How to Choose Puncture Resistant Gloves July 14 2017

Selecting the right puncture resistant gloves for your task is a matter of great personal safety. Employees need to be equipped with the right type of gloves to get the job done with minimal risk. While many companies look to the gloves' "cut level" the truth is that cut level doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to puncture resistance. Here's what you need to know:

What is Cut Level?

Cut levels were developed by the American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association. They are used to rate gloves based on their ability to resist cuts with a blade, blunt object penetration, needle penetration and abrasion. All gloves are subjected to a series of tests to determine where they fall on a scale of 0-4. 

How To Determine Which Cut Level is Right for You?

For the most part, cut level is used to rank a gloves' effectiveness at withstanding a slash from a sharp blade. Only gloves that are specifically marked for puncture resistance offer this added level of protection. Looking for a glove that has a cut level rating is a good place to begin your search for puncture resistant gloves, but you need to do additional research to determine whether or not the glove is specifically designed for puncture resistance. You also need to determine whether it is rated for blunt object puncture resistance or hypodermic needle resistance depending on the environment you are working in. 

How Puncture Resistant Gloves Work

Puncture resistant gloves are made using a fine mesh that covers the hand. These gloves are bulkier than regular gloves. The mesh may be made of a wide range of materials including stainless steel, Kevlar, fiberglass or other synthetic materials. In general, gloves with a higher puncture resistance have a much tighter mesh, but they also offer less dexterity to your fingers. This can cause a greater degree of fatigue over time. Puncture resistant gloves that offer more flexibility can make it easier to get work done, but have slightly less protective features. To help balance your needs you may also consider puncture resistant gloves that have rubberized coatings on the fingers which helps improve grip even if some dexterity is lost. 

Before you purchase just any cut resistant glove, make sure you understand what the different cut levels mean, and how puncture resistance plays into that rating. The higher the rating, the more effective your gloves will be at stopping cuts and abrasions but you need to pay close attention to puncture ratings if you want to protect your team from sharp needles or other objects that could penetrate the mesh.