Work gloves: all you need to know about abrasion and cut resistance

Work gloves: all you need to know about abrasion and cut resistance


Are you working with gloves that wear down quickly? You’re not sure if your gloves can withstand cuts?

It can be quite challenging to find gloves that meet your needs. To make the proper selection, you must consider your work environment and the protection level you need.

We have put together this guide to shed light on this topic and better understand the importance of abrasion and cut resistance. Then, you can make the right decision to protect your hands at work.

What is abrasion?

Abrasion is the result of grating or rubbing, which causes wear. Abrasion injury happens when the skin rubs against a rough surface.

The protective layer provided by the work glove is reduced following abrasion, and the worker’s hand becomes more susceptible to injuries or irritation. The friction created by regular and repetitive material handling can irritate the worker’s skin.

What about the standards?
North American standards help identify the protection rate of each glove. The standards are established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 standard had been updated in 2016 and evaluates the work glove’s abrasion resistance. Work glove abrasion resistance is assessed according to 7 levels, from 0 to 6. The higher the number, the better the protection.

How do work gloves protect against cuts?

Cut-resistant work gloves are categorized according to the ANSI standard. The levels are from A1 to A9, which is the optimal protection. This classification per level indicates the glove’s capacity to sustain the weight of a sharp object until it cuts through the material.

Work gloves compliant with the ANSI 105-2016 standard have been tested in a laboratory. A sharp blade cuts through the glove in a straight line, and the resistance results are then analyzed.

The protection level symbol is found on top of the glove.

Work glove resistance is mainly attributable to its design. The protection offered by nitrile or Kevlar is not the same. The protection level will depend on the types of materials used in the composition of the glove yarn.

Here is the table on which the ANSI standard is based:

ANSI Level










Weight (grams) needed to cut through material











General Purpose, Warehousing, Small Parts Assembly.

Plastic Handling, Pulp and Paper.

Raw material handling, General Manufacturing, Construction.

HVAC, Aerospace, Food Preparation.

Glass or Metal Sheet Handling, Automotive Assembly, HVAC.

Metal Fabrication, Glass Manufacturing, Changing Blades.

Meat Preparation/Processing, Glass Manufacturing Metal Stamping.

Metal Stamping, Recycling, Heavy Assembly.

Sharp Metal Stamping, Recycle Sorting, Metal Fabrication.

*Levels A3 and below are generally used in applications where the cut risk is lower, such as hardware assembly, warehouse work and general handling.

Levels A4 and above are used in applications where cut risk is much higher, such as handling glass sheets, metal press work or heavy assembly.

What is the solution to get more reliable and durable gloves?

For added abrasion protection, we are recommending the following gloves:

  • Coated gloves
    • Nitrile
    • Latex
    • PVC
    • Polyurethane
    • Rubber
  • Leather gloves
  • Safety sleeves

The Ansell Hyflex Series is composed of work gloves with excellent abrasion resistance.

As for cut resistance, we recommend gloves made with the following materials:

  • InterceptTM fiber from Ansell
  • Fiberglass (Kevlar)
  • Polyethylene fibers
  • Composite fiber
  • Steel

Shop the different Ansell work gloves

Although some work gloves offer the protection you need, it is essential to consider other factors. You will get optimum protection, but the usefulness and comfort of the gloves may not be up to par.

Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Dexterity level
  • Touchscreen compatible
  • Heat and cold resistance
  • Grip (or grasping in wet, oily, or dry conditions)
  • Tactile sensitivity
  • Breathability

The AnsellGUARDIAN Program

Do you need personal protective equipment (PPE) adapted to your workplace? The AnsellGUARDIAN program helps you find the PPE that best meets your safety needs.

Discover AnsellGUARDIAN