| 06 June 2022

What do work glove abbreviations mean?

Work gloves shouldn’t be complicated. So what does PU, FN, LC etc mean?

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Work gloves shouldn’t be complicated.

All you want to do is pull them off the shelf, put them on, and away you go.

But there are loads to choose from and they’re all called funny names.

And not like the funny names you see in Lidl like Snackers and Prongles.

When you see abbreviations like PU and FN it would help if you knew what they meant.

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Understanding work glove abbreviations

Work gloves can have very specific uses.

Fundamentally designed to prevent injury, work gloves can also enhance performance.

For example, you can find cut-resistant gloves in our range as well as gripper gloves.

One you would use for sorting glass in a recycling centre, the other is better for lifting boxes. No prizes for guessing which!

But when it comes to choosing between two cut-resistant gloves with the same cut level, it’s not such an obvious decision.

So, you want to make sure you’re buying the right gloves for work or the right gloves for your customers.

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Types of work glove coatings

As you’re reading an article on our website, we’ll concentrate on the glove names in our range.

The two-letter abbreviation next to a glove refers to what coating the glove palm and fingers have on them.

Different coatings have different benefits to the wearer; generally speaking, they improve grip.

So, what abbreviations are there in our range and what do they do?

PU – Polyurethane coating 

For good dry grip

NF – Nitrile Foam

Outstanding oily grip with excellent wet and dry grip.

NS – Sandy Nitrile

For excellent oily and dry grip

LC – Latex crinkle

Excellent dry and wet grip

LS – Sandy Latex

Excellent wet and dry grip

FN –Flat Nitrile

For excellent dry grip

Looking at the above you can see different coatings add certain qualities to a glove.

And where they look similar such as LC and LS it comes down to what you prefer.

What makes the greatest difference is the type of coating used.

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The Three Work Glove Coatings

There are three main work glove coatings:

  • Nitrile
  • Polyurethane
  • Latex

Polyurethane Coated Gloves

These are for your more ‘value range’ work gloves.

They’ll give you excellent dexterity and they’re breathable, so your hands won’t overheat.

A popular glove in warehousing or jobs that have a lot of handling because of its high grip levels.

Latex Coated Gloves

A preferred choice if you’re handling abrasive objects because of its tear and cut resistance.

Latex-coated gloves are popular in construction and glass manufacturing. A good fit for wet and dry environments too.

If you’re working around hydrocarbons, organic solvents and naked flames stay clear. You’ll be better off using nitrile gloves.

Nitrile Coated Gloves

An alternative to latex and arguably the best work glove coating.

Nitrile-coated gloves have outstanding oily grip and are more puncture resistant than rubber but not as durable.

Don’t use around abrasives because of the durability, but in wet, dry, and oily conditions it should be your go-to.

Like polyurethane, it’s breathable so your hands won’t overheat.

Your choice matters

As with most other PPE, choosing the correct equipment for your job is very important.

On one hand (pardon the pun), PPE will help protect you and improve your performance.

On the other, if you choose the wrong gloves, it can cut performance.

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Which work glove to use

Each glove’s coating is designed for specific roles and industries.

If you take Latex Coated (LC) gloves as an example.

They’re great at what they do.

But if you’re handling smaller objects, like a mechanic, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

Why? You lose some dexterity.

If you’re working with fiddly objects, Nitrile Foam (NF) or Sandy Nitrile (NS) coating are more appropriate.

They’re grippy enough to help you do your job and you won’t lose dexterity.

Alternatively, a Polyurethane (PU) coating is better in warehousing because it’s mega grippy when dry.

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Go out and explore

There’s a little bit more to gloves than you might think.

So, when you’re at a stage where you’re adding gloves to your PPE, think about what it is you or your workforce need from them.

Each glove in our range has its features and benefits in the description. Alternatively, our hex-ratings give a rapid visual aid, so you know what each glove is best at.

Our cut-resistant glove range uses all three coating types. Have a scroll through to see which is the best for you.

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