Cut resistant gloves ansi

Cut Resistant Gloves and ANSI – What you need to know!

When it comes to choosing the best cut glove for a specific application, the task can sometimes seem daunting due to the seemingly endless options on the market. To be certain, cut gloves are some of the most copied products available to end users; if a Manufacturer has success selling a glove, you can bet that others are going to put out their own variation on the same theme. How then, do we make sure the glove we go with is the best option?

Let’s be blunt, if you are a compliance person who buys strictly on price point, then this article will be of no help to you. If, however, you are a safety professional who is looking to understand the ANSI ratings, as well as the testing used in the manufacturing and production of gloves, to provide the necessary level of protection, then read on!

As there are no “ANSI Police” out there, it’s a good idea to ask questions when it comes to gloves; in particular when it comes to cut and puncture ratings. We can tell you that in our decades of experience in the safety industry, we have found most folks to be honest in their offerings, but have certainly come across those who are not. To that end, let’s talk a bit about cut resistant gloves and what the different cut levels are. This, at the very least, will give you a better idea of what will work best for your facility and application, and also what questions to ask of the different distributors and manufacturers who come calling.

As most folks are aware, there was a recent change to the ANSI standard in regard to cut ratings. The old standard had levels 1-5, with the gram weight necessary to cut through a particular glove using 1 inch of blade travel to determine the cut level, i.e. ANSI Cut 1, or ANSI Cut 4, etc.… There were (2) main issues with the old standard:

1. It did not standardize the test machine. Manufacturers could use the TDM-100 or the CPPT Machine. As the machines operated differently, the same glove could get a better or worse score depending on the equipment used. For instance, a glove could score an ANSI 2 on the TDM-100, but an ANSI 3 on the CPPT. Over time, as a manufacturers learned which machine was more favorable to their particular line, they would choose that testing method in order to receive higher ratings.

2. The range was too great under the ANSI 4 and ANSI 5 categories. The old levels were as follows (Note: 450 grams equates to approximately 1 pound of pressure)

ANSI 1: 200-499

ANSI 2: 500-999

ANSI 3: 1000-1499

ANSI 4: 1500-3499

ANSI 5: 3500+              

As you can see, there was nearly 2000 grams of variance in the ANSI Cut 4 level (nearly 4.5 pounds) and ANSI 5 had an infinite range. This lead to confusion among end users as to what level of protection they needed and were receiving. For instance, a facility utilizing an ANSI Cut 4 with 3000 grams of cut resistance would sometimes, quite frankly, be duped by distributors and manufacturers alike who would offer a “comparable” ANSI Cut 4 for a lower cost. The problem being that it had a gram weight of 1520 grams and actually offered barely ½ the cut resistance of current glove at ¾ the cost. Often, what it came down to was the acumen of the end user and the integrity of the distributor/manufacturer.

The new ANSI Cut Standard has addressed both of the above issues in that now companies must utilize the TDM-100 machine for testing in order to be ANSI rated, and there are now 9 levels of cut rating with lower variance in each. This standardization and wider range of cut levels will help to minimize confusion among end users as there is less room for error and misinterpretation. ALL GLOVES MEETING THE NEW ANSI STANDARD WILL BE STAMPED: A(CUT LEVEL). I.E. a glove meeting the new ANSI cut level 3 standard will be stamped A3, the new ANSI Cut 6 standard, A6, etc.… Note, levels 1-3 did not change. The new cut levels are listed below:

ANSI 1: 200-499

ANSI 2: 500-999

ANSI 3: 1000-1499

ANSI 4: 1500-2199

ANSI 5: 2200-2999

ANSI 6: 3000-3900

ANSI 7: 4000-4999

ANSI 8: 5000-5999

ANSI 9: 6000+

The new ANSI standard is something to be cognizant of when comparing gloves; a glove with an ANSI cut rating of 2 under the old standard might not meet the requirements under the new standard.

In summary: Always, Always, Always ask for documentation from the distributor on their test results! If they won’t provide it, or it doesn’t show the gram weight or test machine, it’s best to be skeptical!