Safariland Friskmaster Glove: Protect the Digits From the Risk

The FMN500- Friskmaster TM MAX – Cut & Needle Puncture Resistant Glove, by Safariland is designed specifically to meet the needs of law enforcement while conducting body searches and keeping the wearer safe from the risks of blindly reaching into an individual’s pockets. The FMN500 still grants the wearer a modest degree of dexterity to weapon control systems, while providing increased protection to the fingers and palm against needles or edged items.

The FMN500 is the latest product in Safariland’s Police Duty Glove that exchanges traditional synthetic leather found in many gloves, with Protech™  enhanced synthetic suede that gives the wearer A9 Cut Resistance protection, and Level 5 Needlestick Puncture Resistance under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

There is a high-stretch lining along the back of the hand and fingers that gives the gloves a soft contact material when touching sensitive surfaces, and aids in breathability.

The fingertips have a wrap over design that gives the FMN500 improved protection and dexterity over other protective glove designs that would otherwise rely on thick, or bulky layering. Where the FMN500 differs from other all-leather alternatives is it has the touch-screen compatible material at the forefinger and a reinforced thumb.

The gloves are anchored at the wrist bone with an adjustable hook-and-loop cuff.

The FMN500- Friskmaster TM MAX – Cut & Needle Puncture Resistant Glove is available in Black (featured) or Grey, and are available in sizes that range from XSmall to 3XL.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Average (3/5): With its MSRP of $52.00, the FMN500 is at an appropriate (or average) price point as a protective glove for law enforcement use given its thick materials and cut/puncture resistant design. The most direct market competitor to the FMN500 is the LawPro SlashGuard Gloves with Kevlar ($39.99) from Galls, the PointGuard Ultra 4046 ($56.49) from HexArmor, and the Bravo Glove ($105.99) from TurtleSkin that are all very similar in overall design, safety specs, and materials.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): The Protech™ and elastic nylon materials involved had a good amount of flex, articulation, and breathability when used that also gave the wearer a good level of comfort. The materials between the thumb, forefinger, and palm (where the greatest amount of stress would take place) held internal, double-line stitch lines. Additionally, double external stitch lines were noted between the reinforced materials to the thumb and forefinger. This layered effect however came at the cost to tactile feel at the fingertips and on gun controls with very little sensation to finer items or at the fingertips. But it remained a balance, offer the protective values of puncture and cut resistance or sacrifice those for improved sense of touch. As frisk/search gloves these had good level of comfort for the intended purpose.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): The materials in the FMN500 offer maximum A9 Cut Resistance protection, and Level 5 Needlestick Puncture Resistance while retaining the greatest degree of tactile sense possible. As noted on Safariland’s website, these safety ratings do not mean the FMN500’s material is puncture or cut proof, only that it resisted the effects as much as possible. Pressing an edged blade or needle did not yield penetration, but with sufficient force it is likely to. The tradeoff being that those thick materials that protect, also reduce that sense of touch. Consumers need to understand that this is the tradeoff in these type of gloves, and is one shared among the market alternatives noted above. The more protective and durable the glove, the less tactile sense is provided. During the 30-day evaluation period the only negative aspect to the FMN500’s durability was some curling of the hook-and-loop tab that is consistent with wear, but could become problematic over the glove’s expected lifespan. Exposed hook-and-loop (male) tended to be a bit snaggy and would occasionally catch clothing or other fabrics. A recommended area of improvement for Safariland would be to consider an elastic or fixed wrist band to minimize this effect.
  • Functionality – Average (3/5): The FMN500 functioned well and as was intended for a pair of safety search gloves. Some tactile sensation was maintained at the trigger, and with more deft manipulations (such as reloading magazines) despite the thickness of the fabric and the slight excess bulk in the fingertips. However, it was still easy to reach into pockets, pouches, or otherwise manipulate clothing and other items while wearing the gloves. It would be a nice addition if the FMN500 had larger retention loops to aid in donning and to clip the gloves to when not in use, as there was no means to do so. The touchscreen capability of the gloves was challenged on smaller devices, such as smartphones, due to the overall bulk of the protective fabric. But larger touch-screen enabled devices would have much larger buttons and screens and would correspondingly be easier to manipulate.
  • Weight – Excellent (5/5): At 4.3 ounces (for the pair) the FMN500 was lightweight and gave a comfortable feel without excess bulk or heft while worn, and the weight of the added protection value didn’t prove to be distracting. In contrast, the LawPro SlashGuard Gloves with Kevlar (9 ounces) from Galls, the PointGuard Ultra 4046 (8 ounces) from HexArmor, and the Bravo Glove (8 ounces) from TurtleSkin demonstrate that within the market, the FMN500 is at an excellent weight. Obviously the more protective material and features included on any glove, the more weight is added – and for a protective search glove the FMN500 strides the line between weight and function.

 Overall Rating – Above Average (18/25)

Product Link:™-max-police-duty-glove

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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