Cut protection reclassified

Modification to the EN 388 standard for cut protection gloves

Protection classes for cut protection gloves were previously assigned in Europe in accordance with standard EN 388:2003. Due to the continuous development of technical materials – so-called ‘high-performance fibres’ – it has become necessary to adjust the methods used to test and classify cut protective gloves. These changes have been implemented in standard EN 388:2016. In addition to the coup-test in accordance with EN 388:2003 the new test method in accordance to ISO 13997 has been introduced.

Differences between both test methods

Test procedure in accordance with EN 388:2003

  • Cut resistance test using the coup test.
  • Rotating circular knife moves back and forth at a constant force (5 newtons) on the test material and rotates counter to the movement.
  • The index value results from the number of cycles required to the point at which the test piece is cut through, and from the degree of wear of the blade.
  • Five measurements are performed in this way on each test piece. The average of the five index values confirms the corresponding performance class for the cut protection level of a safety glove.
performance class12345
index≥ 1,2≥ 2,5≥ 5≥ 10≥ 20
Testing machine for EN 388:2003 procedure

Test procedure in accordance with EN 388:2016/ISO 13997

  • Relates to cut protection gloves made from materials that cause the blades to become blunt (i.e. glass and steel fibres).
  • Additional test procedure in accordance with ISO 13997: Determination of resistance of the glove to cutting by a sharp object through single contact under higher force.
  • Here, a long, straight blade is drawn once over the test piece. The minimum force required to cut through the test piece after 20 millimetres is determined in the process.
  • The result is given in newtons (N) and assigned to a cut protection class.
performance classABCDeF
Newton value≥ 2≥ 5≥ 10≥ 15≥ 22≥ 30
Testing machine for EN 388:2016/ISO 13997 procedure

No correlation can be made between the two test procedures and performance rating. The glove still offers the same high level of cut protection in practice; the only change is to the standard-based classification of its performance.

As a leading manufacturer of cut-protection products, we have state-of-the-art measurement technology for both standards in our own testing laboratory and are well placed to address any questions or concerns.

For more information take a look at our helpful video:

Old and new testing methods for safety gloves
EN 388:2016 safety standard

uvex cut protection gloves

The uvex C500 and C300 cut protection series sets standards regarding protection, comfort, flexibility, tactility and efficiency. Innovative products for effective protection:

uvex D500 foam cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C); robust and flexibleuvex D500 foam cut protection glove
uvex C500 M foam cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C), EN 407 (X 1 X X X X); flexible; silicone-free; reinforced thumb...uvex C500 M foam cut protection glove
uvex C500 sleeve lower arm protectionEN 388:2016 (2 X 4 X C); lower arm protection with very good cut protectionuvex C500 sleeve lower arm protection
uvex C500 cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (1 X 4 X C); uncoated with very good dry gripuvex C500 cut protection glove
uvex C500 wet plus cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C) and EN 407 (X 1 X X X X); good grip, even when wetuvex C500 wet plus cut protection glove
uvex C500 XG cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C); especially good grip when working in oily conditionsuvex C500 XG cut protection glove
uvex C500 dry cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (X X 4 X C); very good dry gripuvex C500 dry cut protection glove
uvex C500 foam cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C) and EN 407 (X 1 X X X X); good grip in dry to slightly damp...uvex C500 foam cut protection glove
uvex C500 wet cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C) and EN 407 (X 1 X X X X); especially good grip when working in wet...uvex C500 wet cut protection glove
uvex C300 dry cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (X X 4 X C); very good dry gripuvex C300 dry cut protection glove
uvex C300 foam cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (3 X 4 2 C); good grip in dry to slightly damp environmentsuvex C300 foam cut protection glove
uvex C300 wet cut protection gloveEN 388:2016 (4 X 4 2 C); especially good grip when working in the wetuvex C300 wet cut protection glove
uvex C300 wet plus cut protection gloveBamboo-rayon; HPPE; glass; polyamide liner; 3/4 HPE coating; dry/wet and oily conditionsuvex C300 wet plus cut protection glove

Explore our safety glove range

Explore our safety glove range

uvex cut protection solutions

uvex cut protection solutions

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