stops coming loose any further.
On the inside of the glove wrist cuffs (below), there is a label that has been printed onto the material where you can put your name or ID in case somebody tries to jack your awesome gloves. Seriously, these 511 hard-knuckle gloves are so awesome that such an event should not be ruled out.
If I had to choose the weak-point of the 511 hard-knuckle gloves, it would, ironically be in the knuckle plates, specifically in the material used on the surface. Whatever this stuff if, it gets chewed up pretty easily. The material underneath it has stayed pretty much well intact, but in my opinion, it would have been better if they had used a harder material on the exterior of the plates to act as a sort of shell of armor for the padding and other material underneath.
It really doesn't take much to scratch this stuff off. The exterior material just seemed too rubbery and soft.
As you can see, these are mainly surface scratch & such and that the protective padding underneath the thin surface layer is not exposed.
Nothing too terrible, but certainly an area of weakness for the 511 hard-knuckle gloves. I hate to say bad things about an item that I love so much, but I don't consider this issue to be a deterrent from purchasing the gloves again (for me) or for the first time (for you).
I think I scraped up against a wall or something and took some of the paint with me on this knuckle:
So there you have it. All things said & done, I whole-heartedly recommend these gloves and think they make an exceptional alternative to some of the other hard-knuckle tactical gloves options out there.
Buy your own set of 5.11 Hard-Knuckle Gloves