ANSI/IESA and EN388 Standards | Stauffer Glove & Safety

    ANSI/ISEA and EN388 Standards

    Cut the Confusion

    Not all cut-resistant gloves are created equal, and the wealth of information about cut testing methods and standards can quickly result into a headache. Stauffer Glove and Safety is here to help reduce the pain. We offer an overview of exactly what the standards are and how they are tested.

    Cuts and lacerations may not sound like a big deal, but the numbers clearly illustrate a different picture. Recent reports indicate that more than 25 percent of all workplace accidents involve hand and finger injuries with each disabling hand injury costing as much as $26,000. The objective of Stauffer Glove and Safety is to supply the correct personal protective equipment to support and provide solutions that significantly reduce recordable and non-recordable hand injuries and their related costs. 

    The Scale:

    Cut resistance is scored on a scale from 0 to 5, measuring the weight required to cut through a glove’s material.

    Moderate/standard protection:

    Level 1 to 2 according to ANSI/ISEA cut standard. These woven gloves allow the skin to breathe more easily. They are recommended for continuous use in situations where the objects handled are only mildly abrasive, i.e. using a safety knife or handling untrimmed sheet metal.

    Heavy duty/high-performance protection:

    Level 3 to 5 according to ANSI/ISEA cut standard. These gloves have been coated or are multi-layered to improve their resistance to frequent contact with sharp or abrasive objects. As a result, they have a longer service life, i.e. repeated handling of heavy and rough, sharp-edged parts.


    • Standard that is used in the United States
    • Cut resistance to slow moving blades, Expresses as levels 1-5 with 5 being the highest.             
    • Puncture Resistance, expressed as levels 1-4 with 4 being the highest.
    • Abrasion Resistance


    • Standard that is used in Europe and other parts of the world.
    • Protection against mechanical hazards.
    • Abrasion, Cut, Tear and Puncture Resistance.
    • Levels expressed as 1-4 with 4 being the highest.

    Test Methods

    The test methods and levels are not the same for the two systems and some care needs to be used when comparing glove ratings within the same system – ANSI to ANSI and EN388 to EN388. Cut resistant glove ratings for ANSI/ISEA are slightly higher than the same rating levels for EN388.

    A circular blade moves back and forth across a material sample under a fixed load of 500 grams (5N), while rotating in the opposite direction of the linear motion of the mounting device. Results of this test are calculated by recording the number of blade revolutions needed to cut through the material, which is then compared to a Cut Index which gives the material a rating from 1 (low) to 5 (high).

    Want to learn more? Fundamentals of Cut Resistance Testing. Ansell, a Stauffer Glove and Safety Premiere Vendor