27 September 2022

What does the gauge of a glove actually mean?

We wouldn’t expect you to know the ins and outs of gauges - it does involve diving deep into the glove sea! Some people are content with just knowing that the higher the gauge, the thinner the yarn and glove, and vice versa.  In short, that’s a simple way to describe gauge, but we aren’t here to only please ‘some’ people. We know that there are those of you who are bursting with questions about gauge, and it’s not our place to hold you back! This is why thought ‘why not dive a little deeper?’

What is gauge in a safety glove?

Have you ever wondered what the gauge of a glove really is, but could never face researching it because the wide range of technical results that the web will pull up for you is too daunting a thought? You’ve no reason to fear, for we’ll start with the basics. 

What is gauge? The gauge of a glove is the thickness of the yarn that it’s knitted with. Gauge is to do with the number of stitches per inch of material. For example, our TG7360 has a gauge of 18, so each inch of the liner has 18 stitches. To really simplify it, when the yarn is thinner, more stitches can be squeezed into an inch of space. When the yarn is thicker, naturally less stitches can be squeezed into the same space.

In what way does the gauge affect the safety glove?

But what does the gauge do to the glove? How does it effect it? So, if you can imagine, the thicker the yarn, the heavier the glove will be, and vice versa. Even though it sounds like higher gauge gloves should be heavier, if you think about it from the perspective that the yarn is much thinner, it makes sense. A glove with a higher gauge is much thinner and lighter than a glove with a lower gauge. The benefits of this are that they are usually softer and more dexterous, so are just generally viewed as more comfortable. In addition, they have an excellent tactility, so are perfect for carrying out finer detailed tasks.

It's true that the lower gauge gloves are thicker and have less dexterity than higher gauge ones, but a development in glove coatings allows for thicker gloves to be paired with thinner coatings to make the overall glove thinner than it could have been. In general, though, they make finer detail tasks a lot more difficult to perform, and for these kind of tasks, you’d be better off choosing a higher gauge glove. However, if you are choosing gloves to use in fall/winter, the lower gauge gloves often offer more protection from the cold, as they are thicker. Some glove users also prefer thicker (lower gauge) gloves as they can help with knocks, bangs, scuff abrasions and thermal protection. 

Does higher or lower gauge have better cut protection?

Whilst it may seem that lower gauge should have better cut protection, this is not always strictly true. This is because the quality and engineering of the yarn is just as important as the gauge itself, if not more. High quality yarn that makes up higher gauge gloves can offer just as much cut protection as the yarn used in lower gauge gloves. The cut resistance relies on the materials that make up the yarn. 

We hope this was enlightening and that you don’t feel too gauged out! If you have any further questions, we welcome them. Our favourite thing to do is write blogs that will be useful to you, so please send us any queries/questions you have!