January 27, 2016 | Tony Geng |

Your Guide to Understanding Glove Gauges

Have you ever felt confused about the term “glove gauges”? Ever wondered why they are so important, and how a glove’s gauge can affect its overall performance in the workplace? Well, we’re here to help!

Glove Gauges

The word “gauge” designates the number of stitches (the lines that run up and down, from the fingers to the cuff) per inch of a particular glove. The rule is that as the number of stitches per inch increase, the glove’s gauge increases as well. However, as the glove’s gauge increases, the amount of yarn used per square inch actually decreases. This is because the thickness of the yarn decreases as we go down in gauge – which also means that less yarn is needed to cover the area of each square inch of the glove.

In general, our 7 gauge gloves are the most coarse, thickest gloves that Superior Glove makes and, as such, are the ones that require the biggest needles. In contrast, the smallest needles are needed to make our 18 gauge gloves, since the yarn used to make them is much thinner.

On another note, typically, the density/tightness of the knit also increases as you go up in glove gauges.

So why are there so many different glove gauges?

Well, in a nutshell, that’s because certain glove gauges are better suited for certain applications than others since they offer different advantages.

Once upon a time, seven cut knit gloves used to be the standard size in the glove world; they are knit with seven stitches per inch. However, due to the technological advancements in knitting equipment in recent years, Superior Glove and other glove manufacturers are now making 10, 13, 15, and even 18 gauge gloves.

Understandably, everyone wants the thinnest, most comfortable glove that will afford them the protection they need while they’re on the job. It used to be the case that certain gauges were recommended for protection against certain hazards. For example, if you were looking for a glove that would stop a sharp knife or shard of metal from perforating through to your skin, it used to be that a 7 gauge glove would be your best choice. The reasoning would be that since it’s the thickest type of glove available on the market, it would therefore offer the thickest barrier between the sharp object and your hand. However, nowadays, it’s not that simple: thanks to engineered yarn technology, glove manufacturers are now able to offer protection against multiple types of hazards while still keeping the glove very thin and dexterous. Using engineered yarn to make our gloves allows us to offer the same valuable cut protection, abrasion resistance, and dexterity that used to only be available in a 13 gauge glove in a much thinner, more comfortable 18 gauge glove.

Still feeling a bit confused about which type of glove you need in your workplace? Well, the best thing to do is to evaluate the hazards around you, and look for a glove that’s able to offer you the protection you need against those hazards at the same time. (In order to ensure that you’ve made the right selection, this is also something that you can work with your nearest glove expert to determine by conducting a Glove Audit within your workplace.)

Remember: it’s not necessarily that one type of gauge is better than another, but that some gauges are simply more suitable for certain applications.

Curious about what our impressive 18 gauge gloves have to offer? Why not test out a pair for free? Click the button below to receive a pair of our most popular style! Trust us: your hands will thank you!


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About Tony Geng
President of Superior Glove