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Common Cut Resistant Glove Shells

June 27, 2019
The shell of a glove is the machine knitted part that provides shape and a foundation. Glove shells come in many forms, i.e. Dyneema (HPPE), Kevlar, Fiberglass, Steel, Blended, etc.… For our purposes we’ll stick w the most common out there.

Shells

Dyneema (HPPE)
An extremely strong fiber that is form fitting and lightweight. As it is very tight, sharp edges tend to “roll” off the material. By weight, Dyneema is 15x stronger then steel and also more abrasion resistant than other fibers/yarns.

Kevlar
Extremely high tensile strength that holds up well against heat. It can be a bit cumbersome due to the “bulk” necessary for Kevlar to reach high cut levels. It is often blended with other materials such as steel or fiberglass, in order to achieve higher cut ratings and reduce weight.

Blends
Often time’s manufacturers will “blend” multiple materials together in an effort to form a hybrid shell that offers multiple material benefits in one shell. Generally, the base will be Dyneema (or some generic derivative, such as HPPE), Kevlar, or Nylon. The most common “add-ins” being steel or fiberglass.

Steel
Increase strength, durability and cut resistance to glove. It also makes the glove heavier and more cumbersome/less dexterous.

Fiberglass
Increases cut resistance as fiberglass filaments will “dull” sharp edges on contact. However, it can fray and become safety concern.

Different shells and/or blends of yarn can makes gloves come in a wide variety of thicknesses; this is called the “gauge” of the glove. The lower the number the “thicker” and more cumbersome the glove will be. For example, a 10 gauge is “beefier” than a 13 gauge and so on. It is important to note, that in order to achieve certain levels of cut resistance a heavier gauge will be necessary. For instance, an 18 gauge “I can barely tell I’m wearing a glove” glove will be hard pressed to meet an ANSI Cut A6. That being said, thicker isn’t always better as today’s technologies allow for higher gauge gloves to reach higher cut ratings!