Cut and puncture resistance ins absolutely invaluable in PPE for many fields. As a matter of fact, around 2/5 of workplace hand injuries are due to cuts or punctures. Ensuring your range of PPE is at the right cut level for your needs is essential to ensuring the safety of your workers and your business. But what is cut level, and how do you know which cut level is right for your business? Buy Any Gloves will answer these questions and more in this article.

What is Cut Level?

Nowadays, most gloves are rated based upon the EN:388 Standard. This standard now covers:

Abrasion Resistance

This covers the gloves ability to resist being worn away by friction and rubbing.

Tear Resistance

How well the glove can resist the effects of tearing during use.

Puncture Resistance

The glove’s ability to resist intrusion (entry) from a foreign object

Cut Resistance

A measure of the glove’s ability to resist a cut, in the case of EN:388 this is the glove’s ability to resist cuts from a moving blade.

Abrasion, tear and puncture resistance are all measured on a scale of 1-4. Cut resistance, however, is measured from 1-5. In order to gauge the resistances of a glove, you read the EN:388 number as follows:

EN:388 1234


1 is your abrasion resistance, 2 is your cut resistance, 3 is your tear resistance, and 4 is your puncture resistance. A quick way to remember this is ACT P. Any Gloves under the newer EN:388 2016 Standard my also include a second cut level, rated from A-F, and an impact protection score rated either P, F or X.

What does a level 1-5 Cut Resistance mean?

The main factor you’re going to consider when choosing PPE in a variety of sectors is cut resistance. In the simplest of terms, 5 is the best and 1 is the worst. But how is this measured?

Cut resistance is measured during a strictly controlled test. A circular saw blade is running across the glove at a fixed pressure of around 500 grams. The glove’s cut resistance is then measured based upon how many passes with the blade it can take. Here is a guide for how many cuts each resistance level can take:

Cut Level Cuts Resisted
Cut Level 5 >20
Cut Level 4 >10
Cut Level 3 >5
Cut Level 2 2-5
Cut Level 1 1-2

To put this into perspective, a cut level 1 glove might resist a very light cut such as a paper cut – but not much else. Conversely, a cut level 5 glove can resist something as sharp as a meat cutting knife.


Buy Any Gloves hopes this guide helps you decide which cut resistant glove is ideal for you and your business. Browse our range of Cut Resistant Gloves available today, with free Next Day Delivery across the Mainland UK.