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Types of Cut Resistant Gloves

Do your business’s cut resistant gloves make the cut? Hand cuts and wounds are preventable accidents in the workplace, yet they account for a hefty percentage of injuries and lost employee time in the United States. Protecting employees’ hands in the foodservice industry should be a high priority, but choosing the right cut resistant glove for your work environment isn’t the easiest task.

Slices, cuts, abrasions and punctures are all common workplace injuries, especially in the foodservice industry. But did you know these types of accidents account for almost 30% of lost time and productivity, and almost 80% of these injuries involve workers’ hands? It’s important to protect yourself and your employees with cut resistant gloves in order to maintain a company that’s efficient with high productivity levels in order to maintain growth. But where does the process of choosing an effective cut resistant glove begin?

What I Need to Know Before Buying Cut Resistant Gloves

green cut resistant glove

When thinking about the process of choosing a cut resistant glove for your business, it’s pertinent to first understand the concept of cut resistance. Cut resistance is a function of a glove’s material makeup and its thickness. Therefore, the heavier weight a glove’s material is (oz. / square yard), the greater the protection.

If this is true, then it should be simple to protect your employees—go with the heaviest material glove the market has to offer, right? The major issue with cut resistant gloves revolves around your employees. Do your gloves offer comfort and mobility? If not, more times than not, your employees won’t even wear them, despite the safety hazards. The major goal is to protect workers without causing an obtuse level of discomfort and mobility restriction. To tackle this, you need to understand the various cut resistant materials that exist.

Levels of Cut Resistant Gloves

There are a variety of fibers and fabrics used and intertwined to meet the requirements of different levels of cut resistant gloves. Every working environment has different protection needs, influencing your decision on the best glove for your business. Restaurants may need lower levels as they’re slicing and dicing vegetables, while butchers may need higher levels as they're sawing through thick meats. The glove you choose for your business is the single barrier preventing the possibility of serious injury.

The cut resistance of a material is determined by four factors: strength, hardness, lubricity, and rolling action. A yarn that possesses more of these four characteristics will typically have a higher cut resistance than a glove that utilizes only one factor. To test a glove’s cut resistant level, manufacturers usually abide by the standards of a testing agency known as American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI provides a material’s cut resistance in grams of weight applied to the tested material. An ANSI level is determined by how much weight is needed to cut through a given material with 25 mm of blade travel. In 2016, ANSI updated the way they label cut resistance levels in order to encompass gloves with very high levels of cut resistance. As it takes time and retesting to get gloves from 2015 and earlier up to date with the new standard, the old levels are still commonly seen. New levels range from A1 to A9, while old levels range from 0 to 5, with either A9 or 5 providing the highest level of cut resistance. Below you will find a table of ANSI levels to assist you while shopping for the best cut resistant glove.

ANSI Cut Resistant Level: Grams Of Weight Needed To Cut Through Material


  • A1: Greater than 200
  • A2: Greater than 500
  • A3: Greater than 1000
  • A4: Greater than 1500
  • A5: Greater than 2200
  • A6: Greater than 3000
  • A7: Greater than 4000
  • A8: Greater than 5000
  • A9: Greater than 6000

Old Standards for Cut Resistant Gloves

  • 1: Greater than 200
  • 2: Greater than 500
  • 3: Greater than 1000
  • 4: Greater than 1500
  • 5: Greater than 3500

Common Cut Resistant Gloves Materials

As the above table shows, the higher level a material is rated, the more cut resistant it is. We offer a variety of cut resistant gloves made from different cut resistant materials, all meeting ANSI standards and falling under ANSI levels. Whether you're looking for gloves offering basic protection for light kitchen prep or you're looking for maximum strength gloves for handling meat and poultry, you have a world of options! We offer various cut resistant materials, available in a range of colors and sizes.

