The Best Cut Gloves for Construction

When I came on board as the Safety Director for Consolidated Waterproofing Contractors, the first thing I did was comb through the OSHA 300 logs for that last 5 years. The story they told was enlightening: we had a lot of cuts! When I checked on the gloves we were buying, that too was enlightening… we weren’t buying cut gloves for construction work. This is known as a PPE Hazard Assessment which is a service we provide.

I set out looking for economical cut gloves and ordered a few samples to get feedback from the guys that will actually use them. Turns out they loved expensive gloves that cost $8 or more! I brought in samples of polyurethane coatings & nitrile coatings to try. I liked the nitrile coated the best, but they weren’t at the right price point. I did end up finding a glove that was available by the dozen & not $8 or more a pair. The glove I found and settled on was the Cut 4 rated Radians RWG560. I was getting them for under $4 a pair at the time. They held up very well. The black coating does wear off, but the glove material is great. I did skimp at one point and downgraded to the Cut 4 rated RWG557 glove to save a dollar per pair, but that didn’t last long. They didn’t seem to hold up as well as the 560. (I did like the fact that they were orange so I could see who wasn’t wearing their gloves right away.)

I tried numerous gloves from Magid, but the fit quality was poor. The fingers, especially between the pinky and thumb, were too short. They did get it right with their AeroDex gloves, but not at $14 per pair.

I did at one point try to incorporate a cheaper & lower cut rating glove for work that didn’t involve sharp tools or materials. We tried A2 gloves from Tillman, which are similar to Kaygo KG18NB or the widely used MaxiFlex (for protection, buy MaxiCut). The guys loved them, but it backfired since they’re only considered a “scratch” glove. I had 2 instances where my guys ended up with cuts wearing those gloves. One reason was they weren’t strong enough protection, but the 2nd incident was when a worker didn’t change into the A4 cut gloves while working around sharp metal flashing and ended up getting sliced open. Luckily neither required stitches. I took the A2 gloves out of service because the dollar I was saving per pair just wasn’t worth it.

I always keep sampling gloves and price checking as they become available. I loved the Ergodyne 7031! Ergodyne 7031 Cut GlovesI actually love all of their gloves, but they don’t fit within my budget for the amount of gloves we go through here. I did upgrade our Radians A4 gloves to MCR Cut Pro 92754 for the nitrile coating (The guys complained of the Radians Polyurethane coating getting cold in the winter) so I needed a glove for in-between the fall and winter. (We use A2 gloves for cold weather, but that’s another post).

We have since moved back to the Radians RWG560 based on availability of the MCR Safety gloves. The only reason was availability, but on the plus side I can save a little per pair until the weather gets cold again in the fall. If you’re looking for the best cut gloves for construction you’ll have to see what works for you, the work you do, and sample them in the field. You should start with a cut 4 since most general contractors are now making that the minimum. Also keep in mind that most glove coatings like polyurethane aren’t phone or tablet friendly, but you can get gloves that are. I buy those for my foreman and supers to reduce the hassle of taking off their gloves to answer a call or text.

Radians makes a great cut glove for sure & you can find more of their gloves by clicking here. They also have a full line of safety supplies like safety glasses and high vis vests which you can find here as well.

Be safe!