Cut resistance level
Generally speaking, cut resistance level is used to indicate how tough the glove is to withstand cut hazard. It is an important guide for you to choose your cut resistance glove. A higher of cut level means the glove is tougher, harder to be cut open.
I don’t want to go too deep on how to measure the cut resistance level, because it’s too technical, going take a long time to explain. There are two standards regulate how to measure the cut resistance level, ANSI 105 for North American market, and EN388 for Asian and European market. These two standards designate different types of test equipment; but both require using a sharp blade to cut the glove palm section under certain pressure until the glove is cut open. Then take the equipment output data put into an EXCEL formula, a cut resistance level will then be calculated you can also do it manually too. Cut level in American standard is rated from level A1 to A9, European standard is rated level 1-5. On a glove you can see a marking like this
Since a glove can be sold in either in North American or European market, manufactures normally have cut level of two standards printed on the glove. In the picture glove, A3 is the cut level in ANSI, and for EN 388, the second digit from the left (4) or the second letter from the right (C) is the cut level. “4” means it is cut level 4 tested according to the EN 388 designated test equipment, however, the letter “C” reference test result from the ANSI standard designated test equipment and “C” is equal to A3. (“A” equal to A1, “B” equal to A2, “C” equal to A3 and so on………)
How to choose a pair of cut resistance glove is highly depends on the work environment, if you are trying to deal with sharp edge metal, I suggest at least ANSI cut level A4, if dealing paper ANSI cut level A3 at least, work in kitchen A3 but never try to stab you hand with knife like I mentioned before cut resistance glove are not stab resistance.
It is the fact that higher cut level provides you a better cut resistance, but as a side affect, you hand will lose dexterity and comfortability. Since higher cut level gloves are normally thick and made with composite yarns that contain steel wire or glass fiber that with no elasticity can restrain or eliminate your finger movement, you may feel hard even bending fingers. Improve comfortability and dexterity is the trend of cut resistance glove.
One more thing you glove sales man may not tell you is: cut resistance glove are not cut resistance permanently, especially at the palm section where frequent contact with sharp edges or other object, coating and fibers can get wearied and teared open. Also, the finger joints where bending, bending happens. Always check your cut resistance before use, make sure no serious wearing happens, and if any yarn appears to be damaged, don’t hesitate, go get another pair.