A cut resistance level is the level of protection that any material offers against cuts. When it comes to Cut resistant gloves safety it means how much a pair of gloves can save workers from sharp edges, cuts, blade slashing, etc.
These resistance levels are measured by two different standards, one followed in North America, and another followed in Europe. ANSI is the North American standard of cut levels, and EN388 is the European standard.
In ANSI, A1 is the lowest and A9 is the highest level of cut resistance. Gloves with level A1 ratings are just to prevent nuisance cuts. While gloves with level A9 can protect workers from extreme cuts.
Previously there were 5 cut levels, but after revision in 2016, they were further distributed and increased for better results. The measurement scale was upgraded from 3500 grams to 6000 grams in the new ANSI.
EN388 rates cut resistance on a scale of 0-5. It uses a CE score which measures the resistance level in four different areas: abrasion, cut, tear, and puncture. Globally, it’s considered that ANSI provides more accurate results rather than EN388.
Cut Resistance Levels
ANSI (American National Standards Institute )
According to ANSI, cut resistance levels are tested by running a straight weighted blade over the material. The more force it takes to cut through the gloves, the more cut-resistant it is. Here’s the guide to the ANSI cut levels:
1) A1 (200 – 499 grams to cut):
It’s for light cut hazards and can work for handling material, assembling parts with sharp edges, construction, etc.
2) A2 (500 – 999 grams to cut):
It can be used for light/medium cut hazards such as material handling, automotive assembly, grabbing things with sharp edges, construction, forestry.
3) A3 (1000 – 1499 grams to cut):
A3 is also for light/medium cut hazards and can be used for almost the same purposes as A2 cut level such as construction, handling sharp-edged objects, automotive assembly.
4) A4 (1500 – 2199 grams to cut):
It’s for medium cut hazards and is used for appliance manufacturing, bottle and light glass handling, canning, drywall work, electrical work, carpet installation, pulp and paper, HVAC, metal handling, aerospace industry, etc.
5) A5 (2200 – 2999 grams to cut):
A5 can be used for medium/heavy cut hazards like appliance manufacturing, bottle and glass handling, drywall work, metal fabrication, metal handling, warehouse work, food processing, HVAC, etc.
6) A6 (3000 – 3999 grams to cut):
It can be used for high cut hazards like metal stamping, pulp and paper (changing slitter blades), metal fabrication, glass manufacturing, window manufacturing, recycling plant, sorting, meat processing, etc.
7) A7 (4000 – 4999 grams to cut):
A7 is used for high cut hazards like metal handling, metal stamping, meat processing, HVAC, pulp and paper (changing slitter blades), metal fabrication, recycling, aerospace industry, etc.
8) A8 (5000 – 5999 grams to cut):
A8 is also used for high cut hazards the same as A7 like sharp metal stamping, pulp and paper (changing slitter blades), glass manufacturing, meat processing, etc.
9) A9 (6000+ grams to cut):
This is the highest cut resistance level in ANSI and can be used for high cut hazards like metal stamping, metal recycling, pulp and paper (changing slitter blades), automotive assembly, metal fabrication, sharp metal stamping, glass manufacturing, window manufacturing, recycling plant/sorting, HVAC, food preparation/processing, meat processing, aerospace industry, etc.
In EN388, the cut resistance levels are tested by running a rotating blade opposite to its linear movement over the material. The more rotations it takes to cut the material, the more cut-resistant it is. Here’s the guide to the EN388 cut levels:
1) Level 1
This level is a low level of protection against sharp objects or cutting hazards. It can be used just for nuisance injuries.
2) Level 2
Level 2 is slightly more protective than level one and can be used for general handling, packaging, automotive work, etc.
3) Level 3
It’s used for medium cut hazards like construction, electrical work, plumbing, warehouse work, etc.
4) Level 4
It can be used for high cut hazards but doesn’t provide as much protection as level 5. Workers can use it for construction, steel handling, glass handling, etc.
5) Level 5
This is the highest level according to EN388 and can be used for highly hazardous work like metal stamping, metal recycling, food processing, etc.
This was a guide to cut resistance levels, below we’ll let you know about important factors you need to consider while purchasing gloves for you.
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Important factors for Choosing the right gloves
- Always remember two things to purchase the right cut resistant gloves for your job:
- No gloves are totally cut-proof.
- The gloves with the highest cut resistance level are not always suitable for your job.
You need to consider things like:
1. Nature of your work
To choose the right cut-resistant gloves for you, it’s very important to know about the nature of your work. If you purchase gloves without considering your work’s nature, the possibility of getting the wrong protection level increases, making your purchase irrelevant to your work needs.
2. Risks of your work
It’s very important to remember the risks of your job if you want to get the right gloves for you. Without knowing the risks, it’s not possible to get the correct type of cut-resistant gloves. E.g. Level 1 or 2 might be good for you if you’re not performing a high-risk job and only need gloves for basic indoor work, but they won’t be good when you’re handling high-end industrial machines, etc.
3. Dexterity of the material
Dexterity is a huge factor you need to consider for purchasing the right gloves. It refers to the ease of doing work. If the gloves have high dexterity, it provides you with mobility to perform your tasks easily. But always remember not to compromise your safety for dexterity, try to get a pair of gloves that have a perfect level of dexterity and cut resistance.
4. Level of comfort
It’s very important to check whether the gloves you’re buying will provide you comfort while working or not. If they are uncomfortable, you’ll not be able to do your work accurately. Select the gloves that have balanced comfort and safety.
5. Size of gloves
The size of gloves matters a lot when it comes to safety. If the glove size isn’t accurate, you can probably get injured. The size of gloves can vary according to the nature of your work. If your work requires long gloves, you should have to buy them for better safety.
6. Type of gloves
Various types of gloves are available in the market depending on the different natures of your work. If your work includes handling sharp objects, manufacturing glass objects, it’s important for you to buy the type of gloves having better cut resistance rather than heat resistance or vice versa.
7. Brand of gloves
Brand matters a lot. If you purchase gloves of any unknown brand, you can compromise your safety at work as their product quality may not be suitable for your needs. Hence, it’s very important to know which brand’s the best and produces high-quality safety gloves. Elite leather is one of the best-known manufacturers of leather safety gloves, so if you need safe industrial wear, you can look into their collection.
If you’re looking for the best quality leather gloves, you can have a look at the variety provided by Elite Leather Creations. They provide top-quality premium leather products at the best prices.
Sibtain Haider, a content contributor at Mainstream Pakistan, associated with trading and digital marketing. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a well-reputed digital marketing agency in Pakistan.