Hand Safety Spotlight

What to Know About New CE EN 388 and ANSI Cut Ratings

How to Interpret New Cut Ratings

The testing standards for cut gloves have changed for both ANSI and CE. If you’re unsure about these changes – don’t worry. We’ve created a guide that breaks down everything you need to know about new ANSI and CE cut ratings.

CE EN 388 Testing 

Before we get into what’s changed, let’s look at what these ratings do. All industrial safety gloves sold in Europe must conform to the European Standards of CE EN388. This is the standard used to evaluate mechanical risks for hand protection. These gloves must be tested and certified by an accredited test lab. The CE EN388 standard tests and certifies these gloves for abrasion, cut, tear, puncture, high rating cut resistance, and impact protection.

CE EN 388 Testing - What's Changing?

In previous standards, the cut resistance was measured using the Coup test method. This method was effective, however, it can also provide inaccurate measurement as the blade used in the test would become dull.

In order to measure the cut resistance more accurately, this test has been revised so the blade used in the Coup test is only allowed to turn up to 60 cycles, whether or not the blade has cut through the tested material.

If the blade has become dull during the Coup test, the tested material has very high cut resistance properties, then it is mandatory for the tested material to be tested using another cut resistant test method. The next cut resistance test method is the CE EN ISO13997 standard, using the TDM-100 test machine and can provide a more accurate test results for high cut resistance material. 

What is the TDM-100 Test?

After executing the Coup Test, the glove will undergo the TDM-100 Test – the second and new rating system. The TDM machine was introduced to test cut-resistant gloves beyond level 3 (more on that in a minute). When performed, this test is similar to the ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 cut test standard – which measures the weight, once applied to a circular blade, that is needed to cut-through the test fabric.

How is the TDM-100 Test Different

For one, the TDM-100 replaces the cutting blade between each pass – ensuring greater accuracy in evaluating cut resistance – whereas the Coup Test uses the same blade throughout the entire test. Second, the TDM-100 test sample is cut five times, each with three different weight loads. Additionally, the TDM test can accurately test cut resistant gloves beyond level three. Now, purchasers can better compare high-resistance gloves and find the appropriate gloves for the environment. With its increased accuracy and ability to test higher cut materials, the TDM machine is now the preferred testing method for CE and ANSI cut glove standards.

New CE EN 388 Rating Scores

Cut Test: A-F Rating - After testing gloves in the new TDM-100 method, products will receive an A-F rating. These letter ratings were implemented to avoid confusing Coupe and TDM tests.

CE EN 388 Rating

ANSI/ISEA 105 Testing 

Previous ratings covered cut levels from 1-5 under ASTM F-1790 – but in the next section, we’ll see how these are changing.

Why Increase the Cut Level to A1-A9?

ANSI will increase the number of cut levels from 5 under ASTM F-1790 to 9 under ASTM F2992 to provide more accurate and defined cut ratings. This allows ANSI to extend the old level 5 standard (1500g-3499g) and offer more accurate cut-resistant glove options beyond level 5. Because the new ratings are not compatible with the old, an "A" is placed before the number. 

New ANSI Cut Ratings


Straightforward enough, right? We know these changing standards might seem overly-complicated, but the benefits are two-fold: safety managers and PPE purchasers gain a more accurate cut rating system, and the users benefit from better cut-resistant glove options. 

Did you know? Ringers Gloves are rated best-in-class for dexterity plus impact protection! Download our brochure to see the results and comparisons to other brands.

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If you’d like more information on these changes, and what they mean for you, send us a message! We’re happy to help; hand safety is our specialty. 

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Category: Hand Safety, Gloves