Choosing a Work Glove: Which Gauge Should You Choose?

When choosing machine knit work gloves, you’ve probably noticed that most descriptions include the glove’s gauge. The gauge of a glove is defined as the number of stitches included in each inch of material. Manufacturers typically offer gloves that range from 7-gauge to 18-gauge.  This is the thickness of the knitted fabrics used in manufacturing. You might think that lower equals lighter and that higher equals heavier – but actually the opposite is true! Lower gauge gloves are heavier and higher gauge gloves are lighter.

A lower-gauge glove uses thicker yarn and has fewer stiches knitted per inch. This creates a looser knit with more room between the stitches.

A higher-gauge glove uses thinner, finer yarn and has more stitches knitted per inch. This creates a tighter knit. At the higher end, any room between stitches is invisible to the naked eye.

Gauge 5

  • Very thick knitted gloves
  • Very thick threads
  • High numbering (3000 to 6000 denier)
  • Gloves knitted more loosely with a larger needle size
  • There are no coated versions.
  • Perfect for heavy duty work combined with special threads.

Gauge 7

  • Thick knitted gloves
  • Thick threads
  • High numbering (1500 to 3000 denier)
  • Can be braided
  • Looser-knitted gloves
  • Looped fabric machines available in gauge 7
  • Very few coated versions.
  • Combinations of polyester and cotton, cotton or polyester with or without stitching are usual for general applications.

Gauge 10

  • Medium thickness knitted gloves
  • Threads are not as thick as for gauge 7
  • Low numbering (700 to 1300 denier)
  • Medium weight gloves
  • Tighter knitted gloves
  • Can be braided
  • Looped fabric machines also available in gauge 10
  • Popular versions of the latex glove with a rough finish and the winter glove using looped fabric.

Gauge 13

  • Fine knitted gloves
  • Fine threads
  • Relatively low numbering (400 to 800 denier)
  • Light gloves
  • Tightly knitted gloves
  • Difficult to braid
  • The best known stitch today for polyurethane (PU) and nitrile gloves
  • More profitable and cheaper than other lighter versions.

Gauge 15

  • Fine knitted gloves
  • Relatively low numbering (140 to 400 denier)
  • Light gloves (until 2011, the lightest on the market with the most developed fabric at the time)
  • Tightly knitted gloves
  • Difficult to braid
  • Ideal for light work

Gauge 18

  • Very fine knitted gloves
  • Current standard of ultralight protection
  • Only available from some manufacturers
  • Very fine threads
  • Very low numbering (100 to 200 denier)
  • Particularly light gloves
  • Soft, flexible gloves
  • Extremely difficult to braid
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