Chainsaws are one of the most versatile, popular—and dangerous—power tools around today. Accidents involving chainsaws often happen when the operator least expects it. No matter how much experience you may have, there is always the possibility of a sudden kickback, pull-in, or the chain flying off. This commonly occurs when a tree pinches the chain or when the tip of the chainsaw bar comes in contact with an object. To prevent serious or even deadly injury, it’s always important to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including a helmet with face shield, safety eyewear, steel-toe boots, gloves, and chaps when operating a chainsaw.
Chainsaw protective clothing is designed to dislodge and jam the chain if cut to prevent accidental injury. Husqvarna
Chainsaw chaps are constructed from multiple layers of protective fabric, such as Kevlar, ballistic nylon, and high-denier polyester, which provide both safety and durability. The tough outer layer will withstand abrasion, punctures, and cuts. If a chainsaw chain penetrates the outer layer, long fibers inside the chaps are designed to instantly separate and become lodged in the chainsaw, immediately slowing or stopping the chain. Beneath those fibers, an additional inner layer helps prevent the chain from reaching the operator. For the highest level of protection, look for chaps that are UL certified and meet ASTM, ANSI, and OHSA standards.
Note: Some chaps may not be rated to protect against injury from certain types of chainsaws, including electric models. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines before purchasing or using chaps.
Chaps, Gloves, Helmet
If you want the most for your money, a set that includes parts for shielding your entire body is a good start. Husqvarna
Chainsaw chaps are available in two basic styles. Apron chaps primarily protect the front of your legs. Full-wrap, or wraparound, chaps shield the front, sides, and back of your legs. Some chainsaw operators prefer the extra protection offered by wraparound chaps. Apron-style chaps are popular for several reasons. Chainsaw chaps are heavy and thick by design. Because they lack protective material in the rear, apron chaps tend to be more flexible, providing greater range of motion, and lighter, making them comfortable for all-day wear. The open-back style may also retain less heat than the wraparound versions, which is important if you’re operating a chainsaw on a warm day.
These should not be used with chainsaws. Forester
In addition to basic protection, today’s chainsaw chaps include several features that you are sure to appreciate while working. Look for fastening systems that will keep the chaps securely in place, but allow you to put them on and take them off quickly and easily. An adjustable waist and leg straps are important because they will allow the chaps to fit over multiple layers of clothing, enabling you to wear them throughout the year. Most chainsaw chaps are also oil and water resistant, which makes them ideal for those wet days in the field and keeps bar oil and fuel from soaking your clothes. Some models include pockets for carrying small accessories, such as a chainsaw wrench or felling wedge.