Cut Resistant Glove Levels: Comparing ANSI and EN 388 Ratings

Understanding the various levels and ratings for cut resistant industrial gloves is important to maintain safety, comfort, and efficiency. Cut resistant gloves for industrial applications are measured using the A1 – A9 scale which is based on ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard. The EN388:2016 standard uses 0 – 5 or A – F for their rating system.

The difference between ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and EN 388:2016

Understanding the relationship between these two standards and how they fit in is important. Each method establishes cut standards using the same machines and testing technologies; however, the results are counted in different units of measurement with ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 presented as grams (mass) and the EN 388:2016 represented as Newtons (force). A glove that tolerates 10 Newtons of force and classified as EN ISO Cut Level C cannot claim to be an ANSI Cut Level A3 without proper testing.

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 Cut Resistance Standard

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) implemented a cut resistance standard that was implemented in North America in 2016. The updated standard, ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 (based on ASTM F2992-15) assesses cut resistance on a 9-level scale (A1-to-A9). The current standard allows for more thorough and accurate testing compared to the previous testing method which used 5 level scale.

ANSI Cut Resistance Gloves Ratings Chart
ANSI Cut Resistance Gloves Ratings Chart

What do the levels indicate?

Each level signifies the glove’s capability to withstand the weight (measured in grams) until cut-through is attained. Good cut protection is considered anything rated A3 and lower. These levels are traditionally used in applications where cut risk is lower such as general handling, hardware assembly, and warehouse work.

For higher cut risk applications such as handling metal, glass, and heavy-duty assembly tasks – A4 and above is recommended.

EN 388:2016 Cut Resistance Standard

Before 2016, the EN 388 Mechanical Protection was the standard to measure cut resistance in gloves. The EN 388 shield pictogram presented up to 6 distinct mechanical performance indicators. The original Blade Cut test score in position “b” is evaluated on a scale of 0-to-5 as established by the EN Coup test. The new EN ISO Cut Resistance score in position “e” measures on a scale of A-to-F based on the ISO 13997 testing method.

EN 388 Cut Resistance Gloves Ratings Chart
EN 388 Cut Resistance Gloves Ratings Chart

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