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How to Gauge the Glove's Gauge

From nylon to cotton, to Kevlar® and Dyneema®, machine knitted gloves are typically separated and sold by referring to a gauge. Gloves and glove gauges go hand-in-hand and many realize it refers to the thickness but it typically stops there.  Let us try to explain this in more detail for you so you can select the proper glove for the job.A white Dyneema Seamless String Knit Glove


Back in the day, string knit industrial work gloves were often referred to as a light-duty, medium-duty or a heavy-duty glove. Today, the use of gauges helps better classify the thickness or thinness of  glove.

You might think that lower-gauge equals lighter and higher-gauge equals heavier—but in fact, the opposite is true. Lower-gauge gloves are thicker and less dexterous, while higher-gauge gloves are lighter and offer more dexterity.

The gauge of a glove indicates the number of knitting needles or stitches per square inch. For example, a 10-gauge glove has ten stitches knitted per inch of glove.

The higher the number — 13-gauge, 15-gauge or 18-gauge — the more stitches that are knitted per inch. As the number of stitches per inch increase, the glove’s gauge increases. But as the volume of yarn increases, the thickness of yarn will decrease. So an 18-gauge glove will be much thinner and conform more to the curve of the hand than a 7-gauge glove.

A knitted glove’s gauge has its benefits and drawbacks, but a general rule is the larger the yarn:

  • The greater the density
  • The better the protection
  • The better the influence on dexterity

7-Gauge String Knitted Work Gloves:

A 7-gauge glove is the heaviest weight gauge. Seven gauge gloves are thicker and offer the highest protection when compared to other gauges. When string knit gloves were first introduced as an alternate to leather, a seven gauge cotton was the only weight and fabric available.  A thicker knit glove was needed for cut protection because engineered yarns such as Kevlar®/steel blends were not yet readily available.  7-gauge string knitt gloves can utilize Wells Lamont’s patented Whizard® cut-resistant technology   A downfall to 7-gauge gloves is that they can’t be easily coated because the space between the stitches is too wide.

10-Gauge String Knitted Work Gloves:A graph showing the differeneces between gauges

A 10-gauge string knit glove is considered a medium weight glove. They won’t be as thick as a 7-gauge but they can be coated with latex, nitrile, PU or PVC for enhanced gripping power.

13/15/18 Gauge String Knitted Work Gloves:

When gloves fall in this realm, the sizing of the stitches becomes less noticeable and identifying the differences of each is difficult. These string knit style gloves are lightweight and provide high level of tactility and dexterity but their lifespan will be shorter because of the yarns lower resistance.

The upside is these lightweight gloves can be manufactured to have the same level of cut resistance as lower-numbered glove gauges.

21-Gauge String Knitted Gloves:

New technologies continue to push the bar. New to the market are 21-gauge work gloves and it's the closest you can get to working barehanded without sacrificing protection! Providing outstanding tactile sensitivity and dexterity, these ultra lightweight gloves are being manufactured in cut-resistant styles.

Announcing the World’s Thinnest A9 Extreme Cut-Resistant Glove Available

If you’re searching for an extreme cut-resistant work glove that your crew will actually want to wear – let us introduce you to these innovative 21-gauge ANSI cut level A9 work safety gloves. From the hot-selling TenActiv™ line-up which features state-of-the-art cut-resistant composite yarns, these ultra lightweight, snug-fitting and touchscreen compatible TenActiv™ S21TXUFN gloves by Superior Glove® provide the highests level of cut protection available. 

In theory, the lighter the weight, the better the dexterity but dexterity is a relative term and breakthroughs in technology allow today’s ‘heavy’ 7-gauge gloves to be much more dexterous.  For most general duty applications, hand movements won’t be much different between a 13-gauge and 18-gauge glove. A 21-gauge knit provides a bare-hand feel. 

+Browse Our Work Glove Category Now

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