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How to Gauge the Glove Gauge | Seamless Knit Work Gloves

From nylon to cotton, string 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.

It use to be that string knit industrial work gloves were often referred to as a light-duty, medium-duty or heavy-duty gloves. Today, the use of gauges helps better classify a glove.

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.  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 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. Here is a popular example of a 10-gauge rated glove- #09-K1310 G-Tek® KEV™ Kevlar® Latex Coated Crinkle Grip Cut Level A3 Gloves from PIP®.

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. Check out the award winning S18TAFGFN TenActiv™ 18-Gauge Cut Level A4 Cut-Resistant Glove with Foam Nitrile Palms.

Today’s Technology: Announcing the World’s Thinnest Most Dexterous Cut-Resistant Glove Available

S21SXGPU  Superior Touch® Dyneema® Gloves with Polyurethane Palms21-Gauge String Knitted Glove

Constructed with an ultra-light weight 21-gauge Dyneema® yarn, the S21SXGPU Superior Touch® Dyneema® Cut Level A2 Gloves provide amazing dexterity, bare hand feel. These seamless knit Superior Touch® gloves from Superior Glove® are complimented with a soft polyurethane coated palm to provide added gripping power, they make handling or manipulating small parts more effective!


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. 

If you aren’t sure which gauge thickness you need, contact us for glove samples and try them out or you can watch a brief educational video here.  Contact us for volume discounts or to place an order.

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