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The Right Glove for the Job: 6 Disposable Glove Specs That Matter

The Right Glove for the Job: 6 Disposable Glove Specs That Matter

How do you find the right glove for the job?

We hear all the time that customers have trouble choosing—and sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right. Here are the top 6 disposable glove specs that should figure into any eventual choice.

As is the case with any product or service, an informed customer is a happy customer, so start with the basics:

  1. Glove thickness is measured in mils, equal to one-thousandth of an inch. A 3-mil glove is right for lightweight tasks like working with food, while an 8-mil glove is for heavier-duty jobs like automotive repair. There are specialty gloves up to 50 mils and more that are used for hazardous chemicals.
  2. Color is a consideration primarily for nitrile gloves. Vinyl gloves are mostly clear or blue, and latex are ivory, blue, or white. Nitrile, however, comes in a veritable rainbow of colors. Zoomget sells nitrile gloves in high-visibility orange and green, blue, black, indigo, and royal blue. Healthcare users often use color-coding of exam-grade gloves to differentiate between processes and specialties and guard against cross-contamination.
  3. Weight has been called a more accurate statistic than mil thickness for the amount of material used in a glove. Because gloves are manufactured by dipping hand-shaped formers, fingers pointed down, into a liquid mixture, gravity ensures that wrist thickness will be less than that of the fingers. Measuring gloves with a digital scale, therefore, is a more precise measurement than using a micrometer to gauge thickness.
  4. Texture ranges from smooth (for vinyl gloves) to aggressive (raised diamond texture for nitrile heavy-duty gloves, for instance). The latter utilizes 60% more surface area to channel away liquids for enhanced grip and is preferred for working with tools and machinery.
  5. Length is fairly standard across the industry: 9½ inches from tip of finger to base of wrist. There are exceptions, most common being 12-inch gloves used in laboratory and EMT applications to prevent liquids from splashing back. Some chemical-resistant and other specialty gloves are shoulder length.
  6. Acceptable Quality Limit (AQL) is an industry standard established by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI. It is applied to a production order to define whether the entire order is under or over the maximum acceptable number of defects for a particular sample size. In a batch of 100 gloves with an AQL of 3.0, only three gloves in that batch can fail a pinhole test that checks for leaks. A lower number means a higher-rated glove; an AQL of 1.0 means the glove is exam or medical grade and suited for protection against bloodborne pathogens.

When finding the right glove, try a few variations to narrow down the choices. Exam-grade gloves cost significantly more than industrial grade, but the quality is not always significantly better. Unless there is a specific medical need, industrial grade is the right fit for most applications. Whatever your application may be you can ensure Zoomget has the dependable disposable hand protection you need. 

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