February 14, 2018 | Joe Geng |

What Part of a Cut-Resistant Glove is Actually Cut Resistant?

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of miscommunication about when cut-resistant gloves will protect you. The truth is that unless it’s designed for very specific purposes (which we’ll explore later in this post), your cut-resistant glove will have 360 degrees of cut protection.

Why Does This Information Matter?

Recent data shows cuts and lacerations to the hands accounted for nearly 140,000 nonfatal occupational injuries that required days away from work.

These injuries can occur from machinery or hand tools and because of that, your palm, wrist, and the back side of your hand are equally vulnerable to injury.

In terms of cost, hand and wrist injuries are the most expensive emergency department injury costing over $740 million a year.

Cut Resistance Starts in the Yarn:

98% of the gloves available on the market today contain at least one of these two yarns:

  1. Para-aramid
  2. High Performance Polyethylene (HPPE)

These two fibers are inherently cut resistant. They are sold under various brand names, but if your glove is made out of either one, your hand will have 360° cut protection.

This video depicts the cut resistance of a Kevlar® glove versus leather and cotton.

Engineered Yarns Up the Cut Protection:

Para-aramid and HPPE are great options on their own for moderate cut protection, but if you need a higher level of cut resistance look to engineered yarns.

These are yarns that are made using two or more components (e.g. HPPE and steel). Adding an element like steel to a high-performance yarn is like reinforcing concrete with steel rebar. It’s making something that’s already strong even stronger.

(Want more information on cut-resistant gloves? Download our Definitive Guide to Hand Protection for FREE by clicking the image below!)

Glove Coatings:

A glove’s coating may provide you with a small amount of extra cut resistance, but not enough to consider a coated cotton glove cut resistant.

Bottom line: Cut resistance does not come from a glove’s coating.

Exceptions to the Rule:

As mentioned above, there are some specialty gloves that will have cut-resistant on one side only. But, your glove company should be making that very obvious, like illustrated below.

hypodermic needle gloves

Key Takeaways:

  1. Hand injuries are costly and far too common in the workplace.
  2. If you’re wearing a cut-resistant glove, it will have 360° of protection.
  3. Wearing the right cut-resistant glove can reduce lost work time injuries and keep you safe

Want to learn more? Download the Definitive Guide to Hand Protection.

About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove