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Following are the most common questions we get about knowing when to replace your cut resistant gloves. The answers will help you to avoid injuries and reduce PPE costs.
1. How much of the cut resistance of my glove comes from the palm coating?
The short answer to this is none of the cut resistance comes from the coating. In many cases a non-coated cut resistant glove is more cut resistant than the same glove with a coating because the coating can cause a sharp edge to “stick”, increasing the resistance and chances of a cut. The cut resistance of a glove comes exclusively from the high strength yarns, such as Kevlar®, Dyneema® , Steel or Glass used to knit the glove liner.
2. How much of the coating can wear off before I replace my glove?
Since the coating does not add to the cut resistance of the glove, the answer to this question is a bit of a judgment call. The most important question to answer is, how much grip is compromised? If the chances of a part of tool slipping in your hand are increased because too much of a coating has worn off, it’s probably time for a new pair. If, on the other hand, the grip is still good and the wear of the glove is mainly visual, the glove can likely still be used, or laundered and reused.
3. What if I’m using a glove without a coating, how do I know when to replace it?
Again, this will be a bit of subjective judgment call. What we generally tell people if a 1/3 of thickness of glove is worn away, it is probably time for a new pair of gloves. Imagine trying to break a 2×4, not so easy right? Now if you put that 2 x 4 through a planer and sand away 1/3 of the thickness, that piece of wood becomes much weaker. Well the same goes for cut-resistant gloves.
Following is a chart that shows the cut resistance against wear of different materials. In general we see Kevlar® improving in cut resistance after one laundering or a bit of wear and then dropping in cut resistance after continued use. Dyneema® or HPPE gloves tend to wear longer but don’t have the flame resistance that Kevlar® offers.
4. Should I put patches on my cut-resistant gloves to increase wear life?
The problem with patches is they are generally made of a material that has an ANSI cut level of 1-2 and they are applied to gloves with an ANSI rating of 4. Do you really want your workers wearing a cut level 1-2 patch on the area of the glove that is most prone to cuts and wear? In our opinion this is penny wise and pound foolish as you are exposing a worker to unnecessary risks for a minimal cost savings. If you can find a launderer that patches gloves with ANSI cut level 4 patches, that is a different story, and worth evaluating.
5. Why don’t you put a wear indicator in your gloves so I know when to replace them?
If they can do it with toothbrushes, why can’t we do it with gloves? Putting a wear indicator in work gloves is an elusive dream for many glove manufacturers. We have yet to see a glove with a wear indicator that actually works in the real world. The biggest problem is most applications these gloves are used in are quite oily and greasy, making the indicator yarn basically impossible to identify. Add to that inconsistencies in knitting production, generally making the indicator yarn appear too early in most gloves. Good for the glove manufacturer, not so good for your PPE budget.
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.