Cut-resistant gloves promise to protect your hands against injuries. Do they actually work? And which brand is best?
Published Aug. 19, 2019.
If you’ve spent any time at all in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ve cut yourself while breaking down a chicken, skinned a knuckle grating cheese, or sliced a fingernail (or worse) using a mandoline. A sharp blade doesn’t discriminate; injuries are possible even for the most careful or experienced cooks. Made from high-tech engineered fabrics that are stronger than an equal weight of stainless steel, cut-resistant gloves promise to help protect your hands against accidental cuts, providing extra insurance against damage.
That said, there are limits to their powers. As the manufacturers of these gloves are all quick to declare, their products are cut-resistant but not cut-proof, meaning that they can’t entirely eliminate the possibility of you cutting yourself. In short, using a cut-resistant glove does not give you license to adopt reckless or unsafe practices in the kitchen. They’re also not puncture-resistant, so they’re not great for tasks where your hand might slip and cause you to jab yourself, as you might when shucking oysters.
Still, we liked the idea of having a bit more security when using sharp tools. It had been a while since we last reviewed these products, and we wanted to know if our favorite, the Microplane Cut Resistant Glove, held up to the competition. So we bought six models priced from about $5 to about $25 per glove, including our previous winner, and put them to the test, wearing them as we halved, pitted, and sliced avocados; grated soft cheese and carrots; and peeled potatoes and sliced them on a mandoline. Most models came as individual gloves rather than pairs, and were ambidextrous, so we could use them on our dominant or nondominant hand as the situation required; one model came as a pair, with dedicated right- and left-handed gloves.
Cut-resistant gloves come in different levels of cut resistance, which are evaluated in the United States by an independent organization called the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The gloves in our lineup had ANSI cut scores that ranged from A3 (takes a weight of 1,000 grams or less to cut material with 20 millimeters of blade travel) to A7 (takes a weight of 4,000 grams or less). We tested these cut scores informally by stuffing Slim Jim Beef Jerky Sticks in the fingers of each glove and using fresh razor blades to cut across them with increasing levels of force; each glove held up to the cut score it claimed.
In the end, though, the cut-resistance level itself didn’t make a difference for the tasks we performed. We’re pleased to report that all of the gloves did a go...
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.