EN 388:2016


Currently, on many cut resistant gloves sold
in the world, you will find the EN 388
marking. The EN 388, similar to ANSI/ISEA
105, is the European standard used to evaluate
mechanical risks for hand protection. Gloves
with a EN 388 rating are third party tested,
and rated for abrasion, cut, tear, and puncture
resistance. Cut resistance is rated 1-5, while
all other physical performance factors are rated
1-4. Up until now, the EN 388 standard used
only the “Coup Test” to test for cut resistance.
The new EN 388 2016 standard uses both
the “Coup Test” and the “TDM-100 Test” to
measure cut resistance for a more accurate
score. Also included in the updated standard
is a new Impact Protection test.

A. Abrasion resistance


The material is subjected to abrasion by a sandpaper under a determined pressure. The protection level is indicated on a scale of 1 to 4 depending on the number of turns required until a hole appears in the material. The higher the number is, the better the resistance to abrasion.

B. Cut resistance


The cut protection is tested. A knife is passed over the glove material until it cuts through. The protection level is given by a number between 1 and 5, where 5 indicates the highest cut protection. If the material dulls the knife during this test, the cut test ISO 13997(TDM test) shall be performed instead, see point F.

C. Tear resistance


The force required to tear the glove material apart is measured. The protection level is indicated by a number between 1 and 4, where 4 indicates the strongest material.

D. Puncture resistance


Based on the amount of force required to puncture the material with a tip. The protection function is indicated by a number between 1 and 4, where 4 indicates the strongest material.

E. Cut resistance according to EN ISO 13997


If the knife gets dull during the coup test, see point B, this test shall be performed instead. The result is given by a letter, A to F, where F indicates the highest level of protection. If any of these letters is given, this method determines the protection level instead of the coup test.

ISO 13997:1999
Determination of resistance to cutting by sharp objects

An alternative cut test recommended for cut protection gloves. Shall be used in EN388:2016 for cut protection gloves where the cut material dulls the cutting knife during testing. A knife cuts with constant speed but increasing force until breakthrough of the cut protection material. Level of protection is given in Newton, the force needed for cut through at 20mm cut length.

F. Protection against impact


If the glove has an impact protection, this information is given by the letter P as the 6th and last sign. If no P sign, no impact protection is claimed.