What are cut resistant gloves made of?

Q: I’m a construction worker and I need to buy some PPE for my work, I’d like to know what are cut-resistant gloves made of.

– Salom Jambeinge

A: Cut-resistant gloves are designed to protect hands from cuts while working with sharp tools or objects. They’re often used in industries such as food service, glass handling, metalworking, and more. The materials used in these gloves are specifically chosen for their high cut resistance. Here are some common materials:

  1. Kevlar: Kevlar is a synthetic fiber developed by DuPont. It’s lightweight, has high tensile strength, and is five times stronger than steel on an equal-weight basis. Kevlar is often used in heat-resistant and cut-resistant gloves.
  2. Dyneema/Spectra: Dyneema (or Spectra in the U.S.) is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber. It’s incredibly strong — up to 15 times stronger than steel by weight. It’s also resistant to moisture, UV light, and chemicals.
  3. Metal Mesh: Metal mesh gloves are often used in food processing and other industries where there’s a high risk of severe cuts. They’re made of stainless steel rings linked together in a chainmail pattern, providing excellent cut and puncture resistance.
  4. SuperFabric: This is a patented fabric made of tiny guard plates attached to a fabric substrate, which provides a high level of cut resistance.
  5. Fiberglass: Some cut-resistant gloves incorporate fiberglass strands in a composite yarn with other materials. Fiberglass itself is tough and durable, adding to the cut resistance of the glove.
  6. HPPE (High-Performance Polyethylene): HPPE fibers are used in many cut-resistant gloves. They’re strong, light, and provide a high level of cut resistance.

Remember, cut-resistant does not mean cut-proof. These gloves are designed to reduce the risk of cuts and lacerations, but they can’t completely eliminate the risk, especially with very sharp objects or power tools. Always use caution when working with sharp objects, and make sure to choose the right level of cut resistance for your task. The cut resistance of gloves is often rated on a scale (like the EN388 standard in Europe or the ANSI/ISEA 105 standard in the U.S.), which can help guide your selection.

Have a question about personal safety equipment, work clothes, and the PPE industry? Anbu Safety writer Arlen Wang will find answers to the queries. to submit a question send an email to: info@anbusafety.com

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