Standard EN388
Gloves Providing Protection from Mechanical Risks

Standard EN388EN 388:2016 is a European Standard that applies to all kinds of protective gloves that replaces the previous EN388 standard due to changes in the way gloves are tested. The new standard cannot be used in direct comparison with the previous. EN 388:2016 gives grades that reflect the ability of a glove to protect the hand from mechanical risks. This covers abrasion, blade cut, puncture, tearing and impact.

Look for the pictogram shown here followed by four numbers and a letter, and sometimes also the letter 'P'.

The numbers and letters correspond to tests performed:

  • A. Abrasion Resistance
    Based on the number of cycles required to abrade through the sample given (scored 0 - 4)
  • B. Circular Blade Cut Resistance
    Based on the number of cycles required to cut through the sample at a constant speed (scored 0 - 5)
  • C. Tear Resistance
    Based on the amount of force required to tear the sample (scored 0 - 4)
  • D. Puncture Resistance
    Based on the amount of force required to pierce the sample with a standard sized point (scored 0 - 4)
  • E. Straight Blade Cut Resistance
    Using the ISO 13997 testing method. Based on the average load required to achieve a cut using a straight blade. (scored A – F)
  • F. Impact Resistance
    An optional test based on the mean transmitted force. Testing is carried out in accordance with EN 13594:2015 6.9 Protective Gloves for Motorcycle Riders. If the glove meets this requirement a 'P' is added as the last digit of the glove marking.

See the chart below for an overview of the protection level each number or letter represents:

  Performace Level
Test 0 1 2 3 4 5
Abrasion resistance (Cycles)
100 500 2000 8000  
Circular Blade Cut Resistance (Factor)
1.2 2.5 5.0 10.0 20.0
Tear Resistance (Newtons)
10 25 50 75  
Puncture Resistance (Newtons)
20 60 100 150  
  Letter Grade
  A B C D E F
Straight Blade Cut Resistance (Newtons)
Impact Resistance Optional – 'P' added to pictogram as 6th sign if passed.



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