Cut Standards for Protective Glove Selection

Industry standards groups have made tremendous progress in testing, measuring, and standardizing the cut protective performance of gloves and apparel.

To facilitate the choice of mechanical (cut) protective clothing, both the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the European Union (EU) have developed cut standards for selection criteria.

ANSI/ISEA 105 (“American National Standard for Hand Protection”) is a U.S. standard. Under ANSI/ISEA 105, gloves and other cut protective clothing are rated on a consistent numeric rating scheme for mechanical, thermal, chemical, dexterity, and other performance criteria. ANSI/ISEA is self-regulated, but has strict guidelines on testing methods.

The EU standard of EN 388 (“Protective Gloves Against Mechanical Risks”) rates gloves and other cut protective clothing for puncture, tear, blade cut, and abrasion resistance, displaying information in a pictogram. Although regulated in the European Union, this standard is also recognized globally, and global PPE manufacturers may display the EN 388 rating on product packaging, in literature, and on websites.

Because EN 388 and ANSI/ISEA 105 use totally different test methods and rate on different numeric performance levels — EN 388 rates from 1 to 5, but ANSI/ISEA 105 rates from 0 to 5 — EN 388 and ANSI/ISEA 105 cut performance levels are not interchangeable. Be sure to clarify which standard is being used when discussing product performance levels. When comparing products, always compare them using the same cut test method/standard.

Although these cut standards are beneficial to purchasers when specifying cut protection garments and accessories, a global, cohesive regulation and standard is needed to eliminate the confusion around cut protection measurements. Today, DuPont is working with global standards organizations to address streamlining glove standards, making the selection process more efficient, accurate and less confusing —helping prevent unnecessary workplace accidents.

To learn more about test standards and test methods, please download the The Science of Cut Protection .