With many of us owning ‘essentials’ like mandolines in our kitchens; the cut resistant gloves traditionally worn by those who would fillet their own poultry, fish and meat are from necessity also becoming essential in our homes. The use of cut resistant gloves in the kitchen alongside the correct use of equipment, knifes and other sharp items cam help reduce the risk of serious injuries.In this article we take a detailed look at what cut resistant gloves actually are, how cut resistance is measured and what a standard such as EN388 and level 5 actually means to you as a user. We also review a selection of the best cut resistant gloves available to help you choose the right ones - whatever task you need them for.
The Stark Safe level 5 cut resistant gloves are our EN388 certified and food safe best pick of the cut resistant gloves.
The G & F cut resistant & anti slip gloves are our EN388 level 5 certified and machine washable budget pick of the cut resistant gloves.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Cut Resistant Gloves
- 1. Stark Safe Cut Resistant Gloves
- 2. G & F Cut Resistant & Anti Slip Gloves
- 3. NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves
- 4. DEX FIT Level 5 Cut Resistant Gloves Cru553
- 5. Dowellife Cut Resistant Gloves
- 6. G & F 1607L Cut Resistant Work Gloves
- 7. YINENN Cut Resistant Gloves
- 8. MaxiFlex Cut Resistant Nitrile Coated Gloves
- 9. Dexterity High Abrasion and Cut Resistant Glove by Superior Glove
- 10. Schwer Cut Resistant Gloves
- Things to Consider Before Buying Cut Resistant Gloves
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Cut Resistant Gloves
1. Stark Safe Cut Resistant Gloves
With EN388 resistance protection, the Stark Safe level 5 cut resistant gloves are multipurpose, have a comfort fit and breathability. These are available in sizes small to extra-large and made with a blend of polyethylene and silica-based fibers, they are food safe and can be washed using antibacterial soap, but not in the machine. After washing, the fit may be slightly snugger.You may want to check the measurements on these before buying as sizing can be different to regular gloves and it is important that safety gloves always fit properly.
2. G & F Cut Resistant & Anti Slip Gloves
Mae from cut resistant fibers, the G & F cut resistant & anti slip gloves meet EN388 level 5 cut resistance. These multipurpose gloves also have a block palm silicone coating to add a non-slip and some heat resistant properties to them; although these are not suitable for using as heat resistant gloves for tasks such as removing pans from the oven.These are food safe gloves which are also machine washable and available in four sizes. The sizing can run small on these and some have found the finger length to be a little long which can increase the risk of damage to the glove fingertips when using.
3. NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves
The NoCry level 5 cut resistant gloves are food grade and suitable for oyster shucking, cutting, slicing and grating as well as other jobs around the home. Made from ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, glass fiber and spandex, these provide lightweight and comfortable protection with EN388 level 5 cut resistance.These gloves can be machine washed at or below 104°F and left to drip dry. Available in four sizes from small to extra-large for snug fitting, these gloves also have a 90 day limited warranty. Some buyers have been disappointed with effectiveness of these when using them for mandoline slicing.
4. DEX FIT Level 5 Cut Resistant Gloves Cru553
Made from silicone free nitrile the DEX FIT level 5 cut resistant gloves are designed for a snug fit and high dexterity. Made with a 3D knitting technology, these multipurpose gloves also have extra grip for dry and wet materials. Meeting EN388 (4544) and ANSI Cut A4 they are FDA approved for food contact and can be machine washed.Although these are supposed to be touch enabled, a number of owners have found that they do struggle to use a phone or tablet whilst wearing and the grip material may wear off quite quickly with constant use. The sizing can also be a little off, so you should check the actual measurements rather than just ordering your usual size.
5. Dowellife Cut Resistant Gloves
The Dowellife level 5 cut resistant gloves are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), nylon and spandex and they are EN388 certified. These multi-purpose gloves are machine washable up to 131°F and as food safe gloves are available in sizes small to extra-large.These may not have as much grip as other level 5 gloves and some buyers have found that the longevity of these is less than expected.
6. G & F 1607L Cut Resistant Work Gloves
Mae with 100% DuPont Kevlar® cut resistant fibers, the G & F cut resistant Kevlar® gloves also have latex coated palms, fingers and thumb for extra grip and puncture and abrasion protection. Suitable for handling glass and cutting work, these gloves are available in three sizes.The latex coating is only on the underside of the glove and some buyers consider that this means less protection for the back of the hand. The latex can also start to disintegrate with use and leave residue on what is being handled. These do have a manufacturing odor which may mean they are not suitable for all uses around the home and they can transfer some of the smell to your hands.
7. YINENN Cut Resistant Gloves
Certified to EN388, the YINENN level 5 cut resistant gloves are multipurpose and can be machine washed and air dried. Available in four sizes, these also come with a ‘no questions asked’ 30 day return and a one year manufacturer’s warranty which does not cover normal wear or tear of accidental damage.The sizing can be inconsistent on these and they may arrive with an odor which may mean they may not be suitable for food preparation before being washed.
