The cut resistant nature of a work glove actually starts on the fiber level. Many gloves that are cut resistant just look like ordinary knitted gloves. However, the fibers within the glove are what can make a glove cut resistant. If the fibers are engineered as a para-aramid or polyethylene material, it will offer cut resistant properties from the foundation. These two types of fibers are ultra-strong and inherently cut resistant. In fact, these materials are so strong that they can withstand up to 15 times more pressure than steel.
If you know that your glove is made with one of these types of materials, which can be found in name brand gloves like Kevlar or Dyneema, you know that you will have full cut resistant protection. You can increase the level of protection with the weight and thickness of the glove.
If you need to step up your protection game, and need something stronger than one of these fibers, find a glove that is a composite yarn which would have an addition of fiberglass or steel to the fiber. This will make the gloves ultra-strong.
Palm coatings add a nominal amount of cut resistance, but a glove with no engineered fibers as the foundation will not do you much good.
Cut resistant gloves are designed to protect the wearer from direct contact with sharp edges with materials like glass, ceramics, metal, and others. They do not, however offer protection from powered blades like circular saws or drills. They also do little to protect against punctures.
All cut resistant gloves are rated from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) so that you, as the consumer can have a clear idea of what a cut resistant glove can withstand. The levels range from zero to five, with five being the highest rating. The gloves are rated based on the amount of weight in grams is needed to cut through the glove.
In more practical terms, something like a disposable nitrile or latex glove would have an ANSI rating of 0. Leather gloves would have a rating of 1. One of the materials we talked about before like Dyneema or Kevlar can range from a rating of 2-4. Gloves constructed of metal mesh, like those heavy duty cut gloves you see in professional kitchens, would have a rating of 5.
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