Cut Resistant Glove Levels Explained

Cut Resistant Glove Levels

Cut Resistant Glove Levels Explained

When performing tasks using sharp objects and materials like metal, ceramic or glass, wearing cut resistant gloves is a must to make sure that your hands are protected. But how can you choose the right type? Whether you are a mechanic, a carpenter, a chef or an oil and gas worker, keep reading to find out all you need to know about cut resistant glove levels and how to select the most adequate one for you and your job.

Cut Resistant Gloves Levels in EN 388

The EN 388 is the European standard evaluating risks for hand protection and rating gloves for abrasion, cut, tear and puncture resistance.  Since its update in 2016, EN 388 uses two tests for cut resistance: the Coup Test and the “TDM-100 Test”.

Coup Test

A circular blade oscillates at a constant speed to measure the resistance of the sample material. The glove will then be assigned a cut level between 0 and 5, based on how many times the rotating blade can pass over the fabric before breaking through. However, this type of test has been criticised as the blade can dull while rotating so it can lead to inaccurate results. The cut resistant gloves levels defined by the Coup Test are as follows:

  • LEVEL 1: 1.2 passes
  • LEVEL 2: 2.5 passes
  • LEVEL 3: 5 passes
  • LEVEL 4: 10 passes
  • LEVEL 5: 20 passes
  • X: Blade Dull
Cut Resistant Glove Levels
Portwest CT45 Cut Resistant Glove

Cut Resistant Glove Levels
Supertouch Deflector 5

TDM-100 Test

To define more reliable results when the blade dulls, the TDM-100 test was introduced. It is similar to the test used in ANSI (the American Standard). This test involves the use if a straight-edged blade and measures force in newtons. With this test, the glove is assigned a score from A to F:

  • A: 2 to 4.9 newtons (204 to 508 grams)
  • B: 5 to 9.9 newtons (509 to 1,019 grams)
  • C: 10 to 14.9 newtons (1,020 to 1,529 grams)
  • D: 15 to 21.9 newtons (1,530 to 2,242 grams)
  • E: 22 to 29.9 newtons (2,243 to 3,058 grams)
  • F: 30+ newtons (3,059+ grams)

How to decide?

Workers who need a high level of protection – like people working in mining, heavy construction, butchers, glass, and heavy metal workers – it is recommended to select Level 4-5 and E-F gloves.

Where there is a moderate risk for hand hazards, Level 3 and C-E are the most adequate gloves. This type of glove is ideal for light glass handling and home maintenance.

You can use gloves offering less protection when the risk is very low, for example most construction jobs, car maintenance and automotive assembly. In such cases, Level 1-2 and A-B gloves are recommended.

Now that you know how to read cut resistant gloves levels, contact us and discover our full collection of high-quality Protective Gloves to find the best solution for all your needs.

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