Material

Protection Level

ANSI Level

Best Applications

Kevlar® High protection A2
  • Heavier kitchen preparation
  • Chopping fruits, vegetables and tougher food products
  • High heat / flame environments
  • Glass handling activities
  • Automobile applications
Spectra Ultra-high, superior protection to maximum protection A4 - A5,
depending on blend
  • Intense kitchen preparation
  • Slicing, dicing and chopping fruits, vegetables, meats and tougher food products
  • High moisture environments
Dyneema Ultra-high, superior protection to maximum protection A4 - A5,
depending on blend
  • Intense kitchen preparation
  • Slicing, dicing and chopping fruits, vegetables, meats and tougher food products
  • High heat, chemical and moisture environments
Metal Mesh Maximum protection A5
  • High-risk kitchen preparation
  • Butcher shops
  • Meat and poultry applications
  • Environments with extremely sharp cutting tools and instruments

Kevlar Fiber

yellow Kevlar cut resistant glove
  • The Kevlar fiber is a para-aramid synthetic fiber that offers high cut resistance. Most of our gloves made from Kevlar® fibers fall under ANSI level A2.

    • 5x stronger than steel per unit weight
    • Inherent flame resistance makes these Kevlar kitchen gloves ideal for high heat kitchen environments
    • Relatively lightweight construction provides comfort in addition to increased protection
    • Ideal for food preparation and other applications such as glass handling and automotive applications

Spectra Fiber

white Spectra cut resistant glove
  • The Spectra fiber is an ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene fiber that offers cut resistance even when wet. Most of our gloves made from Spectra fibers fall under ANSI level A4 or A5 .

    • 15x stronger than steel per unit weight
    • 40% stronger than aramid fibers
    • Extremely durable
    • Offer comfort and flexibility
    • Low-density allows gloves to float on water, making them moisture resistant
    • UV light and chemical resistant
    • Lightweight construction makes gloves comfortable, increasing user’s compliance to wear
    • Ideal for food processing and for restaurant and foodservice applications

Dyneema Fiber

gray Dyneema fiber cut resistant glove
  • The Dyneema fiber is a gel-spun, multi-filament fiber created from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, renowned as “The World’s Strongest FibreTM.” Dyneema offers extremely high cut resistance and most of our gloves made from Dyneema fibers fall under ANSI level A4, and our other Dyneema gloves are blended with spiral wrapped steel, increasing their cut resistance to level A5.

    • 15x stronger than steel per unit weight
    • 40% stronger than aramid fibers
    • Extremely durable
    • Offer comfort and flexibility
    • Low-density allows gloves to float on water, making them moisture resistant
    • UV light and chemical resistant
    • Handle extreme hot and cold temperatures
    • Ideal for all food preparation ranging from slicing, dicing and chopping fruits and vegetables to cheeses and meats

Metal Mesh

metal mesh cut resistant glove
  • Metal mesh is composed of interlocked stainless steel mesh and provides advanced cut and puncture resistance. Most of our gloves made from metal mesh fall under ANSI level A5, providing maximum protection.

    Note that gloves composed of 100% metal mesh are the only type of cut resistant glove that provide puncture resistance. Other gloves protect hands from slices, not punctures.

    • Widely used in industries utilizing extremely sharp cutting tools and instruments
    • Feature convenient ambidextrous design
    • Offer high hygiene
    • Lead to increased durability due to 100% stainless steel construction and lack of fabric straps
    • Ideal for meat and poultry applications; Excellent for use as butcher gloves

Choosing the Best Cut Resistant Gloves

It all begins with research!

  1. Evaluate your environment.

    • Are injuries occurring frequently?
    • Where / when do these injuries occur? At prep stations? During kitchen rush hours?
    • How do they occur? With basic cutlery? Larger knives? Machines?
    • What's the cut resistance level of you current gloves, and are they actually being worn? If not, is it due to discomfort or lack of flexibility and mobility?

  2. Identify solutions.

    • Will a more comfortable glove encourage my employees to actually wear provided gloves?
    • Do I need a higher level of cut resistance due to the kitchen tasks we are performing?
    • Do I need a glove that offers heat resistance or moisture resistance in addition to cut resistance?

Depending on your needs, the best choice is to determine a glove you believe will best suit your business's environment and test it out! With our extensive range of cut resistant gloves available in different sizes, colors and styles, you'll be sure to find the glove that will make the cut!

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