8. MaxiFlex Cut Resistant Nitrile Coated Gloves
With an EN388 cut level of 3, the MaxiFlex cut resistant nitrile coated gloves are made with an engineered yarn shell and premium micro-foam nitrile coated palm. These gloves are designed for breathability and have a reinforced thumb crotch.Available in sizes small to extra-large, the sizing can run a little small and they may not have the lifespan expected from cut resistant gloves. These gloves also carry a Prop 65 warning.
9. Dexterity High Abrasion and Cut Resistant Glove by Superior Glove
Made from a composite filament fiber blend, the Dexterity cut resistant gloves (S13NGFN-9) also have a foam nitrile coating on the underside to give better grip. Rated to ANSI cut level 2 and ASTM level 3, these multipurpose gloves are also touchscreen compatible.These gloves are available in sizes 6 to 10 for better fitting, although they may not last as long as expected when wearing them daily and some buyers consider these feel a little stiff rather than stretchy.
10. Schwer Cut Resistant Gloves
The Schwer cut resistant metal glove is made from stainless steel wires and polyethylene fibers and is FDA compliant for food contact. It also meets ISO level 5 cut resistance. Suitable for right or left handed use, this glove has an adjustable wrist band for better fitting and is available in four sizes, although some buyers have found the fit less than ideal. This steel glove also comes with a cotton glove for your other hand.This can be washed by hand or put through the dishwasher although the odd buyer has found this glove can soon start to rust with regular use.
Things to Consider Before Buying Cut Resistant Gloves
Although it can be difficult to find statistics on hand injuries in our homes, the statistics for hand injuries in the workplace are frightening enough. Of the million or so workers who end up in the emergency room with hand injuries, over 70% of these were not wearing gloves and 30% were wearing either damaged or the wrong type of gloves for the job that they were doing!
Using Cut Resistant Gloves in the Home
Cut resistant gloves are becoming more important in today’s home environment, especially with the increased use of devices such as mandoline slicers. Although mandoline slicers have improved since they first entered home kitchens, they do still lack key safety features and as many of us find the holders difficult to use, we tend to leave on one side and just use our hand.
If you are looking for gloves specifically for using with a mandoline, then a tightly woven glove with enough stretch to allow you to move your fingers to better grip the food you are slicing will be better. These will also allow you to change mandoline blades easily.
Having a pair of cut resistance gloves around the kitchen is also useful when cutting awkward foods such as ginger root, as well as of course, typical poultry, meat and fish filleting and cutting.
Crafting, DIY and yard jobs are just some of the other activities in which cut resistant gloves may reduce the risk of a serious injury.
Tips for Choosing the Right Cut Resistant Gloves
When choosing cut resistant gloves, buy ones which fit correctly as loose gloves make it more difficult to use as not only can they slip but they do not provide the same touch sensitivity. Looser gloves also increase the risk of injury and gloves that are too tight are uncomfortable to wear and may increase skin irritation.
Lighter weight gloves are not only better for tasks which require more flexibility, but they do not contribute as much to hand fatigue. If you need to wear gloves for some time, then how breathable they are should also be a consideration.
Gloves which are coated such as with latex or nitrile are useful for wet or slippery tasks such as when filleting fish, but if these gloves are to be used for food preparation it is important to ensure they are food safe and/or FDA compliant.
Cut resistant gloves will not stop you from getting cut, rather they are designed to offer more protection from direct contact with sharp edges where there is a higher probability of your hands being cut and you should never allow the fact that you are wearing cut resistant gloves lull you into a false sense of security.
Most manufacturers of cut resistant gloves will advise that their gloves do not protect against the use of electrical devices such as powered saws; especially as the gloves have been tested for cut resistance with non-powered blades.
In fact, using gloves with powered machinery can increase the risk of injury as if a moving blade catches a glove it can pull the hand into the machinery.
After use, gloves should be carefully checked over for any signs of wear and tear and disposed of if necessary.
How Gloves Are Cut Resistant
The cut resistance of gloves comes from their strength, hardness, rolling action and lubricity. The rolling action of gloves is how well a sharp edge can roll over the top of the fabric without cutting through it and this can also be improved by the lubricity, or slipperiness of the surface of the fabric which also allows the sharp edge to slide over the fabric without cutting.
Gloves which are made from a selection of composite yarns often offer the best of these benefits as the manufacturers have combined the separate components to improve the different properties of the gloves.
Making gloves from a blend of materials can also allow them to have other features such as improved temperature resistance, visibility, breathability and dexterity.
It is important to note that puncture resistance is different to cut resistance and measured in a different way. Under EN388, puncture resistance is measured with the use of a large nail inserted into the taut fabric. The force needed to pierce the fabric is then rated.
Cut Resistance Testing and Levels
There are three standardized methods of testing cut resistance:
- ASTM F1790
- ISO 13997
Taking each one of these in more detail:
- ASTM F1790
In the US, ASTM International sets the most commonly used standard for cut testing of gloves and ANSI or the American National Standards Institute sets the standard for reporting cut levels.
Confused? It gets worse!
ANSI’s rating system was updated in 2016 which now means that there are two sets of scores. The current standard is ANSI/ISEA 105-2016.
