About dexterity

work glove dexterity


The importance of dexterity

Generally speaking, gloves with dexterity is important for all jobs, but for some light duty jobs like picking small screws, they play a very big role and they can help you to get the job done easily. They can also save your valuable time. When you wear a pair of gloves with low dexterity, you might spend more time to finish the job and sometimes you have to take your gloves off to do the job. From end users perspective, dexterity is something that really works for their job.  As a work gloves seller, you might not pay much attention to the dexterity issue before, but from now on, I think you should rethink it about and give a priority when you do your purchasing.


Four  things that can impact glove dexterity

Right size It is the first of all things that affects dexterity. Wearing wrong size gloves, either smaller or larger one, would definitely reduce dexterity. Larger gloves means longer fingers than you actually have, while smaller gloves can constrain your finger’s movement and lead to hand fatigue.  One-size-fit-all is not a good solution to our human hands, which is only for cheap work gloves. Glove vendors should offer at least five sizes to market although this would increase the complexity with regard to cost and time. But this can increase so-called customer value and is something worth to do.

Thickness Other aspects equal, the thinner is the glove, the more ambidextrous it is. The gloves with leather material has low dexterity because of their thickness. The gloves with knitted nylon is very thin and is relatively more ambidextrous. But thinner gloves is not necessarily less durable, and you should see what materials the glove is constructed with.

Finger length We prefer shorter glove finger rather than longer one, because shorter glove has better dexterity. When you import work gloves from China, you would find many China made gloves with longer fingers even when you wear your right size. I think this is because  people think each portion of a piece of glove should perfectly match the corresponding portion of our human hand. But in order to increase the dexterity, we should make a step further to  shorter the finger length a little bit and increase upper palm at the same time. This is not only to increase dexterity but also to reduce the pressure pushed on back knuckle area when gripping.

Flexibility If one pair of gloves are with all characteristics we mentioned above, it is still not necessarily ambidextrous. It also need one thing, flexibility. Here the word flexibility can be substituted by another word, elastic because flexible gloves must be elastic. Generally speaking, knitted gloves are more flexible than sewed gloves;  Rubber coating is more than nitrile coating; Foamed coating is more than non-foamed one; Leather glove is less flexible; Spandex is more than nylon yarn; nylon is more than cotton yarn, etc. One thing  to point out, even for the same exact type of gloves, the flexibility is not fixed and it can be adjusted during production. I think glove factory should spend some time to study how to improve the glove flexibility other than only put their mind only on cost and durability.


The method to test dexterity

One common way to test dexterity in lab is to pick up pins with gloved hand. These pins are with different diameter. Each diameter corresponds to a certain dexterity level. The gloved hand has to pick up pins three times within 30 seconds. The smallest diameter of the pin you can pick up stands for the rate of dexterity. This is also how European EN420 suggests. The following is a table of the rate of dexterity, in which each rate corresponds to a diameter of pin.

Performance Level     Smallest diameter (mm) of pin that can be picked up 

with a gloved hand 3 times/30 seconds.

1 11.0
2 9.5
3 8.0
4 6.5
5 5.0



1 thought on “About dexterity

  1. Pingback: Key points of EN420 – Masterx Glove

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