Why Cut-Resistant Gloves are Important
Cuts and lacerations are a leading type of worker injury and contributors to lost work days. In fact, in 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported private industry recorded 89,730 cases of cuts, lacerations, or punctures that resulted in days away from work. And that doesn't include the numerous minor wounds workers experience regularly but do not report.
Fortunately, wearing the correct type of cut-resistant work gloves is a proven way to mitigate these types of injuries. So, choosing the best cut-resistant work gloves is essential. And with new glove materials and cut resistance standards, finding the right cut-resistant gloves for the task at hand is also easier. At the same time, the many choices available on the market can be overwhelming. This short guide will help you make the best choice for your situation.
Current Cut-Resistant Glove Standards
Based on the current ANSI standard, there are 9 levels of cut-resistance work gloves.
- Level A1 - General purpose, warehousing, small parts assembly.
- Level A2 - General purpose, plastics injection molding, pulp, and paper.
- Level A3 - Raw materials handling, general manufacturing, construction.
- Level A4 - HVAC, aerospace, food prep.
- Level A5 - Glass or metal sheet handling, automotive assembly, HVAC.
- Level A6 - Metal fabrication, glass manufacturing, changing blades.
- Level A7 - Meat prep, processing glass, manufacturing, metal stamping
- Level A8 - Metal stamping, recycling, heavy assembly, using sharp instruments.
- Level A9 - Sharp metal stamping, recycle sorting metal fabrication, using sharp instruments.
So, the more dangerous the cut hazard, the higher the needed glove level. See the graphic below for a detailed description of each cut level.
Note that some gloves may list the European standards for cut protection. Gloves meeting the European standard (indicated by EN388) undergo abrasion, cut, tear, and puncture testing. Gloves are rated in 6 areas:
- A = Abrasion resistance (scale of 1-4)
- B = Cut performance (scale of 1-5)
- C = Tear resistance
- D = Puncture resistance
- E = Vertical force resistance
- F = Impact resistance
As with the ANSI standard, the higher the rating, the higher the cut protection. In general, the absence of a letter usually means that the standard did not apply.
ANSI or the European Standard?
In the United States, ANSI is essentially the only rating considered. If gloves only have European standards, contact a safety professional to ensure they have the necessary cut protection.
Gloves Meeting ANSI Cut Standards
These gloves are comfortable and allow for the finger dexterity needed in applications like manufacturing, general assembly, inspection, janitorial work, warehousing, and landscaping.
PIP G-Tek Maxiflex Ultimate Gloves (A1)
Need precision handling in dry environments? These gloves are compatible with light oils and provide excellent abrasion resistance. They're silicone-free and breathable but also thin enough to provide mechanical performance. The natural fit reduces fatigue and increases comfort. They also comply with Federal regulations for food contact.
With a 13-gauge cut resistance in addition to being tear and abrasion-resistant, these gloves also have foam that absorbs oil for increased grip. They are part of the line of Cutting Edge Protection with Pyramex Gloves.
Radians RWG17 (A2)
Water-resistant gloves protect from abrasion in wet or dry, cold weather conditions. The Hi-Viz Orange color means being seen even when the weather and light conditions are not the greatest. A seamless, elastic slip-on cuff provides superior comfort for extended wear.
Engineered to provide the highest level of innovation, the Ninja glove series includes a unique shell and polymer combination incorporating the latest hand protection technology. As a result, the Ninja Glove line offers a large assortment of dexterity, sense of touch, and protection.
The low particulate shed of these gloves, along with their 13-gauge cut resistance, makes them suitable for working with electronics and in cleanrooms. They also grip well without being sticky and offer tactile sensitivity and dexterity.
Always conduct the proper research for your job or worksite to ensure the proper level of cut protection is used. Follow ANSI's cut-level guide when in doubt to determine the appropriate cut-resistant glove rating.
Looking for more cut-resistant glove options?
Are you looking for more cut-resistant glove options or one that meets higher ANSI safety standards? If so, we have a variety of gloves that meet or exceed ANSI A1-A6. We've curated a selection of gloves from trusted brands designed to provide maximum protection against cuts and lacerations while maintaining comfort and dexterity. Have a hard time choosing? Let us know your specific needs, and we'll be happy to recommend the best solution for you. Check out our full selection of cut-resistant work gloves at Safety Glasses USA.