ANSI Cut Levels: Keys to Understanding Changes

Posted in General

Cut resistance can be a confusing topic, especially since there have been different standards
and measures to determine protection.

With noted differences between American and European standards, finding the right glove for the right situation can present a challenge based on different testing and results. However, there are new changes that will affect buying and safety decisions.


As reported by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several industry sources, the standards as outlined for Hand Protection Selection Criteria have changed. Additionally, changes have been proposed to the EN 388 European regulatory standard for protective gloves (CE). The idea behind these changes is to help employers and more specifically, Safety Managers, choose the proper hand protection that will keep workers safer.

So what does this mean for those who purchase safety gloves?

The two standards for testing and classifying the cut resistance of personal protective equipment (PPE) has always differed because of the machines they were tested in and the results of those tests. The new changes account for more consistent testing between ANSI/ISEA and European safety standards, in addition to higher and more accurate ratings. Recent advances in materials used to manufacture PPE have impacted the need for change.

A new method has been suggested for establishing cut levels in the United States called ASTM F2992-15. This method provides expanded classification levels and includes the new 9-level scale. This new scale is expressed as A1-A9, and covers 0 6,000 grams and higher of cut resistance. These new levels are more specific than the former guide. For example, the old cut level 4 which ranged from 1500 grams - 3500 grams of cut resistance is now covered under three separate levels. These changes will help PPE buyers identify the correct level of cut resistance for their specific needs.


Manufacturers are expected to begin the process of transitioning from ANSI/ISEA 105-11 standard to the revised ANSI/ISEA 105-16 standard that is now in effect. There will be a mix of identifications of cut resistance in the marketplace for some time because of long lead times and inventory in the pipeline.

These changes may sound confusing at first. The good news is that these changes and improvements are being made to standardize testing between ANSI/ISEA, ISO and EN 388, which will help safety managers around the world better protect people in the workplace.

In addition to these changes, ANSI/ISEA 105 and EN 388 have recognized the need to address the standard for hypodermic needle puncture resistance. The ANSI/ISEA 105 standard has been updated to include a Standard Test Method for Protective Clothing Material Resistance to Hypodermic Needle Puncture. The new standard recognizes that needlesticks are common potential exposure for industries such as medical, sanitation and recycling.

The ASTM F2878-10 test method uses a 25 gauge needle to determine the force for a hypodermic needle to penetrate protective clothing or material. The puncture probe (25 gauge needle) travels at a 90° angle into a specimen at a velocity of 500mm/min.

See the scale below.


Progress in testing and measuring by industry standard groups and the updates to these standards will help protect workers and better identify the cut protection performance of both gloves and apparel.

As a company dedicated to protecting workers, Arbill embraces the new changes that better identify the level of protection afforded to the PPE at hand. These updates allow safety managers and their workers to be better protected and will result in fewer injuries.

To learn more register for Arbill's free Manufacturing Day event on Friday, October 7th. Arbill's Director of Product Support, Marcelo Rodriguez, will discuss these and other ANSI updates and review the latest safety trends.

Attendees will also get an overview of recent OSHA changes, strategies to minimize exposure to workers' comp claims, and a preview of Arbill's new software, Vantage Predictive Analytics, that anticipates not only if an injury will happen but who the victim will be. Top suppliers from around the country will preview new products and a gourmet lunch will be served.

Register Today!

Have a Safe Day!