4 Secrets Cut-Resistant Glove Makers Don’t Want You to Know
With all of the different styles available on the market, choosing the right cut-resistant glove for your employees can seem like an overly complicated task.
To combat this, we’ve decided to lend you our years of experience within the industry, and provide you with some tricks of the trade that will help you cut through the clutter. This way, you can choose the best possible gloves for your job.
1. There are Only Two Kinds of Yarn Used:
In a nutshell, UHWMPE and para-aramid are the only two kinds of high performance yarn used in the creation of gloves.
You’re probably more familiar with the brand names: Dyneema®, Spectra®, or TenActiv™.
This is the technical name for brands like: Kevlar®, XKS®, Aramex®, ATA®, Contender™, Rhino®, Metalguard®, Armorcore®.
98% of the gloves available on the market contain at least one of these materials.
The reason why there are so many other names for these two yarns floating about is because glove manufacturers will often use their own trademark names to describe the blends they have created.
These types of yarn are often engineered with stainless steel or fiberglass to improve performance. Learn more about engineered yarns in our post “The Secret Ingredient to Creating the Thinnest Cut-Resistant Gloves.”
Although these yarns might be referred to by brand names, the raw ingredients will still be from one of these two families of high performance yarns.
2. Lab Test Results ≠ Real World Performance:
Most people don’t realize that the two cut-resistant glove tests, EN 388 and ANSI, are done in very different ways.
The EN 388 test is performed using a circular blade (like a rolling pizza cutter) that goes back and forth until it cuts through the glove.
In contrast, the ANSI test will use a razor blade, and different amounts of force is applied to measure the length it takes to cut through the glove in a slicing motion.
The point is that neither of these tests actually equates to what happens in the field. For instance, If there’s a metal burr on the edge of a piece of metal, if can catch on the glove and create a tearing motion. This circumstance isn’t accounted for in lab tests.
The outside factors are endless and the lab results from these cut tests should be taken as a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule.
3. Results Vary From Test to Test:
Cut test results can vary by up to 20% from lab to lab — even in round-robin testing performed in various labs with the same cut-resistant sample being tested numerous times.
This indicates that a glove with an ANSI cut-level A4 rating at 1800 grams in one lab could easily test as an ANSI cut-level A3 glove in another lab. This is due to the many factors and variables in knitting technology that prevent cut-resistance testing from being an exact science.
As a result, lab results should always be taken with a grain of salt. To echo the last point: use these ratings as a means of helping you decide which pair of gloves to trial, instead of taking them as gospel truth.
4. Cut-Resistant Gloves Can Be Laundered:
We visit a lot of facilities where the company is paying $10-15 for a cut-resistant glove and it’ll be thrown out as soon as it gets dirty.
Since typical laundering costs can be 50 cents per pair (or even less), if you can get even one additional cycle out of your gloves by washing them, you will cut down your cost of ownership by at least 50 percent.
Not only will this save you a lot of money in the long run, but the performance of your gloves will be improved as well. It is quite common for factories to get 3-4 laundering cycles out of their cut-resistant gloves, so remember this the next time you consider tossing them!
Still not convinced? Read our post “Could This Glove Save You $200,000 as Well?” to learn how one of the Big Three Auto Manufacturers saved money by washing their gloves.
A few tips to consider when choosing gloves that you know you’ll eventually be laundering:
Avoid Buying White Gloves:
White gloves won’t stay white when being used industrially, or after being laundered multiple times. Whenever possible choose black, grey or salt-and-pepper gloves so that workers will wear them longer.
Don’t Skimp From the Get-Go:
It’s better to spend a bit more on a glove you plan to launder at the beginning, since the additional cost will often pay off in spades for the added wear you’ll get out of the glove. That being said, don’t assume that a more expensive glove will last longer. Look at abrasion test results, and most of all, run glove trials to determine the true performance and life of a glove. (Psst… did you know what we sample our gloves for free to qualified companies?
Test a Small Batch First:
Many gloves shrink a bit after being laundered, so test a few of your gloves before washing the whole lot. A good glove manufacturer will design their gloves with laundering in mind, meaning that the glove will fit a bit large before being washed the first time.
While all of the above tips are very useful, there are many other additional factors that you should consider when trying to select the right pair of cut-resistant gloves for your workplace. In order to ensure that you’ve taken everything into consideration, consult our helpful Cut-Resistant Glove Infographic for more information.