The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) adjusted their standards for cut resistance in gloves in 2016 to accommodate advancements in materials and technology. The updated ANSI glove cut resistance ratings now consist of 9 levels, expanding on the previous 5 levels. In the past, grade 4 cut resistance covered a wide range from 1500 grams to 3499 grams. As a result, gloves with an ANSI Cut Level 4 rating could vary significantly in their performance depending on where they fell within that range.
The new 9-level scale aims to distribute levels of cut protection more effectively, although it may still appear somewhat complex. Let’s break it down and gain a better understanding.
2016 ANSI Glove Ratings, Cut Classes A1–A9
The 2016 ANSI Cut Rating indicates the amount of cutting load, measured in grams, that a glove can withstand before being pierced by a sharp blade. To help clarify each level, let’s explore them individually:
A1: 200–499 grams (suitable for low-cut hazards)
ANSI A1 Cut Level gloves provide adequate protection for light cutting hazards. These gloves are suitable for tasks involving general material handling, such as working with wood or plastic, as well as assembly tasks. The A1 gloves offer maximum dexterity, making them ideal for handling small parts. They can effectively handle basic objects with sharp edges, provided the force applied does not exceed 499 grams. Workers in warehouses, forestry, and general construction can benefit from using these gloves.
A2: 500–999 grams (suitable for slight cutting hazards)
ANSI A2 cut protection is useful in environments where cuts can occur, such as in pulp and paper industries. These gloves also serve well in automotive assembly, where sharp edges of parts and materials are common.
A3: 1000–1499 grams (suitable for light to moderate cutting hazards)
Grade A3 gloves offer improved strength compared to A2 gloves. They provide reasonable protection when dealing with sharp edges and accidental blade contact during normal handling. These gloves are increasingly common and find application in various industries.
A4: 1500–2199 grams (suitable for moderate cutting hazards)
Gloves with an ANSI A4 cut grade rating are ideal for metal fabrication and handling. They are also recommended for food preparation or processing, as well as packaging, utensil manufacturing, and handling of bottles and light glass. Other professions that benefit from A4 or better work gloves include drywallers, electricians, carpet installers, and HVAC technicians.
A5: 2200–2999 grams (suitable for medium to high cutting hazards)
An ANSI A5 cut grade rating or higher indicates an improvement over A4 gloves, offering better protection. These comfortable gloves provide enhanced safety for tradespeople who handle sharp metal and blades on a daily basis.
A6: 3000–3999 grams (suitable for high cutting hazards)
A6 cutting grade gloves are beneficial for those working with hazardous or sharp materials regularly. They are commonly used in meat processing plants, metal stamping or recycling industries, and with automatic and semi-automatic slitting blade machines. Glass and window manufacturers, as well as recycling plant workers, should also consider A6 Cut Resistant Gloves.
A7: 4000–4999 grams (suitable for higher cutting hazards)
Gloves with an A7 rating offer significant protection, preventing nearly 5000 grams of pressure from puncturing or cutting through the gloves. These gloves often employ advanced technologies such as 13-gauge seamless knit cut-resistant fibers and advanced wrinkle latex coating. They may incorporate antimicrobial materials, thicker goatskin or leather-like materials, and padding for the palm and back of the hand.
A8: 5000–5999 grams (suitable for the highest cutting hazards)
ANSI A8 grade cut resistant gloves typically offer higher impact resistance and increased abrasion resistance due to extra palm reinforcement. Some gloves even feature a fully impact-resistant outer layer for protection against severe impacts. These gloves are commonly used in industries such as oil and gas, mining, demolition, and heavy equipment operations. They are also suitable for large glass cutting operations that require a high level of ANSI cut level protection.
A9: 6000+ grams (suitable for extreme cutting hazards)
The highest ANSI glove cut grade is A9, which offers further levels of protection. Gloves with this rating are sturdy and padded, providing increased thickness and reduced tactile sensation compared to lower-rated gloves. Unless you’re planning on engaging with sharks using wire mesh gloves, A9 gloves are sufficient for extreme cut hazards.
Previous ANSI Cut Resistance Standards vs. New Standards
The previous ANSI cutting standards did not adequately cover the diverse needs of different industries. In response, the standards were expanded in 2016 from 5 levels to 9 levels. The majority of the expansion occurred in the upper range of the scale, resulting in more heavy-duty glove options and enhanced cut protection.
Key Takeaways for ANSI Glove Ratings
Understanding ANSI glove grades is essential in determining which gloves are suitable for specific applications. In some cases, employers may provide explicit instructions on which gloves to use, while others allow for personal preference. If you’re new to a job, it’s helpful to seek advice from experienced colleagues to ensure you’re using the appropriate gloves and avoid potential mistakes. We hope this information has provided you with valuable insights. If you have any additional feedback or tips to contribute, please feel free to share them in the comments below!
To learn more about ANSI glove ratings, visit the ANSI website.