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Choose the Best Kevlar® Gloves in 6 Steps

by Joe Geng on October 21, 2015

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You might be thinking to yourself, “Why do I keep hearing more and more about Kevlar®?” Developed by a DuPont™ chemist in 1965, Kevlar® is an extremely important invention for a number of different reasons. For one, it’s the high-strength material that makes bulletproofs vests well … bulletproof! And, for another, it provides an extremely high level of cut-resistance to many different types of equipment. That’s why we love to use Kevlar® in so many of our products – because it’s extremely effective at protecting you from a wide variety of workplace hazards.

As we’ve already acknowledged, since we offer so many different types of gloves with Kevlar® in them, selecting the right pair can prove to be challenging. As such, we’ve compiled a bunch of tips and tricks to help you narrow down which pair would be best-suited to you!

1. First, choose between these 3 basic types:

CHART (007)

2. Decide on the cut level you need.

When it comes to cut-resistance, we recommend looking at ANSI cut standards over the CE/EN 388 ones.
The ANSI standard is much more reliable, and provides results that, in our experience, are closer to real world results. However, that still leaves the question of which level to choose. We’ve created this cut resistant infographic to help make your choice much easier.

3. Consider all of the different hazards you’ll be exposed to on the job – including heat, chemical, and puncture resistance.

If you have serious multiple hazards in addition to cut resistance, your task becomes dually much harder and much simpler: while finding the right glove can become more challenging, there are far fewer gloves to choose from that will be effective in protecting you against multiple workplace threats at the same time. The biggest trade off for multiple hazards gloves is fit and dexterity; there aren’t too many puncture or heat-resistant gloves that you can tie your shoes with.

4. Debate: Would 100% Kevlar® or composite Kevlar® be more beneficial?

In general, you are better off choosing a composite Kevlar® glove — meaning, a Kevlar® glove that has been blended with multiple other materials, such as stainless steel and/or fiberglass — rather than a 100% Kevlar® glove. Composite gloves typically provide higher cut resistance and better abrasion resistance when compared to 100% Kevlar® gloves — and often at an equal or lower price! (Increased protection AND they’re easier on your wallet – benefits galore!). However, many companies are still using 100% Kevlar® gloves, simply because that’s what they’ve been using for the last 30 years, and they haven’t taken the time to evaluate if there are better options available today. If this is you, we can come and do this kind of evaluation for you (and it won’t cost you anything).

cut-resistant kevlar glove

Pictured above: Our DuPont™ Kevlar® Glove Innovation Award winning Contender™ Heavyweight Cut-Resistant Black Kevlar® gloves (Product ID: SBKG), which offer a high level of protection against cuts (ASTM cut level 4) while still being very abrasion-resistant at the same time, due to their composite knit.

5. Abrasion resistance.

Durability is an often overlooked, but critically important feature in a glove. Not only is it important from a cost standpoint, but you’ll also want to know how well the glove you’re wearing protects you after a couple of days or even weeks of use. We recommend looking at the abrasion tests (the most common test is called a Taber test, which basically grinds the glove with a sandpaper like wheel, until a hole appears). In addition to the abrasion tests, we recommend conducting a glove trial to ensure the durability and worker acceptance of the glove you’ve chosen.

6. Prioritize comfort.

Even if you chose the glove with the highest cut level, highest abrasion, fanciest design, etc., if it is not comfortable, your employees are not going to wear it! 70% of hand injuries occur when workers are wearing gloves. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would everyone actually wear this glove everyday if the Health and Safety Manager was on vacation for 2 weeks?” If the answer is no, it’s time to try something else.

So there you have it: the 6 things you need to do to make sure you’re wearing the best style of cut-resistant Kevlar® gloves.

If you still need help selecting a glove, contact our glove experts any time for some personalized advice.

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