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The VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves are as comfortable and easy to wear as they are effective at stopping simple cuts.
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VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves

Reality sinks in and I get safer in the shop

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 4-25-2017


I hate to admit that it took the dire warning associated with the blood thinners my doctors prescribed following my recent cancer surgery to make me safer in the shop. Like getting cut was not itself a deterrent. After a little searching I found the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves (#74-710) that carry a ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Cut Level 5 grading. That is a rating for use in a bunch of medium to heavy industrial environments. I assume that my shop falls somewhere under that level of cut danger.

It is important to recognize that nothing can make us 100% safe in the shop. A woven glove like the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves are not going to protect us very well from piercing type injuries, like a pointed hobby knife stabbing at our fingers or hand. These gloves are also not rated to protect from serrated cutters that include saws. Even the fine-toothed razor saws we use in RC modeling can snag and attack the fibers of a woven glove which compromises the protection offered significantly. We still must be thinking about what we are doing even when wearing the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves.

The Basics

The VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves are woven using a variable stitch that allows them to conform to the hand and increase dexterity which itself increases safety. One of the materials used is a Dyneema® polyethylene fiber that is extremely strong, light and resistant to moisture and many chemicals. Stainless steel and fiberglass fibers are also woven into the gloves to greatly enhance cut protections.

i can apply considerable pressure (left) in a slashing motion and the gloves seem no worse for the wear. Go point first (right) and the woven fabric just lets the pointed cutter through as will any woven product.
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We should be aware that a glove like this is woven from material that while resistant to water and many chemicals, is likely to pass CA adhesives instantly and just might glue your hand to the inside of the glove. With that possibility in mind, I will not be wearing the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves when doing gluing. When cutting anything, I should have them on, as they were designed for.

In the Shop

Before getting the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves in my shop I wondered if the bulk of cut protection would make it hard to do the work I needed. That concern proved to be unfounded when I first slipped the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves on. The fabric is surprisingly supple and much thinner than I anticipated. I won’t be doing any jigsaw puzzles while wearing the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves but I certainly can do the work I need on my models.

Another nice feature I had not anticipated is the cuff that extends up the wrist roughly three inches. That cuff extends the cut protection coverage to protect a sensitive part of the body. While the cuff could have been made from a simple (and way cheaper) elastic material, the manufacturer opted to increase protection rather than take a fiscal short cut.

Undoubtedly there will be some who expect the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves to protect them from whatever dangerous techniques they can think of no matter how contrary to common sense they might be. I found myself paying more attention to the direction of cuts and using my VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloved hand to steady the piece being worked on while the portion being cut rests on a scrap piece of wood. It seems easier and more accurate to work this way and use the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves protection as a backup rather than primary protection against an ill-conceived work plan.

Just because you are wearing the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves (left) doesn't mean you can make dumb cuts. The gloves are backup to common sense cutting rules like (right) use scrap wood, not your fingers to support the cutting edge!
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Also important to me is that using the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves in no way makes me feel like I am compromising the work I do on my planes but I do feel much safer. Considering the blood thinners I am currently on (4-25-2017) this is hugely important. However, the ease of use and low cost has me developing the habit of reaching for the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves before I pick up a cutting tool. It only makes sense. There is nothing smart about taking a chance on an injury that could impact your ability to perform your income producing job that supports the hobby.

Conclusions

The VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves are a must-have in virtually any home shop I can think of because they are both effective and easy to use. With a street price of $19.39 (4-23-2017) they are also one of the smarter safety investments we can make.

I am not proud to say that it took going on blood thinners and the warning from the doctor about preventing injury to get me on the safe side of this story. Safety equipment like the VersaTouch® Cut Resistant Gloves are too easy to get, too reasonably priced and far too simple to use to continue taking unnecessary chances when working on our planes. If you use cutting tools in your hobby be smart enough to get cut protection and then be smarter yet and USE that protection when in the shop!

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