Being a professional in the industrial world requires appropriate gloves. Your gloves need to provide both comfort and flexibility, but keeping you safe is also of utmost importance. Thus, finding cut-resistant gloves is an excellent place to start. However, maybe you’re unsure how cut resistance standards are met and the technical details that make up work safety gloves.
Today, let’s go over what glove gauges are and how to choose the right one for the job. Additionally, it’s essential to learn about why gloves gauges matter. Hand injuries are among the most common types of damages labor workers get, aside from back injuries. Crushed fingers, broken joints, and swelling can happen at any time. Having the appropriate gloves will allow you to work with less worry and increased safety.
What Are Glove Gauges?
So, understanding what glove gauges are and how to choose the right one comes down to the make of the glove itself. The term” gauge” means the number of stitches per inch of a particular glove. Once the stitch count starts to increase, the glove’s gauge will then increase as a result. However, the amount of yarn used in the gloves also decreases, meaning less yarn is needed to cover the area, thus resulting in thinner gloves.
A general rule of thumb for yarn for the glove gauge system is that the larger the amount, the greater density, protection, and influence in dexterity. This also applies to work gloves revolving around chemicals, temperatures, and environments. The gloves need to protect the user from cuts and abrasions, all while allowing them to do their jobs efficiently.
Gloves Gauge Look and Feel
Glove gauges often have a specific appearance and texture on work gloves. To identify lower gauges in work gloves, it uses thicker yarn with fewer stitches knitted per inch. Thus, it creates a looser knit with more room between the stitches. As for higher gauges, higher-gauge gloves will often use thinner, finer yarn while having more stitches knitted per inch. As a result, it creates a tight knit, leaving very little room between stitches.
Both higher and lower gauge work gloves differ significantly regarding texture. Lower-gauge gloves feel coarser to the touch, often leaving less dexterity for movement. Although it won’t feel considerably harder to move your hand, there’s a chance you’ll have difficulty picking up small objects, like screws or nuts. As for higher-gauge work gloves, the texture is softer and easier for dexterity, making it easier to perform motor skills and feel comfortable doing so.
Understanding Glove Gauge Thickness
When it comes to finding suitable work gloves, it usually comes down to the range in glove gauge you need. Thickness varies between gloves, based on the profession you’re in. There are three kinds of glove gauge thickness classes: 7-gauge, 10-gauge, and 13-, 15-, and 18-gauge.
The number “7” in 7-gauge represents seven stitches per inch in a glove. As a result of fewer stitches and 7-gauge gloves, they provide the thickest material option for workers. Additionally, it offers the most longevity compared to other gauges. Because they are the heaviest gloves to choose from, they suit as an alternative to leather gloves.
The most significant drawback of 7-gauge gloves is that they have the biggest impact on hand dexterity. However, they are ideal for plastic cutting, glass handling, and car manufacturing applications. Even though they offer low agility, their purpose is to provide cut protection rather than tactility.
Moving away from 7-gauge is the 10-gauge work glove. While many brands refer to 7-gauge work gloves as heavyweight, the 10-gauge would fit in the medium-weight glove category. They aren’t as thick as 7-gauge gloves, and the 10-gauge gloves have improved dexterity.
Additionally, 10-gauge gloves can get coated for added grip, making picking up small parts even easier. If you need a glove that meets halfway between protecting while having the ability to move around, the 10-gauge makes a fantastic glove for your job.
13-, 15-, and 18-Gauge Gloves
Once gloves start to fall into the 13-, 15-, and 18-gauge category, the stitching size goes more unnoticed and unidentifiable to the naked eye. Additionally, the physical differences don’t change much from there. However, the 13-, 15-, and 18-gauge gloves offer industrial workers a lightweight and tactile option.
However, the only downside to owning 13-, 15-, and 18-gauge work gloves is that the lifespan of these gloves is significantly shorter than others. This is due to a low yarn resistance. Thus, wear and tear occur faster than heavyweight gloves. Thankfully, the upside to owning lightweight gloves is that it can provide the same level of cut resistance as lower-gauge gloves.
Factors for Choosing the Right Gloves
Now that you have a basic understanding of glove gauges, choosing the right ones to go with matters based on your work environment. For example, you don’t want to use heavyweight 7-gauge gloves in a work environment where you have to grab many pieces and parts. It will result in injury, lost items, and slowed work time.
ANSI Cut Level Standards
In recent years, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) had transformed the cut level scale to meet updated standards. The scale consists of a rating of A1-A9, using different testing methods and thus expanding the scales. They cover a wide range of cut resistance, making the ratings more meaningful and precise.
Depending on the work environment, your employer should provide a set of safety standards based on your personal protective equipment. Additionally, they should give information on what kind of gloves you need and the cut level scale they need to meet.
Cut and Abrasion Resistance
No matter what glove gauge it sits at, the gloves you choose should offer high-rated cut and puncture resistance. The last thing you want while you’re on the job is getting a life-changing injury by accidentally not wearing the right personal protective equipment. So, if you’re working with sharp implements, materials, and debris, then your gloves should protect you from harm.
Protection and Dexterity
Every work environment should have the proper gloves for the job. When you work in cold temperatures, you can find insulated work gloves for cold weather from Cestus Armored Gloves that will not only keep you warm, but also provide the dexterity you require.
While the glove gauge offers a protective layer against punctures and cuts, they also need to allow for movement while on the job. For example, you need lightweight gloves to grab small parts, all while keeping the worker comfortable.