Cut Resistance Gloves
Work that exposes you to the risk of scratches and cuts requires you to protect your hands with the right gear. High quality cut resistant gloves enhance safety by protecting your hands in a range of applications such as welding, drilling, assembly, casting and any work that involves sharp objects.
For best performance, the gloves should achieve the right balance between offering protection against hazards, dexterity and grip, durability and comfort. Of all these properties, the cut resistance in these gloves is what makes them suitable for protecting users from cuts.
When selecting cut resistant gloves, bear in mind that the cut protection performance of different gloves will vary according several factors. Cut resistance is determined by such factors as the materials used to construct the gloves, fabric construction, coatings and basis weight.
The basis weight refers to the weight of the fabric per unit area. Gloves with a high basis weight have higher cut resistance because more material is used. However, this does not affect the overall weight of the glove.
The material used to make the gloves also determines the cut resistance. High performance materials such as Kevlar and combinations of materials such as high performance synthetic yarn, fiberglass among others, offer the highest cut resistance because of their strength. Details of fabric construction, such as the threads or stitches per inch and the type of knit also affect the cut resistance.
Cut resistant gloves are normally coated with materials that enhance cut resistance. The application of coatings varies as well. This means the thickness or type of coating used will influence the glove’s performance. For example, gloves with a thick coating may provide more protection than those with a thin coating and vice versa.
Note that these factors work together in determining the performance of the gloves. Therefore, consider all these factors when evaluating the gloves’ protection from hazards.
The application in which the gloves will be used is also an important factor to consider. This is because the gloves are made with different materials. For example, some gloves may be made of materials that make them unsuitable for use in applications that involve food handling.
Gloves that incorporate a metal mesh offer extremely high cut and abrasion resistance. The mesh is formed by interlocked threads of stainless steel. The superior strength of steel provides a high level of protection from cuts and punctures.
Materials, including the metal used to make these gloves are safe for meat product processing applications. Gloves that incorporate a steel core also offer high cut resistance and are suited to glass handling applications, meat processing, automobile and paper industries and metal fabrication among others.
Cut resistant gloves made of flexible fiber material are suited to the rubber industry, plastic manufacturing and metal fabrication. Gloves that incorporate Spectra Fiber are made with polythylene fiber that has a high molecular weight. Although the gloves are lightweight and flexible, the fiber is about 10 times stronger than steel, which makes the gloves highly resistant to cuts even when exposed to wetness. The gloves are suitable for appliance and automobile assembly, food service and processing applications, and the paper industry.
Many popular brands of cut resistant gloves are made of Kevlar Fiber. This high performance material offers superior resistance to both cuts and heat. These gloves are also lightweight and flexible and are suited to glass handling, automobile assembly and metal handling.
Gloves made of blended fibers, coatings and layers utilize the strengths of different materials to make high quality cut resistant gloves with varying degrees of cut resistance, flexibility and grip.
While cut resistance is important, other factors such as flexibility and thickness of fabric also matter. A pair of gloves may have high cut resistance but hinder efficiency because of bulky or uncomfortable material and poor fit. When handling small parts, lightweight gloves allow better efficiency, dexterity and grip. A thicker exterior coating may also improve grip on objects. However, wearing gloves when working with machinery that has moving parts is discouraged. This is because the gloves may get caught in the moving part and cause fatal accidents.
Cut resistant gloves and other hand protections used in the US should comply with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) 105 standards. The European norm 388 standard is also recognized.