Understanding Work Glove Gauge

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Understanding Work Glove Gauge

When choosing machine knit work gloves, you’ve probably noticed that most descriptions include the glove’s gauge. The gauge of a glove is defined as the number of stitches included in each inch of material. Manufacturers typically offer gloves that range from 7-gauge to 18-gauge. But what exactly does that mean for your workers?
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By M.B. Sutherland, Sr. Copywriter, Magid

When choosing machine knit work gloves, you’ve probably noticed that most descriptions include the glove’s gauge. The gauge of a glove is defined as the number of stitches included in each inch of material. Manufacturers typically offer gloves that range from 7-gauge to 18-gauge. But what exactly does that mean for your workers?

You might think that lower equals lighter and that higher equals heavier – but actually the opposite is true! Lower gauge gloves are heavier and higher gauge gloves are lighter.

Glove Gauge vs. Glove Dexterity

Graph showing the association between glove gauge and glove thickness

 

What Work Glove Gauge Looks Like

Lower Gauge

A lower-gauge glove uses thicker yarn and has fewer stiches knitted per inch.

Image of how a heavy weight 7 gauge work glove is measured

This creates a looser knit with more room between the stitches.

Image of 7 gauge cut resistant material

Higher Gauge

A higher-gauge glove uses thinner, finer yarn and has more stitches knitted per inch.

Image of how a heavy weight 18 gauge work glove is measured

This creates a tighter knit. At the higher end, any room between stitches is invisible to the naked eye

Image of 18 gauge cut resistant material

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What Work Glove Gauge Feels Like

Lower Gauge

In general, lower gauge gloves are coarser with less dexterity. It won’t be significantly harder to move your hand like in a thicker leather glove, but it may be difficult to pick up small objects like nuts or bolts while wearing a lower-gauge glove.

Higher Gauge

Higher gauges are generally softer with better dexterity. So these gloves will be more comfortable and it will be easier to do jobs that require fine motor skills while wearing a higher-gauge glove.

Image of a spool of yarn for work gloves

In the past, lower-gauge, coarser yarn was often the material of choice to make cut-resistant knit gloves. But the advent of engineered yarn has brought us lighter, thinner gloves with high dexterity that also provide high cut resistance.

Image representing thumb, palm and wrist work glove add on options

Other Considerations for Cut-Resistant Work Gloves

Remember that it’s not all about gauge. There are many different glove add-ons to help with a variety of needs in worker protection. The yarn used and any glove coatings also help determine comfort, cut, abrasion, liquid, and puncture resistance. But when it comes to the flexibility of the glove, keep your eye on the gauge!

Take a look at the lightest cut resistant glove on the market: