Glove Standards and Cut Ratings

Glove standards provide a guide only. It is recommended to check your gloves are suitable for the intended use. For specialised applications contact your trusted glove provider. 

Standards Included On This Page:
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    Cut Ratings - EN388 & ANSI

    What is a Cut Rated or Cut Resistant Glove?

    A Cut Rated or Cut Resistant Glove is a Glove that meets at least one of two rating standards; The EN388 Standard or the ANSI Standard.

    The EN388 Standard is a European Standard used throughout the world. The ANSI Standard is the Standard used in America. Both Standards are measured differently and are used to determine the resistance of a material, such as a glove.

    Cut Resistant Gloves are Gloves that are resistant to cuts, punctures, abrasion, tears, and impact. The Cut Rating of a glove determines how resistant to cuts the gloves are. In Australia and New Zealand, we use the AS/NZS 2161 Glove Standards which are replicated from the EN388 Standard.

    To make it easy to understand, The Glove Company have created a simple Glove Standards Rating Chart below.

    Diagram of each EN388 numbers in the symbol

    The higher the number, the stronger the gloves resistance is to that particular hazard. The EN388 Mechanical Standard tests five different hazards, all listed below, with cut resistance now having two different tests (The Coup test & TDM test).

    • Abrasion Resistance: 1-4 digit representing how many cycles of a coarse surface the glove can handle until failure.
    • Cut Resistance (Coup Test): 1-5 digit representing how many cuts by a circular blade the glove can tolerate with a downward pressure of five newtons.
    • Tear Resistance: 1-4 digit representing the amount of force (newtons) required to tear or rip the glove.
    • Puncture Resistance: 1-4 digit representing the maximum force (newtons) required by a steel stylus to puncture the glove. Note: It does not test piercing resistance by thin tips or needles.
    • Cut Resistance (TDM test): A-F letter rating representing the force (newtons) required to cut through the glove with a straight blade at a constant speed but with increasing force.
    • Impact Resistance: A simple pass or fail test. The letter P will display for Pass. If the glove failed or was not tested there will be no letter.

    Usage: Gloves are commonly referred to by their cut rating alone. For example, “Cut 3 glove” or “F Cut Glove”.

    The cut resistance of a Cut 1 (Cut A) glove is ideal for mechanics and general purposes. Cut 3 (Cut C) is usually referred to as safe for handling sheet metals, whereas Cut 5 (Cut E) resistance is safe for handling glass.

    Chemical Resistant Gloves - EN374

    There are many parts to EN374. The most important to look out for is Part 1 and Part 5.

    EN374-1 Chemical Resistance

    The below symbol will be displayed to depict a gloves chemical resistance.

    EN374-1 symbol

    If the glove is proven effective against a chemical, it is assigned the appropriate letter relating to that chemical.

    There are over 15,000 chemicals used industrially and commercially worldwide. 18 test chemicals have been carefully selected to provide the best overview of a glove’s chemical performance. 

    The table below outlines these test chemicals and their related letter.

    Table of EN374-1 approved chemicals & their related letters

    If the EN374-1 symbol lists a letter below it, the glove has passed the test for that chemical hazard.

    Gloves are then classified as Type A, B, or C, depending on how many chemicals they withstand during testing.

    Table of EN374-1 Type A, B & C classifications

    A glove must not have a *permeation breakthrough when immersed for a minimum of 30 minutes in one of the 18 chemicals (listed above) to be awarded the adjacent letter.

    *Permeation is defined as the process of a chemical at a molecular level, passing through the glove material.

    Some common chemicals such as Unleaded Petrol, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Xylene and Skydrol are not recognised by this standard. If you are using these chemicals, simply request a chemical data sheet from the manufacturer. It is important that you use the correct glove for the correct application.

    Usage: If you are submerging a glove in any chemical or frequently exposing a glove to any chemical you must be sure the glove or glove’s packaging shows the EN374 pictogram symbol with the suitable letter(s) that correspond with the chemical(s) you intend on protecting your hands from.

    EN374-5 Resistance to Bacteria, Fungi and Virus (Formally EN374-2 Micro-Organisms)

    The below symbol is shown when the glove has passed *penetration testing which tests the gloves for air leaks and water leaks. This is a simple pass or fail test. 

     *Penetration is defined as chemicals and micro-organisms flowing through the porous material, seams, small holes and/or other small defects in the gloves material.

    Graphic of the 2 EN374-5 symbols

    EN407 Heat Resistance

    Flammability, Contact heat, Convective Heat and Radiant Heat are all rated under this standard. As well as Resistance to molten metal, a rating found on welding gloves.

    Graphic of EN407 Heat Resistance Symbol

    *Contact Heat Resistance

    Contact Heat Resistance: A 1 – 4 digit representing the maximum contact temperature the glove can endure for at least 15 seconds without showing signs of melting or holing. To achieve higher than a level 2 for contact heat, the glove must also achieve at least a level 3 for resistance to flammability.

    Food Safety - What is HACCP?

    HACCP is a developed system designed to identify and minimise points of failure. HACCP is also used as an international food safety certification for a variety of successful products. If a products shows the HACCP logo it is of best food safety standards. 

    Food Safe HACCP Australian Logo

    The Importance of Independent Testing

    The Glove Company cares about your needs, that’s why we always ensure our gloves are independently tested, accredited and certified to international standards, that way we know our customers are always protected.

    *For more information on any glove standards, please reach out to The Glove Company

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