How well do you know your glove coatings?


When it comes to finding the correct hand protection for your industry and application, it’s likely you’ll encounter various different glove coatings from flat and foam nitrile to PU and latex. But how do they differ, and which coating is right for you?

In this blog post, we look at each of the common glove coating types used in cut protection gloves and when and where you should use them.

Foam-Flex Nitrile

A foam nitrile coating acts like a sponge when working with oily surfaces providing superb grip in wet and oily conditions. Foam nitrile also allows the hand to breathe, meaning improved comfort for wearers. With the open pore structure of the foam-flex nitrile, it can become saturated, so it is more suited to dry and light oil conditions.
Our 58-4120 ultra lightweight cut D foam-flex nitrile palm coated glove is ideal for industries such as aerospace, light assembly, site maintenance, and manufacturing.

Micropore Foam Nitrile

Different from foam nitrile, the surface structure of micropore nitrile is made up of lots of small ingresses or ‘pores’ to prevent oil and liquids being absorbed, keeping hands dry and free from irritation. it also aids in delivering exceptional grip and the 55-5120 lightweight cut level E micropore foam nitrile palm coated glove does this perfectly.

Flat Nitrile

Gloves with a flat nitrile coating are tough and durable with good abrasion and puncture resistance. They typically stand up well to oil, grease, and liquids, however, they can be less dexterous so not suitable for small intricate assembly work.

Flat nitrile coated gloves work well in a number of industries including automotive, glass manufacturing, metal fabrication or stamping and construction.

The 55-5123 lightweight cut level E glove is fully coated in flat and foam nitrile to ensure it’s top of the line hand protection, see the glove in action under sharp oily components:

Polyurethane (PU)

PU is often considered the ideal coating for cut protection gloves thanks to its soft and stretchy properties that still provide good puncture resistance without being too bulky.

PU coatings tend to have higher penetration levels into the knit liner as a downside and this can cause issues with skin sensitivity. PU is also a non-breathable coating so is often used as a finger or palm dip style to reduce perspiration inside the gloves.

PU is durable and flexible, making it a great coating for general sharp handling and assembly across multiple industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and precision handling.
Our latest release 58-4110 ultra lightweight 18 gauge cut D coated glove is designed specifically for these applications.


Latex delivers high elasticity and grip in comparison to other glove coatings. This is especially true for crinkle latex, which offers outstanding grip often along puncture resistance.

A downside to latex coated gloves is that latex contains a protein that can on occasion cause allergic reactions in some wearers. But, latex is very durable and still ideal for a number of applications in industries such as construction, glass, utilities, and waste management.

Our 50-5130 medium weight cut level E latex palm coated glove is tough and robust, masks dirt and offers uncompromising protection in high cut hazard applications.

Extra coating options

Reinforced thumb crotch

Some applications such as glass manufacturing and metal stamping involve repetitive handling and additional stress in the thumb crotch area. To increase durability and extend the life of the glove a nitrile reinforcement patch can be added.
The 50-5121 cut level E foam nitrile palm coated glove has a thumb crotch reinforcement incorporated making it ideal for such heavy-duty handling applications.

PVC dot grip palm

A PVC dot pattern can be added to a number of different glove styles for any application requiring manual handling, utility knife use or enhanced grip.
Tilsatec cut protection gloves with a PVC dot grip palm include the 33-5610 cut level E medium duty glove and the 37-6611 cut level F medium duty cut resistant glove.

If you need an overview of all the options, download our understanding glove coatings infographic below to keep handy in the office and refer back to.

glove coatings infographic