US Dollar - USD
800-225-8238
Search Site

The Tenacious Blog

Industry Insights from Experts & Everymen

Smoke signals are passé, newspapers are for packing glassware, and landlines are as popular as phone booths now. To get the skinny on safety, you gotta read The Tenacious Blog for the latest news and info on industry topics, trends, regulations, and more.

16 Jan 19

ANSI 105 & EN 388: Cut-Resistant Glove Standards Explained



Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Google+0Share on LinkedIn0

Level 5, cut C, A3…WTF?! If you’re confused about cut standards, take a number, friendo – you’re not the only one. Luckily, we have an all-access pass to some of the foremost safety nerds around, so how ‘bout we dive into this dumbfounding domain of cut-resistance standards and decode it together, shall we?

WHAT ARE THE CUT-RESISTANT GLOVE STANDARDS?

There are two major global standards used to evaluate the protection levels of work gloves: ANSI/ISEA 105 (U.S. Standard) and EN 388 (EU Standard). (It should be noted that EN 388 is also commonly cited in other parts of the world such as Canada, AUS/NZ and South America.) In 2015-2016, significant changes were made to both to ensure consistency between different standards, reduce the gaps between protection levels and to keep up with super-duper-space-age yarns and materials.

Both standards test work gloves for protection from the following mechanical risks:

  • Abrasion Resistance = Abrasion Resistance
  • Cut Resistance = Cut Resistance
  • Tear Resistance = Tear Resistance
  • Puncture Resistance = Puncture Resistance

While all of these are important, cut is, indeed, king. And ANSI/ISEA 105 and EN 388 specify certain tests that measure the force it takes for a blade to cut through a material.

ANSI/ISEA 105 TESTING

  • Test used: ASTM F2292-15
  • What test does: A machine known as a tomodynamometer, or TDM, pulls a blade in 20mm paths across a glove’s surface under varied gram loads and measures the weight needed to cut through. The sample is cut five times with three different loads and an average is calculated, resulting in a cut score of A1-A9.

Here’s an absolutely riveting clip of that machine in action. Get your popcorn. It’s a thriller.

 

EN 388 TESTING

  • Test used: Coupe; ISO 13997
  • What test does:
    • Coupe: Test material is placed beneath a rotating blade under a fixed weight, resulting in a cut score 1-5. The problem with the Coupe Test is that the blade will dull if it is on highly cut-resistant material. A dull blade can lead to inaccurate scores. This led to the introduction of the TDM-100 machine to the European standard, too.
    • ISO 13997: Using the same TDM-100 machine from ANSI testing, ISO 13997 is used to give more accurate scores for higher cut-resistant materials. The Coupe Test is still used for lower cut-resistant materials, but if the Coupe Test results in a level 3-5, the ISO 13997 test is required. The ISO test will result in a score measured in newtons from A-F. (See the infographic below for more clarification.)

Here’s what that Coupe Test looks like, btw:

 

INFOGRAPHIC: ANSI/ISEA 105 AND EN 388
(CLICK TO EXPAND + DOWNLOAD)

Cut Resistance Gloves Infographic

SO IS ONE TEST BETTER THAN THE OTHER?

There was a time when the ANSI standard may have been preferred because its testing method was more accurate and straightforward. ANSI/ISEA 105 may still be more straightforward, but since the changes to the standards in 2016, ASTM & ISO Cut Tests (both of which use the TDM-100) now allow for a more accurate comparison of a glove’s level of cut resistance when tested to either global standard. Though that doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable.

SIDE BY SIDE: ANSI/ISEA 105 VS. EN 388
(CLICK TO EXPAND + DOWNLOAD)

Click the image below to get a detailed look at the standards, compare testing methods and ratings, and to find out what cut level is right for your application.
ANSI/ISEA 105 VS. EN 388

GLOVE LABELING: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
(CLICK TO EXPAND + DOWNLOAD)

So once all the testing is done, a score is given and the glove is made, how do you identify the right glove for the right job? Here’s your quick guide to translating what the cuss all those symbols, letters and numbers actually mean.
Glove Labeling 101

FIND THE RIGHT CUT-RESISTANT GLOVE FOR THE JOB

Cut-resistant gloves are a dime a dozen, but most are stiff as a single-malt neat. Not ProFlex® Hand Protection. Tested to the latest CR standards and designed to protect against cuts, slashes, lacerations and abrasions, ProFlex® CR Gloves boast cutting-edge materials to defend your digits without reducing dexterity.

SEE CUT-RESISTANT GLOVES >>>