The first scores of 1 to 5 covers cut resistance of products which were tested by the standard in place before 2016. Level 5 was the most cut resistant. If a product has an ANSI rating of between A1 and A9 then this is based on the new ratings system. Gloves which were ANSI 4 will now be A4 to A6 and the old level 5 is now represented by A7 to A9 ratings.
- ISO 13997
As well as the ASTM F1790 standard, the second standard used for testing cut resistance is the International ISO 13997 standard is used for testing cut resistance. The Tomodynamometer (TDM) test and the Cut Protection Test (CPT) are used by both of these standards and involve a blade moving in a straight line across the fabric of the glove being tested while measuring the total pressure applied to the blade for at least 0.8 inches.
The results of the test define which level of performance the fabric belongs to.
Gloves which meet ASTM and ISO requirements have the following characteristics:
Weight in grams needed to cut through fabric with one inch of blade travel
200 - 499
500 - 999
1000 - 1499
1500 - 3499
The third standard for testing cut resistance is the equivalent European rating of EN388 which is used by law in Europe but also common in Asia, Australia and South America. The test for this standard counts how many cuts a circular blade moving across the fabric takes to cut through that part of the fabric. This is also known as the Couptest method.
Many manufacturers will market their products as certified to EN388 which will also display a CE symbol followed by some numbers.
For gloves which meet the EN388 standard, they have the following characteristics:
Average cut index
(based on 10 measurements)
1.2 - 2.4
2.5 - 4.9
5 - 9.9
10 – 19.9
All three standards have level 5 as the highest rating (or A7 to A9 if ANSI certified after 2016), so if you are looking for cut resistant gloves to offer maximum protection when the probability of receiving cuts is higher; then should for those with a level 5 rating - whichever standard they have been tested to.
Type of Protection
Do not offer any protection
Offer protection from ‘nuisance’ cuts such as paper cuts, suitable for shipping, material handling and some assembly work
Natural fibers such as cotton, leather or latex
Protection for low cut hazards such as in packaging, some masonry work and construction
Nylon, polyester or other heavier weight synthetic fibers
Protection for moderate cut hazards such as light metal stamping or light duty glass handling
Materials such as SuperFabric® or Kevlar® which are higher performance materials
Protection for high cut hazards such as food service or sheet metal handling
Synthetic materials such as Spectra® and steel
Protection for extreme cut hazards such as meat processing and plate glass handling
Meal mesh and heavyweight synthetic materials
It is worth remembering though that gloves with level 5 resistance will also be bulkier than lower rated gloves which can cause problems depending on what tasks you want to use them for.
It goes without saying that field testing how cut resistant your gloves is never recommended. These gloves have been tested in a laboratory under strict conditions to represent real-world risks and stabbing the gloves with a pair of scissors or a knife will damage the glove and your hand if you are wearing it at the same time!
Cut Resistant Glove Materials
Which material you choose will depend on what other properties you want your gloves to have, such as their breathability, heat protection and ease of cleaning if you need to use them for food preparation.
Kevlar® is a key cut resistant fiber which can also stand temperature extremes, while Dyneema® fabric has more elasticity and can improve breathability. A fabric which is engineered usually contains a blend of different fabrics to increase its overall properties and these types of gloves can often be very thin while keeping their high cut resistant ability.
Fibers such as Spectra® are ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fibers which offer high cut resistance even when wet. Per unit weight, these fibers are up to 15 times stronger than steel.
SuperFabric® is a fabric base layer which has hard plastic guard platelets laid over it. This allows the fabric to have a better grip.
The yarns which string knit gloves are made from are measured in gauge or diameter. A thicker glove (7 to 13 gauge) will be more abrasion resistant than a thinner 15 to 21 gauge which is better suited to tasks which need more dexterity, such as handling small parts.
A metal mesh is usually stainless steel which is not only high strength but can give advanced puncture protection. Stainless steel may also be blended with a yarn to produce a fiber-metal blend.
Cleaning Cut Resistant Gloves
Many cut resistant gloves are machine washable or may even be able to go through the dishwasher. This is because the fabrics they are made from are not damaged by laundering and materials such as Kevlar® retain their cut resistant properties even after multiple washings. Some gloves may also be suitable for dry cleaning.
It is important to follow any manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning though as some materials are not suitable for cleaning at higher temperatures and for others, bleach products must be avoided.
The easiest way to clean hand wash only gloves is by wearing them and adding some mild antibacterial sop or dish soap to them and washing them thoroughly as you would wash your hands. The gloves can then be taken off and hung to drip dry before wearing again.
It is important to recognize that cut resistant gloves will not stop you from getting cut, instead, along with using equipment and knives correctly, they will offer more protection when there is a higher probability of your hands being cut.As well as considering what the testing standards actually mean when buying gloves, we have also reviewed ten of the best cut resistant gloves to help you to choose the most suitable for your cutting needs. We do hope the next time you are ready to slice and dice, or tackle any other sharp tasks in the home, you remember to reach for cut resistant gloves as these may mean the difference between a minor wound or a trip to the emergency room!